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Mantak Chia and the Microcosmic Orbit: Balancing the Body’s Energy

Mantak Chia, a world-renowned Taoist Master, has profoundly impacted the realm of energy cultivation and holistic health through his teachings. Among his many contributions, the practice of the Microcosmic Orbit stands out as a cornerstone technique for balancing the body’s energy. This article delves into Mantak Chia’s background and explores how the Microcosmic Orbit can harmonize and enhance overall well-being.


Who is Mantak Chia?

I first heard of Mantak Chia from my own Tai Chi / Chi Gong instructor back in 1990. My teacher had studied directly with Mantak Chia, a Taoist Master and the founder of the Universal Healing Tao system. Born in Thailand in 1944, Chia was exposed to both Western and Eastern philosophies from an early age. His journey into the depths of Taoist practices began when he studied under the guidance of several masters, learning ancient techniques to cultivate inner energy, or Chi (Qi).


Over the decades, Mantak Chia has authored numerous books and traveled the globe, teaching techniques that blend traditional Taoist practices with modern understanding. His Universal Healing Tao system encompasses a wide array of practices, including Tai Chi, Chi Gong, meditation, and sexual energy cultivation, aimed at enhancing physical, mental, and spiritual health.


Understanding the Microcosmic Orbit

The Microcosmic Orbit, also known as the Small Heavenly Cycle, is a fundamental practice in Taoist energy cultivation. It involves the circulation of Chi through two primary energy channels in the body: the Governing Vessel and the Conception Vessel.

  • Governing Vessel (Du Mai): Runs along the back of the body, from the perineum, up the spine, over the head, and ends at the roof of the mouth.

  • Conception Vessel (Ren Mai): Runs along the front of the body, from the perineum, up the center of the torso, and ends at the tongue.

By circulating Chi through these channels, practitioners can open and balance their energy pathways, leading to improved physical health, emotional stability, and spiritual growth.


Here is a video of Mantak Chia discussing the microcosmic orbit:





I appreciate the practice of the Microcosmic Orbit and recommend it to many of my clients. I appreciate the way it gives me a specific method to focus on of moving energy which I find naturally helps to quiet my mind.


How to Practice the Microcosmic Orbit

  1. Preparation: Sit comfortably with a straight spine. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to relax the body and mind.

  2. Focus on the Lower Dantian: The Lower Dantian, located about three finger-widths below the navel, is the body’s main energy storage center. Focus your attention here and breathe deeply, feeling the energy accumulate.

  3. Activate the Orbit: Visualize or sense the energy moving from the Lower Dantian to the perineum. From here, guide the energy up the spine along the Governing Vessel to the top of the head.

  4. Complete the Circuit: Allow the energy to flow down the front of your body along the Conception Vessel, returning to the Lower Dantian. Use the tip of your tongue to connect the roof of your mouth, completing the energy circuit.

  5. Circulate the Energy: Continue to breathe naturally, visualizing the energy moving smoothly along the Microcosmic Orbit. With each breath, guide the energy around this pathway, feeling it cleanse and balance your internal systems.

  6. Completion: After several cycles, let the energy return to the Lower Dantian. Sit quietly, absorbing the sensations and allowing the energy to settle.


Benefits of the Microcosmic Orbit

Practicing the Microcosmic Orbit offers a plethora of benefits:

  • Energy Balance: Regular practice helps to harmonize and balance the body’s internal energy, leading to improved physical health.

  • Emotional Stability: Circulating Qi can help release emotional blockages, promoting mental clarity and emotional balance.

  • Spiritual Growth: This practice enhances spiritual awareness, connecting practitioners to their higher selves and the universe.

  • Enhanced Vitality: By cultivating and circulating Qi, practitioners can boost their overall vitality and longevity.



Mantak Chia’s Contribution

Mantak Chia has been instrumental in bringing the ancient practice of the Microcosmic Orbit to a global audience. Through his books, workshops, and online courses, he has made these powerful techniques accessible to people of all backgrounds. Chia’s teachings emphasize the importance of self-healing and personal empowerment, encouraging individuals to take an active role in their health and well-being.


Mantak Chia’s teachings on the Microcosmic Orbit offer a profound method for balancing the body’s energy and achieving holistic health. This ancient practice, rooted in Taoist tradition, provides a pathway to physical vitality, emotional stability, and spiritual growth. By incorporating the Microcosmic Orbit into daily routines, individuals can experience the transformative power of Chi and embark on a journey towards greater harmony and well-being.

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