Just as the spine is one of the primary neurological pathways for the physical body, the Microcosmic Orbit plays a similar role for the energetic body. Not only is it important for our physical health, but it also plays an essential role for emotional stability and spiritual clarity. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the modern history and principles of the ancient practice, as well as share an opportunity to further explore the gifts it has to offer.
The Microcosmic Orbit: A Practice for Healing
While the Microcosmic Orbit has been practiced in China for thousands of years, it wasn’t until relatively recently that it made its way to the west. In the1980’s, Lee’s renowned teacher, Mantak Chia, moved from Thailand to New York City and started treating patients for a variety of health ailments. After seeing success with his patients, western medical professionals began paying attention to what he was doing. Several of them even started referring their own patients to him.
In order to learn how Microcosmic Orbit practices can be used for healing, it’s important to understand the way in which energy moves throughout the body.
The Microcosmic Orbit is an essential pathway that Qi uses to circulate within you — often referred to as the “governing vessel.” It forms a circular pathway that starts at the bottom of the pelvic floor by the anus and goes upward along the spine, neck, and up to the crown of the head. Then, the energy moves down across the front of the body — over the face, throat, chest, stomach, and returns to the pelvic floor.
The channel that flows along the backside of the body is known as the Du meridian and is referred to as the “governing vessel,” or “Sea of Yang.” As Qi flows upward through the Du meridian, it brings vital life force energy to the nervous system and brain.
The front channel is known as the Ren meridian, and is often referred to as the “Sea of Yin.” Energy that flows through the Ren meridian delivers nourishing Qi to the organs.
Finding Balance Within The Body
Together, Du and Ren meridians maintain a harmonious balance of Yin and Yang energy in the body. As energy circulates, it’s constantly recycled and blended together, since each part of the body has the chance to experience all the different kinds of Qi that flows within us.
This balancing function of the Microcosmic Orbit is one of its most important qualities. In daily life, there are many situations in which various energies can become stagnant or blocked. When that happens, certain parts of the body are unable to benefit from our internal resources for health and healing.
To understand the difference between flowing and stagnant Qi, all we need to do is observe what happens to water. If you dip your hand in a quickly moving stream, you’ll notice that the water is clear and fresh.
On the other hand, if you come across a small, shallow pond that has been sitting for months without being replenished, you’ll notice that the water is murky and unclean.
The same thing happens within the Microcosmic Orbit. Without a constant flow of fresh, vital Qi, your energy becomes heavy and more prone to health challenges. Therefore, Microcosmic Orbit practices are a powerful way to help ensure that your energy stays invigorated and full of life.
Strengthening Your Connection To Yourself
Another significant benefit of Microcosmic Orbit practices is its ability to strengthen the energetic connection between various parts of your being.
In The Three Treasures, Lee teaches about our three primary reservoirs of energy, which includes the Upper Tan Tien in the head, the Middle Tan Tien in the heart center, and the Lower Tan Tien in the lower abdomen. Together, these correspond to our spiritual, emotional, and physical energies.
Since the Microcosmic Orbit circulates Qi throughout each of these energy centers, it serves as a powerful source of connection between all of these important Tan Tiens. When the Microcosmic Orbit is flowing and strong, it becomes much easier to find harmony and between your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations.
Having a fluid and consistent flow of energy throughout the Microcosmic Orbit creates a feeling of alignment and strength. When your mind, heart, and body are in sync with one another, it doesn’t just connect you to yourself, but it allows you to be in touch with your higher truths and place within the universe.
In addition to the internal harmony and peace that Microcosmic Orbit practices help you to cultivate, it’s also an amazing way to build Qi and aliveness by fortifying your energy channels and patching up any “leaks”. When Qi is flowing consistently throughout your entire being, your whole body receives a boost of energy that provides vitality and inspiration for all parts of your life.
Microcosmic Orbit Pre-Recorded Workshop
At Holden QiGong, we’ve put together a special, pre-recorded workshop called The Microcosmic Orbit. During this experience, Lee teaches powerful Taoist practices to open the body’s most important energy channel, circulate Qi, and cultivate vitality.
This workshop includes a combination of lectures and guided practices. The exercises include flowing movements, standing postures, breathing practices, and meditations.
The Microcosmic Orbit is a deeply nourishing, centering, and rejuvenating practice, so click on the banner below to learn more and get started.
Written By Ian Drogin