Wednesday, 12 January 2011


Vajrayana Buddhism contains myriad practices for the discovery of our individual energetic being. Once discovered this energy can be transformed through its own enlightened potential. This is called self-liberation. One such practice – from the section of vajrayana called mahayoga - is Sky Weaving. The name derives from the Tibetan term namkha (nam mKha’) - literally ‘sky’. The practice of namkha is ancient, with roots beyond the arrival of vajrayana in the Himalayas. Sky weaving as found within the Aro Lineage of the Nyingma Tradition. Nyingma is the oldest of the four Buddhist traditions of the Himalayan countries.

This blog explores the practice of Sky Weaving, in terms of how it manifests withing the Aro Tradition, and also in the broader context of Buddhist Vajrayana in general.


  1. "Nyingma is the oldest of the four Buddhist traditions of the Himalayan countries."

    But that does not tell us much, does it? Old is not better. Old is not more original. Old is not wiser. Bon is older than Nyingma.
    I mean, maybe that is mildly interesting historically but not much more, right?

  2. Hmmm. . . well that is simply a contextual statement. It's locative.

    Old is older than new. You are entirely correct that Old is neither more original, nor wiser than new. Old has significantly more 'O's in, and substantially less 'E's in than new. Old has a somewhat rounder and more open sound; its tone is slightly deeper; its lips are less petulently pursed than New so its pitch is less prone to tightness and tonal increase.

    Perhaps marginally more interesting is that - academically speaking - Bon as it appears to day may not be older than Nyingma. Modern Bon looks very like Nyingma practice. That there was something in Tibet than predates Buddhism, and that it is now referred to a Bon, are both true. Academics find it challenging - at present - to pin the origins of Bon in history, and likewise to identify that which is uniquely Bon in what is practised in modernity. Without that pin it is hard to say which is the actually older. Of course to a practitioner (who has practised a little of each and find Bon entirely delightful) that is only mildly interesting, historically, but otherwise irrelevant. How much more interesting I'll leave to the reader. . .

  3. LOL. We agree. I am reading this blog trying to anticipate it as a book and offering thoughts as a critical reader, hoping it helps in possibly anticipating critical readers so your sharing can reach a broader audience.

    This summer I went to hear His Holiness Lungtok Tenpai Nyima, the 33rd Gyalwa Menri Trizin (the world wide spiritual leader of the Bon tradition of Tibet and abbot of Menri Monastery new Dolanji, India). Of his 60 minute talk he spent 30 minutes letting the audience know how special Bon was compared to 'other Buddhisms', part of that what telling its age and how it existed before other Buddhisms in Tibet.

    You are right, I was surprised to hear, in his last 30 minutes, of an outline that sounded perfectly identical to Nyingma thought. I did not expect that. I expected some syncretism but not total assimilation. Interesting.