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From material and organic essences to their meditative visualizations

Vicissitudes and historical avatars of an Indo-Tibetan technique aiming to “appropriate the essences”: rasāyana / bcud len. From material and organic essences to their meditative visualizations

Video lecture by Fernand Meyer, Directeur d’études émérite EPHE.

The Tibetan techniques known as bcud len, commonly understood to mean “extraction of essences”, clearly date back to Indian procedures called rasāyana in Sanskrit.

Already at the beginning of the common era, medical treatises, which would later become the classics of Ayurvedic medicine, described procedures aimed at rejuvenation, or even immortality. They ended up constituting one of the eight branches of Ayurveda.

In Tibet, medical literature has inherited this trend, but the concept of rasāyana has also been reinterpreted there, and bcud len techniques extend far beyond the medical field. They refer to a constellation of consonant notions, images and metaphors with an epistemological function concerning not only bodily metabolism and vital processes, but also cosmology, the natural environment, the double aspect, coarse or subtle, of material entities, and until the ultimate liberation from the cycle of rebirth.

We will sketch, in the allotted time, the constituent elements of this network of notions, at the same time fluid, open and forming a system, its foundations and its historical evolution.

As a result of this evolution, the Tibetan tradition of bcud len has developed a wide variety of practices, different in their procedures and their aims, at the confluence of medicine, juvenile hedonism and asceticism, alchemy, ritual, and psychophysiological techniques of yoga.

VIDEO LECTURE on Zoom at 6:00PM

Topic: SEECHAC AG et Conférence Fernand Meyer

Time: Jun 15, 2021 6:00PM Paris

Meeting ID: 847 9421 4922

Passcode: zLDQd