The way my Teacher, Sri Vasudeva has taught me to do the meditation orbit, I bring prana up the sushumna nadi with the in-breathe and down the front of the body along the Governor General Meridian and continuing along the front of the sushumna nadi*. I am quite certain that sushumna nadi is the real Governering channel, while the one referred to in acupuncture concerns access points (called in Sanskrit kshetram) along the physical body corresponding to it and impacting the physical body. At some point in my research I realized that acupuncture was not the true map to understanding how the chakras were impacted on any kind of deep level but the GV template is such a useful one that I kept it to keep things "simple". When you look at the acupuncture diagrams, you can see that the point on the outside is connected to some organ on the inside and the pranic flow related to that organ. When I focus on a chakra in meditation bringing prana to it, it starts to expand in the front and back stimulating those acupuncture points on the outside - so I know from personal experience that the points are really coming from the chakras inside (and these are the primary centers of consciousness as well as energy).
Acupuncture inspired by the stars
"I believe the TCM theory is basic on meridian theory, and the meridian theory is based on astronomy and Geography.In TCM theory, human being's body is connected by the environment sky and earth, the stars like the points on the body is the energy field spread condition, and it is the same as the energy field condition on the earth.Ancient Chinese found and made 12 longitudes and latitudes on the earth to locate the earth condition on the earth map, the same, put them on the sky to locate the star system on the sky map. And they found the human body also has the same meridian system, 12 meridians and Dai meridians, the meridians system is for locate the acupuncture points on body, shows the human body's energy field condition. The star energy move in the sky like the Qi move in body's meridian system from point to point, they have certainly orbits. To coordinate the body's energy movement to sky stars energy movement can help body health condition, because in TCM theory, there is a sentence said: sky and human is one unite(天人合一), that mean human body energy system is same as universe energy system, same move steps, if the body qi movement go upset or blocked not follow the same steps of universe stars movement orbits, the human body will be sick, so the acupuncture is through stimulate the points on body meridian system, to adjust the Qi movement cooperate to the universe energy frequency for body health.""The original source of TCM meridian system", Post by Feng Mei, L.Ac. » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:22 pm, website: www.latcmwellnesscenter.com, link
Acupuncture derives from mysticism
In an article on I Ching and Taoist spiritual roots of Chinese medicine,** the author writes:
"When you consider that gates and doors are passageways connecting one thing to another, it's obvious this concept is not concerned with establishing a geographic middle, but rather with pointing toward the potential for mystical transformations. The traditional names of dozens of acupuncture points have terms that reflect this very concept, such as Life Gate (GV 4), Jade Pivot (CV 21), Stone Pass (KI 18) and the somewhat redundant Pass Gate (ST 22). What types of transformations were being alluded to with this terminology, and how does this concept relate to the practice of acupuncture?"**
I want to preface this post by admitting honestly that I know next to nothing about acupuncture. I don't care about acupuncture. I respect the profession deeply but my interest for the purposes of this research is in what those needles are pointing towards - not at a physical level as in organs and mind-over-matter medicine, but at the deepest levels to the spiritual truths that I believe they are linked to. My interest and belief is in the underlying spiritual processes that came to be represented by the nakshatras, and other systems that honour the 28 days of the lunar month one way or another. For me, the Governor General is a map to understanding more about those deeper experiences I have in my meditation practice. My apologizes if I offend people who are dedicated to acupuncture. I am thrilled how it is more and more welcomed in hospitals and embraced by Western doctors and that the World Health Organization is trying to create a new nomenclature that can be standardized so it's practiced in a standardized way everywhere. I'm just not interested in any of that for the purposes of this website. I do welcome views from acupuncture experts that further my research or correct my mistakes, or feedback that is helpful.
Here is a nice, simple explanation of the three dantiens and how they are connected to acupuncture (link).
Chi (Qi) moves into the body's Dantians through the body's Taiji Pole. The energy is then absorbed into the body's major organs and surrounding tissues as it flows through the Dantians and into the body's internal and external channels and collaterals. Energy is also absorbed from the external environment through the channels, tissues and organs, flowing into the Three Dantians and ultimately into the Taiji Pole.. . . .
Another popular analogy is to consider the Dantians as batteries, the body's Taiji Pole as a magnetic bar connecting the batteries together, the channels as the wires, and the Wei Qi fields as the electromagnetic fields manifesting from the energy contained within the structure.
How the Dumai Meridian is connected to the Sushumna Nadi
In meditation I feel the acupuncture points on the outside (on my skin), and I feel my chakras on the inside in the sushumna nadi (in the center of the spine), so I know what the difference is. They are connected but not the same. In Mantak Chia's writings he refers to the centre channel that penetrates all the major chakras as the "Thrusting Route":
"After the positive emotions of all the organs is absorbed into the pearl, it is then circulated in four of the eight special channels: the Microcosmic Orbit (Governor and Functional Channels), the Thrusting Routes, and the Belt Routes. The Thrusting Routes run through the center of the body, linking the 'chakra' centers. The Belt Routes spiral around the body strengthening the aura and providing a form of psychic self-defense. The second part of the Cosmic Fusion practice involves opening these three Thrusting Channels."
|Microcosmic Orbit including Thrusting Route (from Mantak Chia, see above)|
|How chakras are experienced on the outside during meditation|
Sri Vasudeva teaches that the way our universe harnesses the power of the Source (Consciousness) that is powering up the entire cosmos, making all the planets and stars move can be compared to a power generating station and he makes the analogy of the chakras as transformers and transmitters. This is how we as individual souls in a limited experience can harness collective Source energy (Maha Shakti or Prakriti - I'm not sure of the correct term).
|a power generating station|
|a fuse box|
|Electric wires coming out of an electric box|
The lights are the chakras - big ones, little ones, all different colours, doing different things, all connected to the seven major chakras and all converging in one Source ultimately. That's me and that's you and that's all of us combined.
Taoist neidan and the concept of inner alchemy
Mantak Chia, a grandmaster of Taoist inner alchemy "neidan", has shared an enormous wealth of information on the meditation processes associated with the acupuncture points, also the purpose and esoteric meaning of the lunar constellations in relationship to this. He has an excellent video on YouTube about the microcosmic orbit practice that I posted in my Introduction.
Energy is burnt into purification in our bodies - experiences of heat are refinement process. Even in the banal example of a fever, when we are sick, is about purification at the level of the body. This burning away of impurities also happens at subtler levels in our astral body and finally in the greatest experience of all, moksha, burning away our causal seeds of attachment in our finest subtle body.
Here is picture I found online (I suspect it came from an ancient text) with a kind of cauldron of life symbol emphasizing this aspect of life, surrounded by the Chinese lunar constellations:
The four around one symbols, intrinsic to the Cosmological Circle (see Table of Contents), boils down to our 4 around one part brain with its four cardinal directions and central core space. Here is a diagram from one of Mantak Chia's books:
|From Mantak Chia|
Contemplating the 督脈 dumai "Governing Vessel" Chinese characters
Inner alchemy is inner alchemy in any language
"Who can understand the throes of the love of the Gopis - the very ideal of love, love that wants nothing, love that even does not care for heaven, love that does not care for anything in this world, or the world to come?"
* For deepening meditation the practice is to breath in going up the sushumna and down the sushumna - but for total wellness including the body, we breath in going up sushumna and down the conception vessel for a total wellness practice that covers enlightenment and the physical-mental-emotional-vital (all the chakras including the body gets a total workout). For details see his new 21-Day meditation series now available on YouTube: link - This is microcosmic orbit as it's never been taught before!
**"The Role of Taoist Spirituality in Chinese Medicine, Part One: The Gate of All Wonders," by Matthew Bauer, LAc, Acupuncture Today, February, 2006, Vol. 07, Issue 02 (link)
*** Actually this diagram isn't totally accurate. (I will need to start drawing my own - or maybe later for a book.) The brow chakra at the back for instance can be felt down to the medulla (GV16), which is a very important point. The diagram shows the higher points for the brow when it is starting to connect with the crown chakra.