Self-Healing is a process fueled by energy. Health is defined by how we balance our levels of energy. The immune system functions at a physical level, driven by chemical reactions at the cellular level. These cellular dynamic processes are driven by the levels of energy we aim to maintain through a balanced lifestyle and wellbeing habits.
This article takes into consideration three different types of energy: Jing, Chi and Shen, as described by the Daoists and ancient Chinese medicine as well as my own personal experience and interpretation. Jing, Chi and Shen energies will be explained further below.
Humans in a Spiritual Experience or Spirits in a Human experience?
This long-debated question can be answered in various ways. We can access the spiritual world through imagination while we are physically embodied or we can elect the sole experience of being human without exploring what is beyond this life. It is a matter of choice. As long as we are in a human body, we should prioritize that experience first, leaving the rest for later.
It has been proven scientifically through quantum physics that all matter is made of energy. The spirit, the mind and the body are essentially forms of energy, and the purpose of this article is to understand how they are connected to each other at deeper levels.
Shen Energy (The Spirit)
The Shen energy resides mainly in the Heart area. It is the energy connected to our Higher Self. Shen energy transcends our current dimension, being connected to our soul and perhaps to all our multi-dimensional selves. If there is anything immortal within us, it is the Shen energy, which is the only thing that exists before our birth and after our death. The Shen energy is an extension of our soul and the connection to our past or parallel lives. It is the “DNA” imprint of our soul.
Since the Heart is the home of the emotion of Joy, it is no coincidence that Joy is the emotional counterpart of all other emotions (sadness, fear, anxiety, anger, loss, grief and other dramatic human emotions). Joy balances these other emotions. We are born to desire and we enjoy desire.
The Heart is the supreme leader of all organs. Joy is the supreme leader of all emotions too. Losing joy means losing everything. As the Ancient Egyptians wrote in the Book of the Dead, the two most important questions asked while transcending from life to death were:
- Did you have joy in your life?
- Did you bring joy to other peoples lives?
Both questions are directly related to the wise usage of the Shen energy.
How to Enhance our Shen Energy?
Shen is the spark of divinity within each human being. It is associated with our awareness of the Infinite Universe. Shen is not an emotion, nor a state of mind. It doesn’t manifest only as love and compassion but also as mental and intuitive energy.
Zhuang Zi, the great Daoist sage, wrote:
“When the shoe fits, the foot is forgotten. When the belt fits, the belly is forgotten. When the heart (Shen) is right, ‘FOR’ and ‘AGAINST’ are forgotten”
The above quote expresses an important aspect of Daoist philosophy regarding health. My understanding is that Zhuang Zi says that one cannot achieve good health until the art of balance has been mastered. Those seeking true happiness must achieve balance in their lives. Imbalance is a source of stress that distracts the Shen energy from its higher path. When we are in harmony, we have the opportunity to see beyond good and bad, right or wrong, for and against.
Shen naturally rules our lives, but if we lose our emotional balance, the ego and other emotions (all except joy) compete for dominance. This leads to the withdrawal of the Shen energy.
There is a great method of developing Shen by ‘giving’, and by giving I mean service to others, out of true compassion and love, including for our planet. Cleaning the environment, rescuing animals, planting trees, watering the earth and helping other people are all Shen-enhancing actions.
Shen is more valuable than all the money in the world, because you are nourishing your soul and spiritual energy – transcending lives. Financial rewards are merely temporary.
Jing Energy (The Human Essence)
Jing energy is our heritage, given to us through our ancestors. It comes not only from the mother and father, but from all prior ancestors, through the blood lineage. It is the physical DNA and the essence of life. It is stored in the kidneys and it is the energy that sustains our body’s life. The Jing energy is not unlimited and when it is exhausted, the life of our physical body is over. Jing is an immortality elixir which can be nourished and maintained through a balanced lifestyle.
Jing is burned up as fuel in the body by life itself. However, the usage of Jing increases with chronic and acute stress, excessive emotional burdens, substance abuse (medication, alcohol or drugs), chronic pain or illness and sexual excess. Heavy, problematic pregnancies and birth-giving may also increase the drainage of Jing.
It is alright to get tired sometimes, but never to become fully exhausted. Moderation is the best ally of the Jing energy, allowing it to be preserved for a longer period, with the effect of extending our lifespan.
If one desires to have healthy children as a parent, we have an important responsibility to take care of our health and Jing energy reserves. It will pass onto our children’s quantity and quality of Jing energy. In other words, Jing is inherited from our parents, but it is our job to preserve it and take care of our health.
How can we preserve Jing Energy?
The answer is very easy to understand but not as easy to apply it in our day-to-day life. Moderation, relaxation and avoiding stress are perhaps the most important of all. A good nights sleep that allows us to awaken fully restored of energy. I definitely recommend balancing food intake and practicing Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Ba Gua. Last but not least, taking care of our kidneys means ultimately taking care of our Jing energy.
Chi Energy (Vitality)
Chi (Qi, Ki, Prana, life) is the energy we produce as a result of the two body factories: digestive system and respiratory system. We produce energy necessary to live, transforming food and air into Chi.
Internal martial arts (Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Ba Gua) can teach us how to better flow the energy through the body. They can also improve the production of Chi through proper breathing. Balancing nutrition by understanding what are our body needs and how our needs change from one day to another, practicing fasting and moderation are typical habits for martial arts masters of energy. Avoiding sleep deprivation, excessive stress and anxiety, understanding bodily biorhythms and resting when needed are just a few of Ki Train daily practices.
To understand more about the Ki Train Method, order my book or take an online membership with us. If you are in Bahrain, join our classes to learn how to better nourish your Shen, Jing and Chi energies.
When our Car Alternator Fails, the Battery Dies
A powerful analogy that allows us to better define the concept of Jing vs Chi is to understand the electrical main system of a car. The car starts using the battery. Once the engine is running, a dynamo or an alternator is connected through a belt to the engine. All the electrical needs of the car are covered by the electricity generated by the dynamo/alternator. If you have experienced a fault in this device, or maybe the belt broke due to heavy usage and age, you also know that the car can only run a very limited mileage, running only on the battery. When the battery is dead, the car is dead too.
The battery holds the Jing energy while the Chi is generated by the generator device. The human body works similarly. When we become deficient in producing Chi, we use up our reserves of Jing energy, becoming sick and eventually ending our life.
More about how to nourish the Jing, Shen and Chi Energies in the next articles “Super tonic herbs – food is our medicine” – and their impact on finding balance.