When performing the Nine Purification Breaths (I have it from a separate source, but it is close to the one described by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche in Healing with Form, Energy, and Light) the position of the energy channels depends on whether the individual is male or female.

It is described as:

In women the right channel is red and the left is white. In men the right channel is white and the left is red. The central channel is blue in both men and women.

The process first removes obstacles linked with male potencies and then obstacles linked with female potencies, breathing in through the red channel first and out through the white, then in through the white and out through the red.

Several people I know identify as agendered, genderfluid, or bigendered or otherwise genderqueer. I also know several people who are various forms of intersex.

For these individuals, is there a good way to adapt the practice (along with similar practices)? Alternatively are there adaptations for other practices that might be applicable (such as alternations made for ubhatovyanjañakas and paṇḍakas) or good rules of thumb for approaching these issues?

  • Meditation is meditation. Concentration on chakras, etc., is (imo) quite useless if a person can't even sense them. In other questions, in this forum, people has asked questions about Buddhism's approaches to homosexuality, etc. The answer(s) that I most like is that all physical cravings are desires. Meditation helps us learn how to move beyond desires, and the physical and mental "realms". I don't care if a person is tall, short, wide, thin, etc. I just care about whether they are trying to meditate. "Watch your mind" is the beginning, middle and end. All the rest of "filler" and distracting
    – PFS32
    Aug 5, 2014 at 13:24

1 Answer 1


I've heard of one Tibetan Lama who refuses to give a traditional Buddhist wedding to homosexuals. During the wedding he invokes some Buddha form in union and the bride meditates on the female Buddha while the groom - on the male Buddha. The Lama explained that he cannot tell where is the female and male element in a homosexual relationship so it is not straightforward how to carry on the ritual. He received a detailed transmission from his teacher in a certain form and he doesn't want to alter it.

Although it doesn't answer your question directly, a few things should be said. Techniques involving working with energy channels are very advanced and usually were directly transmitted from teachers to students for centuries. It is rather dangerous to practise those without a guidance and protection from the guru, especially if the female/male energies are supposedly mixed as in the cases listed in the question. It is possible that although one Lama refused to alter the ritual, another one will be able to correctly identify energy channels and will willingly perform the 'individualized' ritual. Having said that, I don't think a general advice can be given. If one wants to practise some advanced technique, a qualified teacher is essential and only he can resolve the issues concerning the practice. The advice from the teacher is individual and should not be broadcast as it can only confuse other people rather than help them.

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    Advice from the student to the teacher is also valuable in these contexts. It sounds like each has something to learn. The problem of artificial division of one into two is an issue with which the student and the teacher will both have reflected upon. There will be common ground.
    – Dan
    Aug 26, 2014 at 21:32

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