Basic practice to cultivate 'Chi' energy.


by Grace Curley


Micro-Cosmic Orbit Meditation


The ‘Microcosmic Orbit’ is a classic Taoist Meditation for circulating and distrubuting qi energy through different meridian channels and connecting acupuncture points throughout the body. It is known to relax and rejuvenate the mind and body. 


The orbit runs in a circle up the spine to the brain and then returning down the front of the body to the perineum, or in simpler terms the energy moves up the spine to the brain and then down the front of the body.

This practice balances cool yin and warm yang energy; circulating creative energy in this way cultivates the etheric body and psychic centers, awaking the power of spiritual perception and creating a sense of wholeness. The orbit pulls you together when you feel scattered.


The goal is to centre yourself, clear your mind, and start your meditation by focusing your mind on the Lower Tan Tien (see diagram below) until you feel your attention pinpoint that area. You can close your eyes if this helps increase your ability to focus.


The Tan Tien is the main laboratory and the fundamental center of inner alchemy. It is located in the navel area as the place where qi energies can be transformed, stored, and received.





Here are some simple steps to practice the Microcosmic Orbit:


  1. It is best to practice while seated or standing, as according to the Taoists, humans are the bridge between heaven (the levels of existence outside physical reality) and the earth (physical existence).

  2. If standing, relax the knees, allowing them to bend slightly. Tuck your tailbone backwards, pushing your chest and solar plexus outwards. Align your spinal column by stretching and elongating the spine. Perhaps most important of all is to relax and bring the warmth of a soft smile to your practice. It’s also helpful to remember that if you catch yourself frowning, this is believed to cause the energy flow to become constricted at the brow which can leave us getting stuck in the mental turmoil of our problems.

  3. Place your tongue to the roof of the mouth to make the connection - this is the Qi Line. Babies automatically do this in the womb

  4. Close your eyes and bring your attention to your Navel (see point 1 on the above image). Concentrate on this point until you feel calm and your breathing becomes steady.

  5. One then proceeds to move the point of concentration from the starting point at the navel through each point on the above diagram, moving down then up through the acupuncture points up the spine, over the crown of the head, and back down towards the starting point on the front of the body.

  6. A key technique is to use the inward breath to draw the qi upwards through the spine and the outward breath to allow it to flow downwards like a watercourse flowing down the front of the body.

  7. It can also be helpful to pay particular attention to the ‘gate’ at the back of the neck to make sure there isn’t a lapse in posture here inhibiting the flow of qi. Imagining a string towards the back of your crown pulling your head upwards can be useful here.


Everyone has the capacity to increase their personal energy, develop their qi, and directly experience the profound effects of practices such as this one. The benefits for those who diligently cultivate qi are numerous, including peace of mind, higher awareness, emotional balance, more radiant health, better sleep, stronger immunity, increased psychic and intuitive powers, and most importantly, an increased capacity to heal.


For further explanation of this subject, as discussed by Mantak Chia himself, take a look at the following presentation.



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