Notes and images to accompany a recording of a meditation On Life and Death on Soundcloud for those who are not familiar with the terminology. (you will need to download the app from your playstore)
The Hara is an area similar to the belly. It is located below the ribs, above the pubic bone, and between the two sides of the waist. It is an area in three dimensions – front back and sides. In East Asian medicine and the Martial Arts, it is considered to be the centre of us.
There is an acupressure point at the naval / tummy button, and it has a number of names and labels: Conception Vessel or Ren 8, Shen que and Spirit Gate. I was using it in the meditation to make the connection between ourselves and our mothers, via the place where the umbilical cord used to be, which linked us when we were growing in the womb. It can also be used to warm the Stomach and help digestive disorders. There is more about it here on YinYang House. Contraindication: You are not advised to push your thumb or finger in there or press hard. If you want to activate it, either use your imagination, or place your palm over the area and breathe under it – feel the warmth start to build!
The other acupressure point is between the 2 vertebrae of the lumbar spine #2 and #3: Governing Vessel or Du 4, Ming men and Gate of Life. In East Asian medicine, it is located equidistant from the two BL 23 points, where the jing, the life essence which is stored in the Kidneys, emerges. It is located at the lowest point of the curve of the lower back – if someone lay on their tummy and you poured a little water onto their spine, it would be where that water settles at the back of the waist. It is closely associated with the Water Element and is related to impetus, drive and motivation.
I was using Ming men to make the connection with our beginning, both physically and spiritually – when the egg and sperm met and were a catalyst for the cells starting to multiply to create new life; and for our sense of where we came from, what our purpose in life is, and our ancestral line.
Here is some more information I have found when researching this powerful place.
Each kidney is said to develop an opposing energy and it is between the two kidneys that these energies are blended. Not just any energy but the essence of energy. Think of it in terms of clay. The kidneys develop a pure, recently cleansed, pure source of energy that can be molded into any form of energy. The type of chi/energy that it becomes depends on your intention….Placing one’s attention on the lower back stops extraneous thoughts – false yang. Metaphysically, the ming-men is the gate by which we enter no-thought and heighten our concentration.By Scott. Written on January 1, 2014 . I accessed it on 17.1.20
Mantak Chia, in his book on the Microcosmic Orbit, suggests taping something uncomfortable like an acorn on the spot to bring your mind to it. You might also try inhaling into the belly while holding your abdominal muscles tight. This forces the air into the small of the back and you can then imagine it emitting from a small opening in the spine. (Taken from Scott as above)
The human embryo begins to develop from here, and it is the nexus for the fascia and related tissues of the back.By Chris Davis. Written on January 7, 2016 Internal Power Training. I accessed it on 17.1.20
If you want to know more about this work, contact your local Shiatsu practitioner / teacher or find a chi gung / qigong class online or nearby, as it is always best to learn about these ideas and embody them from someone who is skilled and practiced at teaching and answering the questions you will have. Here are two good websites in the Bristol area of the UK Qigong Southwest and Nicola Ley and in Scotland Des Lawton.
October 8 2020