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What are the 3 Treasures?

November 3, 2015

The 3 TreasuresThe three treasures are Jing, Qi and Shen. Understanding Jing (Essence), Qi (internal energy) and Shen (Spirit) is one of the most important aspects when learning and practicing Qigong. The three treasures are the root, the fundamental, of the practice. The three treasures is sometimes referred to as “San Ben”, which means the three foundations.

When practicing Qigong you learn how to retain and conserve your Jing (the essence), convert this into Qi (internal energy) and then refine the Qi to nourish the Shen (Spirit). By nourishing the Spirit we end emotional suffering. When studying the three treasures it is important to understand the word Dan Tien.  Dan Tien means area or region. The “Lower Dan Tian” refers to the “lower area” and resides around the navel center; the “Middle Dan Tian” refers to the “middle area” and resides around the heart and chest; the “Upper Dan Tian” refers to the “upper area” and resides in the head.

Now that you have understanding of the different areas of the body let’s look at each of the three treasures to further deepen our understanding.

JING. Let’s look at how the human body is formed and created. A single sperm managed to reach and entered an egg. One human cell was formed, it divided into two, these two divided into four, the four divided to make eight, etc. From this a human baby was formed! Jing is the original source from which you were conceived. It is considered the original essence. The amount and quality of original Jing is different from person to person as it is affected significantly by your parents’ health and living habits when you were conceived. According to Chinese medicine, you cannot increase the amount of original Jing you have. However, it is believed you can improve the quality of the original Jing through the practice of Qigong.

According to Chinese medical and Qigong society, the original Jing stays in your kidneys after your birth. This original Jing is the source of your life and growth and is continuously converted into Qi (internal energy) which moves into the Lower Dan Tian and is stored there for future use.

QI. Qi means energy and in the context of the three treasures it specifically means the internal energy within your body. In Western medicine there are several types of circulatory systems within the body. These include the blood system, nervous system and lymphatic system. In Chinese medicine there is a Qi circulation system.  What is not medically known is how the Qi circulatory system relates to the other systems (blood, nervous and lymphatic).

In Chinese medicine it is believed that the Qi or internal energy is closely related to the blood circulatory system. The Chinese have a saying, “Where the Qi goes, the blood flows.” It is believed that Qi provides the energy for the blood cells to keep them alive. It is believed that the blood cells store the Qi and the blood circulatory system helps to transport the Qi throughout the body.

Qi comes into the body by the air we breathe and the food / beverages we consume. This Qi is sometimes referred to as post-birth Qi and resides in the Middle Dan Tian. How does the Qi flow in the body and circulate?  When we inhale the Qi circulates and flows into the kidneys/Jing. The Qi and Jing are blended into one energy source and from there circulates throughout your body.

SHEN. Shen can be translated as spirit, soul or divine. When you are alive the Shen resides in the Upper Dan Tian or forehead area, sometimes referred to as the third eye. Shen is the spirit which directs the mind. When your mind is not steady, when you are emotional, then the mind and spirit are not at peace.   When you focus and concentrate on the Upper Dan Tian / third eye, the Shen can be firmed. Buddhists and Daoists train themselves to be free of emotions and in this way they are able to build a strong Shen completely under their control.

Shen is thought to be the center of your being. The higher your Shen the more calm you are, you are at peace with the world, your mind is clear, you can focus your attention for long periods of time and have great will power.  You are emotionally balanced.

FINAL COMMENTS. The three treasures – Jing (resides in kidneys and Lower Dan Tian), Qi (resides in the chest, Middle Dan Tian) and Shen (resides in the third eye, Upper Dan Tian). When practicing Qigong, the breath is a slow, long breath, we breath into our abdomen. We bring Qi into the lungs, the Qi circulates and moves into the Jing and blends together. The Qi flows throughout the body changing the quality of the Qi.  When we practice we focus and concentrate, void of emotions, strengthening the Shen.

Qigong is sometimes referred to as a “Moving Meditation.” When we focus our attention, breathe slow, long controlled breaths we are purifying and cleansing the Qi – the lifeforce energy – this in return allows the body to heal itself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

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