You see, there are three main centers: the center of being in the navel, the center of feeling in the heart, and finally the center of thinking in the head. You can only get to know your true nature in the lowest center, where there is no thinking or feeling, just pure awareness. However, it is almost impossible to jump directly from the head, so you have to go through the heart.
Let your center fall down into the heart, and start feeling things with authenticity! Be conscious about where your center is at the moment. By and by, your center will fall down even further, and you will get glimpses of your real self when it touches your being.
Before you were born, the umbilical cord connected you to your mother, to the source of life itself. Even after it was cut, the center of life, the center of your being remained in your navel. As a baby, you were still functioning from this original center, the heart and the head developed only later. Until then, you were still in a state of enlightenment but an unconscious one.
You were still breathing through your belly, you were still functioning from an existential level. This center of being has many names. Western culture calls it navel, Indians call it the solar plexus chakra, while Japanese refer to it as hara. The hara was given prominence in Zen Buddhism and in Japanese culture in general. They have given us some useful exercises I will soon show you.
The hara is not only the gravitational center of the body, but the center of energy, as well. That is why when the samurai wanted to commit suicide, they cut the belly, or did harakiri. It is the seat of the soul, the home of your being, the reservour of life energy. If you want to become balanced, you have to return to this center, both literally and simbolically.
Currently you are mainly functioning from the head center, only sometimes from the heart, and very rarely from the navel. Until this is not the other way around, you will hardly find balance in your life. You are literally too high, where you become dizzy and disoriented. This is why you feel uprooted and empty, like you lost your home, you lost connection to life. Until you don’t find home again, you won’t find yourself either.
You do have glimpses of this center occasionally though. You come back to the hara near the two ends of life: sex and death. During orgasm, you pass through the original center, and you feel bliss. Thinking ceases for a couple of moments, and you feel at home again in the middle of nowhere. You were born out of this bliss when your parents conceived you.
You can fall down to this center also when your life is in danger. You feel a sudden tension in your stomach, the belly contracts when it is in anxiety. It is not a comfortable phenomenon altogether, but it does have its attractions. Some people search for these opportunities to feel the rush of adrenaline while driving a car, jumping off a plane or doing other kinds of extreme sports.
With death nearby you feel more alive. One reason for this is that you return to the navel once again. It is definitely a different kind of state of consciousness altogether. You become more natural, more centered, more focused and more decisive. There is no time for thinking, you have to act immediately from the guts.
Japanese samurai were trained to attain this state of consciousness while fighting. They were taught to empty their minds and be focused entirely on the present moment. It was really a question of life and death for them. When your opponent strikes, you cannot start thinking about defense, you have to react immediately. Thus they not only had laser-sharp swords, but laser-sharp reflexes, as well.
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