Why does all the Health Qigong methods value Dantian? Why is the expression “concentrate on Dantian” used very frequently in the Health Qigong literature? This is because it is really a key part of Health Qigong. If you don’t understand what the genuine qi of Dantian is, you are not practicing the true Health Qigong. This essay shows the importance of Dantian by explaining that waking up Dantian is the way to build up a solid body and the key to Health Qigong training, making exercisers treat it important to wake up Dantian and better make use of Health Qigong to prolong lives.
I. Waking up Dantian is the way to build up a solid body.
A person never practices Health Qigong cannot feel the genuine qi in Dantian. The so called “waking up Dantian” is actually feeling clearly the genuine qi in Dantian flowing continuously through Health Qigong practice. When the exerciser is fully trained, he can feel the flow of genuine qi in Dantian at any time. This is the way to build a solid body, and also a necessity to improve Health Qigong skills.
Nanjing wrote: “Dantian is the body part moving qi under the navel and between the kidneys. Dantian is the base of life. When Taoist priests and Buddhist monks are meditating, they all gather their genuine qi under their navels (quoted from Lv Guangrong, Chinese Qigong Dictionary). Accumulating essence and qi and making them genuine is the foundation towards waking up Dantian. If the existence of Dantian can be proved, the way to build the body will be established. The realm of mediating body, breath and the heart should be based on the waking of Dantian and the feeling of changes of genuine qi. So ancient people said: “To understand the way of body building, one should know about the rule of Tuoyue (橐龠).” Tuoyue indicates the inner breath of Dantian. To wake up Dantian in Health Qigong practicing is to build a healthy body as the foundation and to naturally feel the inner breath and the Tuoyue conditions.
1. Dantian is the storage of energy.
Xingmingguizhi wrote: “Qi is a good medicine to help people get longevity. The heart is the organ to use qi. People who know the method of using qi can know the right way to extend life. “A good medicine to help get longevity” indicates the genuine qi in Dantian. Ancient Chinese people called the success in Qigong training as “getting the right way”. Waking up Dantian can open the exerciser’s energy storage, which can be seen as a kind of success.
Dantian is a cluster of energy which can be controlled by mind to appear and flow. Waking up Dantian can make the exerciser feel the vital movement in the center of Dantian, which is also the energy center of the whole body. In ancient time, the word “energy” did not exist. Health Qigong abandons complicated expressions and uses simple contemporary words which can be easily understood by the public. The fire element stands for energy. In ancient Qigong classics, expressions like “lighting a fire” indicate activating energy in Dantian.
If the exerciser waked up his Dantian, he can then clearly feel the energy of Dantian whether he is doing Qigong or not. The increase of energy can be realized through continuous Qigong practices, the grow of genuine qi density and the rise of the strength of qi. The more affluent the genuine qi is, the stronger the energy becomes. I always practice the “Hu Exercise”, attentively feeling the energy in Dantian. The whole practicing process is driven by Dantian energy like a balloon swelling and shrinking. “Master Dantian to practice, the Heng and Ha aspirating exercise is really useful.” Only after waking up Dantian can you master it. The mind is attached closely to Dantian. The word “master” is precise. Only after waking up Dantian can you master it. And mastering Dantian tightly is the fruit of growing energy.
Waking up Dantian is tantamount to open the energy storage of the life entity. This storage is the origin of life energy, the source of genuine qi and its movements, the hub gathering, containing and delivering genuine qi, the pivot of Qigong practice and physical training, and the key to health and longevity.
（By Ding Qiubo）