More on Tummo

The mystical fire Tummo

by Naomi King, Certified Yoga Teacher YCH/EYU, Professional Association Yoga Schweiz


Nowadays, the whole of humanity needs the tantric technique of Tummo practice, because delusions and distractions are growing explosively worldwide. We need the powerful energy of the inner fire so that we can shatter the delusions and illusions and return to inner peace and well-being.

Tummo – Develop inner fire

The Tibetan word for the inner fire, the inner heat, is “Tummo”, which literally means “the brave one”. “Tum” means “courage” or “bravery”, and the syllable “mo” in Tibetan grammar indicates that it is feminine and stands for the wisdom of non-duality. The path of Tummo practice is courageous because it requires great bravery to destroy all delusions and misconceptions.


The practice of inner fire

The yoga and meditation technique, which originates from Tibetan Buddhism, can be traced back to the Tibetan master Naropa. In the “Six Yogas of Naropa”, he teaches the practice of Tummo (one of the six dharma/teachings), the technique of “mystical heat”, in written form for the first time. Naropa himself was introduced and trained in the practice of Tummo by his teacher Tilopa in the oral lineage over many years of persistent training. It is an advanced, tantric yoga and meditation technique of Buddhism that belongs to the Vajrayana, the “diamond vehicle”. The external or physical goal of contemplative practice is to greatly increase body temperature without the use of outside resources. The inner goal of the mental exercise is to consciously direct energy and control the inner fire.


Advanced yoga and meditation technique

Due to its specific unfolding effect of the inner fire, the practice of Tummo requires a certain degree of meditative ability and spiritual knowledge. In Tibetan Buddhism, Tummo practice is practised on the basis of the preparatory exercises “Ngöndro”. Without the appropriate foundation, the inner heat cannot be generated and consciously channelled through advanced yoga and meditation techniques. Through the interaction of asana, mudra, breathing technique and control, mantra and meditative contemplation, the energy of the inner fire is directed through the energy channels to the respective main energy centres, which leads to an increase in body temperature on the physical level.


Inner joy and clear awareness

The clear light and bliss are the central inner experiences of advanced tantric practice. The exercise instructions are intended to encourage you to have a conscious experience and not to remain at the level of intellectual understanding. The Tummo practice is a so-called results vehicle that empowers qualified practitioners to make future results and experiences to the central basis of their practice. If you really want to free yourself from the unhappy existence of samsara, you must completely eradicate the poison of attachment and desire from your heart and mind. The practice transforms forces that are beneficial for inner development and the training of consciousness.


Research in the area of yoga and meditation

Nowadays, there is increasing empirical evidence that regular yoga and meditation practice has a positive and lasting effect on people as a whole. Several studies have been conducted with Tibetan monks to scientifically research the practice of Tummo. Already in the first experiments in Dharamsala, India, an increase in temperature was measured even in the fingers and toes of the test persons as a result of the application of the Tummo practice.


Inspiration for the practice

Tummo, one of Naropa’s six yogas, is an exercise practice at completion level that is both entire and profound. The essence of the practice cannot be grasped with an intellectual approach, but only through action. Persistent practice leads the practitioner into deeper layers and spaces and allows him to directly recognise and experience the quality of Tummo, the inner fire. With the practice of inner fire, he reaches a point where the very movement of the breath gives rise to inner joy and clear awareness. The inner striving for warmth, which triggers happiness and well-being, is the driving force and inspiration for constant practice and action. The practice allows the inner fire to flare up and burn and opens up the possibility of coming into contact with the qualities of the fire.