Updated: Apr 11, 2020
Dan Tian is a Chinese word which literally translates into Elixir Field. Ancient alchemical practices revolved mostly about finding the magical substance that will provide the ordinary human immortal qualities. Over the centuries alchemists experimented with mercury until it was later discovered that this substance of immortality exists within the human body and that with internal discipline and practice one can turn lead into gold. Of course this is a metaphor; what is that energetic (biochemical) centres were discovered in the body through practice, these centres act as fields that promote the body with longevity, vitality and over all harmony.
The Lower Dan Tian (下丹田, Xià Dāntián) This is the centre of gravity in the body, located below the navel at the centre of the lower abdomen, therefore associated with the digestive organs especially the large intestine. According to Qi Gong theory this is the energetic field where Jing (essence) transforms into Qi (life force). It is essential to bring our awareness to the Lower Dan Tian to practice mindful control of our reflexes and emotions. Acting from this energetic field is related to higher states of awareness. Only when you get to know yourself through that centre will you be able to transcend the human limiting conditioning. This energy centre develops the physical power, force and energy. It builds energy in the other two elixir fields enabling sensation at the Middle and Upper Dan Tian. This is the first area to bring awareness to within this Qi Gong, as it is also what binds us to this realm.
The Middle Dan Tian (中丹田, Zhōng Dāntián) This is the centre of emotion in the body, located in the chest area, where the heart and lungs are. This is where Qi (life force) is refined into Shen (spirit). It is within this physical level that we feel the movement of our emotions which are always changing and transforming. Emotions serve as the spark that inspires our actions into the outer world. They are the basis of all that we manifest into the collective shared reality, towards the environment and others. It is through discipline and practice that we become aware that emotions are in constant change of state. This field is the home of the emotional mind; If the body is in good health and the wisdom mind is active, emotions will become a great tool to manifest your desired destiny as your trained willpower backs you up. When we resist emotions, stagnation and disharmony occurs in the body, mind and spirit.
The Upper Dan Tian // (上丹田, Shàng Dāntián) It is the centre of balance in the body, located at the centre of the head in between the eye brows, some associate it with the pineal gland. This is where Shen (spirit) is refined into Wuji (emptiness) It connects you to universal consciousness, spiritual self or Source, making you aware of the waves of life force inside of you and outside. This is also where your wisdom mind is. You need to exercise it to control your emotional mind at the Middle Dan Tian. With consistent work, dedication and humility enlightenment is attained, according to ancient Chinese wisdom, as the Lower Dan Tian and Upper Dan Tian become one, serving as two yet acting as one.
The practitioner is wholesome by nourishing their body, mind and spirit through the understanding of these connections. Learning to unlearn limiting beliefs, fear and old reflexes. We are brought into this world through a pre-destined heavenly order that determines and constitutes our lives on all three levels, physical, mental/emotional and spiritual. There are aspects that formulate our coming into life and it is within our will power to correspond to our truths. That tunes us to our true destiny, the one we are brought to manifest through free will. Connecting to discipline, knowledge, understanding and harmonising, somehow, we promote our power of turning lead (destiny) into gold (awakening). We seek paths that aid our learning on coming back to universal wisdom, innate knowing and pulsating truth. At least this is as far as my understanding has reached, connecting and linking the dots through theory and practise as well as years of observation and ponderation, none of this would have settled in without the help of my teachers.