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Background

‘Lu’ means body in Tibetan and ‘jong’ means transformation. Through this bodily practice, we can transform ourselves.

Lu Jong was born from the traditions of both Bön and Tantrayana Buddhism.

Bön is the indigenous belief system of Tibet, well-rooted long before Buddhism was introduced. Bön is based on reverence for the natural environment, including its subtlest aspects, which we have mostly lost touch with today. Through careful observation of the patterns of nature, the Bönpos developed practices that aligned the individual and society with those rhythms in order to reach their fullest potential.

Around 2,500 years ago, Shakyamuni Buddha began spreading the teachings of Buddhism in India. It was until the late 8th century that Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, brought the Buddhist teachings to Tibet. Over time, the veracity of these teachings proved worthy to be adopted by Tibetans. As Buddhism was practiced more widely, many Bön traditions became incorporated into it.

Buddha Shakyamuni, in the fourth turning of the Dharma Wheel (the fourth round of teachings), taught the Kalachakra Tantra, which expounded in great detail on the rhythms of the universe, the movement of the stars, the structure and development of the human body and the connections between them all. Here, he presented the foundations of Tibetan Medicine, which includes the root of disease as well as the path to healing.

Tantrayana, the path of using the body as the vehicle for self-development, is found in all the main schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Therefore, there are Lu Jong exercises found in the Kagyu, Gelug, Sakya, Nyima and Jonang traditions.

Buddha himself taught at least two specific exercises. The rest were developed by his disciples through their own practice or through special realizations given to them by Buddha or one of the great yogis. Drawing from their knowledge of the Buddha’s teachings of the human body, their observations of the natural environment and our interrelationship with it, and their own experience, Buddhist yogis developed the practice of Lu Jong.