Circulation of the Life Force
The Microcosmic Orbit practice is the beginning of the process of the integration of mind and body in Taoist esoteric practice. The circulation of the Life Force or Chi in the Microcosmic Orbit is the first form of circulation in the developing foetus. This energy flow continues, normally unnoticed, throughout life. Aspects of modern living such as unnatural diet, stressful work patterns, poor posture and sedentary enertainment result in the gradual accumulation of blockages to the natural circulation of Chi. The opening of the Orbit is the beginning of the reversal of this process. It is an important and tangible form of self-healing.
Taoist Meditation practice starts with opening the Microcosmic Orbit. The Life Force (CHI) is introduced to each point on the body's two primary meridians or Yin and Yang energy channels. The front or Functional channel and the back or Governor channel are joined to form a circuit of continuous energy flow. This circuit is called the Microcosmic Orbit.
Practical, tangible health benefits result from opening the Microcosmic Orbit. Increased resistance to stress and illness are the most evident. A heightened general level of energy follows from the conservation and recycling of the Life Force. A distinctly more centered and harmonious awareness results from balancing of internal energiesthrough their circulation in the Orbit. Lowered internal tension helps the immune system by promoting the freer flow of lymph fluids.
Taoism is often called the "Middle Way". The systematic view of polarized Yin/Yang energies in the Universe seeks balance in all things. Circulation of Chi in the Microcosmic Orbit balances the individual's internal state by re-distributing energy. Once the Orbit is open excess energy from one organ or gland system flows naturally to balance those that are deficient .
Rejuvenation and self-healing are important benefits of the Healing Tao practices. They are however simply the necessary background for the primary goal of self-cultivation which is spiritual growth and integration. The Microcosmic Orbit meditation can be seen as simply following the ancient law "Know Thyself". Turning the attention inward in quiet observation and gentle involvement in inner life fosters a sure sense of knowing and purpose.
As the energy point or centers of the Orbit open, increased awareness develops of the subtle energies everywhere. The beneficial effects of positive attitudes and emotions can be personally verified and enjoyed. Long standing destructive habits can fall away with minimum effort. New sources of healing and creative energy become available.
Based on more than 6000 years of continuous refinement by the ancient achieved ones, Taoist practice offers a personal "Green Plan" for the conservation and recycling of personal energy and resources. Taoist practice is based on the gentle and appreciative observation of natural processes. It is suitable for persons of all ages and religious backgrounds. It is energizing and enjoyable. It is easily adapted for use anywhere and can complement an existing practice or tradition.
Contacting Positive Energy & Refining the Inner State
The practice of circulation of energy in the Microcosmic Orbit is a natural process of self-balancing. The inner harmony and peace that arises leads one toward the further refinement of that state. Opening of the centers on the Functional and Governor channel bring our awareness into closer contact with the positive aspects of our nature. By affirming the importance of these virtuous qualities making up our nature we foster their growth and influence in our life.
The Taoist Inner Smile meditation is built on the opening of the energy centers along the Microcosmic Orbit. It is through these centers that we integrate our energy with that of our environment. By bringing positive, smiling energy to these points we can clarify and refine our relationship with our world, both within and without. By further integrating the smiling energy into our organ and gland systems, over time, a reprogramming of habitual negative responses occurs and a more refined iner and outer state emerges.
The Inner Smile can be practiced anywhere as a simple and throughly effective relaxation technique. It can also be integrated into a meditative practice as a starting point for exploration of deeper states.
Healing and Rejuvenating the Vital Organs, Transforming Negative Emotions
No one can doubt the importance of the vital organs in our lives. We all feel the effect of stress and negative emotional states on our bodies. Ancient Taoists developed a clear simple set of techniques employing sounds, stretching, breathing and visualization to cool, relax and heal the body's organ systems.
To a Taoist, each organ system is responsible for the appropriate manifestation of a certain range of emotional response. When the energy flow through the organ system is disrupted or blocked, the organ's functioning becomes unbalanced and inappropriate emotions result. The 6 Healing Sounds work directly to rebalance and refine the organ energy resulting in an immediate cooling and healing response.
The ancient Taoists observed the natural circulation of energy in the body. The circulation of breath, blood and digestive processes were all seen as part of a deeper more general circulation of Chi in the accupuncture meridians. A natural process of growth and mutual reinforcement was seen in the interaction between the vital organs, and this is observed in the emotional response as well. By starting with the entry point of Chi into the body with the breath, and refining the organ and emotional energy in harmony with that natural self-generating flow, the healthy natural relationship of the organs is restored.
Applying, Absorbing and Storing the Life Force
The skin, sense organs, muscles, tendons, facia, internal organs, glands and bones taken together form a complex system capable of storing great quantities of chi. Chi in different forms is generated and stored within the various bodily systems. The quality of the different chi energies stored in the body is the major contributing factor to our sense of and well-being and who we are.
The practice of self massage and the the intention associated with the application of chi together constitute a powerful form of potential self healing and refinement. Practiced as a closing exercise after a session of energy circulation and cultivation, Chi Self Massage serves to distribute the Life Force throughout the physical body and to dislodge stagnant energy lodged in the muscles and facial tissues. The practice has a dramatic toning and vitalizing effect on the skin and it's associated glands. Deep organ rejuvenation can also result from the various tapping, slapping, knocking and rubbing techniques taught in this important fundamental form of Chi Kung.