Dzogchen Geksel



Some of the most important rituals of the 9 Ways are rituals relating to:

the elements Thrukpa Yoto - Tib. `khrugs pa`i yo to

prosperity Yangug - Tib. g.yang `gugs

the removal of obstacles Geksel - Tib. gegs sel

using ransom Lu - Tib. bslu


In the Thrukpa Yoto ritual, an altar is first prepared and next objects offered to the 8 Dakinis are set on it.

Objects set on the altar include the torma (a flour figurine, Tib. gtor ma), milk, cheese and yogurt which are called the 3 white [substances] (Tib. dkar gsum).


The practitioner recites the text that invokes goddesses and offers objects to them. Ritual with offerings is supposed to persuade the goddesses who reign over the elements to help avoid natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes.


The ritual is based on the belief that spiritual entities are connected to all objects in the world and to natural phenomena. Various classifications of such beings exist; a classic Buddhist division also used in Bön is the existence of 6 realms of rebirth

the realm of hungry spirits, animals, people, demigods and gods.


Each of them can be divided further.

For example spirits of nature include:

the Sadak (spirits of the earth - Tib. sa bdag

Tsen rocks - Tib. btsan

Lu water - Tib. klu

Another division referred to in the rituals is the division into samsaric and enlightened beings.


Local deities, for example deities of mountains, can be protectors of the teachings and the Bönpos but, if they are not enlightened beings, they will be subject to the law of karma, cyclical existence and do not have wisdom (Tib. shes rab).


As a consequence, rituals can refer to that category of deities because the Bonpos believe that such deities can be helpful; however, adepts have to be careful because the power of such deities can turn against the practitioner.


In turn, the enlightened deities, according to the Bön doctrine, are driven by compassion only and have the wisdom, which is why their actions are entirely focused on helping the adepts. Depending on the circumstances, rituals invoke both categories of beings.


Another ritual that appears in the 9 Ways is the YANGUG.

It can be performed for a specific person and also for a region or an entire country. The goal of the ritual is to improve the well-being and prosperity of a person or a place.


As in the previous ritual, everything starts with the preparation of an altar. An object that symbolises prosperity has to be placed on the altar; for example, it can be an object belonging to a rich person or even the nail of a person who is a very good thief and has never been caught.


The Bön tradition ascribes the quality of prosperity both to a rich person and to an effective thief and that quality can be magically represented by an object belonging to one of them. After that, the offering is made to the Prosperity Deities.


According to the Bön tradition, the deities are also associated with abstract concepts such as prosperity; thanks to them, it is possible to prolong one’s life and improve prosperity, in farming societies, greater prosperity can entail, for example, more crops or the ownership of more animals.


Another ritual, GEKSEL, is supposed to remove obstacles. Obstacles in the Bönpo tradition include various life issues such as diseases or accidents.


Tibetans divide diseases into 2 categories:

diseases related to a disturbance of 3 elements (bile, phlegm and wind)

diseases caused by spirits

The first category of diseases is treated with natural means such as herbal medicines made of plants, massage and appropriate dietary instructions.


In the case of the second category, an appropriate ritual has to be conducted. Tibetan doctors are trained to recognise whether a disease is caused by spirits by checking the pulse, analysis of the patient’s dreams and observation of the urine. If the doctor believes that the disease is related to spiritual beings, a divination (Tib. mo) is usually made to learn what spirits are causing the problems and what rituals should be conducted.

The invisible beings supposed to cause most problems are called demigods:

Dud - Tib. bdud

Mamo - Tib. ma mo

Tsen - Tib. btsan

Gyalpo - Tib. rgyal po


Their negative influence can result from the fact that people took or changed something that belonged to them, for example by cutting trees or polluting water.

Tibetans believe that water pollution enrages the previously mentioned water beings Lu and, as a consequence, they cause diseases such as, for example, dermatological complaints. This is why the Bönpos try to care for the environment and believe that if some construction work or tree-cutting is planned, one has to conduct rituals first in order to offer certain objects to the spirits in exchange for the taking or use of something that belongs to them.


To heal illnesses, the Bönpos offer food to the demigods or prepare amulets in the form of necklaces to protect them from the influence of demigods.


Some spells which are associated with the tutelary deity can be written and put together with a painted image of the deity into a small box and such an object is a form of protection. Such practices are called GEKSEL.


Rituals that are very popular in Tibet include:

Sang - Tib. bsang – a smoke offering for spiritual beings

Sur Chöd - Tib. gsur gcod – the offering of burnt food

Chutor - Tib. chu tor - the offering for water beings

Chöd - Tib. gcod - in which the offering of one’s own body is visualised.


All of these 4 rituals are based on offering food and objects to different classes of spirit.


The hanging out of prayer flags based on the belief that the blowing wind carries with it the prayers written on the flags and these prayers bless the spiritual beings is also popular with Tibetans.

Flags in the 5 colours symbolising the 5 elements are hung and they are believed to have the power to harmonise these elements in the given place, for example restrain earthquakes or floods.


Another ritual is called LU or ransom. As a part of this ritual, a figurine is made to represent the person for whom the ritual is conducted. It can also be made for a location, farm or a region.


In such a situation, representations of the place are prepared in the form of drawings and figurines (for example of animals and houses). After that, various types of food and drinks are added to the completed images. If the ritual is conducted for a specific person a piece of that person’s clothing is also added. Such a representation is then offered to demigods in a belief that they will accept the offering and, in exchange, will leave the person or the place in peace.

This ritual is based on both home opathic and imitative magic. The figurine may represent a particular person and the drawings may represent a place, this is a type of homeopathic magic. But in the same ritual after preparing figurine adept adds a piece of clothing which represents this person. This is imitative magic. This kind of magic assumes that clothes which have been in contact with a person can always represent this person.


This ritual is linked to the concept of the soul - Tib. bla. The Bonpos believe that spirits can steal the soul of a person and such a person will feel very weak and ill. An image of the person can be offered by way of the ritual so that the spirit can satisfy its desires and the person may recover their soul.


Buddhists do not believe in the existence of a permanent soul that would wander in a cyclical existence. Similarly, the Bönpos explain, under the influence of Buddhism, that the soul does not represent the spiritual component passing from one life to the next but rather represents a collection of karmic traces. However, it is not known how the concept of the soul was presented in Bön before Buddhism was introduced to Tibet.


The Bönpo texts explain the concept of the soul in the context of 2 related ideas:

thoughts - Tib. yid

the mind - Tib. sems


In the Bön tradition, turquoise can symbolise the soul.


In another Bon ritual of the soul recovery - Tib. bla bslu, a magical arrow or dadar - Tib. mda` dar is prepared. That object consists of a bamboo stick to which five ribbons in 5 different colours are attached:

white, green, blue, red and yellow - to represent the respective elements of space, air, water, fire and earth.


A mirror – melong - Tib. me long, and a turquoise are also added to that stick. When reciting the text of the ritual, the person for whom the ritual is conducted makes circular movements with that object above his or her head. The Bönpos believe that this method can help recover the lost life force - Tib. srog, and strengthen the five elements comprising the human body.


Bönpo rituals are based on the idea of magical, supernatural relations between objects in the world, which are connected with homeopathic and imitative magic. The Bönpos also refer to the relations between people and spirits. Their worldview assumes that the world is filled with spiritual beings that exist everywhere, in every mountain, lake, tree, plant, etc


Another important component of the Bön doctrine is the belief that all animals, insects and alike have awareness and are classified, as people, within the category of sentient beings.

Plants are not included in that category and, according to that religion, they have no awareness. However, all plants and objects of nature are inhabited by spirits, this is why one has to treat the nature with respect and carefulness so as not to irritate these spirits.


The recitation of texts with ceremonial behaviour, gestures, words and the special use of objects in the Bönpo rituals can influence the relationship between humans and the spirits.


As a consequence, one can take magical actions to heal, reinstate the balance in the environment or prevent natural disasters.


Rituals have to be conducted in a proper manner, according to the text and with the use of appropriate objects.


The Bönpos believe that such texts were written not by ordinary people but by spiritual masters. Such masters, allegedly thanks to their supernatural powers, could know the relations between people and spirits and how to restore the balance between the human and spiritual worlds.


The teachings contained in the 9 Ways are attributed to the founder of the Bön tradition: Tönpa Shenrab Miwoche. The Bonpos base the belief in the effectiveness of the mentioned rituals on the enlightened wisdom of the founder of that tradition.

As a consequence, they try to recreate faithfully the magical formulas written in holy texts.


Below: The 15 demons



By: Lopon Tenzin namdak Rinpoche / 9 Ways of Bön / Bön of Cause /



I f you look in the astrological calendar you will see (data relating to) your Wangthang , Lungta, body etc and will see which circumstances are good or which are contrary, how they meet.

You can make mantras or necklaces to remedy this or for protection .

Astrology also explains what is not needed. We call this Geksel , removing the obstacles of the year.

You have to check each year according to the calendar.

Disturbances of this kind come from the beings belonging to the 8 Classes of evil Semi- Gods such as Dud, Mamo who are female , Tsen who are very wrathful and Gyalpo who are kings .

They are all Semi-Gods but they are different.

They can disturb your Life Force and if something is really seriously wrong, they can even cut it so you die .

So you do Long- Life practice and keep the support of Long Life , Tsedrub, and opportunity .

If someone is sick or beset by misfortune, they always need to make offerings to them .

The text doesn't say what to offer, but you should offer to the 8 Classes of Semi- Gods and ask the Divinities to help and protect your life and prosperity so then they will protect you and release you from disturbances.

They can withdraw their disturbances and support your life for longer. There are many, many disturbance s so these rituals can be helpful for a while .


That is the third section.

These rituals are not only used for individuals . Although it is very popular to practise Long- Life and each of the High Tantras explain such practices, this method mainly belongs to CHASEN and you can also bring back lost Opportunity and Life- Force with this.

A lot is explained about Life- Force but it is not very clear! May be you understand; what is Life- Force




If misfortune or sickness continue to suddenly befall someone no matter what they do or if they are suddenly disturbed by miseries and sufferings and something is always happening, either to an individual or to a family or country , and a lot of misfortune comes roughly without apparent reason , then this is because of previous cause connected with invisible spirits such as Earth Gods or Water Gods.

Then the different Elements or different individuals take their revenge on the man who took something from them forcefully without paying rent , who cut down trees or destroyed the rocks, earth or water.

He did something earlier and then slowly they take revenge and many things can happen.

If you don 't know (the source of the trouble) then you need to ask Divination - there are four kinds of Divination and you can ask any of them what is happening and they will tell you that it is the revenge of the Semi- Gods - such disturbances mainly come from wrathful Semi- Gods.


There are two ways to repay them or make peace :

i) Dos or Lu

ii) and Yitak

i) Do repre sents the whole area - fields , houses, domestic animals, property . So you make a repre sentative of everything either as a painting or as an effigy, but you don 't slaughter or kill anything.

It is often said that in early time s Bonpas killed (and made blood sacrifices) and then later were ashamed and j u st made models instead , but here from the beginning it says you should make models;

you make a model of the field or the house , you don 't go and destroy it! You make representatives of everything - fields, trees , houses and inside you put little figures of men , women , children, crops - you make representatives of everything which humans need and put them on this ritual ob ect.

Then lu is a ransom or an effigy which represents a person or a country , and you can also u se a Namkha or Changbu .

The support for a man is an arrow and the support for a woman is a spindle , and you fix them onto the Iii.

ii) Yitak mean s that you collect samples and little pieces of all edible and drinkable things , clothes and everything else which a human needs and put them together with the effigy.

Then you ask the 3 Jewels to support what you are doing, which is an exchange to make peace with the disturbers .

We arrange all the internal and external things and offer them to the disturbers in exchange for the person we want to release , so that they will withdraw their disturbances and make peace .

Then we must say something according to each specific ritual , saying that we are offering this effigy in exchange or in payment and that we don't want any more disturbances .

That is Iii , the effigy which you give in exchange to make peace .

This effigy or ransom is very powerful. Even if someone is near death or has nearly finished this life , if you do this ransom and the ritual properly, you can extend the person's life for up to 3 years.

But it is not guaranteed .

Using it can be very helpful for simple beings. Practically , if anyone needs to do something in an emergency or if it isn't easy to cure someone with medicine and you have no idea what to do, you are just watching and nothing is helpful, then instead of watching and waiting for the person to die , you can u se Iii or effigy.

I have already explained a long time ago (how to make a simple effigy) .

You take some dough in your fist and press your fingers onto it with your thumb pressing down on the top so you make 5 imprints.

These represent sights for the:

- eye

- sounds for the ear

- smells for the nose

- tastes for the tongue and touch for the body ,

all the things which humans need .

So visualize all this and think very strongly that the dough represents that .


Then recite:



This is a very powerful mantra in many ways .

I am not just saying this; Lord Tonpa Shenrab said it many times .

It can send away disturbances, it can purify , it can do many things . So here , recite this mantra at least a 100 times and visualize that this dough represents all the 5 offerings.

Then, pay whoever is disturbing beings and say : 'Take this! I am offering it to you . Take it and release sentient beings from sufferings and miseries! '

You have to say this while visualizing very strongly after having recited the mantra. Don't only do this once , but 2 or 3 times , up to 7 times .

Then you have concluded paying the ransom . That is a short To






By: Lopon Tenzin namdak Rinpoche / 9 Ways of Bön / Bön of Cause /