Dantien and a ball in the belly
One of the most known concepts of Taoism and of Chinese medicine and of martial arts is the concept of Qi, also spelled as Chi. I suppose most of the people reading this blog are familiar with this concept. If not, simply speaking Qi is the chinese concept of the life-force energy that penetrates living and non-living things in the world. Of course, this is over simplified as there’s yin chi and yang chi and I’m not that knowledgeable in these concepts myself.
Anyway, another concept, known almost as well, is the Dantien (or Tan t’ien or Dantian). Dantien refers to the point in the body, which is considered to be the center of gravity if the body, but more importantly, it is considered to be the storage point for the Qi energy in the body. In my Qigong Yiquan lessons we’re often referring to this point as to where the Qi energy flows, so to speak. The Dantien is located in the abdomen three finger widths below and two finger widths behind the navel.
Several months ago one of my Yiquan co-students was in Hong Kong and visited the learning group of master of my our teacher, who is around 70 years old now. He observed the lessons and at some point the master called him and demonstrated him some of his abilities. One thing I remember that he told was that the master asked him to put fist on master’s abdomen. The student told that he could feel something like a ball inside the belly which the master was moving around, moving the fist of the student with it. He was really amazed by this feeling but I couldn’t grasp why it was so special. My teacher also referred to this ability of his master.
Yesterday I continued to read the book The Magus of Java by Kosta Danaos and I’ve read the chapter called “Yin and Yang”. In this chapter, Sifu John Chang explained to Kosta and some other students the concepts of Yin Chi and Yang Chi. He also explained about the four first levels of the Neikung training that he teaches. One of the descriptions in the chapter struck me because of what I’ve been told above. Here Kosta described the ability of one o his friends who was a Korean Master and a practitioner of neikung.
This man had a “ball” in his belly at the dantien point, a solid mass that he moved around at will. Manipulating the ball, as John had indicated, this man could pass ch’i energy into his arms and legs. One physician, upon examining him, had thought my friend had cancer when he felt the huge lump; the doctor had gone through the roof when my friend had caused the ball to dance around… “This man is at least Level Three.”
John Chang then explained that the ball is a solid lump of hardened yang qi he can tap into and use, at will.
I think I need to show this page to my teacher and ask him what his thoughts of this are. But I was totally shocked, since now I could connect this description in the book to something I’ve heard at my Yiquan training. Very interesting.