What is the difference between yoga (meditation and postures) and the Microcosmic Orbit (meditation and related Chi Kung practices)?
There are many forms of yoga, all of which have beneficial applications and long historical back- grounds (as do the Taoist practices). To differentiate between these practices and any possible Chinese counterparts is very difficult, however, because there are few direct correlation’s. In general, Indian systems (particularly Kundalini yoga) tend to work with a broader spectrum of energy, whereas Taoist practices use only the energy that is needed for a specific purpose at a given time, which reduces the risks of overheating any vital organs.
Other systems emphasise breathing techniques to generate and move bio-electro-magnetic energy (Prana or Chi), and both provide stretching exercises and postures to enhance the flow of this energy. However, be- cause Kundalini yoga employs a wider range of our internal forces, it requires more personal attention from an experienced teacher to avoid dangerous side effects. The Chinese methods require just as much work, but students can develop each meditative formula and Chi Kung practice with a greater degree of independence and flexibility. In fact, some yogi exercises work quite well when included in a regimen of Taoist practices. (It should be noted, however, that older people might find yogi postures more difficult to master than the Chi Kung postures.)
Can the Microcosmic Orbit meditation be used for healing?
This is the most commonly asked question of new students. The Inner Smile and Microcosmic Orbit meditations absorb more of the life-giving forces, which help to keep our cells young and healthy. By enhancing and maintaining the vitality of our cells, we can get rid of unwanted germs and negative energies in our bodies. In this way many chronic diseases can be controlled, corrected, or healed. Taoists say that when the strength of our energy (or Chi pressure) is weak, negative forces (bacteria, germs, bad emotions. etc.) can attack us. When we are strong internally, we can protect ourselves.
What kinds of problems and illnesses can Chi Kung and meditation prevent or cure?
First it is important to remember that preventive medicine does not just control symptoms the way drugs do. Instead, it eliminates the circumstances that allow such problems to accrue. The Taoist approach gradually balances the Yin and Yang energies along with the blood and the Chi-flow while enhancing the body’s Original Chi. This includes adjusting, healing, strengthening, and maintaining the body’s entire system. Results may appear to come more slowly than in Western medicine, but the overall effects are actually more complete and permanent than those achieved by temporarily relieving symptoms with drugs or surgery.
Taoist meditations and Chi Kung have worked well to relieve or cure the following chronic ailments: liver infections, some heart problems, intestinal infections, breathing problems, kidney infections, stomach wounds. dropping of the stomach, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, various joint infections, nervous disorders, problems occurring after menopause, diabetes, and migraine headaches. There have also been good results with cancer patients in terms of pain relief, remission, and sometimes even recovery (depending upon the circumstances and one’s ability to practice). In general, people live longer and more energetic lives with practice. For those who must take a lot of medicine for specific ailments, these practices can help to reduce the dosages required for relief.
The Microcosmic Orbit meditation can also help to relieve other maladies that are less common (or not spoken of ), such as wet dreams, impotence, obesity, infertility, menstrual problems, prostate problems, sciatica, haemorrhoids, gum problems and toothaches, allergies, and many more. The practice strengthens the immune system and can even help to prevent colds or flu. People often give up smoking, coffee, and drugs as they develop in their practice. Another desirable effect that many have achieved is looking and feeling younger without cosmetics. The practice cannot cure all of the world’s problems, but determined students can definitely improve their lives with it.
How can the Microcosmic Orbit and Chi Kung practices affect one’s youth and beauty?
By practicing to increase our life force, and by inundating all of our bodily cells with this enhanced energy, we can improve our cells’ ability to clean out waste materials and toxins that cause ageing. Also when Chi moves, it increases the blood circulation throughout the skin and face, and the blood vessels, arteries, and veins expand to accommodate the faster elimination of toxins. This helps to get rid if any wrinkles as the skin becomes smoother and more elastic, and the face begins to radiate with more energy. Meditation helps some people give up smoking, which also ages the body, and Chi Kung exercises burn up excess fat, so one can stay in good shape without going on a diet. (It may help others to gain weight if they are too thin.) Regular practice helps some people look 10 or 20 years younger. White hair often turns dark again, hair loss may be avoided, and one can stay flexible and in good shape for a longer time.
Can the Microcosmic Orbit and Chi Kung actually prevent ageing?
Numerous records exist suggesting that many practitioners have stayed healthier and more flexible for much longer than is considered normal (some until 90 or even 100 years old). In China a test was conducted on 600 elderly people from the ages 55 to 75 who practiced Chi Kung regularly. When compared with another group in the same age category, great differences in health and vitality were recorded. The group that practiced regularly felt and looked younger with less incidence of memory loss and fewer problems with sleep or appetite. Some had overcome chronic diseases. A few even had their hair and teeth grow back. In some cases hearing and eyesight was partially or fully restored.
Can middle-aged people who are weak or sick do these practices?
It is best to begin when you are not sick (or while you are still young) because you will be starting from a stronger foundation to build up your defenses against any possible maladies. This foundation also provides faster healing if you actually become sick. If you already have some disease or chronic disorder, it will take more time to build up your internal energy, and the healing process may therefore take much longer. The practices will still prove to be valuable in most cases, however, but it must be remembered that the Microcosmic Orbit meditation and all Chi Kung exercises serve best as preventive medicine. There are many middle-aged people in the Universal Tao system who have given up all forms of Western medical treatments in favour of these practices which have provided the means of regenerating good health. It is never too late for improvement.