About Kum Nye - Tibetan Yoga
Activating the flow of feeling
Kum Nye facilitates discovering what we really are—open-ness, flowing-ness, and ongoing embodiment of knowledge. Kum Nye activates the flow of feeling-experience in the body.
Feelings refer to the experience within the body. Every experience has a feeling to it. Feelings are often neglected, as many of us have been taught to give precedence to thinking. The word ‘feeling’ is often mixed up with the word ‘emotion’. An emotion, by contrast, is a label of a feeling. In other words, emotions are thoughts. What we experience during an emotion is a secondary feeling: not the real thing, but the judgments of the feeling. Kum Nye restores direct experience, not channeled through thoughts. The eye sees; the body feels. Life lives in the body; it sees, it feels, it knows.
With mind in the body, body-awareness is able to ‘touch’ the experience of life in the body, senses, and mind; it can even touch life outside the body in our environment, and in space and time as well. ‘Touch’ is one of our sensory capacities. The body from top to toe has a magic ability to ‘touch,’ making direct contact with what is going on inside or outside itself, igniting the feeling-experience. What life presents body-awareness can touch: the body experiences the touching as a feeling. The feeling is a communication, like liquid intelligence: we know the situation. We feel what we see; we feel what we hear, taste, and smell; and we feel what we know. If we experience it, we embody it.
The secret of the Kum Nye practice: in order to ‘feel,’ mind needs to be in the body. When we pay attention to what we are experiencing in the body, all powers of mind are drawn within in its wake: we find it possible to develop many gifts, including focus, concentration, presence of mind, alertness, clarity, and knowledgeability. It is critical to not label the feelings, instead to merely stay with the different feeling-tones. Feelings are the language of the body. When the body relaxes, the field of feeling expands. Through the power of relaxation, the regime of mind releases, we become at ease. We begin to discover what it means to ‘just be’. The depth of feeling-experience reveals pure awareness; that is how we can know most things. Everything takes place in the matrix of awareness.
There is a far greater, and more lasting chance for positive change possible by anchoring my attention in the inner world of feeling and the language it provides. The language of the body does not wish things were different. Feelings do not suffer, for there is no one to do the suffering. There may be pain, yes, as inner spaces twist and turn. Experience is made up of layers and dimensions; being thrown around from one to another can be disorienting. As we become seated in the feeling-experience, though, we discover that no problem is too great: we can handle it.
There is no other way to really ‘know’ than through the always changing feeling-experience. Feelings communicate the real thing. Feelings know no duality. We can learn to feel together, right here, right now. If feeling-experience is open and spacious, the body ‘touches’ everything and all. All great experience, everything we are probably looking for, is a feeling: love, joy, caring, intimacy, understanding, even success is a feeling.
Steeped in Kum Nye, we are less likely to fall out of balance, as we settle down and place our anchor in the flowing feeling experience instead of in the thinking, mental world. There can be certainty in uncertainty. This anchor enables us to have our finger on the pulse of something real, valuable, and possible. In restoring this kind of balance, we recapture the innocent joy that many of us felt in childhood – the natural joy of being alive.
Kum Nye redesigns the inner architecture of the energy body. We begin to feel safe in our own skin. We become ready for what needs to be done, in a fresh, positive manner. You no longer need to conceal what you love and what is important to you.
Kum, in Tibetan ‘sKu,’ is usually translated as ‘body,’ but not the physical body, rather the site of experience. I introduce Kum by slowly approaching a person and asking her when she begins to sense me. At some point, she will likely say: “Now, you are entering my space. Space-awareness is your ‘body’ in Kum Nye.
With a small Kum, there will be small-mindedness, sensing only a few options to be for the self. With an expansive Kum, your sense of space opens up. The positions of the self, which are actually patterns and shapes of the energy body, become more malleable, flexible. When the Kum expands new opportunities emerge that were not sensed within a smaller Kum. Chances were there all along, but we never noticed them as if we lived in a house with most windows and doors shut. The experience of mind opens. The senses relax and become two-way gates to our being. The feeling-experience has become the foundation of our life. Genuine wishes can see the light of day, and we know what it is we want to do.
Kum Nye exercises can help to change our inner architecture from the ground up, loosening the body, refreshing the senses, and brightening mind. Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, we can connect mindfully with the feelings that are resonating in the body at that particular time. Whatever feeling we notice, we can listen for its tone, gently touching it with the breath, and allowing it to expand as far as possible. Breathing lightly we can melt into the center of the feeling and rest in that inner silence. Something will show up, something will speak itself forward.
The experience of wholeness, aliveness is awaiting. This is an aspect of ‘the experience of being well.’
Nye, in Tibetan mNye, literally means ‘inner massage.’ Kum Nye works with the energy body, life living in the body. The subtle energy body system, the energy body, is made up of channels and chakras. As Kum Nye facilitates the feeling-experience to flow, expand, and accumulate; the energies begin to interact, mingling with one another. To come to a complete integration is called ‘balance’ in Kum Nye. This comingling of feelings and breathing begins to massage us from within: the inner massage of feeling experience is Nye. As Nye intensifies, Kum expands. While Kum broadens, Nye deepens. The body comes alive, mind eases and opens, culminating in a sense of wholeness. The energies of the heart and its corresponding internal voice begin to show up.
Kum Nye Meditation
To understand mind, it is helpful to look beneath the patterns woven into mind and experience more directly the sensing aspect of mind. This exploration can serve as a kind of Kum Nye for the mind, a way to soften the present patterns of mind and glimpse other possibilities of perceiving, thinking, being, and acting.
In offering Kum Nye programs over so many years, I can categorically say: Kum Nye works for nearly everyone, especially if combined with meditation. In these teachings, meditation means ‘integration’: first of body and mind, then of inner and outer space. As inner and outer space are being experienced as one space, dualities or polarities yield to a feeling of being ‘complete’ within’, nothing missing.
The remedies for returning to ‘feeling complete within,’ once we have fallen away, are mostly about joy: Healing with Joy, Orienting Mind toward Joy, Remembering Joy in the Heart, Expanding Joy, Space of Joy, and Joyful Breath. Joy is the lubricant, the healer, what brings people together. Not discussing and excavating the problems we had, have, or may have, or the divisions between us, but rather sharing, doing, reminding ourselves of what gives us joyful feelings: these are what will make us and our relationships whole again. Anchored in the experience of joy, we are ready to make sound decisions for the future. Nobody will feel left out.
In the Kum Nye programs the ‘final’ integration is a recognition of inner potential meeting with what life presents—serendipity. The meditation angle promotes going to the depth of experience, and sets the stage for genuine inquiry and discover ‘what‘ you are.