It is commonly held that the pineal gland is the ‘seat of the soul,’ a meta-physical portal of sorts that is believed to play an important role in conscious awareness and spiritual experience. Certain practices and supplements may assist in improving the function of the pineal gland, however, by training the more fundamental energy centers of the body, the Dan Tien, one can more quickly achieve heightened spiritual awareness, and over time a much more powerful and deeper sense of intuition and connectedness than by concentrating on the pineal gland alone.
This is the secret that the great masters of Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Qi Gong have known for centuries. This is the key to elevated consciousness, to super-human strength, to unbending will-power and extreme longevity.
At its core, all matter is made up of energy in motion, the human body being no different. We are energetic beings, sensitive to the currents around us, with the capacity to expend energy and to draw energy from nature, from other beings, and from food and air.
People can give off positive, confident ‘vibes,’ and at other times radiate negative energy, both of which can be contagious, affecting the mood and energy level of others. Some people just seem more magnetic, alive, aware and more radiant than others do, for example, Bruce Lee. Practices of cultivating Dan Tien can develop one’s ability to gather, build, store, and more effectively use personal energy, or Qi, transforming themselves into the kind of person with abundant and infectious positive Qi. The elixir of life.
Literally, “Field of Elixir.” Locations in the body which are able to store and generate Qi (elixir) in the body. The Upper, Middle and Lower Dan Tien are located, respectively, between the eyebrows, at the solar plexus, and a few inches below the navel. [Dr. Yang, The Root of Chinese Qigong: Secrets of Health, Longevity, & Enlightenment]
Lower Dan Tien is the base foundation of the body’s energy structure, acting as the root, or grounding center, as well as being the physical center of the human body. When attention is focused here, it is easy to recognize a concentration of energy. Practices for building and refining the energy of Lower Dan Tien may include physical exercises, guided meditations, breathing exercises, and visualizations, as well as more extreme practices.
When the energy in Lower Dan Tien is strong, the person is vibrant, in good health, full with energy and stamina, and physically robust. If the person is deficient here, then they will be weak, feeble, and of ill-constitution. A simple analogy is that of a battery, or re-chargeable energy source for your body:
“A dantian is simply an energy center. Think of the battery you have in your cell phone. Most of us charge our phones overnight so when we wake the next morning, we have a phone that can get us through our busy day. The dantians, much like that battery, have the potential for robust power that can be utilized for a variety of activities. Conversely, by the end of the day, you are scrambling around for your charger because you have only 2% on your phone and, God forbid, you miss the next important Facebook post. The same is true for the energy centers in the body.” [Breaking Muscle]
This center of the body is considered by both energy healers and scientists alike to be the center of a ‘second’ human brain, or ‘brain in the gut.’ It is a concentration of components of the nervous system that resembles the brain, and technically known as the enteric nervous system, but more closely linked to emotional intelligence, rather than thought processing.
“A deeper understanding of this mass of neural tissue, filled with important neurotransmitters, is revealing that it does much more than merely handle digestion or inflict the occasional nervous pang. The little brain in our innards, in connection with the big one in our skulls, partly determines our mental state and plays key roles in certain diseases throughout the body.” [Scientific American]
The phenomenal thing about training Dan Tien is that truly anyone can do it, and anyone can achieve quick results even without access to a school or formal program. Many of the most profound practices are also the most gentle, and a number of Chi masters have revealed their secrets in books, videos, and instructional seminars, so that nowadays, formerly esoteric knowledge of the body, mind and spirit is available to all who seek it. There are many excellent free training videos available online, and with these resources you are equipped to take control of your own health and spiritual development.
A small amount of dedication and self-discipline can quickly lead to big gains in wellness and spiritual awareness with this type of training. When seeking a better understanding of life and our purpose in it, if we first concentrate on developing the foundation of the energetic body, rather than on more esoteric concepts like the pineal gland, then big changes in psyche and spiritual aptitude come quickly and with increasing ease, and are more likely to persist and become a part of ordinary awareness.
Training Dan Tien, starting with Lower Dan Tien, is the most effective means of refining your will power, concentration, and spiritual connection. For a simple place to start, take a look at the following resources. The first video is a very beneficial exercise which involves beating and drumming Qi, as you’ll see:
The next short training video emphasizes a relaxing and energizing swaying movement which is terrific as a starting point to developing sensitivity to the energy flow and inherent power in the area of Lower Dan Tien. Here are some guidelines to consider:
“As with any Qigong work, focused intention is the great difference maker when we are talking about effectiveness. My suggested repetition range would be between fifty to 200 cycles. The good news is fifty repetitions of the swaying Qigong exercise can take less than ninety seconds. And 200 repetitions takes perhaps a little more than five minutes. These exercises can be overdone, though, so please stay within the confines of the recommendations presented in the videos.” [Breaking Muscle]
About the Author
Dylan Charles is a student and teacher of Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Qi Gong, a practitioner of Yoga and Taoist esoteric arts, and an activist and idealist passionately engaged in the struggle for a more sustainable and just world for future generations. He is the editor of WakingTimes.com, the proprietor of OffgridOutpost.com, a grateful father and a man who seeks to enlighten others with the power of inspiring information and action. His remarkable journey of self-transformation is a testament to the power of the will and the persistence of the human spirit. He may be contacted at [email protected].
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