There’s a place in the body that doesn’t get much attention. It’s way down there below the head and below the heart. It’s the center of the body, literally. It’s the same distance from this point to the feet, as it is from this point to the head. Being a natural center, it has an organizing effect on the human system at every level. The body gets organized here, as does the mind, the heart and the spirit. This lowly place is actually a lofty place and it has a deep story.

This center is more a space than a place, for it’s nonphysical. It’s located a little way down from the belly button and a little way into the body on a subtle level, as a pulse, a seat, as ground. Its nature is vibratory, its influence pervasive.

The Hara is a seat of power and vitality. Located at the midway point of the body, the Hara is a natural balancer. We really move from here because the legs are nearby and are an extension of the Hara. The mind has a home here too: the Hara is a place where thoughts cease and the mind becomes unified.

Physical life begins in the belly

Before life can begin, there’s a vibratory animating force. That force feeds the fetus through the mother’s diet, and continues to ‘feed’ the birthed life once the umbilical cord is removed.

The Hara is our connection to life: earth, water, fire, air, sunshine, all living things, the entire biosphere, and its cosmic counterpart. We have multiple invisible cords linking us to all that’s alive and the enlivening force itself, and these all culminate in the Hara. The truth that we’re One with all life lives in the Hara.

The mind is on a tangent of its own

The mind often visits places that are fabricated and tense. The rest of us is here. The body is here, the heart is here, our life is here, breathing. The Hara is also here and can bring the mind home. The mind has to come home for us to be successful at anything because home is where our life is taking place.

The Hara centralizes and grounds the mind so its fullness can be unleashed. A settled and available mind leads to other significant resources we have.

The mind has true power but at its surface it’s a runaway train. You may be on this bumpy ride, or you may be absent even. If you’re on it, it’s none too pleasant. If you’re absent, there are much more serious consequences.

The Hara is an organizing principle

It settles the mind and the whole being. It’s also a seat of vitality. Vitality is a quality of health and life that’s often lacking and misunderstood. Vitality is inborn, it’s naturally available as a resource for the body and the whole person. Working with the Hara makes vitality abundantly available, flowing properly and easily replenished. If vitality is chronically low, engaging the Hara will restore it. Vitality is a core component of all-around health; health that works on all levels for the whole person.

Remember that life begins in the belly. That core connection to life continues through the belly as the body develops. The Hara is always connecting to life, the environment and greater cosmic forces. The Hara is also an internal distributor for vitality, feeding body and mind.

Primordial resource

Ultimately the Hara is a primordial resource. Here ‘primordial’ means outside of time/space. Hara is about essence. Essence is the life-giving presence within the body and mind. While it dwells in the body and mind, this presence is both outside time/space and outlasts it. Therefore the Hara provides substantial access to an abiding, eternal and essential part of human nature.

When thoughts cease and the mind becomes unified in the Hara, the eternal opens up; the spiritual becomes available. The spiritual is both innate and personal, and universal. The universal aspect of spirituality is a dimension that co-exists with the physical. The personal aspect of spirituality is the human heart and soul.

The Hara is home base for life in physicality, and home base for all nonphysical but supremely essential ingredients of being human. Having this one-point to centralize life in all its multidimensionality makes life manageable and meaningful. That life can be manageable and meaningful is both great news and a fundamental orientation for a happy, healthy and fulfilling existence.

Original nature

In the Hara everyday human emotions and random or unhelpful thoughts find a resting place, allowing original nature to find expression. Original nature is the timeless essence of each person, the part that isn’t locked into locality or chronology. Being free in this sense reveals the big picture of subtle reality, the reality that holds everyday reality in place. Living from the Hara with full expression of original nature is to be fully present in everyday reality and transcend it too. Being awake here only happens when the already awake source is made conscious. Original nature is already awake. The Hara is the access point.

In Japanese, Hara literally means “belly.” Hara no aru hito means “the man (person) with belly.” A person ‘with belly’ is a person with a ‘center.’ Lacking a center results in loss of balance. Having a center brings tranquility, stability, warmheartedness and a magnanimous, detached response to life, as well as surety and accurate action.

‘Having Hara’ brings a person into wholeness. Established in original nature, honoring the body, mind and heart, one is able to reliably address all spheres of life with equanimity, equilibrium, depth and precision. Hara living matures both character and wisdom with a gentle firmness, and is a lifelong resource for daily existence and beyond.

Related:

The Hara: Seat of Enlightenment


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The Hara: Sacred Center