Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip #331
San Bao – Three Treasures
I talk a lot about the Three Treasures – Jing, Qi, and Shen. Tai Chi practice is fundamentally based on the concept of refining energy – of converting Jing to Qi and Qi to Shen. The Three Treasures is based on this philosophy.
When we, as a Tai Chi group, stand on the bluff of Chetzemoka Park overlooking the Straits of Juan de Fuca, in the background is Mount Baker, a year round, snow capped volcano. During one practice, I had one of those ah-ha thoughts. Let me share it with you.
The mountain has permanent, rock hard glaciers. This can be compared to the Jing energy of our body. It is firm, slow moving, and supportive. The major repository of Jing in the body is the lower dantien and is the most Yin, connecting our body to the earth. It is important to keep this area (kidneys) healthy, as it is the repository of our essence (basic, pre-birth Qi).
As the weather warms the mountain, the glaciers start to melt, and become rivers and streams, which flow, following the contours of the land. This is compared to Qi and is the link between the Yin of the earth and the Yang of the heavens. These flowing water ways can overcome the hardest, most yin aspects of nature, and it can also yield, and move and adapt to wherever it is needed. It’s storage space is the middle dantien (the heart area) and that is why it is associated with feelings and emotions.
Floating in the sky above the mountain are clouds. This is the lightest, finest form of water (Qi), and yet it feeds the rest of the system, brings the Shen (heavenly Qi) down to the earth level. It’s storage place is in the area between the eyebrows, sometimes called the Third Eye. It connects man to the cosmic whole. This is the most Yang (light, uppermost) expression of Qi.
I so enjoy these insights. I’ll probably never look at Mt. Baker the way I used to, as a thing perched atop the earth. I realize it is the conduit between the core of the earth and the space above, between man and whatever created him. So spend your Tai Chi training time studying this energy transformation and enjoy the results.