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  • Rudy Bauer

Seminar on the Fragmenting Body and the freeing of Luminous Spaciousness to be Embodied

Rudolph Bauer,Ph.D, author, Edited by Elizabeth Ebaugh


I appreciate Erin’s sharing of her meditation experience within which the experience of the symbolic body is cut through…or cutting through in the context of Troma Nagmo.  It was both beautiful and completely informing about the archetypal process within us and around us and the unfolding and expanding process of luminosity.


At one level her description is a description of the Chod practice.  This is a practice that Kunsang Dechen Lingpa and Rinchen Dorgee Rinpoche have presented so often.  The healing Chod of the Troma ….the dark mother.


In the Chod practice the symbolic body is systematically deconstructed and luminosity shines through in felt fullness. This practice is central to the teachings of Machig Labdon, a karma dakini and her teacher Phadampa Sangye, the lion of the siddhas, and founder of the Chod tradition. This practice follows the teachings of Prajanaparamitra: form is emptiness and emptiness is form…or as taught by Phadampa Sangye:  luminous emptiness and luminous form are one…flesh as light. 


The vajra vase body (the body of light) becomes manifest through the dissolution that occurs with the practices of the Chod and Vajrakilaya traditions. You realize the ultimate nature of mind when you are free from all objective fixations; it is incorrect to think that nothingness is the ultimate. Immerse yourself in natural luminosity.


As you know, when we allow the archetypical dimension to arise within we can be in transitional space….for it is in that intermediate area of experience that the archetypical dimension manifests.  If the idea manifests in your mind alone then the result will be ideation or a dissociated fantasy alone.  A creative unfolding of primordial awareness breaking through or shining through experientially….manifesting within you as you can not come from the mind alone.


For a few moments I will speak about the fragmenting body from the psychoanalytic point of view of Lacan and Winnicott.  Let’s look at the disintegration and reintegration process….which is so necessary in becoming aware of timeless awareness or the true self. The disintegration and reintegration process that is repeated in the unfolding of the awareness field…the field of fruition.


The fragmented or fragmenting body is an early understanding of Lacan and is intimately connected to his discovery of the mirror stage of development.  The mirror is not the literal mirror, but the mirror of environmental reflection and attunement.  All of us, all human beings, are locked into the mirror of the other as we grow into this world. The baby is disorganized and at times fragmenting and so through the mirroring of the environmental (the mother and environment) an image or form or psyche-somatic form is developed…a container is formed which will ultimately contain luminous awareness…psyche. We might say a highly contained container is formed in time. 


Through events and time, through the awakening of awareness, of kundalini, the light begins to break through, cut through, move through and manifest through the container.  In doing so the container is deconstructed and reorganized as the body of light.  The container is cut through and the great expanse of light is freed and felt…a blaze.


So in the unfolding of the self, in the unfolding of the field of awareness, the unfolding of the field of light, the container of the body is stretched, deconstructed, broken down and opened in order to have the expansion of the awareness field permeate the body and its surroundings.  When this occurs we are able to be aware of the experience of resonance. 

So the transformational experience of the fragmenting body arises in the symbolic area of experience. It is not  imaginary as internalizations are imaginary or as memory is imaginary. Rather the symbolic function of psyche is visionary …apparitional... or as described in the language of Dzogchen,  the experience of the sambogakaya of nirmanakaya dimension.  These are not ideational fantasies, but realities of the multidimensional awareness contained in mind and body, contained in time and space… contained in duration.


The imaginary is mental schema, internalized objects, psychological complexes.  And the symbolic is the reality of the apparition visionary dimension of the awareness.of the subtle body of light or sambogakaya. The real is unborn undying varja awareness, potential space beyond words and language…dharmakaya.


So the yogis practiced Chod in order to bring forth this dissolving.  Of course this dissolving completely and naturally happens in the unfolding of our life events if transitional space is open…if awareness of awareness is available…which is the arising of kundalini and the unfolding of karma is dharma that can lead to natural liberation. I do not mean that everything happens for the best, but rather through whatever is happening natural liberation is available and can and does take place….all of the time..everywhere.


Appearing and disappearing, dissolving and evolving are the manifestations of indeterminate awareness…try as you might to predict it will not work. But keep trying….please keep trying.

Disintegration is required for reintegration and if you do not go with the process you will continuously disintegrate….until there is nothing left.  Winnicott would so often say that we are living in health in the intermediate zone, the third area, transitional space. Within transitional space the cultural and archetypical expressions can manifest bringing us creative movement…the emerging of self.


There is the experience of primary disintegration…often frozen and highly contained as false self….lack of beingness of being.  As events unfold, both internal and external, the lack of integration becomes less frozen and we experience disintegration or falling apart. In the disintegration phase of maturation we must rest in formlessness. This formlessness is the potential space manifesting in us as us. Primary disintegration becomes the resting state or formlessness.  In becoming aware of awareness you are experiencing a formless field. At times this can happen when you are alone or in the company of another. Or this can happen in meditation as you rest in the formlessness through which formlessness itself becomes field as base. Formlessness is the beingness of being which manifests within forms and then disintegrates and reintegrates in greater levels of coherence and vibration.


The mind in its resistance to the unformulated unpredictable incessant flow of events, the relentless surges from events, soon does not go along with the disintegration -reintegration process and becomes again frozen in time…frozen in death like stuckness.


The path of the vajrayana is completely clear that the yogi ought not to cultivate the framing of oneself as a victim or walk the path of the victim.  Such a path will completely stop the reintegration process. When Udamo vajra hara (going for it is it) is practiced within the victim framework the spirit is lost and energy is depleted.


The path of e he ru ka and dakini is the path of the hero..victorious and undefeatable in spirit, the path using the dagger or phubra.   As Dr Xan Jin would so often say, “nothing is unbearable”.


In the alchemical traditions the nigredo state or state of putrefaction or decomposition is necessary for soaring to take place, for completion to take place.

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