Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip # 255
Chi Kung (Qigong) #2 – Three Treasures
As I said last week, the study of qigong is the study of everything, as chi powers the universe and is the universe. If we want to know about chi, we can look at nature and align ourselves with it.
Each and every person, animal, plant, rock, etc, is a complete work of chi. So we can look at the whole of the universe or an individual in it, and that reflects the whole. Each cell is a universe unto itself. Yet everything wants to join with others and form a bond. Just look at the human body. Each individual cell joins with others to form organs. Organs join to become systems. Systems join to make the body and mind.
Before going on, I want you to realize that chi moves due to the difference between two forces – positive and negative, or full and empty, or big and small, high and low, etc. Mother nature is in a constant quest to find balance. Wind is caused by the difference between high and low pressure, for example. So chi moves in the body for the same reason – differences of chi levels between parts of the body.
Tai Chi is based on the classic teaching of which San Bao is but one, but a very important principle = the regulation of breath to control the physical, emotional, and mental/spiritual aspects of our body/mind – to constantly refine the grosser energies into an ever finer and lighter ones.
The San Bao or Three Treasures (Jing, Chi, Shen) is a Daoist realization, way before “science and scientists” evolved. The mystics in ancient China, through meditative introspection, came up with a verbal way to explain the way chi gets consciously converted for use in our body. There are two ways (yin and yang) of looking at the San Bao of our body. I discussed this last week – high pressure at the bottom or top, high pressure at the inside or outside.
Last week I shared two exercises – the wei dan and the nei dan. In wei dan the high pressure gets built up in the external or limbs, and when the mind relaxes, the high pressure chi flows to the low pressure area – the internal or center. And in nei dan, the high pressure is built up in the torso and when the mind relaxes, the high pressure of the torso flows to the low pressure of the limbs. Hopefully you had this experience for yourself when doing the exercises I suggested last week.
Three Treasures
When we are conceived, we receive a trust account of essence chi. It resides in the kidney area and it lasts a lifetime. This is called Jieng or Jing. It is the lifetime warranty battery that adds the spark to all our energy needs. It can be depleted by improper lifestyle choices. Drugs and alcohol, lack of sleep, lack of proper exercise, poor dietary choices, are all known to interfere with the battery of life. There are some Daoist rejuvenation exercises to replenish a worn down battery. Reverse Breathing is one of these.
The next of the Three Treasures is called “Chi”. It actually resides in all the intercellular spaces, especially the liquid filled belly. This chi is also called “acquired chi”, since it can be converted from food and air, lite or sparked by the Jieng, into the energy that powers the everyday activities of the body.
The last of the Three Treasures is called “shen”, or enlightened inspiration. This refined energy is stored in the upper dantien (forehead area). There are many gates or roadblocks placed between the Jieng of the lower body and the shen of the mind. The Jieng needs to be refined into Chi of the torso and limbs, which is refined into Shen of the mind.This is the main goal of all spiritual meditative practices. The Daoists had many exercises to accomplish this refining process. There are many benefits along the way, but unity with the life force is the ultimate goal.
Next week I will share a couple more exercises to work with the Three Treasures. While waiting, you can practice the two exercises I gave you last week. If you didn’t save last weeks Tips, go to my web site – – and click on Tips, and it is right there.
See if you can feel the differences in low and high pressures in the body. Theory is fine, but practice is where results add up. And remember, most results take a while for the body/mind to experience, so take the advice of experts, people who have been down this path before. Good luck.