Updated: Aug 24
In our last blog post, we discussed the Three Treasures of body, heart/mind, and spirit and explored the importance of integrating all parts of our being. Now, let's go a little deeper into how to excavate and reveal these treasures and explore how the energies of each treasure can work together for our well-being and prosperity.
I invite you to see The Three Treasures as a map of the deeper meanings of life. We have so much power and potential within us, and it's easy to get confused and distracted about who we are and our place in this world. Within each of us lives powerful forces and treasures that influence who we are, how we react, what we feel, and how much energy we have. For many, these inner treasures lay buried or dormant within them for a very long time.
Jing, Qi, and Shen
We've already talked about the importance of aligning the body, heart/mind, and spirit for the well-being of the whole. Now, let's focus on how to actually do it. Each part of ourselves has a distinct type of energy or "qi" that brings its own unique qualities to who we are. Just as you need both your lungs and your heart in order to circulate oxygen throughout your body, no person is able to live without each component of the three treasures giving power to each aspect of your being.
As physical beings, our body is an essential part of our existence and is the source of great energy and vitality. "Jing" is the densest energy and is most closely connected with our body and physical form. It is often referred to as "essence" since it reflects the essential energy of our body. Jing is also the source of life and is commonly associated with sexual energy and the energy of creation, although not exclusively. Jing is stored in the lower Tan Tien and can be considered a reservoir or biobattery to store and conserve vital life force energy.
In contrast, "Shen" is the energy of spirit and resides in our Upper Tan Tien. While Jing is very much an energy of the body, Shen is a spiritual energy that can connect to the Tao to guide the whole.
The Upper Tan Tien is often called the "Hall of Impressions" because it takes in the senses and our experiences to activate our intuition and awareness of the universe. Shen is not an intellectual experience but a deep knowingness of what is important and how to live. Shen is cultivated both by being receptive to the universe and by the other energies of the body. When Shen energy is strong, a person feels spiritual truth channeling throughout their beings.
Qi is the energy that lies between Shen and Jing and can be thought of as a gateway between heaven and earth — spirit and body. Qi lives within the Middle Tan Tien and circulates between all parts of the body. Strong qi is often reflected through creativity and expression but is also critical to health and emotional balance. When referenced in unqualified terms, Qi always refers to all energy within the body, although it can also refer to the Qi of the Middle Tan Tien of the heart/mind.
The Microcosmic Orbit
The Microcosmic Orbit is a natural energy pathway that continually circulates within the body. Just as ice melts into water and then evaporates into vapor, skilled practitioners will seek to transform their Jing (ice) into Qi (water), which in turn transforms into Shen (vapor). Shen then cascades down the front of the body, enriching Qi and then Jing, bringing a complete circle to the energy pathway. Any stagnant qi is released as energy flows continuously throughout the orbit, and the body, heart/mind, and spirit become one unified field.
Even though it's possible to identify distinct energies within the body, Jing, Qi, and Shen constantly move and transform into one another, just like ice, water, and vapor. Many practitioners will seek to cultivate their Jing and pull their energy upwards for greater vitality within their body and heart/mind. Since Jing and sexuality are closely connected, many Taoist traditions integrate healthy sexual practices to circulate enriched qi throughout the entire being via the Microcosmic Orbit; and if that interests you, consider joining us for our next Three Treasures Journey.
From Flower to Flame Revealing Your Three Treasures Journey
The Three Treasures guides you on a journey through the flame of your heart to claim your own internal power and learn tools to maintain balance and integration within their beings.
We will focus on Qiqong practices that bring greater awareness of all parts of the self to understand who you really are on a deeper level. The practices, including the Microcosmic Orbit, can become lifelong tools for health and vitality.
As women, we often look to the external world for answers to life's great questions. In this Qiqong for the Three Treasures Practice, we turn inward and seek to excavate and reveal the hidden treasures and mysteries that are already within ourselves.
The jewels are there; we just have to find them. Are you willing to dive in and experience this epic journey?