Monday, November 23, 2009

Tumo Yoga

When I was in High School, I had a friend mention Tumo Yoga. This is a meditation method whereby Tibetan Yogis would be eventually able to either melt snow or dry a wet blanket placed on their naked bodies, when meditating during a Tibetan winter on a mountain top. The severe cold of Tibet makes this an objective test of a paranormal achievement. When I heard about this yoga, something inside me responded to it. My inner scientist felt it was relevant that some mental process could generate actual heat and raise it to the level where it could prevent hypothermia. At this time, the literature base for Tibetan Buddhist practices was rather limited. Even the texts that were published were hard to find. One author, Evans-Wentz did a great service by translating many key texts about the Six Yogas of Naropa and got the information out to the public. The text did recommend that a person study with a qualified Lama, but also gave enough information so that a person could possibly practice on his or her own. I found out later on that the "psychic heat effect" was not limited to Tibetan Buddhism. Many kundalini yoga methods and Taoist Chi Kung methods generate a psychic heat side effect. Tumo Yoga is just more focused on attaining this particular result. Even in Tumo Yoga, though, the result is still a side effect of a deeper process which does more than just raise body temperature. The main purposes have to do with balancing male and female hormonal essence energy, boosting the immune system beyond all illness, and reaching "psychophysical bliss". From psychophysical bliss, it is a short jump to radiant awareness bliss which is beyond the usual causality of material events and therefore immune to the fluctuations of transitoriness.

Later on, I participated in an experiment in Graduate School in Psychophysiology. I was wearing a thermal sensor when I was doing Shikan Taza, the highest level of Soto Zen meditation. Normal external skin temperature is about 72 degrees. I was able to raise it to 98 degrees by a kind of diffused concentration on all the sensations arising in my body in the present moment. I was sweating profusely in this concentration. I remember feeling that I could now understand the level of concentration that Jesus did when he was sweating blood in the garden. It felt like my mind was rising out of a kind of drunken slumber, like a hazy fuzzy dream, and moving into a radiant crystal clear clarity. I would sometimes feel myself falling back into the haze and then rising again from it. I found, then, that I could understand when Jesus said, "Let the dead bury the dead" and the ancient liturgy Saint Paul quoted in his epistles, "Awake, O Sleeper, and rise from the dead, and the light of Christ will shine on you." It did feel like a zombie like deadness and slumber was being overcome. I found that when my attention was focused on one part of the body and feeling it enliven, then another part of the body would fall asleep. Or when I would refocus on the part that was falling asleep again, it would start to enliven, and another part would fall asleep. I found I needed to be more omni-directional in my awareness, that I needed to have attention spread from place to place without losing the focus on the previous spots. I could feel a part of myself that wanted to be unconscious, to be asleep, because it meant not feeling certain emotions that were held in my body. I was also surprised at how strong these emotions were that were held there. Sometimes it meant reliving the vivid torment of old emotional wounds, of moving back in time to complete old events, and finish with them. It did not feel like processing memories, though sometimes vivid memories surfaced, and eventually past life time memories surfaced. The anchoring of the process in present time body sensations kept the process somehow more objective and also allowed a kind of regrounding in reality that calmed down the emotional reactivity. It was easy to fall into a kind of sleepy trance where it felt that the mind was somehow drunk on another state that muffled deep and full feeling of what was arising. I would keep rising beyond it. The time when my body temperature was pushing about 30 degrees above normal was like those scenes in the movies where they try to keep a trauma person awake so that they do not fall into a coma. I wanted to stay in the radiant aliveness that I was present in and could feel something like seductive sirens wanting to lull me back into a kind of sleep and numbness.

It was shortly after this meditation session that I reached enlightenment. Two more phases were needed. One was letting go of the strain to awaken by letting "it" be aware for me. Two was understanding how time and mind are interdependent and allowing both mind and time to end. By making enlightenment a goal to be achieved, the mind was actually creating a gap between the present moment and the future goal. This gap was called "time". Thought was creating this kind of time and prevented thought from merely ending in the present moment. When I saw "mind creates time", then the last thought dropped away and this radiant space was entered into. It was beyond causation and it was free. I was enlightened. This radiant space is always there, like it was before awakening, but now there is recognition. I found, though, that mere enlightenment, lofty as it is to attain, is just another beginning. Emptying the subconscious mind of its massive storehouse of samskaras, karmaic tendencies, would take much time. They started arising more freely and rapidly in meditation, with a lot of force and power. I had the worst six months of my life during this time. At that point, I understood another verse from the New Testament, Jesus has his enlightenment experience when he meets John the Baptist, when a voice from heaven says, "This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased." Whenever someone gets enlightened, there is this feeling of being welcomed back into life and of life being happy to have you back. But after this enlightenment, there is another verse, "and Jesus was led by the Holy Breath to be tempted by the devil". Jesus undergoes a torment in solitude that feels the opposite of the enlightenment experience. One eventually returns back to the original state with a deeper understanding. For me, the teachings of Krishnamurti helped immensely and allowed me to understand something deeper about the nature of the mind. I was taught how to stay in the process moment to moment as a basic way of life. After the six months, my mind dropped away again, and I was in such a deep radiant clarity that I did not need to sleep for two weeks. This was good, because I was taking 18 hours of classes per a week, 3 labs, and working 25 hours a week in the cafeteria on campus. I got caught up on all my homework and was able to do my work more effectively. I understood the name "Arjuna" which meant "conqueror of sleep" who is taught by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. Nearing the end of this two week period, I would often lie down and just feel the radiance, and then get up to go to work without ever going into the numb trance of sleep. Thoughts started returning after the two week period and I could feel part of the state slipping away. I actually sent some "thought imprints" to my sleepy self that I felt would help me to reawaken again and again. This, I found, did work to a certain degree. Looking back at this time, my realization still had an element of dualism in it. Zen Buddhism teaches a kind of "no thought samadhi". But thoughts are okay and are part of life. Zen Buddhism kind of represses thought some to get freedom from a thought trance. But eventually we learn it is not about thought and that we can let thoughts float in our awareness without letting them hypnotize us. It would take me about two years of Vipassana Buddhist meditation to understand this more deeply.

I did find that Vipassana meditation was not easily reaching the subconscious mind. Sometimes it would take a long time for something to surface and release. It was not actively undoing repressive patterns. I later on found that by synthesizing the Vipassana attitude with Rebirthing breathing, then the process of emotional integration could be accelerated. I could feel pure radiance again and could feel it permeate the very cells of the body. I found this later on hit some limit too and this is when I got initiated into Tumo Yoga. It took the process to another level, where the "unity of mind and prana" was worked with. From "not thinking", to "letting thinking float", to "focusing thought through visualization", something happened. It is like one works with two levels, thought and awareness.

The first practice is to visualize a red dot at the sacrum and synchronize it with the breathing. You visualize the red dot pulse with each exhale, intending it to get brighter and brighter, and hotter and hotter. The breathing in of prana follows the visualization and pours energy into the red dot, while the exhale releases the energy into the thought intention. The red dot is what is called a "bindu" in Hindu and Buddhist meditation practice. It is the smallest unit of "thought matter". It is "materialization 101". You are actually using thought and prana to manifest a unit of matter. This particular bindu is rechemicalizing the whole body. It is generating female hormonal essence energy and purifying the biological karma received from the mother. Eventually it will ignite and travel as a psychic fire up the spine, spinning counterclockwise, and burning up the karma stored in the body within the vertebral subluxations. The next practice is to create a white dot bindu at the third eye and each time one exhales a drop of liquid white light drips into the pituitary gland and pineal glad to activate regenerative hormones. This is the male hormonal essence and purifies the biological karma received from the father. This liquid eventually spins clockwise down the spine and mixes in the heart chakra with the red female fire. It produces a silvery blue light if a person is practicing physical immortality and a cobalt blue light if a person is practicing the eventual shedding of the physical vehicle. This silvery blue light was shown in studies by Wilhelm Reich when he infused "orgone energy" into cells. The lungs transfer this energy into the blood stream, especially after this Tumo meditation.

Later on, the red dot and the white dot are replaced by "hreeh" and "om" respectively. The mix becomes visualized as an orb with "ah" in it. These are usually visualized in Tibetan letters, though it is possible to visualize English script too. Tibetan letters are better, because the letters are completely phonetic. I have found that visualizing the sounds in Gregg shorthand also works, since shorthand is completely phonetic too. The mental subvocalization of the "bija mantras" activates a vibration which helps this process reach another level.

This process is also accelerated by what is called an "empowerment". The Dakini Vajrayogini is the being who governs this process. If she is invoked, she will help this process produce results more quickly, safely, and powerfully. This is done by doing "Guru Yoga" with her. I would call this "telepathic link yoga". Her mantra is "Om Hah Hreeh Nee Sah". If a person chants this with the intention of linking with her blessing energy, he or she will receive a support which can accelerate the results. This linking can be so powerful that she will do the practice inside the person. When I linked with her, the entire process was done in 30 minutes and generated enough heat so that I was doing errands in an Oregon winter on the coast with only a wind breaker on for two weeks. The energy anatomy of my energy body was also upgraded to process energies differently. Sexual communion with a loving partner would activate these circuits and cause my body to generate the heat waves.

I realize that believing in the existence of Dakinis who can help our practice may be a leap for our modern scientific minds, but I mention it here because it is an acceleration of the Tumo practice. A person does not have to believe in this Dakini in a dogmatic way, but have a kind of "hypothetical faith" in her existence, or see her merely as a Jungian artchetype. This will be enough to activate her blessing energy and support the practice, though a person may end up believing in her personal reality through the experiences that eventually happen.

There are variations of the Tumo heat practice. Different bija mantras are sometimes used. The male essence energy is sometimes done at the soft spot at the top of the head, rather than the third eye. The short "ah" sound (looks like a "3") is used rather than "hreeh". The "ham" sound (looks like a "5") is used rather than "om". I have omitted detail about the guru yoga and about the two breathing processes that are linked to the prana activation. Some of the differences have to do with me using shivasana as my meditation posture, rather than padmasana. The third eye drip makes more sense when lying down, while the crown chakra drip makes more sense when sitting. They both feed the pituitary and pineal glands. The three bija mantras are keyed into the mantra that I chant: "Om Namo Amida Buddha Hreeh". The mantra sustains the practices outside of the focused sessions. Amitayus Buddha is visualized pouring elixir into the soft spot to nourish the pituitary and pineal glands. Pictures of this aspect of Amida Buddha can be seen with the vase that is used for pouring. It does seem to help to take an HGH formula while doing this practice. The Now vitamin company has a Pro-GH formula that is very good and more affordable than most. There are other stages of practice beyond what is mentioned here. One is where the bija mantras are visualized as a Bodhisattva and Dakini in the yabyum position. There are some preliminaries so that these visualizations produce the proper energy circulations in the energy body and affect the physical body. Then the visualizations are dissolved so that the Dharmakaya or radiant awareness body is activated. These other levels are not always necessary to do, but represent natural morphings and adaptations of the essence idea for specific purposes. The bottom line has to do with energy, realization, and growth. Right now I am just giving a summary and overview of the whole process and giving a starting point if someone wants to start a practice. You start with the red dot and get it to heat up (after chanting to the Dakini Vajra Yogini).


  1. Where can I find the whole exercise???

  2. There are several books that describe the process. THE BLISS OF INNER FIRE is one of them:

    TIBETAN YOGA AND SECRET DOCTRINES by Wentz is also a very good one. It reads more like notes and is sometimes hard to read, but it has information I have not found elsewhere:

  3. The Tumo Yoga Practice is a considered "Intermediate" level and generally there is a recommendation to have the guidance of a skilled teacher. The practice can unlock some emotional trauma in the body and cause it to surface. One needs to be prepared for this and have a support system in place. The breathing, too, is very powerful, and, in particular, the breathing depth, smoothness, and rhythm are important to be stable, or otherwise some chaos in the body pranas may adversely affect our health.

  4. The best place to start with the practice, once you are aware of the risks and taken some precautions, is to concentrate on the red dot inside the sacrum (there are some variation here, but this seems to have worked for the most people that I have worked with). You see it get brighter and intend for it to get hotter with each exhale, synchronizing the breathing with visualization. When it gets hot as an actual sensation, then you have gotten the first sign of accomplishment. There is a "hollow body" exercise in visualization that is helpful to do before this. This is mentioned in two texts that I have in my library, and is in the Wentz version mentioned above. The hollow body exercise is to see the body as a hologram of quantum particles made up of mostly empty space (which is the quantum physical way of seeing the body). You visualize it as it actually is according to the Buddhist teachings of emptiness and quantum physics. This allows the energy to move more freely in the body and opens up another level of subtle work later on. Once you have gotten the red dot to get hot, though, it is probably good to get some training. Breathing itself takes a lot of mastery and this is what most people bring into the Tumo Yoga. With a teacher, he or she can design lessons related to what you need to know, skipping over some lessons that may not be relevant to you.