TheLoneRider
a seeker in search of Easter Eggs

Yoga Classes
Yoga Classes

abs Yoga Classes

NOTE: 1pm Saturday classes are no longer available. Only private classes are offered.

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Yoga classes are offered 1-on-1 for a tailor fitted program or developed for a group class. Classes can be traditional yoga offerings or classes focused on optimum digestion, healthy eyes, power/strength, weightloss, breathing, therapy and/or meditation. Classes come with explanations on what we are doing and why we are doing them. It's important for any student to know the underlying principles of yoga. One session usually lasts 90 minutes and will always consist of the following:

  1. yoga talk - theories and concepts in yoga
  2. asanas - can be a combination of yoga postures, HIIT, point-of-failure holds, calisthenics, dynamic tension
  3. pranayama - regulated breathing
  4. kumbhaka - breath-hold
  5. bandha - energy locks
  6. mudra - energy seals
  7. meditation - can be anapana, vipassana, trataka, chakra focus, emptiness, etc.

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(write "two", NOT "2")

TUMMO YOGA blogs

Overview

I've sectioned this project into 3 parts done simultaneously:
1. rewriting the entire book in HTML as a webpage
2. summarizing and reviewing the book
3. codifying the practice into a teaching format


Slice of Life: Heart Practice of the Six Yogas of Naropa

The Bliss of Inner Fire Dec 1, 2021

THE BOOK SUMMARY
The Bliss of Inner Fire:
Heart Practice of the Six Yogas of Naropa The Bliss of Inner Fire

Author: Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935–1984)
ISBN-10: 086171136X
ISBN-13: 978-0861711369
Genre: Yoga, Mysticism, Meditation
Pages: 224 pages
Country: USA
Publisher: Wisdom Publications; Illustrated edition (June 1, 1998)
Publication date: June 1, 1998
Rating: star star star star star (5 out of 5 stars)

Why a Book Summary?
By summarizing every chapter after I've read the book (as it is presented in the book), I am assured that I understood what I just read. By doing this, I also ensure that I cover the entire book and not be tempted to skip 'boring' sections. By summarizing every chapter in the book and rewriting it in simple terms, I also make sure I understand challenging passages like, "non-self-existence is the original character of all phenomena". Some parts are not an easy read.

The Bliss of Inner Fire
Glossary

Tibetan Buddhist Encyclopedia

  1. 4 Classes of Tantra - for a particular type of practitioner depending on the intensity of the desire energy used in the path to enlightenment.

    1. Action Tantra - great bliss is aroused by simply looking at all the beautiful deities
    2. Performance Tantra - smiling and laughing is used to energize bliss
    3. Yoga Tantra - blissful energy is generated from holding hands
    4. Highest Yoga Tantra - the energy of the sexual embrace is used
  2. Six Yogas of Naropa - the foundational basis of these Yogas is the first, Inner Fire Meditation. It is not possible to progress into the 5 Yogas without being established with Inner Fire.

    1. Inner fire meditation
    2. Illusory body
    3. Clear light
    4. Transference of consciousness
    5. Transference into another body
    6. Itermediate state
  3. Bodhicitta - "enlightened mind", the mind that strives toward awakening, empathy, and compassion for the benefit of all sentient beings
  4. Clear light - subtle mind able to perceive emptiness where all mental aberrations are removed
  5. Illusory body - the subtle divine body that is principally developed when a practitioner of Highest Yoga Tantra meditates to attain a body that is white in colour and not the same as his or her ordinary physical body. This new body is the illusory body. It can be perceived only by those who have already attained an illusory body. He can read and memorize many texts located in different locations all at the same time.
  6. Dakas & Dakinis - male/female divine beings traveling through air. They often accompany the deities.
  7. Four joys - blissful joy generated by the white bodhichitta drop (aka white essence) as it ascends along the sushumna from the lowest chakra to the navel, heart, throat, and crown chakras - joy, supreme joy, special joy, and innate joy. Prana vayu/kundalini rising?
  8. Highest Yoga Tantra - fourth and supreme class of tantra, consisting of evolutionary and completion stages, which must be accomplished in order to achieve enlightenment.
  9. Initiation - the transmission of the practice of a particular deity from a tantric master to a disciple, which permits the disciple to engage in that practice.
  10. Kundalini - drops; blissful energy; also referred to as bodhicitta. Red and white subtle liquid energy that exists throughout the channels of the body, the red predominating at the navel chakra and the white at the crown chakra
  11. Mahasiddha - maha = great | siddha = a spiritual adept who realizes his siddhis (super natural powers) and develops spiritual and psychic abilities through his practice of yoga and tantra.
  12. Nada - refers to non-duality, representing your consciousness, manifests like a subtle, blue cloud in space. When you are ready to move from the dharmakaya to the sambhogakaya, visualize that a blue nada appears from the space of nonduality. Unify nada with this blissful blue light and feel that this is you, your sambhogakaya, your illusory body, your psychic body, your rainbow body.
    It's a fine line with three curves, sometimes called a squiggle, visualized above the syllable at each chakra during inner fire meditation.
  13. Secret Chakra - there is the tip, secret and middle secret chakras...could be more. It refers to the sex chakra, jewel chakra
  14. Simultaneously Born Bliss - the fourth of the 4 joys. A state of bliss experienced when, through successful inner fire meditation, the airs have entered, stabilized, and absorbed in the central channel and the kundalini at the crown has melted and flowed down the central channel to the tip secret chakra. This bliss is also experienced when the kundalini is brought back up the central channel to the crown.
  15. Simultaneously Born Great Blissful Wisdom - the wisdom realizing nonduality unified with simultaneously born bliss
  16. Six Magical Wheels - 6 hatha yoga breathing exercises needed to be practiced with the 6 Yogas
  17. Sutrayana - the non-tantric vehicle of Buddhism as outlined in the sutras (discourses and scriptural text of Buddha)
  18. Tantra - applying the advanced teachings of Buddha to achieve full enlightenment in the shortest time possible. The secret teachings and scriptural text of Buddha
  19. Tantrayana - Vajrayana; Mantrayana; Secret Mantra; the quick path. The secret teachings of Buddha, the advanced stages of the Mahayana path to enlightenment, successful practice of which can lead to enlightenment in one lifetime.
  20. Vajra - firmness of spirit and spiritual power, diamond (indestructible) and thunderbolt (incredible power).
  21. Vajradhara - the tantric aspect of Buddha
Quick Notes (Highlights)
  1. Tantra only deals with pleasure...not pain and suffering (but I also use anger and very strong human emotions to add fuel to the fire)
  2. Inner Fire Meditation is far more powerful than samadhi meditation (even if samadhi meditation is done twenty-four hours a day for twenty days)
  3. Inner Fire is a technique that produces quick results when practiced - it is not reliant on any spiritual belief, rite or ritual
  4. Six Yogas of Naropa only deals with the subtle body - chakras, channels, nadis, energy winds, syllables. It doesn't deal with the gross body (bones, flesh, blood, etc.) or the very subtle body (only in time of death)
  5. By control the energies through meditation, we can manipulate the pleasure centers and misery centers by switching them on and off. By controlling the wind energies, you also control the mind - where the wind goes, the mind also goes
  6. When you know your own body through exercise, breathing and meditation, you can get whatever you want from it. You don’t need to look outside for anything else
  7. It is important not to ejaculate during sex. If orgasm happens, precious kundalini energy is lost
  8. In Inner Fire meditation, the Navel is the most important of all the chakras
Book Format
Formatting , p.
How the book is structured

Book Format
In this book, Lama talks about the enigmatic Six Yogas of Naropa, focusing on the practice of Tummo (inner fire) as the first and foundational of the 6 Yogas. Tummo unveils the nature of inner reality through the development of a refined and penetrating mind. Lama taught the Inner Fire, the first of the 6 Yogas of Naropa, to select students - it wasn't his intention to cover the entire yogas. His emphasis was to practise and not to simply make it an intellectual exercise. His teachings on Inner Fire is divided into 6 parts, and it's only on the 4th part where the actual physical practice takes place. Lama died before he could complete the commentaries on the 6 Yogas of Naropa. It is hoped that his reincarnated Osel will finish it.

Who is Lama Thubten Yeshe?
Bio , p. ?
Short Bio of Lama Thubten Yeshe

Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935–1984)
Lama Yeshe was a Tibetan Buddhist monk who was born in Tibet and went into exile in Bhutan during the Chinese occupation. He later moved to Nepal and founded the Kopan Monastery. In Dharamsala, he founded the Tushita Meditation Center. For teaching the Dharma to foreigners during the 60s, he was criticized by fellow monks as being motivated by money - teaching foreigners was looked down upon by the Buddhist spiritual communities during that time. His teachings were deemed unconventional. In the mid-70s, he moved to California and taught Tibetan Buddhism. His many lectures were transcribed and later published as books. Lama died in 1984, and 2 years later, in 1986, reincarnated into a Spanish boy named Osel Hita Torres, who is now known as Tenzin Osel Hita.

Lama carries a blissful aura around himself that people feel even from a picture. He talks to people at the level they can comprehend - much like Buddha himself when he was still alive. There was no one too stupid or too intelligent for him. He communicated in a manner that the other person can understand. He was open to all traditions and kept an open mind. Lama had already achieved an illusory body allowing him to practice the siddhis of yoga.

Lama Thubten Yeshe's Writing and Teaching Style
Overview, p. 11
Lama Thubten Yeshe's Bio

Writing Style
Lama began learning at Sera Monastery, one of 3 prestigious centers near Llasa, founded by Je Tsongkhapa. He is learned in the sutra (teachings) and the tantra (advanced Buddha teachings to advance enlightenment in the shortest possible time). His pursuit of the tantra focused on the 6 Yogas of Naropa where he attained the Clear Light. Inner Fire is for the most advanced practitioners, but Lama simplified it to his new students. He pursued an open policy that is non-sectarian and universal.

Overview of the Path
Overview, p. 12
Surya vs Tantra

Overview of the Path
All Buddhist teachings go toward enlightenment as the ultimate goal using 2 approaches - sutra and tantra. Sutra focuses on compassion, altruism and understanding. Tantra envisions the state of enlightenment as if it has already happened - this is the fastest way. With sutra and tantra together, the journey is faster and also deeper. While sutra regards ignorance and craving as negative and to be eliminated, tantra sees it as a means to leverage into the spiritual path. However, it is a slippery slope that requires the help of a tantra master and complete compliance to the tantric precepts. When done properly, enlightenment can be achieved even in just one lifetime or just a few years. Tantra is practiced in 4 progressive classes and the most challenging is channeling the intensity of sexual union into a tantric process. Practicing the Highest Yoga Tantra comes in 2 stages - evolutionary and completion. In evolutionary, one emlulates the virtues of the diety he desires as though he already possesses them. Emptiness is the absence of our misconception/ignorance that what we think of ourselves and our existence is reality - our thinking needs to transcend this. The practice of tantra involves emptiness-yoga and deity-yoga where we dissolve our preconceived notions of our limited selves and replace it with the qualities of the deity we admire. In the evolutionary phase, the linear process of death-intermediate-rebirth are simulated. But it is only in the completion phase, through Inner Fire, that true reality is unveiled when consciousness gains control of the subtle elements of the non-physical body - nadis, vayus, amrita, etc. Inner Fire also brings the mind to its most penetrating state - the Clear Light where all mental aberrations are removed.

Four Classes of Tantra

  1. Action
  2. Performance
  3. Yoga
  4. Highest Yoga Tantra
    1. Evolutionary Stage
      1. Emptiness meditation
      2. Dharmakaya body (death)
      3. Samboghakaya body (intermediate stage)
      4. Nirmanakaya bodey (rebirth)
      5. Becoming Buddha
    2. 6 Yogas of Naropa (Completion Stage)
      1. Inner Fire meditation
      2. 2
      3. 3
      4. 4
      5. 5
      6. 6

PART ONE

The Six Yogas of Naropa

Tantra and Inner Fire
Chapter 1, p. 20
Tantra is the fastest way to enlightenment. Inner Fire is the foundational yoga to the 6 Yogas

Tantra and Inner Fire
To his most advanced students, Buddha taught Tantrayana/Vajrayana - the fastest way to enlightenment. Instead of aversion to pleasure, tantra uses pleasure and control it to make a speedier path to enlightenment (tantra only deals with pleasure and not with pain). Tantra works with human desire for pleasure. Tantra not only works with pleasure, it harnesses pleasure to work with. Inner Fire, even though it's only one of the 6 yogas of Naropa, is the foundational yoga for the rest, much like Muladhara Chakra is the foundational chakra from which all the other chakras are activated upon. Inner Fire enables prana vayu to rise up through the sushumna. Inner fire is tummo in Tibetan, and the literal meaning of tummo is "brave female". Tummo is instantaneous - the results are readily experienced. You increase the kundalini power and inner heat. It is also scientific because results will be produced when practiced - it is not reliant on any spiritual belief, rite or ritual. Inner fire meditation is the fundamental path to enlightenment. Tummo is very powerful but surprisingly easy compared to other forms of meditation. The results are fast. Tummo is a doorway to an infinite horizon - manifesting desires and realizations become readily accessible. According to Milarepa, inner fire meditation is far more powerful than samadhi meditation (even if samadhi meditation is done twenty-four hours a day for twenty days). Inner fire meditation will change your entire notion of reality.

The Six Yogas and the Mahasiddha Naropa
Chapter 2, p. ?
Genesis of the 6 Yogas and the Bio of Naropa

The Six Yogas and the Mahasiddha Naropa
The 6 Yogas originally came from Buddha and was passed on through generations until it reached an Indian yogi, Tilopa, and then his student, Naropa who codified it. It was passed on to Naropa's student, Marpa, who then passed it on his student, the infamous, Milarepa. There are many versions of the 6 Yogas depending on whose time frame or yogi being quoted, but ultimately, for as long as the practice is done according to tradition, it doesn't matter how it is categorized or by whom.

This interpretation of the Six Yogas is done by Lama Je Tsongkhapa through his commentaries. His commentaries quotes the lineage lamas (Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa, Milarepa) and sacred scriptures, so confidence is high that these commentaries are accurate and reliable.

Naropa was intellectually realized. He was a top university professor at Nalana, extremely knowledgeable and could out-debate anyone. But he felt something was missing. Through chanting Heruka's mantra, a voice called out and instructed him to seek Tilopa who would be his guru. Naropa became Tilopa's disciple for 12 years until he was initiated - by a whack on the head by Tilopa's scandals. This caused Naropa to sink into deep meditation for 7 days. After that, Naropa was an enlightened man.

Naropa's narrative has a powerful lesson - that intellectual realization, without the pursuit of spirituality leaves a void. Knowledge for knowledge sake, without leveraging from it, is only half the battle.

The Mahasiddha Je Tsongkhapa
Chapter 3, p. ?
The life of Lama Tsongkhapa

The Mahasiddha Je Tsongkhapa
The western world wrongly relegates Lama Je Tsongkhapa as a mere intellectual philospher together with his followers. This is not accurate. Lama Tsongkhapa was a great yogi, a mahasiddha, a devote tantric practitioner, who wrote extensively on tantra (not so much on sutra). He has exhibited siddhis by averting floods, avalanche, and even extinguishing fire from a burning temple. It is believed that when one has mastered the elements within (fire, air, ether, earth and water), he also has mastery of the elements outside. He also had psychic powers demonstrated when he knew he would be summoned by the emperor of China - so he just disappeared into the mountain.

He had thousands of followers who gave offerings to him, but he gave them all away, owning nothing, having nothing. He was a perfect example of a renunciate.

His death was extended by 3 more years due to the intervention of many ascendant Buddhas - he was initiated to receives boundless energy to extend his life. Finally, when he died, Je Tsongkhapa put everything in order and fully accepted his death with no remorse, regret, aversion or resistance. In dying, he also predicted what would happen in 500 years - which actually happened - the return of the relics to India.

In a vision after dying, his disciple, Khedrub Je, was instructed to practice and preach the teachings instead of feeling sad over his master's death. There have been many ocassions when Lama would appear to Khedrub in a vision to give answers, teachings and initiation.

The Point Is to Practice
Chapter 4, p. ?
Intellectualizing/studying and practice go together

The Point Is to Practice
Mahasiddhas provide a good example on how to practice because there will be times when things are not clear. Intellectualizing/studying and practice go together - intellectualizing alone is not enough. Many scholars can be extemporaneous when expounding on the tantras and sutras, but they have no practice and sometimes have to go to beggars on the street seeking guidance on the practice. When you clearly understand a subject, you should hold it in your heart and practice it - don't try to know ALL the subjects (which can take decades) before you start practicing.

PART TWO

Preliminary Practices

Preparing the Mind
Chapter 5, p. ?
Lama Je Tsongkhapa’s commentary, Having the Three Convictions

Having the Three Convictions

  1. Preliminaries - once we have established the preliminaries, we need to meditate on evolutionary stage yoga
    1. Common - meditations on the value of human life, renunciation, refuge, loving kindness, bodhicitta, emptiness These should be done in preparation for the tantric practices.
    2. UnCommon
      1. general preliminaries - receiving tantric initiation and observing the ethics of the bodhisattva and tantric vows, or samaya
      2. specific tantric preliminaries (ngondro) - mandala offerings, Vajrasattva practice, guru yoga, water-bowl offerings, and prostrations. Everyday practice is good, but best is to do an intensive retreat
  2. Main Practices -
Receiving Initiation
Chapter 6, p. ?
A disciple should be initiated first before practicing 6 Yogas

Receiving Initiation
To go deep in the practice of the 6 Yogas, it is essential to receive the four complete initiations:

  1. vase initiation - emphasizes evolutionary yoga practice
  2. secret initiation - emphasizes the illusory body
  3. wisdom initiation - emphasizes clear light wisdom
  4. word empowerment - emphasizes the unity of the fully developed illusory body and clear light

Without initiation, teacher and student will just dwell on the lower realms. Before a guru teaches the 6 Yogas to a disciple, it is essential that the disciple has already been initiated (not by the guru). Initiation is when a disciple 'walks away' from his previous notions of himself and reality, and embraces the virtues of the diety giving him the initiation. Initiation activates the wisdom and bliss that already reside in the disciple - the guru does not give you any incredible power. (question: Then, what exactly did Tilopa do to Naropa when Naropa went deep into meditation for 7 days when initiated? Tilopa simply "unleased" the wisdom and bliss that was already with Naropa?) When your intention is to benefit others (and not just you), the initiation process is facilitated. When being initiated by a lama, you should see the lama not as a person but the mandala deity himself, eg. Heruka - a radiant infinite blue. Every initiation is different from everyone, depending on your mind. Initiation is serious business - it took Naropa 12 years of service to be initiated by Tilopa. Even if it feels 'fake' to just imagine things during initiation, it is still a good practice...the message is communicated to the brain. With control and awareness, we can use pleasure to bring about enlightenment.

Purifying Negativities
Chapter 7, p. ?
Vajrasattva meditation/chanting is powerful in purifying negatives

Purifying Negativities
To go deep in meditation, you have to purify negatives first and make the right conditions. Negativity exists because we created it - yes, it's a choice we made and a reality we created.

The practice of Vajrasattva purification is powerful in removing negativities. It can be combined with inner fire - inner fire in the morning and Vajrasattva in the evening. The problem I have about chanting the Vajrasattva (hundred-syllable mantra) is I can't speak nor pronounce Tibetan - as you can judge from the video below.


The Inspiration of the Guru
Chapter 8, p. ?
Reading the book is not enough. Having a guru is essential in the practice of Inner Fire

The Inspiration of the Guru
While the teachings of Buddha, down to his lineage are all available, it is not enough to learn only from these texts - the results you get may not be the ones intended. You need a guru to teach it in a way books cannot - tantra is highly technical.

Lama Yeshe was criticized for teaching Westerners as they were perceived to be incapable of understanding Buddha's teachings. Westerners are direct without being disrespectful. This is something Tibetans do not understand.

To meditate on guru yoga, it is suggested to visualize Guru Vajradhara through your guru with all the colors of the radiant light coming from everywhere. This part is too alien for me. I will shut my senses to the outside world and simply look within - perhaps something emanates.

PART THREE

Going Beyond Appearances

Evolutionary Stage Yoga
Chapter 9, p. 38
Transforming Death, Intermediate State, and Rebirth

How does Evolutionary Stage fit into the Tibetan Tantra Yoga picture?
In Tibetan Tantra Yoga, the 4th and supreme section is the Highest Yoga Tantra (HYT), a practice widely regarded as a passage to enlightenment. HYT is done through 2 sections. The first one is Evolutionary Stage and the 2nd one is the Completion Stage (The 6 Yogas of Naropa).

What is the Objective of the Evolutionary Stage
To identify oneself as divinity...as a realized person...as a Buddha. This is the difference between sutrayana and tantrayana. In tantra, you already assume that enlightenment has already happened

How is this Objective Achieved?
By visualizing and meditating through the 3 stages of life:

  1. death (dharmanakaya)
  2. intermediate stage (sambhogakaya, between death and rebirth)
  3. rebirth (nirmanakaya)

Why it is necessary to first practice evolutionary stage yoga?
Evolutionary Stage is not even part of the 6 Yogas, but a practice that should be established before you even begin the 6 Yogas of Naropa (the Completion Stage). It is essential to prime the mind, ease the body and create stillness before embarking on the 6 Yogas. Evolutionary Stage Yoga sets the stage for that.

Evolutionary and Completion Stages can both be practiced concurrently - they both make up the Highest Yoga Tantra (4th and supreme class in Tantra).

BRINGING THE THREE KAYAS (bodies) INTO THE PATH

Emptiness Mantra
Before we begin on the 3 kayas (evolutionary stage), it is essential we chant the emptiness mantra. For a non-Tibetan, this is nearly impossible for me (I cannot pronounce the words and the words don't mean anything to me). Instead, I simply chant the OM mantra where I internalize that everything we perceive is simply an illusion - including the body, emotions, memories, feelings and intellect. Nothing is left but awarness and the sound of OM in an empty universe.

What are the 3 phases of Life covered by Evolutionary Stage?

  1. Dharmakaya (death) - truth body, the blissful, omniscient mind of a Buddha. In this state, you can communicate only with other enlightened beings. You are simulating death.

    From emptiness, there is a growing radiance to a white light and soon, everything else is pervaded by this radiance. You dissolve into that white light until the light is you. The white light turns red and the red turns black like night. A light creeps into the dark and heralds a new day in a clear light of death - the dharmakaya state. Everything is just one. There is only one totality. There is no separation. Do not intellectualize when meditating. Visualize and feel it and be it.
  2. Sambhogakaya (intermediate state) - enjoyment body, the state between death and rebirth, lasting anywhere from a moment to 49 days. The light-body in which Buddha appears to bodhisattvas. The higher bodhisattvas can now communicate with you in your sambhogakaya stage.

    Now, to transition to sambhogakaya stage (intermediate state, illusory body, psychic body, rainbow body), imagine a blue light permeating everything - including you. The state between death and rebirth.
  3. Nirmanakaya (emanation body, rebirth) - the form in which the Buddha appears to ordinary beings.

    from a space of oneness, visualize a reddish white light. And you fuse into this light. And you are being reborn as a returner - transitioning to the nirmanakaya stage of rebirth. Now, You feel the unity of great bliss and great wisdom.

Becoming Buddha
After going through the 3 stages of the life cycle and now being reborn, you identify yourself as a divine being... self-realized...a Buddha. Do not intellectualize. Feel it. See the radiant bluish color emanating from you. Your words are mantra, your thoughts architecture reality, your volition is oneness...no separation. You exude an energy of pure bliss. In your presence, heaven exists - here and now where you are. Your aura empowers everyone to see themselves as divine incarnation. This is now your reality.

Arising as a Divine Being
Chapter 10, p. 41
Identifying as Buddha

You have to identify yourself as a Buddha...your words are a mantra, your mind is pure bliss, your feeling is infinite oneness. This allows you to transcend the physical reality and its trappings. Feel the bliss and oneness within the radiance of a blue light. Visualize that heaven exists now where you are, and everybody is a divine incarnation. Let this be your reality.

The Characteristics of Body and Mind
Chapter 11, p. 44
Beginning the Completion Stage Yogas

The Body

The body can be categorized in 3 layers:

  1. Gross - physical body, bones, blood, organs, flesh, fat, etc.
  2. Subtle (vajra body) - nadis, chakras, prana vayu (controlled during Inner Fire Meditation), subtle liquid energy (kundalini drops [red, navel, female] and [ white, crown, male]), amrita. Six Yogas of Naropa only deals with this body.
  3. Very Subtle - happens at the time of death when three visions arise - the white, red, and black visions. After these, the clear light of death arises. Consciousness is accompanied by subtle wind energy, the most subtle being the wind that accompanies the Clear Light Mind at the heart chakra. This subtlest of winds is the Very Subtle Body.

Controlling the Winds (Prana Vayu)
The more we understand the Subtle Body, the more we can control the energies through meditation. You can learn how to approach the pleasure centers and misery centers and how to switch them on and off. Every cell in the body is talking to you. When you listen and develop an intimate relationship with the body, you can almost tell it what to do. The mind rides on the prana vayu. When we control prana vayu, we essentially control where the mind goes. This is powerful.

The Mind

The mind can also be categorized in 3 layers:

  1. Gross - five senses of perception which provides a crude judgement of phenomena (e.g. - we only see visible light in the EMS, we only hear from 10-20k htz, etc.)
  2. Subtle - includes delusions (eg desire), difficult to understand their characteristics and functions and difficult to understand how they hold concepts and how they bring the various problems of life (eg desire - very hard to understand this even though at the intellectual level, it can readily be described and defined)
  3. Very Subtle - this is the clear light mind, which is inseparable from the very subtle prana vayu in the heart. Everybody experiences this very subtle mind when they die.
Unifying Relative and Absolute
Chapter 12, p. 46
Emptiness and Oneness

Lama Tsongkhapa stresses that the mind has many layers but its absolute nature is emptiness. Everything that exists is part of the same singularity - there is no separation. A flower, although tangible, is the amalgamation of the entire cosmos, the ecology, the 5 elements. Without the cosmos, ecology or any of these variables, there is no flower - thus it's empty. Nothing exists by itself. Nothing can exist separately from the entirety of the whole. Therefore, the separation does not exist - it is empty. There is only oneness - inseparable, infinite and all-encompassing.

Sorry, I have to be honest. I can't wrap my head around this, but the above is how I distill the knowledge from text like this one below - too much talk about duality, non-duality, non-self existence.

"Part of my nature is this tissue’s nature; part of your nature is tissue-paper nature. You probably don’t want to have tissue-paper nature, but in an absolute sense, there is no difference between a tissue’s nature and your nature. This tissue is non-self-existent because it is a dependent-arising. Even though the tissue appears to exist dualistically, it does not have a dualistic way of existing."

PART FOUR

Awakening the Vajra Body

Hatha Yoga
Chapter 13, p. 49
Hatha Yoga in conjunction with the Six Yogas of Naropa

There are 6 hatha yoga asanas (aka Six Magical Wheels) that need to be done while practicing the 6 Yogas. The first exercise is vase breathing and the next 5 is done while holding the vase breath. This should be done on an empty stomach.

6 Hatha Yoga Exercises to complement the 6 Yogas of Naropa

  1. vase breathing - the only one discussed in this book
  2. rotating like a wheel
  3. bending the body like a hook
  4. the mudra of "vajra binding" (throwing up in the air and dropping down)
  5. straightening the spine like an arrow in the manner of a vomiting dog
  6. shaking the entire body and stretching the body and joints to enable a smooth flow of blood in the arteries

Inner Fire Meditation requires a clean nervous system and these breathing exercises forcefully unblock the energy passages. Before embarking on the asanas/breathing, get centered and imagine that you are a realized being already...empty and infinite...a Buddha. Don’t think of yourself as an ordinary person. Visualize the three principal channels and the four chakras. Hold the vase breath with strong concentration - the mind has to be aware at all times. The injuries from a bad fall from a tall height can be averted if the breath is held the right way. Breathing should be slow and through the nose (not mouth). Start slow and easy - don't begin doing full-on - injuries might result. Shake your body well after the final exercise. In tantra, taking care of the body is as important as taking care of the mind. The prana vayu (life energy) resides in the body. When this flows freely within the body, pain and misery cannot happen. When you know your own body through exercise and meditation, you can get whatever you want from it. You don’t need to look outside for anything once you have discovered your own pleasure centers and kundalini power (as Wim Hof himself said, "get high on your own supply"). When we can do this, we can also control the energy of our nervous system during inner fire meditation. It is important be in control during sex. If orgasm happens, precious kundalini energy is lost. When proficiency in hatha yoga exercises is achieved, it is possible for the body to spontaneously break into joyful bliss. This is a good thing, but not a particularly high realization.

Channels and Chakras
Chapter 14, p. 51
Visualizing the 3 main channels and the 4 main chakras

Be a Buddha
Before starting the actual Inner Fire Meditation, compose yourself first as a diety - not an ordinary person. You are a Buddha with all its virtues and qualities. Bow down in humility to the universe, the divine beings and offer yourself - "Let me be your instrument for good".

Hollow Body
Imagine that the body is hollow - an empty transparent shell with nothing inside.

Sitting Position
Sitting on Inner Fire Meditation should be on full lotus. Tongue pressed on the hard palate just above the front teeth. Right hand over left hand below the navel with thumbs touching as they form a triangle (palms facing up? or palms pressed against the body?) Body is upright and not slumping.

Channels
Although there are many energy channels in the body, in Inner fire meditation, we deal with 3 channels only:

  1. Central channel - aka sushumna in Indian yoga tradition (blue on the outside, red on the inside, straight but transparent and rubbery like an aquarium tube). This extends in front of the spine, from the navel chakra all the way up to the third eye and onto the crown chakra. Although it runs along the spine like the 2 channels, it is implied that the energy runs in opposite direction - energy movement begins at the nostril where the 2 channels carry it to the navel chakra, and from there, the energy enters the central channel and moves up until it reaches the third eye.
  2. 2 channels - shaped straight but transparent and rubbery like an aquarium tube. They run alongside the left and right of the central channel. They begin at the nostrils, move up to the sahasrara (alongside the central channel), loops down along the front of the spine and turns up when they reach the navel chakra (inside the central channel) and releases the wind energy on the short a. The energy then enters the central channel and shoots up. It is not clear if it moves up to sahasrara and stays there, or if it shoots up beyond the sahasrara, or if it loops down and finds its way to the third eye. Even the yogi practitioners are not unanimous on this.
    left channel - white
    right channel - red

Hmmm...this is similar to Hindu yoga tradition. The 2 chanels, Ida and Pingala, begin at the nostril and go down along the spine until it reaches its base, the Muladhara chakra. The central chanel, sushumna, begin at the Muladhara chakra, extends up along the spine, hitting all the major chakras until it reaches the sahasrara chakra. The energy transfer takes places at the Muladhara chakra instead of the navel chakra...although if the actual location of the navel chakra is not by the navel but 4 finger-widths below the navel, then, both locations seem to be the same...regardless what name you call it.

Inner fire meditation enables the absorption of the energy-winds into the central channel from the 2 channels (ida and pingala) at the navel chakra - which is actually located 4 finger-widths below the navel. This energy-wind-absorption results in heightened states of consciousness.

Chakras
For Inner fire meditation, we focus on 4 chakras.

  1. Navel - red triangle, female, 64 upward branches. Location is 4 finger-widths below the navel, closer to the spine than to the front of the body. It's important to clearly visualize this location because this is exactly the spot where the air from the 2 channels enter the central channel. Navel is the most important of the four chakras
    navel chakra
  2. Heart - white ball, male, 8 downward branches, located at center of the chest closer to the spine than the chest
    Heart chakra
  3. Throat - red ball, male, 16 upward branches, located directly behind the Adam's apple
    throat chakra
  4. Crown - aka bliss chakra, multicolored, triangular, female, 32 downward branches. Exact location isn't clear but author feels it's in the brain and not on top of the head - energetically speaking, I agree. I hardly feel anything on top of my head, but inside the head, many sensations can be felt
    crown chakra

It seems the Third Eye Chakra is not that important in Tibetan Buddhist Yoga. It is mentioned but not focused on.

Training the Channels
We should be able to train our consciousness to move through these channels like riding a bike on a street. How?

  1. Be the Buddha - radiant with a bluish color, existing in complete emptiness
  2. Empty the body - the body is an empty transparent shell and the only thing inside are the central channel and its branches, the 2 side channels, and the chakras
  3. Visualize the channels and its branches - see the clear passage of the central channel from the navel to the top of the head
  4. Heart chakra - (white ball, male, 8 downward branches), visualize a white-red energy ball, the size of a small pearl that radiates bright rainbow colors. Concentrate on this drop and enter into it, penetrate it, become the energy ball. There is no distinction between you and the energy ball. Everything is set up for deep meditation. As the energy ball at the heart chakra, you look down and see the navel chakra and its 64 upward branches. You look up and see the throat chakra and see the 16 upward branches. You see the passage of the central channel being clear - no blockage.
  5. Throat chakra - you move up along the central channel and go to the throat chakra. You see the red ball and its 16 upward branches. You look up and you see the crown chakra...and you go up there along the clear passage of the central channel
  6. Crown chakra - at the crown chakra, you see the multi-colored triangular shape and the 32 downward pointing branches.
  7. Third eye chakra - you move to the third eye. From there, you look at your radiant bluish Buddha body. You look down and you see your feet very clearly. You feel blissed out.
  8. Moving up and down the central channel - from the third eye, go back to the crown chakra and move down the central channel back to the throat chakra. Look around again. Then move down to the heart chakra. Look around and see the branches. Move down to the navel chakra...then to the lower chakras, just for a peek. Anything lower than the navel chakra is not that important at this point. But always return to the heart chakra. Make as many trips along the central channel until you become thoroughly familiar and comfortable with it.

    As you travel up and down the central channel with this energy ball, the passages are cleaned, tuned and lubed - blocked channels are opened, crooked channels are straightened, and wrinkled ones are smoothed. Everything is cleared.

    Ultimately, concentration should be on the navel - not even on heart, throat or crown.
Blissful Syllables
Chapter 15, p. 54
Putting a Seed-syllable in the Chakras

Seed-syllable
In the previous meditation, you traveled to all the chakras and investigated their structure. You are now ready to put a seed-syllable (seed mantra?) at the center of each of the four main chakras. The seed mantra or letters should be small and subtle. This will be the object of concentration. These syllables are not uttered mechanically. You reverberate audibly with your heart and mind with its vibrational frequency until you and the syllable sound are one. When the seed-syllable is established,

  1. the kundalini nectar will stay in place within the chakra when it starts flowing from the crown chakra through the central channel
  2. the energy winds (with the mind riding on it) can readily penetrate and activate the chakras

Short A on the Navel Chakra
Again, of all the chakras, the navel is where you concentrate on. Inner heat is activated at the navel chakra. Inner Fire Meditation focuses on this chakra more than any other. The symbol of the short a is fiery red and should be placed inside the navel chakra which is inside the central channel, very close to the spine (and not to the front of the body). This location is important because this is where the airs enter the central channel from the side channels. Also, the heat generated in this location burns steady and profoundly.

And meditating on the short a at the navel increases the strength of the inner fire because it automatically causes energy to come to the crown chakra. Simply touching the area below your navel, you will feel a sensation at your crown.

When you penetrate the navel chakra, the blockages are released, the chakra opens, and the winds automatically enter the central channel.

navel chakra

Blue Hum on the Heart Chakra
Next place a blue hum with a crescent moon, drop, and nada on a moon disc at the heart chakra. The whole thing is upside down. Our eventual aim is, with single-pointed concentration, to energize the dripping of blissful kundalini down through the syllable and the nada. Concentrating on the hum at the heart helps to develop the clear light (emptiness?).

heart seed syllable

Red OM on the Throat Chakra
Now visualize a moon disk at the throat chakra and on it a red om. This red syllable stands upright and has a crescent moon, drop, and nada above it. Again, it should be visualized in the central channel, right in the center of the throat chakra.Contemplating and penetrating the om at the throat chakra increases the female blood energy and also helps the practice of dream yoga.

throat seed syllable

White Ham on the Crown Chakra
At the crown chakra, place a white ham on a moon disk. It has a crescent, a drop, and a nada, and again, the whole thing is upside down. Contemplating the ham at the crown increases the white male kundalini, which is the source of bliss.

crown seed syllable

During Sleep
In Sutrayana, we need to be awake. But in Highest Yoga Tantra (tantra yoga), even during sleep, we can perform the practice - heart and throat chakras are active during sleep.

Reality of the Channels
In reality, the channels are not really crystal clear with open passage ways. The branches obscure their passage ways, sometimes, they are withered in some areas, crooked in some, shriveled and wrinkled, etc. By focusing on the central and side channels, and when we do the breathing practice, we open up the passageways and straighten the channel shape from the navel all the way up to the crown - like blowing into a balloon to dilate its volume. As the wind dilates the channels, the wind brings along the mind, thus consciousness penetrates the channels/chakras, allow them to activate. Sometimes, energy winds can flow the opposite way resulting in pain or sickness. This is why it is essential to be established in the following preparatory practices:

  1. empty-body meditation
  2. vase breathing
  3. hatha yoga exercises
  4. meditations on the channels, chakras, and syllables

The mind goes where the energy-winds go. By penetrating the chakras with the energy-winds, we also take the mind into the chakras. With consistent and persistent practice of the above, the body and mind will adopt and internalize, making the practice a lifestyle choice...like riding a bicycle.

Vase Breathing Meditation
Chapter 16, p. 57
Vase Breathing

Significance of Vase Breathing
Vase breathing meditation is the first of the six hatha yoga exercises according to Having the Three Convictions. The other five hatha yoga exercises are performed while holding the vase breath, and, most important, the inner fire meditations are performed on the basis of this breathing technique. Successfully bringing all the airs into the central channel depend upon vase breathing.

9-Round Breathing: Dispelling Impure Air
Before attempting to practice vase breathing, you should first dispel all the impure airs with the nine-round breathing exercise.

  1. Surya Bhedan Pranayama - 3 rounds, in-breath on the right nostril and out-breath on the left. Visualize desire coming out from the exhale
  2. Chandra Bhedan - inhale left, exhale right. Imagine the removal of hatred on the exhale
  3. both nostrils - 3 rounds, inhale and exhale getting rid of ignorance

Total 9 rounds.

Being Buddha
visualize yourself as the Buddha and make a vajra fist. Visualize clearly the three main channels and four principal chakras. Concentrate on the short a in the navel chakra inside the central channel.

4 Steps to Vase Breathing
empty stomach with straight back:

  1. inhaling - inhale through the nose, slowly and gently until the lungs are full
  2. filling - the right and left channels are packed with air, like inflated balloons
  3. milking the air - swallow a little saliva, tense the diaphram to push the air down towards the navel (doesn't sound like an Uddhiyana Bandha). Feel the energy-wind is pushed from the two side channels into the short a at the navel chakra. Still holding the breath and pressing down with the diaphragm, tighten the lower doors by contracting the pelvic muscles (sounds like Mula Bandha). This brings together the lower airs with the upper airs at the navel chakra. Feel that the short a is magnetizing the air energies, drawing them all into the central channel. Imagine that the upper and lower airs unite precisely at the short a, which is in the navel chakra in the central channel. Hold your breath while tensing the upper and lower muscles for as long as you can.
  4. exhaling - when you can no longer comfortably hold your breath, you should exhale (slow then fast) through your nostrils, visualizing that the unified upper / lower airs held at the short a shot up straight to the central channel like an arrow. They are completely absorbed inside the central channel, generating much bliss.

PART FIVE

Discovering Totality

Inner Fire Meditation
Chapter 17, p. 61
Step-by-step DIY Practice of Inner Fire Meditation

Pre-requisites for Inner Fire Meditation
When we are already established in the following, then we can proceed with Inner Fire Meditation:

  1. familiarity with the passageway within the central channel and the 2 side channels
  2. proficient with the syllables within the chakras - shape, color, sound, location
  3. vase breathing

While the evolutionary stage is like dreaming (to prime the mind), the completion stage is like an actual rocket being fired - it's real and powerful. A successful inner fire meditation (the first of the 6 Yogas), brings the wind energies into the central channel, and produces the following:

  1. accomplishing the rest of the other 5 Yogas
  2. attaining the 4 Joys
  3. realizations/wisdom
  4. activates the siddhis
  5. quickly attain indestructible samadhi because the mind stays where the wind energies are...inside the central channel (and it cannot go anywhere else while the winds stay at the central channel)
  6. gives you a high that you would want to keep staying at the navel chakra

While airs can be introduced at the different chakras, entering the central channel through the navel chakra is the safest and easiest.

Preparing for Inner Fire

  1. Primed body - empty stomach, seated in padmasana, spine vertically aligned
  2. OM & Emptiness - chant OM and dissolve into emptiness, going through the 3 cycles of life...death (white, red, black, clear light), intermediate stage (blue light), and rebirth (reddish white)
  3. Being Buddha - from emptiness, arise and identify yourself as a Buddha with a radiant blue light...and everything is one...no separation
  4. Lineage gurus - from Buddha to Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa, Milarepa, Gampopa, Lama Je Tsongkapa, all the lineage gurus emanate
  5. Dissolving into Buddha - all the lineage gurus dissolve into Buddha and a radiant white light is cast into your crown chakra, radiant red light into your throat chakra, and radiant blue light into your heart chakra
  6. Sankalpa - meditate on the desire that all sentient beings discover Inner Fire...that the winds are brought inside the central channel where they are stabilized and absorbed
  7. Crown Chakra - meditate on the white ham inside the crown chakra located inside the central channel...upside down, from the top...the white ham, a crescent moon, the rainbow/white drop, nada on moon disk. The channel is clear and unobstructed. Imagine a white light emanating from the ham syllable...its radiance filling the whole crown chakra, eliminating darkness and blockages. Every brain cell is activated with energy and bliss. It reaches down to communicate with the throat chakra.
    crown seed syllable
  8. Throat Chakra - meditate on the throat chakra with its radiant red om on a moon disc, upright crescent moon, the red drop and the nada, facing up and communicating with the Crown Chakra. This bond clears all blockages and instills bliss and oneness.
    throat seed syllable
  9. Heart Chakra - meditate on the upside down blue hum of the heart chakra on a moon disc. The hum rests on the crescent moon, on the reddish white drop and the nada. It communicates down to the short a at the navel chakra. There is bliss and oneness as it radiates a blue light.
    heart seed syllable
  10. Navel Chakra - penetrate the short a inside the navel chakra. Meditate until your consciousness and the short a become one. The short a is intensely hot and brilliant, bringing vitality and energy.
    navel seed syllable


    *** There are 4 mediations to realize the Inner Fire:
  11. Igniting the Inner Fire - start with vase breathing, filling both the side channels with energy winds. Also visualize that in the inhale, energy is also being drawn in from every pore on the skin. Swallow your saliva, and with that downward movement, continue to press down the energy wind to the navel chakra by contracting your abdominal muscles (hmmm...'contracting down the abdominal muscles' is different from engaging Uddiyanna Bandha which is what Hatha Yoga is suggesting...to essentially pull the belly in and lift up all the organs to create a hollow on the belly. Hmmm...this is contradictory. Which one should I do?) At the same time, contract the butt cheeks and anal muscles (same as Hatha Yoga's Mula Bandha, so no contradiction) to create an upward pressure. The downward pressure and upward pressure together with all winds drawn from everywhere else within the body are unified on the navel chakra and creates heat on the short a. The sustained pressure intensifies the heat on the short a until it becomes so hot and a radiant bright red. At this point, you become the short a - feel the heat and pressure on your entire being. Keep this penetrative awareness on the short a. Don't intellectualize...feel and internalize.

    On the exhale, make it a forceful exhale, visualizing that the winds enter through the central channel where they are stabilized and absorbed. The central channel and all the chakras within it (heart, throat, crown) are glowing with the radiant bright red from the short a. Repeat the breathing several times.

    Build the heat slowly but surely. Don't jam it at the get go. If you perspire, it means you pushed it too aggressively and you only generated superficial heat.
  12. Blazing the Inner Fire - now that the short a has ignited, we keep it blazing through the vase breathing. You and the short a are one and inseparable. Take all your desires and anger with the inhale and let them burn inside the short a. Engage the contractions as the short a absorbs all the winds, the desires and the anger. Let them burn as the short a intensifies its heat. The more heat generated, the more bliss you feel. The heat becomes so intense, the blaze explodes into a blaze inside the central channel, melting the kundalini drops in the heart, throat and crown chakras as you chant the seed mantra in each chakra. As the air is emptied, engage mula bandha and feel more bliss. Your union with the short a causes your consciousness to be subtle, deep and clear.

    Keep in mind that you no longer have an ordinary body. You are a divine incarnation of the Buddha. Your union with the short a raises your super consciousness into a heightened perception. As thinking and thoughts cease, there could be visions of the Evolutionary Stages of life - white, red and black. Just let go and let the visions take over.
  13. Blazing and Dripping the Inner Fire - continue with vase breathing, ingesting fresh wind and incinerating the short a until the kundalini drops melt. The fire razes up the heart chakra, wrapping itself 3x around the blue hum until kundalini drops melt from the blue hum, to the crescent moon, the drops and drips from the nada and drips on the short a at the navel chakra. This is like pouring gasoline on a fire and the heat turns up even higher....generating higher bliss and causing more kundalini drops to drip down.

    At this point, thinking stops and is replaced by pure bliss of no separation. The bliss intoxicates and a reassuring radiance permeates.

    Repeat vase breathing and experience a more intense flame that goes all the way up to throat chakra and wraps around the red om 3x. The heat intensifies and melts the kundalini drop down to the heart chakra and then down to the navel chakra. This further intensifies the heat the cycle repeats itself into increasing levels of heat.

    Repeat the vase breathing and let the heat rise so intensely high it reaches up the crown chakra and the wisdom of oneness prevails. The increased heat drips kundalini down the throat chakra and down to the heart chakra and finally, to the navel chakra. Now, the entire central channel is blazing with heat, resulting in more kundalini meltdown which feeds more on the fire. This raging heat forcefully takes in more winds into the central channel and all the chakras are ablaze with fire and intense heat. All this is happening as you are the short a in the middle of all this firestorm.
  14. Extraordinary Blazing and Dripping the Inner Fire - resume doing vase breathing, being intensely aware that your consciousness and the short a are one. Inhale fully and engage the uddiyana bandha to push the winds down. Engage the mula bandha to push the winds up. This creates increased pressure on the short a where incredible heat is generated. The heat shoots up to the heart chakra which melts the kundalini drop down to the navel chakra which causes it to burn even more, creating an intense heat reaching all the way up the throat chakra where its kundalini drip into the heart chakra and into the navel chakra. This becomes a continuous loop with ever increasing blaze that goes up the crown chakra where more kundalini drop drip down to the lower chakras until it reaches the navel chakra. The whole body is ablaze with intense and explosive heat - from the navel going up to the crown chakra and from the navel going down to the feet. The chakras, the channels and the hollow body are filled with intense heat and fire. The entire time, your consciousness is one with the short a. There is no separation and this unity brings about radiant bliss. You are immersed into this bliss and wisdom of reality as it really is.

    Third Eye Chakra
    Next, visualize that your third eye chakra and your right nostril shoot out an inner fire in all directions within this universe, reaching the lineage lamas - Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa, Milarepa, Gampopa, and the great yogi Lama Je Tsongkhapa. Their bodies absorb this inner heat through their left nostrils and melts the kundalini in their 4 chakras. This inner heat is then shot from their right nostril and is captured by your left nostril where it penetrates the crown chakra, the throat chakra, the heart chakra and the navel chakra. Kundalini drops melt and feed into the intense heat. Great bliss emanates.

    Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa, Milarepa, Gampopa and the great yogi Je Tsongkhapa

    Again, do not intellectualize. Feel and be the short a. Repeat vase breathing again and again until it becomes second nature and effortless to visualize.

  15. Metta - extend compassion by wishing all sentient beings to realize inner fire within themselves.
Good Things and Bad Things Can Happen
Chapter 18, p. 65
The Good, the Bad and Letting Go

Practice and Do Not Intellectualize
You have to do the practice and not intellectualize. The practice will guide you deeper, letting you know the dos and don'ts. Don't force anything otherwise you'll end up with superficial heat. Just let go and proceed gently but surely. At some point, the process will happen automatically. Remain focused on the short a at all times. Initially, it can be difficult, but with repeated practice, inner fire meditation happens effortlessly. At some point, you won't even need to do vase breathing. With regular practice, Inner Fire will happen just naturally from contemplation and all the benefits will be there - bliss, intoxication, oneness, emptiness. Continue the practice until this point is reached.

Inner Heat vs. Ordinarty Heat
When the practice is done right and not forcefully, Inner Heat will inevitably happen. When kundalini melts, bliss and oneness unite. When the fire rages on, we burn everything we don't need - anger, revenge, resentment, the need to be right, the need to impress. We burn out all our garbage. When all this negative energy enters the central channel, it is tranformed and perfected and it can no longer be harmful. Inner Fire should start out subtle and gentle. And then it builds up in intensity and heat...until the chakras, channels and the entire hollow body are ablaze. During Inner Fire, press slightly on your navel chakra - it enhances the bliss and triggers the crown chakra.

Ordinary heat is not useful to our practice. It feels painful and uncomfortable. If you feel that, then your prctice is not right. Sometimes, this happens. It's ok.

Bliss and Non-Duality
When heat begins, bliss also happens. When bliss happens, we should concentrate on nonduality....oneness...no separation. If we don't equate bliss to nonduality, we can become obsessed with the pleasurable intoxication of inner fire.

Telepathic Experiences
During Inner Fire, it is possible to go into a dreamlike state as though we have telepathic power. We might even get a drift of what other people are thinking. We can even see the different colors of the prana vayu. Our nervous system can be seen as clearly as watching tv. This is because we drift into a realm with telepathic energy. But without the skill of single-pointed concentration, it is not clairvoyance, but a kind of near-clairvoyance. So don't brag about it. Activating the navel chakra develops telepathic siddhi.

Just Let Go
Whatever else happens, stay focused on the short a. Don't get distracted by visions, good or bad. Or experiences, painful or blissful. Anything can happen during Inner Fire meditation. Don't overthink what's happening. Just take them all as part of the process. Just keep focused on the short a.

Simultaneously Born Great Blissful Wisdom
Chapter 19, p. 69
Winds enter the Central Channel, stabilize, and be absorbed

Enter, Stabilize and be Absorbed
A successful inner fire meditation requires 3 things to happen to the winds:

  1. enter - if the air passes clearly through both nostrils, not just one and no blockages
  2. stabilize - if the breathing becomes subtle and subdued, when there is no more breathing, when the abdomen stops moving, when our concentration becomes very focused
  3. be absorbed - when we go through dissolution of our aggregates and transition to the dharmakaya stage - white, red, black and clear light spontaneously (we don't induce it anymore). It could feel frightening to the newbie thinking he is dying but no, it won't happen. Nonduality becomes a real experience and not just conceptual thinking.

Siddhis
When you stop breathing through the lungs, you can continue to breathe through orifices in the body - ears, pores, etc. If you can generate fire within, you can also extinguish fire outside (like stopping fire from a burning house). You can also go through solid objects.

4 Joys
When the chakras are all on fire and kundalini drips from the crown to the throat, to the heart and down the navel and to the secret chakra, then the 4 Joys happen where bliss is ultimate.

  1. joy - when kundalini flows from crown chakra to throat chakra and bliss and nonduality is experienced. Stay for awhile before moving on
  2. great joy - when kundalini flows from throat chakra to heart chakra and again, bliss and nonduality unite. Don't rush out, stay there and savor it
  3. extraordinary joy - when kundalini flows down to the navel chakra and bliss unite with wisdom. Meditate on emptiness and feel reality the way it really is
  4. simultaneously born joy - when kundalini from the navel chakra goes down the secret, middle secret and the tip secret chakras. This is the super bliss and super wisdom. Once the kundalini has been absorbed, it can no longer be lost outside the body.

Reversing the Flow of Kundalini
when the kundalini drops reach all the way down to the tip secret chakra and you are immersed in absolute bliss and wisdom, reverse the flow back to the navel chakra, heart chakra, throat chakra and ultimately the crown chakra. Stop and meditate on every chakra as the kundalini finds its way up. When it reaches the crown chakra, again, immerse in absolute bliss and wisdom of nonduality. The sensation of moving the kundalini up is more powerful than the journey going down.

Simultaneously Born Great Blissful Wisdom
With the complete cycle of kundalini, the yogi has already experienced a glimpse of real wisdom and not merely conceptual. However, more practice is needed to make it a full realization of nonduality wisdom. Practice...practice and practice until inner fire becomes 2nd nature. With Inner Fire, the 2 main objectives are bliss and nonduality (wisdom, no separation, oneness).

Becoming Vajradhara
Chapter 20, p. 72
Transformation into Vajradhara

Taking a Consort
Consort practice should only take place when the yogi is already established in all the foregoing - from Emptiness Meditation to reversing the flow of the kundalini drops back to the crown chakra. Others argue that the heart chakra should also open up before taking a consort (harder). So, if the energy movement is already happening, and bliss and wisdom are already attained, why bother with a consort? The practice becomes more intense (beyond expression, beyond all concepts, beyond words) and the pace becomes accelerated. Both partners, however, should be at the same level. Once union with a suitable consort is successful, all it takes is to remember the episode and the entire bliss is experienced all over again - you don't need to be physically with that consort again.

PART SIX

Living with Inner Fire

Your Pleasure Is Your Responsibility
Chapter 21, p. 75
Owning up to your desires and pleasures

Practice
At this point, all the lessons should have been learned, and with continuing practice, spiritual growth is ensured. But you have to practice...not just intellectualize. It is possible to attain enlightenment through Inner Fire in just a year or in just one lifetime. Inner Fire is a technique, not a spiritual belief. Therefore, you will achieve results even if you are not religious. The techniques are in compliance to the natural laws - anyone can achieve it.

Practicing both Evolutionary Stage (in the morning) and Completion Stage (in the evening) brings maximum benefits.

Sometimes you won’t need any of the techniques. Just with natural, subtle breathing, your concentration will be reasonably good, your inner fire energy will grow, and you will feel blissful. You learn to let go of many things until you experience emptiness (not just think but experience).

Tailor-fit your practice to represent your truth - as long as you are still compliant with the tenets of the practice. Make the practice, your OWN. What society or anyone else says you should do is not important as long as you are not harming yourself or anyone else.

Successful inner fire meditation brings physical as well as mental health because the kundalini is fortified. You become physically strong and your resolve is strengthened. The body is the source of simultaneously born bliss - thus, it needs to be kept strong.

Never Forget Inner Fire
Chapter 22, p. 77
Keeping the Inner Fire at all times

Keeping the Flame Alive
Meditate as much as possible on Inner Fire. Make it a lifestyle choice. Even in between meditation sessions, be mindful of Inner Fire...as you wait on a line, as you chill on a park, etc. Create a meditation box if need be. Results should be obvious with regular practice. If there are no benefits, then there is something wrong with the practice - read the book again. As a beginner, do short sessions everyday - like 90 minutes. As you progress, do it longer. It is best to do asana before Inner Fire in the morning. Avoid eating cold food or drinking cold drinks. It gives the body an added difficulty in generating heat if the body is cold. Avoid acidic foods/drinks like lemon. Avoid fish. Practice to build the kundalini energy. When the energy is strong, you don’t need the meditation techniques - the sheer act of mindful breathing can already trigger the bliss and wisdom.

At the end of the day, what you want is to unite bliss with wisdom. The beauty of inner fire is that you don’t have to believe in anything for it to work - you don't even have to be spiritual. Just do the technical meditations like following a recipe...and let go. The experiences and realizations will automatically come.

Ending Thoughts
In the early years of my yoga practice, I came upon a mention of the Six Yogas of Naropa. I was captivated. What kind of yoga is it? It seemed mystical, etheric and ungraspable. When I tried to research on it, I couldn't find anything on the internet except a few descriptive snippets. It was frustrating.

But now, speculating on the Dalai Lama's mandate that Tibetan Buddhist practices should no longer be secret, but a teaching propagated to the outside world, credible authors like Lama Thubten Yeshe, representing a long line of lineage beginning from Tilopa, have come out with this book. It was mana from heaven.

Some parts are very difficult to understand and there's a lot of names to get familiar with, imagery to visualize and intricate processes to undertake in chronology. Even with my Hatha Yoga (yoga from the Indian tradition) of 2 decades, it was still challenging.

What perked my interest is the claim that this inner fire meditation is so powerful that even a 24/7 deep samadhi meditation for 2 weeks could not compare. This is virtually a hack on traditional yoga!

To ensure I understand the teachings, I rewrote the entire book on HTML, summarized the chapters in my own words, and codified the practice in a teaching format. It's all done now. My next challenge is to develop a consistent practice where I can actually measure the results. So, this is a long-drawn blog that will be updated as I continue to develop and deepen my practice.

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit Yoga by Gigit | Learn English Learn English | Travel like a Nomad Nomad Travel Buddy | Donation Bank Donation Bank for TheLoneRider



Leave a comment?

Inner Fire: The Book in HTML:

Inner Fire: Codified for Teaching Format

Tummo Yoga yoga

Tummo Yoga
Codified Practice

(Dec 1, 2021) When I fist heard of Tibetan yogis drying a wet towel wrapped on their bare backs as they were exposed outdoors in the dead of winter, I could hardly believe it. I didn't even know what yoga they were practicing. I learned it was Tummo Yoga. But where do I get research materials for it? It wasn't easy, but I found one. Time to roll up my sleeves and generate some heat. My litmus test? Melt the ice on my ice bath and even turn the water warm or even hot.....more »»

Next Book Review / Yoga / Peoplescape:

Krishnamacharya: his Life and Teachings Book Review Yoga Peoplescape

Krishnamacharya: his Life and Teachings

(Apr 7, 2022) This book comes from Krishnamacharya's direct lineage - his student of 18 years (1971 to 1989), A.G. Mohan. Here, Mohan clarifies ambiguities and explains the legendary stories surrounding this great master. The book is focused on the master's life and teaching about Asana, Pranayama, Kriyas, Yoga Therapy and the Mind.....more »»

Chiang Mai INFORMATION

Chiang Mai Map
Google Map

Chiang Mai, Thailand

important places in Chiang Mai IMPORTANT PLACES
Chiang Mai Bus Station Bus Station
Chiang Mai Train Station Train Station
Chiang Mai airport Chiang Mai International Airport
Nong Buak Hard Park Nong Buak Hard Park - free yoga classes daily

hotels in Chiang Mai HOTEL
Chiang Mai Arun Dara Villa Arun Dara Villa - 7 exclusive rooms, 1 swimming pool for every room, grand opening
Chiang Mai Nawa Sheeva Hotel Nawa Sheeva Hotel - big rooms, high ceiling, salt-water pool, restaurant, cafe
Chiang Mai Nawa Saraan Hotel Nawa Saraan Hotel - low density (4 spacious rooms), stone garden setting, Koi fish pond, Old City location
Arun Suite, Chiang Mai Arun Suite - 3 bedrooms in a 3-storie guesthouse within Old City, ideal for families

birds nest restaurants in Chiang Mai RESTAURANT
La Pizza Chiang Mai La Pizza Chiang Mai - Italian pizza, pasta, wine, dessert, coffee
Chiang Mai birds nest restaurant Natural Bird Nest by Burapa - authentic bird's nest soup

Thai massage in Chiang Mai WELLNESS
ITM  International Training Massage School ITM - International Training Massage School - Chiang Mai's most prestigious massage school
Float Chiang Mai Float Chiang Mai - sensory deprivation float pod
Chiang Mai, Royal Thai Lanna Massage Zira Spa - upscale authentic Thai massage and spa treatment

motorcycle rental in Chiang Mai MOTORBIKE RENTAL
Chiang Mai birds nest motorcycle Tawan Bike - motorcycle rental | +66 91 635 2863 | Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200



Chiang Mai FYI / Tips
  • crop-burning season in Chiang Mai is between late Feb to early April. But laws change everytime. This year, 2019, there is a 61-day ban on burning so the farmers started burning early. When my plane was approaching Chiang Mai on Jan 24, 2019, there was already a thick blanket of smog covering the entire city (and beyond). But within the city itself, you won't feel it (but that doesn't mean the air is healthy). To monitor air conditions in real time, refer to site: Chiang Mai Air Pollution: Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI)
  • hot season begins March and lasts until June
  • wet season begins July and lasts until September
  • best time to visit Chiang Mai is mid-September to mid-February - after the monsoon and before the burning
  • you have to try Khao Soi, this is north Thailand's culinary staple
  • the tourist area where most of the hotels, restaurants, ticket offices, tour operators are, is located in the Old City
  • to exchange your dollars to Thai Baht, the Super Rich Money Exchange give the best rates. There are many branches scattered around Chiang Mai
  • get a red cab (songthao) outside the train station for Baht 50 (instead of paying B100 if inside the train station) to Old City - if you haggle nicely enough...I did!
  • shared red taxi (songthao) - B30 standard fare plying all over Old City
  • for only B50/day, best to rent a bike to go around the Old City - it's a 2.5km2 with lots to discover
  • FREE daily yoga classes from 9:00am to 10:15am at Nong Buak Hard Park (southwest corner of Old City). Resident and passing-through teachers take turns conducting yoga classes.
Blues/Jazz Bars in Chiang Mai
  1. North Gate Jazz Coop - at Chang Phueg Gate, great Tuesday jam session, Blues on Sundays at 11pm by the Chiang Mai Blues band
  2. Boy Blues Bar - at the Night Bazaar. Mondays at 9:30pm is open mic
  3. My Secret Cafe - near Wat Phra Singh. Tuesdays at 7:30pm for the changing front-act and 9:00pm for the Panic Band
  4. Taphae East - 88 Thapae Rd. (just north of Night Bazaar). Fridays at 9:30pm by Chiang Mai Blues Band
Chiang Mai Cost Index
  • B60 Chiang beer
  • B250 1 hour drop-in yoga session
  • B200 one hour Thai body massage at WAYA Massage (highly recommended)
  • B50 noodle soup with meat
  • B50 coffee
  • B40 pad thai
  • B30/kilo wash-only laundry
  • B50/kilo wash+iron laundry
  • B100-150 dorm bed/night
  • B250 fan room/night
  • B30 internet cafe/hour
  • B170-190 Movies Sat-Sun and public holidays
  • B130-150 Movies weekdays
  • B100 Movies Wednesdays (movie discount day)
  • B750 1/2 day Thai cooking lessons
  • B900-1000 1 full day Thai cooking lessons
  • B400 Muay Thai boxing ticket
  • B2500 starting room rate at the luxury hotel, Nawa Sheeva (highly recommended)

  • Transportation
  • B450 bus, Chiang Mai to Bangkok
  • B160-180 bus, Chiang Mai to Pai
  • B1250 bus, Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
  • B1650 slow boat, Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
  • B210 bus, Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, 3-4 hours
  • B360 Green VIP bus, Chiang Mai to Mae Sai (Thai border town for visa run to Tachileik, Myanmar)
  • B50 bicycle rental, 24 hours
  • B200 motorbike rental, 24 hours
  • B273 #51 sleeping train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • B638 #7 a/c train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • B50 red taxi fare from point to point
  • B100 red taxi fare from train terminal to city

  • Tours
  • B2000 full day elephant sanctuary
  • B750 Chiang Rai one-day tour
  • B1500 mountain biking scenic ride
Chiang Mai Trains by Train36.com
  1. Chiang Mai trains for Bangkok - 2 day trains, 3 night trains, daily schedule
  2. Train 14 to Bangkok - departs 5pm daily, arrives BKK 6:15am, 1st class and 2nd class sleeping accomodation, Special Express
  3. Chiang Mai trains to other destinations -
Bangkok to Chiang Mai by Train from Bang Sue Train Station

For more train info: Bangkok to Chiang Mai trains - departing from Hua Lamphong - MRT (Bangkok)

(I'm using Bang Sue as a starting point because I was closer to it, but you may be closer to the Hua Lamphong station)

  1. take the MRT train to Bang Sue Station. Take the #1 Exit to the north provincial trains
  2. Proceed to Counter 2. You will see an information booth, a train schedule chart and the ticket counter. Choose the train and pay at the ticket counter.
  3. daily train schedule:
    • 8:48am - #7 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:30pm, not sleeper, B638
    • 2:06pm - #109 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 4:05am, sleeper
    • 6:31pm - #9 Premium Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:15am, sleeper, B938 upper deck, B1038 lower deck
    • 7:56pm - #13 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 8:40am, sleeper, B768 upper deck, B838 lower deck
    • 10:22pm - #51 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 12:10pm, sleeper, 3rd class B270 (non sleeper), 2nd class B438, B728 upper deck, B798 lower deck
Loei to Chiang Mai by Bus
  1. From Loei town center, take a tuk-tuk ride to the bus station, B30. There is only one bus station.
  2. As of June 28, 2020 (still on Covid schedule), there are only 3 night trips: 8:30pm, 9:30pm and 12 midnight. 9 hours, B470.
  3. The bus makes the following stops at the following times from a 9pm Loei departure: Phu Ruea (9:50pm), Phitsanulok (12:40am), Uttradit (2:20am), Lampang (4:35am)
  4. Final bus stop is at the Red Bus Arcade, Chiang Mai, 9 hour-trip, arriving 6am (from 9pm Loei departure).
  5. Take a red songthaew to Old City, B50. They'll try to charge you B100, but they'll take B50 (just assure the driver you won't tell the other passengers).
Chiangmai Blogs by TheLoneRider
  1. Music and Magic at Paapu House May 5, 2022
  2. April 2022 in a Nugget Apr 30, 2022
  3. Tombstone Epitaph Apr 29, 2022
  4. Kayaking along the Ping River with the BioHackers Apr 24, 2022
  5. Breathwork + Icebath @ Alt_Chiangmai II Apr 20, 2022
  6. Pizza Nite with Jerry, Paolo and Abby Apr 9, 2022
  7. Tom Maher's Muay Thai Fight Apr 8, 2022
  8. Breathwork + Icebath @ Alt_Chiangmai Apr 6, 2022
  9. Mar 2022 in a Nugget Mar 31, 2022
  10. Peoplescape Mar 31, 2022
  11. Chiang Mai's Recovering Music Scene Mar 31, 2022
  12. Street Photo Mar 31, 2022
  13. Yoga and Fitness Mar 26, 2022
  14. Friday Bitcoin Meetups Mar 18, 2022
  15. Pizza Nite with Aida and Sophie Mar 14, 2022
  16. Pizza Nite with Kevin, Jamie and Kris Mar 10, 2022
  17. In Search of Genetic Immortality Mar 5, 2022
  18. Feb 2022 in a Nugget Feb 28, 2022
  19. Palm-Feeding Wild Birds Feb 26, 2022
  20. Cuckoo Feb 16, 2022
  21. Tell John Feb 16, 2022
  22. Pizza Nite with Kris, Simona and Mary Feb 15, 2022
  23. Pizza Nite with the Chiang Mai Boyz Feb 6, 2022
  24. Welcoming the New Year Jan 31, 2022
  25. ABS Fitness Challenge Jan 16 - Apr 16, 2022
  26. Pumpkin Tahini Recipe Jan 3, 2022
  27. 2021: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2021
  28. Pizza Nite with Simona and Lisa Dec 28, 2021
  29. Tahini Salad Dressing Dec 27, 2021
  30. Baba Ganoush Recipe Dec 23, 2021
  31. 7 Universal Laws Dec 20, 2021
  32. Sacred Circuitry Dec 18, 2021
  33. Cave-Living in a Boutique Hotel in Chiang Mai Dec 14, 2021
  34. Tummo Yoga + Wim Hof Breathing + Full-Body Muscle Contraction Dec 13, 2021
  35. Monk Chat Dec 10, 2021
  36. Making Tahini and Hummus Dec 8, 2021
  37. Watering the Plants Hands-Free Dec 2, 2021
  38. Vietnamese Phin Coffee Filter Dec 2, 2021
  39. Tummo Yoga Dec 1, 2021
  40. The Bliss of Inner Fire: Book Summary/Review Dec 1, 2021
  41. The Bliss of Inner Fire: Heart Practice of the Six Yogas of Naropa Dec 1, 2021
  42. 'Must Experience' Cafés of Chiang Mai Nov 30, 2021
  43. British Hobnob Cookies Nov 22, 2021
  44. New York Cheese Cake Nov 22, 2021
  45. Dham's Poetry Nov 14, 2021
  46. Pizza Nite with Simona and Nat Nov 11, 2021
  47. Stepping Forward / Reaching Out Oct 31, 2021
  48. Cancel Culture Attack Oct 31, 2021
  49. Mantra Primer Oct 29, 2021
  50. Spinal Mobility Oct 7, 2021
  51. Swedish Cinnamon Rolls [Kanelbullar] Oct 4, 2021
  52. Just Bring 2 Chinese Oct 3, 2021
  53. One-Leg Yoga Asana Sequences Sep 30, 2021
  54. Pizza Nite with Nut, Monika and Yuki Sep 27, 2021
  55. 23-Minute Ice Bath Sep 27, 2021
  56. Pizza Nite with Nut, Simona and Malee Sep 23, 2021
  57. Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) Sep 23, 2021
  58. Making Cornbread Sep 15, 2021
  59. Kombucha: 2nd Batch Sep 11, 2021
  60. Making German Stollen Bread Sep 9, 2021
  61. Pizza Nite with Jackson, Goi and Paapu Sep 6, 2021
  62. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Aug 31, 2021
  63. Making Homemade Kombucha Aug 30, 2021
  64. Wrong Question to Ask This Crowd Aug 29, 2021
  65. Pizza Nite with Tom, Chunyah and Goi Aug 20, 2021
  66. Pizza Nite with Moms and Kids Aug 15, 2021
  67. Bahya Kumbhaka (breath-hold on the exhale) Aug 14, 2021
  68. Everybody's Only Friend Aug 13, 2021
  69. Vanillekipferl (German Vanilla Crescent Cookies) Aug 11, 2021
  70. Fighting Infection through Yoga Aug 3, 2021
  71. Too Close for Friendship Aug 2, 2021
  72. Manifesting: Epicurus' Pursuit Jul 31, 2021
  73. Homemade Rum Raisin Ice Cream Jul 30, 2021
  74. Ice Bath at Nawa Saraan Healing Space Jul 25, 2021
  75. Pizza Nite + Slack Line + Hammock Jul 23, 2021
  76. Yin-Yoga & Hypnosis with Christine Thiel Jul 20, 2021
  77. Pizza Nite with James and Nat Jul 19, 2021
  78. Antara Kumbhaka on Nadi Shodan Pranayama: Yogic Breath-Hold on the Inhale Jul 17, 2021
  79. Moving and Cashing-Out Bitcoin Jun 2 - Jul 11, 2021
  80. 'The Bow' Yoga Jul 7, 2021
  81. Yoga Classes with Calum Mar 27 - Jul 4, 2021
  82. Hike to Wat Pa Thammachat Waterfall Jul 2, 2021
  83. Pizza Brunch with the Yogis July 1, 2021
  84. Continuing Friendships in Chiang Mai Jun 30, 2021
  85. On the Brink of Hunger, the ENABLERS Come to Light Jun 21, 2021
  86. Hatha Vinyasa Yoga with Katharine Day Jun 17, 2021
  87. Pranayama Basics II Jun 16, 2021
  88. 36-Hour Love Life Jun 11, 2021
  89. Pranayama Basics I Jun 9, 2021
  90. Biohackers Meetup in Chiang Mai Jun 6, 2021
  91. Learning How to Breathe Jun 2, 2021
  92. Not the Usual Day-to-Day Life May 31, 2021
  93. Morphing Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 31, 2021
  94. Breathwork & Ice Bath with Jason Ryer of Zen Strength May 23, 2021
  95. It's Raining Bell Peppers May 7, 2021
  96. Yoga Classes with Nana Apr 20, 2021
  97. You Want to be Wonder Woman? Apr 8, 2021
  98. Kunjal Kriya / Vamana Dhauti (induced vomiting) Apr 1, 2021
  99. Coffeemates, Breadmates and Yogamates in Chiang Mai Jan-Mar 2021
  100. Varisara Dhauti (cleansing of the entire digestive tract) Mar 26, 2021
  101. Spiritual Backpacker Interview by Napasorn 'Cherry' Suvarnapradip Mar 23, 2021
  102. Private One-on-One Yoga Classes with Doriana Feb 17 - Mar 14, 2021
  103. Transformational Life Events Mar 13, 2021
  104. Guess Who's Coming to Bread Day? Mar 1, 2021
  105. Mula Shodhana (anal cleansing) Feb 27, 2021
  106. Are You My Queen? Feb 25, 2021
  107. Breaking the 5-Minute Breath-hold Barrier Feb 25, 2021
  108. Kirtan with Chiang Mai's Khun Thai Seekers Feb 7, 2021
  109. Breaking the 4-minute Breath-hold Feb 7, 2021
  110. Pranayama Primer Feb 2, 2021
  111. Heartbreak in every Song Jan 24, 2021
  112. The Silent Killer is Baaack! Jan 12, 2021
  113. Learning the Thai Language Jan 9, 2021
  114. 2020: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2020
  115. Reversing/Slowing Down the Aging Process Dec 30, 2020
  116. Hike to Huay Keaw Waterfall Dec 20, 2020
  117. Yoga Mat Dec 19, 2020
  118. Hiking to Wat Pha Lat along the Monk's Trail Dec 19, 2020
  119. Am I Psycho? Dec 9, 2020
  120. Muffin Man Dec 8, 2020
  121. Polyamory Dec 4, 2020
  122. The Wim Hof Ice Bath Dec 3, 2020
  123. RSVP Nov 25, 2020
  124. High Intensity Interval Yoga (Yoga + HIIT) Nov 14, 2020
  125. Cleansing the Nadis (Energy Pathway) Nov 13, 2020
  126. Yoga for a 360-degree Core Nov 6, 2020
  127. Edward Witten: 'the smartest living physicist' Nov 4, 2020
  128. Srinivasa Ramanujan: Mathematician of the Divine Oct 27, 2020
  129. Bashar as Channeled by Darryl Anka Oct 26, 2020
  130. Vinyasa Krama and Ashtanga Yoga with Aida Yoga Oct 18, 2020
  131. Deepak Chopra: author, lecturer, healer Oct 12, 2020
  132. Facebook Friends Oct 1, 2020
  133. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Aug-Sep 2020 Sep 30, 2020
  134. Siddhis (yogic super powers) Sep 30, 2020
  135. Learning the Import/Export Trade Sep 4, 2020
  136. Music and Magic at Justin's Birthday Bash Sep 3, 2020
  137. Biggest Stone in his Shoe Sep 1, 2020
  138. Abandoned Aug 25, 2020
  139. Intelligent Romantic Break-up Aug 25, 2020
  140. Dad-Zoned Aug 18, 2020
  141. Public Display of Affection Aug 9, 2020
  142. Gabriella's Birthday Bash at Mothership Resort Aug 8-9, 2020
  143. Shifting Peoplescape of Chiang Mai July 31, 2020
  144. Yoga Class for Strength and Muscle Jul 30, 2020
  145. Yoga Class for Optimum Digestion July 29, 2020
  146. Yoga Class for Healthy Eyes Jul 27, 2020
  147. Hippie Night at Nawa Saraan Healing Space July 24, 2020
  148. The Podcast Series: Alan "Heart Math" Strydom Jul 17, 2020
  149. Prana Vayu Adhitthana Yoga Class July 11-12, 2020
  150. Coming Back to Chiang Mai Jun 29, 2020
  151. Goodbye Chiang Mai Jan 23, 2020
  152. Prasnopanishad: Understanding Prana Jan 17, 2020
  153. Hiking the Monk's Trail Jan 15, 2020
  154. Chaturanga Jan 10, 2020
  155. You Spooned Me Jan 3, 2020
  156. 2019: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2019
  157. Friends, Coffeemates and Breadmates (Dec 2019) Dec 31, 2019
  158. Visiting Mae Sot Dec 27-30, 2019
  159. Let's Make it About You - an Epiphany Dec 17, 2019
  160. Shut-Up! Dec 7, 2019
  161. Roasted Red Bell Pepper Puree Dec 3, 2019
  162. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Nov 2019) Nov 30, 2019
  163. Bhujangini Mudra Nov 25, 2019
  164. Mathangini Mudra Nov 24, 2019
  165. Kaka Mudra Nov 23, 2019
  166. Pasini Mudra Nov 20, 2019
  167. Aswini Mudra Nov 18, 2019
  168. Sambhavi Mudra Nov 16, 2019
  169. Manduka Mudra Nov 15, 2019
  170. Tataka Mudra Nov 14, 2019
  171. Sakti Calana Mudra Nov 10, 2019
  172. Vajroli Mudra Nov 9, 2019
  173. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Oct 2019) Oct to Nov 5, 2019
  174. Yoni Mudra Nov 1, 2019
  175. Viparita Karani Mudra Oct 31, 2019
  176. Khecari Mudra Oct 30, 2019
  177. Mahadeva Mudra Oct 28, 2019
  178. Sacred Cacao - Chakra Dance Journey Oct 26, 2019
  179. Partner Healing with Natascha Oct 24, 2019
  180. Maha Bandha Mudra Oct 24, 2019
  181. Point-Of-Failure Birthday Workout Oct 22, 2019
  182. Mula Bandha Mudra Oct 21, 2019
  183. Hugfest at Thapae Gate, Chiang Mai Oct 19, 2019
  184. Anushasan Mudra Oct 18, 2019
  185. Ling Mudra Oct 17, 2019
  186. Jalandhara Bandha Mudra Oct 15, 2019
  187. Learning Thai with Cee Oct 13, 2019
  188. Uddiyana Bandha Mudra Oct 10, 2019
  189. Nabho Mudra Oct 9, 2019
  190. Maha Mudra Oct 7, 2019
  191. 20 Essential Mudras by T. Krishnamacharya Oct. 6, 2019
  192. Mindfulness Gong Bath by Vee (Veerayuth Pongsiri) Oct 3, 2019
  193. Cuddle Party by Abundant Love CM Oct 1, 2019
  194. Vayu Mudra Oct 1, 2019
  195. Visa-Run to Tachileik, Myanmar Sep 28, 2019
  196. Sankalpa Mudra Sep 27, 2019
  197. Surya Pradarshini Mudra Sep 26, 2019
  198. Eye-Gazing at Heart Space Sep 20, 2019
  199. Prana Vayu (Pranic Wind) Sep 20, 2019
  200. 2-Week Yoga Challenge by Agnese Erba Sep 17, 2019
  201. The Mudra Project Sep 13, 2019
  202. Sunday Vinyasa Flow with Marina Forster Sep 8, 2019
  203. Shamanic Breathwork by Rachel Constantino Sep 4, 2019
  204. The Conscious Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Aug 31, 2019
  205. Of Winos and Yogis Aug 26, 2019
  206. The 9 Jhanas of Buddha Aug 22, 2019
  207. Full Moon Ceremony at Heart Space Aug 15, 2019
  208. Yin Yoga - Water Element by Martina Barabas Aug 15, 2019
  209. Hatha Mix Yoga with Christin Aug 13, 2019
  210. Boy Blues Bar Rocks Chiang Mai Aug 5, 2019
  211. Back to my Beloved Chiang Mai Aug 1, 2019
  212. Kaleidoscope of Chiang Mai's Peoplescape July 27, 2019
  213. Secret Sunrise: Nelson Mandela International Day July 17, 2019
  214. Farewell Picnic with Alan and Nicola July 15, 2019
  215. Secret Sunrise: Water July 3, 2019
  216. Hotel Review: Arun Suite June 27, 2019
  217. Bruce Lipton: Epigentics to Transcend Genes June 24, 2019
  218. Optimizing Life thru Heart Math May 8, 15 and 22, 2019
  219. Connective Cacao and Sound Journey June 12, 2019
  220. Chiangmai BLUES June 6, 2019
  221. Hatha Slow Flow with Neil Jefferson June 3, 2019
  222. Meditating with One Million Meditators Movement June 1, 2019
  223. Vinyasa Happy Flow Series by Vaida May 31, 2019
  224. Muay Thai at the Chiang Mai Boxing Stadium May 30, 2019
  225. Yoga Flow Through the 7 Chakras by Sabrina Pilz May 30, 2019
  226. The Outsiders (people you need to push out of your sacred circle) May 31, 2019
  227. Fascinating Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 22, 2019
  228. World Meditation Day at Heart Space May 21, 2019
  229. Abs Yoga by Gigit May 12, 2019
  230. Kundalini and Vinyasa Yoga with Nicola Symons May 10, 2019
  231. Secret Sunrise Interactive Dance May 9, 2019
  232. Tok Sen Massage from Ying May 8, 2019
  233. Bruschetta: Nawa Saraan Style Apr 22, 2019
  234. Thai Cooking at Pra Nang Thai Cookery School Apr 20, 2019
  235. Bonding with the Elephants in Chiang Mai Apr 11, 2019
  236. Ziplining in Chiang Mai with Eagle Track Zipline Apr 10, 2019
  237. Getting Thai Massage from Chiang Mai's Best (Lar Thanakrit Khamtanong) Mar 21, 2019
  238. Being the Soul of Nawa Saraan Hotel Mar 18, 2019
  239. Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Jan 24 - Mar 13, 2019
  240. Curing Cancer with Yoga? Feb 21, 2019
  241. International Training Massage School (ITM): Level 1 Feb 11-15, 2019
  242. Sandesch Album Launch by Christoph Joerg Feb 13, 2019
  243. Meditation in a Sensory Deprivation Tank at Float Chiang Mai Jan 29, 2019
  244. Reiki Share at the Mastermind Brain Spa Jan 26, 2019
  245. Resuming Life in Chiang Mai Jan 24, 2019
  246. 4 Days in Chiang Mai at Nawa Saraan Hotel Jan 2-6, 2019
  247. Mike Chong Aug 8, 2018
  248. An Intimate Conversation with my Universe in Chiang Mai Aug 8, 2018
  249. Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa Aug 4, 2018
  250. Savoring a Baht 3,500 Birds Nest Soup at Natural Bird Nest by Burapa Aug 3, 2018
  251. Yoga Exploration at The Yoga Tree with Gernot Aug 1, 2018
  252. Laughter Yoga with Saffiya Arnous July 31, 2018
  253. Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai July 29, 2018
  254. 2 Weeks in Chiang Mai July 25 - Aug 7, 2018
  255. A First Timer in Chiang Mai Apr 9-23, 2016
  256. Chiang Mai's Amazing Peoplescape Apr 9-23, 2016
  257. Dance Mandala in Chiang Mai at The Yoga Tree Apr 19, 2016
  258. Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai Apr 13-15, 2016
  259. Border Crossing from Siem Reap (Cambodia) to Bangkok (Thailand) to Chiang Mai April 9-10, 2016

Travel Tips for Thailand

How to Get a 60-Day Thai Tourist Visa and then Extend by another 30 Days

This process is BEFORE Covid 19. Not sure what it is now.

    60-Day Thai Tourist Visa

    NOTE: There is no need to go back to your country to get the Thai tourist visa. Any major city with a Thai Embassy will do. Apparently there is also no need to have an invitation from a Thai establishment to justify the visa.

  1. Bring the following to the Thai embassy:
    a) proof of money (bank statement will suffice)
    b) flight booking to Thailand
    c) onward flight back to your country from Thailand
    d) filled-in tourist visa form
    e) 2 passport pictures
    f) hotel booking in Thailand (they didn't ask me for this but better be safe)
    g) passport with at least 6 months validity
  2. After handing over all the documents, they will ask you to come pick your passport with the visa the following day from 4 to 5pm. That's it!
  3. NOTE: after 2 successful attempts, I was already questioned the 3rd time.

    30-Day Extension

    NOTE: When your 60-day visa is close to expiry and you want to extend your stay. No need to leave Thailand.

  1. bring the following to the Immigration Office:
    a) passport (make sure your Tourist Visa hasn't expired yet)
    b) Baht 1900
    c) photocopy of your passport + visa duration date stamp + TM6 card (white immigration card) and sign all the copies
    d) completed TM7 visa extension form (available at the Immigration Office)
    e) one 4cmx6cm passport picture
  2. submit the above to the Front Desk. They will give you a stub with your number on it. Take a seat and wait for your number to be called
  3. when your number is called, your picture will be taken. Then go back to your seat. They will call you again.
  4. when they call you again, they'll give you your passport with your extended visa. That's it!
  5. when there are no lines, the whole process can take only 10 minutes
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General Travel Tips
  1. arrive early - in case there is a snag (visa snag, documentation snag, transport ticket snag, etc.), you will have ample time to troubleshoot the problem if you arrive early (to the airport, to the bus terminal, etc.)
  2. put detailed itinerary on the Calendar apps of your smart-phone according to timelines - this is where you do all your thinking and planning. Once written down, you don't have to think anymore while you are on the journey...you just follow the steps. This frees your mind for something else that might happen while you are already en route
  3. avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
  4. power bank - hand-carry your power bank. Do not check it in. You can be called in when you are already inside the plane to go all the way to the loading dock so you can personally remove the power bank...and chances are, you'll have to surrender it to them. And you might delay the plane departure!
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