Friday, August 11, 2017

The Digestive Brain Concept in Eastern Philosophies

In Eastern medicine the human belly has long been viewed as the vital center of the human organism. Traditional world medication and their treatises on the human digestive system comprise an enormously wide-ranging subject, however, we can briefly mention here some of these philosophies to give just a  taste of how authentic wisdom integrates the human being in all its aspects : physical, spiritual, and energetic. 

  Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) recognizes the gut as the dantian, loosely translated as the "navel area, the center of energy, the sea of qi." Qi is the vital energy, force, or impulse, similar to prana in Indian culture, pneuma in classical Greek, and ĕlan vital in the term coined by the French philosopher Henri Bengson. 

  The Indian traditional of healing locates the 3rd of the seven chakras, or energy "wheels," in the same place as the intestinal brain. The 3rd, or solar plexus, chakra ( manipura, or "shining jewel"), is located in the middle of the torso, in the diaphragm area above the navel, at the human body's center of gavity. This is where Universal Life is expressed as Existential Life; it is the center of the human being, body and soul. In contrast to the energy controlled by willpower or "doing," the TCM qi in the belly is "felt" and "allowed to come." Ideally, we should be in contact with this center ( the gut itself) and concentrate its energy. 

  In Japanese martial arts, the hara, like the Chinese dantian above, represent "the belly, man's center of being, the sea of qi." This is where the Japanese expression hara kiri comes from, traditionally a form of ritual suicide among Japanese samurai warriors but literally meaning "belly-cutting" or severing the energy of being. 

  The be "hara-centered" is equivalent to an optimal state of health and integration of all the bodily systems, longevity, and well-being. it leads to a general state of serenity and profound calm, awareness, reason, personal power, and balanced action. This state can be achieved through meditation and psychophysical disciplines, including tai chi, qigong( chi kung), or hatha yoga. 

  Those who have a well-developed hara can do many things without any apparent effort, while at the same time remaining calm, patient observers who do not feel the need to intervene, even if they are not in agreement. Those who know the art of of hara ( haragei,腹芸)in Japanese is “the art of the stomach.” ) are immediately conscious of when they leave the "just center" and fall under the influence of the egocentric self; and quite naturally, without any effort, they are able to return to their center. Those with weak hara have fragile health, get angry easily, and lose their temper easily; when faced with adversity, they quickly lose their self-control. The psychosomatic expression "to be centered," or in contact with our internal energy, has a lot to do with having a balanced digestive system in the language of Western medicine perspective. 

  The human body is a true treasure available to us, but it only works fully if we respect it and let it act as it needs to, without submitting it to external aggression that knock it off balance. 

We live in the most narcissistic society in human history/ Cultivating our image has become a social requirement, but we often forget our interior life. In our hygienic and aseptic society, which desperately seek a high-quality lifestyle and maximum satisfaction, there is no sense in not looking inwards and being aware of our own bodies. This is why the posts of common sense like Healthy Wealth is essential, not just for its therapeutic contribution but also for its educational approach, showing us what we have chosen to ignore and encouraging us to embark on a healthier lifestyle, leading to a real sensation of well-being and vital hygiene. 


Haragei (腹芸)in Japanese is “the art of the stomach.” Many Japanese people have not heard of this expression, but all Japanese are surely familiar with what it represents. Haragei is the art of understanding what someone means in conversation without his or her having to say it aloud. Haragei also means conveying meaning without explicitly saying it.

Japanese society is highly homogenous. People share a common history, culture, religion and language, and this makes implicit communication like haragei possible. In Japan, haragei represents refined, intelligent, educated and mature conversation and communication. To speak directly is the opposite—brusque, unrefined, uneducated, and immature. People who communicate directly in Japan are for the mostpart children.

You may have noticed that Japanese people can seem exceedingly circumspect or indirect when speaking. In Japanese culture, as in Japanese communication, people tend to avoid conflict and seek harmony. Harmony or wa (和) is so important a tenet in Japan society, that wa in Japanese is another way of saying “Japanese.”

In contrast to haragei, communicating in English is all about being direct and explicit. We value people who say what they mean and mean what they say. Perhaps this is because American society is not homogenous, but rather a melting pot of people with different backgrounds, cultures, histories and religions. In America, many people speak a different language at home. Precision and conciseness in American conversation is essential if we are to understand each other.

A grasp of English vocabulary and grammar does not necessarily mean a grasp of how to communicate in English. Have you ever had a conversation with a Japanese person in English, but you have no idea what he or she is talking about? This is what haragei sounds like in English. It can rub us the wrong way, and may even call our trust in that person into question. Similarly, the way we speak in English, in direct and bold terms, can rub the Japanese the wrong way, coming off as childlike, arrogant, and even belligerent.

Mastering haragei is part of mastering communication with the Japanese. At a minimum, it is useful to be aware of haragei. Beware of tendencies to judge people on how they communicate, not just for what they say. What is polite, refined and sincere to one may seem the opposite to the other. Whether negotiating with with a transaction partner or communicating with staff, beware of perceiving the worst whereas both parties may be competent, sincere and filled with the best intentions.

Managing from the Belly . CLICK HERE TO LOOK INSIDE.

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