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TOPIC: Tummo

Tummo 08 Dec 2010 06:40 #71617

So, as winter kicks into full gear and my butt begins to freeze off, I find myself wishing I knew more about Tummo.

Kenneth, I think you mentioned after class last night that you practiced it for a while. Any pointers? Anybody else on KFD mess with it?

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tummo
  • OwenBecker
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Tummo 08 Dec 2010 07:43 #71618

Great topic, Owen. I will be interested to see what links people post and what instructions they can share. What I can say from my own experience is that tummo yoga (the generation of heat through specific techniques of meditative absorption) works. It's possible to raise the body temperature significantly using visualization and energetic techniques. And when mastered, the effects are absolutely remarkable. I've seen videos of Tibetan monks sleeping outside on the ice in the dead of winter, wearing only light robes, kept warm and safe by the power of their own tummo yoga. This is a level of mastery far beyond what I have achieved with this technique, but even my own relatively brief period of experimentation with tummo during a winter in Massachusetts left me no doubt about the extraordinary potential of the practice. Curiously, the warmth that is generated does not seem related to caloric intake. This, I imagine, is difficult to explain from the standpoint of modern science. A true mystery...

Rather than share my instructions at this point, I am going to look around for links of traditional instructions. This will give us a starting place. If anyone else finds good links, please post them here. Then those of us who are interested can try them out and suggest our own tweaks. It's winter in the Northern hemisphere, so this is a good time to jump into tummo.
  • kennethfolk
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Tummo 08 Dec 2010 07:49 #71619

I'm game. Although it is 9 degrees celcius here today (48). I didn't wear a coat (LOL).

www.theweathernetwork.com/weather/canf0253
  • mumuwu
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Tummo 08 Dec 2010 08:25 #71620

Just stepped outside for a few minutes without a coat (35F, wind chill at 25F), talking to the smokers and seeing what my cold threshold is. Got asked if I was a Canadian. :)
  • OwenBecker
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Tummo 08 Dec 2010 08:32 #71621

"even my own relatively brief period of experimentation with tummo during a winter in Massachusetts left me no doubt about the extraordinary potential of the practice."

Yup, this sounds good right about now here in Boston....it's no Canada, but still.

(edit: typo)
  • jfmatteson
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Tummo 08 Dec 2010 08:34 #71622

A little background can be found here (It's pretty vague, but worth reading at least once.):

bit.ly/hMrk8H

Edit: More tantalizing tidbits here:

bit.ly/i57hCD

Edit: And here:

bit.ly/hOU9hi

Edit: And check out this nice disclaimer to keep tummo in its proper perspective:

bit.ly/dN3bVc
  • kennethfolk
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Tummo 08 Dec 2010 09:55 #71623

Isn't this one of those practices where the actual practice instructions are closely kept secrets between students and the teachers to whom they have sworn samaya? Tummo is one of the Six Yogas of Naropa, which are endlessly talked about by students in Tibetan traditions, but not often taught outside the three year retreat.

What little I know about this is a couple of years stale at this point. There used to be talk of breaking some of the three year retreat stuff up into smaller segments that could be taught in smaller doses. Supposedly Thrangu Rinpoche had instructed one of the translators to render something Jangon Kogtrul had written about the six yogas into English. I doubt there will be any weekend seminars or how-to books.
  • bauseer
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Tummo 08 Dec 2010 10:18 #71624

"I doubt there will be any weekend seminars or how-to books."-bauseer

You're right that there is strong resistance from some quarters against making the instructions public. On the other hand, I have seen the instructions on the web, so there are clearly some renegades who don't buy into the secrecy! I'm still trying to find the link. As I recall, there is an excellent set of instructions in Mystiques et Magiciens du Tibet (1929, Magic and Mystery in Tibet) by Alexandra David-Néell.

David-Néel was an extraordinary pioneer and prolific writer. Read more about her here:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandra_David-Néel

Notice the bibliography at the bottom of the page, including the provocatively entitled1951 work Les Enseignements Secrets des Bouddhistes Tibétains (The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects).
  • kennethfolk
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Tummo 08 Dec 2010 10:50 #71625

Great article in the Harvard University Gazette here:

news.harvard.edu/gazette/2002/04.18/09-tummo.html

Excerpt from article:

"In a monastery in northern India, thinly clad Tibetan monks sat quietly in a room where the temperature was a chilly 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a yoga technique known as g Tum-mo, they entered a state of deep meditation. Other monks soaked 3-by-6-foot sheets in cold water (49 degrees) and placed them over the meditators' shoulders. For untrained people, such frigid wrappings would produce uncontrolled shivering.
If body temperatures continue to drop under these conditions, death can result. But it was not long before steam began rising from the sheets. As a result of body heat produced by the monks during meditation, the sheets dried in about an hour.
Attendants removed the sheets, then covered the meditators with a second chilled, wet wrapping. Each monk was required to dry three sheets over a period of several hours."
  • kennethfolk
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Tummo 08 Dec 2010 11:12 #71626

Eureka! Does anyone know anything about freshwap.net? The free .pdf of Mystiques et Magiciens du Tibet in English translation is available here:

www.freshwap.net/dfa/dl/alexandra+david+...in+tibet+1+ebook+pdf

This is the book where I first found the tummo instructions and found them quite effective.
  • kennethfolk
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Tummo 08 Dec 2010 11:17 #71627

"Eureka! Does anyone know anything about freshwap.net? The free .pdf of Mystiques et Magiciens du Tibet in English translation is available here:

www.freshwap.net/dfa/dl/alexandra+david+...in+tibet+1+ebook+pdf

This is the book where I first found the tummo instructions and found them quite effective."

If anybody manages to get that downloaded, let me know and I'll mirror it. Can't get to it from work.
  • OwenBecker
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Tummo 08 Dec 2010 11:28 #71628

I actually work outdoors a lot and I find when I am doing this type of practice the most difficult part is having to deal with person after person who comes up and askes "where's your coat?" "aren't you cold?" ;)

Interesting that there is actually a formal practice for this, I've never heard of it before.

Actually those links put a whole new spin on things because I was just looking at it in terms of not engaging my mind in the reaction to the cold even though the physical coldness still apeared. Just as an adaptation of the whole chopping wood and carrying water Zen thing.

I'll have a good look at this content though; thanks for bringing it up Owen, and for the links K.
  • Mark_VanWhy
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Tummo 08 Dec 2010 12:50 #71629

Deleted this post, my link was causing problems.

  • RevElev
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Tummo 08 Dec 2010 12:59 #71630

www.worldcat.org/title/magic-and-mystery...tibet/oclc/077256418
The above link will find the nearest library that has a copy, seems to be available in most large urban centres. I'm in Edmonton and we have one at a University here. Not as convenient as a PDF but there's something to be said for a hardcover book. Still no luck with my download.
  • RevElev
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Tummo 08 Dec 2010 13:02 #71631

www.scribd.com/doc/22727255/Inner-Heat-Meditation-Tum-mo

www.scribd.com/doc/21362649/Tummo-AU-IL-2

And the book you guys are looking for, for FREE!

www.scribd.com/doc/21029489/With-Mystics-and-Magicians-in-Tibet


And here is a link to Page 183 Chapter VI Psychic Sports. This chapter was cut from the above link but i found it here:

johnnyfg.tripod.com/mmtibet/page183.htm
  • NikolaiStephenHalay
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Tummo 08 Dec 2010 13:27 #71632

Actually the whole book can be found posted at this website:

webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=...s&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk
  • NikolaiStephenHalay
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Tummo 08 Dec 2010 13:59 #71633

"Actually the whole book can be found posted at this website:

webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=...s&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk"

Your google-fu. It is strong.
  • OwenBecker
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Tummo 08 Dec 2010 14:35 #71634

Nice job finding the link, Nick: Here's an excerpt from the instructions, which begin on page 201:

"The ten stages may be briefly described as follows:

I. The central artery uma is imagined'”and subjectively seen'”as thin as the thinnest thread or as a hair, yet filled with the ascending flame and crossed by the current of air produced by the breath.

2. The artery has increased in size and become as large as the little finger.

3. It continues to increase and appears to be the size of an arm.

4. The artery fills the whole body, or rather the body has become the tsa itself, a kind of tube filled with blazing fire and air.

203

WITH MYSTICS AND MAGICIANS IN TIBET
5. The bodily form ceases to be perceived. Enlarged beyond all measure, the artery engulfs the whole world and the naljorpa feels himself to be a storm-beaten flame among the glowing waves of an ocean of fire.

Beginners whose mind has not yet acquired the habit of very protracted meditation go more quickly through these five stages than more advanced disciples, who progress slowly from one to another, sunk in deep contemplation. Yet, even the quickest ones take about an hour to reach the fifth stage..."

Note from Kenneth: Be sure to read all the instructions, including the warnings and disclaimers before you begin the practice.

Note to RevElev: Will you tiny the link in your post #12? It's preventing this page from wrapping properly. Thanks! :-)
  • kennethfolk
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Tummo 08 Dec 2010 18:40 #71635

Excellent topic guys!

Last week it was minus 20 degrees celsius here. I have often wondered who could teach me this technique...

Antero.
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Tummo 09 Dec 2010 03:46 #71636

A dutch guy called Wim Hof has done some cold stunts here in Finland. He ran a full marathon wearing only shorts in -20 degrees Celsius. He has also holds a world record for longest ice bath (1 hour 44 minutes). Reputedly he uses Tummo to manage these feats.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wim_Hof
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Tummo 09 Dec 2010 13:46 #71637

Nice thread, I've always been fascinated by all the practices revolving around energy work, prana, etc. Specifically I have been interested in learning more about the Six Yogas of Naropa, of which Tummo is the first if i recall correctly.

Specific information about these practices seem restricted to a limited number of books and hasn't been easily accessible online from my searching. I have noticed when I practice the microcosmic orbit, that I seem to generate noticeable elevated body heat, and have wondered if there's a connection. Thanks for sharing everyone!
  • malt
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Tummo 10 Dec 2010 06:51 #71638

There are lots of good tsa lung courses, especially in the US. See:

dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussio...oards/message/362913

Trying to do tsa lung practice without a teacher according to a book is a great way to screw yourself up and end up with serious health problems. One of the problems with discussing it online is that some Tibetan lineages impose strict secrecy rules on their students. The Bonpos seem to have different rules regarding talking about the practice. Many years ago I saw on ligmincha.org that one of Tenzin Wangyal's students was teaching trulkhor with the goal of getting students to the point that they could also teach it. I noticed that he just released a book and DVD on the subject called Awakening the Sacred Body.
  • jigmesengye
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Tummo 27 Dec 2010 06:45 #71639

Years ago I had a book on this, the title was simply "Tummo". It was a small book similar to one of the thin BPS tract books. It was by a Trungpa someone or other and appeared authentic enough. As far as I recall, the instructions were more or less along the lines indicated in Kenneth's Post at 17.. A lot of visualizations. I didn't put any serious effort into trying it. I read it for comparisons sake and it wasn't a technique that interested me. I do live in Canada and have spent many winters in -40C to -80C weather. I found I could get the same kinds of effects more readily using Taoist breath techniques my Tai Chi/Qi Gong teacher taught us. Basically those techniques reverse the type of vase breathing technique used in some buddhist breath techniques. What this involves is initially exhaling completely and compressing the chest and abdomen fully, squeezing out all air entirely. Then breathing in very slowly one draws air deep down to the bottom of the abdomen and packing the air very tightly by allowing the abdomen and then the chest to expand only when the air pressure is so great that it forces the chest open even though one is fully resisting the expansion with the surrounding abdominal musculature. Then when one has packed the maximum air into that space with the minimum of expansion one slowly allows the air to exhale and escape and while doing so one begins to slowly push the muscles out again from the bottom of the abdomen so that when the air is finally fully pushed out the belly is also pushed out. So this is basically the reverse of how the abdomen and chest would naturally move with the inflow and outflow of air. It takes a while to get a feel for this but once you get it working correctly you should very rapidly start to experience heat buildup throughout the body. If you continue in this way you will eventually become very hot and begin sweating and so on. I has worked for me even walking in very cold outdoor weather.
  • triplethink
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Tummo 01 Jan 2011 21:44 #71640

"A dutch guy called Wim Hof has done some cold stunts here in Finland. He ran a full marathon wearing only shorts in -20 degrees Celsius. He has also holds a world record for longest ice bath (1 hour 44 minutes). Reputedly he uses Tummo to manage these feats.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wim_Hof
"

Here´s a link to a documentary with Wim Hof:

documentaryheaven.com/the-ice-man/

Not very factual about Tummo at all but still a nice docu. He uses Tummo to run a marathon naked in Scandinavia.
  • sventhepsychonaut
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Tummo 02 Jan 2011 00:38 #71641

the best books on the subject are :
the bliss of inner fire. by lama thubten yeshe (very practice oriented)
the six yogas of naropa. by glenn h. mullin ( very thorough on theory )
but is has to be known that the production of heat is not a goal it is just a by-product (useful under certain circumstances).
The inner fire is used as a kind of platform from which the other high tantric practices are implemented such as : the clear light, the illusory body, the transfer and ejection of consciousness, the dream practices, the union practices (practices of tantra with a female partner), and the practice of bardo or intermediate state ( dream practice).
as stated in other messages it is usually taught during the three year retreat but in the bonpo tradition you can access these teaching more easily.
anyway these practices should not be reduced to some breathing practices which warm you up, the subject is much deeper.

happy new year
  • obobinde
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