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darebak

Will the real Dantien please stand up...

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Inspired by the "Chia Confirms.." thread, I wanted to take a survey.

What do you think a Dantien is? Does it exist physically? What is its function? Where did you get your information?

There have been many threads discussing "Dantien" but this one is meant to be a survey of the different stipulations of what "Dantien" is.

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Originally from my aikido and zen training. Basically the area below the navel,midway inside the body. Between the gate of life on the lower back and the navel.

 

All of the high level internal MA practitioners seem to agree with this. Basically it's your physical/energetic/spiritual center.

 

The same place Japanese call 'hara' basically. Also, I remember reading enlightened Zen masters like Hakuin writing that the lower abdomen is the tan or tanden.

 

Most all the western qigong teachers seem to say the same.

 

So are we all dazed and confused Derek? :)

 

ps.I am genuinly interested in hearing your feedback from foundation training in Lei Shan Dao this year.

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From what I have gathered so far the Dan (Tien) in most isn't really and needs to get "created" actually...

 

with smiles

 

Harry

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>What do you think a Dantien is? Does it exist physically? What is its function?

 

The dan tien has something to do with the sun.

This is an interesting idea that appeals to me..

hmmm

T

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I've been told that the lower dan tien has a link to the pole star and the unmanifest.

Edited by rex

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Another thought on this topic, with regards to taiji training, i found if I focus my mind on the lower dantian, which in many systems is the prostate area, I have much better body mechanics. Feeling movement and flow in that area, to me, is key for proper body movement.

T

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I've been told that the lower dan tien has a link to the pole star and the unmanifest.
What's a "pole star?"

 

Anyhow, many of us know where it's supposedly at...but as to WHAT exactly it is? I'm personally rather vague on it...

 

Another possibility to throw out there is that I heard according to "John Chang," it's physically the original cell that formed when your dad's sperm fertilized your mom's egg and contains all your prenatal qi.

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In my day we only had one tantien and that was the hara located in the belly. Now you whipper snappers have lots of them. Middle ones in the heart or sometimes the solar plex, high ones in the brain somewhere. This tantien inflation has to stop. Pretty soon you'll be calling them chakras, giving them colors and then where will we be? India thats where.

 

 

Like Cam, I started off in Aikido where there is a tradition to concentrating and centering on the lower tan tien(hara). In alchemical taoism I do find using 3 tantiens useful, belly, heart and head.

 

 

Michael

 

Pole star is usually another name for the North star, Polaris. The light purple star that keeps its position at night and has the other stars (hence the universe) circle around it :)

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aaargh
Is that a yes or a no? :D

 

If no, what exactly is the difference between the lower dantien and the sacral navel chakra?

Chakraman.gif

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Is that a yes or a no? :D

 

If no, what exactly is the difference between the lower dantien and the sacral navel chakra?

 

The first difference is that chakra don't make nice pictures.

And there's probably a reason for that.

 

Chackra are opened. Tan Tien are built. Chackra are along the central channel (at least the standard 7) Tan Tien although they are also in the central channel, have a position physical position which is not necessarily in the central channel. For example the LTT is in front. I can't say much on the other two as I haven't worked enough with them to have enough precise knowledge not to risk saying BS.

 

Still I feel the solar plexus part of the MTT to be more in the front of the body than the Central Channel, also.

 

You know the microcosmic orbit. Well each point on the front of the body has an equivalent point in the back of the body. As the energy goes back and forth between those two points the chackra gets [activated/opened/strengenth/...]. Chackra are essentially energetic. I never heard of someone being hit by someones chackra. But tai ji people can do all sort of nasty tricks with their dan tien.

 

You fill your dan tien. You store energy there. You cook energy there. It is a lab.

 

I never heard that you store any energy in the chackra.

 

You ask a real martial artist, and he might let you feel his tan tien. According to Alan, speaking about Bruce:

"it feels like there is a very hard stone moving very fast. There was a doctor there, so I asked him what organ was it, and he said that he dissects people all the time, and you will not find anything there.".

So, although the LTT is energetic it can be felt physically. I never heard of something similar with the chackra.

 

And my reaction was just because I have a prejudice against the indian yogic system, so seeing my loved taoism being compared to yoga made me coagulate in pain.

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I don't think it is accurate to say that energy is stored there.

 

 

Perhaps, but as a central axis of your mass movement, cyclic phenomenon emanates and returns ....

 

I would be curious on the reflections of various practitioners about what occurs w/ their chi cycle upon sleep?

 

When I was first being introduced to the Art I encountered a monk who did not lay down to sleep do to his meditation habits. I am interested in others perceptions.

 

On the idea of their being many centers and the dan tien(s) not being the only ones I would just say ... duh ...

 

... all rivers lead to the ocean ... there are trickles and there is gushing, there are pools and there is the abyss...

 

The important thing isn't to define and categorize new ways to box yourself into thinking, new systems, new styles, blah blah blah, all the Taoists arts have many things in common, a couple of which are the importance to FEEL, and probably the most universal commonality, the relationship to the center / emptiness.

 

If a blockage makes you aware of an area so be it, everything always emanates and returns to the center. Work through the blockage, return to home. Adventures yield spoils, and winter bring hibernation. These are natural cycles.

 

This to me is why the cultivation of emptiness is ever so important for the practical taoist, this empty space being "ground zero"... Sung... a stable quiet place to work from, relaxed, yet ready, ready, yet relaxed.

 

Without a foundational reference to stillness movement is only partial.

 

Spectrum

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Chackra are opened. Tan Tien are built. Chackra are along the central channel (at least the standard 7) Tan Tien although they are also in the central channel, have a position physical position which is not necessarily in the central channel.

 

And my reaction was just because I have a prejudice against the indian yogic system, so seeing my loved taoism being compared to yoga made me coagulate in pain.

Wow, very interesting and informative response, thanks!

 

So, the central channel I presume runs along the spinal column? If so, might the sacral navel chackra be the same as the mingmen pt on the MO there? Might the chackras be gates to the dantiens...which might be more like reservoirs? So, connected, but not the same thing? (Sorry if these questions sound stupid, btw.)

 

And why are you prejudiced against the Indian yogic system? Think they're not theoretically sound, too fiery or had a bad experience?

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Wow, very interesting and informative response, thanks!

 

So, the central channel I presume runs along the spinal column? If so, might the sacral navel chackra be the same as the mingmen pt on the MO there? Might the chackras be gates to the dantiens...which might be more like reservoirs? So, connected, but not the same thing? (Sorry if these questions sound stupid, btw.)

 

And why are you prejudiced against the Indian yogic system? Think they're not theoretically sound, too fiery or had a bad experience?

 

The central channel is energetic - it may touch part of the inner spine, but it basically runs from the crown of your head to your perineum.

 

The chakras are spinning vortices which bring energy in and give energy out - it's your connection with the macrocosm.

 

The dan tiens are deeper (energetically speaking) and can be thought of as spaces or cauldrons or caves... The lower two chakras are connected in some way to the lower dan tien (at least in me) - they can supply energy to the ldt... the solar plexus is in between the ldt and the middle dan tien (located slightly lower than the heart chakra - in between your nipples and an inch or so inside the chest) - the mdt is connected with the throat and heart chakras... the rest I dont know about, but I suspect it's similar.

 

I dont work too much on the chakras - only sometimes before the orbit circulation... which can be quite powerfull.

 

I find the chakras can fit into the taoist system, and I certainly feel them... the way the indians use the chakras is not in line with the way the taoists do their thang.... in the yogic system there is a general upwards movement - eventually out of your head and into the heavens... the taoist way is circular - encompassing heaven, earth, man (higher dt, lower dt, middle dt)

 

As others have said - thinking about this and trying to make it work in the mind is just illusion, and a waste of time... the key is to experience all of this in your body, and it will all make sense in a feeling sort of way - once you start to put it into concepts it seems to fall appart - so feeling is the key!

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I've resorted to calling them "centers", and feel power, love, wisdom centers most easily (as I think most people do, though different systems have a different count of how many there are). On the physical, they correspond to the nerve plexuses and the endocrine system, and there tends to be more "feeling" out near the nerve plexuses. In mundane activity, they're a way of sensing the world and feeling mundane psychology. I think that, most of the time, people just rev them up with sensation and think that they're "working with the chakras".

 

Even when there is some degree of subtle activation and refinement, my experience has been that most of it has been just a subtler form of individualism and psychology/s. One plays one's psychology, vis-a-vis the environment, upon the vital winds - and they're just one more way to produce sensation and (apparently) separate inside / outside.

 

The point is how to activate the centers in a way that integrates with stillness, and the key is the still place within the deep-center of each center: it's devoid of sensation, and has a special connection to Much Deeper Stuff. If there is enough refinement, through stabalized concentration, one can connect the deep-center to the Big Light - and that throws the whole dynamic of the centers into reverse.

 

The Big Light draws the vital winds inwards, and refines away the mundane psychology that rides upon the winds. The Big Light also suffuses the centers, lights 'em up, and also lights up the human egg.

 

All of this is much much easier if you have someone in the room (or at least who you are able to 'connect' with) who is very accomplished at the process, "enlightened cause". Generally it takes a lot of exposure, over a long period of time, to "enlightened cause" to access this procedure within one's own system - certainly that was the case for me (even as limited as my progress has been), and classically it's generally considered impossible without lots of Help.

 

Also, there are methods to assist with getting certain parts working. Tsongkhapa's Commentary on The Six Yogas of Naropa is what turned me onto this process, though I don't claim that my understanding corresponds to the classical understanding (of the Six Yogas system, or any authentic system). The links at my site that reflect my bumbling misguided view are the overview and the essays re: the core vessel.

 

A quote from The Three Principle Aspects of the Path:

According to sutra the root of cyclic existence is our misconception that things have true existence. According to tantra this conception and the energy wind on which it rides are responsible. Since mind and energy are always together, tantric practice concentrates on halting the activity of the energy winds which serve as mounts for such [mis]conceptions. By gathering these coarser energies into the central channel of the subtle body and by causing them to remain and dissolve there, their activity ceases as does that of the coarser mental states allied to them. This allows subtle awareness to become active. One of the main purposes of tantric practice is to make manifest the actual clear light, namely subtle awareness in a blissful state experiencing reality.

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For the other questions see the response from the others. I have nothing to add.

 

this one is personal:

And why are you prejudiced against the Indian yogic system? Think they're not theoretically sound, too fiery or had a bad experience?

 

It's a pre-judice. It comes before facts, and their judgement.

 

Take care,

Pietro

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