Golden Elixir Quote of the Week
The Lower Cinnabar Field (dantian)
Foundations of Internal Alchemy: The Taoist Practice of Neidan, by Wang Mu, pages 21-22
[. . . There are three Cinnabar Fields, but] the lower Cinnabar Field is the Cinnabar Field in the strict sense. Different views exist concerning its position. The medical texts usually say that it is located 1.3 inches below the navel. According to the alchemical texts, instead, it is found 1.3 inches behind the navel.
Its location corresponds to the point of intersection of the Thoroughfare and the Girdle vessels (chongmai and daimai). Since this point, projected onto the external surface of the belly, forms a shape similar to the Chinese character for tian 田 ("field"), it is called "Cinnabar Field."
Why is it also said that the Cinnabar Field is located 1.3 inches below the navel? Zhao Taiding (Ming dynasty) gives the following explanation: "When we say 1.3 inches below the navel, this measure is taken with the body lying horizontally. The Cinnabar Field then is the point found 1.3 inches under the navel, that is, between the kidneys" (Maiwang, chapter 1).
The Golden Elixir Quotes of the Week are short quotations on Taoist Internal Alchemy (Neidan) from books published by Golden Elixir Press. They are sent at no cost to subscribers. See a sample and an index of the Quotes of the Week sent to subscribers until present.