Author: Dennis Willmont
Because of its effect in fostering vitality, Ming-men/tan-t’ien is considered one of the most important energy centers in Chinese systems of meditation, healing, and the martial arts. Located in the center of the lower abdomen approximately two inches below the navel, and between the skin and the ventral surface of the spine, ming-men/tan-t’ien is an amalgam of two other important energy centers, ming-men and tan-t’ien, with close association with what is called the “Sea of Ch’i,” Ch’i-hai.
Ming-men/tan-t’ien comes into existence at birth from the interface between the prenatal, and postnatal, aspects of self. Ming-men represents the prenatal, sacred, Yang, aspect, tan-t’ien represents the postnatal, mundane, Yin, aspect, and Ch’i-hai represents their integration through the abundance of Ch’i that is found here naturally, and that can be developed here through these disciplines. In his book, The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing, Kenneth Cohen describes the effect of this area in energetic training (Ch’i-kung, or Qigong) which “stimulates the kidneys, . . . increases the body’s overall vitality and energy level (and) . . . primes the body’s major energetic pump so that qi can spread more efficiently throughout the body.”