THE BLOG
10/21/2013 12:41 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Happiness Is in the Belly

I like happiness a lot. I look at all the latest scientific evidence on the subject, I study it in myself. I try to engage with as many people as possible who are happy. I exercise because I love the happiness feeling that you get when you're done. But out of all the possible ways to happiness, in my opinion meditation practices are the best. I practice a lot of different practices such as sitting, standing, reclining and moving meditation.

I love all the amazing scientific research that has come out in the last few decades about meditation. But, I think the real noble prize and future of science is looking into energy fields that interact with the mind and body. Now, this might fall under quantum mechanics or some other scientific model that has not yet been discovered.

In the West, we like to look at our mind like a machine, rather than an ocean like several Eastern traditions think of it as. To get to the extreme states of bliss that are talked about in the east we need to focus our mind in our belly and also understand that our mind is an energy field.

I was fortunate enough to meet to some truly incredible Traditional Chinese Medical doctors and meditators.They don't look at the mind as a machine, they look at it as an energy field. The practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine and meditators I met view this energy field as the underlining mechanism that beats our heart, grows our hair and works with the brain and body to produce consciousness.

Buddha in the Heart Sutra said, "Form does not differ from the void, and the void does not differ from form. Form is void and void is form." According to Buddhism and Taoism, everything in the world is made from one substance called "emptiness." What Western scientists call matter, particles and atoms all come from this "emptiness" energy field.

Several thousand years ago Lao Tzu said that a leader should be, "stuffing people's bellies." Meaning bringing your mind to your stomach to cultivate and strengthen the energy within your body. In Zen Buddhism, they say you should bring your mind to your "Hara."

In both of these traditions, they would say a real person acts from there "Dan Tien" or "Hara." Taoist monks would have all types of meditative techniques to control the energy in the body because they wanted longevity and happiness. They believed that if the energy was just in the head, it would be wasted and exhausted from the continues rumination of our thoughts.

Taoist are like scientists of the mind, body and universe -- they recognized that the umbilical cord connects to the mother in birth. They made several observations and developed the technique of meditating from the stomach. You don't have to have any religious beliefs, to understand energy. But the journey begins in the belly.

In Taoist meditation theory, your imagination works as the gateway towards understanding your "Dan Tien." First you visualize it in your stomach and then it becomes an actual real substantial feeling. According to Taoist theory, as we grow up we lose this connection to the Dan Tien that we once had as a baby. Meditation reconnects us back to it. You don't have to have any kind of religious belief in it. It's not an accident that Western science is starting to understand a second brain in the stomach.

1. Place your attention in your stomach region.

2. Start to visualize a small point below your belly button.

3. As you inhale feel you belly fill up.

4. As you exhale let the belly contract.

So if you're having a rough day take a few moments to bring your attention to your belly. When you sit down to do some meditation try to continually bring your focus to the stomach region. Eventually after a period of time it will become easier and easier.

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