****Originally posted March 1, 2011****
For those of you who are not familiar with Reiki (pronounced ray – key), and perhaps, even for those of you who are, there is an area in the abdomen called the Hara Center, a prolific energy center where the soul often resides. This area of immense energy and transmutation is the location I seek when meditating, journeying, or simply daydreaming and reverie.
Many who practice Reiki will recognize this location as The Seika Tanden, or simply as Tanden (pronounced tun – den) center. When using this area I imagine it approximately three inches below my Navel. It has also been described as an area about the size of a grapefruit located deep within the body. Hara quite literally means “belly‘ and is commonly used to refer to the lower part of the abdomen, or the area from the top
of the pubic bone up to the base of the sternum.
Please note that when I use the term Seika Tanden, I am describing the entire area rather than a specific location (hara center). This entire area encompasses the abdomen and the diaphragm. The term Seika (pronounced say – ka) refers to “below the Navel.” The word Tanden (tun – den) is the Japanese equivalent of the Chinese Tan Tien (pronounced tun – tee – en), also dan tian, or “field of the elixir.” Seika Tanden is also known as the Kikai (Ocean of Ki, or energy) Tanden, and as Seika no itten (the “One Point” below the Navel).
In terms of the physical body this is considered the body’s center of gravity. In the more traditional Japanese spiritual, therapeutic, martial and creative arts, it is understood that ones very life essence, even the spirit itself, is seen to reside in Seika Tanden. Many practitioners use different, and diverse breathing techniques to change and heal their own bodies and those of their patients. This is serious business, please do not take complex breathing exercises lightly.
One of the methods I employ when using this technique is that I often imagine that I am drawing in a white energy (use your own color if you choose) through my nostrils in a deep, slow, and methodical manner, drawing this energy into my Hara Center. I imagine that this energy is now stored in my hara center and after ten seconds (use what ever time is comfortable for you) I release and exhale my breath out through my mouth, also in a deep, slow and methodical manner. I do this for five to ten minutes at minimum, and some times for a much longer period of time.
Spiritual/Energy teachers have stated that Ki or Qi (pronounced key, considered universal energy) is moved by the mind…”where the attention goes, ki flows…” To effortlessly focus one’s awareness (thought – feeling) in seika tanden is to place one’s energy there. This was never so clear after watching a Qi Qong master display his/her enormous attention and energy in the movement of the body and other objects.
I have quite literally seen a Qi Qong master “push” his energy moving inanimate objects, or by catching balls of paper on fire. Of course this is not the purpose, it is only secondary to what your goal should be. My intention in describing this meditative practice is for each individual to have a tool in gaining focus, calm, energy, or relaxation, not to show one’s ability off like a parlor trick.
For those of you interested in learning more about Reiki, whether just beginning the practice of Reiki, or those who are Master Reiki practitioners and would like further instruction you can contact Curtis Williams for an appointment and consultation either by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), or by phone (805-234-7615).
Curtis Williams MA, A.P.D., CRTM