Middle Gate, Conception Vessel point # 12
Every few months I fall in love with another acupuncture point. This summer it is the twelfth point on the Conception vessel, a central pathway of energy that begins on our pelvic floor and runs up the center line of the front of our body, ending just below our mouth. Its name is Middle Gate.
This point sits roughly halfway between the bottom of our sternum and our belly button.
As its name indicates, it is the empirical point that engages earth energy, our capacity to process our experience and therefore feel grounded and steady. It is a good point for these times!
Considering the name Middle Gate, its important to look at both words. Points with 'gate' in the name indicate a spot where something opens and closes. Gates, rather than doors, suggest our ability to both freely access an enclosure and easily open and close. We both move through gates and gates must move.
Noting its location near the opening to our digestive organs, on the physical level, this point enables our ability to process food, regulating both the function of sphincters along the 'middle' portion of our alimentary canal and the secretion of digestive enzymes and acids which happen here. Fully digesting our food sustains our life.
On the mental and emotional levels, this 'gate' accesses the grounded and steady - or 'middle' - part of who we are. Because we feel steady, we can process our thoughts and feelings, not getting stuck in worry or circular thinking or endless consideration. We also avoid either of the two extremes: dismissing our experience or refusing to process it. By processing our thoughts and feelings, we derive meaning in life.
On the deepest level, this 'middle' is our equilibrium. This point accesses the part of us that is unshakeable, that can bear becoming fully conscious of the truth of our experience, in all its many manifestations. From equanimity, we can
feel, process, and understand everything, even our unfixable heartbreak and its greatest gift: unconditioned and limitless compassion.