turtlehermit

Lower Dantian / Hara vs. Third Eye

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The lower dantian, or hara seems to be the key factor in characterizing most taoist and zen meditation. It seems to be the great secret, focusing the yang on the yin, to create unity. Zen master Hakuin learned this from a taoist hermit. Zen goes on to use this as one of the only "explained" techniques, and prizes it as the source of zen. 

 

For some time I have been suspicious that there is some kind of conspiracy to keep people "up in their heads" by focusing on the third eye. Especially in the west, there is a vast number of traditions, teachers, subliminal propaganda, media, music, and movies that are aimed at the third eye. It seems like this creates lots of confusion, not to mention headaches, as focusing yang on yang would create an imbalance. The turtle school vs. the crane school for example. :) 

 

Ofcourse, non duality is key, but I am interested to hear peoples opinions on this. 

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Hara/dantian centre for grounding, calmness.

Heart centre for love

Third eye for psychic development.

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The Tai Chi Classics teach that if you allow your energy to sink it will then rise naturally. There's a connection between the lower dantian and the "third eye". This however needs to be practiced and felt.

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And there are centers between the above. Why settle for developing just one? 

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In general, when building something, I build from the bottom up as it seems more stable.

 

Take pyramids for example, it's rather a tough nut to start with the capstone.

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the deeper the yin, the more potent the arising spark of yang

and vice versa, since the gung amassed is a function of the duration of breath able to be achieved ;)

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13 hours ago, oak said:

The Tai Chi Classics teach that if you allow your energy to sink it will then rise naturally. There's a connection between the lower dantian and the "third eye". This however needs to be practiced and felt.

Thanks for the responses! This is what I gather from my research as well, beginning at the lower dantian, eventually through utmost stillness, movement is created and naturally it unfolds into the higher centers. 

This is why I feel like there have been some mistranslations or misleading information suggesting to focus on the third eye, such as portions of Wilhelm's Secret Of The Golden Flower and Taoist Yoga. And most of the older texts focus on the lower dantian.

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Not that I personally know much about this topic but isn't that the same basic idea with Kundalini Yoga? To start at the bottom and work your way up?

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From my readings meditation should begin and end with attention on the dan tien.  That's not to say work shouldn't be done with the 3rd eye, but too much too fast and without enough grounding and one can get into trouble.   Get into woo woo territory.. spacey, ungrounded.  

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9 hours ago, turtlehermit said:

Thanks for the responses! This is what I gather from my research as well, beginning at the lower dantian, eventually through utmost stillness, movement is created and naturally it unfolds into the higher centers. 

This is why I feel like there have been some mistranslations or misleading information suggesting to focus on the third eye, such as portions of Wilhelm's Secret Of The Golden Flower and Taoist Yoga. And most of the older texts focus on the lower dantian.

 

The principle is : Wherever the yang qi arises , wherever you  should focus your mind on .

 

So, if you are a man,  you start by paying  attention to your lower dantian ; if you are a woman,  you focus your mind to the middle dantian ( place in between your breasts) . However, hardly does paying attention to the upper dantian  help  you  initializing the  yang qi , nor does  it help you 'consolidating'  your mind ( conversely it is what the lower dantian  does) ;  and,  no consolidation of the mind means no possibility of any 3rd-eye .  So starting from the upper dantian , a way introduced by the book " Secret of the Golden flower" , is really something strange . Maybe one of  reasons  is the popularity of the book ... that means, once  there was  a Westerner  who accidentally found a strange  Taoist book at a marketplace of China, translated it , long before anyone had got   a grasp of the basic theory of Taoism , and unfortunately  the book then becomes so  famous , making them   distracted  . ^_^

Edited by exorcist_1699
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8 hours ago, exorcist_1699 said:

 So starting from the upper dantian , a way introduced by the book " Secret of the Golden flower" , is really something strange . Maybe one of  reasons  is the popularity of the book ... that means, once  there was  a Westerner  who accidentally found a strange  Taoist book at a marketplace of China, translated it , long before anyone had got   a grasp of the basic theory of Taoism , and unfortunately  the book then becomes so  famous , making them   distracted  . ^_^

I'm guessing that in the past, in the East meditation was such a wide spread cultural phenomena that the average person was  pretty accomplished in it at a young age.  So a couple hundred ago, starting with the Golden Flower, the average Easterner already had years or decade + of meditation experience under there belt as part of there life style. 

 

I think this trips up many Westerners who try practices that move quickly (I'm thinking Healing Tao here).  It's not that the practices don't work, its that most Westerners lack the base, the fundamentals that other cultures picked up from childhood.  Just as without memorizing the addition and multiplication tables, advanced math is going to be problematic. 

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19 hours ago, exorcist_1699 said:

 

The principle is : Wherever the yang qi arises , wherever you  should focus your mind on .

 

So, if you are a man,  you start by paying  attention to your lower dantian ; if you are a woman,  you focus your mind to the middle dantian ( place in between your breasts) . However, hardly does paying attention to the upper dantian  help  you  initializing the  yang qi , nor does  it help you 'consolidating'  your mind ( conversely it is what the lower dantian  does) ;  and,  no consolidation of the mind means no possibility of any 3rd-eye .  

Thanks. So does this suggest when the yang qi moves upwards, after initial foundations have been built, to focus on that location? In my experience the qi moves upwards in waves of motion and stillness, until it builds up in the head. Would you suggest following it as it moves? I have read somewhere that when energy rises to stay centered in the dantian as to not obstruct the flow, or get distracted.

 

19 hours ago, exorcist_1699 said:

So starting from the upper dantian , a way introduced by the book " Secret of the Golden flower" , is really something strange . Maybe one of  reasons  is the popularity of the book ... that means, once  there was  a Westerner  who accidentally found a strange  Taoist book at a marketplace of China, translated it , long before anyone had got   a grasp of the basic theory of Taoism , and unfortunately  the book then becomes so  famous , making them   distracted  . ^_^

Mistranslation? As the "yellow middle" or "field of the square inch" should be referring to the lower dantian?

 

10 hours ago, thelerner said:

It's not that the practices don't work, its that most Westerners lack the base, the fundamentals that other cultures picked up from childhood.  Just as without memorizing the addition and multiplication tables, advanced math is going to be problematic. 

Or correct translation, but with foundations as a prerequisite?

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12 hours ago, thelerner said:

I'm guessing that in the past, in the East meditation was such a wide spread cultural phenomena that the average person was  pretty accomplished in it at a young age.  (...)

 

Was that Shangri-la? 

 

 

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5 hours ago, turtlehermit said:

Thanks. So does this suggest when the yang qi moves upwards, after initial foundations have been built, to focus on that location? In my experience the qi moves upwards in waves of motion and stillness, until it builds up in the head. Would you suggest following it as it moves? I have read somewhere that when energy rises to stay centered in the dantian as to not obstruct the flow, or get distracted.

 

Building up the lower dantian well means you can  refine jing into qi  cleanly  , which also  implies your having successfully stopped leaking most jing  or any jing , then of course you  will be entering  the stage of refining qi into shen . At  that stage,  you can easily eliminate the ups and downs of your minds ...concretely speaking ,  when your qi rises to the top , the energetic form of qi  will turn into some  spiritual  form of  Oneness, of course, you have to grasp that  moment to consolidate it, extend it ....

 

At the stage of refining jing into qi, the feelings of  jing and qi  symptoms are significant ;  at the stage of refining qi into shen , it is the  ' feeling'  of shen ,  a mighty  mindless Mind , that will be dominant : for example , hardly can you get  angry  so easily because of others'  criticisms ,  unsettled  by adversity and uncertainties   in life or perplexed  by any difficult intellectual problems .

Edited by exorcist_1699
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On 12/5/2017 at 0:56 AM, turtlehermit said:

Especially in the west, there is a vast number of traditions, teachers, subliminal propaganda, media, music, and movies that are aimed at the third eye.

 

Think of the third eye as being like the pineal-pituitary-hypothalamus...they regulate everything in the body, so using the third eye is not just a head centered approach.

Focusing attention in the head does create problems, though.

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lower dantien is the den for the the kundalini serpent!

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18 hours ago, turtlehermit said:

Or correct translation, but with foundations as a prerequisite?

I'd go further and say with regards to the Golden Flower that the translation is difficult and purposely incomplete *.  That's there are blanks a teacher is suppose to fill in, ie written instruction, and protected verbal instruction that was not supposed to be written down.

 

 

*That its purposely incomplete is not an original idea, it comes from a source that's studied it deeply, one I quoted in another Golden Flower thread. 

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20 hours ago, exorcist_1699 said:

 

Building up the lower dantian well means you can  refine jing into qi  cleanly

I was referring to the technique of focusing the mind on the lower dantian constantly as a meditation method to still the mind and refine the elixir, naturally the essences would be refined.

 

But holding to this center continually as the fetus develops? 

Is this not the true "yellow middle"?

And as shen is developed all three dantians are flowing, while simultaneously being centered in the embryo? 

 

It is interesting that the Hui Ming Ching, included with Wilhelm's Secret Of The Golden Flower speaks of the germinal vesicle, as the yellow castle, or dragon castle at the bottom of the sea, which is in my opinion most likely referring to the lower dantian, which leads me to believe The Secret Of The Golden Flower's "yellow middle" is one and the same. Moreover that these were written by Chan buddhists, who most likely were focusing on this area. 

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7 hours ago, thelerner said:

 

*That its purposely incomplete is not an original idea, it comes from a source that's studied it deeply, one I quoted in another Golden Flower thread. 

why would anyone purposely write a purposely incomplete book? What would be the purpose of that?

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On 2017/12/8 at 1:05 PM, turtlehermit said:

I was referring to the technique of focusing the mind on the lower dantian constantly as a meditation method to still the mind and refine the elixir, naturally the essences would be refined.

 

But holding to this center continually as the fetus develops? 

Is this not the true "yellow middle"?

And as shen is developed all three dantians are flowing, while simultaneously being centered in the embryo? 

 

It is interesting that the Hui Ming Ching, included with Wilhelm's Secret Of The Golden Flower speaks of the germinal vesicle, as the yellow castle, or dragon castle at the bottom of the sea, which is in my opinion most likely referring to the lower dantian, which leads me to believe The Secret Of The Golden Flower's "yellow middle" is one and the same. Moreover that these were written by Chan buddhists, who most likely were focusing on this area. 

 

Lower dantian is the  place for  refining jing to qi, not the place for nourishing the fetus; note that it is only after  qi and shen  having their intercourse, does a fetus appear ; if people can't  complete the job of refining jing to qi , then maybe  they will  keep staying  at the lower dantian , even  for  whole life.  In fact, most of the people can't understand what the mindless Mind  is  is because their incapability  in   solving  the issue of jing leakage .  Even if  they deliberately start from the upper dantian , it doesn't  necessarily mean they can finish  the  job  of  attaining shen  quicker or easier .

 

The key is not  about the location, nor the posture of your body, nor how you breathe, but what mind you get . For what mind you get determines  what way you breathe, what life you live. As an immortal tells us : 

 

" Those whose minds  succumbed to life circumstances are called ordinary people , those  who have  life circumstances eliminated by their  Mind are called Immortals "

 

"境殺心則凡,  心殺境則仙"  (郝太古) 

 

Apart from the lower , middle and upper dantian ,  there is a place where   the fetus  being nourished , plus  another  place where the grown up  baby coming out of the  head , all are referred to as different  areas   at different stages , so  people shouldn't  mix up them. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by exorcist_1699
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8 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

why would anyone purposely write a purposely incomplete book? What would be the purpose of that?

Good question.  These weren't 'just' books, they were rare manuals (or scrolls) containing treasured secrets.  In many cultures it was not unusual to have written as well as deeper oral traditions that were not to be written down.  Partly to make sure those who got the deeper instructions were worthy. 

 

In the case of the Golden Flower a scholar pointed out that it lacked clear descriptions of a some key points, leaving people to fill in the dots.  Thus you see discussions here over whose translation is best, and reading them you see big differences.  Amongst the few teachers too.  To some that points to oral instructions.  

 

There's a world of forms and traditions- gi gung, herbal..etc., we'll never know about because they are family forms only passed on parent to child.  So secretive they die out when holders no longer have progeny to learn.  Thankfully there are cases where the rule is broken.

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9 hours ago, turtlehermit said:

 

It is interesting that the Hui Ming Ching, included with Wilhelm's Secret Of The Golden Flower speaks of the germinal vesicle, as the yellow castle, or dragon castle at the bottom of the sea, which is in my opinion most likely referring to the lower dantian, which leads me to believe The Secret Of The Golden Flower's "yellow middle" is one and the same. 

Unless yellow middle =yellow court,  which places you higher up, closer to the middle...... 

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The lower dantian is not only for refining jing into qi, in my understanding it is the source of all emptiness and the center of the buddha, many reliable sources state this and suggest focusing on this place. The images of the fetus are in this place, it grows in the womb. It is the yellow court according to most reliable sources. Perhaps this was one of those most treasured secrets of taoism that has been hidden?

It would explain all the confusion...

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15 hours ago, thelerner said:

 

In the case of the Golden Flower a scholar pointed out that it lacked clear descriptions of a some key points, leaving people to fill in the dots. 

 

Most Taoist alchemist writings don't give people a clear guideline with concrete steps towards attaining Dan, especially those written before the Ching Dynasty . Wu-Liu's are the more the detailed and  precise , yet  at certain key points, the explanation still appear evasive (deliberately ? ) ..

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1 hour ago, exorcist_1699 said:

 

Most Taoist alchemist writings don't give people a clear guideline with concrete steps towards attaining Dan, especially those written before the Ching Dynasty . Wu-Liu's are the more the detailed and  precise , yet  at certain key points, the explanation still appear evasive (deliberately ? ) ..

And the wlp members that was here a year ago stated that a book is not enough, you need a method and a teacher as well. 

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