Microcosmic Orbit Meditation
by Han Serhan Keser
The microcosmic orbit meditation is a Taoist term, the full orbiting of energy along the front and back of the torso. This meditation aims to facilitate and reinforce the flow of Qi in the Functional Channel at the front and the Governor Channel at the back.
What is the benefit of completing the Microcosmic Orbit?
The microcosmic orbit meditation is an essential tool of the Taoist system. By circulating qi in this simple orbit, you are generating energy to be stored in the navel. The body knows which organs need extra energy. The organs, glands, and blood automatically receive this energy when circulating the warm current.
Primary Energy Channels
The nervous system in human beings is very complex and capable of directing energy wherever needed. But the ancient Taoist masters discovered two primary energy channels that carry a powerful current.
The Functional Channel begins at the base of the trunk, midway between the genitals and the anus, at a point called the perineum. It flows upward into the body past the genitals, stomach organs, heart, and throat. The second channel, the Governor Channel, starts in the same place. It flows from the perineum upwards into the tailbone, up through the spine into the brain. From there, it goes back down to the roof of the mouth.
The tongue is like a switch that connects these two currents, for when it is touched to the roof of the mouth just behind the front teeth, the energy flows in a circle up the spine and back down the front of the body. The two channels form a single circuit that the energy loops around in circles. When this energy flows, Chinese masters said the ‘small heavenly cycle’ or ‘microcosmic orbit’ had been completed. Its vital current circulates past the major organs and nervous system of the body, giving cells the juice they need to grow, heal, and function.
Proper Wiring of the Etheric Body
The two main energy channels of the body can be compared to the main wiring of a house. Imagine a trunk line that brings power from outside into the building’s service panel. This panel contains circuit breakers that protect the inside wiring from short circuits and overloads. It also has switches that control the current to all the rooms inside the house. This inside wiring is like the “six special power routes” in the body used in higher levels of Taoist meditation that branch off from the Microcosmic Orbit.
Once your house, like your body, is correctly wired and all the safety precautions have been taken, it is ready to connect to the main utility company trunk line for power. You are prepared to receive the power that comes from above and from beneath you without harm.
What does it mean to “Open the Routes”?
“Opening the routes” means clearing all obstructions that block the flow of qi energy in their natural paths. Most blockages take the form of physical, mental, or emotional tension. It helps to understand that these energy routes in the body are grounded in the larger balancing forces of nature, which exert a powerful influence over us at every moment. The healing power of natural forces can be tapped to help the body clear the blockage to its natural energy flow.
The Functional Channel, the route running down the front of the body —which may flow in an upward direction before the Microcosmic Orbit is linked— has a Yin or cold nature. The route running up the back, the Governor Channel, is Yang, or hot in nature. The feet are said to be the ground or the ‘earth wire’ and absorb negatively charged energy from the earth. The top of the head —or crown— is the ‘heavenly wire,’ or positive wire, and absorbs the Yang power from above, especially from the Sun.
When these two routes are joined and cleared of obstruction, the power will flow in a circuit between these two poles, positive and negative, linking the body’s vital organs to the main loop of the microcosmic orbit around the trunk and head of the body. So, by simply opening the two main routes, the Functional and Governor, a larger supply of warm ‘QI’ current flows into every organ. Mixing Yin and Yang, hot and cold, heaven and earth, takes place automatically, balancing your physical, mental, and emotional selves.
In the Taoist system, one begins by opening and completing two main channels. Up the spine in the back and down the front of the body. When linked together by the tongue, these two routes form the Microcosmic Orbit. They serve as a circulatory system for the body with built-in cooling safety valves.
Once all the energy channels are open, one can begin mixing and transforming the powers present in the various energy centers or chakras, a process known to the Taoists as ‘inner alchemy’. Many formulas are needed to bring about good effects and harmonize the body’s various energy systems with the energy system of nature. As more power becomes available, the importance of opening multiple routes becomes evident.
Awakening the Microcosmic Orbit technique has evolved over many millenniums. It offers practitioners the safest and most assured path to good health. If you proceed one step at a time up the ladder, you will be guaranteed success in reaching the top.
How does Master Chia help his students open the Microcosmic Orbit?
During his teachings, Master Chia helps students to feel Qi and open their Microcosmic Orbits through direct energy transmission. It is called Passing Energy — activating the student’s Microcosmic Orbit by the teacher.
Upon being touched, people experience the warm current in a few minutes. The body feels electricity and starts to vibrate in response. During online transmission, without a physical touch, many people go into deep concentration. They feel energy running in an orbit throughout their bodies.
When can I learn it?
You can discover the in-depth practice of Microcosmic Orbit during the Fundamental Taoist Practices workshop on December 1-5, 2023.
For reservations at Tao Garden contact Nok at [email protected]
Passing Energy practice is taught by Master Chia during Winter Retreats only.