The introduction to the seven higher formulas of Taoist Esoteric practice is the Opening of the Microcosmic Orbit, or the rebirth process of return to the mother's womb. This route is composed of the Functional and Governor Channels, which must be purified and linked to form a free-flowing circuit.
The life of a human being begins with the piercing of an egg by a sperm cell. From this original act of Kung Fu, an enormously complex human being develops, which is capable of real genius. The fetus develops around that point, which is called the navel. It is from this point that nutrients are absorbed and wastes expelled from the developing creature. Therefore, in the Warm Current Practice the navel is a point of overriding importance. While in the womb the human being doesn't breathe air (the lungs do not function at all). Energy and oxygen are passed to the fetus through the umbilical chord. When the energy flows into the fetus' body, it enters at that point at which the navel will later be after the umbilical cord is severed. Then it proceeds downwards to the bottom of the trunk flows all the way up the spine to the crown of the head and from there flows down the middle of the face continuing on to the navel, again to complete the circuit.
The fetus, it is said, automatically touches its tongue to its palate. This serves to link the two energy channels and allows the power to flow. The crown of the baby's head is open and moves up and down. This is due to the waxing and waning of the flow of power through this particular part of the body.
Thus, the tongue is the terminus of the Functional Channel. This energy pathway begins at the bottom of the trunk at the point midway between the anus and the testes, called, the "Hui-Yin". From there it flows up the front of the body through the KuanYuan and the Chi-hai and then through the Chi-chung (the navel). Then it passes through the Chung-wan (solar plexus) and proceeds to the Shan-chung (the heart center). Thereafter, it passes through the Hsuan-chi (throat) center and up to the tongue terminus. When connected with the Governor Channel the energy path reverses direction and flows down from the tongue, navel, to the Hui-Yin.
The Governor (or control) Channel also starts at the Hui-Yin. From this point it moves up the posterior of the body. In doing so it passes through the Chang-chiang (the base of the spine) and goes up to the Ming-men (L2 and L3) or Door of Life where it continues up to the Chi-chung (Tl1) between the adrenal glands and then proceeds upwards to the Yu-chen or the Emerald Pillow of the medulla. From there it rises to the crown of the head or Pai-hui (the crown) and then goes to the Shen-ting and down to the Yin-T'ang between the eyebrows. Here it passes to the San Ken (the tip of the nose) and finally travels down to the palate, which is the terminus of the Governor Channel.
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