The Microcosmic Orbit or Small Heavenly Cycle in the Luohan Gong

Author: Garcia Gaspar
Clinica Buchinger, Marbella Paseo de Colombia 172 A, 29600 Marbella, Malaga, Spain
Conference/Journal: 4th World Conf Acad Exch Med Qigong
Date published: 1998
Other: Pages: 237-239 , Word Count: 957

The knowledge presented in this paper comes from the Luohan Gong, a
system of Buddhist Medical Qigong that traces its origin to the Shaolin Temple. This system has four forms that cultivates the energy in different ways. The first form called the 'Hands of the 18 Luohan' is a very vigorous set of movements that work the energy through the body motion and whose objectives is no strengthen the body, stretch the tendons and ligaments and drain the channels. It was created by Bodhidharma, Ta Mo, the founder of Zen Buddhism.

The second form is called Siu Luohan or Little Luohan and the
energy is cultivated mainly through the breath. Tai Luohan or Great Luohan is the third form and it consists of meditation techniques that activate the flow of blood and energy mainly through the power of mind.

The last form is Wu Chi, or the Great Ultimate, the Grand Void, yet another way to cultivate the Qi increase it and circulate
it through the body. The Small Heavenly Cycle which is the subject of this talk comes from Tai Luohan. There are basically two types of Qigong in relation to body movement:

Dynamic Qigong and
Static or Quiet Qigong

In the Dynamic Qigong, the energy is moved through the actual motion of the body along of course with the breath and mind, the benefits are primarily to be enjoyed on the physical realm, as a matter of fact in the old and traditional schools. The dynamic Qigong was always looked upon as a way to strengthen the body, and keep it fit to withstand the vigorous training of the inner meditative training of the static Qigong. The voracious types of static Qigong base their main action on the control of the mind exerts over the multiple body functions (through the nervous system or the endocrine system) and their fundamental principle

'The mind is the master of the energy and the energy is the master of blood',

that is, where I put my mind the energy goes, where the energy goes the blood follows. The way they achieve this action is to focus their attention. In this way all the different techniques used, whether they are visualization techniques, breathing techniques, or techniques based on body sensations, they all 'Think of 1 thing to forget 1OOO things'.

As I have mentioned, the concentration, and consequently the calming of the mind will affect the heart rhythm, the brain waves, the blood pressure, the muscle contraction, the breathing, etc., but also following the above precept of the mind being the master of the energy, it can be used more directly to harmonize and to heal any part of the body by focusing our attention on it. In this paper I would like to talk about concentrating the mind on the spine for health and spiritual development.

The Microcosmic Orbit:

The Microcosmic Orbit or The Small Heavenly Cycle is usually described as the path that Vessel and the Ren Mo or Conception Vessel; the two extra through the Du Mo or governing meridians that run through the center line of the body in front and behind (this conception of two differing channels will later on be partially challenged in what respects the internal work). The work of the Microcosmic Orbit is of extreme importance and the foundation of deep inner cultivation.

Below you will find the actual path that the Luohan Gong follows and the medical application during the training of the Microcosmic
Orbit. The objective is to get the energy moving. Using special mind and breath techniques, certain mudras, body and tongue positions, etc., through these centers, up the Du Mo and down the Ren channel:

Upper Dan Tien (Yintang area): frontal headache, rhinorrhea

Middle Dan Tien (RN 17-Shangzhong area): asthma, pain in the chest, heart problems, tension and stress.

Lower Dan Tien (RN 4-6 Qihai area): abdominal paint uterine bleeding, diarrhea, urine retention, prolapse of uterus, constipation, irregular menstruation, etc.

Huiyin Area (RN-1): irregular menstruation, pain and swelling of anus, pruritus vulvae.

Ming Men area (DU-4): lumbage, impotence, leukorrhea, seminal emission, diarrhea, urine retention, seminal emission, kidney deficiency, etc.

Shenzhu Area (DU-12): cough, asthma, stiff neck, back pain, anxiety, cardiac pain.

Yamen and Fengfu Area (DU-12), DU 16): headache, neck rigidity, mental disorders.

Pineal Gland: depression, anxiety, mental disorders.

Xinhui (DU-22): headache, blurring vision, rhinolrhea, any nose problem.

From a clinical point of view when working with the Microcosmic
Orbit there are basically there indications:

First, the benefits inherent to any type of relaxation, meditation and sedation techniques which include the ones mentioned before (calming of the heart and breathing, relaxation of muscle contraction, lowering of the blood pressure, etc., plus the preservation and gathering of energy so very useful in situations of deterioration.

Second, the benefits of stimulating each point is shown above, where, by the use of the mind one brings about an energetic and blood circulation change in those areas.

Thirdly, being the Ren and Du Channels the main channels of Yin and Yang energies in the body, the stimulation and free circulation of the energy through them will furnish the body, channels and organs with a continuous supply of these energies.

From an strict Oriental esoteric perspective, and from what was once known as Nei Gong-Internal Work - (one of the earlier names given to Qigong), man's main objective in his quest for self enlightenment and self development is to bring the energy form the lower earthly centers to the higher celestial ones. This being a quite simplistic view, for what Qigong is really trying to do is to bring within harmony the 'Three Treasures' and the integration of all the human dimensions, rests nevertheless a good approximation to the situation and a correct working model.