Dan Tien 丹田

Dantiens are important focal points for meditative and exercise techniques such as qigong, martial arts such as T'ai chi ch'uan, and in traditional Chinese medicine.

There are three main dan-tien

Upper dan-tien (上丹田, Shang Dan-tien): at the forehead between the eyebrows or third eye, associated with the energy of consciousness and spirit (shen) and with the pituitary gland.

Middle dan-tien (中丹田, Zhong Dan-tien): at the level of the heart, associated with storing life energy (qi) and with respiration and health of the internal organs, in particular the thymus gland;

Lower dan-tien (下丹田, Xia Dan-tien): below the navel (about three finger widths below and two finger widths behind the navel), also called "the golden stove", associated with cultivating life energy (qi) and with vital essence or sexual energy (jing); This lower dantien is the one that is means if there general term is used. It is considered to be the physical center of gravity of the human body and is the seat of one's internal energy (qi)

There are a lot of philosophical writings relating to the Dan Tien.

The cultivation of the "Dan Tien" or "Field of Elixir", can be thought of as being like the cultivation of any garden or field - it requires work (kung) over an extended period of time before the crop grows to harvest size.

The long term cultivation idea applied to the "Field of Elixir" or "Orchard of Elixir" demands that to reap the benefits we must continue to work on the 'field'. That means we need to continue doing qigong exercises for many years. Doing this is meant to assure longevity. We should aim towards attaining the special powers of a chen-jen or "realized being."

The ancients Taoists said, "Only after a hundred days of concentrated work is the light real; Only then is it the fire of spirit. To set up 'the Foundation' requires a hundred days." - The Secret of the Golden Flower, Translated by Thomas Cleary, p. 17, 49.



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