This past week, I’ve been using Jason Miller’s strategic sorcery course as the basis of a discussion of the subtle bodies, and the movement of energy through the body. I wasn’t really satisfied with my discussion of the energy centers, which I didn’t really talk about at all. Jason talks about the Pillar and Spheres, which is the basis of his own energy working.
Tai chi has its own key energy centers: the Bubbling Well is the point on the ground halfway between the feet; although it’s not within the body, it’s the key energy point for creating dynamic movement around a center which is rooted in the earth.
The second such energy center is the Tan Tien (usually pronounced Dan Tien). It’s located in the abdomen, a little bit behind and below the belly button — two inches below, and about two inches in.
The third is the gravity line, which is within the rib cage directly behind the sternum. Connect wit your opponent’s gravity line, and it’s easy to push him or her over; unfortunately, it’s very difficult to connect to someone’s gravity line without also connecting them to yours. Oops. Also seems to be associated with the heart.
The fourth is in the throat. You must breathe in order to do tai chi. Stop the breathing? Stop effective movement.
The fifth appears to be behind and slightly above the eyes. I don’t know what it’s called, but I can feel it.
The sixth is the cloud-form. I don’t know what it’s called in Chinese, but it’s in the same place as Kether in Kabbalah, and the Crown Chakra in Indian Yoga: directly above the top of the head. A golden thread of energy, or of white light, or of power, connects the top of this cloud of power to Tian or “Heaven”. This golden thread should be understood to run down through the central channel of the body, connecting Tian with the Bubbling Well.
My own practice today was lackluster. I focused on activating each of the energy centers I just listed, but it’s hard to do that, while also paying attention to physical movements. It’s a level of coordination I haven’t achieved yet.
Also, as you may have noticed — I’m having an art show in my hometown in about a week. Somewhere between 20 and 30 of my geometry paintings will be on display, in a show I’m calling “Golden Mysteries: Paintings Inspired by Traditional Geometry”, at Klekolo World Coffee in Middletown, Connecticut. There will, at some point, be a “Meet the Artist” gathering, but I haven’t scheduled that. That said, most mornings I hang out there from 7:00ish-to 7:15ish, and you can see me on my way out the door to school.