3 Tan Tien
Physically, several Tan Tien are distinguished. The traditionally most important are the upper Tan Tien (Shang) above the root of the nose, in the middle between the eyebrows (3rd eye Yin Tang). The middle Tan Tien (Zhong) in the middle of the chest at about the level of the nipples. The lower Tan Tien (Xia) about 5 cm below the navel.
Healing, according to tradition, is to be done by working with the chi, which is to be brought back into flow and nurtured to restore one's balance. All three Tan Tiens are more than a point on a meridian, they are understood as a space, a zone, located in the center of the body rather than on its surface. When speaking of the Tan Tien, the Lower Xia Tan Tien is usually meant.
The Tan Tien is both the largest generator and repository of chi energy in the body and the center of our consciousness. In all Taoist practices, students first learn to shift their consciousness from the Upper Brain to the Lower Brain. Students consciously train using this second brain so that the Upper Brain, which uses much more energy than the Lower Brain, can rest when it is not really in use.
The Lower Tan Tien is called both “medicine field” and “elixir field” because it can attract and store healing forces, such as origin chi; also called pre-natal, prenatal chi. The Tan Tien is also called the ocean, sea of chi, vermilion field, cauldron, or navel center. The use of the terms “ocean” or “sea” refer to the wave-like quality of the chi. The name “cauldron” arose from the lower Tan Tien's mode of action as the main laboratory and center of inner alchemy, where energy frequencies can be adjusted to suit the body. Through it, we can learn to accept and embrace ourselves and the world around us. It helps us to understand our negative energies as intermediate waste that we can recycle and reuse as raw material for our positive energies.
This recycling process strengthens our inner power, so that the pressure from outside also decreases, and we come more and more into balance. As a result, we feel better, our Lower Tan Tien is decompressed, which is considered in all texts to be the most important technical requirement for maintaining chi pressure.
At the same time, this is also the repository for all the Chi we can absorb and collect during Tan Tien Chi Kung exercises and Taoist Inner Alchemy meditation practice.