Hara Meditation

Many of us spend a lot of time in our heads. We like to work things out thoughtfully. We tend to ignore the body until it hurts and we tend to hope that deep emotional issues will be resolved by thinking them through. This meditation combines body and emotion in an easy way that harmonizes them with the intellect. It’s a practice that has been taught and used for centuries.

How to Practice

Sit or lay down in a comfortable position. Relax and breathe easily and naturally.

Put your fingertip on a point an inch or two below your navel and imagine you can feel a point directly behind it in the centre of your belly. Once you have the place, rest your arm and hand back down where it was. This spot is where your centre of gravity is located. In the Far East it is called the “Hara” or “Dantien”. This is not just the centre of gravity, it is also seen as the seat of the emotions, an incredible energy storehouse, and in many traditions it is considered the spiritual centre of the body – the still point, out of which comes all the activity of your life.

Rest in the hara for as long as you like. Keep breathing easily and gently. When your attention wanders off, make the hara a safe place to go back to. Keep going back to it, over and over. Gently and with kindness towards yourself. Come to see it as you still point.

If you have used a different spot in the body or breath in the past as your focus in meditation, you may find that moving it here stabilizes your energy more.


At first, you may have a hard time getting a sense of where it is. Just keep at it. After a while, you’ll get a feel for it. And before long you’ll wonder how you never noticed it before.

If you do this meditation often, you’ll find that this truly becomes the seat of your power. In his book, “Finding the Still Point,” Zen Master John Daido Loori said, ” .. the hara will naturally become the center of your attentiveness. You will walk from the hara, work from the hara, and when you get embarrassed, you will have a warm hara instead of a red face. … When something unusual or unexpected happens, rather than feeling scattered, you will find that the energy will automatically concentrate in the hara.”