Live Traffic Feed

Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will

Go down

Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will Empty Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will

Post  Khephra on Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:03 pm

From the Harvard Gazette:

Meditation changes temperatures: Mind controls body in extreme experiments
By William J. Cromie
Gazette Staff

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.

Why would anyone do this? Herbert Benson, who has been studying g Tum-mo for 20 years, answers that "Buddhists feel the reality we live in is not the ultimate one. There's another reality we can tap into that's unaffected by our emotions, by our everyday world. Buddhists believe this state of mind can be achieved by doing good for others and by meditation. The heat they generate during the process is just a by-product of g Tum-mo meditation."

Benson is an associate professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School and president of the Mind/Body Medical Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He firmly believes that studying advanced forms of meditation "can uncover capacities that will help us to better treat stress-related illnesses."

Benson developed the "relaxation response," which he describes as "a physiological state opposite to stress." It is characterized by decreases in metabolism, breathing rate, heart rate, and blood pressure. He and others have amassed evidence that it can help those suffering from illnesses caused or exacerbated by stress. Benson and colleagues use it to treat anxiety, mild and moderate depression, high blood pressure, heartbeat irregularities, excessive anger, insomnia, and even infertility. His team also uses this type of simple meditation to calm those who have been traumatized by the deaths of others, or by diagnoses of cancer or other painful, life-threatening illnesses.

"More than 60 percent of visits to physicians in the United States are due to stress-related problems, most of which are poorly treated by drugs, surgery, or other medical procedures," Benson maintains.




Would you rather see the research aimed somewhere other than "stress-related illness"?

_________________
"Sacred Activism is the fusion of the mystic's passion for God with the activist's passion for justice, creating a third fire, which is the burning sacred heart that longs to help, preserve, and nurture every living thing." - Andrew Harvey
Khephra
Khephra

Age : 54
Number of posts : 897
Registration date : 2008-08-10

Back to top Go down

Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will Empty Re: Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will

Post  Hadrianswall on Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:52 am

In my web searching, I found a reference to something called tumo. The websites I visited didn't say much more than that it was a Tibetan technique to keep warm. It claimed that tumo could keep you warm "in spite of snow, freezing winds and ice." It worked by a meditation technique that would send a "mystic heat" through veins, arteries and nerve channels. This process, they claimed, would keep you warm even during freezing conditions. But they didn't say how to do it.

For the past several years, I have been a doctor, and my interests have been firmly in the scientific world. The internet is filled with some rather bizarre medical claims, and I take most of them with more than a grain of salt. Some of my patients come in with these supposed cures for everything from hair loss to benign prostate disease. I always ask for the scientific proof. Sometimes what you read on the internet is accurate. Sometimes it is exaggerated. And sometimes it is just wrong.

So the idea of tumo sounded absurd to me. But whether it worked or not would be easy to prove. All I had to do was try it. But before I could do so, I had to learn it, and I was finding dead ends everywhere.

Finally, I saw a review of a recently-published book that claimed to give the entire process for learning tumo. I clicked on the "to buy this book" icon and purchased the book over the internet. Soon I had a copy of Occult Tibet by J. H. Brennan.

LEARNING TUMO

Chapter six exclusively teaches the technique of tumo. Brennan says that in Tibet the training would take "three years, three months, and three days," (p. 61), and this disappointed me. But he quickly follows by saying that this "clearly has symbolic association." I was relieved to discover that it might take a much shorter time. Besides, the author adds that "the various steps of the exercise have benefits in their own right." I was ready to start.

There are three stages to learning tumo, each having several parts. The first stage consists of preliminary exercises. The first exercise shocked me and almost turned me off to the entire practice! So don't turn away after reading the technique, be sure to read the explanation afterward.

"[V]isualize yourself as the naked, virginal, sixteen-year-old Vajra-Yogini, a Tantric divinity who personifies spiritual energy. This goddess has luminous ruby-red skin and a visible third eye in the middle of her forehead. In her right hand she holds a gleaming curved knife high above her heard to cut off completely all intrusive thought processes. In her left hand she holds a blood-filled human skull against her breast. On the head of the goddess is a tiara made from five dried human skulls, while around her neck is a necklace of fifty human heads dripping blood. She wears armbands, wristbands, and anklets, but her only other item of adornment is a Mirror of Karma breastplate held in place by double strings of beads made from human bones that circle her waist and pass over her shoulders. There is a long staff in the crook of her left arm and a flame-like aura around her whole form. The goddess is dancing with her right leg bent and the foot lifted up while her left foot tramples a prostate human." (p. 62)

Yuck!

When I read this repulsive description, I figured this was too bizarre for me. But I read on to discover that "even the worst of the horrors has symbolic significance. The necklace of human heads, for example, should be seen as representing separation from the wheel of birth, death, and rebirth that locks humanity into the world of illusion." (p. 62) Understanding that this was all symbolic made me feel a bit better, so I decided to continue.

The book explains that this is just the outer form of the goddess and internally you should imagine yourself empty, "like a silken tent or shaped balloon." (p. 62) Visualizations had always been easy for me. When I was studying medicine, I used visualizations of myself easily and successfully passing tests to relieve pressure and stress when taking exams. This was a bit different because I was supposed to have two images in my mind at the same time, the external image of the goddess figure and the internal emptiness. It took me a few days to master this.

Next, per the instructions in the book, I increased the size of the goddess image, larger and larger, until it was as big as a house, a hill, and so on until it encompassed the entire universe. I stayed with that visualization for a time. It was, as they say, a real "mind-rush." Then I did just the opposite, shrinking the visualization down until it was the size of a tiny seed and then to microscopic levels.

The next exercise is to visualize the Vagra-Yogini the same size as me, and then concentrate on visualizing an energy channel down the middle of my body. "It should be seen as straight, hollow, about the size of an arrow-shaft, and a bright, almost luminous red." (p. 63). Again, per the instructions in the book, once I had this down I expanded the channel until it was the size of a "walking staff, then a pillar, a house, a hill, and finally large enough to contain the whole of the universe." (p. 63) At this stage the channel, of course, pervades the entire body, not just the center of it.

Then I was to visualize the channel getting smaller until it was about one-hundredth the thickness of a hair. All of this was fairly easy for me to do, and within a week, I was pretty good at it.

The third exercise begins with sitting in the famous cross-legged lotus pose found in Hatha yoga. I had studied yoga for a while, and quite frankly, I could never do the lotus pose. Luckily, the teacher I had gave me a solution: "Do the best you can. Alter the pose to fit your needs." I found that if I sat on the edge of a cushion I could modify the pose a bit, be comfortable, and get the desired effects of the pose. Brennan mentions some alternatives, too.

Sitting in this position (with the right leg on top), you put your hands in your lap, palms up, with the forefinger, thumb and pinky extended. The spine should be straight, chin down, tongue against the roof of the mouth, and the eyes fixed on the tip of the nose.

Take three deep breaths and exhale completely. Then inhale as much as possible and hold the breath as long as possible without straining. "As you breathe out, imagine that five-color rays emerge from every pore of your body to fill the entire world. The colors, which equate to the elements, are blue, green, red, white, and yellow symbolizing respectively ether [spirit], air, water, and earth. On the in-breath, imagine these rays returning through the pores to fill your body with multicolored light. Repeat the exercise seven times." (p. 6465) I found this part of the exercise to be very stimulating; leaving me feeling balanced and energized.

The exercise continues with sound, visualizing the concept of the five colors being part of the syllable hum (I guess that is the Tibetan equivalent of the Hindu Om). On the exhalation I would visualize the world being filled with the colored hum. On inhaling I would feel the sound and colors enter and fill my body. This, too, was repeated seven times.

The next part of the exercise was to imagine that each time I exhaled, the colored hum sound changed to mustard seed-sized versions of fierce, angry, and menacing deities. Such deities are common in Tibet. On the exhale they were to fill the world, while on the inhale they were to fill me. This was repeated seven times. Believe me, the feeling of all these little creatures, even though they were only visualized, was quite...interesting, to say the least.

The next part of this step is, according to Brennan, a "critical stage in the exercise. You are required to imagine that every pore of your body is inhabited by one of these tiny deities with his face turned outward. The result of this visualization, when performed correctly, is that you see yourself as having grown a second protective skin composed of fierce and angry deities, which functions rather like a suit of mail armor." (p. 66)

For two weeks, I practiced this. Although I could sense the deities, I didn't have a feeling of them being armor. Then, at the end of two weeks, I had a dream in which I was having a battle against giant monsters. Although I battled valiantly, I realized I would lose. "Somebody help me!" I cried out. I immediately heard a tittering sound. Looking around I saw tens of thousands of tiny, angry, Tibetan gods. "Oh great," I thought, "a lot of good they're going to be." Instead of fighting the monsters, they started jumping on top of each other until they formed a wall between the monsters and me. "Hey, this looks like it might work," I said. Then the wall of deities moved toward me, and with a leap, surrounded me like a second skin. At first I thought I wouldn't be able to breathe, but I quickly realized that their protective cover didn't harm me in any way. Better, it prevented me from being harmed by the monsters, although my sword could cut through the beasts.

When I awoke, my first thought was that I had, indeed, been successful in getting the deities to be an armor-like second skin. But then I wondered, "What were the monsters?" I thought about it for a day before I realized that I was feeling very happy, content, and peaceful. In my dream I had defeated my own fears, phobias, insecurities, and other negative qualities. It didn't mean I had won the "war" with them, but I had won a battle. That knowledge made me feel great! Even if this tumo didn't work, I'd already learned a powerful technique for personal development.

There are two other exercises in this stage, but I'm not sure that they are necessary for this overview, so I'll leave it for you to study them and decide for yourself.
cntd

Hadrianswall

Number of posts : 209
Registration date : 2008-09-01

Back to top Go down

Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will Empty Re: Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will

Post  Hadrianswall on Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:57 am

STAGE TWO: THE REAL WORK

In this section Brennan goes into actual techniques for learning how to generate what he calls psychic heat. It begins with breath control known as Nine Bellows Blowings:

"Close off your left nostril with your forefinger so that you are breathing only through the right nostril.
"Turn your head slowly from right to left while inhaling and exhaling three times through the right nostril.
"Now close off your right nostril and inhale/exhale three times while moving your head slowly from left to right.
"Finally, with your head steady and looking straight ahead, inhale/exhale three times through both nostrils." (p. 69)

This cycle is repeated three times. The first set has you breathe very, very gently. The second is stronger. With the third you inhale and exhale very completely, using the abdominal muscles to help push out all of the air. For me, this was easy to do. It only took a short time to get the feeling that I was doing it right.

The next step is called Four Combined Breathing. Bend your neck over and silently and deeply (let your chest bulge out) breathe in through both nostrils as if the breath was coming from about a foot-and-a-half in front of you. When this inhalation is hard to maintain, take several short breaths to equalize the pressure in both lungs.

When you are totally filled with air, begin to exhale gently, then with greater force, then gently again, all on a single breath. This is called "shooting the breath forth like an arrow." (p. 70) Indeed, that name described what the sensation felt like.

The above two techniques are known as Calm Breathing. The next technique is called Violent Breathing. It has five exercises that are described briefly. They all involve realizing that with every breath,energy is coming into your body. More importantly, the "final technique of the sequence seeks to mingle the internalized life force with the great reservoir of cosmic energy all around you. This is referred to as the Art of Relaxing the Breathing, a name which suggests the process involves an out-breath." (p. 72) I took this to mean that I should visualize energy coming in with each breath, combining with my inner energy in my lungs and expanded body (from the first stage), and sent out on the exhalation. Practice of an hour a day for a week made this very powerful, and I felt filled with power, but not "antsy." My power gave me peace of mind.

The next part of this stage involves visualizations. Again, you visualize the Vajra-Yogini, but "instead of imagining yourself as this deity, you should create an image of the goddess standing at normal human size before you. This image becomes your contact point with the universal energy and part of a visualized 'generator' that will produce the psychic heat." (p. 7273) When I read that this was where things will start, I got really excited. I had this visualization down pat within two days.

The next visualization, as before, deals with the energy channel. But rather than just the one main channel, there are now three. The center one is hollow, red, transparent, and bright. Two more go on either side of this central tube, gently curving to the center, crossing each other at the central point and continuing in this way back and fourth. This is just like the image of the caduceus, the wand that was the symbol of medicine, my profession.

At each crossing point through the center channel, there is a chakra or power center. There are four major chakras (this is different from the popular pictures I've seen, but most of those deal with the Hindu chakras, so I made up my mind to try this out.)

The next part is difficult to explain in a brief article like this; you'll have to get a copy of Occult Tibet for yourself. The basic idea is that you take two letters of the Tibetan alphabet (for those familiar with it, they are the letter ham and half of the vowel A) and visualize them in certain ways while working with the breath. It's not difficult, just complex to describe. As you do this work, the letters change to flickering, spinning fires. At the tip of the Ham is a drop of pearlescent "moon fluid" which overflows the crown chakra above the head and then flows over the chakras at the throat, heart, and navel, and finally the entire body.

"The overall sequence of 108 breath cycles constitutes a single tumo course. To become proficient, you will need to repeat six courses over each twenty-four-hour period in the early stage of your training." (p. 7576) I practiced this until I could sense that I had an increased amount of the universal life force charging me. The book advises to cut the number of courses to four after that increase occurs.

STAGE THREE: TRIGGERING TUMO

Brennan reveals that there are three ways to trigger the heat of tumo. Once you have practiced and can perform all of the exercises already given, the simplest means of triggering the heat is through deep, diaphragmatic breathing. The third method he gives involves visualizing yourself with all of the above images and with suns blazing in the palms and soles. Bring the palms together and then the soles so the suns meet, then rub the palms and feet against one another. "[F]ire will flare up to strike the sun below the navel, then the [Ham] symbol, and go on to permeate your whole body." There's a bit more to it revealed in the book, but this is the basic idea.

However, it was the second method that most interested me: "While seated in a simple cross-legged position, grasp the underneath of your thighs with your hands. Use your stomach and abdominal muscles to circle the belly area three times to the right and three times to the left while keeping the torso still. (You can prepare for this by first moving the muscles left and right, then gradually building up to a circular movement.) Churn the stomach vigorously by rippling the muscles from top to bottom, then shake your body like a dog that has just come out of the water. While you are doing so, raise yourself a little on your crossed legs, then drop back again onto your cushion, in effect bouncing a little off the floor. Repeat this whole exercise three times, ending with a more vigorous bounce." (p. 76)

According to Brennan, if you perform twenty-one vigorous bounces while doing the visualization for a week, "you will be able to endure almost any degree of cold" (p. 77) while wearing only a thin cotton robe. This was what I wanted! I practiced daily for a couple of weeks. Then I settled down to practicing only twice a week.

full article

gTummo exists in many traditions (especialy the shamanic ones) not just those of Tibet, and not all of the methods are as reliant on 'complex' visualisations as this one. However the one above is the one in the public domain.

Burn baby burn Smile

Hadrianswall

Number of posts : 209
Registration date : 2008-09-01

Back to top Go down

Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will Empty Re: Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will

Post  Khephra on Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:45 pm

Wow. I had no idea the underlying visualizations were of such a nature!

_________________
"Sacred Activism is the fusion of the mystic's passion for God with the activist's passion for justice, creating a third fire, which is the burning sacred heart that longs to help, preserve, and nurture every living thing." - Andrew Harvey
Khephra
Khephra

Age : 54
Number of posts : 897
Registration date : 2008-08-10

Back to top Go down

Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will Empty Re: Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will

Post  amandachen on Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:16 pm

I haven't read Brennan's book but, judging by the quote, he seems to take all his info from Evans-Wentz's book Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines. I've not read that for over five years, and I don't have it here to check.

Glenn Mullin has a couple of interesting books on the six yogas of Naropa (tummo being one of the six yogas). Also there are several books in Jamgon Kongtrul's Treasury of Knowledge series (published by Snow Lion) that give useful information. Snow Lion also publishes Norbu's new book: YANTRA YOGA: The Tibetan Yoga of Movement which describes the type of movement mentioned in the quoted text above (a system of dynamic yoga asanas).
amandachen
amandachen
Admin

Location : Not an admin, so quit pestering me
Number of posts : 291
Registration date : 2008-08-15

Back to top Go down

Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will Empty Re: Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will

Post  Toltec on Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:36 pm

As far as I know, "Yantra Yoga" has nothing to do with "movement", on the contrary, it has a lot to do with stillness, "yantras" being "still" geometrical figures meant to be an aid in some forms of meditation.
Toltec
Toltec

Number of posts : 26
Registration date : 2008-08-17

Back to top Go down

Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will Empty Re: Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will

Post  Hadrianswall on Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:24 am

Toltec wrote:As far as I know, "Yantra Yoga" has nothing to do with "movement", on the contrary, it has a lot to do with stillness, "yantras" being "still" geometrical figures meant to be an aid in some forms of meditation.

A Yantra is a 2D representation of a 4D energy pattern/intelligence.

Yantra yoga is a 3D representation of a 4D energy pattern/Intelligence.

Both work towards the same end which is a conscious integration, and conscious participation in that intelligence.

_________________
Now burn all your books, including mine. - Sendivogius

Hadrianswall

Number of posts : 209
Registration date : 2008-09-01

Back to top Go down

Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will Empty Re: Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will

Post  SoyCello on Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:07 am

Jeez....I feel totally moronic when it comes to this stuff, the termonology is completely foreign to me. I suppose this is a good indicator that I have wasted a good bit of my life reading fiction to reward myself for reading non-fiction >.< ::fail:: Must say I enjoy the article non the less!
SoyCello
SoyCello

Age : 36
Location : Richmond, VA, US
Number of posts : 32
Registration date : 2008-09-27

https://www.facebook.com/SoyCello

Back to top Go down

Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will Empty Re: Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will

Post  amandachen on Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:20 am

Toltec wrote:As far as I know, "Yantra Yoga" has nothing to do with "movement", on the contrary, it has a lot to do with stillness, "yantras" being "still" geometrical figures meant to be an aid in some forms of meditation.

I don't care what you do or do not know, or pretend to know.

The Tibetan translation of the word yantra is phrul khor which can also mean 'magical movement' or 'magical wheel' or 'machine'. Marco Chaoul discusses some of this in his dissertation Magical Movements ('phrul 'khor): Ancient Yogic Practices in the Bon Religion.

Good luck with your studies.
amandachen
amandachen
Admin

Location : Not an admin, so quit pestering me
Number of posts : 291
Registration date : 2008-08-15

Back to top Go down

Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will Empty Re: Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will

Post  amandachen on Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:15 pm

Anyone seen a documentary called The Yogis of Tibet? That has some interesting coverage of the dynamic exercises.
amandachen
amandachen
Admin

Location : Not an admin, so quit pestering me
Number of posts : 291
Registration date : 2008-08-15

Back to top Go down

Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will Empty Yogis of Tibet

Post  SoyCello on Thu Dec 18, 2008 2:07 pm

Buddy 'o mine said I should check that out, currently downloading it from here. feel a bit like a maggot for pirating...>.<
SoyCello
SoyCello

Age : 36
Location : Richmond, VA, US
Number of posts : 32
Registration date : 2008-09-27

https://www.facebook.com/SoyCello

Back to top Go down

Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will Empty Re: Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will

Post  ankh_f_n_khonsu on Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:47 pm

SoyCello wrote:Jeez....I feel totally moronic when it comes to this stuff, the termonology is completely foreign to me.

No matter how long you study, this will still be true for a great many systems.

The further you walk, the more you see.
ankh_f_n_khonsu
ankh_f_n_khonsu

Number of posts : 545
Registration date : 2008-09-15

Back to top Go down

Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will Empty Re: Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will

Post  geilt on Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:54 pm

A good translation for the word Yantra is Technology.

geilt

Number of posts : 2
Registration date : 2009-01-13

Back to top Go down

Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will Empty Re: Harvard Gazette Report on Tibetan Monks Who Can Heat up Bodies at Will

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum