Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Energy Center

The Dantian
The energy center of the body is important for proper handling of vial energy and emotions. This center is recognized in various traditions. In Chinese qigong it is known as the Dantian, the Japanese name is Hara, and in the Sufi tradition it is known as the Kath. Dantian is the name most commonly used.

The location of the dantian is in the lower belly, about 4 inches below the navel. When you focus with your attention on the dantian, you can simultaneously sense your entire body, from toes to brilliantined top knot. Because it is the energy center or power center, evergy can be directed to any part of the body when your attention is focused here.


Martial arts practitioners keep the attention focused on the diantian in order to easily direct power where it is needed. People recovering from mood disorder can benefit from paying attention to the dantian because all emotions can be sensed through the dantian. To be in touch with the body requires paying attention to the dantian.

Dantian Meditation
Mindfulness may be practiced by focusing the attention on an object, a feeling or a concept. Dantian meditation is practiced by sitting or standing erect and keeping the attention on the dantian. By practicing belly breathing, it's possible to focus the attention on the breath and the dantian simultaneously. When you notice that your attention has drifted away from the dantian, simply take a deep belly breath and return the attention.

It may be helpful to revisit the post on Noticing the Breath or Belly Breathing.

Of course, the practice of qigong may be considered to be a specialized dantian meditation. In addition to the mindfulness benefits, qigong also provides physical and mental healing and building a ready supply of vital energy in the dantian energy store.

Moving from your center

In eastern martial arts, the practitioner not only keeps his attention at the Dantian to more easily move his energy, but also to be able to move from the center. By letting one's movements come from the center, they are more easy, and have more strength and power.

In the west, we have traditionally taught focusing on the dantian although the teaching is indirect. For example, in baseball we teach players to swing the bat by swinging through the lower belly--the center of the belly or the power center. The same concept is taught for swinging a golf club and tennis racket. There are countless other sports activities that use the conecpt of the lower abdomen being the power center.


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