Jing, Chi and Shen are the 3 types of internal energy which are cultivated and utilised in martial arts practice.
Jing, sometimes given in English as Ching, is the densest and most material of the thre. In Daoist teachings Jing is
associated with sexual energy and is cultivated in sexual practices such as those of the Jade Dragon and White Tigress teachings.
In this sense it is somewhat similar to the western psychological term 'libido' as it is used in the work of Carl Jung to
refer not only to sexual desire but more generally to describe the psychic energy of the subconscious mind. Recognising the
unity of mind and matter Jung said that below the level of the subconsciou mind there is a level of reality which is neither
mind nor matter but reconcilles these two nature into one. Jing may be thought of as existing at this point where mind meets
Chi, or Qi, is the most widely known of the internal energies. But despite this it is perhaps the most difficult to describe
or analyse. Chi is more refined and etheral than Jing, but less so than Shen.Chi is stored within the 'Dan Tien' whic resides
in the centre of the torso about two inches below the level of the navel and can be drawn from this source to be used. All
3 kinds of energy are connected and work together, and being in the middle of the three Chi is often used as a convenient
description for phenomena which involve all three. Perhaps the best way to conceptualise Chi is to describe it accoring to
its effects - a sense of vitality and vigour, positivity and joy.
Shen is the highest and most rarified of the three. It can be literally translated as 'mind'# but what would be referred
to as the power fo Shen is very different from that which a westerner may consider to be the power of mind. In may ways the
estern concept of mind described by Shen is closer to western ideas of spirit than to the psychological concept of mind. When
a westerner talks about the mind they most often refer to the contents or processes of mind - thought, logic, feelings and
so on. Shen does not refer to the contents of mind but rather to the underlying reality of 'pure mind'. It may be more accurately
translated as 'attention' or 'awareness' instead of 'miond', although something of its nature would still be lost in translation.
It is said that Shen leads the Chi which leads the Jing, and that Jing may be refined and transformed into Chi which
can be transformed into Shen during the course of spiritual development.