In some of my previous posts, I explained the intricacies of doing microcosmic circulation together with the technique of sexual sublimation and its prerequisite of controlling one's pelvic floor muscles. So you can do microcosmic circulation in the classic way. Most practitioners are satisfied. It is good for health and one's mind can be calmed down, for most people.
We learn new things with our reasons and goals, once we have achieved our goals it is only natural that we will stop and will be satisfied to be there. How about going forward? Some practitioners will ask.
As I explained previously doing microcosmic is only the very first step. The problem is whereas classic Taoist Neidan texts (such as Taoist yoga) used a lot of space explaining the mechanics of microcosmic, but used very little space talking about the next step. Therefore I call this next step a missing link.
The missing link is the innocuous stage called Bathing (沐浴)[please refer to my Breathing page for details]. Those without practical experience usually failed to understand the significance of this step.
After one has sufficient practice in microcosmic, assuming that one does it correctly, one will have generated much chi, sometimes too much chi that one feel rather uncomfortable. One must therefore let this accumulated chi to do useful work. What useful work?
Bathing (沐浴) actually looks at it from a defensive angle. Now one is too heated up, one needs to take a bath to cool it down. On the offensive side, as said above, chi can be directed to good use. Point meditation at one's danzhong (膻中) allows chi to be dissipated through activating one's diaphragm. The health benefit is to increase the strength/capacity of one's (upper) lungs as well as loosening related joints (in particular one's shoulder joints). For spirituality purpose, chi dissipated this way can "cook up" one's third eye. With sufficient practice in bathing, one is prepared to do direct chi-meditation at one's third eye, the stage when one truly can say creating the "golden pill" (金丹).
It is most important to note that, like other stages in Neidan, this is a most natural and economic way in building up and managing one's ever increasing chi-power. Like the generation of electricity, when the primary storage is full, electricity must be dissipated (for useful purpose of course), because only then can the generator start again to generate more electricity. It's all a matter of simple logic. Having said that it is no use "just understand" it, only devoted practitioners can appreciate the power of chi (electricity) and the need to empty the first storage tank to the next storage tank before chi can continue to be produced and to be stored in the first storage tank.
PS: This is an advanced article. If you can't get it after your first reading, no problem.