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Main page » Non-Fiction » Science literature » Medicine » The Fountain of Youth or The Eye of Revelation by Peter Kelder

The Fountain of Youth or The Eye of Revelation by Peter Kelder


The Five Tibetan Rites is a system of exercises first publicized by Peter Kelder in a 1939 publication entitled "The Eye of Revelation". Raised as an adopte child in the Midwestern United States, Kelder is said to have met a retired British army colonel in southern California in the 1930's. Originally written as a 32 page booklet, the publication relays Kelder's claims of having met the colonel who shared with him stories of travel and the subsequent discovery of the Five Rites. Some believe the Rites to be a form of Tibetan yoga similar to the more well-known yoga series that originated in India. However, the Five Rites and traditional Tibetan yoga both emphasize "a continuous sequence of movement", whereas Indian forms focus on "static positions". Although the Rites are said to have been practiced by yogis for decades, skeptics say that Tibetans have never recognized them as being authentic Tibetan practices. Even though Tibetan Buddhist and Bon practitioners in Tibet and India adhere to the already well-established traditional forms of Tibetan yoga, the Five Rites have gained widespread popularity and are practiced and promoted extensively in Western countries. The Five Tibetan Rites are also referred to as The Five Rites, The Five Tibetans and The Five Rites of Rejuvenation. The booklet Kelder's booklet states, while stationed in India, British army officer Colonel Bradford (a pseudonym) heard a story about a group of Lamas who had apparently discovered a "Fountain of Youth". The "wandering natives", as he called them, told him of old men who inexplicably became healthy, strong and full of "vigor and virility" after entering a particular lamasery. After retiring, Kelder's Colonel Bradford went on to discover the lamasery and lived with the monks where they taught him five exercises, which they called "Rites". According to the booklet, the Lamas describe 7 spinning vortices (chakras) within the body. As we grow older, the spin rate of the chakras diminish resulting in "ill-health". The spin rate of these vortices can be restored resulting in improved health by performing the Five Rites on a daily basis. Bradford was also instructed in how to perform a Sixth Rite (an abdominal breathing exercise), which the Lamas only recommended for those willing to choose a lifestyle of celibacy. Additionally, Bradford reveals information on the importance of what foods one should eat, proper food combinations and the correct method of eating. Uncertain origins The origin of the Five Rites remains uncertain and is disputed between practitioners and skeptics. Chris Kilham, whose 1994 book 'The Five Tibetans' resparked the 'The Five Rites' current popularity says, "Whether or not the Five Tibetans are in fact Tibetan in origin is something we may never ascertain. Perhaps they come from Nepal or northern India...As the story has it, they were shared by Tibetan lamas; beyond that I know nothing of their history. Personally, I think these exercises are most likely Tibetan in origin. The issue at hand, though, is not the lineage of the Five Tibetans. The point is their immense potential value for those who will clear 10 minutes a day to practice." However, there still remains little historical or cultural evidence to support the Rites. Kelder's writing is also notably discordant with the five traditional Lamaits schools in many ways, and indeed there is no known lineage holder, of either high or lower stature, from any tradition in Tibet, that acknowledges The Five Rites. 1. There are five chakras in Tibetan medicine, not seven chakras. 2. Tibetan medicine considers health to be a balance of five elements, not the speeding up of seven vortices. 3. Yoga in Tibet never included whirling. 4. Buddhist Lamas teach to transcend attachment to the body, including ideas of being young, thin or beautiful. Tibetan master Milarepa taught that illness and signs of aging were a wonderful blessing for cutting though our ego and attachment. 5. Authentic Tibetan yoga includes over a 100 movements and involves a variety of exercises. 6. Tibetan yoga also includes several breathing practices, hundreds of complex visualisations and many meditation practices that a practitioner will take years to perfect under strict guidance from their personal Lama. 7. An authentic Tibetan practitioner will always reveal the name and lineage of their teacher, usually accompanied by long dedicational verses. Similarly, authentic practitioners of any Tibetan system will make frequent citation and indeed veneration of any practice from an authentic ancient text. Generally said, any authentic Tibetan practice will have numerous references to lineage and provenance, and will contain countless safeguards against invasive foreign interpolations. 8. Tibetan monks did not teach secret yoga practices or share anything but minor spiritual practices with Westerners or laypersons generally in 1939.

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