Jing or essence of life is the fundamental material that makes up the human body. it comes in two types: Innate Jing is what we inherit from our parents, Acquired Jing is from food and liquids converted by the stomach and spleen and any excess is stored in the kidneys.
“When Jing deficient, then your Vitality will be weak and your immunity to illness will be impared“
Qi is the intrinsic substance that permiates through our physicial reality, and produces all things through its movements and variations… so it’s pretty much the “force” from Star Wars. Qi also comes in the same two varriations: Innate (from our parents) & Accuired (from our surrounding and intake).
Shen translates as “spirit” but it is far more complex than that and we, in the west, need to ensure we dont add the Judo-christian connatations and idea of the soul. Shen is derived from innate Jing and rellies on aqquired jing and qi for nourishment and to maintain its functions. An emotioanl distrubance will impare the smoothness of our spirit.
It is said in the Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic that “excessive anger damages the liver, excessive joy damages the heart, excessive pensiveness damages the spleen, excessive sorrow damages the lungs, and excessive fear damages the kidneys.” Also, “excessive anger causes qi to rise, excessive joy causes qi to retard, excessive sorrow causes qi to diminish, excessive fear causes qi to fall, excessive shock causes qi to scatter, and excessive pensiveness causes qi to stagnate.”
The three treasures have associated locations:
“The One possess names,” and resides in places within the human body, “Some locate it 2.4 inches below the naval in the lower cinabar field. Some find it in the Golden Tower of the Purple Palace bellow the heart, in the central Cinnabar Field. Then again people place it one inch behind the space between the eyebrows, in the hall of light; two inches in , in the Grotto of Chamber; or three inches in, in the Cinnabar Field.
Dizhen “Earthly Truth”, Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity
Baopuzi neipian – 320 CE
The Cinnabar Field, is the alchemical metaphor of our Qi, Cinnabar is the red ore of mercury, according to this standpoint, Taoism regards the Cinnabar Field as the position for keeping qi with ideation, as well as a main site and fundamental place for condensation of essence, qi and spirit. These are the 3 treasures: the Upper, Middle & Lower Dantian.
In Daoism the Three Treasures are : compassion or love, frugality or simplicity, and humility or modesty. In Qi Gong, Tai Chi & TCM they are:
- Jing 精 “nutritive essence, essence; refined, perfected; extract; spirit, sperm, seed”
- Qi 氣 “vitality, energy, force; air, vapor; breath; spirit, vigor; attitude”
- Shen 神 “spirit; soul, mind; god, deity; supernatural being”
“The Lower Dantian is the Dantian most familiar to martial artists and meditators, as it is the first place on which they are trained to focus their concentration. It is regarded as the center of physical strength and the source of stamina. Called the “hara” in Japanese, it is located in the lower abdomen, in the center of the triangle formed by drawing a line between the navel, Mingmen (lower back), and perineum. These three points form a pyramid facing downward. This configuration allows the Lower Dantian to gather the energy from the Earth.”
According to Tai Chi & Qi Gong practicioners: the act of sinking Qi, and focusing on the lower Dantian allows us to, with effort and practice, experience the One. “The One can complete yin and bring forth Yang” the lower Dantian is also the area where the yin meridians, along with the twelve meridians snd the conception vessel join together. The lower dantian controls the transformation of Jing to Qi, and this is what the internal Alchemy of Qi Gong styles like Nei Gong and Nei Dan aims to achieve.
So to summarise: the human energy field functions like a microcosm of the whole cosmos, the chakras & meridians are a reflection of everything that is around us. The Three Treasures are elixir fields: the primordial essence – Jing is found in the lower Dantein, the primordial energy resides in the central Dantien in the solar plexus and the primordial spirit resides in the Upper Dantien, located in the centre of the head. Qi Gong can be used to regulate and balance a variety of energy points, clearing blocked chanels and opening us to resonate naturally with the energy of the earth and unverse.
- The Taoist Experience, Livia Kohn, ISBN 0-7914-1580-5
- Chi-Gung, Harnessing the Power of the Universe, Daniel Read
- The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, Maoshing Ni*
- Qigong Empowerment, Master Shou-Yu Liang & Wen-Ching Wu
*Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine – The Huangdi Neijing (given the title The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine in one of the latest translations) is an ancient treatise on health and disease said to have been written by the famous Chinese emperor Huangdi around 2600 BC.