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Harada Roshi

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Despite practicing for some time I'm finding it impossible to pin down the tanden. What should this area 1 2 inches below the navel actually feel like?

It is nothing difficult. Yet to try and find a tanden with your head does not work. When you pick up something heavy, you need the strength of your tanden in order to do so. Sitting, walking, sleeping - all motions are supported by the Tanden. There are the muscles band in front of your lower abdomen and around your lower back. They are the support for all movements of the body. Our blood which brings nutritions and oxygen to all cells of our body is being pumped by the heart. The lungs exhale carbon dioxide and receive fresh oxygen. Yet our lungs cannot move by themselves, yet are being pressed and released by the diaphragm. The diaphragm though is very sensitive to tension and pressure, and that which again supports the diaphragm in its healthy working is the tanden. When you exhale, exhale until your lower abdomen becomes flat, and then simply letting the inhalation come of its own. Then you will feel a settled, fulfilling inhalation, which is possible thanks to the strength of the tanden. Rather than thinking about it, try it for yourself.

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