Chi

The Hara and the Tanden

The Hara is the physical midpoint of the human body, and the spiritual center of the human being. Located below the belly button and a little way into the body, it’s equidistant to the feet and the head, making it a natural place to be in balance, or regain balance. Physically it’s our center of gravity. Because it’s a vibrational center, the Hara is also our spiritual center.

Where is the Hara?

The hara is the area of your lower abdominal region below your navel. This area contains the tanden which is your center of gravity. The center of gravity is located approximately 2 inches below the navel and 1/3 the distance from the front of your body to the back of your body.

You may say that it is an organ not yet discovered by the west. It can’t be seen, however it can be felt. It has always been inside of you, but remains dormant unless you know to access it.

It is said that Ki is moved by the mind “… where the attention goes, ki flows…” To effortlessly focus the awareness is to place one’s energy there.

By placing effortless emphasis and energy at this area in the lower abdomen, integration of body and mind is deepened and strengthened, and the Spirit is dynamically grounded in the Present Moment.

Accessing The Tanden

The internal arts, which consist of modalities like yoga, meditation and tai chi place special emphasis on this point. It is the road leading to the full development of the human being and the home of your intuitive judgement among other things.

It is developed by sitting in meditation and focusing the mind on the area of the tanden. The body is fully relaxed in a seated meditative posture with a straight spine. This can be accomplished by sitting in a cross legged position with the back resting against the wall, or on a straight backed chair. It can also be accessed by standing for long periods of time with your feet in a hip width stance or focusing on it while moving thru the tai chi form.

In time you will feel like you have a thick rubberband gradually starting to fill with a liquid which feels like sparkling air. This is an occasion for celebration and the beginning of your relationship with the universe and yourself. Soon the energy felt in the tanden will start to circulate throughout your body.

It is called chi and is the internal energy which runs your body. It will always be present and gives you a point to which you can focus as you move thru your daily life experience. It is your anchor with the universe and is often referred to as a gut feeling with respect to your intuitive judgement.

The chi or internal energy gradually moves down under the pelvic floor and up the spine to the top of the head moving along what is called the microcosmic orbit. My teacher always referred to it as an energy intelligence as it now moves to open the energy pathways of the body commonly called meridians. These energy pathways form the basis of acupuncture points leading too the organs which are now charged with new energy enabling them to secrete the hormones which run the body.

In order to feel your relationship with the universe, you can again sit in meditation and focus on the breath. Gradually you will feel where the breath starts the inhale and the place where it starts to exhale. The inhale starts at the tanden filling the hara and starts at the exhale at the heart center. Soon you will feel that the universe is breathing you as you focus on your breath. Then you will start to experience that link to the universe or nature.

Physical Attributes:

The word hara means belly in Japanese, the area of the body bounded by the lower ribcage and pelvic bowl. It has significance in this regard, as well as vibrationally.

It contains the following organs:

  • Stomach
  • Small intestine
  • Large intestine
  • Liver
  • Gall bladder
  • Spleen
  • Pancreas
  • Kidneys
  • Adrenal glands
  • Urinary bladder
  • Reproductive organs

This area is also part of oxygen-rich blood and nutrition reaching a growing fetus through the umbilical cord, and waste removal in the same way.

Vibrational Attributes:

The exact location of the Hara is known as tanden in Japan. It is the place where the ki of the organs and meridians of the entire body pool in the lower tanden, like a vast storehouse of power.

Tanden means “red rice field” or “red field.” This indicates a vast amount of powerful life force since rice is a primary source of nutrition and this is a whole field of it, glowing in red.

The Invisible Aspect:

There’s another, invisible aspect to the Hara. At birth the physical umbilical cord between the baby and the mother is removed. The baby begins breathing on its own and taking in nutrition through the mouth. There also remains a vibrational connection between the baby’s navel and the earth and universe. In fact multiple nonphysical cords continue to be active between the human being and all of life.

The earth and universe feeds us both biologically and spiritually through the Hara for the entirety of our life. We’re also in relationship to all of life from the same location. It’s a constant loop of resonance and reciprocity. We can actually experience the Oneness of life in the Hara and be able to truly embody it.

The Hara gives us a way of being in the world without attempting to escape it, and also returning to a wholesome relationship with the Earth. Spiritually, we’re able to deepen and develop our essential oneness with all of life as the realizations of the Hara filter into our consciousness.

Something To Think About:

For a table to exist, we need wood, a carpenter, time, skillfulness, and many other causes to be. The wood needs the forest, the sunshine, the rain, and so on. The carpenter needs his parents, breakfast, fresh air, and so on. And each of those things, in turn, has to be brought about by other conditions. If we continue to look in this way, we will see that nothing has been left out. Everything in the cosmos has come together to bring us this table. Looking deeply at the sunshine, the leaves of the tree, and the clouds, we can see the table. The one can be seen in the all, and the all can be seen in the one. ~
Thich Nhat Hanh

Sources:

The Seven Subtle Bodies

A quantum is a precise amount of electromagnetic energy, and a quanta measures a burst of light and together they maintain the cosmos. Your inner universe is comprised of that same life force, and it’s put into motion through your thoughts, perceptions, and the consciousness by which you perceive yourself and the world around you.

This inner universe consists of seven subtle bodies that encompass your aura, which is merely an electromagnetic field that extends from your core to 4-5 feet into your perimeter.

What are the Seven Subtle Bodies, the Aura, and Chakras?

If you could see the invisible, you’d see the bio-photons that Fritz-Albert Popp proved the existence of the bio-photon back in the early 70’s. These photons are living particles of colored light (quanta) that the human body emits – this is your aura.

There are seven subtle layers, or bodies that comprise the auric system, and they exist very much like layers of an onion.

The seven subtle bodies hold various forms of information and correspond to the chakra system, which produces energies that create the aura. The seven subtle bodies work like the vehicles of your soul and are:

  • The Etheric Body – First Layer
  • The Emotional Body – Second Layer
  • The Mental Body – Third Layer
  • The Astral Level – Fourth Layer
  • The Etheric Template Body – Fifth Layer
  • The Celestial Body – Sixth Layer
  • The Casual Body or Ketheric Template – Seventh Layer

The Seven Subtle Bodies – Peeling Back the Layers

We can quickly break down these seven subtle bodies as such: three physical plane lower bodies, three spiritual upper bodies, and the astral body that bridges the two; however, some practitioners place the astral body among the spiritual.

The energies must pass through the astral plane and heart chakra, e.g. ‘The Fire of the Heart’ to be fully useful and communicative with the lower bodies. Particularly during states of meditation, one has a stronger connection with the seven subtle bodies and the ability to foster healing and balancing of the chakras.

The Etheric Body:

Of the seven subtle bodies, the Etheric body energy is only one-quarter to two inches beyond your physical self and resonates at nearly 20 cycles per minute. Kirlian photography allows the entire body to be perceived in generally a bluish the aura. Because the etheric body vibrates with and holds information pertaining to one’s physical health, energies can duplicate in the body.

The Emotional Body:

Extending about 1-3 inches from the body, the Emotional layer is obviously where your feelings reside. Typically exhibited by a bright combination of rainbow hues, the field can appear muddled and dulled when negative emotions and feelings are present.

The Mental Body:

From 3-8 inches from the body exists the Mental, or third layer of the aura. Containing your ideas, mental processes, and thoughts, this layer is typically associated with hues of yellow light that radiates around the shoulders and head, slightly extending into lower regions of the body to communicate with other levels.

The Astral Level:

Spreading about a foot from the body, the astral body represents the bridge to the spiritual realm and is the doorway to the astral plane. As with the emotional body, this field produces a myriad of color; however, because it’s strongly correlated to the heart chakra, more hues of pink are present in a loving individual.

The Etheric Template Body:

A template that exists far before the physical body form, this is the template for what you know as the physical body and is thought to co-exist in a different dimension. Extending about a foot and a half from the body, the Etheric template is only visible to advanced healers and clairvoyants. The building block of healing the lower etheric body, this template boasts deep, blue hues possibly because it is a blueprint containing all the forms of the physical world, creating a negative space.

The Celestial Body:

Communication with the spiritual ream occurs here as do feelings of ecstasy and unconditional love. Often appearing as bright, shimmering opalescent colors, one becomes more aware of the Celestial body as they raise their vibrations, level of awareness, and consciousness. As you work from the heart chakra to the sixth level, feelings of divine love and a connection with our fellow man become reality.

The Causal Body/Etheric Template:

The seventh layer is the mental level of one’s spiritual plane and contains all the other bodies within it, extending three to five feet from the body. This field resembles and egg and it pulsates and vibrates at high speeds that are considered the Zero Point / God Energy. A reflection of everything your soul has undergone, this is the link to the Divine and accepting your oneness with the universe.

The Chakras:

Each auric level has it’s own 7 chakras nestled within other auric chakras with each layer extending outwards, vibrating at a higher rate as they expound. This means that the set of seven chakras within the etheric body will vibrate at lower frequency than those within the casual body.

This process is what allows one’s energies to transmutate between all bodies to all other chakras for harmonic balance and higher vibrations, particularly when they are cleared and opened.

Sources: Stephanie Lucas and QuantumStones

Exploring The Reiki Energy

Here are some simple ways to explore the energy of Reiki that is available to you after receiving your first degree attunement. These exercises are also fun and helpful if you haven’t used Reiki for a while.

Experiencing The Energy

With another person put your hands out, palm to palm, a couple of inches apart. Say a short prayer or affirmation to trigger the flow of Reiki. You may soon feel a sense of warmth, a coolness, or a tingling.

If you move your hands toward your partner’s very slightly, you may even feel a sense of pressure, as if you were pushing against a magnet or a very light balloon. Now move your hands even farther away and check for sensations again.

Make A Reiki “Bubble”

Hold your hands about 6 inches apart, keeping your fingers together, cupping your hands slightly. Say a short prayer, or affirmation, to trigger the flow of Reiki and notice what you feel.

Gently explore this energy field. Focus on the feeling in your hands, and see how the energy intensifies. Breathe deeply as you do this, and notice what happens.

Play with the “bubble” until it seems to be tangible, and then gently blow it away, with the intention that the healing energy to to wherever it may be wanted and needed.

For my sources see: Recommended Reading

Activating The Reiki

Reiki is a very easy healing technique to use. After receiving the Reiki attunement, all that is necessary to start Reiki flowing is to request it to do so. Just ask or intend that it begin to flow and it will.

This can be done simply by saying the work “Reiki” to yourself at the beginning of a healing session. Reiki is always ready to flow and it will do so whenever you want it to. Simply placing your hands on someone with the intention of giving a treatment will be enough to start it flowing.

It is not necessary to meditate or concentrate, or go into an altered state to use Reiki. Reiki flows so easily that just thinking or talking about it turns it on. In fact, as I am writing this section, I feel my Reiki flowing simply because I am thinking about it.

When giving a treatment it is important to keep your fingers together. This will concentrate the energy and create a stronger flow.

You can talk with the client, or others and Reiki will flow. However, it flows more freely if you focus your awareness on the Reiki, allowing your consciousness to merge with it. Be aware of the sensations in your hands such as warmth, tingling, vibrations, pulsations or a flow of energy.

You may also feel Reiki flowing through other parts of your body. As you dwell on Reiki, your mind will begin to be aware of the consciousness of Reiki. You may experience this as feelings of joy, love, well-being, security, upliftment, unlimited potential, freedom, creativity, beauty, balance, harmony, and other positive states.

Allow these feelings to become your feelings. If other thoughts come up, gently brush them away, and bring your attention back to the consciousness of Reiki. As you do this not only will you be allowing Reiki to flow more strongly, you will also be receiving a deep healing.

By meditating on the consciousness of Reiki, you will also be entering a state of mind that allows Spirit to work more closely with you. You will be a clearer channel for the Reiki.

The most important way to increase the effectiveness of Reiki is to come from love, compassion, and kindness. This will create a feeling of emotional safety for the client, encouraging them to more fully accept the Reiki energy. It will open the doors to your healing potential, increasing the strength of your Reiki and it is also very healthy for you!

For my sources seeRecommended Reading

Joshin Kokyuu-Ho

Breathing technique to purify the spirit.

This technique magnifies your Reiki energy and helps you feel like a piece of hollow bamboo – a clear channel for energy. When practicing this, you will realize that energy does not belong to us. It is simply the all-pervading force that makes everything pulsate with life.

With practice, you will find that the forces you thought to be your own personal energy melt and merge with the cosmic energy within your body-mind system. Then it becomes exceedingly difficult to draw the line between where the universe ends and “I” begin.

Preliminary exercise:

  • Stand in a comfortable position, feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Take a few deep breaths.
  • Release all the tension in your body and think of something pleasant.
  • Let your mouth open slightly.
  • Breathe in through your nose.
  • Rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth as you inhale.
  • Exhale through your mouth, and let your tongue come down naturally as you do this.
  • Bend your knees in slow motion while focusing your attention on your lower abdomen.
  • Do each step very, very slowly.

Suddenly you will become aware of a point in your lower abdomen, 2 or 3 fingers below the navel. It is where your life force dwells, the center of your being. This is called the Tanden.

Now begin the main exercise:

It may help to put one or both of your hands on your lower abdomen and breathe into the spot you are touching.

  • Inhale through your nose, and imagine drawing Reiki energy into your body through your crown chakra.
  • Pull the energy down to your Tanden.
  • When the energy reaches your Tanden, keep the energy there for a few seconds without straining yourself.
  • Visualize how this breath is expanding and permeating your entire body.
  • Then exhale through your mouth and imagine the energy flowing out through your fingertips, your hand chakras, the tips of your toes and your foot chakras.

Continue for 5 or 10 minutes.

For my sources see: Recommended Reading

The Gassho Meditation

Gassho Meiso

Gassho means “two hands coming together.” Dr. Usui called this technique the first pillar of Reiki and he practiced it twice a day. It is also mentioned on Dr. Usui’s memorial stone where it states:

” Mornings and evenings, sit in the Gassho position and repeat these words (the Reiki Ideals) out loud and in your heart.”

This is a special meditation to attune one to the spirit of Reiki. It is done as a regular meditation every day. It clears the mind, opens the heart and other chakras, and strengthens your Reiki energy. A wonderful stillness will develop inside along with the awareness of increased inner peace.

This meditation can be done standing or sitting. It is done for 15 to 30 minutes per session.

  • Close your eyes.
  • Fold your hands in the prayer position with your fingers pointing up and your thumbs touching the heart chakra at the middle of your chest.
  • Focus all your attention on the point where your middle fingers meet, and forget everything else.
  • If thoughts arise, acknowledge them and then gently brush them aside and refocus on the point where your middle fingers are touching.

As you continue to practice, you will find that you can hold your attention on the middle fingers for a longer and longer period of time without thoughts arising

It is important to accept that thoughts will arise. When this happens, do not think you have made a mistake as this is completely normal. However as soon as you realize you are focusing on a thought, gently refocus back on the point where your middle fingers touch.

When you have reached the end of meditation, take a couple of deep breaths, bring your attention to your eyes, and open your eyes slowly.

For my sources see: Recommended Reading

The Human Energy Field

Although each of the techniques I have studied has a slightly different perspective on the human energy field and the mechanics of how it functions and how it interacts with our physical and emotional well-being, there are some areas of general agreement.

The following is my summary of the underlying assumptions of energy work, as described in various healing manuals. Not all of the authors I have studied would agree with all of the points below, but these points do seem to represent a common denominator amongst the systems.

The Auric Field

  • A dynamic, vibrating energy field is present within our physical bodies, and surrounds our bodies as an aura of energy. The invisible field extends at least a few inches above the surface of the skin.
  • Some of the authors describe several layers to the auric field, extending as much as three to four feet out from the physical body.

Direct Experience

The energy field can be experienced through physical senses, especially touch and sight.

  • “Seeing” energy.

Several healers report an ability to see energy. Some see a shimmering haze around the body (the aura). Others can see colors which indicate illness or disease. Some use high sense perception to see the structures of chakras, the health of the organs, the flow of blood through the body, etc.

  • “Feeling” energy.

When someone tunes in to his own energy or when he scans another person’s energy field, he can feel physical sensations such as tingling, heat, “magnetic” force, vibration, or currents. These are usually felt most strongly in the hands. When a healer focuses intention on sending healing energy, the client may feel similar sensations.

These sensations can be further amplified through specialized breathing techniques and exercises. This indicates that we can consciously influence our energy field and other people’s energy fields with our attention, thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Scientific instruments are able to measure some aspects of the energy field, and some effects of the energy field on other systems; however, some aspects elude measurement with current technology. The field shares many common aspects with electricity and magnetism (see Oschman for discussion) but it is not yet clear whether biomagnetism is exactly the same force as the human biofield, or just a closely related phenomenon.

Energy movement:

  • Energy appears to flow through the body in predictable patterns, similar to river currents or magnetic polarities (though various techniques are not necessarily in complete agreement about the direction of these flows.)

This energy is carried through our bodies along definable pathways (aka meridians, nadis) that can be most easily contacted at certain identifiable points along the body (aka acupuncture points). There are certain centers on our body which appear to act as gateways for the interaction between our energy and environmental influences (aka chakras, emotion centers, dan tien).

  • The energy field is connected with the breath.

Energy can be increased by consciously controlled breathing. Breathing moves energy through the body.

Sources of energy:

The general belief is that there is an unlimited supply of universal energy that all humans have access to, as long as our energy pathways are clear and balanced. Some theoreticians view this in scientific terms, others in spiritual terms.

  • This source may be referred to as God, or Cosmic Energy, or Divine Source.
  • Our energy field can be equated with the “spark of life.” It is the animating force that gives and sustains life.

Some ways we access energy:

  • Breath.
  • Food and other environmental influences.
  • Inherited karma.
  • Meditation and other conscious connection to the energy.

Types of energy:

Some systems differentiate between heavy and light energy or between yin and yang energy. Neither energy is harmful or bad, but it is important to keep the energies balanced.

Human beings are open energy systems. We are continuously exchanging energy with other people, animals, and the environment. Our fields are in constant flux and change. A normal healthy body has a continuous flow of balanced energy.

Blockages and Imbalances:

We are constantly exposed to energy from our environment and our experiences which is incompatible with our energy, and which could throw our field out of balance. In a normal, healthy energy system, we are able to release these incompatible energies immediately. However, if we are already unbalanced, our energy systems may absorb them.

  • Blockages and imbalances in the energy field can manifest as mental, physical, emotional, and/or spiritual disease.
  • Physical injuries can cause damage to the energy field that may remain even after the physical injury has healed.

This may account for some cases of chronic pain. Energy medicine can effect significant results with releasing the long-term energy blockages caused by the physical injury.

  • Emotional traumas can also have long-term impact.

If we continue to hold the emotional trauma in our energy field, the blockage may eventually manifest as physical illness. This is why energy work on physical dis-ease often leads to release of long-held emotional issues.

Emotions and Consciousness:

The energy is associated with emotions and consciousness. It is involved in the creation and experience of emotions and spiritual experiences.

Some argue that the field is the connection between our bodies and our consciousness, some define the field as the same as consciousness, some believe the flow of energy can be equated to the flow of emotions through our bodies.

Gerber has a complex taxonomy for energy, including metabolic energy, bioelectrical energy, biophotonic energy, and subtle bioenergies (divided up into ch’i, prana, etheric energy, astral energy, mental energy, and higher spiritual energies.)

Other terms for Energy:

There are several names for this field. In traditional cultures, it is called by names like Mana in Polynesia, Prana in India, Qi in China, Ki in Japan, and Hucha and Sami in Peru. Modern healing techniques refer to it as the Biofield, Life-force energy, Physioemotional Field, Body Energy Field, Vital energies, and Subtle Energies.

Source: Transition To Parenthood

Energy Exercise #2

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In this exercise, we are going to create a ball of energy.

1) Start as you did with Energy Exercise #1, but when your hands are six inches apart, imagine that you are holding a ball of energy. At first this ball is like and empty bowl, a shell, but your are filling it with the energy between your hands.

2) As you breathe out, imagine that you are blowing out energy, exhaling from your mouth, and also “exhaling” from your palms. This energy helps fill the ball. Feel it fill up. Intend to make the ball thicker and more solid. At first this will feel like you are playing pretend and making it up, but such play-acting is the way energy responds to our thoughts. By acting as if the energy is changing, it does.

3) Once you have a “solid” ball of energy floating between your hands, you can literally play with it. You can make it smaller and more dense. You can stretch it out like taffy. Discover how mutable energy can be, responding to your intent and commands.

4) When done, bring your hands together and imagine you are absorbing the energy. Then wipe off your hands to remove any excess.

Later, as you learn to work more with energy, you can draw more energy from your environment, and not necessarily your own personal energy, to create energy balls. They can then be “charged” with an intention, such as healing, and given to other people, animals, plants, and places to make your magick. You will not be limited to balls of energy, but any shape and size you can imagine. I like to weave energy “webs” of protection around myself and my home. Now that you have a feel for the power of your own personal energy, if you have a partner in this work, or a willing friend or family member, you can discover how your energy interacts with others.

For my sources see: Recommended Reading

Energy Exercise #1

misty-dawn-meggs-healing-hands

The purpose of this exercise is to physically feel some of this spiritual energy that you personally generate. Many students find this easy with a little practice, but others have difficulty because they do not know what to look for.

I feel this energy like a very weak very subtle magnetic repulsion. If you were to take two positive ends of a magnet and try to put them together, you would have some difficulty. The fields of energy offer resistance. Take that feeling and expect something a bit less dramatic or concrete, and you can feel the resistance between your hands. They are not exactly opposing charges, so they do not offer the same kind of resistance as two magnets. Magnets are the way I would describe the feeling.

Since this is individual and subjective, others perceive it as a temperature shift. You could also feel a slight tingle or “pins and needles” sensation, as if you hands are “asleep.” Others feel a pressure or even texture. Everyone feels it differently. Once you feel it, you will be able to manipulate this energy through your will and intent. This is a fundamental building block for magick and psychic development.

1) Hold your hands about three feet apart, palms facing each other. Close your eyes if you would like. You are aware of any new information you receive from your hands, but you are not judging the experience or trying to create it. Allow it to happen naturally.

2) Bring your hands closer together, slowly. Be aware of the sensation. Notice any feelings that come in waves or layers. These are the levels of your aura, your energy body. Some layers offer more “resistance” than others. Try it several times, with eyes closed and then open. If you have difficulty, start over, but begin by rubbing your hands together vigorously, as if you were trying to warm them up. This will increase your hand’s sensitivity.

3) When you are done, wipe your hands together as if you were wiping excess water off them. This removes any other energies you might have picked up along the way. End all of these energy exercises with such a wiping motion.

For my sources see: Recommended Reading

The Advantages of Reiki

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All healers use life force or Ki, but not all use Reiki. Reiki is a special kind of life force that can only be channeled by someone that has been attuned to it. It is possible that some people are born with Reiki or have gotten it some other way. However, most healers who have not received the Reiki attunement from a Reiki Master are not using Reiki but another kind of life force.

People who already do healing work consistently report an increase of at least fifty percent in the strength of their healing energies after taking the Reiki training.

Reiki energy is intelligent, therefore, it is not necessary to direct Reiki to a specific area of the body. The energy will flow to the area in which it is most needed. It is not dependent upon the expertise, knowledge, or spiritual development of the practitioner. It does not reauire psychic abilities, or the ability to concentrate, visualize, or focus.

Because Reiki is guided by the God Consciousness, it can never do harm. It always knows what a person needs and will adjust itself to create the effect that is appropriate for them. One never need worry about whether to give Reiki or not. It is always helpful.

In addition, because the practitioner does not direct the healing and does not decide what to work on, or what to heal, the practitioner is not in danger of taking on the karma of the client. Because the practitioner is not doing the healing, it is also easier for the ego to stay out of the way and allow the presence of God to clearly shine through.

Because it is a channeled healing, the Reiki practitioner’s energies are never depleted. In fact the Reiki consciousness considers both practitioner and client to be in need of healing, so both receive treatment. Because of this, giving a treatment always increases one’s energy and leaves one surrounded with loving feelings of well being.

~William Rand

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