Dantian is loosely translated as “elixir field“, “sea of qi“, or simply “energy centre“. Is an essential focal point for meditative and exercise techniques such as Tai Chi.
Traditionally, a dantian is considered a centre of qi or life force energy. The lower dantian is particularly important as the focal breathing point. Is also the centre of balance and gravity. Dantian are focal points for transmuting the three treasures, Jing, Qi and Shen.
Taoist teachers often instruct their students to focus on the lower dantian. This is believed to aid the control of thoughts and emotions. Acting from the dantian is related to higher states of awareness.
The Taoist concept of dantian as energy centres is similar to the Indian yoga concept of chakras.
The lower dantian is about three finger widths below and two finger widths behind the navel. Also called “the golden stove” or the namesake “cinnabar field”. Where the process of developing the elixir happens.
“The wise man is one who, knows, what he does not know. ― Lao Tzu”
Importance of the lower dantian
The term dantian, used by itself usually refers to the lower dantian. Is the foundation of rooted standing, breathing, and body awareness in Tai Chi. The lower dantian has been described to be “like the root of the tree of life”.
The term dantian is often used interchangeably with the Japanese word hara “belly”. In China, Korea, and Japan, it’s considered the physical centre of gravity of the human body. The seat of one’s internal energy (qi).