Protection chords

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Protection chords

Postby Dharmaswede » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:26 pm

I am looking for information on protection chords; how they work, significance of different colors, different types of chords, exceptions to wearing them etc.

Thank you!

Best Regards,

Jens
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Re: Protection chords

Postby Aemilius » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:25 pm

Dharmaswede wrote:I am looking for information on protection chords; how they work, significance of different colors, different types of chords, exceptions to wearing them etc.

Thank you!

Best Regards,

Jens


I don't know the answer to your question, but it brings to mind something that is beside the matter, so if you don't mind: I saw in the 1980's a film of european missionaries in Africa, there the africans were wearing exactly similar red protection cords that you get in tibetan tantric initiations. The converted africans had to burn these protection cords in an open fire, they seemed slightly uncertain and maybe even afraid, when they ran quickly to the fire, took away their red cords and threw them into the fire.
There is an article by David Templeman, where he describes the late indian tantric buddhism, at around 1500's, he says the indian tantric Buddhaguptanath went to San Lorenzo in Madagaskar, where he met local tantric monks and he heard the complete explanations to Hevajra tantra there !!!
Please enjoy the article of David Templeman at http://www.ordinarymind.net/may2003/feature2_03.htm
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Re: Protection chords

Postby Luke » Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:43 pm

Hi Jens,

I believe you meant "cords" (pieces of string) and not "chords" (several musical notes played at the same time: A minor, G major 7, etc.). Sorry, I couldn't restrain myself.

I'll tell you what little my sangha members have told me about these strings.

I've never been told that the colors have any particular significance. I have received some red ones, some orange ones, and some multicolored ones and I regard them all as being the same.

I've also been told that one should wear them for at least three days after receiving them (except when bathing or doing something which could get them wet) in order receive their full blessings.

I've also been told that you should not get them wet. I would also assume that you should not put them on the floor because that is usually a disrespectful thing to do with most Dharma objects.

The members of my sangha either wear these strings around their necks or around their wrists. I prefer to wear mine around my neck.

I believe that these strings symbolize some kind of karmic connection with the lama who gave them to you. I suppose they might give you some protection, but I've never heard my sangha members talk about this.

As I type this, I'm wearing my favorite one. It's my favorite because I received it from a great lama whom I felt a strong connection with. But the empowerments and teachings I've received are always more important to me than any physical object.

I'm sure there is more to it than this, but this is all I know.
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Re: Protection chords

Postby Josef » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:16 pm

Here is an excerpt from Lama Wangdu's book that has some info on protection cords.

http://www.lamawangdu.org/bookinfo.htm
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Re: Protection chords

Postby Luke » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:42 pm

That's interesting how one student in that article comments about sleeping better while wearing the cord. I haven't noticed that I sleep better while wearing my cord, but I do have a positive feeling of it being sort of like my "Buddhist teddy bear" when I sleep.

I once also read an article about how someone could recite the Refuge Vow before going to sleep and then sleep contently under the protection of the Three Jewels.
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Re: Protection chords

Postby Josef » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:35 pm

Luke wrote:That's interesting how one student in that article comments about sleeping better while wearing the cord. I haven't noticed that I sleep better while wearing my cord, but I do have a positive feeling of it being sort of like my "Buddhist teddy bear" when I sleep.

I once also read an article about how someone could recite the Refuge Vow before going to sleep and then sleep contently under the protection of the Three Jewels.


It is interesting and could also just be a psychological phenomena, either way if it benefits then it is good.
I have a couple of cords that I received from my root lama that I wear all of the time and one that is attached to an amulet that was made in his monastery.
For me they are a constant source of comfort and connection to my lama who is thousands of miles away.
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Re: Protection chords

Postby Dharmaswede » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:53 pm

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts, info, and experiences on this topic. I very much appreciate it!

Best Regards,

Jens
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Re: Protection chords

Postby clinton » Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:22 pm

Funny, I came here looking for answers about Protection cords and now I'm answering.
At the conclusion of a meditation retreat recently we were all given protection cords by Jack Kornfield. He said that traditionally these red silk threads are from the same material as the Dali Lama's robe.
We then stood in a circle and tied them on each other.But first we tied 3 knots in our own cords, each knot was a different protection and I have forgotten what they were., which is why I have been looking online. We then turned to the person next to us and tied them onto their wrist or around their neck, as they desired.
There was no mention of not getting them wet or how long to wear them. The retreat ended over a month ago and I'm wearing mine now.
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Re: Protection chords

Postby ngodrup » Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:37 pm

Frankly, this Kornfield story sounds new-agey.

The two cents I have to add are not about the generic chords
that are handed out at wangs, receiving refuge, etc. What I have
experience with are called dakini knots and scorpion knots and these
cords are made within the context of a specific deity yoga. The scorpion
for example is a ponya -- messenger-- of Dorje Drollo and protects one
from certain "anti-buddhist" classes of demons.
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Re: Protection chords

Postby Malcolm » Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:39 pm

Dharmaswede wrote:I am looking for information on protection chords; how they work, significance of different colors, different types of chords, exceptions to wearing them etc.

Thank you!

Best Regards,

Jens



Protection cords are for non-practitioners and animals. Practitioners have no need to wear them.

N
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Re: Protection chords

Postby Blue Garuda » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:22 pm

I do recall a specific function of a cord as 'protection' prior to a specific Highest Yoga Tantra Initiation.

Once the transmission was competed it could be taken off, left to drop off etc. as the practitioner was then able to conduct any relevant protective practices for themselves. I sometimes see people with loads of them around their necks and wonder if a little inappropriate pride or vanity is being displayed.

Gelugpas seem to share a view that the cords are useful for 'protection' and 'blessing' but I don't think we should assume that the protection has any more inherent existence than any other phenomenon. Ultimately, the mind's protection comes from practices, as Namdrol has written.

Berzin has this to say:

If people have faith and confidence that something will protect them, then their own confidence can protect them. It may not protect them from an atom bomb, but it could protect them in events where they would not have confidence to deal with a situation in a beneficial way.

If a blessed cord or image were put around the neck of a pig, I do not know if it would protect it from being slaughtered. However, if a person has the potential that will allow for this blessing to work, then it works. Both factors are needed. It is like two pieces of a puzzle fitting together.


http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... hitta.html
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Re: Protection chords

Postby Malcolm » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:28 pm

Blue Garuda wrote:I do recall a specific function of a cord as 'protection' prior to a specific Highest Yoga Tantra Initiation.



That is different, that functions to protect one's bodhicitta element and is only necessary during the empowerment.

N
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen
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Re: Protection chords

Postby Blue Garuda » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:36 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Blue Garuda wrote:I do recall a specific function of a cord as 'protection' prior to a specific Highest Yoga Tantra Initiation.



That is different, that functions to protect one's bodhicitta element and is only necessary during the empowerment.

N




Yes, if I recall it was to be worn the night before the empowerment and then discarded afterwards. I seem to remember that it was to be worn until a person left the place where the empowerment took place.

I know some people are still wearing theirs, years after the event; a sentimental reminder of the event, or the Guru, maybe; hopefully not a badge of an assumed attainment or status.
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Re: Protection chords

Postby Silent Bob » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:50 pm

Protection cords are a cute fashion accessory. Like knowing the secret Masonic hand signals, they're a good way to spot Buddhists of the opposite sex in a bar or other social setting.
My understanding, in Trungpa Rinpoche's words, is that "the blessing doesn't last very long".

Chris
"All the sublime teachings, so profound--to throw away one and then grab yet another will not bear even a single fruit. Persevere, therefore, in simply one."
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Re: Protection chords

Postby MrDistracted » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:04 pm

Silent Bob wrote: .....they're a good way to spot Buddhists of the opposite sex in a bar or other social setting.




We're an androgynous bunch.... :smile:
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Re: Protection chords

Postby Blue Garuda » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:13 pm

MrDistracted wrote:
Silent Bob wrote: .....they're a good way to spot Buddhists of the opposite sex in a bar or other social setting.




We're an androgynous bunch.... :smile:


Yes, but they obviously lack the true and awesome power and cachet of the red Kabbalah cords, and wouldn't you rather end up with a Kabbalist? They wear theirs on the left wrist apparently, but the location is no indicator of sexual prefrences:

http://www.squidoo.com/kabbalah-bracelet-leather

I feel there is a market for my new Red Garuda Cords: snakeskin - magnetic, chi infused, ion balancing and fertility-enhancing. ;)
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Re: Protection chords

Postby MrDistracted » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:19 pm

I'm ashamed to say that I always assumed that making sure I had protection meant something else at social events.
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Re: Protection chords

Postby Blue Garuda » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:32 pm

MrDistracted wrote:I'm ashamed to say that I always assumed that making sure I had protection meant something else at social events.


Not if you tie it round your wrist! LOL :)
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Re: Protection chords

Postby MrDistracted » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:39 pm

There's definitely a joke I could come back with there. But this will get out of hand. And the thread will be further derailed and I'll get banned.
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Re: Protection chords

Postby Caz » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:57 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Dharmaswede wrote:I am looking for information on protection chords; how they work, significance of different colors, different types of chords, exceptions to wearing them etc.

Thank you!

Best Regards,

Jens



Protection cords are for non-practitioners and animals. Practitioners have no need to wear them.

N


True Namdrol. Everyone should know the Benefits of the Refuge vows with regards to spirits and harm from humans and non humans I much rather have faith in the benefits of Refuge then a peice of string. :popcorn:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

Liberation in the Palm of your hand~Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche.
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