This is one straightforward Qigong method originated by a Chinese physician Li Guang Po in China. Using this method, one is able to gain the level of small circulation in about a month. There are other more elaborate methods and people practicing them often end up failing to open up their small circulation and reap the benefit of excellent health. I picked up this method quite accidentally. A book written by the author in Chinese was given to me by my country’s senior diplomat in Peking and I was supposed to interprete and explain it to my boss in 1994. Instead, I began learning and mastering it. And, my superior, an army General, became my student. Again, it is the unseen hand of my spiritual guides that might have engineered the opportunity for me to pick up a useful method of meditation.
The small circulation/Micro-cosmic Orbit refers to the opening up of the acupuncture points along the Governing (Tu) Vessel and Conception (Ren) Vessel – the back and front meridians of our body, along our front and back spinal column – and providing an obstructed movement of Qi – internal energy.
The important acupuncture points are the Bahui (Crown Chakra), Yingtang (Brow Chakra), Shangzhong (Heart Chakra), lower Dan Tien/Qihai (Sacral Chakra), Weilu (Base Chakra), JiaJi (approximately back of heart chakra), Yu Zhen or Jade Pillow (back of our neck approximately where the neck and the head meets).
The method uses the principle of gravity – when energy is fully deposited in one acupuncture point, it becomes overflow and moves downwards to fill up the lower acupuncture point. The most difficult part is when the energy reaches the bottom – the Weilu or near the Base Chakra – it has to move upwards along the back of our spine and reach the crown and resettle on the point of the path where the tongue touches. the palate.
The fundamental principle of this Qigong method is breathing. You concentrate on your breathing in and out, an exercise you can do anyway at any position. You do not have to sit in lotus position, close your eyes unless you are graduated into another level of Qigong meditation, where you would have to meditate on the lower Dan Tien. To prepare to do this exercise, you need to remember to breathe through your nose, and have the tongue curled up touching your palate.
BREATHING OUT IS IMPORTANT. As you breathe out, try to feel an energy rushing into your body through your nose inversely. Add a little strength in your breathing out, but not too explosive or else you would feel giddy. For beginning, you should feel the energy causing a tightening sensation in your throat every time you breathe out. Do a set of 12 breathing out exercise (Not forgetting to gently breath in to refill your lung), during a session. The Chinese believe that the best time to meditate is the 12 noon and 12 midnight, but it is not a hard and fast rule.
Next, when your throat is filled with Qi, it would move downwards to your heart chakra as your breathe OUT. When the heart chakra is full of energy, it will move downwards to your stomach. As you lead in more Qi, you should feel a warm in your stomach. While the Qi is building up in your stomach, you would have a bigger appetite for food. You would fart more often but the fart is not smelly.
After the stomach is full of energy, the Qi would move down to a very important acupuncture point – The Dan Tien (Sacral chakra), two fingers downward from your naval and about half an inch inward. The whole rigmarole would repeat itself filling up your Dan Tien with energy. It is at this point you should do some proper meditation, besides the breathing exercises, by focusing your will or attention on the Dan Tien to consolidate the Qi there. The Dan Tien, or correctly called, Qihai is a very important acupuncture point in Chinese Qigong practice; it is the all important storage and distribution center of Qi in the body.
After the Dan Tien, the Qi move downwards and rest on the Weilu acupuncture point (Base chakra). This is the beginning of the most difficult part of the exercise.
When the Weilu near Base Chakra is full of energy, the Qi is supposed to move upwards along the spine – the clearing of Three Gates/Obstacles (San Guan) The first obstacle is the movement up through the coccyx. (Weilu) near the Base Chakra. There are two important bridges of connection – first the tongue on palate, the Heaven Bridge and the second lower connection, the Earth Bridge. I teach a method not mentioned by the writer of the book, that is using the contraction of the anus to push up the Qi. The other method is for me to use my Qi to help push it upwards for my students. So, with some perseverance, you breathe out and will the Qi to begin itself upsurge journey.
During this crucial stage of moving up the energy, the legs must be crossed. The reason is that a novice meditator would not have enough experience or understanding in controlling the Qi with his will. This would result in the Qi going downwards to the legs and cause cavities of Qi to be formed there. So by meditating on the sitting position, having the legs crossed, it would prevent the Qi from being deposited into the feet.
The next obstacle is the JiaJi acupuncture point along the back spine (somewhere opposite the heart chakra/). You continue to breathe out to move the Qi and do the meditations exercise by focusing on the lower Dan Tien.
After clearing the JiaJi, the energy travels upward until it reaches the Third Obstacle, the Jade Pillow (Yuzhen/) Acupuncture point. At this point, you would feel some discomfort at the back of the head as the Qi tries to break through. Again, perseverance pays off, and you should be able to clear this last hurdle before you complete the energy loop joining the front and back meridians. Once it clears this point, the Qi would move up to your crown and rest there. You should experience a feeling of enlightenment when that happens. Next, it is easier for the Qi to move downwards to clear your brow chakra before resting on the point where your tongue touches the palate.
So, you have completed the small circulation, the dream of every Qigong practitioner. Now, even without the aid of breathing out you can move energy throughout your body. Your overall health should improve and it is now easier for you to enhance your spiritual development. You can continue to keep the loop open by using your will to circulate the Qi from back to front and from front to back.
To help you clear the difficult acupuncture points, you can use stones – I favour raw garnet. Orange calcite is good when you are practising on your Dan Tian. I am able to help students to speed up the opening of the small or micro circulation by churning the movement of qi in their body.
A word of caution: This method should not be practiced by women in pregnancy and those with history of hypertension should seek treatment to lower their blood pressure before attempting it. Over the longer run, proper practice of this method shall alleviate the high blood pressure problem.