The Small Universe

The Small Universe


We know that the Small Universe (or microcosmic circulation) is a very high level art.

How is it that so many schools in the world offer this as the first exercise for beginners?

Could Sifu compare the benefits of Small Universe as practiced in our school with the "same" exercise as practiced by beginners in other schools?

If all things were equal, at what point in a student's training (or development) would Sifu recommend learning and practicing Small Universe and Big Universe?

Sifu Andrew Barnett


The Small Universe, or the Micro-Cosmic Circulation as it is called in some schools, is a very high-level art. Practitioners would take about 10 years to attain it.

Some people even called the Small Universe “the chi kung.” It is not correct as we all know there are many other types of chi kung, but it shows the importance these people place on the Small Universe.

Why are the Small Universe and also the Big Universe so important? There is a chi kung saying that “Those who have attained the Small Universe will overcome all diseases; those who have attained the Big Universe will live beyond a hundred years.”

Those who practiced kungfu valued the Small Universe very highly. Besides good health, vitality and longevity, the Small Universe gave kungfu practitioners tremendous internal force, and they were also very fast and would not be tired. Only practitioners at a master’s level would have the opportunity to learn the Small Universe. Often they would “bi guan”, which means “seclude themselves in an inaccessible place, and only come out of the inaccessible place after they have accomplished the attainment of the art.” They would hold a grand celebration on their accomplishment.

We in Shaolin Wahnam are elite. We even upgrade the chi kung saying to a higher level. “Those who have attained the Small Universe will live beyond a hundred years, and those who have attained the Big Universe will never die.” Irrespective of whether they practice kungfu, they have tremendous internal force, are very fast and never become tired. They can use their tremendous internal force to enrich their lives.

We mean it when we say those who have attained the Big Universe will never die. Actually everybody never dies. Their physical bodies may discompose, but their spirit, or soul, never. When they have attained the Big Universe, they will have confirmation of this fact many times. Life will also be different. Every day will be a joy.

Attaining the Small Universe means that energy flows round the Ren Meridian and the Du Meridian continuously. Attaining the Big Universe means that energy of the practitioner merges with the Cosmos.

The Ren Meridian and the Du Meridian, also called the Conceptual Meridian and the Governing Meridian, are seas of energy of a person. When the energy in the Ren Meridian and the Du Meridian is flowing continuously, it means that energy is flowing very well in the whole person. Not only the flow is continuous, the volume also increases tremendously. The practitioner will have radiant health, a lot of vitality, and his energy will flow for a very long time, which means he has longevity.

Many people who attended previous Small and Big Universe courses have reported to me that they have become noticeably lucky. It is no surprise. They have very good “hou yun qi”, or very good circulation of energy, which means they are very lucky.

Because chi kung is so ridiculously debased today, some schools teach the Small Universe to even beginners! Actually it does not matter what they teach because they teach only the techniques, without the skills to generate a continuous energy flow along the Ren Meridian and the Du Meridian.

When I was at Attilio’s hotel in Finale Ligure in Italy about 20 years ago, an inner-chamber disciple of a world-known master described to me how he performed his Small Universe, or Micro-Cosmic Flow as he called it. He visualized energy at his various dan tian, or energy fields. This could be dangerous. It causes stagnation of energy at his energy fields. This person was visibly very sick. He could hardly speak.

This person was an exception. He told me that he woke up at about 5.00 am every morning and practiced his chi kung until about 9.00 am. Then he would attend to his clinic, using chi to heal others!

But others who were supposed to have attained the Micro-Cosmic Circulation did not show much benefit. They only learned techniques, but did not accomplish the benefits their art was meant to give.

When I taught in Spain in my early years of chi kung teaching, some students asked me whether they could straight-away attend my advanced courses as they had learned chi kung before, including the Micro-Cosmic Circulation. But I insisted that they must start from the beginning, attending my Generating Energy Flow course. Most of them later reported to me that they were very happy to follow my advice. They never expected that chi kung was like what we practice, i.e. energy exercise. They only practiced techniques as physical exercise.

I would recommend that only when a practitioner has sufficient chi in his dan tian should he commence learning and practicing the Small Universe. He must also be able to generate an energy flow, a fundamental skill that most other chi kung practitioners, including “masters”, may not know. Only when the practitioner has attained the Small Universe, should he attempt the Big Universe.

Those who attained the Small Universe in the past took about 10 years. I took 3 years, which was remarkable, and justified my reputation as being a kungfu genius. Looking back, I would attribute my speed in attaining the Small Universe to my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, introducing the “Forceful Small Universe” into my training which helped me tremendously to bring my chi from the “hui yin” energy point to my “bai hui” energy point.

It is simply ridiculous that our Small Universe Course takes only 3 days, with the Big Universe added in! Actually it is not just 3 days for the Small and Big Universe Course. Those who will attend the course must have sufficient chi in their dan tian. The 3 days are meant to apply suitable techniques to induce a continuous energy flow along the Ren Meridian and the Du Meridian, and then to expand the energy into the Cosmos.

We are able to apply these suitable techniques to accomplish the skills and benefits of the Small Universe and the Big Universe because of some incredible advantages that we have, that other schools lack. We differentiate between skills and techniques, whereas most other schools don’t. We are able to generate an energy flow at will, whereas most other practitioners cannot. Most importantly, I shall transmit the skills to the participants, whereas other practitioners have to practice the techniques for months or years to acquire the skills.

The questions and answers are reproduced from the thread 10 Questions on Small and Big Universe in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.