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Norman Allan
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life gate


My friend Tee was telling me about a mysterious space in the body where mind and spirit and the beyond meet. Her guru calls it Ananda Ghanda. It's an extra chakra, situated in the middle of the body, between the heart chakra (Anahata) and the solar plexus (Manipura). "It's a mobius strip, where the worlds turn inside out. Its the center of our being, and in meditation it is where one needs to go. It's from there one can fly to the One. So in meditation we try to drop down from the head, through the heart, to Ananda Ghanda."

"Oh," said I. "That reminds me of mingmen, the Life Gate, in Chinese medicine. The mobius strip bit, that is, made the link."

Mingmen, Life's Door, the Life Gate, is a bit of a mystery. It's the name of an acupuncture point on the back, but it's also the source of the Life Gate Fire that is the special Yang energy of the "Kidney", and one old old source says that it is also the "greasy membrane between the kidneys." And what could that be? Surely it's the crus of the diaphragm!
     Where the oesophagus passes through the diaphragm (the diaphragmatic hiatus), the diaphragm loops a bit of muscle round the left that then crosses over, below, to the right (to the right of the abdominal aorta)... The pieces of the diaphragm either side of the oesophagus, and then below, either side of the aorta, are called the crus of the diaphragm - the cross of the diaphragm.
     Arising from the crus is a very interesting structure, the ligament of Treitz. This starts as a slip of striated (voluntary) muscle from the diaphragm, becomes ligamentus, and then continues as smooth (involunatary) muscle to join (and suspend) the small intestine at the juncture of the duodenum and the jejunum (the second section of the small intestine). This suspensory ligament is the structure we feel relax when our "stomach" falls with fear, for instance.
     But back to mingmen, the Life Gate; this is (likely) this structure between the kidneys, the crus of the diaphragm (and ligament of Treitz) - the gateway in the diaphragm and the gateway in the energy fields.

So when you meditate, you might try to bringing your attention to the diaphragm, to the crus of the diaphragm, the space right in the middle of your body between your kidneys, mingmen, the Life Gate, the doorway to the other realms - Ananda Ghanda.

There's another interesting thing about this space in the middle of us. Our ancestors, when they were amphipians, as they develop embryologically, they do their spacial structuring, their enfolding, three dimensionally. However, when our ancestors left the water, as reptiles, they had to perserve their water. So they developed a solid impervious shell round their eggs, and also, because they had to run arround as functional hatchlings (rather then tiny larvae), and therefore needed to be quite big at hatching, they needed lots of yolk, like a chicken. So we could no longer do our early enfoldings three dimensionally but rather we start our development as a flat embronic disc. Later that disc folds up, the front, the rear, and the sides fold under and in, coming together at the navel, the umbilicus. And the front-most past of the embryonic disc (the septum transversum), the most anterior part, folds under and in (at the middle of the criter) and becomes part of the diaphragm. (The bit behind it, the next most anterior, "superior", is going to becomes the heart. Right behind that is the mouth, and immediately behind that is the part of the embryo that will become the brain.) So, in some sense, this middle bit of us associated with the diaphragm, with the breath, was once the top-most bit.

(This last paragraph is detailed, and illustrated, at Embryology, Anteriority, and the primacy of Breath.)




up the top I say of mingmen, "surely it's the crus of the diagraph", but you know, I don't really know, It's really just a thought, a speculation. Who knows what the greasy membrane is, and how it relates to the Life Gate Fire...



Norman Allan

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