Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip # 387

Great Session – Exploring Three Dantiens

Boy, oh, boy! We had such a good session this morning. It was somewhat cloudy, but mild. Good Tai Chi weather. Let me share it with you.

One of my old students, (Riggan is her name), recently moved from Port Townsend. She has been a faithful follower of The Monday Morning Training Tips, and put all the tips (now 386) into a book. I can honestly say that it is the best and most interesting Tai Chi book that I know about. When I have a few minutes, I often pick up the book, open to any page, and read a Tip. I always get turned on to something that encourages me to practice and explore. (You can do this for yourself by going to my website, clicking on Training Tips, and they are all archived there. But a book is easier to “leaf through”.

So, yesterday I found one that turned me on, and we explored it this morning. Let me share it with you.

We started just standing, feet shoulder width, finding relaxation. We breathed naturally in and out through the nose. After about six breaths, we focused our attention on our lower dantien (physical center – just below the belly button). After three breaths (or so), we relaxed and focused on how we were feeling. We changed our focus to the middle dantien (emotional or relational center – center of chest). Three breaths (or so – not important how many). Then relax and feel how you feel. A bit of group discussion about the difference of how one feels.

Finally we focused on the upper dantien (intellectual or spiritual center – between the eyebrows). Three breaths, then relax, feel how you feel, then discussion on how one feels and any differences between the feelings after focus on the three different dantiens.

The next part of the exercise, was basically the same but much more involved. We did the Yang Short Form (34 Moves – takes about 6 minutes to complete) and did the whole form concentrating on the lower dantien. Then relax and feel how you feel. Then the Short Form again and concentrated on the middle dantien. Relax and feel how you feel. Any difference? Then the Form again, but concentrate on the upper dantien the entire time. Relax, feel how you feel. How are these different for you? Group discussion.

Finally we did the form again, only this time we focused on all three dantiens at the same time. More difficult, but most people agreed it made them feel more integrated and complete. After the last form, we relaxed, and just enjoyed the feelings. We were very aware of the physical area around our group, the animals, ships moving across the horizon. What a perfect way to get tuned up for the rest of the day.

Note: Don’t forget the change in schedule. Saturday practice will start at 9:30 instead of 9, and Partner Cane Form starts Fridays 9 to 10 AM on October 7. Email me with any questions. See you then.

Note: We will hit 400 Monday Morning Training Tips on December 26,2022. I have never missed a Monday. First one went up on 12/23/2015! Thanks for all your support.