The Breath Practice
Breath is linked to Chi therefore it is the source of our vitality. Its nature is Yin and Yang as it corresponds to the “Man” element in the “Earth – Man – Heaven” trinity. Training the Chi through Nei Dan, also called “Inner Field”, requires being aware of your breath before moving on to subtler practices.
In Man, Breath is the link between the Body which is Yin and the Mind which is pure Yang. As such, conscious breathing helps regulate our emotional by strengthening the root.
The practice of Nei Dan will allow the practitioner to develop three energy centers:
- The first is the physical center, or Lower Dan Tian also called “Elixir Field”
It manifests our connection to Earth, it is our incarnation. It is perfectly open and available from our birth, and stays so until our death. Nevertheless, realizing this perfection involves the awareness of this lower center. Training the Lower Dan Tian leads to the increase in vitality and the realization of our being, often hampered by our pathological habits. The achievement of the Lower Dan Tian training is the fundamental basis of the energy work, it is the source of our vitality, the “battery” of our body.
- The second is the emotional center, or Middle Dan Tian
It expresses our human nature, between Heaven and Earth and it center can be open before one starts any practice. If you grew up in a safe environment and received love then there Is a chance it is open! Indeed, Emotions greatly define our humanity! While the Lower Center is related to our physiological functions, our relationship to our emotions and to others directly depend on this Middle Dan Tian. The Practice will allow us to release oneself from the imbalances which may have affected the opening of this center and which tint our emotional perceptions.
- The third is the spiritual center, or Upper Dan Tian
This center is closed by default and can only be opened by the practice. Related to Heaven, it allows a clear perception of the world and opens the practitioner to infinity, to the mysterious.
We can see here that Nei Dan explores the various aspects of our humanity: our fundamental physiological functions - the source of our health, our relationships with others - the emotional peace and the possibility to open and unite oneself with the greater.
The curriculum for the study of Traditional Nei Dan training consists of 9 sections
In this practice, the breathing exercises are organized in 9 different steps, beginning with an awareness of our breath and of our center, these being the essential basis to increase vitality, as without a sufficient amount of energy, it is impossible to work. We then learn to make this energy circulate in our body to feed our entire defensive system and amplify the general circulation of body fluids and energy in our body. Only then can we explore the limits of our body, from the deepest center to the furthest borders of the outside world, sharing with the world and nourishing from it. This last step will become increasingly refined and lead the practitioner to return to a natural, fluid and constant exchange with the Universe.