April 14, 2016 at 4:24 am #46381April 15, 2016 at 5:11 pm #46382
Especially about the hara. I didn’t know that zen is about the dan tien. Daoism and zen are the only ones who focus on it, isn’t it?April 18, 2016 at 3:29 am #46384
I think that there’s also a focus on the abdomen/hara/dan tien in Vajrayana (Tantric) Buddhism (e.g. Tummo practice). Don’t know about Hindu Tantra.
The abdomen is sometimes referred to as the second brain.In another essay, Does Your Brain have an Enlightened Twin”, Barclay Powers writes
It is not that the enteric nervous system is a 500 million neuron second brain in the gut that is responsible for 95% of the serotonin and 50% of the dopamine in your body. The brain in your skull is actually the second brain! The consciousness of the one in your gut is your true self, the original enlightened mind, according to Zen meditation theory, which has a Taoist origin. The first brain is the one that is literally created first in terms of embryonic development, the brain in your gut. It is the enlightened mind or consciousness of the gut brain, which travels up the vagus nerve to the skull brain, which results in Buddhahood or awakening. Ninety percent of the information carried by the vagus nerve goes from south to north, gut brain to skull brain. The fundamental truth revealed by the goal of meditation is also true from a non-theistic neuroscientific perspective. There are neurons in the human brain, heart, and gut, and when they are successfully fired off simultaneously using meditation/inner yoga the individual has the potential to become psychologically and neurologically whole. As is often repeated neurons that fire together wire together. So while keeping its Taoist meditation origins in mind, the basic theory of Zen meditation is correct both physiologically and psychologically. Enlightenment means the mind has reunited with the source of itself. Every human being does have an enlightened original mind, which is the consciousness of the primordial brain in the gut. This is remarkably similar to a kundalini model of yoga and consciousness evolution as well although the starting point is placed at the base of the spine instead of the navel. There is some debate as to whether the central channel is the spine or the vagus nerve and it may very well be both. The enteric nervous system and the central nervous system both evolve from the neural crest during embryonic development.
Don’t know if this right but it seemed interesting enough to be worth posting!
Interestingly, Mantak Chia says that we can think of qigong as training our second brain. Quite an interesting notion!
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