Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Five Tibetans - Which direction should we spin?

It is a tragedy that the great wisdom and knowledge of the Lamas has been lost over the hundreds of years of the Rites' existence. It would be most beneficial to know for example; why they instructed us to spin clockwise only during the 1st Rite (movement).

In the absence of this traditional knowledge, people have adapted the Rites to suit their philosophy or in accordance with their own experience. One of these adaptations is to spin clockwise in the northern hemisphere and anti-clockwise in the southern hemisphere.

From my research this modern belief appears to be based on the following myth:

Just as water spirals down the sink, in apparently different directions, some people believe that we should adjust the direction of our spin in accordance with the Coriolis Effect which is created by the rotation of the Earth. If this were the case, we should spin anti-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. But what should we do on the Equator?

In actuality, the measurable effect of this scientific phenomenon on the normal water spiralling down the sink is a myth - unless the sink is the size of a small ocean. The rotation of the Earth, and thereby the Coriolis force, is only one full rotation per day - extremely minor”. Extract from T5T – The Five Tibetan Exercise Rites (Penguin)."

To quote from where Alistair B. Fraser, Ph.D. Emeritus Professor of Meteorology, Penn State University, U.S.A; explains in great detail (Reprinted with permission of author):

“The direction of rotation in draining sinks and toilets is not determined by the rotation of the Earth, but by rotation that was introduced earlier when it was being filled or subsequently being disturbed (say by washing). The rotation of the Earth does influence the direction of rotation of large weather systems and large vortices in the oceans, for these are very long-lived phenomena and so allow the very weak Coriolis force to produce a significant effect, with time”.

The degree of Coriolis Effect on a spinning human being would therefore be negligible and impossible to gauge accurately.

Barbara Ann Brennan, ex NASA research scientist and noted authority on the human energy field, says in her book Hands of Light:

"When the chakras are functioning normally, each will be "open", spinning clockwise to metabolize the particular energies needed from the universal field. A clockwise spin draws energy from the UEF (Universal Energy Field) into the chakra, very much like the right-hand rule in electromagnetism, which states that a changing magnetic field around a wire will induce a current in that wire.

When the chakra spins counter clockwise, the current is flowing outward from the body, thus interfering with metabolism. In other words, the energies that are needed and that we experience as psychological reality are not flowing into the chakra when it is spinning counter clockwise. We thus label the chakra as "closed" to incoming energies”.

Interestingly, a dance teacher who attended one of my classes told me that children are initially taught to spin clockwise. Apparently they find it easier (although there are always exceptions). She said it is well known amongst dance teachers - that if you want to calm children down, you get them to spin anti-clockwise. To energise them, you get them to spin clockwise!

This energising effect is exactly what most people experience doing Rite No 1 as described by Colonel Bradford. In my view - if the lamas gave instructions to Spin clockwise - then clockwise it is!

"…The sky is round, and I have heard the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind in its greatest power whirls. Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours.

The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of man is a circle from childhood to childhood,and so it is in everything where power moves…"
Black Elk, Sioux Holy Man

If you wish to publish this article on your website you may do so, provided that you assign copyright to the author exactly as written below:

Copyright (c) 2005 Carolinda Witt - author T5T - The Five Tibetan Exercise Rites and The 10-Minute Rejuvenation Plan


Swedenborg Association of Australia said...

Hi Carolinda, I also went looking into the Sufi Dervish practice of whirling mainly anticlockwise and compared it with the Tibetan 1st Rite of spinning clockwise. Curious to find sources of the decision of a direction, I came across your interesting posts, so would like to share that I also found the following experience reported by the scientist and mystic Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) of something he said he witnessed in the spiritual world (from his book Divine Love and Wisdom (#270,5): "The earthly mind, with everything in it, turns in spirals from right to left, while the spiritual mind turns in spirals from left to right. So the two minds are turning in opposite directions - a sign that evil is resident in the earthly mind and that on its own, it resists the spiritual mind. Further, turning from right to left is turning downward, toward hell, and turning from left to right moves upward, toward heaven. I have been shown this by the experience that evil spirits cannot turn their bodies from left to right, only from right to left, while good spirits find it hard to turn from right to left and easy to turn from left to right. Their turning follows the flow of the deeper levels of their minds." Not sure if you find this useful, but if the early originators had access to seeing in that same world they may have taken their decision from that. I found no referemce for a source which clearly stated which direction Rumi turned in around the column when he first started it - info which has been lost? Best wishes, Joe Vandermeer

3Sarana said...

With all due respect, I'd like to inform you that "the great wisdom and knowledge of the Lamas has" NOT "been lost over the hundreds of years of the 'rites'' existence. The Vajrayana is very much alive and doing quite well. In fact, it would be odd to encounter even a single person in North America and certainly in all the major cities of the Southern American continent, who doesn't know who His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama is. The very advanced and quite specific Tibetan system of medicine is now widely available through qualified practitioners and is even taught by authentic Masters in Naturopathic Medical colleges. In addition, it is not difficult, if one makes the effort, to get in touch with a real Tibetan Lama to inquire about these practices. Most are more than familiar with the typical questions westerners have on this subject and many are even fluent in English! In such an inquiry, one of the first things a layman learns when he is brought to prayer wheels is that clockwise is always favorable and counter-clockwise is not. Problem solved.

Carolinda Witt said...

Your comment is valid but not relevant to the Five Tibetan Rites. I have absolute respect for the Dalai Lama, Tibetan philosophy and medicine, however there is no evidence or proof of the origins of the Rites, except for a book written by a Westerner in 1939, claiming the existence of a monastery where the monks did not appear to age. Peter Kelder (the author) describes the principal character, one Colonel Bradford (which is an alias) saying the monks attributed their agelessness to the practice of The Five Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation. The practice of which Bradford says is around 2,500 years old. Several Westerners have tried to find this monastery, but it has never been identified, and my letter to the Dalai Lama's University in Daramshala asking if they have ever heard of it, received a reply saying they had not, and neither had they heard of The Five Tibetan Rites. Knowledge of the Rites today is extensive due to the explosion of marketing material and YouTube videos about their benefits. Today, many Tibetan monks are familiar with the Rites, but this is because they are now commonly known around the world. In 2000 when I started practicing and teaching the Rites, visiting monks would also confirm they had never heard of them. I donated to the Gyuto Monks charity, and met several of the monks. Having said all this, I love the Rites and absolutely believe that they are beneficial to health in the following ways: Benefits I hope this has been useful to you.

Carolinda Witt said...

Joe, apologies for delay in responding to your post which I have only just seen. I think the information you have shared is fascinating and adds to the knowledge why clockwise spin is preferential (and is the only direction advised in the book). I thought you might find this article interesting too Why Clockwise Spin Is Important