Shaolin Temple Yunnan Logo

Jing, Qi, Shen the three treasures

The human body has three treasures called Jing, Qi and Shen.
Qi is more known, but Jing and Shen are equally important.

jing, qi, shen


Qi means the vital Energy or life force. It is invisible and cannot be touched, but it helps the human body think and perform a movement. Qi is present in a person’s life, and it allows one to carry out life activities. The Qi enters the body through the nose (Yang Gate) and flows through the meridians and collaterals to nourish and preserve the zhang fu (viscera). Through the constant interaction and change between Yin and Yang, life started. Qi is the activity of Yin and Yang. All movement, functioning, and thought are the result of Qi. The nature of Qi is to move. Qi is produced due to the functions of the Lungs and Spleen. Therefore, Qi tonics strengthen the digestive and respiratory systems. When Qi condenses, it transforms into Jing. Fast-moving Qi is Yang, and slow-moving Qi is Yin.
The blood is considered to be a part of the Qi component. Blood is produced from the food digested after the Qi has been extracted through the action of the Spleen. The red blood cells are nutritive and associated with the Ying Qi (Yin). The white blood cells are protective and associated with Wei Qi (Yang). Qi tonics, a combination of Energy and Blood tonics, increase the body’s ability to function fully and adapt.


Jing, also known as the “ultimate treasure” or “regenerative essence”, is small. It exists before the body is conceived. Jing enters the body to become the roots of human body vitality. Jing associates with the genetic potential and influences the ageing process. It acts like a reserve necessary to adapt to life stress. Jing controls the reproductive system, mental clarity and focus, and the integrity of one’s physical structure. Jing, a blend of Yin and Yang Energy, is said to be stored in the ‘Kidney.’ Strong Jing in the kidneys will lead to juventology. The decrease or loss of Jing leads to physical and mental degeneration and a short lifespan. Therefore, the amount of Jing will determine the life span and vitality. Jing has recently been associated with the hormones of the reproductive and adrenal glands. Jing is the vital Essence concentrated in the sperm and ova. If Jing is present in the body, the body is healthy, vigorous, and youthful. Longevity is maintained with Jing’s Energy unhurt. If there is no Jing, there is no life. Jing diminishes in the body, especially by chronic and acute stress, pain or illness, overwork, excessive emotions, and sexual excess (primarily in men). Extreme menstrual patterns, pregnancy and childbirth can result in a dramatic drain on the Jing of a woman, especially in middle-aged women. Eventually, every person runs out of Jing, and thus everyone dies (at least physically).

theravada monk, buddhist, religion-1750856.jpg
novice, buddhism, monks-4479081.jpg


An old Chinese proverb says: “A sound mind lives inside a sound body.” Shen translates as the Spirit or the mind and develops by combining the Qi and Jing. A good spirit comes from a sound Jing and Qi. When Qi and Jing are in balance, the Shen is strong. When the emotions are under control, the body is healthy. When cultivated, Shen will bring inner peace and a sound mind. Spirit directs the Qi. It is the most important of the Three Treasures because it reflects humans’ higher nature. Shen is the all-embracing love that resides in the heart, a spiritual radiance, the ultimate and most refined level of energetics that exist in the universe. Shen is not an emotion or a state of mind. It rules over the emotions and manifests as all-encompassing compassion and non-discriminating, non-judgemental awareness. Shen is expressed as love, compassion, kindness, generosity, acceptance, forgiveness and tolerance. Shen is the higher knowledge that exists no matter the dual and cyclical nature, often obscuring the vision and creating an illusion. It manifests as wisdom and the ability to see all sides of all issues rise above the world of right and wrong, good and bad, yours and mine, high and low.

When Jing develops, Qi increases. When Qi is abundant, the Shen is strong like a holy monk.

Shopping Cart