San Bao – The Three Gems

Cultivate the three gems for health, longevity and enlightenment.

1. 精 Jing – Essence
2. 気 Chi (Qi) – Energy (vital breath)
3. 神 Shen – Spirit

Regulate body posture, breathing and mind.

“Accumulate Shen to promote Chi
Accumulate Chi to promote Jing
Refine Jing until it becomes Chi
Refine Chi into Shen
Refine Shen to emptiness
This is the way to strengthen, support and increase the Jing, Chi and Shen of the body.”

Reference: yangfamilytaichi.com

Jing – Essence. What is left after something has been refined and purified. In Chinese medicine, Jing can mean semen, but it generally refers to the basic substance of the body which the Qi and Spirit enliven. 

Jing is a basic component of the human body and serves as a basis for vital activity. It is what we get from what we eat, the sun, the moon. In the Jing/Chi pair, Jing is more like Yin.

Chi – Vital Energy. Chi or qi is an active principle forming part of any living thing. It is frequently translated as “energy flow”. The literal translation is “air”, “breath”, or “gas”.

The meaning of Chi is simply, life! Life is due to the coming together of Chi, and death is due to the dispersion of Chi. It is a force promoting the activity of the human body. Chi coexists with Jing. Where there is Chi, there is Jing. Where there is Jing, there must be Chi. Chi is like energy. Chi is more like Yang.

To concentrate the chi.

The chi sinks to tan tien. When the chi sinks to the tan tien, the body will become relaxed and the blood will circulate freely through it unhindered. 

The chi should be stimulated. This stimulation of the chi can be compared to the small waves which form on a lake when the wind blows them to and fro in system of troughs and crests. When the chi is stimulated in this way, it produces heat. Gradually this this heat increases and penetrates the bones and become marrow.

(Tai Chi Chuan for Health and Self-Defense: Philosophy and Practice T. T Liang) p. 3-4

The chi should be stimulated and the spirit of vitality should be retained internally.

The principle: Water into steam. When the spirit of vitality is concentrated and retained internally, the heart (mind) will be tranquil and the entire body relaxed so that one may become alert and sensitive.

Shen is derived from Jing and Chi, plus it has a substantial basis (Jing + Chi = Shen.) Shen is the outward manifestation of the cooperating action of Jing and Chi. Where Chi is strong, there will be Shen. Where Chi is absent, Shen will weaken. Shen moves along with Chi and Jing. The substance of Shen manifests itself in bodily appearance.

By following the principles of Tai Chi Chuan, the entire body is loose (song) and open allowing the (Jingshen) Vital Energy to be cultivated and be able to raise. Your spirit comes from your heart and shows out through your eyes. You must use your attention and concentration to help your spirit raise up.

Links:
The Three Treasures taoism.about.com

References:
Cultivating Stillness: Taoist Manual for Transforming Body and Mind (maj 1993) Eva Wong

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