The Taoist symbol for balance and cycles represented as the yin yang

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Shen - Spirit, The energy that powers your 'Mind'

by Grace Curley

The Third Treasure

👁 Shen (Mind or "Spirit")

The final Treasure, “Shen,” is translated as “Spirit” or “Mind.” The Shen is responsible for powering our consciousness, cognition, emotional life and our sensation of “presence”

The Shen is responsible for all of our "conscious" activities such as thinking, planning, and feeling.

While in biomedicine, the body and the spirit are often considered to be separate entities, and may be cared for by separate professions (doctors for the body; psychologists, therapists, or religious leaders for the mind and spirit), Taoists see the Shen as an essential aspect of maintaining a healthy and joyous human existance.

Disorders of the spirit (mind) can often be the cause of illness in the body, and vice versa. For Taoists, it is important to address both the physical and mental/spiritual aspects of disease.

To cultivate and improve your three treasures:

  • Eat nutritious, unprocessed food
  • Get plenty of rest (especially REM sleep)
  • Find balance in work and play
  • Avoid excessive drinking
  • Find time to engage in your favourite creative activities (i.e. painting, dancing, cooking; anything that engages your joy and creativity)

To correct energetic imbalances and blockages, practice more Tai Chi and Qi-gong. Practices like these are not just a physical exercise; it is an energetic practice where you must learn to "feel" and "move" the energy within your body.

These kinds of Taoist energy practices are the most effective way to directly improve your three treasures. Other activities include: reading good literature, listening to inspiring music, painting, gardening and enjoying nature. Literally anything that "gets the creative juices flowing" will work towards nurturing and maintaining the health of your Three Treasures.

When we begin to practice Tai Chi and Qigong techniques, we experience an inner world. We gradually see that in order to improve the outer world, we need to work on the inner world. If we are unaware of our behaviour towards ourselves, it will be almost impossible to know our weaknesses in relationships.

Training in the internal arts develops an awareness of the body and mind. Over time, this new found self-awareness grows and can be applied to other areas of our lives. Because, it is only when we become consciously aware of a situation that we are able to do something about it.

Ignorance is certainly not bliss.

Taoist Masters believe that destiny is in our hands. It is up to each of us to take responsibility for our lives.

Now you have a solid understanding of the Three Treasures (Jing, Qi & Shen) and how they govern the health and wellbeing of your body; Continue reading to learn how to circulate and multiply the energies so that you can increase your vibration and further awaken your consciousness.

🌙   Access Next Lesson:
Introduction to using The Force - Understanding the Microcosmic Orbit

🐉   Start your training in the Tao

🔥 Level 1: Novice


Beginners introduction to Taoism

⋄ Healing

Inner Smile Meditation for Good Health

⋄ Tao Fundamentals

The Three Treasures of the human body

🌞 Level 2: Apprentice

⋄ Alchemy Fundamentals

Jing Energy
(Energy of the body)

⋄ Alchemy Fundamentals

Qi Energy
(Energy of life)

⋄ Alchemy Fundamentals

Access the Shen
(Spirit / the Mind)

☯️ Level 3: Adept

⋄ Practical Exercise, Energy-work

Microcosmic Orbit: How to cultivate 'Chi' energy

⋄ Practical Exercise, Organ Healing

Six Healing Sounds

👁 Level 4: Advanced Training ~ Coming Soon