In the Taoist tradition, the lower body and its organs and functions are associated with earth, the higher body and its organs with heaven. Yet the spiritual body cannot be born and grow without being nourished by an unceasing supply of fresh Chi, generated in the lower body by the practice of Tan Tien Chi Kung.
Tan Tien Chi Kung, as one of the basic practices of the Taoist approach to health and self-healing, has its roots in a particular world view at the very heart and root of Chinese civilizations and science. In this view, human beings, like all other creatures, are seen as part of nature.
They are not above and on top of nature but need to serve and honor it. Nature is not to be conquered and subjected but to be treated with reverence and respect. People have to live in harmony with the universe and with nature as its manifestation. If not, the universe will turn against them and destroy the very foundations of their life.
In this ancient Taoist vision, at the heart of Chi Kung and Tan Tien Chi Kung, the universe and the earth are seen and experienced as sacred. Also, the human body is seen as a sacred vessel and a microcosmos in which the macrocosmos is mirrored and reproduced.
In the same vein, all that exists is holy and life is seen as a process of return to the original state of holiness/wholeness in which the primordial unity with the universe is regained. Healing, wholeness and holiness have the same etymological root.
Heaven and Earth, dark and light, the sacred and the profane, the material and the spiritual, body and mind, the physical and the metaphysical, thinking and feeling, what is above and what is below, are not seen as irreconcilable or inimical opposites but as natural polarities and partners between Yin and Yang. This manifests the relations between Heaven/Fire and Earth/Water, at the root of the energetic processes of imbalance and balance within the body.
The Tan Tien is not a physical phenomenon but an energy field of the subtle body. It has therefore not a precise physical location but varies with each person, depending on sex, age and life history. It functions in the area just between the navel, the Door of Life and the sexual center, just above the pelvic area.
In view of the above, Tan Tien Chi Kung may be defined as an energy meditation or inner fitness practice, designed to enhance a Chi Kung state of being in ourselves by awakening, activating and sustaining processes, rhythms, flows and transformations of energy in the body.
The Tan Tien is the center of activation and balancing of the primal life force energies (Chi) of the body by which the practices (Kung) of Chi Kung are generated. Tan Tien Chi Kung may also be called a strategy for self-empowerment and self-healing.
Tan Tien Chi Kung, like other forms of Chi Kung, is not only a source of self-healing but may also serve as a source of healing others. However, its effectiveness depends on the energy of the healer. To practice healing others by way of Chi Kung, the healer needs first to raise their own energy, so that they can share their abundance.
A high energy field is created which may then serve to activate enrgy fields of those who seek to be healed. If the person who seeks healing were to have a higher energy field, it may well be that the healer would drain that person. Thus for any healer the first responsibility lies in healing themselves so that their work will be a blessing.
For this reason, energy meditations are the first responsibility of the Taoist practitioner who intends to be a healer. To raise energies, Chi pressure is indispensable. While an abundant Chi supply is essential for health, inversely, good health is also a condition for an abundant Chi supply.
Thus, to ensure both physical health and spiritual growth, an abundant supply of Chi (bio-electromagnetic energy) is needed. This accumulation of Chi is indispensable for creating the right kind of pressure to sustain and enhance the free and optimal flow of energy throughout the whole body. Chi is needed to activate the blood and lymph flows, the flow of the cerebrospinal fluids, the nerves, the endocrine glands and hormones, the fasciae and the tendons, bones, muscles and all the cells of the body.
As an electromagnetic force, Chi is the source of all movement and power in the Universe. It is also the source of life and empowerment of the whole body and all its functions. It can only be properly used and serve body and spirit if it is activated, guided and directed by the mind.
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