Where would you consider the main energy center of your body to be? Is it in the mind where thought is created? Is it in the heart which we consider the source of our emotions? Is it in the crown chakra that connects to the God/dess or at the root chakra that connects to the earth?
In Chinese Qigong, this main energy center is known as the Lower Dantian, its Japanese name is Hara, and in the Sufi tradition and the Diamond Approach it is known as the Kath. Its location is said to be in the lower belly, 1½ thumb widths below the navel, 2 to 3 thumb widths inward. This is the place where you can sometimes feel butterflies in your belly, like when you’re in love. Sometimes you can feel a sensation of heat there, like when you need extra energy, or feel stressed.
This energy center is often confused with the Sacral Chakra, but there is one important difference — Chakras do NOT STORE energy, but rather act as a gateway or vortex, for energy to flow through, in, and out of the body.
It is believed that during daily life, energy from this energy center is said to be drawn upward and used by intellectual activity. If properly used, some of the energy re-circulates throughout the body, returning to the energy center in the abdomen; but too often it remains in the head where it said to cause distress or disease. For example, when people get emotionally upset, it can mean that their energy has risen to their emotional or mental centers where it has stagnated. In order to “heal” you can use centering exercises to “sink” the energy back to the energy center so that it is circulated once more.
A simplistic definition of being centered is to feel balanced, grounded, breathing smoothly, with mind and body unified and calmly alert. When you focus with your attention on this energy center, you are said to be able to simultaneously sense your entire body, quiet the mind, and connect to your body and emotions. By doing this you are able to attain a state of readiness and able to deal with or adapt to any situation.