Author Topic: What is Jing?  (Read 51075 times)

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July 24, 2012, 02:25:47 PM
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Koujiryuu

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I am making a topic to be stickied about the subject of Jing, because I think a lot of people who are beginners and even some who are very experienced don't fully understand what Jing is and isn't, how it is developed, and how it manifests in arts like Taijiquan and Bagua.

Let us try and compile our knowledge on what Jing is from a traditional standpoint, how it can be developed, why and for what purpose. We should do this in a calm and rational matter, and attempt not to argue over trivialities or our own misunderstanding of the fundamental ideas.

From a different thread:

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Within my teachings, and the teachings of most Daoist systems of Qigong as well as Taijiquan Jing is elaborated on quite clearly.

First and foremost, there is more than one type of Jing. Now, Jing means "essence" in Chinese, though it could also be "force" or "internal power". It is the sexual force, and a component of your soul. Mystic was right, Jing is affected in many ways, including sexual activity, diet, stress, and balance of the energy system.

In Daoist alchemy there are two main kinds of Jing- Jing and Neijing. There are also two different types of Qi, Qi and Neiqi. Within these divisions are many other kinds of Qi (Qi of the skin, of the lungs, of the heart, of the brain, etc), and in Taiji there are many different types of Jing depending on the application of the force in a martial context; such as tien jing, dong jing, fa jing, hua jing. These are applications of power through body mechanics, footwork, proper technique and Taiji motions for self defense. See http://www.gstaichi.org/english/commonConceptsOfJings.php

As far as alchemy is concerned, there is a separation of the bodies' different forces. The goal of alchemy (per The Secret of the Golden Flower) is to reunify these forces before developing Shen. Neiqi (original Qi; the Qi you are born with, not that which you have gained or lost through life) resides in the Middle Dantien in the heart. Neijing (your soul; the original life force; your true essence) resides in the Lower Dantien and is separate from Jing gained or lost in life; yet Neijing is the root of Jing. Through the microcosmic orbit, zhan zhuang, certain Taiji forms, and meditation with a right mind, the Neiqi is sunk down the conception vessel from the Middle Dantien to the Lower Dantien and reunified with Neijing. So, you bring the original breath of life to the original primordial force-essence, where they unify and produce a cosmic body. Before this process happens, any and all Qigong will only affect your Qi; you basically cannot produce Jing faster than you expend it without unifying Neiqi and Neijing. The process of sinking the Neiqi, and Qi, takes anywhere from one to five years depending on the individual.

You are correct in stating that Jing is produced by the bone marrow. However, like mystic stated, doing Marrow Washing exercises alone will not produce Jing. It is only from a combination of Marrow Washing Qigong, microcosmic orbit, zhan zhuang, Taiqi, meditation, and a great deal of self-restraint and good diet choices over many years that Jing develops.

Furthermore, there is an old Taiqi adage that applies here.

"You can feel your Qi, but your opponent cannot. You can't feel your Jing, but your opponent can."

Jing is not a force you can feel. It only manifests itself martially when the proper technique is applied with the correct intention, and when Neiqi has been sunk to the Lower Dantien. The center of the body, the cinnabar elixir field, is the root of Jing; not your bones. Jing cannot be manipulated or felt. It is invisible. When utilized properly, your strike is like lightning coming from the dantien, and jing is the thunderclap that lags behind and follows a few seconds later. This is known as fa jing.

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Again, someone thinks that Jing is compressed Qi or that Jing needs to be compressed. This is not true. Jing is the force-essence that is created over a long time of practicing Qigong (particularly Zhan Zhuang). It has nothing to do with compression. You cannot compress that which cannot be felt or controlled; trying to is like trying to grab the wind..Jing is not compressed Qi.

From Mad Daoist, who summarized it succinctly when everyone else was doing DBZ crap:

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...."Jing: Neiqi is free-flowing and nice. It's good for health, meditation, etc. However, when put to use for martial applications, it falls short. However, neiqi can be converted into neijing, for the sharp demands of the Nei-jia. (Internal Martial Arts) Neijing will hence forth be called jing. Jing is at a higher frequency than qi- it's a lot more powerful. In the words of Waysun Liao, "Your opponent can feel your jing, but not your qi. You can feel your qi, but not your jing."
...."But I digress. Neiqi leads jing, it controls it. Once you can learn how to convert neiqi into jing, [discussed later] you can use it effectively against an opponent. Jing is far beyond the reaches of normal time and space. It's a power called down from the universe itself for use by human beings. Jing's only limit is your own yi. I'll get to that pretty soon."
"I think it was quite wise when a famous Ba-gua master compared jing to a Dragon. If you treat the dragon right, you can unleash it on your opponent, and the dragon will lend you his strength. Treat the dragon wrong, and it'll take a bite out of you. This illustrates the point that jing is not something to be played with, it's a real weapon, and should be treated as you would a knife or even a handgun. However, be careful with it, and it'll be your most powerful weapon."

Here is the section about Jing that was given to students of the Qigong study group:

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This week, we will be learning about Jing (C'hing) more, and learning an ancient Qigong form to develop it.

A very apt description of Jing comes from wikipedia:

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Jīng (Chinese: 精; Wade-Giles: ching) is the Chinese word for "essence", specifically kidney essence. Along with q and shn, it is considered one of the Three Treasures Sanbao 三寶 of Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM. According to tradition, Jīng is stored in the kidneys and is the most dense physical matter within the body (as opposed to shn which is the most volatile). It is said to be the material basis for the physical body and is yīn in nature, which means it nourishes, fuels, and cools the body. As such it is an important concept in the internal martial arts. Jīng is also believed by some to be the carrier of our heritage (similar to DNA). Production of semen, in the man, and menstrual blood (or pregnancy), in the woman, are believed to place the biggest strains on jīng. Because of this, some even equate jīng with semen, but this is inaccurate; the jīng circulates through the 8 extraordinary vessels and creates marrow and semen, among other functions.[1]

One is said to be born with a fixed amount of jīng (pre-natal jīng, also sometimes called yuan qi) and also can acquire jīng from food and various forms of stimulation (exercise, study, meditation.) Theoretically, jīng is consumed continuously in life; by everyday stress, illness, substance abuse, sexual intemperance, etc. Pre-natal jīng by definition cannot be renewed, and it is said it is completely consumed upon dying.

So, this jīng is considered quite important for longevity in TCM. Many disciplines related to qgōng are devoted to the replenishment of "lost" jīng by restoration of the post-natal jīng. In particular, the internal martial arts (esp. T'ai chi ch'uan) and the Circle Walking of Baguazhang may be used to preserve pre-natal jīng and build post-natal jīng - if performed correctly. Commonplace in China is the sight of rnshēn (Kouji's note: rnshēn is Chinese ginseng) on sale in herb shops, at a wide range of prices - Kung Fu classics fans may remember it used as a plot element at the start of Drunken Master 2. Rnshēn, particularly Korean and Chinese, is said to bolster the jīng and a common medicinal recipe is to add to porridge (of course congee in China) along with cinnamon, goji berries and ginger for a sweet, warming breakfast when the weather starts to turn cold in Autumn.

An early mention of the term in this sense is in a 4th century BCE chapter called "Inner Training" (內業) of a larger text compiled during the Han dynasty, the Guǎnzi (管子).[2]

Jīng (精; essence) should not be confused with the related concept of jn (勁; power) (Kouji's note: I'm not sure about the accuracy of this, they are the same thing as far as most internal arts are concerned), nor with jīng (經; classic/warp), which appears in many early Chinese book titles, such as the Ni Jīng, y jīng and Ch Jīng, the fundamental text on all the knowledge associated with tea.

This understanding of Jing comes from more of a TCM or Confucianist standpoint; thus, the correlation of Jing to the kidneys. Qigong and the internal arts use a different system of meridians and Dantien that are spiritual and conceptual and do not correlate to the organs. For our practices, this is more preferred, but the description above is correct as well.

So, then, how do we truly define Jing? Jing is a type of internal force-essence that is derived from the kidneys and sexual organs. It is impacted negatively by stress, sex and diet. It can be bolstered by certain Qigong forms, teas, herbs, meditation, proper sleep, and an overall healthy lifestyle. It is derived from Qi and for the purposes of the martial arts, led by Qi. You cannot feel or directly manipulate your Jing in the same manner as your Qi.

When you are first starting off in practice, your Qi will be very subtle. It may be faint. It will probably feel like a slight warmth or buzzing sensation. It will take time in meditation to feel, and will be difficult to fix or move. Through the practice of Daoist qigong, your Neiqi and Qi is led from the Middle Dantien in the heart, to the Lower Dantien below the naval. When this happens, neiqi will be unified with neijing, and Jing will start to be produced in a larger amount. At this point, the Qi is strengthened immensely, and Neiqi and Neijing give birth to strong Qi which derives from Jing. After this the Qi will cease to be faint and will instead feel like a very strong, liquid force. It will buzz and feel like electricity, cause the fine hairs on the arms to stand on end, feel very warm and tingly, or 'feel like molten metal' according to some. Your Qi will be much easier to manipulate and move around the body, or into others. It will only take a brief thought and spiritual assertion to feel, as opposed to minutes in meditation. All of these signs of a strong Qi are indicative of strong Jing and unification of Neiqi and Neijing. At this point, when you feel and move your Qi, you will also be affecting Jing as well. Qi leads Jing.

Anyone who has any questions or feels the information is unclear, please ask.

Also, I'm very interested in the input and understanding from other noteworthy practitioners here on the subject (donjitsu2 and mystic, I'm looking at you).

I hope this thread can eventually help many newbies understand what Jing really is and isn't, so further questions on the subject won't be coming from a confused standpoint.
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July 25, 2012, 05:10:09 PM
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mystic

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Jing is one of the most complex aspects of traditional chinese philosophy; not just in terms of qi gong, but in nei gong as well. It is easy to conclude that in spite of some similarities between both systems, the overlap starts and stops when you get into methods of deeper cultivation.

I think there are some unique aspects before I try to get into a deeper explanation of jing. Wang Liping outlines the importance of jing to nei dan practices, and life in the following:

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The human body is formed after receiving the parents'  Qi and Jing, which form the fetus and placenta. The essence of the lineage carried on from the parents' and grandparents' Jing and so on, develops from emptiness to substance

From this expression, we have a lot of areas to cover. The first area is this aspect of Jing. Anyone here can make the conclusion that it is a necessary ingredient that forms life according to Daoist philosophy. Pragmatically, a person can refer that (Jing) to denote essence. It is here where the usage of the term gets extremely tricky. On a physical level, we can refer to Jing as the sexual essence derived from man and woman, specifically the male seminal essence. Further reading into the subject indicates a transformative process that Jing has.

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The first part of thes of the fetus created are the three yuan sources of the upper, middle, and lower capacities and the kidneys. From the kidneys, the two eyes gradually develope, then the two outside kidneys followed by the sexual organs of the indivdiuals

A variety of processes are described that are important. But perhaps the most important and fundamental is that jing, in and of itself, aids in the creation of the human body. This aspects transforms the references that we have noted Jing to have in just being sexual essence because there is now lots of evidence that jing is in each and every single cell of the human body in addition to Qi. From here, if there were actually a closer physical (and western) interpretation of Jing, it would be that Jing is our body's hormones. And there is a lot of rationale to that. From the brief commentary mentioned by Wang Liping, we realize that Jing is related to growth and development of a variety of organs and systems throughout the body. In a western medical sense, the regulation of growth and development is chiefly centered around a didactic relationship between the mother's hormones and the father's hormones which drive the process of mitosis and eventually embryogenesis. In spite of this, the most important physical aspect of Jing from a western context and a Daoist context is the hormones that drive sexual development.

The most interesting physical trend about Jing is the developmental aspect Jing plays throughout our very life. What is known is that the lack of Jing has a profound effect on our physical body. While systems have indicated that it is lack of kidney Jing (sexual essence) that is an issue, there are a lot of issues surrounding Jing. Before I get into that, there is something that truly must be said before continuing. From Wang Liping's interpretation we notice that Jing and Qi are connected (actually shen holds a deeper connection to Jing as well). A simple, yet profound way to recall the relationship is imagining Jing and Qi like a battery. For brevity, Qi is developed from Yin and Yang, and Jing can be considered the battery fluid. Jing fluid powers Qi through transformative processes and Qi has the ability to regenerate Jing fluid. An easy way to really explain this relationship is through the following

Jing <=> Qi

denotinng the bidirectional relationship that Jing has on Qi and vice versa. Throughout fetal development, however, Jing rests in the lower area of the body, while Qi rests in the middle part of the body and Shen rests in the upper part of the body. In terms of control, Shen controls Jing. There's no question about that. The fire of the Shen (conscious mind) ignites Qi, which ignites Jing. In this aspect, Jing (and to a lesser extent Qi) act as water as Shen acts as fire. Any disharmony between Jing and Shen will lead to a lot of problems with an individual's Qi. For instance, you use up lots of Jing right? Well, sometimes the signs and symptoms of losing Jing is related to eyesight decline, lack of mental focus, and also back pain. Jing lubricates the bones, it acts as fluid for the bones. The more jing you have, the more pliable the bones are. But moving beyond the bones is the effect that loss of Jing has on Shen. When Shen fire runs rampant, eyesight decreases, mental focus decreases because of the close relationship Jing and Shen have. This also effects the levels of Qi as it tries to promote balance within the body. In time, the body will undergo Yin and Yang imbalance, which of course leads to some medical interventions.

What many of us are thinking is that Jing is lost through too much sex right? Not exactly. Jing can be lost through starvation as well, lack of sleep, too much thought, actually it is far too easy to lose Jing. And humans lose Jing every single day through a variety of different activities. What one has to consider is that with the act of sex, you lose the most Jing. That loss also includes masturbation as well. But consider what occurs when you have abundance of Jing (assuming there aren't any things you are holding back in Shen). The development (rather storing) of Jing without leading to burning of Shen will have a profound impact on our physical appearance and drastically change the way an indivdiual looks as well as their perception of reality. Why does a person look so young naturally for instance? One of my closest friends who I love dearly doesn't look a day over 17 (she's 29 going on 30).

Before I really get into the nitty-gritty of at least Jing, there is one huge aspect that has to be stated. While Jing is probably one of the most physical aspects of the three treasures, there is also a metaphysical point that must be explained. Recall in the first quote that Jing is an accumulation of an individual's lineage. In this case, we can consider this a very powerful breaking point in that Jing can also denote threads of karma an individual may have from their lineage. At this point, I won't try to mince words. Jing is also related to an individual's human destiny. This is not one aspect that I share. The Wu Liu Pai also shares this aspect in consideration of Ming. From what I've noted, the concept of ming is solely related to Jing, but adds the component of destiny and karma to this. In this aspect, we can consider that as how much stamina or life a person has left. Sometimes, this aspect is used up not in old age, but in young age. Again, practitioners get a unique sense of destiny here (but again, this is my interpretation) as well as lines of karma from the filial lineage.

From this discussion, an observer can make a few conclusions regarding Jing. The most important for our purposes is that Jing is in our body (in every single cell). For the purpose of practice, however, it is sexual essence that is important. When anyone begins any foundation regardless of school, you won't be having sex for a period of time. The reason why this happens is simple. Unlike schools of Qi Gong which argue that the xia dan tian (lower dan tian) is already made, schools of longmen pai believe the xia dan tian has to be made. To make this? Jing; sexual essence. We can already surmise that Jing is a measure of physical life and because of the karmic line Jing has as well as the aspect Jing has with destiny, one can argue there is a high level of spiritual thought with this too. Jing is the battery that fuels physical and spiritual development. Especially in terms of the longmen pai

July 25, 2012, 05:41:24 PM
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Koujiryuu

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Thank you for the excellent post, mystic.

I should also clarify that when Jing is referred to as "kidney essence", they are talking about the outer kidneys- the testicles in men and the ovaries in women. From my understanding, this is a distinctly Chinese concept, in TCM the gonads are referred to as kidneys. This makes sense, as they are similar in shape to the actual physical kidney responsible for the bodies' filtration.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2012, 06:11:03 PM by Koujiryuu »
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July 25, 2012, 08:08:26 PM
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Good work, a nice and easy to understand reconciliation of terminology.

A+  :)
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July 25, 2012, 09:24:03 PM
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So, in order to reinforce the viewpoint taken by internal stylists (and also the Dao schools) about what Jing is and isn't, I suggest we provide links to outside sources.

In case ANYONE is unclear about this, Jing is not pronounced, well, Jing. The proper Chinese pronunciation of Jing is like the female name, "Jean".

Some would argue that there is nothing mystical about Jing. Like many things in Chinese arts, it's a paradox- there is and there isn't. Within Daoyin alchemy and the Dao schools there definitely is a mystical side, but still, they will probably not teach you methods of directly cultivating Jing, only Qi and Shen. Within the neijia (internal arts), Jing is utilized more as a combination of body mechanics, posture, intent, lowering the center of gravity, and adapting and redirecting the force of others. In the neijia, some schools will have you directly channel Qi in a strike, though this is not necessary for Fa Jing, and it can be done without that.

Jing can not be directly developed or manipulated in the same manner as Qi. That is to say, Jing is not an energy you can control, move around, make constructs out of, and whatnot. However, Jing can be developed for the demands of the neijia by Zhan Zhuang (Standing on Stake), which teaches you to lower the bodies' center of gravity and builds the necessary strong muscle fibers in the legs and lower back for something like Fa Jing.

Since I'm a realist, and my ideas are based in actual practice, I'm going to start right off with an idea that's immediately applicable to any martial artists out there. This is the Jing force being directly employed in a combat sense. Do I have some knowledge of transmuting Jing to Qi, and the mystic schools of alchemy? Of course. But to keep things simple and easily understandable and demonstrable, I'm going to provide links dealing with Fa Jing (which you can also find details on in Intermediate Daoyin Qigong and Applications here on Veritas).

Erle Montaigue Fa Jing video- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEdvJvza1Yc
Erle Montaigue Fa Jing essay: http://www.taijiworld.com/taiji-qigong/Articles/FADS.html
Fa Jing is like a coiled spring: http://ejmas.com/pt/2007pt/ptart_meng_0708.html
Fa Jing mechanics utilize body posture and physical principles: http://www.clearstaichi.com/fa-jing/tai-chi-fa-jing-704.html  (ignore the pronunciation of 'Jing' in the videos, it's wrong)
What are the San Bao? http://www.pro-holistic.co.uk/Definitions/what-is-sanbao.aspx
Another stance on Fa Jing: http://articles.submityourarticle.com/how-to-do-fa-jing-issuing-energy-in-tai-chi-hsing-i-and-bagua-80593
What is Fa Jing by John Chow: http://www.yellowbamboohk.com/Tai_Chi/taichiarticles/Fa%20Jing%20by%20John%20Chow.html
A great article on the San Bao from the perspective of a Xingyi Sifu: http://www.kungfu.org/messagegm31.shtml

If anyone else has links to articles on Jing and what it really is, feel free to add more.

« Last Edit: July 25, 2012, 09:34:43 PM by Koujiryuu »
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September 09, 2012, 03:10:00 AM
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I'll take a quote from my Sigungs website. "When you can generate an energy flow smoothly, the next step is to increase the volume of flow and transform it to internal force. This is transforming qi to jing (jing here refers not to substance, but to consolidated qi), and it is more effectively attained by sitting on a horse stance."
The clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him.
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[18:22] <Rayn> That makes it worst. If the people can't practically apply and create effects, it is not so good.
[18:22] <metalforever_> okay, and who in the oec can do that? i would say very very few
[18:22] <metalforever_> their too busy fondling their psiballs

January 10, 2013, 07:06:44 AM
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Similar subject was being discussed at yahoo answers last week. I can post the link if needed.

February 05, 2013, 03:56:28 AM
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I prefer and seek out simplicity and cross cultural explanations, which has been a complicated and rewarding journey. I know this is a thread specifically for Jing, but it seems Qi, Shen and Dao are important to the overall explanation of Jing and its mystery. Here are my thoughts on Jing, Qi, Shen and Dao from my limited understanding. I hope you enjoy and can take something positive from it.

Jing (chi'n) is basically power, not just physical force or brute strength or what have you, but true power (hence 'essence'), like over all health and well being. Jing is the power that fuels life, hence the referral to a battery. The Lower Dan Ti'en (tan den) in the abdomen holds the sexual fluids, which produces life, a most powerful force and is known as the Seat of Power in martial arts world wide, as it is where all strikes and movements originate from for optimal power and evasiveness and where all breath is taken in, retained and transformed into higher forms of Jing, Qi and Shen. The Jing center is related to the Svadisthanna Chakra (Wheel of the Seat of Power), related to Water- harmony, healing, strength, power, sexuality and intimacy.

Qi (ch'i) is energy, the power and constant flow of electricity and oxygen (among other subtle forces) internally (nei qi) and externally (wei qi). If Jing is the battery than Qi is the current that the battery gives off; the breath, oxygen and radiation of life. The Middle Dan Ti'en in the solar plexus retains the fire of life, or Will Power. In martial arts we strike this area to knock the breath out of the opponent, a metaphor for loss of power... once breath is gone life is gone. It is related to the Manipura Chakra (Wheel of the Brilliant House), the microcosmic Sun, the house of Will, related to Fire- passion, determination, ferocity, personal power and health (possibly the Fire of Illumination).

Shen is spirit, often referred to as mind (similar Yi [intent]), the subtlest force of creative power. If Jing is the battery, Qi the electrical current than Shen is the electrician. The Higher Dan Ti'en in the forehead is the realm of thought, intention and consciousness. It holds the most important organ of the human body, the brain as it is connected to and controls our entire nervous sytem. In martial arts when the mind is calm the body just reacts and makes the fight more like a dance (oh, Bruce Lee!), on a more advanced level we learn to project emotions through the eyes or bring up the opponents own negative emotions to confuse and over power them. It is related to the Ajna Chakra (Wheel of Command), the central station where all information comes and goes, is retained and pushed to the subconscious for future evaluation or termination (transformation, as you can never truly terminate a thought). Its element is Consciousness and is related to the five brainwaves, learning, insight, ESP and various telepathic and psychokinetic abilities.

Dao (Tao) is the empty force, stillness, static, literally the 'Way' ('do' [pronounced doh] in Japanese). It is the beginning and end of all life and existence. If Jing is the battery, Qi the electric current and Shen the electrician, then what is Dao? What is Dao? I'll leave that to the Immortals! (Not so funny) humor aside, it is the state in which we flow, act, react and 'let go' and are non-attached. It may or may not be related to the Sahasrara Chakra (Wheel of a Thousand Lotus Petals), at the tip of the head (Pa Hui). It's element is all and none, but can be comprehended as Unity or Connection and represents Divine connection, prophecy, Enlightenment. When this Chakra is fully open all other Chakras are open and flowing smoothly, creating what the Vajra Buddhists call the Rainbow Body, and others refer to as Liberation, Enlightenment, Conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel, Sainthood, etc.

All four powers, or concepts, are empowered by breathing, posture, movement, meditation, all included in nei gong and qi gong (as you already know) as well as in certain types of Yoga and various Mystery Traditions (although I would say the Daoists and Yogis [including Tibetan Yogis] have it best]. Certain Masters also say that faith and prayer are fundamental to the development of Jing, Qi, Shen and Dao, especially for Shen and Dao, as it is the Dao, and its myriad enlightened inhabitants and primordial beings, that place Realization upon the practitioner, but that is just opinion, for we still cannot fully explain the amazing power of faith, if that is even possible.

There are many complicated explanations of Jing, QI, Shen and Dao related to organs, Yin-Yang and the Five Elements Theory, but they are just words for concepts and expressions of aspects of life that must be developed and experienced, many of which are only taught to the highest disciples in the temples. We may gain health, strength and happiness, among countless other treasures, but the truest and purest understanding is only for the Realized few (by Realized I do not mean Enlightened, because I have met very powerful Daoist Wizards, and they are not Enlightened [at least not in the Buddhist term] but very powerful and knowledgeable in their craft... Realized may not be the right word, it just sounds nice in relation to the subject). Although I believe that learning from a qualified Sifu or Guru is fundamental, there is no reason not to gather, share and experiment (carefully and patiently) with the knowledge that is presented in video and written word!

I have added the Chakra correspondences because I believe it will give a greater understanding of the power of Jing, Qi, Shen and Dao, especially since it was traveling Chinese monks who frequented the temples of India and learned many things of spiritual, energetic and physical cultivation from the Great Yogis and Sadgurus (highest realization of God/Creative Source in Yoga).
"Spirit is in a state of grace forever.
Your reality is only spirit.
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

"As relfections of the Source, we are little gods."

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February 05, 2013, 09:34:46 PM
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This is a very good contribution, Mind_Bender. Thank you.

I agree with pretty much everything you've said.

The one thing I would like to emphasize, though, is that trying to define these concepts intellectually or approach them completely scientifically without experiencing them, and embodying them, will get you nowhere. I'm not inferring you are doing this; because you speak of these things as if you have true understanding of them that comes with practice. However, I'm just making a note that you cannot hope to understand these things on an intellectual level alone. There are some people I can think of in this community that question mysticism and the reality and necessity of a concept like Jing or Shen. They can easily accept Qi as a synonym for Psi, but those other forces elude their understanding, and they write them off. This is because they try to comprehend them almost entirely intellectually instead of putting them into practice in their lives by doing the work (Qigong, Microcosmic Orbit, and so on).

Regarding Dao, to say much of it is foolhardy. I try to avoid the subject.

Quote
1. THE EMBODIMENT OF TAO

Even the finest teaching is not the Tao itself.
Even the finest name is insufficient to define it.
Without words, the Tao can be experienced,
and without a name, it can be known...

...Through knowledge, intellectual thought and words,
the manifestations of the Tao are known,
but without such intellectual intent
we might experience the Tao itself.

Just be yourself, live your life, be accepting and nurturing, forgive others, forgive yourself when you err, and love others. This is embodiment.

Quote
There are many complicated explanations of Jing, QI, Shen and Dao related to organs, Yin-Yang and the Five Elements Theory, but they are just words for concepts and expressions of aspects of life that must be developed and experienced, many of which are only taught to the highest disciples in the temples. We may gain health, strength and happiness, among countless other treasures, but the truest and purest understanding is only for the Realized few (by Realized I do not mean Enlightened, because I have met very powerful Daoist Wizards, and they are not Enlightened [at least not in the Buddhist term] but very powerful and knowledgeable in their craft... Realized may not be the right word, it just sounds nice in relation to the subject). Although I believe that learning from a qualified Sifu or Guru is fundamental, there is no reason not to gather, share and experiment (carefully and patiently) with the knowledge that is presented in video and written word!

You can learn a lot from books, you can learn a lot from the internet. You can learn even more from proper meditation. Some people don't have access to instructors, and some people don't have money for it. I'd like to think what I've done here helps those types of people.

When you learn to let go of the whole idea of Enlightenment- it is hogwash- you are much better off for it. (See U.G. Krishnamurti.) A lot of people get very excited about these ancient theories, and want to profess their knowledge on them. The symbolism, stories, systems, elements, and culture blinds them. They seek after things like Enlightenment and practice with with diligence. After some time, though, it wears off and they quit practicing (oftentimes, for good). What they don't understand, is stoicism. When you only look at the surface of things, and let it affect you, it disturbs your balance. There is no need to be excited about ideas like Qi, Jing, Shen, Dao, Brahma, Kundalini, 5 Elements, Enlightenment....or in the more common cases- Teleportation, Transmutation, Levitation, Empty Force, Telepathy, and other such abilities. I have said it before and others have disagreed with me- mostly because they themselves are blinded- none of this matters. It disrupts your balance and leads to delusion. Just center yourself and live your life. Do good and love others. Meditate and become your true Self. That's all you need.

Regards.
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February 05, 2013, 11:06:05 PM
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Thank you for the reply. And I do agree full heartedly that no amount of academic study and intellectual cramming can set you up for a true understanding of Jing, Qi, Shen and, especially Dao (or whatever name fits your ideals of abstraction and utter unknowingness). I have not given up on Enlightenment because I believe there are so many ways one can be truly Enlightened although striving after such an accomplishment can cause chaos, delusion and, as you pointed out, giving up completely. Enlightenment is also highly subjective, as I have met Atheists who are more 'Enlightened' that most spiritual seekers I have met and conversed with. As the believers say, 'God' speaks through us all even if we know it or believe it or not.

Yes, the attainment of ESP, psychokinesis and Siddhis are delusions on the path leading to more desire and attachment, although on a subtle level. Although, I must be honest, attaining these powers I believe is a very rewarding and positive step on the never ending ladder to Enlightenment or Self-Realization (although we already know ourselves we just ignore us). I cannot ever hope to achieve Enlightenment, Understanding, Liberation, Godhood or Ultimate Compassion and Loving Kindness until I deal with my desires and karma... I have been searching myself and always come back to the practice of attaining, what I refer to as Siddhis, as I enjoy my desires and attachments as they fuel my inner fire. This is the truest I can be to myself and with others... doing what I love sometimes means doing what others are too afraid or too proud to do for fear they will be deluded or led down to the hell of consuming desire and attachment and questioning authority and rebelling even if you know the advice and warnings to be correct. We must walk our own path no matter the consequence. This is how we face fear and embrace courage.

Siddhis are a part of all our true selves. I have come to believe we need to experience these abilities to fully come into understanding of our true selves as these are our talents and natural to us. For those of us that honestly strive, it is meant for us... at least the striving even if the Siddhis never present themselves. I have notice something spectacular about Siddhis; one may seek the 8 Major Siddhis and the 32 Minor Siddhis but the Siddhi that will present itself first (and maybe only) is the one you are already in touch with, your natural talent. Yes, Siddhis may be a hindrance but sometimes we need to strive for desires (even if we never fulfill them) in order to disengage attachment to them. By accomplishing/getting our desire we may stay stuck in them in constant delusion and vicious cycles, but for those of us that seek heightened awareness of self and loving kindness for all others, these accomplished desires soon fall to the wind and the ones we have not attained yet also fall to the wind. Karma has settled itself and we move on ever forward in the motion of life and mystery.

As me and a good friend of mine have concluded in our personal musings, he put the words better than I ever could, "I know I don't know anything, but I don't care." As humans in bodies we are nothing but babies, toddlers at best, in this vast existence so we seek to be as our parents, our creator, this is why we question, rebel, and try to be as Gods among Gods. This is also why the practical understanding of Jing, Qi, Shen and the abilities these Three Treasures can give us are so important to the spiritual seeker. These concepts are intellectualized for those of us that have experienced them first hand so we may teach it to others in a systematic format (hence the advent of qi gong, religion and mystery traditions).

Finding a good teacher is rather hard in this society, even if we do have the money. Also, if we do have money, some teachers charge way too much for the knowledge (which makes me question their morale and compassion even if their spiritual power and authority is great). One thing I have found interesting, and now very true, is the old proverb "The teacher will come when the student is ready." If we practice diligently through books, online with forums such as this one and videos and stay true to our path than the teacher will come, whether it is a flash of insight, a spiritual guide or a physical teacher. I understand we here for no other reason than to be and the lust for knowledge and power and spiritual ability is a delusion of this existence, I must quote a few songs and lyrics starting with a very famous teen angst affirmation made famous once again by Green Day recently, "I don't care!" Which leads to the musical bafoonery with a twist of romantic maturity of Blink 182 "I guess this is growing up," to H20's philosophical stance of "One life, one chance, gotta' do it right!" to the Unseen, "Be yourself to be free!" and finally leading to the beautiful rhythms of Lindsey Stirling's "Song of the Caged Bird" and "Transcendence." In other words we fight our way onto a path of rebellion that leads to maturity. As we mature we see we have a limited time here with these precious bodies and seek to live the best life we can for benefit of ourselves and our loved ones at the very least. Once we learn to live a better life we start to evolve within and free ourselves of cultural and social restraints, freeing ourselves from the dungeon of our own creation and finally attaining a place of inner peace and outer tranquility and love and serene passion for life.

Thank you for listening.
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Your reality is only spirit.
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

"As relfections of the Source, we are little gods."

"...part of me doesn't want to believe that auto-eroticism while crushing on a doodle (sigil) could manifest a check in the mail box, but hey, it did."

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February 05, 2013, 11:12:17 PM
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I can't really reply to everything you said, however:

"I know I don't know anything, but I don't care."

"Be yourself to be free!"

These hit the nail on the head.

Siddhis don't matter. Ultimately, outside of Qigong and it's practical applications, even Qi, Jing and Shen don't matter.

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February 05, 2013, 11:29:00 PM
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I totally agree and understand none of that matters, I was just spouting why I love them and the reasons for it. All the texts (at least the more ancient ones) that I have read, even my Sifu, say Siddhis, Jing, Qi and Shen don't matter, and are actually bad for you (as they raise heat and cause qi deviations), except on a purely physical and energetic level if you want to be a powerful fighter, which such practices should be given up for Water methods as you age. For spiritual progress, BLAH!, all you need is you but for basic health and martial applications it is good to know these concepts and practice them to destroy an opponent quickly and effectively and not allow them to the same to you.
"Spirit is in a state of grace forever.
Your reality is only spirit.
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

"As relfections of the Source, we are little gods."

"...part of me doesn't want to believe that auto-eroticism while crushing on a doodle (sigil) could manifest a check in the mail box, but hey, it did."

"Everybody laughs the same language."

February 06, 2013, 01:57:52 PM
Reply #12

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Quote from: Koujiryuu
When you learn to let go of the whole idea of Enlightenment- it is hogwash- you are much better off for it. (See U.G. Krishnamurti.) A lot of people get very excited about these ancient theories, and want to profess their knowledge on them. The symbolism, stories, systems, elements, and culture blinds them. They seek after things like Enlightenment and practice with with diligence. After some time, though, it wears off and they quit practicing (oftentimes, for good). What they don't understand, is stoicism. When you only look at the surface of things, and let it affect you, it disturbs your balance. There is no need to be excited about ideas like Qi, Jing, Shen, Dao, Brahma, Kundalini, 5 Elements, Enlightenment....or in the more common cases- Teleportation, Transmutation, Levitation, Empty Force, Telepathy, and other such abilities. I have said it before and others have disagreed with me- mostly because they themselves are blinded- none of this matters. It disrupts your balance and leads to delusion. Just center yourself and live your life. Do good and love others. Meditate and become your true Self. That's all you need.

Quote
I totally agree and understand none of that matters, I was just spouting why I love them and the reasons for it.

Not to sound condescending or anything- but this is pretty much the warning I was trying to give with the above paragraph.

I don't think you're deluded, in fact I think the opposite. You've proven through your words that you know what you're talking about, in all the recent posts you've made.

However, I just want to emphasize (again) that being mystified, or even worse, obsessed with something like Qigong or Yoga and it's basic concepts and ideas is bad. That is the opposite of what these arts attempt to teach.

You must look at all the different techniques and fundamental concepts as part of a greater whole. It is said that Jing turns to Qi, Qi turns to Shen, and Shen returns to nothingness. I won't claim I'm enlightened, or I have mastered Shen, but I have tasted some of this refinement to nothingness. When you experience it, everything else falls apart, and you realize that the Dao is what's important. At that point, you lose all attachment to the basic concepts and they no longer seem exotic, or mystical. At the same time, you truly begin to believe in them wholly and accept them as the way things are. Then you learn to let go of them, and realize there is something much greater, yet at the same time very small. You can still practice the basic Qigong, Microcosmic Orbit and other trans-mutational exercises, but you don't necessarily need to. Just basic meditation is more rewarding than ever. When you have no attachment to the ideas, the ideas truly become themselves.
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February 06, 2013, 03:37:33 PM
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I understand, and you are not being condescending; I appreciate the honesty, but as one seeker to another, we as spirits held in physical bodies have no choice but to be attached to ideas, relationships, food, knowledge... it is all sustenance and survival for ourselves, and if we are aware and compassionate enough, to other beings as well. If it helps you to understand my point further, I am by far a Left-Hand idealist and practitioner; Godhood is every humans right and should be attained... as a Left-Hand philosopher I seek the essence of Continual and Autonomous Self (theologically Lucifer, Phosphorus, Set, Shiva, Kali), although I still believe in a higher power than myself, I would just rather not be its bitch (excuse the language, but it gets the point across), hence the journey towards Siddhis and the mastery of Jing, Qi and Shen... I can wait for Dao.

Some call this delusion but that is because these practices (Qigong and Yoga) have been filled by centuries of dogma. Who really knows what's right or wrong? After all it is the great Sages who say even right and wrong are delusion and we must follow our own path. We get this knowledge from Master to Student, who becomes the Master and teaches new Students, but it's lineage, not exactly truth. Left-Hand is opposite, not against, the ideas of the Right-Hand- after all the terms come from ancient Hinduism- the Right and Left Hands of God- they each seek the Creative Source just in different (and sometimes grotesque) ways. This may sound contradictory to me agreeing that none of it matters, but it is not. I do understand nothing matters but the ebb and flow of the Cycles, but as in my last post "I know I don't know everything, but I don't care."

When we meditate, whether we know it or not, we are attached to the idea of non attachment. When we are in a state of Void, which is different for all of us, yes, nothing truly matters but that union and seeking after it only deludes us more, but after that initial high and experience we must return to this world, this reality, with all its attachments and delusions, unless of course we become Enlightened at that instant.

The only problem I have with just simple meditation is sometimes events and emotions arise that we are not ready to deal with that lead us down further into delusion and attachment to other far worse perversions. The theory and practice of Yoga, Qigong and Magic of Illumination teaches us how to deal with these feelings so we are not deluded and can clear any blockages, be they physical, energetic or mental. At the highest level meditation is all we need, but that is at the highest level. (I am assuming you are talking about Chan/Zen, correct if I am wrong).

Some of us seek Union with the divine by obliteration of all sense of self (classic Buddhism), or uniting in the Eternal Glory of our All-Might Creator (Judeo-Christian) and some of us love the Creator but we want to play in their creation as self aware beings (Isolated Intelligence, as Stephen Flowers says- the Left-Hand perspective), or just damn ourselves and think we can become the Creator (delusional Left-Hand perspective).

As an aside, I am not arguing nor trying to make you wrong as your knowledge and understanding is obviously vast and appreciated, I am just presenting my opinions. All in all, it really does come down to stillness and silence, but sometimes we just need to play!
"Spirit is in a state of grace forever.
Your reality is only spirit.
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

"As relfections of the Source, we are little gods."

"...part of me doesn't want to believe that auto-eroticism while crushing on a doodle (sigil) could manifest a check in the mail box, but hey, it did."

"Everybody laughs the same language."

February 06, 2013, 06:15:20 PM
Reply #14

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I agree with a lot of what's being said especially in terms of nei gong cultivation. The emphasis of being is very strong in the dao that Wang Liping as well as many of my teachers have emphasized as is the emphasis on breaking the misconceptions about definitions.

However..

Quote
Finding a good teacher is rather hard in this society, even if we do have the money. Also, if we do have money, some teachers charge way too much for the knowledge (which makes me question their morale and compassion even if their spiritual power and authority is great). One thing I have found interesting, and now very true, is the old proverb "The teacher will come when the student is ready." If we practice diligently through books, online with forums such as this one and videos and stay true to our path than the teacher will come, whether it is a flash of insight, a spiritual guide or a physical teacher. I understand we here for no other reason than to be and the lust for knowledge and power and spiritual ability is a delusion of this existence, I must quote a few songs and lyrics starting with a very famous teen angst affirmation made famous once again by Green Day recently, "I don't care!" Which leads to the musical bafoonery with a twist of romantic maturity of Blink 182 "I guess this is growing up," to H20's philosophical stance of "One life, one chance, gotta' do it right!" to the Unseen, "Be yourself to be free!" and finally leading to the beautiful rhythms of Lindsey Stirling's "Song of the Caged Bird" and "Transcendence." In other words we fight our way onto a path of rebellion that leads to maturity. As we mature we see we have a limited time here with these precious bodies and seek to live the best life we can for benefit of ourselves and our loved ones at the very least. Once we learn to live a better life we start to evolve within and free ourselves of cultural and social restraints, freeing ourselves from the dungeon of our own creation and finally attaining a place of inner peace and outer tranquility and love and serene passion for life.

There's a lot here that really needs to be clarified I think.
In my tradition, it really is best not to practice if you don't have a teacher if your ultimate goal is to walk the path of thunder (Mo Pai, Yang Shen Dao, whatever). This can be a really huge problem especially with teachers in China. The core emphasis is this
The three treasures, while inconsequential, are very consequential especially in terms of the teacher explaining the internal and external processes here. Not everything can be learned from a book. Two examples of this that come to mind is the dan tian and breathing.

Understand that the two concepts have been so permeated in Western culture, we do have a heavy assumption that we sort of have an idea of the concepts. And some aspects of it can be correct, however, most masters will use both terms in cryptic ways. When we see dan (for instance) we will assume lower dan tian, which is correct. However, no one ever really gets that the true dan tian is the entire body. Truly entering the dan tian means literally letting go of all. It is an absence of all senses and all material reality where this is the true practice of song form begins.

I mean yeah at the end of the day the terms are inconsequential. But bear in mind, if anyone does travel to China, terms matter. The definitions matter, and so are the esoteric interpretations (even to native chinese speakers). Given this, are you sure you really want to consult a book and discover the myriad issues created with self cultivated practices?

Recall li hongzhi was a "student" of Wang Liping (he studied with him for a few sessions) and out came falun dafa. While it has a lot of political ire, the main issue is that the practices can disperse shen to levels that are difficult to heal. Even for Wang Liping. If you want to practice solo from the book, do so. Remember YMMV.

Honestly, the only time I truly began to train was when I didn't train from a book. But again, the conjecture depends on your goal of the practice. If you're goal is to study with the immortals, go ahead. Just remember, everything is measured. Everything returns back to definitions and cultural interpretation.

Ultimately, it isn't about walking the walk and talking the talk, it is being. Agreed. Just remember, if the goal is to follow the path of Chinese cultivation (especially if the goal is immortality), then you may want to study the terms and not consult just from text on the subject. I haven't come across one book that really gets it. Charles Luk's book gets aspects of it, but nothing like a good teacher.

But even finding a teacher is destiny. And sometimes that never happens...