THE CENTRAL CIRCUIT: THE THREE FIELDS OF THE CINNABAR
Question. Will you please teach me the proper method of swallowing saliva?
Answer. This is the quickest way to produce the generative force; it consists of touching the palate with the tongue to increase the flow of saliva more than usual. When the mouth is so full you can hold no more and you are about to spurt it out, straighten your neck and swallow it. It will then enter the channel of function (jen mo) to reach the cavity of vitality (below the navel) where it will change into negative and positive generative force. (Lu K’uan Yu, 1970, 2, p. 10f)
Other than the wheel of chi that moves around the body, there exists a central circuit (chung mo or jen mo), an axis, that comes down from the head, passes through the respiratory pathways and the intestines, and ends up in the perineum at the bottom of the pelvis (see fig. 2.3). Like the peripheral circuit, this circuit corresponds approximately only to the acupuncture meridians. This central circuit links together three centers40 that form the three fields of the cinnabarâ (Baldrian-Hussein, 1984, p. 156):
1. The center of the head, situated in the brain,
2. The center of the heart,
3. The center of the belly (lower tan tien or hara) that corresponds to the source and to the foundation of chi. It also corresponds to the center of gravity of the standing body, situated a little below the navel; it is lower in women than in men (which is anatomically correct).
This lower tan tien is the part most often mentioned in the study of the martial arts around the world. When we are standing, it corresponds to the center of gravity, and is thus associated with weight, stability, and the source of the organism’s power. All gestures originate from this center. At the end of an exercise, it becomes the place where the chi gathers for rest. The expression to be centeredâ makes reference to these practices.
The Techniques of the Martial Arts: Paradoxical Respiration, Punch, and Grounding