TheLoneRider
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yoga in Chiang Mai, Thailand

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Blogs About Tibetan Yoga (Yantra)


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




Tummo Yoga Dec 1, 2021

Tummo Yoga

Location Google Map: Nawa Saraan Healing Space, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Generating Heat
When I fist heard of Tibetan yogis drying a cold wet towel wrapped on their backs as they were exposed outdoors in the dead of winter, I could hardly believe it. People freeze and die in those sub-zero temperatures. 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. During my last ice bath, I stayed a gruelling 23 minutes under 40kgs of ice, but my body suffered for 2 days after. I had to find a better way.

Tummo Yoga
yogi practicing Inner Fire Meditation (Tummo Yoga)

Self-Realization
However, as I went deeper into the practice, I developed a profound appreciation and understanding of the practice. Yes, the immediate litmus test is 'melting the ice and warming the water' - if I can't do that, then there is something wrong with the way I'm doing things. But again, it's just a litmus test. Ultimately, it's about realizing my true self.

High Level Overview of Tummo Yoga
As the Hindus have their proprietary Hatha Yoga, the Tibetan Buddhist Yogis also have their unique Yantra Yoga. Under Yantra Yoga resides a special field, reserved only to Buddha's most advanced students - the Six Yogas of Naropa. This is a tantric yoga practice designed to achieve self-realization in the fastest way possible by embracing joy and pain in contrast to avoiding craving (joy) and aversion (pain and suffering). Tummo Yoga is the first and foundational practice of the 6 Yogas. The following 5 yogas rest on the foundation of Tummo Yoga through Inner Fire Meditation.



Excerpt of Tummo Yoga from Alexandra David-Neel

From the book, Magic And Mystery In Tibet by Alexandra David-Neel:

Tummo: The Art of Warming Oneself without Fire up in the Snows (p. 135)
The secret practice of generating self-heat from 11,000 to 18,000 feet in sub-zero temperature, scantily dressed or even naked inside a cave, is done through Tummo. There are several kinds of Tummo, which are not widely known even to Tibetans, because the teachings are kept hidden and secret by the adept teachers:

  1. Exoteric Tummo - arises spontaneously in the course of peculiar raptures and, gradually, folds the mystic in the "soft, warm mantle of the gods"
  2. Esoteric Tummo - keeps the hermits comfortable on the snowy hills
  3. Mystic Tummo - providing warmth

Student Eligibility
Not everyone is suited to learn Tummo. Initiation is preceded by a long period of probation. Once initiated, one must renounce all fur or woolen clothing and never approach the fire to warm oneself. The novice is to train in the high mountains away from pollution since breathing practice is intensive. Breathing is done to clear the nostrils - exhale to remove negative impurities, and inhale to ingest Buddhahood and woolen virtues. To be eligible for teaching, the student must possess the following:

  1. breathing - proficiency in breathing (pranayama)
  2. mental concentration - to a point where thoughts are visualized
  3. angkur rite - have received the proper angkur from a lama possessed with the power of conferring it

Training Regiment for a Tummo Novice

  1. Tummo initiation is preceded by a long period of probation
  2. The initiate must renounce all fur or woollen clothing and never approach the fire to seek warmth
  3. The novice must retire to a very remote, absolutely solitary place situated well above 10,000 feet - for good air and pure energy (never inside the house)
  4. Once settled in his hermitage, the novice must see no one else but his lama
  5. Tummo training starts before dawn and finishes before sunrise
  6. The practice must be done in the open, and one must be either naked or clothed in a single cotton garment
  7. No food or drink before practicing
  8. Beginners may sit on a straw mat, or on a piece of hard sackcloth or a wooden stool, on the bare ground, or on the snow or the ice of a frozen pond or stream - depending on proficiency
  9. Two seated postures are allowed - cross-legged or seated in Western fashion
  10. When seated, fingers are in mudra. Hands placed on the knee, the thumb, the forefinger and the little finger extended, and the middle and fourth fingers bent under the palm
  11. On pranayama, negative elements are flushed out on the out-breath (pride, anger, hatred, covetousness, sloth, stupidity)
  12. On the in-breath, all blessings, the Buddha's spirit, the five pearls of wisdom, all that is good and lofty in the world are attracted and assimilated
  13. Initiates feel the presence of the lotus flower in their navel with the syllable RAM (navel or manipuraka chakra). This syllable is not just a word, but a powerful entity - a fire entity that can bestow the ability to create fire or heat by willpower. The Hindus chant the seed mantra and are particular about pronouncing it the proper way (the power is in the sound). However, with Tibetans, these seed mantras are best visualized as symbolic representations (not a sound). Inhalation focused on the navel chakra acts like a bellows fanning the flames residing in the short a (the short a is inside the navel chakra and the navel chakra is inside the central nadi). During these breathing exercises, the mind has a single focus on the short a while culminating in the feeling of heat in the body

10 Stages of Vase Breathing

  1. Uma is visualized as a thin tube in front of the spine. Within it resides a flame fanned by ascending air from respiration and breath-hold
  2. Through successive breath-holds, the uma increases its size to the diameter of the finger
  3. Continued breathing and breath-holds increase the size of the uma to that of an arm
  4. Uma becomes as big as the body and becomes the body...ablaze with fire and air
  5. The body dissolves into the uma as the uma increases beyond the body and engulfs the entire universe. The initiate becomes the firemaster, immersed in a sea of raging fire.

    A novice who reaches this stage within an hour is doing it too fast!
  6. The firestorm subsides, the ocean of fire narrows down, the fiery waves become less agitated], and all that is absorbed by the body
  7. Uma is reduced in size back to the size of an arm, but with fire within
  8. Uma continues to decrease in size back to a finger
  9. Uma becomes a thin tube again
  10. The fire ceases to exist, the body and all forms cease to exist and the observer comes full circle to emptiness - no separation, no duality but a singularity

Vase breathing causes a trance that goes deep and prolonged. The last 5 stages can be omitted. Ideally, this training should be done before sunrise.

Milarepa and the Snow Storm
Legend has it that Milarepa, while taking residency inside a cave, experienced a horrific snow storm that lasted 9 days, burrowing the tops of trees with snow and flattening mountain peaks and valleys. But the ice and snow melted upon the touch of his fiery single clothing for he was adept in tummo.

Naropa's Tummo (p. 143)
To even attempt to learn this, the initiate should have already a powerful practice with many years of proficiency in breathing and other gymnastics - Tummo is not for the beginner.

Physical exercises consist of jumping while seated on cross-legs, body shaking, stomach-churning (nauli), and breath-holds (kumbhaka). Visualization includes the sun on the palms and feet, creating fire when the palms are rubbed, striking the sun at the navel and blazes the world on fire.

Those who are newly initiated can only generate heat while doing the practice. Veteran tummo adepts automatically generate heat when conditions become cold.

The Test
A test that serves as a ritual in evaluating a student is to have them naked by the shore of a frozen lake with strong icy winds. A hole is made on the ice and sheets are soaked and wrapped around the student. He generates heat to dry it up. The sheet is once again dipped in icy cold water and wrapped around the naked student. This goes on until sunrise. At least 3 sheets should have been dried for a student to wear the traditional white cotton skirt, insignia of those versed in Tummo.

Other forms of tests consist of melting the snow on which the respa sits and the clearing of melted snow around him.

Messages Sent "On the Wind"
Masters and disciples rarely meet to talk. Sometimes, years would pass before another meeting takes place. However, when the need to communicate arises, they talk telepathically - this is common in Tibet between realized masters and advanced students. These adepts describe the secret as having an intense concentration of thought - or as the Hindu yogis call it, the ekagrata-citta - a penetrating single-focus of thought, usually achieved in states of Samadhi. Nonetheless, it is still essential that the receiver and sender are 'tuned' to each other (karmically entangled?). While these powers are unintentioned side-effects of the spiritual path, these powers can also be achieved through separate methods (not necessarily spiritual, but perhaps occult)

While the West is slowly acknowledging this phenomenon, their results are checkered with inconsistent results. When telepathy happens, usually, it is by chance and not intentioned.

Training for Telepathy

  1. One-pointedness of the Mind - one must first master the sharpening of the mind to a one-pointedness of focus to the exclusion of everything else - so the mind is empty, silent and blank, except for the object of concentration. (note: easier said than done. This feat takes years and years to master. For yoga, this is already the goal - mastery of the mind)
  2. Analysis and discernment of the mind's spontaneous behavior - the mind can suddenly shift and generate unrelated feelings, thoughts of a person, and reveal its habit patterns
  3. Meditating with the Master - when the student is advanced, he meditates with his master on the same object. They later discuss the phases of their meditation and not congruencies and incongruencies - essentially, they are tethering to each other.
  4. Subjective emanations of the mind - when the student has fully emptied his mind of all its contents - mental representations, thoughts, reflections, he waits and watches for anything that manifests in his mind. He discusses it with his master and compares if it is the same message the master was sending
  5. Sending and receiving instructions - from a short distance, the master gives the student specific instructions telepathically. When it is successfully done, the distance is increased

Disciples also practice telepathies amongst each other, often with the supervision of their teachers. Advanced students send messages to those with no training, send messages to animals or send messages to those who are busy and not expecting any message.

Child's play
It is said that powerful dubchens can read minds at will, thus no longer requiring his disciples to train in telepathy if only to send him messages. However, the spiritually inclined ones simply regard further efforts into telepathy as whimsical child's play - because the focus is enlightenment and not ego-boosting through these siddhis.

Non-duality and no separation
To those masters who seek perfection in non-duality, when there is no more separation between them and everyone else, telepathy naturally develops effortlessly - because sender and receiver are the same entity

Messages falling off a ceiling
There are some tall tales about masters sending messages through notes falling off a ceiling or discovered under a pillow. These are considered a joke by erudite lamas, high lama dignitaries or contemplative hermits, or anyone in lamaist mystic circles.

However, telepathy is unmistakable in Tibet, perhaps due to favorable conditions not present in the West - the silence, the solitude, the sparseness, and the placid nature of Tibetans. There is very little energetic noise that might corrupt telepathic messages from being transmitted.

Alexandra's telepathic experiences
Alexandra has had formal telepathic training with some lamas and has verified 2 such telepathic transmissions. Once, she witnessed an itinerant trapa who seemed to be getting telepathic transmissions from his lama about bringing curd to Alexandra and her entourage. Another incident was when Alexandra decided to see a ngagspa (magician) to which she was already discouraged by the initiate. Without messages being passed around, a troupe of men arrived informing Alexandra not to pursue her plans. Apparently, the initiate transmitted a message to his master, to which the master sent his troops to discourage Alexandra from proceeding.





Tummo Yoga Classes
Before embarking on this project, I thought about immersing myself into the practice and codify the lessons into a teaching format. I would then conduct a 90-minute class teaching Tummo Yoga. I soon realized that is not possible. It's like teaching the entire 8 Limbs of Yoga in 90 minutes. I've broken down Tummo Yoga into bite-size sections that serve as a simple introductory class on its own. I will refine the teaching format as I go through my rounds.

Tummo Yoga - section by section

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 - fourth and supreme class of tantra, consisting of the Six Yogas of Naropa (evolutionary and completion stages), which must be accomplished in order to achieve enlightenment. The energy of the sexual embrace (consort practice) 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 - which is what this book is all about
    2. Illusory body
    3. Clear light
    4. Transference of consciousness
    5. Transference into another body
    6. Intermediate 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. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Secret Chakra - there is the tip, secret and middle secret chakras...could be more. It refers to the sex chakra, jewel chakra
  13. 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.
  14. Simultaneously Born Great Blissful Wisdom - the wisdom realizing nonduality unified with simultaneously born bliss
  15. Six Magical Wheels - 6 hatha yoga breathing exercises needed to be practiced with the 6 Yogas
  16. Sutrayana - the non-tantric vehicle of Buddhism as outlined in the sutras (discourses and scriptural text of Buddha)
  17. Tantra - applying the advanced teachings of Buddha to achieve full enlightenment in the shortest time possible. The secret teachings and scriptural text of Buddha
  18. 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.
  19. Vajra - firmness of spirit and spiritual power, diamond (indestructible) and thunderbolt (incredible power).
  20. 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
  1. Introduction - classes will always have a conceptual introduction into Tummo Yoga. This will dispel any preconceived notion the students may have heard about tantra yoga.
  2. Warm-up - this would be a mix of stretches and easy asanas to warm the body and prime the mind.
  3. Proper Practice - every section below can be a whole workshop or an abbreviated overview class.

    PART THREE

    Going Beyond Appearances

    A.1) Chanting OM
    *** This chant is done before the Evolutionary Stage practice.

    Chanting OM
    OM is a pure sound...a mantra. Its meaning and definition is already present in its vibrational frequency as you chant it. It's one of the most powerful sounds that ever existed. It is the only sound you can utter without using your tongue. Terminally ill patients who have already been refused by hospitals have regained their full functionality and lived a full life by taking refuge in OM.

    OM is chanted into 3 but linked sounds - A-U-M.

    A is chanted from the Manipuraka Chakra (navel). Feel it reverberate there and expand throughout the body. As you chant the A, slowly round your mouth and you begin to chant the U. Feel the U in your Anahata Chakra (heart) and resonate with it. Lift your focus up to your Vishudhi Chakra (throat) as you slowly close your mouth, chanting the M. Feel the vibration of the M spread inside your head.

    A.2) Meditating on Emptiness

    *** This meditation is done immediately after chanting OM.

    Alone in Total Darkness?
    The concept of emptiness conjures an imagery of being alone in complete, absolute and total darkness. Not exactly a very inviting place or state of being. Thankfully, that is not what emptiness means. But let us dispel the myth first. Is emptiness lonely? Loneliness is something...it's a state of being...it's a feeling. Feelings cannot exist within emptiness. Is emptiness being in complete darkness? Complete darkness is a color. Color cannot exist in emptiness.
    Emptiness means a few things but they are all saying the same thing.

    Emptiness is Impermanence
    Emptiness means impermanence. You can identify with your body, but at some point, the body dies. Does it mean your complete existence die too? Or, is there something left when the body dies? This goes true for all our sensory perception - our memories, our feelings, our thoughts, our ego...everything we thought was "I, me mine". They will all come to pass...like everything else. Relationships will come and go. Marriages will peak to an unbridled bliss and end over a toothpaste cap. FIAT money will flourish and be replaced by crypto. Even science says that our universe will end to a great crunch or dissolve in its accelerated expansion. Even at the quantum level...when we look at the building blocks of our reality...there is no solidity...you see elementary particles arising and passing away. Everything is impermanent.

    Emptiness means No Objective Reality
    Emptiness also means there is no objective reality. Nothing exists independent of anything else. There is only emptiness. Let us take a flower for instance. Yes, you can see its mesmerizing beauty, feel its smooth velvety texture and smell its sweet fragrance. Does that mean that the flower has an objective existence? Does that mean that the flower exists independent of anything else? But without the sun, without the earth, without water...there is no flower. So, a flower, just like everything else, is not objective reality. A flower does not have a separate existense independent of anything and everything around it. Again, it brings us back to emptiness...the emptiness of independent existence.

    Emptiness is a Forced Lesson in Life
    Emptiness is also understood to be forced lesson in life...but an illusion nonetheless. Therefore it remains empty. In life, we hurdle very difficult situations that can either make or break us. These life situations are unique for all of us. Why? Because we need to learn unique lessons to evolve further. I believe that is the reason why we are here.

    No matter how challenging the situation might seem, no matter how real it feels, we can keep the balance of our mind knowing that all this is a test. We can simply observe this difficulty without reaction. We can be aware of this challenge like looking at a chess board. If we are aware and mindful of this difficult situation (mabye you were cheated on by your lover, maybe we were swindled by your best friend, maybe lies were spread about you), mindful of the anger and hate being generated, then instead of reacting in a violent/vengeful fashion, we can choose to remain equanimous and observe the turn of events that led to this situation. We remain calm and equanimous...like that oasis in the eye of the storm. We can then objectively look at how things can be resolved - without the hate and without the anger.

    And by resolving this matter with a calm and balanced mind, we gain wisdom instead of acting on revenge. By gaining wisdom, we learn the lesson that we needed to learn from this human experience, allowing us to evolve and continue with our path to self-realization. If we resort to anger and retribution, then we are doomed to be reborn and go through this process again...until we learn the lessons...until we 'get it'. This is our karmic fate. We cannot escape this fate. Therefore, it's a forced life lesson. But once we learn it, the difficult situation is diffused like it never existed. Therefore, when the purpose of this challenge is met, we realize that this test was only to teach us a powerful lesson that we needed to learn. The problem arises, we learn from it, and it dissolves into emptiness.

    Objects of Hate and Desire
    If we see an object of desire (lots of money, fast cars, big house) or an object of hate (someone who draggeed your name in mud, someone who swindled you), you don't get too affected when you begin to see these things as empty. You don't get attached to these objects of desire, and you don't develop an aversion to these objects of hate.

    Feel It
    The true nature of our consciousness is emptiness. Don't intellectualize, otherwise it only becomes a concept of abstract philosophy. Feel it. Feel the gratitude for realizing it. Feel the emptiness. Feel that this is all perception...all illusion that allows us to have a human experience.

    A.3) Evolutionary Stage Meditation

    Evolutionary Stage Meditation
    This has to be done as a preparation before doing the Completion Stage (6 Yogas of Naropa) - so we're not even beginning Tummo Yoga. You have to go through the 3 cycles of life:

    1. Death (dharmakaya state)
      From a state of emptiness (above), imagine a white light appearing. It gets bigger and its radiance takes over you. And you become that white light. The white light morphs into red...and then into black...and then into a clear light (subtle mind able to perceive emptiness) where everything is one...no separation. Bask into this blissful oneness. Feel and don't intellectualize. You are simulating death.
    2. Intermediate State (samboghakaya state)
      Imagine a blue light emanating and its radiance takes over everything including you. And now, you also become this blue light. Meditate oneness and no separation. Feel it. You are in a state between death and rebirth, lasting anywhere from a moment to 49 days.
    3. Rebirth (nirmanakaya state)
      From a space of oneness, visualize a reddish white light. And you fuse into this light. And you are being reborn.

    Note - this session alone can be a 1-hour guided meditation class.
    A.4) Becoming Buddha

    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 the Buddhahood residing within you. See the bluish radiance emanating from you. Your words are mantra - sacred sounds which serve as the building blocks of reality. Your thoughts construct and deconstruct reality. Your volition is infinite oneness...no separation, just an indivisible singularity. You transcend the trappings of physical reality. You exude an energy of pure bliss. In your presence, in the here-and-now where you are, heaven exists. Your aura empowers everyone to see themselves as divine incarnation. This is now your reality. You are Buddha.

    PART FOUR

    Awakening the Vajra Body

    B) Training The Channels

    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.
    C) Seed Syllable

    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.

    D) 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.

Ending Thoughts
As I was reading the book, summarizing the chapters and codifying the practice into a teaching format, I was also practicing the lessons. I have a few challenges. My yoga grounding is based on the Indian Hatha yoga, and Tummo Yoga is Tibetan Buddhist Tantra Yoga. They have their differences and inconsistencies. The chakra form, color and seed mantra are different. The bandhas are different. Tibetan yoga has a tremendous amount of visualizations and processes that need to be adhered to. I had to unlearn some of my Hatha Yoga practices just to be able to internalize this new teaching. I've done all the exercises, but just like everything else, the benefits come with regular practice. With my daily practice, I'll be mindful about any results or transformation that happens.

--- 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



Sources:

  1. Tummo Breathing & Meditation (pdf) by Tim van der Vliet
  2. The Wim Hof Method and Tummo Meditation by Zachary Duncan

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Inner Fire: The Book in HTML:

Inner Fire: Book Summary and Review:

The Bliss of Inner Fire books

The Bliss of Inner Fire
Book Summary and Review

(Dec 1, 2021) Getting credible materials on Tibetan Buddhist yoga is very hard to come by, let alone being authored by a renowned lama from a long lineage dating back from Tilopa. The Bliss of Inner Fire, better known as Tummo Yoga, is the first of the Six Yogas of Naropa - a tantric yoga practice where internal heat is generated to develop bliss and wisdom in pursuit of enlightenment. This is a powerful DIY practice but quite challenging to understand and follow....more »»

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(Dec 1, 2021) The concept of emptiness conjures an imagery of being alone in complete, absolute and total darkness. Not exactly a very inviting place or state of being. Thankfully, that is not what emptiness means. Let us dispel the myths first....more »»

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Tummo Yoga + Wim Hof Breathing + Full-Body Muscle Contraction

(Dec 13, 2021) Lately, upon waking up, I've combined a few elements of my practice to make it more challenging than it already is. It combines the Wim Hof breathing method, Tummo vase-breathing, isometric asanas, sankalpa, and emptiness meditation. It's intense that leaves me getting 2 more hours of sleep when I go back to sleep after the practice. I'm not sure if it triggered my vertigo, but I'm posting it here for future reference.....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 -
Chiang Mai to Bangkok Trains source: railway.co.th
  1. Check Train Schedule & Fares
  2. Book Online - direct booking with State Railway of Thailand. Best to register first. If going to BKK from CNX, click "Northern Line".

    note -- big difference between booking direct with the State Railway and booking with an online 3rd party agent. 12GO was charging B1330 for the same trip that only cost me B941 with the State Railway.

    note -- Oct 2022, I took the #10 Train from CNX to BKK, upper berth, 2nd class, a/c, sleeper, B941. The train was clean, fast, comfortable and modern. If you have heavy luggage that will cost more money in flight checkin, I would suggest this train. Otherwise, the flight now is so much cheaper it doesn't even make sense to take the bus or train.
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. Goodbye Chiang Mai Jan 24, 2019 - Oct 10, 2022
  2. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Oct 10, 2022
  3. Siamaya Chocolates Oct 2, 2022
  4. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
  5. September Snapshots Sep 30, 2022
  6. Carrot Cake Sep 12, 2022
  7. Making Coconut Bread Sep 3, 2022
  8. August Snapshots Aug 31, 2022
  9. Yoga Nidra with Chunyah and Tom Aug 18, 2022
  10. Coconut Pancake Aug 11, 2022
  11. July Snapshots Jul 31, 2022
  12. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Jul 31, 2022
  13. Jason, Max and Elizabeth Pizza Nite Jul 28, 2022
  14. Yakiniku Dinner with Max and Jason Jul 25, 2022
  15. Icebath at Nawa Saraan Jul 6 - Oct 5, 2022
  16. June Snapshots Jun 30, 2022
  17. Tom, Chunyah and Simona Pizza Nite Jun 23, 2022
  18. Yoga Class Pizza Nite Jun 15, 2022
  19. Pranayama with Nicha Jun 14, 2022
  20. May Snapshots May 31, 2022
  21. Lover's Quarrel May 26, 2022
  22. Getting Lost on a Hike May 25, 2022
  23. Biohacker Meetup at 'Living with The Spirit' May 22, 2022
  24. Music and Magic at Paapu House May 5, 2022
  25. Breathwork + Icebath @ Alt_Chiangmai II Apr 20, 2022
  26. April 2022 in a Nugget Apr 30, 2022
  27. Tombstone Epitaph Apr 29, 2022
  28. Kayaking along the Ping River with the BioHackers Apr 24, 2022
  29. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
  30. Pizza Nite with Jerry, Paolo and Abby Apr 9, 2022
  31. Tom Maher's Muay Thai Fight Apr 8, 2022
  32. Breathwork + Icebath @ Alt_Chiangmai Apr 6, 2022
  33. Yoga with Leo Apr 5, 2022
  34. Mar 2022 in a Nugget Mar 31, 2022
  35. Street Photo Mar 31, 2022
  36. Peoplescape Mar 31, 2022
  37. Chiang Mai's Recovering Music Scene Mar 31, 2022
  38. Street Photo Mar 31, 2022
  39. Yoga and Fitness Mar 26, 2022
  40. Friday Bitcoin Meetups Mar 18, 2022
  41. Pizza Nite with Aida and Sophie Mar 14, 2022
  42. Pizza Nite with Kevin, Jamie and Kris Mar 10, 2022
  43. In Search of Genetic Immortality Mar 5, 2022
  44. Feb 2022 in a Nugget Feb 28, 2022
  45. Palm-Feeding Wild Birds Feb 26, 2022
  46. Cuckoo Feb 16, 2022
  47. Tell John Feb 16, 2022
  48. Pizza Nite with Kris, Simona and Mary Feb 15, 2022
  49. Pizza Nite with the Chiang Mai Boyz Feb 6, 2022
  50. Welcoming the New Year Jan 31, 2022
  51. January Snapshots Jan 31, 2022
  52. ABS Fitness Challenge Jan 16 - Apr 16, 2022
  53. Pumpkin Tahini Recipe Jan 3, 2022
  54. 2021: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2021
  55. Pizza Nite with Simona and Lisa Dec 28, 2021
  56. Tahini Salad Dressing Dec 27, 2021
  57. Baba Ganoush Recipe Dec 23, 2021
  58. 7 Universal Laws Dec 20, 2021
  59. Sacred Circuitry Dec 18, 2021
  60. Cave-Living in a Boutique Hotel in Chiang Mai Dec 14, 2021
  61. Tummo Yoga + Wim Hof Breathing + Full-Body Muscle Contraction Dec 13, 2021
  62. Monk Chat Dec 10, 2021
  63. Making Tahini and Hummus Dec 8, 2021
  64. Watering the Plants Hands-Free Dec 2, 2021
  65. Vietnamese Phin Coffee Filter Dec 2, 2021
  66. Tummo Yoga Dec 1, 2021
  67. The Bliss of Inner Fire: Book Summary/Review Dec 1, 2021
  68. The Bliss of Inner Fire: Heart Practice of the Six Yogas of Naropa Dec 1, 2021
  69. 'Must Experience' Cafés of Chiang Mai Nov 30, 2021
  70. British Hobnob Cookies Nov 22, 2021
  71. New York Cheese Cake Nov 22, 2021
  72. Dham's Poetry Nov 14, 2021
  73. Pizza Nite with Simona and Nat Nov 11, 2021
  74. Stepping Forward / Reaching Out Oct 31, 2021
  75. Cancel Culture Attack Oct 31, 2021
  76. Mantra Primer Oct 29, 2021
  77. Spinal Mobility Oct 7, 2021
  78. Swedish Cinnamon Rolls [Kanelbullar] Oct 4, 2021
  79. Just Bring 2 Chinese Oct 3, 2021
  80. Sep Snapshots Sep 31, 2021
  81. One-Leg Yoga Asana Sequences Sep 30, 2021
  82. Pizza Nite with Nut, Monika and Yuki Sep 27, 2021
  83. 23-Minute Ice Bath Sep 27, 2021
  84. Pizza Nite with Nut, Simona and Malee Sep 23, 2021
  85. Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) Sep 23, 2021
  86. Making Cornbread Sep 15, 2021
  87. Kombucha: 2nd Batch Sep 11, 2021
  88. Making German Stollen Bread Sep 9, 2021
  89. Pizza Nite with Jackson, Goi and Paapu Sep 6, 2021
  90. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Aug 31, 2021
  91. Making Homemade Kombucha Aug 30, 2021
  92. Wrong Question to Ask This Crowd Aug 29, 2021
  93. Pizza Nite with Tom, Chunyah and Goi Aug 20, 2021
  94. Pizza Nite with Moms and Kids Aug 15, 2021
  95. Bahya Kumbhaka (breath-hold on the exhale) Aug 14, 2021
  96. Everybody's Only Friend Aug 13, 2021
  97. Vanillekipferl (German Vanilla Crescent Cookies) Aug 11, 2021
  98. Fighting Infection through Yoga Aug 3, 2021
  99. Too Close for Friendship Aug 2, 2021
  100. Manifesting: Epicurus' Pursuit Jul 31, 2021
  101. Homemade Rum Raisin Ice Cream Jul 30, 2021
  102. Ice Bath at Nawa Saraan Healing Space Jul 25, 2021
  103. Pizza Nite + Slack Line + Hammock Jul 23, 2021
  104. Yin-Yoga & Hypnosis with Christine Thiel Jul 20, 2021
  105. Pizza Nite with James and Nat Jul 19, 2021
  106. Antara Kumbhaka on Nadi Shodan Pranayama: Yogic Breath-Hold on the Inhale Jul 17, 2021
  107. Moving and Cashing-Out Bitcoin Jun 2 - Jul 11, 2021
  108. 'The Bow' Yoga Jul 7, 2021
  109. Yoga Classes with Calum Mar 27 - Jul 4, 2021
  110. Hike to Wat Pa Thammachat Waterfall Jul 2, 2021
  111. Pizza Brunch with the Yogis July 1, 2021
  112. Continuing Friendships in Chiang Mai Jun 30, 2021
  113. On the Brink of Hunger, the ENABLERS Come to Light Jun 21, 2021
  114. Hatha Vinyasa Yoga with Katharine Day Jun 17, 2021
  115. Pranayama Basics II Jun 16, 2021
  116. 36-Hour Love Life Jun 11, 2021
  117. Pranayama Basics I Jun 9, 2021
  118. Biohackers Meetup in Chiang Mai Jun 6, 2021
  119. Learning How to Breathe Jun 2, 2021
  120. Not the Usual Day-to-Day Life May 31, 2021
  121. Morphing Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 31, 2021
  122. Breathwork & Ice Bath with Jason Ryer of Zen Strength May 23, 2021
  123. It's Raining Bell Peppers May 7, 2021
  124. Yoga Classes with Nana Apr 20, 2021
  125. You Want to be Wonder Woman? Apr 8, 2021
  126. Kunjal Kriya / Vamana Dhauti (induced vomiting) Apr 1, 2021
  127. Coffeemates, Breadmates and Yogamates in Chiang Mai Jan-Mar 2021
  128. Varisara Dhauti (cleansing of the entire digestive tract) Mar 26, 2021
  129. Spiritual Backpacker Interview by Napasorn 'Cherry' Suvarnapradip Mar 23, 2021
  130. Private One-on-One Yoga Classes with Doriana Feb 17 - Mar 14, 2021
  131. Transformational Life Events Mar 13, 2021
  132. Guess Who's Coming to Bread Day? Mar 1, 2021
  133. Mula Shodhana (anal cleansing) Feb 27, 2021
  134. Are You My Queen? Feb 25, 2021
  135. Breaking the 5-Minute Breath-hold Barrier Feb 25, 2021
  136. Kirtan with Chiang Mai's Khun Thai Seekers Feb 7, 2021
  137. Breaking the 4-minute Breath-hold Feb 7, 2021
  138. Pranayama Primer Feb 2, 2021
  139. Heartbreak in every Song Jan 24, 2021
  140. The Silent Killer is Baaack! Jan 12, 2021
  141. Learning the Thai Language Jan 9, 2021
  142. 2020: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2020
  143. Reversing/Slowing Down the Aging Process Dec 30, 2020
  144. Hike to Huay Keaw Waterfall Dec 20, 2020
  145. Yoga Mat Dec 19, 2020
  146. Hiking to Wat Pha Lat along the Monk's Trail Dec 19, 2020
  147. Am I Psycho? Dec 9, 2020
  148. Muffin Man Dec 8, 2020
  149. Polyamory Dec 4, 2020
  150. The Wim Hof Ice Bath Dec 3, 2020
  151. RSVP Nov 25, 2020
  152. High Intensity Interval Yoga (Yoga + HIIT) Nov 14, 2020
  153. Cleansing the Nadis (Energy Pathway) Nov 13, 2020
  154. Yoga for a 360-degree Core Nov 6, 2020
  155. Edward Witten: 'the smartest living physicist' Nov 4, 2020
  156. Srinivasa Ramanujan: Mathematician of the Divine Oct 27, 2020
  157. Bashar as Channeled by Darryl Anka Oct 26, 2020
  158. Vinyasa Krama and Ashtanga Yoga with Aida Yoga Oct 18, 2020
  159. Deepak Chopra: author, lecturer, healer Oct 12, 2020
  160. Facebook Friends Oct 1, 2020
  161. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Aug-Sep 2020 Sep 30, 2020
  162. Siddhis (yogic super powers) Sep 30, 2020
  163. Learning the Import/Export Trade Sep 4, 2020
  164. Music and Magic at Justin's Birthday Bash Sep 3, 2020
  165. Biggest Stone in his Shoe Sep 1, 2020
  166. Abandoned Aug 25, 2020
  167. Intelligent Romantic Break-up Aug 25, 2020
  168. Dad-Zoned Aug 18, 2020
  169. Public Display of Affection Aug 9, 2020
  170. Gabriella's Birthday Bash at Mothership Resort Aug 8-9, 2020
  171. Shifting Peoplescape of Chiang Mai July 31, 2020
  172. Yoga Class for Strength and Muscle Jul 30, 2020
  173. Yoga Class for Optimum Digestion July 29, 2020
  174. Yoga Class for Healthy Eyes Jul 27, 2020
  175. Hippie Night at Nawa Saraan Healing Space July 24, 2020
  176. The Podcast Series: Alan "Heart Math" Strydom Jul 17, 2020
  177. Prana Vayu Adhitthana Yoga Class July 11-12, 2020
  178. Coming Back to Chiang Mai Jun 29, 2020
  179. Goodbye Chiang Mai Jan 23, 2020
  180. Prasnopanishad: Understanding Prana Jan 17, 2020
  181. Hiking the Monk's Trail Jan 15, 2020
  182. Chaturanga Jan 10, 2020
  183. You Spooned Me Jan 3, 2020
  184. 2019: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2019
  185. Friends, Coffeemates and Breadmates (Dec 2019) Dec 31, 2019
  186. Visiting Mae Sot Dec 27-30, 2019
  187. Let's Make it About You - an Epiphany Dec 17, 2019
  188. Shut-Up! Dec 7, 2019
  189. Roasted Red Bell Pepper Puree Dec 3, 2019
  190. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Nov 2019) Nov 30, 2019
  191. Bhujangini Mudra Nov 25, 2019
  192. Mathangini Mudra Nov 24, 2019
  193. Kaka Mudra Nov 23, 2019
  194. Pasini Mudra Nov 20, 2019
  195. Aswini Mudra Nov 18, 2019
  196. Sambhavi Mudra Nov 16, 2019
  197. Manduka Mudra Nov 15, 2019
  198. Tataka Mudra Nov 14, 2019
  199. Sakti Calana Mudra Nov 10, 2019
  200. Vajroli Mudra Nov 9, 2019
  201. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Oct 2019) Oct to Nov 5, 2019
  202. Yoni Mudra Nov 1, 2019
  203. Viparita Karani Mudra Oct 31, 2019
  204. Khecari Mudra Oct 30, 2019
  205. Mahadeva Mudra Oct 28, 2019
  206. Sacred Cacao - Chakra Dance Journey Oct 26, 2019
  207. Partner Healing with Natascha Oct 24, 2019
  208. Maha Bandha Mudra Oct 24, 2019
  209. Point-Of-Failure Birthday Workout Oct 22, 2019
  210. Mula Bandha Mudra Oct 21, 2019
  211. Hugfest at Thapae Gate, Chiang Mai Oct 19, 2019
  212. Anushasan Mudra Oct 18, 2019
  213. Ling Mudra Oct 17, 2019
  214. Jalandhara Bandha Mudra Oct 15, 2019
  215. Learning Thai with Cee Oct 13, 2019
  216. Uddiyana Bandha Mudra Oct 10, 2019
  217. Nabho Mudra Oct 9, 2019
  218. Maha Mudra Oct 7, 2019
  219. 20 Essential Mudras by T. Krishnamacharya Oct. 6, 2019
  220. Mindfulness Gong Bath by Vee (Veerayuth Pongsiri) Oct 3, 2019
  221. Cuddle Party by Abundant Love CM Oct 1, 2019
  222. Vayu Mudra Oct 1, 2019
  223. Visa-Run to Tachileik, Myanmar Sep 28, 2019
  224. Sankalpa Mudra Sep 27, 2019
  225. Surya Pradarshini Mudra Sep 26, 2019
  226. Eye-Gazing at Heart Space Sep 20, 2019
  227. Prana Vayu (Pranic Wind) Sep 20, 2019
  228. 2-Week Yoga Challenge by Agnese Erba Sep 17, 2019
  229. The Mudra Project Sep 13, 2019
  230. Sunday Vinyasa Flow with Marina Forster Sep 8, 2019
  231. Shamanic Breathwork by Rachel Constantino Sep 4, 2019
  232. The Conscious Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Aug 31, 2019
  233. Of Winos and Yogis Aug 26, 2019
  234. The 9 Jhanas of Buddha Aug 22, 2019
  235. Full Moon Ceremony at Heart Space Aug 15, 2019
  236. Yin Yoga - Water Element by Martina Barabas Aug 15, 2019
  237. Hatha Mix Yoga with Christin Aug 13, 2019
  238. Boy Blues Bar Rocks Chiang Mai Aug 5, 2019
  239. Back to my Beloved Chiang Mai Aug 1, 2019
  240. Kaleidoscope of Chiang Mai's Peoplescape July 27, 2019
  241. Secret Sunrise: Nelson Mandela International Day July 17, 2019
  242. Farewell Picnic with Alan and Nicola July 15, 2019
  243. Secret Sunrise: Water July 3, 2019
  244. Hotel Review: Arun Suite June 27, 2019
  245. Bruce Lipton: Epigentics to Transcend Genes June 24, 2019
  246. Optimizing Life thru Heart Math May 8, 15 and 22, 2019
  247. Connective Cacao and Sound Journey June 12, 2019
  248. Chiangmai BLUES June 6, 2019
  249. Hatha Slow Flow with Neil Jefferson June 3, 2019
  250. Meditating with One Million Meditators Movement June 1, 2019
  251. Vinyasa Happy Flow Series by Vaida May 31, 2019
  252. Muay Thai at the Chiang Mai Boxing Stadium May 30, 2019
  253. Yoga Flow Through the 7 Chakras by Sabrina Pilz May 30, 2019
  254. The Outsiders (people you need to push out of your sacred circle) May 31, 2019
  255. Fascinating Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 22, 2019
  256. World Meditation Day at Heart Space May 21, 2019
  257. Abs Yoga by Gigit May 12, 2019
  258. Kundalini and Vinyasa Yoga with Nicola Symons May 10, 2019
  259. Secret Sunrise Interactive Dance May 9, 2019
  260. Tok Sen Massage from Ying May 8, 2019
  261. Bruschetta: Nawa Saraan Style Apr 22, 2019
  262. Thai Cooking at Pra Nang Thai Cookery School Apr 20, 2019
  263. Bonding with the Elephants in Chiang Mai Apr 11, 2019
  264. Ziplining in Chiang Mai with Eagle Track Zipline Apr 10, 2019
  265. Getting Thai Massage from Chiang Mai's Best (Lar Thanakrit Khamtanong) Mar 21, 2019
  266. Being the Soul of Nawa Saraan Hotel Mar 18, 2019
  267. Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Jan 24 - Mar 13, 2019
  268. Curing Cancer with Yoga? Feb 21, 2019
  269. International Training Massage School (ITM): Level 1 Feb 11-15, 2019
  270. Sandesch Album Launch by Christoph Joerg Feb 13, 2019
  271. Meditation in a Sensory Deprivation Tank at Float Chiang Mai Jan 29, 2019
  272. Reiki Share at the Mastermind Brain Spa Jan 26, 2019
  273. Resuming Life in Chiang Mai Jan 24, 2019
  274. 4 Days in Chiang Mai at Nawa Saraan Hotel Jan 2-6, 2019
  275. Mike Chong Aug 8, 2018
  276. An Intimate Conversation with my Universe in Chiang Mai Aug 8, 2018
  277. Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa Aug 4, 2018
  278. Savoring a Baht 3,500 Birds Nest Soup at Natural Bird Nest by Burapa Aug 3, 2018
  279. Yoga Exploration at The Yoga Tree with Gernot Aug 1, 2018
  280. Laughter Yoga with Saffiya Arnous July 31, 2018
  281. Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai July 29, 2018
  282. 2 Weeks in Chiang Mai July 25 - Aug 7, 2018
  283. A First Timer in Chiang Mai Apr 9-23, 2016
  284. Chiang Mai's Amazing Peoplescape Apr 9-23, 2016
  285. Dance Mandala in Chiang Mai at The Yoga Tree Apr 19, 2016
  286. Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai Apr 13-15, 2016
  287. 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
Book Train Tickets in Thailand

Book Train Tickets in Thailand Online by Train36.com

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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