Lung (Standard Tibetan: རླུང rlung) means wind or breath. It is a key concept in the Vajrayana traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and has a variety of meanings. Lung is a concept that's particularly important to understandings of the subtle body and the Three Vajras (body, speech and mind).
The general description of Lung is that it is a subtle flow of energy and out of the five elements (air, fire, water, earth and space) it is most closely connected with air. However it is not simply the air which we breathe or the wind in our bodies, it goes much deeper than that. Lung is like a horse and the mind is the rider, if there is something wrong with the horse the rider will not be able to ride properly. Its description is that it is rough, light, cool, thin, hard, movable.
The general function of Lung is to help growth, movement of the body, exhalation and inhalation and to aid the function of mind, speech and body. Lung helps to separate in our stomachs what we eat into nutrients and waste products, thus is similar to the concept of the "three burning spaces" in Chinese medicine. However its most important function is to carry the movements of mind, speech and body. The nature of Lung is both hot and cold.
Some of the different usages of the term lung include:
• the psychic winds (sanskrit: prana) that travel in the internal channels, or nadi (Sanskrit) of the subtle body and are manipulated in certain Vajrayana yoga practices.
• specifically the five psychic winds that are a manifestation of the Mahabhuta. These five are the lifeforce that animate the bodymind (Sanskrit: namarupa) of all sentient beings and are key to certain tantric Buddhist and Bon sadhanas and Traditional Tibetan medicine.
• to the vayu and prana of ayurvedic medicine.
• as a component of the term for a type of prayer flag, named after the allegorical Wind Horse (Tibet: lung ta).
• a type of tantric buddhist empowerment that involves the transference of spiritual power from master to augment or refine that of the disciple through the recitation of scripture or song. This oracular transmission received aurally defines Mantrayana and Ngagpa traditions and provides them with their nomenclature.
• the "reading transmission" of sutrayana texts, in which the entirety of the text is read aloud from teacher to student.
Tibetan Buddhism views the human body as consisting of a coarse body made of six constituent elements of earth, water, fire, wind, space and consciousness and also of a subtle body, or 'Vajra body', of energy-winds, energy-channels and energy-drops.There are many types of wind or 'subtle breath' that move along the invisible channels of the subtle body. The 'vital breath' (Tibetan:sog lung ) is considered the most important. It is "the essence of life itself that animates and sustains all living beings". Anuttarayoga Tantra practices from the Mahamudra meditation system, such as Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara and Hevajra, provide various methods to penetrate the vital points of the Subtle Body.
The Dalai Lama XIV summarises the practice: "To penetrate these points means to gather there the energy-winds and the subtle minds that ride on them, basically by means of different types of absorbed concentration focused on these spots.". Practices that work with the subtle energy winds includes tummo or 'Inner Fire', one of the Six Yogas of Naropa. In this practice, the yogin or yogini uses breathing and meditation techniques to draw the lung or subtle winds into the central channel and hold them there, traversing the body vertically.
Tantric Buddhism (or Vajrayana) broke off from the Indian Tantric one at a very early stage. Hence they developed a rather different version of the chakras.
Tibetan Buddhism acknowledges four (navel, heart, throat, and head), five, seven, or even ten chakras or "channel wheels"; each with a different number of "spokes" to its Indian Tantric counterpart. The navel chakra for example has sixty-four spokes, the heart chakra eight, the throat sixteen (the only one to agree with the Hindu scheme), and the head or crown chakra thirty-two.
Tsa Lung (Skt: nadi-vayu; Tib. rtsa rlung; where "rtsa" denotes an energetic channel) are special yogic exercises. The exercises are used in the Tibetan Bon tradition and the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Tsa lung Trul khor employs the tsa lung and they constitute the internal yantra or sacred architecture of this yoga's alternate nomenclature, yantra yoga. Tsa lung are also employed in Kye-rim.
The exercises are used:
That coincides with mind releasing dualistic misperceptions and abiding in non-dual awareness of rigpa (Tib. rig pa). Detailed instructions on the exercises describe 3 levels of rtsa rlung: external, internal and secret.
Each level contains 5 exercises corresponding to five elements.