david, where is the dantien/hara movement comes into play? would have thought it one of the central tenet of IS.
Well, I've worked with that for decades and I'm just getting to actually feel the real connections, much less use them.
You gotcher basic idea of "the waist" directs the force that moves from the soles of the feet to the tips of the fingers. And in aikido, it's a byword that you move from "the center" and so on.
I think the whole thing about the hara being "the seat of the soul" is because all the feelings of the body and all the emotions of the mind congregate there. The fascia carries the ki and emotion is very close to ki. That's why emotion of the mind is so influential in the stomach. The stomach is full of fascia, wrapping all the organs, separating them, supporting them, supporting all those muscles in the abdomen and connecting to the arms, legs and neck...Bad emotions go right to the stomach and cause the fascia of that whole area to do weird things. "My stomach is tied in knots" or "I have butterflies in my stomach".
Also, this area retains old emotions by freezing the fascia into a particular set of inner tensions that are experienced as "natural" for the individual. It affects how they walk, stand and sit. It's why you can recognize an individual by his movement. And that also affects the feelings in your own dantien, doesn't it? When you see someone moving worse or better than yourself?
So I think the first thing is to quell the torment of the mind. And that can begin by letting the mind concentrate on the dantien and make it interesting by putting the body in weird positions that stress the dantien in various ways through the weight of the arms and legs.
And the breath helps loosen the tightness of the abdomen and the fearful, avoiding emotions that would hold it hostage by "protecting" it. And letting the abdominal fascia loosen up, freeing the emotions, deepening the breath, lets the ki move freely. And then the mind can be involved with the dantien and the ki. Then you can harmonize the bones, muscles and fascia with the ki, mind and kokoro.
After that, you can learn methods of really coordinating the body through dantien. So I hear.
Actually, recently, I was doing something from Aunkai, the tenchi posture, with the palms up, straight arms up beside the head, fingertips facing outward.
It's always been hard for me to really straighten my hands and fingers like that, and I did some things wriggling my fingers individually, and with each finger, I could feel it all the way along my arms and into the abdomen, which let me release certain tensions in my abdomen, meaning my spine popped and I took a good, long, deep breath and suddenly felt much better than just a moment before.
A few minutes of that really did me a lot of good and I came away with a little more to think about concerning coordination of the body through dantien.
Please help, if you have any clues...
Best to you.