Updated: Aug 24
The Micro Cosmic Orbit, also known as The Heavenly Orbit, is one of the foundation practices of Taoist Qigong. It is called micro cosmic orbit because the Taoists recognize your body/self as a small universe that is a fractal of a much larger universe (The Macro Cosmic Universe).
There are several different approaches to this practice, and they all stimulate the flow of energy or Qi in the body and enable us to harmonize with the universe. This is just one of many ways to practice this form.
In this practice, Yang energy rises up the back of the body, and Yin energy descends down the front of the body. The energy moves like a water wheel directing the water to flow, permeating and stimulating the body's meridian systems. This energy flow balances the body's yin/yang energy system.
It also encourages the blood to flow smoothly to the organs, thus supporting the internal organs to function correctly, promoting hormone production and secretion restoring natural harmony within.
The Micro cosmic also helps calm and smooth the rough emotions and brings a distracted mind back into focus.
As we deepen our understanding of The Micro Cosmic Orbit, we realize that this flow of energy can also be represented as a large living Taijitu symbol (yin/yang symbol) constantly flowing around the body. This powerful symbol and energy pathway works on every level of the body. Every single cell of the body is like a tiny moving Taijitu symbol.
When our Qi or energy is weak or blocked, this orbit doesn't flow very smoothly or efficiently, and in turn, it negatively affects our quality of life.
As Qigong and Taiji practitioners, our ultimate goal is to be in right relationship with our internal micro-universe and the greater universe outside of us. We harmonize our inner landscape with our external landscape through our "right actions" of thoughts, words, and deeds. As we harmonize ourselves, we can help those around us by catalyzing others to be in right relationship too.
Here is when we realize for ourselves that we are fully inhabiting our body and spirit. At this point in consciousness, our Qigong practice shifts from a hobby to a way of life, enabling us to walk the intersection of spirit and earth as fully embodied divine humans.
Preparation for seated practice
Begin by sitting cross-legged on a cushion on the floor or on the edge of a chair, keeping the back straight.
Rest your hands in your lap, palms facing up, or in a meditation mudra.
Sit with eyes closed, chin tucked in, and as though a silken cord is pulling the head towards the sky.
Relax your shoulders and place the tip of the tongue on the top palate of the mouth just behind the front teeth.
Gently squeeze the pelvic floor and lift the Hui Yin.
Breathe naturally in and out through the nose. Just relax, letting the mind become clear and calm. Use your awareness to concentrate on the energy centers around the Heavenly Orbit.
A fundamental principle in Qigong maintains that where the mind goes, the Qi will follow. The Qi flows naturally around this orbit, and our job is to strengthen this flow while not trying too hard to make it happen. Simply relax and feel each energy point described below. When you feel distracted, use your breath to bring your mind back into focus as you bring your attention to each point, sense, and feel the energy as a gate.
Drawing the energy up your back
The first breath begins in the Lower Daniten, it exits out the front of your dantien, drops to your Hui yin then proceeds up your back to
1. Ming Men or Door to Life, situated on the spine at the back of the body directly behind the navel. 1-6 breaths
2. The Middle Gate Behind your heart center
3. Yu Zhen or Jade Pillow at the base of the skull.
4. Bai Hui or Hundred Points Converge, found at the top of the head. Here gently lift Bai Hui.
As the energy descends down the front of the body
5. Upper Dan Tian or Upper Centre of Energy, the spot between the eyebrows. As you relax, let your eyes rest.
6. Middle Dan Tian or Middle Centre of Energy at the middle of the chest in the chest cavity.
7. Dan Tian or Centre of Energy, the area beneath the navel.
8. Hui Yin, or Convergence of Yin Energy, is situated at the base of the body between the anus and the genitals, also known as the perineum.
Bring the energy back up the spine and repeat this cycle at least six times.
To close the form:
Draw the energy into your Lower Dantien.
Turn the palms in, one hand on top of the other over the Lower Dantien.
Allow your breath, mind, and energy to settle. When breathing in, the abdomen gently expands into your hands and as you breathe out, push the hands in, just relax and feel the whole body breathe.
Stay in this closing position for several minutes. It is essential to spend time in the closing centering of this form to allow the Qi to settle. This type of energy work practice has a way of helping you sort everything out. Things in your life start to simply organize around your health and well-being.
Enjoy your practice 🙏🏽