The Spirit of Heart-Shen

analytical

Shen is the ebullient spirit of the Heart. Shen embodies mind and thought and is reflected in our higher consciousness. Shen was first discussed in the Huangdi Neijing medical classic in the chapter called the Root of Spirit:   ‘Heaven abides so that we have virtue; Earth abides so that we have Qi; When virtue […]

Alchemy of Chinese Herbs

analytical

Herbs and roots are life-nourishing. They are sustenance as well as medicine, and convey nature’s forces.  Through their connection to the natural world, herbs and roots of Chinese medicine imbue their resonance with these forces within us. Regulated by the rhythms of Yin and Yang, influenced by the 5 elements (sun, soil, minerals, water, and […]

Incense and Rooting the Spirit

analytical

The sense orifice of smell can have strong effects on the aspect of Spirit known in Chinese medicine as Shen. Burning clean, resinous incense can open the Heart-Spirit, and in part, enhances our remembering of what is important. Incense prepared with quality medicinal substances has the ability, as thought in shamanic and alchemical traditions, to […]

Heart Relationship to Sense Organs

analytical

The five sensory orifices, referring to the nose, ears, eyes, lips, and tongue, are each paired with specific visceral organs. In particular, the Heart, regarded as ‘the emperor or sovereign ruler’, gives residence to Shen – a level of ‘Spirit’ which activates all mental activities, as well as perceives the emotional stimulus of all of […]

Stillness of Heart and Mind

analytical

The Heart never stops storing impressions and yet it also knows “emptiness.” From birth, we have the capacity to know things by creating distinctions, differentiations, divisions, partiality, and thus duality; and yet also the Heart presence knows “unity.” In its experiencing, the Heart keeps moving, and yet also knows stillness. When the mind is used, […]

The Pivotal Role of Emotions

analytical

How All Disease Is a Matter of Heart-Spirit, According to Classical Chinese Medicine  The defining classics of Chinese medicine establish that it is the invisible forces of Shen [Heart-Spirit] and Qi [vital energy] that rule matter. While western medicine is rooted in the modern science of matter analysis, modern and ancient physicians of classical oriental medicine […]

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