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Microcosmic Orbit Part One

Microcosmic Orbit Meditation Part One

Microcosmic Orbit Part One

Taoist Esoteric Yoga Practice

An ancient Chinese internal energy practice used as a way to cleanse and purify the physical, emotional & spiritual body. We use Taoist therapy as a meditation practice to awaken, generate and circulate Chi in the body through the meridian pathways, clearing blockages, levelling emotions and aiding inner health, healing and longevity.

Microcosmic Orbit Meditation Process

1. Preparation
2. Inner smile
3. Microcosmic Orbit
4. Store Qi in the lower Dantian
5. Close the Meditation

Meditation Preparation

  • During the meditation sit in a chair.
  • Avoid placing your chair in a draught by a door or window.
  • Wear clothes so that you don’t become cold.
  • Rub over your face, ears, eyes & waist.
  • Rub the soles of your feet with your fingers or other foot.

Sitting Position

  • Sit on the edge of your chair with your feet flat against the floor.
  • Your perineum is open, connecting to the crown (earth/heaven points).
  • Back straight, shoulders relaxed.
  • Your body is balanced over the bowl of your pelvis.
  • Knees hip width apart and over the ankles.
  • Tuck the chin in slightly with your crown pointing straight up.
  • Lower your arms to a resting position and let your shoulders relax.
  • Place your hands on your lower abdomen, connecting the thumb webs, the right hand is on top and the left on the bottom.
  • An alternative is to place the hands on the legs.

Lying Down Position

  • This position is not as ideal as sitting.
  • Lie down on your back with a symmetrical body.
  • Place your hands on your lower abdomen, connecting the thumb webs, the right hand is on top and the left on the bottom.


  • Breathe through the nose below the diaphragm and exhale out through the nose.
  • Let your breath become natural.
  • Take 3 to 36 long circular breaths.
  • Inhale as the lower abdomen rises and exhale as the lower abdomen falls.
  • Relax the whole body with each breath.
  • Let go deeper as you exhale.

Prepare with the Inner Smile

The Inner Smile is a Taoist meditation practice to cleanse and purify the emotional, physical and psychological body. We gather smiling energy and direct this down into our yin organs (solid organs); heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, spleen. This practice is covered in detail in my inner smile blog series part one and part two.

This practice prepares us for the microcosmic orbit meditation. It is advised to cleanse the body using the Inner Smile prior to the microcosmic orbit. This can either be completed in full or when you have become more advanced with regular practice, you can wash a smile down the body in just a few minutes.

  • Soften the eyes.
  • Relax the face.
  • Begin to smile inwardly.
  • Smile to your heart.
  • Smile to your lungs.
  • Smile to your liver.
  • Smile to your stomach, pancreas and spleen.
  • Smile to your kidneys.
  • Swallow saliva down to the large and small intestines.
  • Smile to the brain.
  • Smile to the spine.

The Micro Cosmic Orbit

Using the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), this Taoist meditation practice teaches you to remove blockages and allow Chi to flow in a circuit around the body, organs, brain and central nervous system. Seen as an internal healing practice for health, happiness and longevity. The focus of this practice is on the two main meridian channels in the body, known as the;

  • Conception channel (Ren Mai).
  • Governor channel (Du Mai).

These run along the skin of the front and back mid-line, connecting like a circuit.

Tongue Position

Once you have progressed through the beginner’s cycle and onto a continuous cycle, it is advised to place the tongue on the roof of the mouth throughout the meditation. The bridge between the tongue and the roof of the mouth is called the ‘Middle Magpie Bridge’ / ‘Da Chiao’. This allows the Conception and Governor channels to connect. When connected, energy that is cultivated and drawn up the spine and over the head can also sink down to the Dantian in a continuous circle. There are three choices to place the tongue;

  • Wind Position (palate behind the front teeth).
  • Fire Position (middle palate).
  • Heavenly Pool (rear soft palate).


This meditation practice is based on gentle awareness. When opening the energy centres, do not force or expect a specific experience. Everyone is unique and will have their own experience. Some people may feel nothing for days, weeks or months on the first energy centre. Some may feel an opening sensation much sooner. It is important to approach the microcosmic orbit without judgement, preconception or expectation.  Forcing Qi through the body, or forcing a result may cause ill health as this is not a natural process. You are the observer, become aware, stay relaxed and don't hyper focus. Be gentle.

Over time as you learn about your body in this meditative state, you will come to know the energy points and what it feels like when they are open. Some may feel tingling, heat, light, expanse, pulsing, electricity, contraction and so on. Each of the energy points may feel different than the others. The sensations and your experience may also change over time. Whatever you experience, it is personal to you. There is no incorrect feeling or sensation. Avoid forcing a result based on what you ‘think’ you ‘should’ be feeling. Pay gentle attention, observe and listen to your body.


For the energy centres that are located around the genital region, if you experience any feelings of sexual arousal, keep returning your focus to the point and in time the feelings will pass. Alternatively return the focus to the lower Dantian until the feelings pass. This is a normal reaction if you are not used to focusing on your sexual organs in a non-sexual way.

Private Online Tuition via Zoom

Instructor Nicola provides 1-2-1 guidance in learning the Taoist practices of the Inner Smile and the Microcosmic Orbit. Receive personalised lessons at a time and pact to suit your needs. Whether you wish to learn the complete process step by step or would like mentoring for your home practice. Book a lesson in the webstore.

Downloadable EBook and Audio Guided Meditation

For students who prefer to have an offline version of the complete Microcosmic Orbit course, including audio files to take you through the Taoist practices, step by step. All of the written information is available here on the website. This purchase is the 'advert' free version. Head over to Etsy for access to the instant downloads. 

* Please note that the Taoist practices are not a replacement for conventional medical treatment. Please speak with your doctor prior to starting a new exercise programme. This article is for information purposes only and must not be taken as medical advice. *


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