Small and Large Heavenly Circulations and their Correspondences

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Many Taoist meditation and neigong practices, and many martial and medical neigong/qigong practices include the concepts of the small heavenly circulation and the large or great heavenly circulation (microcosmic orbit and macrocosmic orbit). Some view this as the opening of a circulation in the Ren and Du channels (small circulation) and later the opening of a larger circulation through all of the eight extraordinary channels opens up (large circulation). There is also a deeper view to this practice, which relates to direct connections and direct correspondences to the world and universe around us which develop through these types of practices. If you have come across other perspectives on this, feel free to add it to this thread.


Here is Yan Xin's view on the inner and outer connections and correspondences which can develop through these types of practices:




Small Celestial Circulation and Great Celestial Circulation


According to some qigong literature, small celestial

circulation and great celestial circulation differ in their

circulation pathways. There is a common misconception about

the circulation from the baihui acupuncture point (the top of

the head) to the Huiying acupuncture point (midpoint between

anus and genitals), which joins the "ren mai" (conceptual

meridian) and "du mai" (governing meridian). Many believe this

is the small celestial circulation. Actually, this is a very narrow

understanding of "celestial circulation."


"Celestial" means broad and universal, and "circulation"

indicates that a new cycle is started when the end is reached.

The body's interior is viewed as the small celestial circulation.

The combination of the interior of the body and the external

world is viewed as the great celestial circulation. This view is

more in line with the true meaning of celestial circulation.

Although the body's interior is viewed as small celestial

circulation, it cannot be separated from the external universe.

Therefore, the body's interior is always adjusted during the

process of correspondence between a human being and the

universe. The sensation of qi movement and adjustments within

the body fall within the realm of the small celestial circulation.

The continual adjustments inside and outside of the body, and

the continual exchange between the interior of the body and

the external world (especially long range exchanges) are the

great celestial circulation. One can see that celestial circulation

does not follow specific pathways.


"Celestial circulation" is related to the word "celestial" in

every way. "Celestial" means the universe or the celestial

bodies. The human body can be viewed as a small universe that

circulates within a great universe. Circulation can be as small as

the human body, or as great as the universe, and should not be

limited to specific small pathways. My personal experience has

shown that without the limitation of specific paths for

visualization and imagination, upon attaining a certain level,

your entire body will have reactions, and all the meridians and

channels of the body will become unobstructed. This is small

celestial circulation. Great celestial circulation is not merely

unobstructed internal flow. Upon attaining a certain level, you

will become aware of times when your body grows larger and

taller or smaller and shorter. It feels as though one moment you

are diving down to the ground, and at another moment you

come up again. After some time, when you begin practicing

qigong you feel the body is constantly centered in the universe.

You feel things circulating within, and exchanging between the

interior of the body and external world. This is great celestial



Small celestial circulation (as manifested in a human body)

should have visible changes each month while great celestial

circulation should have visible changes each year. Earth's

revolution around its own axis takes one day, the Moon orbits

the Earth in one month; and the Earth revolves around the Sun

in one year. Great and small celestial circulations are associated

with the relationships between the universe, Sun, Moon and

Earth. Small celestial circulation changes at least once a day,

and undergoes a large change once a month. Great celestial

circulation has a large, visible change once a year. There is a

saying that "one day is one year." This implies that an entire

year's time is spent like one day. If this is the case, then your

great celestial circulation has opened up. Those with open great

celestial circulation experience time at a different rate. Often, a

day's time goes by very fast, a month's time goes by before

their realizing. For people with open great celestial circulation,

their life span can be easily prolonged. However, according to

some old masters, as well as my own personal experience,

authentic great celestial circulation is not easy to achieve.





I also have come across some interesting correlations to this in Sunyogi Umasankar's description of the 13 stages of his yoga (especially items 10 to 13):


The Thirteen Stages of Sunyoga

1. Conquer all material desires.

(Sexuality, anger, greed, narrow-mindedness, ego & jealousy, shame, hatred and fear).

Related chakras: Anahata, Vishuhda, Agna, Monipur, Swadhisthan.

Related subtle body: Pratyahar body.


2. Develop Divine Energy.

Related chakra: Sahasrar & Muladhar.

Related subtle body: Dharana body.


3. Atma Darsanam - Discovery of Atma, the soul.

Related chakra: dhyana & dhyanarodhak.

Related subtle body: dhyana body.


4. Samadhi - Enlightenment.

Related chakra: samdhi & samadhirodhak.

Related subtle body: samadhi body.


5. Conquer hunger.

Related chakra: amrit chakra & amritrodhak.

Related subtle body: Amrit body.


6. Conquer thirst.

Related chakra: Jivanmukta chakra &jivanmuktarodhak chakra.

Subtle body: Jivanmukta body.


7. Conquer diseases.

Related chakra: rogamukta chakra & rogamuktarodhak chakra.

Subtle body:rogamukta subtle body.


8. Paramahansa - Adjusting the mind to all situations.

Related chakra: paramahansa chakra & paramahansarodhak chakra.

Subtle body: paramahansa body.


9. Having no enemies - all enemies will be friends (including animals).

Related chakra: chaityana chakra and chaityanarodhak chakra.

Subtle body: chaityana body.


10. Longetivity (this happens when the body's vibration becomes the same as the environment's).

Related chakra:amar chakra and amarrodhak chakra.

Subtle body: amar body.


11. The body's vibration and earth's vibration will be equal.

Related chakras: Grahanusama chakra &Grahanusamarodhak chakra.

Subtle body: Grahanusama body.


12. The body's vibration and sun's vibration will be equal.

Related chakras: nakhatranusama chakra and nakhatranusamarodhak chakra.

Subtle body:nakhatranusama body.


13. The body's vibration and the vibration of the Universe (Supreme Soul) vibration will be equal.

Related chakras: brahmbhandanusama chakra & brahmbhandanusamarodhak chakra.

Subtle body: brahmbhandanusama body.




I have no idea if Sunyogi Umasankar's yoga is legit or not, but there does seem to be some close similarities to Taoist practices and views in his descriptions of the stages of his practice.


He also doesn't seem to mind the snow and cold too much as well. :)





Edited by NotVoid
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Hello Captain Mar-Vell. :D I hope that one day I can get to level 1. :)

Edited by NotVoid
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