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 Question On The Function Of The Dan Tien, and its role in circulations
fatherjhon
post Apr 5 2011, 12:21 AM
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My acupuncturist recently treated me for some persistent injuries and through the course of the treatment I noticed many of the sensations I have learned or have been taught to know as sings of malfunctioning energy work. When I checked for other signs (burgeoning chi on hands and feet, inability to place my awareness at that spot) I found that no other signs where present. I talked to my acupuncturist about this and my energetic practices and he commented that the dan tien is a reservoir not a dam. This indicated to me that although I do circulations (admittedly not well) and also dissolve of the energy gates I still have a poor circulation probably arising from my cultivation techniques.

I have been using dan tien as a place to store energy -and have gotten rather good at it- and have been taking that energy and either using it or circulating it and when the circulation is complete I lead the chi back to my dan tien. Most of the sources I have looked into suggest that this is what I am supposed to do until I reach I point where energy is able to circulate on its own- some 100 days by most counts, though others say a year. However, the amount of chi that I felt moving during the acupuncture treatment was far in excess of what I can normally circulate.

My question then, is on role that the dan tien plays in circulations and how this might be effecting my ability to circulate chi - assuming of course I am not simply bad at it.


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Cosmic consciousness is devoid of diversity; yet the universe of diversity exists in notion....
We contemplate that reality in which everything exists, to which everything belongs,
from which everything has emerged, which is the cause of everything and which is everything....
The light of [this] self-knowledge alone illumines all experiences. It shines by its own light.
This inner light appears to be outside and to illumine external objects.

-Sage Vasishtha

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Goibniu
post Apr 5 2011, 01:23 AM
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fatherjhon you haven't mentioned specifically what qigong exercises you practice so it is hard to say much as to why your energy circulation is said to be poor. Perhaps you are doing some form of qi packing? Most qigong promotes the circulation of energy. For instance I do a lot of the macrocosmic orbit. In that I start from the lower Dantian and end there, circulating qi up the governor meridian and down the conception meridian as well as sending energy up and down from the earth through the legs. But there a lot of different exercises so I don't want to say that what I do is the best or only way.

I don't think of the lower tantian as a storage battery as much as a capacitor. Structurally if you look at the actual physical anatomy the area is composed of layers of tissue that conducts energy well and other layers that are more resistant. Capacitors do store energy but it is temporary, short term storage--like a way station or stop over. The Chinese describe the lower tantian as being composed of two major parts to my understanding. Maybe I'm oversimplifying a bit, but it makes it easier to explain. There is the outer part, both front and back. It corresponds to how yogis describe chakras. Chakras have openings in both the front and back of the body at the midline. They are all connected by the governor and conception channels which allows you to send it out or bring it back after it has been circulating. For the most part the chakras, or the outer part of the lower tantian act as energy gates. They allow energy to flow into the body from the energy field and out of the body to the energy field. The second part of the dantian is what they call the Qi Hai, the 'sea of qi'. It is a reservoir in some senses but Taoists think of it as a cauldron or cooking pot. In this cauldron they mix and combine fire and water. It is a form of internal alchemy. In any case, the idea isn't that you store energy there and let it sit like a lump; you take it into the cauldron in order to brew up an improved qi. After that you send it out to the rest of the body where it can circulate and do you some good.


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fatherjhon
post Apr 5 2011, 06:02 PM
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QUOTE(Goibniu @ Apr 5 2011, 02:23 AM) *

fatherjhon you haven't mentioned specifically what qigong exercises you practice so it is hard to say much as to why your energy circulation is said to be poor. Perhaps you are doing some form of qi packing? Most qigong promotes the circulation of energy. For instance I do a lot of the macrocosmic orbit. In that I start from the lower Dantian and end there, circulating qi up the governor meridian and down the conception meridian as well as sending energy up and down from the earth through the legs. But there a lot of different exercises so I don't want to say that what I do is the best or only way.


Not chi packing, too new for my taste. I like to start with the original literature before a try the new stuff. My chigong consists of dissolving energy gates, cultivating yin chi in the lower dan tien via sitting and standing meditation, gathering yang chi by moving meditation. Circulations I do are the mirco-cosmic circulation and two that come from the Buddhist tradition the names of which I do not know, the first is moving chi though the taiji pole, the other is moving it up though what I think are the Nadi - but may well be the Liver Chanel- up the left side to the upper dan tien and down the right. Lastly I will from time to time to time do circulation of fire and and water. This sounds like a lot when I write it out but it only takes 30min to do.

QUOTE(Goibniu @ Apr 5 2011, 02:23 AM) *

In any case, the idea isn't that you store energy there and let it sit like a lump; you take it into the cauldron in order to brew up an improved qi. After that you send it out to the rest of the body where it can circulate and do you some good.


Ah. I think that might be where I am misunderstanding. I thought the circulations where what you did to send the chi out to "do good."


QUOTE(Goibniu @ Apr 5 2011, 02:23 AM) *

I don't think of the lower tantian as a storage battery as much as a capacitor. [...] Capacitors do store energy but it is temporary, short term storage--like a way station or stop over. The Chinese describe the lower tantian as being composed of two major parts to my understanding. ...the outer part, both front and back.... corresponds to how yogis describe chakras ... connected by the governor and conception channels which allows you to send it out or bring it back... The second part of the dantian is what they call the Qi Hai, the 'sea of qi'. It is a reservoir in some senses but Taoists think of it as a cauldron or cooking pot. In this cauldron they mix and combine fire and water.


This is a lot like how I have heard the upper dan tien described. It is a bit off topic but if you will humor me, I have been working though some old (~1500 yo) books on taoist meditation and energy work that talks about mixing fire and water to make a elixir or lesser pill. Could you speak more on this and perhaps how it is done?


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Cosmic consciousness is devoid of diversity; yet the universe of diversity exists in notion....
We contemplate that reality in which everything exists, to which everything belongs,
from which everything has emerged, which is the cause of everything and which is everything....
The light of [this] self-knowledge alone illumines all experiences. It shines by its own light.
This inner light appears to be outside and to illumine external objects.

-Sage Vasishtha

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Goibniu
post Apr 6 2011, 01:12 AM
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What your practices are sound fine. If there are circulatory problems then they ought to lessen over time. The microcosmic orbit is clear enough. Instead of calling them nadis, a term from yoga, you might call them 'jingluo'. I may be mistaken but perhaps you are referring to the belt thruster meridians rather than the liver. I'm going to try to attach a diagram of what I mean. In the diagram they refer to them as left and right channels.

As for where I send the qi out to do good, well where do you send your blood out when doing cardiovascular exercises? The answer is basically all over. You can try to focus it more on areas in which you want to soften up and dissolve blockages when you think of it, of course.

The mixing of fire and water is difficult to describe. It uses Taoist meditation but it is hard to put into words. Perhaps I would be better to direct you to a book called Taoist Yoga -The Sexual Teachings of the Ancient Chinese Masters (Alchemy and Immortality). It was written by Chao Pi Ch'en (born in 1860) and translated by Lu K'uan Yu (Charles Luk), Rider Press 1970. It may or may not be in print at the present time.



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fatherjhon
post Apr 6 2011, 06:08 PM
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QUOTE(Goibniu @ Apr 6 2011, 02:12 AM) *

What your practices are sound fine. If there are circulatory problems then they ought to lessen over time. The microcosmic orbit is clear enough. Instead of calling them nadis, a term from yoga, you might call them 'jingluo'. I may be mistaken but perhaps you are referring to the belt thruster meridians rather than the liver. I'm going to try to attach a diagram of what I mean. In the diagram they refer to them as left and right channels.

As for where I send the qi out to do good, well where do you send your blood out when doing cardiovascular exercises? The answer is basically all over. You can try to focus it more on areas in which you want to soften up and dissolve blockages when you think of it, of course.


Thank you. I learned something new. I will look that Book up.


--------------------
Cosmic consciousness is devoid of diversity; yet the universe of diversity exists in notion....
We contemplate that reality in which everything exists, to which everything belongs,
from which everything has emerged, which is the cause of everything and which is everything....
The light of [this] self-knowledge alone illumines all experiences. It shines by its own light.
This inner light appears to be outside and to illumine external objects.

-Sage Vasishtha

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