Professor Jerry Alan Johnson Ph.D., D.T.C.M., D.M.Q. (China), is one of the few internationally recognized non-Chinese Grand Masters, practicing doctors, and Director/Professors of Medical Chi Kung Therapy.
(Please visit his website "Temple of The Celestial Cloud").
He explains the Dantians as follows:
THE THREE DANTIANS
According to ancient Daoist energetic anatomy and physiology, humans have three important energy centers that store and emit energy similar to the same way a battery stores and emits energy. These three centers are called the Three Dantians. The Three Dantians are strategically positioned along the Taiji Pole in order to facilitate maximum energy transference.
Although the chakra systems are more significant in the Buddhist and Yogic traditions, both of these spiritual disciplines commonly refer to the Three Dantians areas in their energetic practice. According to ancient Buddhist and Yogic traditions, these three areas contain the three psychic knots or "Granthi" where an individual's energy and spiritual consciousness interact and manifest in particular ways.
OUTER AND INNER ALCHEMY
Daoist alchemy, like Western alchemy, was practiced in two ways: outer alchemy (Wai Dan) and inner alchemy (Nei Dan). Outer alchemy was the ancestor of modern chemistry. Outer alchemists set up laboratories and experimented with many substances from mineral, animal, and plant sources with the goal of discovering how to turn base metals into gold. Secretly, they were also seeking to discover an elixir that would confer immortality or, at least greater longevity. In the process of this outer alchemical experimentation, the ancient Chinese discovered many exceptionally potent herbal medicines, in addition to other chemical formulas such as the formula for gunpowder.
Inner alchemy was concerned with purifying human nature and transforming the spirit into its most pure and radiant potential without the use of external agents. Chi Kung exercises and meditations were developed in order to circulate and gather the "inner elixirs" of Jing (matter), Chi (Qi) (energy), and Shen (spirit) at various locations within the body.
Three Dantians and relationship to transformation
of Jing, Qi, and Shen
These internal alchemists viewed the Three Dantians as inner crucibles or cauldrons, and employed them in the role of gathering and transforming vital substances, energies, and various aspects of awareness. All of the internal alchemy methods and formulas involve specific combinations of the body's Jing, Chi (Qi), and Shen. The inner alchemists kept their work hidden by using secret mineral code words such as "gold," "lead," and "cinnabar" to describe the movements and transformations of energetic and spiritual substances within the body.
The ultimate goal of internal alchemy is immortality, a complete transformation of the body's Jing, Chi (Qi), and Shen. Jing, Chi (Qi), and Shen are the three fundamental energies necessary for human life, and are collectively referred to as the "Three Treasures of Man." To accomplish this transformation, alchemists first gather and transform Jing into Chi (Qi) in the Lower Dantian. They then gather and transform Chi (Qi) into Shen in the Middle Dantian. Next, they transform Shen into Wuji (the absolute openness of infinite space) in the Upper Dantian. Finally, they merge Wuji into Dao (divine energy).
These transformations can be compared to the changes of water consistencies, which when heated, can change from solid ice, to liquid, to vapor. These progressive transformations are one example of the use of the Three Dantians as inner crucibles in the process of internal alchemy. Through extensive experimentation in the internal laboratory of the physical, energetic, and spiritual body, Daoist alchemists were able to become powerful sorcerers, augurs, and healers.
The Three Treasures of Man, Jing, Chi (Qi), and Shen), are also connected with the Three Outer Forces or Powers known as Heaven, Earth, and Man. Jing (reproductive essence) is the most substantial and therefore the most Yin of the three, and it is closely linked with Earth Chi (Qi). In Medical Chi Kung practice and Daoist inner alchemy, the Earth energy is gathered in the Lower Dantian and is associated with heat. Chi (Qi) is closely connected with the atmospheric energy (a blend of Heaven and Earth energy), is gathered into the Middle Dantian and is associated with vibration. Shen (Spirit) is the most insubstantial, and therefore, the most Yang of the three. It corresponds with Heaven Chi (Qi), is gathered in the Upper Dantian, and is associated with light. The Three Dantians are connected to each other through the Taiji Pole. The Taiji Pole acts as a passageway for communication between the Three Dantians and as a highway for the movement of the various life-force energies. The Eternal Soul is drawn into the body at the moment of conception through the Taiji Pole and departs through the Taiji Pole at death. The Taiji Pole also serves as a portal for the body's Hun. Medical Chi Kung views the Three Dantians as vital centers for the cultivation of energy. They are important areas for diagnosis and self-healing, as well as for the therapeutic projection of Chi (Qi) into patients. The Three Dantians have specific relationships to the Three Treasures of Jing, Chi (Qi), and Shen.
THE LOWER DANTIAN
The Lower Dantian is the Dantian most familiar to martial artists and meditators, as it is the first place on which they are trained to focus their concentration. It is regarded as the center of physical strength and the source of stamina. Called the "hara" in Japanese, it is located in the lower abdomen, in the center of the triangle formed by drawing a line between the navel, Mingmen (lower back), and perineum. These three points form a pyramid facing downward. This configuration allows the Lower Dantian to gather the energy from the Earth.
The Lower Dantian is the major storage area for the various types of Kidney energies (i.e.Chi of the ovaries and testicles). The Kidney energies, in turn, are closely linked with the prenatal energies and provide the foundation for all other types of energy (like Jing, Chi (Qi), Yin, and Yang) in the body.
The Lower Dantian is connected to the first level of Wei Qi. This level of Protective Chi (Qi) circulates outside the body, extending roughly two inches beyond the body's tissues. As the Lower Dantian fills with Chi (Qi), the Wei Qi field naturally becomes thicker.
THE LOWER DANTIAN AND JING
The Lower Dantian collects Earth energy and is associated with Jing and the energy of the physical body. The Earth energy that is transformed in the Lower Dantian is a dense, full, thick energy. In the above analogy of the transformations of water, the energy in the Lower Dantian relates to ice, the densest state of water.
The Lower Dantian is closely linked to the Jing Gong (Essence Palace), which is located in the perineum, and serves as a reservoir of Jing. Our Prenatal Essence (Yuan Jing) determines our constitutional strengths and vitality and is stored in the Lower Dantian. It interacts with the Kidney energies to form Kidney Jing.
The Lower Dantian acts as a reservoir for heat and energy, and is associated with the Kidneys. The Kidneys control the Water element in the body, and in alchemical terms, Jing is said to be analogous to the water in the cauldron. Through focused concentration and meditation, the Jing (essence) in the Lower Dantian is refined and transformed to produce Chi (Qi) energy. When sufficient heat is generated in the Lower Dantian as a result of the Heart and Mingmen Fire mixing with the Kidney Water, the alchemical transformation of Jing in the Lower Dantian area causes the water of the Jing to turn into the steam of Chi (Qi). This is one reason why the modern character for Chi (Qi) is composed of the image of steam rising from rice that is bursting and decomposing. This alchemical transformation is known as "changing Jing [essence] into Chi (Qi) [energy]" and takes place within the Lower Dantian.
The Kidney energies are all closely intertwined: Kidney Jing, Kidney Chi (Qi), Kidney Yin, Kidney Yang, and Kidney Mingmen Fire. The Mingmen Fire, also called Kidney Yang, helps transform the Jing into steam [Kidney Chi (Qi)].
Kidney Jing circulates throughout the body via the Eight Extraordinary Vessels, in particular the Governing Vessel, Conception Vessel, and Thrusting Vessels, all of which originate in the Lower Dantian. Kidney Jing controls the reproductive energies and life cycles of the body. Some of the ancient alchemical texts describe the Lower Dantian in women as being located in the "Bao" or Uterus, illustrating the important role of the Uterus in relationship to the function of Jing in a woman's body. In men, the reproductive essence is located in the prostate and seminal vesicles, also known as the Jing Gong (Essence Palace) in Daoist alchemy. In some Daoist, Chi Kung, and Chinese medical literature, the term Kidneys is occasionally used as a synonym for the testes and ovaries.
The exact location of the Jing Gong differs in men and women due to the anatomical locations of the male and female reproductive organs. In men, this area is located in the center of the body at the level of the superior border of the pubic bone, posterior to the Qugu CV-2 (Crooked Bone) point. The Jing Gong area in women is located higher, centered in the Uterus, about an inch above the superior border of the pubic bone, posterior to the Zhongji CV-3 (Utmost Center) point.
This difference in location affects the production and storage of Jing. The testicles in the male cause the transformation of energy to occur lower in the body than it does in females. In females this transformation takes place in a slightly higher position due to the location of the woman's ovaries.
Jing is the most physical and material form of energy within the body and thus corresponds to Yin and to Earth energy. The Lower Dantian is the place where the Chi (Qi) of the Earth is drawn into the body and transformed by heat.
THE LOWER DANTIAN AND CHI (QI)
The Lower Dantian is often called "the Sea of Chi (Qi)." It is the place where Chi (Qi) is housed, the Mingmen Fire is aroused, the Kidney Yin and Yang Chi (Qi) are gathered, and the Yuan Qi is stored. Also called Source Chi (Qi) or Original Chi (Qi), the Yuan Qi is the foundation of all the other types of Chi (Qi) in the body. The Yuan Qi is closely linked with the Prenatal Essence (Yuan Jing). Together, the Yuan Qi and Yuan Jing determine our overall health, vitality, stamina, and life span.
The Yuan Qi is the force behind the activity of all the organs and energies in the body. It is closely related to the Mingmen and works to provide body heat. The body's Yuan Qi is the catalytic agent for transforming the food we eat and the air we breathe into Postnatal Chi (Qi). It also facilitates the production of Blood.
Yuan Qi is housed in the Lower Dantian, and flows to all the internal organs and channels via the Triple Burners. Yuan Qi is said to enter the Twelve Primary Channels (the body's twelve major energy pathways) through the Yuan points (sometimes called Source points) in acupuncture theory.
Of the Three Dantians, the Lower Dantian is the closest to the Earth and is the most Yin; it is therefore the natural center for gathering and storing Earth Chi (Qi) within the body. In Medical Chi Kung, once students have learned to conserve and circulate their own Chi (Qi), they can increase it by connecting to the unlimited reservoirs of Chi (Qi) existing within the natural environment. Being the densest and easiest to feel, Earth energy is the first form of external Chi (Qi) with which the Chi Kung practitioner connects. This energetic connection with the Earth is important for two main reasons, described as follows:
- Chi Kung practitioners need the Yin grounding power of Earth Chi (Qi) to counterbalance the more active Yang energy cultivated during Chi Kung exercises. Without grounding in Earth Chi (Qi), many Chi Kung practitioners develop Chi (Qi) deviations in the form of excess heat.
- Each person's supply of Chi (Qi) is limited. When Chi Kung doctors extend their Chi (Qi) to heal others, they deplete their personal store of Chi (Qi) unless they are able to simultaneously replenish their supply from outside sources. Even people who do not practice Medical Chi Kung naturally draw Earth Chi (Qi) into their Lower Dantians as an unconscious action of survival and environmental adjustment. By practicing Chi Kung and directing conscious intent, the amount of Earth Chi (Qi) drawn into the body can be vastly increased.
THE LOWER DANTIAN AND SHEN
Given its Yin nature and close proximity to the Earth, the Lower Dantian itself is considered a center of consciousness. This consciousness is more physical and kinesthetic than the consciousness of the Middle or Upper Dantian. As the Lower Dantian is the energetic home for both the lower Po and lower Hun, it is subject to specific patterns of influence, described as follows:
- Influence of the Corporeal Soul (Po): The body's Jing is connected with the Seven Corporeal Souls, which are collectively known as the Po. The Po control our survival instinct and the subconscious physical reflexes associated with survival. For this reason, martial artists spend many hours cultivating their Lower Dantians to create the integration of Jing, Chi (Qi), and Shen needed for the split-second clarity of focus required in life-and-death struggles.
- Influence of the Ethereal Soul (Hun): The Lower Dantian is the residence of the Lower Hun, called Yu Jing, or Hidden Essence. This Hun is associated with the Earth, producing our desire for enjoying life and comforts, as well as our ability to fully experience the pure passions of life.
THE LOWER DANTIAN AND KINESTHETIC AWARENESS
In addition to being the center of physical strength and the source of stamina, the Lower Dantian is also considered the "house" of physical (kinesthetic) feeling, communication and awareness. Kinesthetic communication is the level of awareness referred to as "the intuition of the physical body," and is stimulated by particular aspects of the subconscious. The subconscious mind picks up many signals from the environment that are not processed by the logical mind. The subconscious mind may react to these signals with spontaneous body movements, or with subtle but powerful emotional responses sometimes referred to as "gut feelings."
Kinesthesia is defined as "the sensory experiences mediated by nervous elements within the muscles, tendons and joints, and stimulated by bodily movements and tensions characterized by movement." It is this kinetic state of awareness that allows the Chi Kung doctor to naturally feel the patient's internal resonant vibrations. When the doctors' body suddenly feels hot or cold, starts shaking or trembling, this may indicate that the subconscious mind is trying to communicate, and is resonating with the location and condition of the diseased areas within the patient's tissues.
Often, the feelings experienced in the Lower Dantian are very subtle. For this reason, Chi Kung doctors are trained to establish a heightened degree of awareness of their own body, and are thus able to pick up subtle variations and energetic shifts within themselves and others. When doctors collect energy in the Lower Dantian, an increased awareness and sensitivity naturally occurs. Cultivating this ability requires the practice of paying attention to the physical body (training kinesthetic awareness). A high level of awareness of the physical body, the surrounding environment, and the relationship between the two, is required in order to maximize kinesthetic communication. When physical awareness is increased, feeling and kinesthetic body movements happen naturally. These subtle senses allow Chi Kung doctors to feel, smell, or hear energetic phenomena as they are released from the patient's diseased tissues.
THE LOWER DANTIAN AND SCIENCE
The Lower Dantian's "Brain," is known in Western terms as the enteric (intestinal) nervous system. According to research conducted by Dr. Michael Gershon, a professor of anatomy and cellular biology at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, the Lower Dantian sends and receives impulses, records experiences, and responds to emotions. Its nerve cells are bathed in and influenced by the same type of neurotransmitters that exist in the Brain.
The entire nervous system mirrors the body's central nervous system and is a network of 100 million neurons (more neurons than the spinal cord), neurotransmitters, and proteins that can act independently of the body's Brain and can send messages, learn, remember, and produce feelings.
Dr. Gershon explains that major neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, glutamine, norepinephrine, nitric oxide, enkephalins (one type of natural opiate), and benzodiazepines (psychoactive chemicals that relieve anxiety) are active within the neural system of the lower abdominal area. The lower abdomen also has two dozen small Brain proteins called neuropeptides. Dr. Gershon's research provides modern scientific verification of what Eastern wisdom has taught for millennia; that centers of consciousness exist at places in the body apart from the organ of the Brain. The abdomen or Lower Dantian, is one of these major centers of awareness.
ANATOMICAL LOCATION OF THE LOWER DANTIAN
The Lower Dantian is centered below the umbilicus, and inside the lower abdomen, forming a downward pointing triangle. Its boundaries are defined by the three lower chakra gates, described as follows:
Huiyin (Meeting of the Yin): The lowest point of the Lower Dantian extends to the Huiyin CV-l point at the perineum. This point is located midway between the genitals (anterior Yin or Qianyin) and anus (posterior Yin or Houyin), traditionally known as the "Huiyin." The name "Huiyin" refers to the area on the body responsible for gathering and absorbing the Earth energy. This area is responsible for gathering the Yin energy into the body and Lower Dantian area via the three Yin leg channels (Liver, Spleen, and Kidney), and is the intersecting point for the Governing Vessel, Conception Vessel and Thrusting Vessels. This area is sometimes known as the lower gate of the Taiji Pole, or the bottom gate of the Lower Chakra.
Nine Chambers of Lower Datian for the female body
Shen Que (Spirit's Watch Tower): The front area of the Lower Dantian is located posterior to the Shenque CV-8 point at the navel. The name refers to the place where the mother's Chi (Qi) and Shen enter the embryo during fetal development. After the umbilical cord is cut, the cord extending out of the navel resembles a tower over the abdomen of the newborn, hence its name "Spiritual Tower." This area is sometimes known as the Front Dantian, or the front gate of the Second Chakra. In ancient China, it was believed that the twisting of the umbilical cord and the internal coiling of the intestines around it followed the patterns of the energetic vortex known as the "Taizhong" (Supreme Center), which spiraled between Heaven (the fetus' head) and Earth (the fetus' lower abdomen). It was through the energetic movement of the Taizhong that all things polarized (becoming either Yin or Yang) and received their form. It was also believed that the Heavenly center of this energetic vortex (within the center of the umbilicus) was equal to the Pole Star in the sky, around which the constellations continually spin. Therefore, the area of the umbilicus was sometimes called "Tianshu", the ''Pivot of Heaven," or the "Capital of the Spirit."
In Chinese cosmology, Yin and Yang and the three worlds of spirit, energy and matter polarize from the undifferentiated energetic center of the Wuji. As this energetic center begins to polarize, a spinning vortex is created, setting the pattern that forms the energetic template for all things. In ancient Daoism, this energetic interaction set the foundation for the creation of the Prenatal and Postnatal Bagua, the original Eight Trigram formations of the Yi-Jing.
Due to this internal connection, the area of the navel is considered to be the lair of Chi (Qi) and Shen, as energetically both Chi (Qi) and Shen continually spin and manifest from the umbilical area the same way that the stars and constellations spin around the Pole Star. The ancient Daoists considered the umbilical area the "root of preserving life," because the energetic treasure of its Chi (Qi) and Shen flowed outwards to connect with all of the internal organs. An ancient Chinese saying states, "When the umbilicus opens, the body's internal organs can interact with the womb of Heaven and Earth."
According to ancient Daoist philosophy, once the umbilical cord is cut, Heaven and Earth separate; and the fetus' Yin (Earth: Water Chi (Qi)) and Yang (Heaven: Fire Chi (Qi)) polarities divide. The Yang Shen rises upward into the chest and Middle Dantian area and becomes the Fire of the Heart; the Yin Jing descends into the lower abdomen and Lower Dantian area and becomes the Water of the Kidneys.
Mingmen (Gate of Destiny): The back area of the Lower Dantian is located at the Mingmen GV-4 point on the lower back, inferior to the second lumbar vertebra. The Mingrnen (Gate of Life, Fate, or Destiny) is located between the Kidneys, and in ancient times it was also called the "Gate of Destiny," the "Door of Fate," the "Golden Portal," the "Mysterious Pass," and the "Door of all Hidden Mysteries." It was believed that all of creation passed through this gate as it emerged from the eternal Dao to form the individual's Taiji Pole upon conception. Physiologically, the ancient Daoists also believed that the spiritual function of the Mingmen empowers the individual with the ability of energetic interpenetration. This ability allows the individual to move within the energetic forms of Yin and Yang, Jing and Shen, as well as the energetic forms of the inner aspects of the early and later Heaven.
Nine Chambers of Lower Datian for the male body
In ancient China, the concept of an individual's Virtue (De) and his or her Destiny (Ming) were closely connected. Destiny (associated with the Yuan Jing, Chi (Qi) and Shen) was given by Heaven at birth and stored away in the individual's Mingmen area between the Kidneys. The individual's Ming becomes the spark of life and the dynamic potential existing behind his or her thoughts and actions. Although the subtle impulses emanating from the individual's Ming are generally hidden from the conscious mind, through Meditations a deeper realm of understanding can be intuitively discovered and accessed.
It is up to the individual to consistently act in accordance with his or her Ming throughout life. This action is based on the individual's conscious use of his or her Intention (Yi). The intention to remain congruent with the "Will and Intent of Heaven" (Zhi Yi Tian) is what gives the individual Virtue (De). It is through the development of his or her Virtue that the individual establishes a healthy relationship with the Dao, Heaven and the spiritual world.
The Mingrnen is the root of Yuan Qi, and therefore determines life and death. The Mingmen provides one third of the body's "True Fire," supplies the heat for the Triple Burners, and is responsible for stabilizing the Kidneys and Lower Dantian. This anatomical area is sometimes known as the Back Dantian, or the back gate of the Second Chakra.
Lower Dantian Center: The center or middle of the Dantian refers to its position located between the navel and Mingmen areas. Medical Chi Kung schools in China differ in their opinions as to where the center of the Lower Dantian is located. Some schools teach that the center of the Lower Dantian is affected by the different anatomical locations of the male and female reproductive organs. In these particular schools, students are taught that in men, the center of the Lower Dantian is located posterior to the Guanyuan CV-4 (Gate of Original Chi (Qi)) point. The center of the Dantian area in a women is said to be located higher, posterior to the Qihai CV-6 [Sea of Chi (Qi)] point, located within the center of the Bao or Uterus.
TRAINING OF THE LOWER DANTIAN
All Chi Kung training begins with a focus on the Lower Dantian. In the beginning stages of Medical Chi Kung training, the doctor will encourage students to focus their mind and breath into the Lower Dantian. The purpose of this training is to gather the body's Yuan Qi into the Lower Dantian (called "returning to the source") to strengthen the foundational root of the body's energy.
Medical Chi Kung practitioners strive to gather and balance the Yin and Yang energy within the Lower Dantian. In ancient China, the union of Yin and Yang energy within the Lower Dantian was called "Dragon and Tiger swirling in the winding river." The ancient Daoist shamans believed that the "vital essence spirit" always appears in a bright white light energy within the Lower Dantian.
It is dangerous for Medical Chi Kung students to bypass the discipline of Lower Dantian cultivation training in an attempt to move quickly into the more advanced intuitive and psychic training of the Upper Dantian (Shen Kung). Such an approach to training may lead to Chi (Qi) deviations and cause emotional instability.
THE MIDDLE DANTIAN
The Heart is the primary organ related to the Middle Dantian. The secondary organ of the Middle Dantian is the Lungs. In Medical Chi Kung, the thymus gland is also important to the Middle Dantian.
In children, the thymus gland is quite large. As the child matures into adulthood, the thymus gland shrinks in size. Until recently, Western biologists thought that the thymus gland became vestigial and inactive in adults. Beginning in the 1980's, however, with the onset of the AIDS epidemic and the increase in cancer cases, intensive new research was launched into the immune system. As a result, scientists discovered that the thymus gland plays a major role in maturing the white blood cells to become immunocompetent; thus thymus function continues throughout one's life.
The Middle Dantian collects Chi (Qi) and represents the body's reservoir for mental and emotional vibrations and energy. The energy of Man that is transformed in the Middle Dantian has a fluid quality, like water.
A refining process also takes place in the Middle Dantian, transforming the fluid energy into more steam-like energy which is then transferred to the Upper Dantian. The Middle Dantian transforms Chi (Qi) into Shen by bringing the transformed Chi (Qi) into the Heart Fire. This alchemical process is commonly called "changing Chi (Qi) into Shen" and refers to kinesthetic energy transforming into spiritual consciousness.
The Middle Dantian is connected to the second level of Wei Qi, circulating from two inches around the body to roughly one feet outside the body. As the Middle Dantian fills with Chi (Qi), the colors of the student's middle field of Wei Qi change, becoming even more pronounced. The reason for this change is that the Middle Dantian is connected to the Five Agents, which in turn govern the five Yin organs and organ emotions. As the students begin to experience various stresses and emotional releases, their aura (resonating from the internal organ, into the second energetic field) changes its colors.
THE MIDDLE DANTIAN AND JING
The Heart is related to the Fire element. The Heart derives its Yang Fire from Kidney Yang. Modern research in Chinese medicine equates the function of the adrenal glands to the traditional function of Kidney Yang. A parallel can be observed in Western physiology, in which the adrenal glands help to regulate the pace of the heart.
To keep the Heart Fire in balance, the Heart also needs Yin. Heart Yin is derived from Kidney Yin (Jing is one aspect of Kidney Yin).
In traditional Chinese physiology, the Heart is said to govern the Blood. Gu Qi (energy distilled from the consumption and transformation of food and drink) is a form of postnatal Jing, transformed by the Spleen and Stomach. Blood is composed of Ying (Nutritive) Chi (Qi) [energy derived from food], Jing, and Fluids. The Kidneys also send prenatal Kidney Jing to the Heart to make Blood. Therefore, Jing particularly postnatal Jing, is vital to the Heart's function of governing Blood.
THE MIDDLE DANTIAN AND CHI (QI)
Similar to the Lower Dantian, the Middle Dantian is also considered to be a Sea of Chi (Qi). The Chi (Qi) of the Middle Dantian is called Zong Qi. Zong Qi is translated as Ancestral Chi (Qi), Gathering Chi (Qi) or Essential Chi (Qi). In English translation, it is sometimes confused with and mistranslated as the Original Chi (Qi) (Yuan Qi), yet they are not the same. The Zong Qi is a form of Postnatal Chi (Qi), whereas the Yuan Qi is housed in the Lower Dantian and is a form of Prenatal Chi (Qi). Zong Qi and the Yuan Qi assist each other to maintain the healthy function of the Heart and Lungs.
The Zong Qi nourishes both the Heart and Lungs, controls the speech and the strength of the voice, and interacts with the Kidneys to aid in respiration. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Kidneys assist the Lungs in grasping, holding, and stabilizing the breath during inhalation.
Chi (Qi) and Blood are closely related. In Chinese medicine, it is often said, "Chi (Qi) is the commander of Blood; Blood is the mother of Chi (Qi)." Chi (Qi) gives the Heart and Blood Vessels the strength to circulate Blood, and Chi (Qi) gives life to the Blood itself. Blood, on the other hand, houses the Chi (Qi) and carries it to all the cells in the body. When one loses Blood, one also loses Chi (Qi). Therefore, Chi (Qi) and Blood are considered to be inseparable.
Chi (Qi) is also inseparable from the mind and spirit. According to the teachings of ancient Tibetan Chi Kung masters, the channels are (metaphorically speaking) the roads, the Chi (Qi) is the horse, and the mind is the rider. Through the process of refining the Chi (Qi), the mind and spirit are refined and purified. The Middle Dantian is the main focal point for the refinement of Chi (Qi) into spirit.
In ancient China, the Middle Dantian was considered the primary location for women to focus on during meditation (the men were to focus on their Lower Dantian). The ancient Daoists believed that it was harmful for a woman to focus on her Lower Dantian for extended periods of time, especially during menses. In The Treatise of Spiritual Alchemy for Women, the Lower Dantian was considered to be an area for the woman to focus on only in the beginning stages of her practice. After completing the fusion of the Microcosmic and Macrocosmic Orbit meditations, a woman would then focus her attention on the Middle Dantian, located at center of her sternum. As the collected energy in her Middle Dantian overflows, it moves into her breasts, causing her nipples to become erect, and opening "one hundred energy channels within her body."
THE MIDDLE DANTIAN AND SHEN
Classically, the Chinese locate the mind in the Heart. In Chinese, the word for "mind" (Xin) is also the Chinese word for Heart. In Medical Chi Kung, a distinction is made between the acquired mind (Ren Xin) and the original mind (Yuan Xin).
The Middle Dantian is said to house the Shen, and to control all of the functions of Shen that are attributed to the Yin organs. Thus, the Heart is often referred to as the "Heavenly Emperor."
Throughout the world, people relate the Heart to emotions and feelings. Emotions and feelings are an important aspect of the spirit. All emotions have an effect on the Shen.
The human mind easily falls under the influence of the Po (the Seven Corporeal Souls) that are concerned with survival. When the Po dominate the Heart, their over exaggerated self-concern gives rise to a chronic state of fear, sadness, worry, anger, and defensive arrogance. These negative emotions are sometimes called "the five thieves" because even though negative emotions are necessary aspects of life, chronic states of negative emotions drain the Chi (Qi).
The Middle Dantian is the residence of the Middle Hun named Shang Ling or "Pleasant Soul." Shang Ling is situated in the Heart and is considered a soul that is concerned with the wellbeing of others. It is associated with the Five Agents and produces our desire to be involved in social activities and responsibilities.
The redeeming virtue of the Heart is a sense of propriety and discriminating awareness. The Hun (the Three Ethereal Souls) control the smooth flow of Chi (Qi) throughout the body and are nourished by the Five Virtues of kindness, order, trust, integrity, and wisdom. These Five Virtues give peace and clarity to the Heart and allow the higher qualities of the Yuan Shen to overrule the Po.
An important relationship between the Middle Dantian and Shen is found in the Heart's role of governing the Blood. The ancient classics state that the Shen also resides in the Blood and pervades the body through Blood circulation. This relationship between Blood and Shen is one reason why anemic patients are often restless and suffer from insomnia. Many forms of spiritual unrest can be treated through nourishing the Heart Blood.
According to Dr. Candace Pert's information on neurotransmitters (stated in Psychoneuro Immunology), the brain and white blood cells both contain the same neurotransmitters and biochemical constituents that are prerequisites for the existence of consciousness awareness. The same neurotransmitters and biochemical constituents that are linked to consciousness are synthesized and created by the white blood cells. This correspondence indicates that not only do the brain and abdomen have their own consciousness and nervous systems, but the Blood does as well. This further implies that consciousness is possible anywhere in the body, substantiating the ancient Chinese understanding that consciousness is pervasive throughout the body via the Shen, which resides in the Blood.
THE MIDDLE DANTIAN AND EMPATHIC AWARENESS
The Middle Dantian is also considered the "house" of emotional (empathic) feeling, communication, and awareness. Emotional communication is experienced as empathy within the Heart. This empathy is the means by which the Chi Kung doctor will most frequently become aware of the emotional components of the patient's energetic blocks and imbalances.
Empathic communication is felt as an emotion and originates in the Heart and Middle Dantian area. When Chi Kung doctors focus on the Middle Dantian area, a line of communication is created with their higher self. We are all born with this ability, but as we grow older we tend to override this type of emotional communication with an exaggerated dependence on the logical mind. Through shock, disappointment, denial, and lack of use, impressions slowly diminish, eventually causing us to lose this natural empathic ability of communication. We generally disconnect from this higher perception as a response to the negative and mixed messages received from our parents and from society. The way to reconnect with the intuitive self is to look inward and become one with the true self that is connected to the divine.
THE MIDDLE DANTIAN AND SCIENCE
According to research conducted by Dr. Paul Pearsall, the history and impressions of the Heart (Middle Dantian) are recorded and stored in every cell of the human body as a sort of informational template of the soul. The Heart can literally perceive and react to the external world on its own.
According to bioscientific measurements, the Heart has five thousand times more electromagnetic power than the brain. It is considered to be the body's primary generator and transmitter of life-force energy, constantly sending out patterns of energetically" encoded" information that regulates the organs, tissues and cells. It beats approximately one hundred thousand times a day and forty million times a year. It propels more than two gallons of Blood per minute and transports about one hundred gallons of Blood per hour throughout the vascular system.
Recent discoveries from research conducted in the new field of neurocardiology (the study of the heart as a neurological, endocrine and immune organ) include the following:
- Neurotransmitters found in the brain have also been identified within the heart.
- Through hormones, neurotransmitters and "quantum energies" (Chi), the heart exerts as much control over the brain as the brain exerts over the heart.
- The heart requires constant environmental updates from the brain in order to organize the body's bioenergetic fields.
- The heart produces a neurohormone that communicates with the brain and immune system, influencing the thalamus, hypothalamus, pineal, and pituitary glands.
ANATOMICAL LOCATION OF THE MIDDLE DANTIAN
The Middle Dantian, having four points, is shaped like a tetrahedron: the top points toward the Upper Dantian and the Heavens, the bottom points toward the Lower Dantian and the Earth, and the sides point toward the front and back. These areas are described as follows:
The Yellow Court (Huangting): The front lower point of the Middle Dantian is located at the Spirit Storehouse (Shenfu) CV-15 point on the midline of the abdomen, just below the xiphoid bone on the sternum. This point is now commonly called the Turtledove Tail in modem Chinese acupuncture texts. This area is where the Postnatal Chi (Qi) flows downwards through the Stomach Channels, and the Prenatal Chi (Qi) flows upwards through the Kidney Channels. They converge with the Thrusting Vessel in order to balance the Fire and Water polarities of the Heart and Kidneys.
Nine Chambers of Middle Dantian for male & female
According to the Ling Shu (Magical Pivot), this area is the Yuan (source or original) point of all the Yin organs, affecting the Yuan Qi of all five Yin organs. The Yellow Court nourishes the Yin organs, regulates the Heart and calms the spirit (especially in cases of Yin Deficiency). The Yellow Court is the connecting point for the Conception Vessel; it is the Mu point of the sexual organs and is sometimes known as the front gate of the Third Chakra.
In ancient Daoist alchemy, this point was known as Shenfu, the Spirit Storehouse, and is the place where Chi (Qi) transforms into Shen. Today this point is commonly called the "Yellow Court" (Huangting) because it reflects the emotions stored from the Heart. In ancient Chinese medicine, the Heart was often referred to as the "Yellow Emperor" or "Suspended Gold."
The responsibility of the Pericardium (known as the "Minister of Council", and the "Heart's Protector") was to store emotional experiences that the Heart was not yet ready to process into the emperor's courtyard. These emotions would stay outside the realm of the Heart within the courtyard (known as the "Yellow Court") until the Heart was ready to receive or face the information and experience.
Historically, there has been much confusion and disagreement as to the actual location of the Yellow Court. This confusion stems from the understanding that the Yellow Court is also a generalized term referring to the energetic centers of Chi (Qi) transformation (the Three Dantians). Some Daoist traditions maintain that the Yellow Court and Middle Dantian are located in the same area, being both associated with the Heart. Other traditions assign the Yellow Court to the energetic functions of the Spleen.
In ancient China, the transformation of Chi (Qi) into Shen occurring in the Yellow Court was considered the pivotal stage in energetic alchemy. The Yellow Court was the location where the emergence of the spiritual embryo (Taixi) takes place. Therefore, the exact location of the Yellow Court was historically kept secret. Because of the overlap of energies existing between the Heart and Spleen, only a true Daoist initiate would be able to clearly differentiate the exact location of the Yellow Court.
Energetically, the Yellow Court is believed to be a microcosmic replica of the Dao of the universe, as Yin and Yang polarities continually emerge from and return to it. According to Chinese alchemy, reuniting the Kan (Yang: Fire) and Li (Yin: Water) of the five Yin organs at the Yellow Court reconnected the individual with the energies of the former (Prenatal) and later (Postnatal) Heavenly Realms. This energetic reversal enabled the individual's Shen to "come and go between the physical and spiritual realms".
- Jinsuo (Sinew Contraction): The back lower point of the Middle Dantian is located at the Jinsuo GV-8 point. The name of this point, Jinsuo (Sinew Contraction), refers to its relationship to the Liver, and is commonly used to treat Liver Wind and calm the spirit. This area is sometimes known as the back gate of the Third Chakra.
Crossing the center of the torso, the horizontal axis between the front and back gates of the Yellow Court also intersects with the vertical axis of the great vortex of the Taiji Pole, connecting the energy of Heaven and Earth as it flows through the body.
- Shanzhong (Central Altar): The front center point of the Middle Dantian is located at the Shanzhong CV-17 point on the middle of the sternum at the level of the fourth intercostal space. The name refers to the "place of worship" where the Shen resides. This area is sometimes known as the front gate of the Fourth Chakra.
- Shendao (Spirit Path): The back center point of the Middle Dantian is located two inches up from the shoulder blades at the Shendao GV-ll point located at the hollow between the fifth and sixth thoracic vertebrae. This point's name refers to its use for direct access into the patient's Shen (within the Heart), and is especially used when the front of the Heart is armored. It is also the access point to the individual's moral virtues (associated with the Eternal Soul existing within the Heart) and his or her connection to the Dao (Divine) and De (Virtue). This area is sometimes known as the back gate of the Fourth Chakra.
- Tiantu (Heaven's Chimney): The upper front point of the Middle Dantian is located at the Tiantu CV-22 point, at the base of the throat. The name refers to the cavity at the base of the throat that "pools" escaped Heaven Chi (Qi) from the Lungs. It is the intersection point of the body's six Yin channels (Liver, Heart, Spleen, Lungs, Pericardium and Kidneys) and Conception Vessel. For this reason, it is considered an influential point in accessing the body's Yin Sea of Chi (Qi). This area is sometimes known as the front gate of the Fifth Chakra.
- Dazhui (Big Vertebra): The upper back point is located on the Dazhui GV-14 (Big Vertebra) point on the back. The point's name refers to its location above the relatively large first thoracic vertebra and below the much smaller seventh cervical vertebra. It is the intersection point of the body's six Yang channels (Gall Bladder, Small Intestine, Stomach, Large Intestine, Triple Burners and Urinary Bladder) and Governing Vessel. Therefore, it is considered an influential point of the body's Yang Sea of Chi (Qi). This area is sometimes known as the back gate of the Fifth Chakra.
- Middle Dantian Center: The center of the Middle Dantian is located in the right atrium of the heart, centered between the sinoatrial node (SA node) and the atrioventricular node (AV node). The center of the heart is considered the seat of all emotions.
TRAINING OF THE MIDDLE DANTIAN
In Medical Chi Kung training, students are encouraged to focus their mind and breath on the Middle Dantian to regulate the Heart. Techniques are used for treating deficient conditions by drawing Chi (Qi) into the Heart and Middle Dantian area, and then regulating the body's energetic fields. For treating excess conditions, the students are instructed to lead and purge the Excess Chi (Qi) from the Heart and Middle Dantian area and release it outward through the body's extremities. The purpose of this training is to release the toxic Excess Chi (Qi) gathered in the patient's Heart and Yellow Court areas.
Students of Medical Chi Kung also focus on the Middle Dantian in order to train themselves to release their own psycho-emotional patterns. Only after sufficient development of the Middle Dantian does the Medical Chi Kung student have the maturity and sensitivity to correctly diagnose the patient's psycho-emotional patterns.
Medical Chi Kung practitioners strive to gather and balance both the Yin and Yang energy within the Middle Dantian. In ancient China, this union of Yin and Yang energy within the Middle Dantian was called, "The Sun and Moon reflecting on each other in the Yellow Palace." The ancient Chinese Daoist shamans believed that the "spirit of man," who stands as a liaison spirit between Heaven and Earth, always appears in a golden yellow light energy, and resides within the Middle Dantian.
THE UPPER DANTIAN
The Upper Dantian collects the Chi (Qi) of Heaven and represents the spiritual aspect of man and his connection to the divine. The Heaven energy that is transformed in the Upper Dantian has a thin, ethereal, vapor-like quality.
The Upper Dantian is connected to the third field of Wei Qi, circulating several feet outside the body. As the Upper Dantian fills with Chi (Qi), spiritual intuition and psychic perception increase.
In Chinese medical physiology, the Brain controls memory, concentration, sight, hearing, touch, and smell. These senses stay in close communication with the Heart and Shen. The Upper Dantian is also considered the house of spiritual (intuitive) communication, awareness, and feelings.
THE UPPER DANTIAN AND JING
The Jing and Chi (Qi) form the material foundation for the Shen. In Chinese, the term Jing-Shen means mind or consciousness. Jing-Shen may also mean vigor, vitality, or drive. In China, doctors of both Western and Traditional Chinese Medicine use the term Jing-Shen Bing to refer to all types of mental illness. The term Shen is nearly always used with the understanding of the close relationship between the mind and spirit, even in the modern medical context.
The term Prenatal Wu Jing Shen is used in Medical Chi Kung to describe the body's Original Five Essence Spirits (Hun, Po, Zhi, Yi, and Shen). These five spirits combine the energetic essence of the five Yin organs in order to create the body's innate spiritual consciousness.
The Jing itself is considered the basis for, and ruler of Marrow, which is defined in Chinese medicine as a substance derived from the Kidneys which nourishes the Brain and spinal cord and also forms the Bone Marrow. The Brain is one of the Six Extraordinary Organs and is called the "Sea of Marrow," as it is considered to be a form of Marrow.
The Six Extraordinary Organs are hollow Yang organs that store Yin Jing. Deficiency of Jing may lead to poor concentration, poor memory, dizziness, and absentmindedness. Deficiency of Prenatal Jing is related to mental retardation and attention deficit disorder (ADD) in children.
In some styles of Chi Kung, the Jing is intentionally conserved and its energy is drawn upwards from the Lower Dantian through the spine to nourish the Brain. Such nourishment benefits the mind and enhances spiritual consciousness.
THE UPPER DANTIAN AND CHI (QI)
The head is the most Yang aspect of the body since it is the part of the body closest to Heaven. The Chi (Qi) that operates in the Upper Dantian is, therefore, Yang in nature. The Spleen and Kidneys send the Clear Yang Chi (Qi) [pure, light, and insubstantial] upwards to the Brain to facilitate mental clarity and activity.
The Upper Dantian is also the place where the individual connects with the Yang Chi (Qi) of Heaven. Chi Kung practitioners consciously absorb Heavenly Chi (Qi) through the upper doorway, Baihui GV-20. Heaven Chi (Qi) is composed of the Chi (Qi) from the celestial bodies: the sun, moon, planets, and stars. The Upper Dantian is located in the center of the Brain, in an area that encompasses the pineal, pituitary, thalamus, and hypothalamus glands.
The pineal gland and hypothalamus have been shown to be extremely sensitive to the influence of light. In his book, The Body Electric, Dr. Robert Becker cites experiments with bees and several species of birds that navigate by the light of the sun. In birds, this ability may be due to the fact that they have disproportionately large pineal glands. He also discovered that birds seem to have a backup system of navigation based upon sensitivity to the electromagnetic fields of the Earth.
Light, electricity, and magnetism are three forms of energy that the Brain is naturally conditioned to automatically recognize, receive, and respond to. Additionally, the Brain also interacts with and generates the energy of light, electricity, and magnetism. These particular forms of energy stimulate the pineal, pituitary, thalamus, and hypothalamus glands, influencing the individual's mental and emotional state. The function and patterning of the Brain is dependent on the interactions of countless energetic structures within fields of light, electricity, and magnetism. Although the Brain is also influenced by heat and sound, it does not use or generate them to the degree that it generates light, electricity, and magnetism.
THE UPPER DANTIAN AND SHEN
We have already discussed the relationship of the Jing and the Shen with the Upper Dantian. Of particular interest to Daoist alchemists is the opening of the center of the Upper Dantian, called the "Crystal Room," as this is where psychic perceptions and intuitive awareness take place. Higher communications, experiences of intense bliss, and perceptions that transcend time and space are associated with the Upper Dantian.
These experiences are particularly valuable to Chi Kung doctors, who are trained to use these heightened perceptions to diagnose illness. The efficacy of intuitive cognition is well documented in the works of C. Norman Shealy and Caroline Myss, who use the term "medical intuitive" to describe this paranormal ability.
The Upper Dantian is also the place where the Eternal Soul connects with the Wuji and with the Dao. The awareness associated with this union is beyond description, as this level of unity surpasses conceptual thought and words.
Although the Upper Dantian is responsible for the fruition of intuitive and psychic perceptions, it is necessary to balance the combined energetic properties of all three Dantians in order to establish a reliable foundation for genuine psychic perception. The steam-like quality of the energy within the Upper Dantian fuses with the light that naturally resides within this center. As this combined energy disperses, it travels outward into the Wuji, returning back to the divine. This interaction (of the refined "steam" and the indwelling light) is also responsible for what the Chinese call "receiving the message," which describes the ability of connecting with a patient's subtle energy field to acquire hidden knowledge stored within the tissues.
While in a state of tranquility and inner peace, the Chi Kung doctor's Upper Dantian intuitively processes information from the environment and universe. This intuitive knowledge provides the Chi Kung doctor with a greater ability to explore his or her own consciousness, as well as the subtle subconscious patterns of the patient. The ancients called this ability "knowing without knowing".
The Upper Dantian is the residence of the upper Hun named Tai Guang or Eminent Light. This Hun naturally connects with Heaven and strives for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual purity.
THE UPPER DANTIAN AND INTUITIVE AWARENESS
As the Shen is developed and the Upper Dantian is opened, spiritual communications may reveal themselves in a flash of an image or as a vision in the mind's eye. These images and visions are sometimes very brief and abstract. Correctly interpreting these images takes practice, as the images streaming from the Yuan Shen must be distinguished from the dreamlike wanderings of the subconscious and cannot be interpreted easily by the logical mind.
Chi Kung doctors must be able to distinguish between true and false messages reflected through their visions. True visions are received from the doctor's divine connection to the Dao or Wuji, while false visions reflect messages from the subconscious. The ability to accurately separate these visions is another example of "knowing without knowing."
Although intuitive communication from within is usually felt as a strong impulse, the Chi Kung doctor must learn to keep the logical mind from interfering by practicing spiritual meditations. These meditations involve techniques of establishing and strengthening clear links of communication with the higher self. They should be practiced repeatedly until this connection becomes a natural, recurring phenomenon, replacing the otherwise endless drone of the ego and the logical mind. The more one practices stilling the logical mind and circumventing the ego, the easier it becomes to receive a clear communication from the higher self. When the higher self initiates a communication, it does not demand or impose itself.
If an individual consistently ignores these subtle internal communications from the higher self, they often begin to manifest externally in various messages conveyed through people, places and things. These external messages often supersede the individual's own realm of internal intuition.
Five Spiritual Principles
Five spiritual principles must be in place before communication lines between the individual and the higher self become fully open and operational. These five spiritual principles are described as follows:
- The individual must have purity of intention
- The individual must have no hidden agendas
- The individual must surrender to the Divine Will
- The individual must have complete trust and faith in success (believes and expects)
- The individual must have a quiet and receptive stillness of mind
The lines of communication with the higher self are severed by the logical mind through doubt, fear, and disbelief. Strong faith is required to open this line of communication. Faith requires no logical proof; if proof is needed then doubts interfere and lead to failure. The logical mind cannot know absolute faith, as genuine faith must come from much deeper within one's true self. Any form of cynicism will lead to the stagnation of spiritual growth, for it strikes at the root of faith itself.
Faith is not something that can be forced. Even after practicing Medical Chi Kung for many years, Chi Kung doctors may still have to struggle with their own questions and doubts. Through dedicated practice, however, the seed of faith is firmly established, allowing it to grow and blossom. The opposite of faith is a combination of doubt and fear, oppression and denial of fear builds and armors the ego, leading to further pain through isolation and confusion. When an individual acknowledges and accepts fear, he or she can overcome any obstacle through faith.
THE UPPER DANTIAN AND SCIENCE
The Upper Dantian, in particular the Brain, may contain more cellular connections than there are stars in the Milky Way constellation. The Brain never truly falls completely asleep, and it is sustained by different levels of subconscious awareness. Energetically, the Brain is constantly active. It is in a state of perpetual readiness, designed to react, defend, or attack when it senses danger.
ANATOMICAL LOCATION OF THE UPPER DANTIAN
The Upper Dantian is centered in the head, approximately three inches posterior to the Yintang point between the eyebrows. It is shaped like an upright pyramid, facilitating the gathering of energy from Heaven. This pyramidal reservoir houses light. The anatomical locations of the Upper Dantian are described as follows:
1. Yintang (Hall of Impression): The front point of the Upper Dantian is the Yintang point. This name refers to the ancient Buddhist tradition of placing a red mark or "seal" over the Bright Hall, or Entrance of the Spirit. The ancient Buddhist tradition maintains that the Third Eye is roughly the size and shape of a large almond. Its left and right lids draw apart simultaneously to illuminate its chamber with spiritual light. The ancient Daoist text, Huang Ting Jing (The Yellow Court Classics), written during the Jin Dynasty (265-420 A.D.), refers to this point as "the square inch field of the square foot house." The square foot house refers to the human face, the square inch field refers to the chamber of the Bright Hall. The Yintang point represents wisdom and enlightenment, and is sometimes known as the front gate of the Sixth Chakra, or the Third Eye point.
2. Fengfu (Wind Palace): The back point of the Upper Dantian is located below the external occipital protuberance, on the Fengfu GV-16 (Wind Palace) point. This area is also connected with the UB-10 (Heavenly Pillar) points, positioned on either side slightly below the GV-16 point. The energy field connected to this point may be likened to an antenna receiving messages. It allows the Chi Kung doctor to regulate his or her state of consciousness and thereby tune-in to the various frequencies of consciousness existing within the universe.
The ancient Daoists taught that the two Celestial Pillar points (UB-10) were trance-medium channel points. In certain esoteric schools, these points are considered the main points through which spiritual entities could extend their Chi (Qi) and Shen into the physical body. This area was therefore commonly used for spirit communication via language (i.e. channeling).
The GV-16 point is a Sea of Marrow point used to affect the flow of Chi (Qi) and Blood to the Brain. It is also a "Window of Heaven" point (one of eleven points used for treating Shen disturbances), as well as one of the "Thirteen Ghost Points" (used for treating spirit possession) identified by the famous Daoist physician Sun Simiao. Medical Chi Kung doctors have observed that individuals with a more prominent occipital protuberance tend to see auras more easily and develop psychic intuition faster. This area is sometimes known as the back gate of the Sixth Chakra.
3. Baihui (One Hundred Meetings): The highest point of the Upper Dantian is located on the vertex of the crown, on the Baihui GV-20 point. The name, "Baihui" refers to the ancient understanding that an individual can access and receive divine messages and spiritual intuitions through this point. The esoteric Daoists understand that the Baihui is one of the areas that directs the Heavenly Chi (Qi) into the Chamber of Mysterious Elixir, located within the third ventricle of the Brain. The Baihui area is sometimes known as the upper gate of the Taiji Pole, or the upper gate of the Seventh Chakra.
It is also said that all of the body's major channels maintain a connecting vessel to the Baihui so that at death the Shen can leave the body through this upper doorway and ascend to the Heavenly realms.
According to legend, Huang Di (the Yellow Emperor), was credited as being the true originator of ancient Shamanistic or Magical Daoism. It is said that the Yellow Emperor would gather and meet with one hundred spirits and ten thousand souls at the "Mingtang" (The Hall of Light), located the ninth chamber of the Upper Dantian, in front of the Celestial Court. In energetic cosmology, the Yellow Emperor is believed to represent the human soul located within the inner chambers of the Heart, within the Middle Dantian.
Four times a year (during the equinoxes and solstices), the one hundred spirits and ten thousand souls would gather together at the meeting place of the Baihui and Sishencong, allowing the human soul the ability to communicate with the spirit world at the Mingtang or Hall of Light. This interaction could be initiated in meditation by rolling the eyes upwards and focusing on the Mingtang or Hall of Light Chamber. The joining and crossing of the eyes at the Mingtang area allowed for the convergence of the individual's Hun (Ethereal Sou!), Po (Corporeal Soul), and Yuan Shen (Original or Prenatal Spirit) to unite with the spiritual energy of the Dao.
In ancient Daoist alchemy, the energetic influence of the Mingtang was sometimes grouped together with the nose, occiput, throat, Heart, spinal column, and coccyx. These seven areas were known as the "Seven Gates" (Qimen), and were important gateways of energetic and spiritual interaction.
4. Upper Dantian Center: The center of the Upper Dantian is located in the pineal gland, which is a small, reddish-gray colored gland attached to the base of the third ventricle of the Brain, in front of the cerebellum. The pineal gland is a mass of nerve matter, containing corpuscles resembling nerve cells and small hard masses of calcareous particles. It is larger in children than in adults and more developed in women than in men. The pineal gland is the organ of telepathic communication, and receives its impressions through the medium of vibrations caused by thoughts projected from other individuals. When an individual thinks, he or she initiates a series of vibrations within the surrounding energy field which is radiated out from his or her body as energetic waves and pulses. Therefore, this area is considered the space where the Shen transcends the limitations of form and merges with the infinite space of the Wuji. From the Wuji, the Shen then progresses towards reuniting with the Dao.
Nine Chambers of Upper Dantian for male and female
TRAINING OF THE UPPER DANTIAN
In Medical Chi Kung, the training of the Upper Dantian is used for cultivating spiritual intuition and light. Upper Dantian training exercises are commonly known as Shengong meditations (Arhatic Yoga by GMCKS), and are the primary methods used for advancing the doctor's psychic ability.
The Chi Kung doctor may absorb universal and environmental Chi (Qi) into the Upper Dantian through the Baihui, Yin Tang (Third Eye region), and the Tian Men (located in the center of the forehead) points. The energy is gathered and then directed as healing energy to the patient through either the Yin Tang or Tian Men points. The Shen can both exit and enter the body from the Upper Dantian by way of the Baihui, Yin Tang, or Tian Men Heavenly Gate) areas.
Medical Chi Kung practitioners strive to gather and balance Yin and Yang energy within the Upper Dantian. In ancient China, the union of Yin and Yang energy within the Upper Dantian was called "The union of husband and wife in the bed-chamber." The ancient Daoist shamans believed that the "primordial breath" (the basic life-giving substance within the body) always appeared as a blue-green light energy, residing as a luminous mist within the Ni-Wan Palace of the Upper Dantian.
In some Daoist traditions, it is said that when an individual's internal cultivation has reached an advanced stage, the inner apertures of the Upper Dantian's nine chambers naturally open. This energetic opening reveals nine small circular spheres revolving around the circumference of a large ball of light. This large ball of light corresponds to the sun and the nine smaller balls of light correspond to the nine planets, like a miniature version of the solar system..
THE ENERGETIC FUNCTIONS OF THE THREE DANTIANS
The primary functions of the Three Dantians is to gather, store, and transform life-force energy. The energy reservoirs of the Three Dantians are linked externally through the Governing and Conception Vessels and internally through the Thrusting Vessels and the Taiji Pole.
The center of each Dantian is penetrated by and attached to the Taiji Pole, which extends from the Baihui point at the top of the head to the Huiyin point at the perineum. The anatomical location of each of the Dantians corresponds to a physiological center for heat, light, magnetic and electrical vibration. The intensity and charge of this vibration is dependent on the individual's mental intention, posture, and respiration.
Chi (Qi) moves into the body's Dantians through the body's Taiji Pole. The energy is then absorbed into the body's major organs and surrounding tissues as it flows through the Dantians and into the body's internal and external channels and collaterals. Energy is also absorbed from the external environment through the channels, tissues and organs, flowing into the Three Dantians and ultimately into the Taiji Pole.
Each Dantian acts like a reservoir, collecting energy and redistributing it into all of the internal organs. This energy projects through the surface of the body into the Wei Qi field. The same energy is also projected throughout the physical body, flowing through the energy channels, the nervous system and the endocrine glands, and then saturating the Blood to nourish the whole body.
This energy transformation can be visualized as follows: Chi (Qi) flows into the body like rainwater flowing into a pond (the body absorbing and collecting Chi (Qi) into the Dantians). The rainwater is then absorbed into the surrounding soil, foliage, and root systems (skin, tissues, and cells) before it gathers, collects, and pools into deep artesian wells (the Dantians). Pressure begins to build up as these artesian wells fill with the rainwater and eventually overflow, pouring into smaller pools (the organs) before combining with the rushing flow of underground streams (the channels).
Another popular analogy is to consider the Dantians as batteries, the body's Taiji Pole as a magnetic bar connecting the batteries together, the channels as the wires, and the Wei Qi fields as the electromagnetic fields manifesting from the energy contained within the structure.
Mental and emotional awareness of a specific tissue area can be heightened through increasing the flow of energy to that location. When energy fills the tissues, a cellular reaction causes the tissues to either store or release emotions, depending on the body's excess or deficient Chi (Qi).
If, by focused intention, Chi (Qi) is increased in the Lower Dantian, the result is a heightened feeling of power and stability. If, by focused intention, Chi (Qi) is increased in the Middle Dantian, the result is a heightened feeling of emotional awareness. If, by focused intention, Chi (Qi) is increased in the Upper Dantian, a heightened spiritual awareness and sense of connection to the divine occurs. The health of the individual and the strength of his or her energetic fields depend on the amount of energy present in the Three Dantians.
Excerpt by Professor Jerry Alan Johnson Ph.D., D.T.C.M., D.M.Q. (China).
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