Spirituality begins in the loins,
Ascends up the back,
And returns to the navel.
Spirituality is not just mental activity. It is also an expression of energy.
The source of this energy is physical, rooted in the basic chemistry of the body. Self-cultivation refines this energy for spiritual attainment. Enlightenment, for a follower of Tao, is therefore a psycho-physical achievement : It is a state of being rather than mere intellectual understanding.
Once the energy is awakened through special exercises and meditations, the follower of Tao knows how to draw this energy upward. The force begins from the genitals and rises up the spine. On its way, it nourishes the kidneys, nerves, and blood vessels. When it passes the base of the skull, the nervous system and the lower parts of the brain are stimulated. Reaching the crown, this river of energy opens the entire subconscious potential of a human being. Descending downward, it nourishes the eyes, the senses, the vital organs. Cascading toward the navel, it returns us to our original state of purity. From there, it returns to the loins again, ready to be drawn into another circuit. Just as all existence operates on a continuum between gross physical matter and the most subtle levels of consciousness, so too does the follower of Tao utilize all parts of body, mind, and spirit for spiritual devotion.