This practice is for when you feel fine and all is basically well in your life, yet you sense that you could further enhance your vitality and awareness. Akin to idling at a stoplight, you have not reached your “destination,” for your potential energy has yet to be tapped. For those occasions, this qigong visualization and meditation first actively clears energetic debris from your meridians; then, with your energy channels purged, you draw in universal fortification and circulate it throughout your readied vessels. Ultimately, you move from feeling “fine,” to feeling fully energized and balanced.

The first half of the routine is the dredging of the yin and yang meridians. From a relaxed, aligned standing posture, begin to inhale as you bend forward, moving your hands to the space between your feet (or as far down your inner legs as you can). Continue your inhale as you slide your hands up from the inner edges of the feet, calves, thighs: When you arrive at the groin, turn your palms to face the body, fingertips touching, and continue the inhale as the hands slide up the torso. To finish the long inhale, cross the arms, so that the palms nestle under their opposite armpits.

To flush any yin toxins that you may have gathered in the upward sweep, powerfully exhale as you “throw” the hands down and away from the armpits.

Then, inhale again as your take hold of each wrist/forearm with the opposite hand. Move the back of the linked hands to the throat, and then slide them apart from each other; the hands then move up the sides of the neck and skull, then over the top and back of the skull, continuing down the back and sides of the body and legs, all the way to the feet.

To complete the expulsion of turbid yang qi, exhale fully and forcefully as you sweep the hands forward along the outer edges of the feet, past the toes; eject the debris.

Repeat the yin and yang sweep (one long upward inhale and dredge, followed by an exhale; then another downward inhale and dredge, with cleansing exhale) two more times, to total three.

Now that you have thoroughly flushed any remnants of stagnant or toxic qi from your meridians, you can circulate fresh, healthy energy. When you guide and concentrate on the direction of qi flow in your body, the energy moves fully and smoothly: Your focused visualization is the attention that qi craves, and it responds accordingly.

This seated meditation is called the Microcosmic Orbit. It moves energy in a circular direction through the two main vessels in the body, which flow up the back and down the front of the torso.

Special note: As an SRF member, I was at first confused by the path of the Microcosmic Orbit. A specific SRF meditation draws the inhale up the front and down the back, i.e., the inverse of qigong’s Microcosmic Orbit. I soon realized that the qigong meditation applies to the physical energy that works to maintain health. The SRF breath movement, however, connects to the subtler channels that open and connect the Third Eye to the divinity, to the wisdom of the Universe.

To begin, place your palms, one hand over the other, on the Dan Tien (about three finger widths below the navel). Focus your attention on this central area of stored energy. After a few deep, steady inhales and exhales, inhale and visualize the breath moving down to the tailbone, looping up through the center of the buttocks, and all the way up the back.

Pay special attention to the three points where congested energy may inhibit the sense of smooth qi flow: the tailbone; the point on the spine opposite the heart; and the base of the skull. If you feel a stall or pull in your breath as it comes to meet these points, pause there; breathe in and out as you concentrate on that point. Allow the ebb and flow of your breath to wash away any stuck qi that may have impeded the flow. Then, when you feel ready, inhale and continue to visualize the breath moving up the back.

As there is no specification for exactly where to end the inhale and begin the exhale, I tend to finish my inhale at the occiput (skull base). I retain, or suspend, the breath as I move my mind’s eye up the back of the skull, over the crown, and to the hairline. Then, begin the exhale as the breath travels down the center line of the front body, finishing at the Dan Tien. Pause for a full breath if it feels right; otherwise, allow your next inhale to begin the “orbit” again.

Circulate the breath through the vessels in this manner for at least one minute, or three complete orbits. Ideally, you would practice for 3-5 minutes, as this ensures that all congestion has been removed from the pathway.

Happy Sunday…

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