To be in the center of Life, in the center of Being is to experience peace, joy and well-being. In previous articles I explained how throughout history, different cultures had placed this center in different parts of this that we call body-mind and how Tibetan culture placed it in the so-called Third Eye. Today, I propose to talk about where the Chinese and the Japanese place this center.
Studying the Chinese arts we find the constant presence of a term: Chi.
Chi is usually translated as energy or vital breath. The idea he suggests is a vital breath, a subtle essence that sustains life and its processes.
It is obviously a difficult concept to grasp for Western consciousness because Chi is the same life manifested in energy.
It is that energy that holds atoms, cells, tissues and everything in existence together.
Chi is something that although it exists, it cannot be represented or objectified.
To access the store of Chi in the body is to establish yourself in that center of Life where everything is calm, bliss and harmony, but from where all the energy emanates to maintain this form.
Then, where is the Center?
Where, according to Chinese and Japanese culture, is the large Chi warehouse in the body? Where is what we could call “The Center of Being”?.
They place it 3-5 cm below the navel. This center in Japan is called Hara and in China is called Dan-Tien or Tan-Tien. Hence the hara-kiri term comes because kiri means “death”, therefore, the harakiri was a high ceremony where the most precious thing that the human being has was offer by destroying the center of Life.
The Dan-Tien or Hara is the center of vital energy and primal wisdom that resides within us. It is the connection we have with our mothers long before birth.
Taoist teachers have taught for thousands of years to gather Chi energy in this place in order to focus personal awareness and power, as well as to promote well-being and longevity.
When we learn to develop it, the Hara is like an internal compass that guides us precisely. In addition, being in contact with the energy of the Hara is in fact being in communion with Life.
Feeling the Dan-Tien provides countless happy moments in our relationships and in everything we do.
From where come the names
In Chinese language, Dan-Tien means “belly area” and in Japanese Hara means “sea of energy” and it is our center of joy, vitality and power. This center is like a vibrating lake, it is a place that is vast and is located in the center of the pelvis, where its very function rests.
The Hara is the center of rooting.
Life in this lake still has all its power of origin, all its purity, all its strength. Therefore the Hara, life is housed in its immovable state and is only used when external action is needed in response to needs and circumstances.
Now, how to access it? That will be the subject of the next article.