with Fabio Andrico
Samtengar in China, October 10-13, 14-20, 2017
by Vince Li
Upon returning from a trip to Kham after the intensive month-long Yantra Yoga Teacher Training, Fabio Andrico dove right back into action in Samtengar with Courses on Kumbhaka and the 7th Lojong and Mandarava Tsalung.
In total, over fifty participants came for the teaching. Since some of the students had not had any prior experience with Yantra Yoga or Kumbhaka in general, Fabio dedicated the first part of the course on 7th Lojong to developing the experience of complete breathing and holding through various exercises and group practices. By having concrete experience students were able to develop some capacity for complete breathing and holding of Kumbhaka. Fabio then went at length to give detailed instructions of each of the three practices of the 7th Lojong referencing to the Precious Vase text and the text on Teachings on Lojong, Rushen and Semdzins, as well as related notes from other retreats.
After a short one-day break, the learning continued with a week of Mandarava Tsalung training. Morning sessions were dedicated to Mandarava short practice with Chüdlen, Sogthig, Tsalung practice and some instructions. In the afternoons the class went over precise indications from the root text, Rinpoche’s commentaries and notes from various retreats and practice training. One persistent theme throughout these kumbhaka practices, as indicated by Rinpoche, was to not force oneself, but at the same time try to develop one’s capacity. As our Master repeatedly emphasized in the text, the crucial point for these visualization and Tsalung practices is to really get to the essence rather than going too much into conceptual details. Another important message that Fabio also stressed is how the practice is connected to its Transmission and instructions, not simply some knowledge and methods derived only from books, and so one is advised to practice accordingly.
The joyful eleven days went by like a breeze; especially in the last few days when temperature really dropped and people were able to put their Kumbhaka practice to the test! The course ended auspiciously on the first day of the new moon with a Mandarava long practice with Sogthig and Tsalung. Rinpoche and Rosa’s good health was always the wish in our hearts.