The Door of Life" or Kidney Centre

Ming Men

Secondary (Yang) Chakra (rear)

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The Ming Men ("Door of Life") centre is located between the second and third lumbar vertebrae, just beneath the two kidneys, and opposite the navel, and approximately where the Muladharta is said to be externally located.

But once we study the symbolism we see a lot of discrepancies, and only a few similarities. In Tantric teaching, the Manipura is said to have ten petals, and corresponds to the element of fire.  On the other hand, in Taoism, the Kidneys are associated with the element Water.  Such contradictions are common in comparisons of different spiritual teachings.  My understanding is that the Shakta Tantrics are referring to the Inner or primary Muladhara Centre, which pertains to a level of the Causal or Inner Being, while the Taoists are describing the outer or rear (secondary) Muladhara centre, here referred to as the Kidney Centre

As regards colour, Tantric writings variously describe the petals as black, dark blue, or dark green in colour, while the central part of the chakra is uniformly described as having a red triangle (symbolising the tattva or element of fire).  In Taoism, the Kidneys - that is, the Kidney chakras, not the actual physical organs - are said to be black or dark blue in colour.  Again, two different subtle organs would seem to be being described here.

The Ming Men ("Door of Life") is located just beneath the two kidneys, and exactly opposite the navel.  It is associated with the element water and the trigram kan

This centre supports the kidneys, which not only purify the blood but also store sexual and energetic essences and stimulate the body's chi when it is low.  It is called the Door of Life (Ming Men) because it is the centre of Prenatal Chi or innate life-force.  This centre also serves as the "negative" or yin chi pole, in relation to the Heart centre, which constitutes the "positive" or yang chi pole.  These two centres regulate the flow of chi in the body. [Chia, pp.241-2]

In Taoism, this is a very important centre, for it serves as the junction with the Belt Channel, which encircles the body horizontally, and is activated during higher stages of Taoist practice.


Spokes/Petals: Hindu Tantra - 10; Tibetan Buddhism -64; Tansley - 10; Paulson - 10

Element: Hindu Tantra - Fire (Red Triangle); Chinese (Kidney Centre) - Water

Colours: Hindu Tantra - Red (petals: black, dark green, or dark blue); Tibetan Buddhism -Red; Chinese (Kidney Centre) - Black or Dark Blue; Paulson - Orange.

Associated Psychological states:

Open and Balanced: You are a gentle person [Chia, p.207] and yet you have a great deal of emotional strength [Paulson, p.71].

Overactive: You tend to be excessively forceful, and you push your will onto others through emotional means [Paulson, p.71].

Malfunctioning: You can suffer from anxiety and panic attacks.

Blocked: You are weak and insecure and easily swayed by others [Paulson, p.71]; you are easily taken advantage of [Chia, p.207].


 Status: Secondary (Yang) Chakra (back)
Spokes/Petals: 10?
Colours: Black or Dark Blue; Orange.
Element: Water.
Physical body: Kidneys; lower back (lumbar region)
Psyche: Will-power
Occult faculty: Connects with the Belt Channel, which encircles the body horizontally, and is activated during higher stages of Taoist practice.

In the Chinese system, the Kidneys are associated with the element Water and the planet Mercury.  In any case, the Qabalistic correspondence here would be the lower part of the Sefirah Hod (traditionally associated with Mercury, which I equate with the inner Manipura, a primary chakra).

Associated major chakra


Third Chakra

major and minor Chakras | Notes on Psychological terms

rear chakras
  front chakras
Back of Head Microcosmic Orbit Upper Forehead
Middle Forehead
Lower Forehead
Mouth of God Talu/Lalana
Back of Neck Throat
Base of Neck Thymic
Shoulder Blades Heart
Diaphragmatic Solar Plexus
Door of Life Navel / Sea of Ch'i
Sacral Pubic

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page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 15 March 1999, last modified 28 July 2004