Our readers are very familiar with “Chi," the term we use for the concept of vital energy and its five different aspects or phases as explained by the Theory of the Fve Elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water) in Chinese medicine.
Chi is the invisible life force that regulates the universe, all the activities on our planet, and the inner workings of our physical body, but Chi (sometimes referred to as qi), is not the only energetic consideration in Chinese medicine and the cosmic views of Taoism.
There exists a trilogy of interdependent energy forces referred to as the Three Treasures. In Chinese, they are named: Jing, Chi, and Shen. There is no clear definition in English but the closest notions are, respectively: essence, vitality and/or energy, and mind and/or spirit.
Jing (tsing, ching) is often called “ancestral energy.” It is prenatal energy that enters the embryo giving it the essence of life force. When this energy is depleted, death occurs. There are few ways to preserve or build Jing, but there are many ways to deplete it, even waste it.
Jing is centered in our kidneys. It is fundamental to sexual energy and conception. With weak Jing, we have difficulty coping with even the simplest of tasks. Rebuilding a certain amount of Jing can be achieved with mindful practices such as qi gong, meditation, and acupuncture.
For men, there is also the sexual practice taught in the Tao of sex or in Tantric teaching which addresses limiting the loss of Jing with wasteful ejaculations and, instead, achieving “injaculation” which recycles Jing without preventing an orgasm. Women loose Jing when giving birth and through their menstrual cycles, however this loss is limited in time with menopause.
Since Jing is stored in the kidneys, the organ associated with energetic Winter and which we are currently experiencing, it is the right time to increase our understanding of Jing and the interrelationship of the Three Treasures.
First, all three are interrelated. Without Jing, there is no Chi and no Shen. A strong Chi (Qi) or vital energy will strengthen Jing essence and vice-versa. Both of them cooperate to maintaining the body strong and healthy, but they are assisted by Shen.
A centered Shen keeps Jing strong and it activates the Chi. The Mind influences the workings of the body. The sane mind in a sane body is the ideal. It is the prize of the Three Treasures in balance with each other.
Every metabolic activity of the body consumes Jing. When we are young, we have an excess of Jing. It’s that abundance of Jing that gifts us with the vitality and immunity of youth. When we advance in age, we likely no longer have excess Jing and therefore draw on our reserves in the kidneys. The progressive loss leads to weakness and aging.
The rate of consumption of our Jing is very much related to how we live our lives. By living in harmony with the energetic seasons of Chinese medicine and using the PHYTO5 energy balancing products, we can strengthen Chi and therefore help preserve Jing energy.
Here are seven specific ways:
1. Eat in harmony with the energetic season. (Check out our blog post of November 21 sharing why we would want to consumer black or nearly black foods in energetic Winter.) Consume also a balance of flavors: pungent, sweet, sour, bitter and salty.
2. Get the proper sleep to recharge the body. In energetic Winter we should take advantage of the long nights and go to sleep early and rise late.
3. Balance of work and rest is essential to a healthy life of vigor. An excess or a deficiency in either of these can lead to sickness.
4. Exercise to a healthy, normal degree. You don’t have to overdo it to make exercise a positive in storing Jing. Just do what feels right for you, but do it.
5. Avoid drug and excessive alcohol use both of which deplete the Jing.
6. If you are a sexually very active man, investigate the Tantric practice of preserving semen. Men should guard against losing life essence through excessive sexual activity. When a woman loses blood, she loses Jing, but women’s bodies innately know to commence menopause so they may preserve blood and essence for a healthier and longer life.
7. Meditate. For all reasons, do meditate. It only takes a few minutes a day. It’s a perfect stress disintegrator and stress definitely depletes Jing.