Six Dharmas of Nāropa - 09 Gtummo - The entering, remaining, and dissolving process
Type of Spiritual Experience
All the successive steps are leading up to a kundalini experience. In the Six Yogas, “either the method of meditating on the gTummo or the short ‘Ah’ at the Transformation Center of the navel is used to gather the Prana into the Central Channel”.
Through the practice of Dumo the prana is led to the Central Channel. The Dumo practise is divided into three groups:
(1) Meditation on the Three Pillars.
(2) Meditation on the Clear Words.
(3) The practice of Vase-Breathing.
Note that although I have included the descriptions separately these three practises are inseparable from knowing the manner of the entrance, remaining, and dissolving of the prana in the Central Channel resulting from the Dumo practice. Having started the fountain, you need to know how to turn it off
A description of the experience
HEAT Yoga - The entering, the remaining, and the dissolving process in the Central Channel
Through the above-mentioned three practices, prana will enter into the Central Channel, but in this connection one may ask what are the unmistakable signs of the prana entering into the Central Channel?
Among them the definite and unmistakable sign is the following experience. After the meditation period, the yogi identifies the particular nostril from which the breathing (or most of the exhaled air) runs. Then he applies the mental and bodily practices as before. In a very short time, the breath running through both nostrils becomes even, and it should not alter within one or two breaths. If there is no other hindrance, the breath should remain even in both nostrils; the strength of both nostrils should be equal. If the yogi is able to do this, he may be considered as having a little strength in leading the prana into the Central Channel. However, this does not mean that, by doing this practice once (attaining even runs of the breath in the two nostrils), the ordinary breathing-process, which unequally stresses the two nostrils, will be forever stopped.
Having learned how to make the prana enter into the Central Channel, the yogi is taught the practice involving the prana remaining there.
In accordance with the teachings, the yogi carries on his practice and carefully observes the manner of the breath running in the nostrils. Gradually the breath will become more and more subtle, and finally it will stop. The Jetsun Milarepa said:
"Happy is the entering into the Central Channel by the air of Ro-ma and Rleyang-ma!
Happy is the cessation of the outgoing and ingoing breathing!
"Happy is the vast experience of the cessation of breath!"
As to the subtle breathing, for some it is difficult and for some it is easy.
If the yogi finds it difficult to absorb the air, he will in a few minutes feel it filling up his entire belly, but then it begins to dissolve. Immediately after the dissolving, he will feel an extraordinary warmness taking place in the fire-place of the Navel Center and Secret Center; thereafter, the Melting Bliss will take place.
A cessation of the subtle running breath will tend to accumulate the subtle distractions, whence great distractions often occur. In this connection those who do not know how to concentrate on the central point of the Wheels, and who engage themselves in various kinds of Vase-Breathing exercises, will neither help the prana to enter nor remain inside [the Central Channel], because these practices cannot tame the pranas and make them gather in the Central Channel. Consequently, neither the entering into nor the remaining in the Central Channel will come to pass; therefore, one must discriminate carefully.
As to the length or the duration of holding the Vase-Breathing, the Dom Jun Tantra says:
"Knowing the way of practicing Vase Breathing as instructed before,
The yogi then sits in a lotus posture.
One hand rubs the other three times,
And then he snaps his fingers six times.
The duration of thirty-six snappings
Is the length of time of Vase Breathing.
The best are (able to hold on) three times as long;
The length of more than one hundred snappings."
The left hand is supinely placed on the knee and is rubbed by the right hand three times; then six snaps are made with the fingers. This is one complete process. If one is able to hold the breath for 108 times of such duration, it is the best; to hold seventy-two times is the medium, and thirty-six times is the minimum. It is also said that whoever holds the breath for any of these three durations will be able to conquer death.