tao of healthHow to stay healthy?

“Eat right, do exercises, sleep well,” you may say.  “So many things!  It is not easy to enumerate …”

If you want a simple answer, see what Tao has to say.  It succinctly puts the maintenance of health in three words:  The balance of jing(精), qi  (气) and shen (神) .

If you can align these three things and keep them robust, you are spirited and full of energy.

Let’s look at each of them in turn.

Jing is the essence of our life.  It came along with us when we were born.  This explains why it is also sometimes described as ‘original jing’ or ‘parental jing‘.  It remains in our body ever since.  To stay healthy,  you must not allow it to deplete.

What happens if it does?  We die.

How to keep jing from depleting?  A simple answer is to maintain a moderate lifestyle.

Like Lao Tzu says,

“Therefore the sage avoids extremes, excesses, and complacency.”

Do not overdo things.  Do not overindulge.  Sex is good, but avoid having it too much.  Exercise is good, but not to the extent of straining yourself.  Aiming high in your career is good, but not at the expense of life balance.

The second thing is qi.  Translated also as chi, it refers to the vital energy in our body.  Qi is not just the air we breathe in, but also the energy that keeps things alive.

Not all qi is good.  There is good ones and the bad.  By eating right and exercising the proper way, we take in qi of good nature and discharge the bad ones.  Exercises like tai Chi and Qi gong are conducted with good circulation of the qi in mind, although other exercises help us with the qi as well.

What is shen then?

Shen may be translated as spirit.  Do not, however, confuse it with spirit in the religious sense.  It refers more to the mental alertness.  It is the spirit that not only helps us control our body, but also enable us to think clearly, maintain a higher level of self awareness and stay connected with the universe.  It is so vital as having it distinguishes us from being an animal.

Richness of jing and qi help us to nurture our shen.  Cultivation of shen, for the same token, enhances our jing and qi.

If we can get these three treasures so dear to our vitality strong and aligned with each other, we are assured of a pink of health.

Thanks Fit Approach for the picture.

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