What would your life look like if all aspects of who you are (physical, emotional and mental) were in alignment? What if you could line up your internal energy with the energy of the universe, so that life became more about ‘flow and ease’ than about ‘effort and struggle’?
According to the Taoists, the human being is born ‘already arrived’. We don’t have to do anything to prove ourselves, nor strive to become anything that we are not.
We are here on Earth to simply be who we naturally are. Just as an acorn is destined to become an oak tree, we have been gifted with the vital energy and innate intelligence to become the highest expression of ourselves.
Taoism describes the sacred gifts we have inside us as the ‘three treasures’. They are Jing (the intelligent energy of the body), Qi (the intelligent energy of the heart) and Shen (the intelligent energy of the mind/consciousness).
These treasures are not separate from each other, but one primordial substance manifest in different forms, constantly influencing the other.
Each of the three treasures corresponds to one of the three ‘dan tiens’ or ‘elixir fields’, which are the main energy centres in the body.
· Jing relates to the lower dan tien, located around the navel area. Jing represents the deep foundational energy reserves of the body. It is believed that Jing determines our vitality and the quantity and quality of our lifespan. The more Jing, the greater the Qi.
· Qi corresponds to the middle dan tien, located in the heart area. Known as ‘life-force energy’, Qi is the bridge between matter (Jing) and spirit (Shen). When Qi flows through us unrestricted, our emotions become elevated, and we feel more alive. As life-force energy builds up and circulates in the body, it enlightens the mind and awakens higher consciousness.
· Shen is associated with the upper dan tien, located at the third-eye. It transcends time and space and connects us to our intuition and our spirit. In Taoism, Shen is said to be ‘the ruler’. When Shen is in charge of our life, we make wise decisions and everything falls into place.
In the ancient art of Qi Gong, one of the branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine, there is a saying: “Transform Jing to Qi and Qi to Shen”. Our energy is constantly transforming from one state to another, like ice to water, and water to vapour. Qi Gong shows us how to work with our energy in a very skilful way to integrate and create a sense of harmony within.
When the energy of our body, heart and mind is empowered and in alignment, we feel whole. There is a seamless flow between the energy within us and the energy around us.
Both Taoism and Qi Gong remind us that, as humans, we are connected to Heaven, Earth and all of Nature. Everything in the Universe (uni-verse) is part of the ‘one song’, and we are part of an energy field that is infinitely more creative, organised, abundant and miraculous that anything we can even conceive of.
Just like the rest of Nature, we have been designed and ‘programmed’ with all that we need to grow, thrive and heal.
Unfortunately, however, most of us identify with the ‘acquired Qi’ – the beliefs that have been imprinted on us from the outside – from our family, culture, society and the media. We have not been taught how to connect with our ‘original Qi’ – the energy we were born with.
If we don’t recognise the gifts that we have, our energy becomes very heavy. We may struggle with low self-esteem or a lack of purpose. We may believe that we are trapped or stuck, deprived of the freedom to choose what brings us joy.
The transformation happens when we let go of the acquired Qi and see the miracle we really are. Life then becomes much lighter, more guided, and more fun. We start to tune into the real power inside us, instead of searching outside ourselves to find happiness and fulfilment.
In the words of international Qi Gong expert, Lee Holden: “The greatest hunger in life is not for food, money, success, status, sex, or love. People have achieved these things and wound up feeling dissatisfied. The deepest hunger in life is for that treasure that is revealed only when a person is willing to unlock a hidden part of the self.”
For more than 3000 years, the practice of Qi Gong has provided a ‘how-to’ guide to energising the body, balancing the emotions, calming the mind, and becoming still enough to make contact with our eternal self and our own divinity.
Thankfully, this timeless wisdom - so simple yet so profound - is still available today to all who seek to excavate the treasures buried within.