The Three Treasures
Updated: Oct 23, 2020
Can you remember a time when you had boundless energy? You could go on and do anything. Your imaginal powers were the creative force driving your life. Personally, this feeling has been harder to grasp ever since those younger years. That real energy you feel at a young age is harder to come by as an adult. A lot of this has to do with how we use our energy stores as we grow. Where does this elusive “energy” come from? Does it just appear out of thin air?
In the perspective of Chinese medicine, true energy is Qi. It is the most well known of the Three Treasures. It is made from the food and drink we take in, and the air we breathe to help the processes in our body function, and move smoothly so we can engage in our day to day life. Qi is stored in our Kidneys and used throughout our lives. Knowing this, one can try to sustain optimal levels of Qi by eating a healthy diet, proper exercise and breathing techniques.
However, even this, may not be enough to really supply the true energy one may desire. There is something deeper. This deeper quality of life force is known as Jing. Jing is the foundation of the Three Treasures. It is your refined essence. It is the pilot light for the body for all other systems to function and the Qi to flow properly. This primordial core of your DNA is passed down through the ancestral line and is what you are handed when you come into this world and in this body. This is your pre-natal Jing. This is what constitutes a person's growth and development as a child and into adulthood. A person’s constitution is a Jing quality. It is the endocrine system, hormones, adrenal activity, and nervous system. Jing gives you the will the live, to create, to become, to rise into your power. It is the baseline for any energy that one can produce. If Jing is low than it may seem nothing can be done. Once you run out of Jing you run out of life, and better luck next time. Although, there is post-natal Jing, in which one can increase using tonic herbs, performing exercises such as qi gong, and living a balanced life. This possibility of increase can also be one of depletion. In most cases, with society's high expectations for success and achievement, people are depleting their Jing with toxins and staying in states of stress.
Remember that time when you had that boundless energy as a kid? You weren’t quite yet in the rat race of a cycle trying to get to the next level, attain, and acquire more by using up, and taxing your system at all costs.
If you are feeling a deeper exhaustion in your body and you feel that lack of focus, drive, and life force you once had, even the stimulants are not working so well anymore to give you that temporary feeling of it, I would highly recommend a detox, cleanse, and a break for your body’s system.
This is the yin side of our body and soul begging us to answer the call, to go within, to return to ourselves instead of outputting from an empty source. We must replenish the well within. It won’t be easy, you may not feel "good", but it allows space for what is really going on, mind body, and soul, to come to the surface, and realize you can stop relying on external sources to give you that boost.
Our bodies are amazing machines. They will take whatever we give them and keep going, but eventually, if you don’t give your machine the proper oil, it will start to break down. It won’t run as smoothly. You might have to get a jumpstart from something else to get it going.
The third, and most ethereal of the Three Treasures is Shen, translated as spirit or consciousness, and housed in the heart. It is the spirit and light that guides you. If you have a disturbed Shen, you may feel anxiety, depression, excessive mental chatter, insomnia, emotional upsets, you don't feel you know what you are doing or why. No purpose. Just an overall lack of clarity.
An abundance of Shen would manifest as feelings of calm, peace, and a sense of purpose and inner power.
There are many ways to try to improve or maintain this higher state of mind and awareness. Meditation and yoga are great tools to help cultivate more of this treasure. This is your connection to the Divine, your higher self, universe, or however you name it in your life. Shen is revealed through the eyes.
One can utilize therapy, try to change their mental state, but at times it may just feel there is no hope. This is because of the other 2 treasures. All three coincide to create balance. If Jing and Qi are depleted, then we do not have the vehicle best suited for housing the vital Shen.
If we start with clearing the excess, give the body a break. Then we strengthen and tonify with tonics and nourishing foods, boosting the body’s ability to adapt, we can access higher Shen (consciousness).
Rooted in Jing, guided by Shen, the Qi flows.
This is the body-mind. The Three Treasure systems of the ancient Daoists is truly the baseline for optimal health and balance to increase vitality, longevity, and access one's untapped potential.
If anyone is interested in finding out more ways to cultivate the Three Treasures, feel free to contact me via email and we can discuss further your body-mind map and the possibilities to navigate your way to better health.