dmattwads

Jing: Exploring misconceptions and misunderstandings

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Posted (edited)

     I very hesitantly open the Jing topic again, but defiantly NOT to get in the gory graphic details of how to supposedly retain it, work with it, and define it as  precious bodily fluids and what not which is why this belongs in the general discussion as opposed to the Grotto areas. I feel that there is a lot of confusion, misunderstanding, and frustration regarding this topic which could be alleviated with some rather simple clarification. 

 

      So to begin with I'll put this out there immediately Jing is NOT semen or sperm. Jing is not a physical substance. Jing or essence is an energetic substance. Granted of the various energetic substances it is one of the grossest and most dense but it is still energetic. It isn't my goal to just repeat what the texts books say about Jing. Anyone can do that with a simple google search. What I want to do is combine what the text books teach with what I have observed in practice as a TCM practitioner and personally as a cultivator. 

 

    So what IS Jing. Jing might be compared to what Plato meant as the ideal form, or the essence of something. As with a lot of terms in TCM a one to one literal translation or correspondence into Western vernacular is difficult. So I will attempt to give several examples of various manifestations of how Jing expresses itself in the world. Being that Jing is also known as essence and essence is defined by Webster as: "the basic nature of a thing; the quality or qualities that make a things what it is". Being that it is the fundamental nature of a thing, then when it comes to human beings for example there are several ways this can translate and some ways in which there is no real adequate translation. 

    One of the first and most basic areas in the domain of Jing are genetics which more specifically relates to the "pre-natal" Jing, or the Jing that one  inherits from their parents. Someone with a large amount of Jing generally has a healthy constitution and tends towards the intelligent side. On the other hand those with congenital deformities, defects, and a generally weak constitution are said to have less or deficient Jing.

        It is this basic relation to the genetic code and the more animalistic side of the physical body which makes celibacy difficult, it is the nature of Jing to not want to conserve itself. The animalistic programing of our genetics, of our Jing is to perpetuate the species above almost everything else other than raw immediate physical survival. Since it is in the nature of Jing to reproduce this is why the issue of celibacy is difficult. It goes against the code of and in Jing. We are literally accumulating more of the stuff that drives us to consume Jing. Transcending this urge and pattern is in the domain of Shen not Jing which brings us to the catch 22 of conserving enough Jing for enough time to build Shen to the level of breaking the cycle, but until then it is not an easy thing to do.

    In so much as it has a relation to genetics then naturally it has a link to the areas of genetics that pertain to the perpetuation of the species, i.e. reproduction and all things related. This is where its connection to sperm enters the picture. Jing is used to create sperm, but is no more the sperm or the semen than the factory that makes the car is the car. The Jing would more accurately correspond so the design schematics for the car than the car itself.  

      If then Jing is not sperm then why is there the connection between semen retention and Jing conservation? I'm going to assume that this association arose from a misunderstanding of the activities that actually do increase Jing consumption which do have an association with semen, which is PLEASURE. It is not the creation of semen that consumes Jing at an accelerated rate, but the use of Jing in the orgasmic experience. It is when there is an orgasm that Jing is consumed at an accelerated rate. This is not just limited to orgasm of course. The accelerated consumption of Jing is facilitated by various activities that are associated with highly pleasurable states that involve the body, such as hard core drug use. This is why heroin and meth addicts age at a rapidly accelerated rate. From a TCM perspective the drugs in and of themselves don't create the please of the high as much as the Jing release. Also things that artificially temporarily boost energy when energy is otherwise expended consume Jing at an accelerated rate such as lots of caffeine or energy drinks. Granted Jing is used at a lesser rate all the time in the process of living and when ones Jing supply gets lower aging sets in and when it is consumed entirely death occurs. 

     This being the case if one were to use techniques where orgasm is achieved but semen is retained there is no Jing conservation in this as the orgasmic process IS what consumes the Jing at an accelerated rate. On the other hand Jing conservation does have its uses for sure. Since Jing is the grossest of the three treasures of Jing, Qi, and Shen it provides a foundation and starting place to increase and develop the others. This is why we eat food. We consume the Jing of the food we eat and our digestive systems extract the food Jing. When it is combined with the air Jing from our Lungs in the San Jiao (triple burner) then the combined food and air Jing are refined into Qi. So simply eating and drinking are one of the basic methods to convert Jing into Qi. As long as the qi supply is fairly plentiful less of our pre-natal Jing is required to be converted into Qi and thus it is conserved. So if you want to conserve your Jing, eat well, breath fresh air, get lots of rest, you know all the stuff your doctor and mother tell you to do. 

       What then is the story behind semen retention, celibacy, and Jing conversion? Is it all just bunk or is there any truth behind it all? It does have a place, and this is why so many of the major cultivation movements have celibacy as a requirement. When one is no longer consuming Jing at an accelerated rate through activities like orgasm then it has a chance to accumulate to the point where the body can use it for other purposes and the excess can be utilized to be converted into qi. What then is the advantage of having more qi then? Once the qi has increased it begins to flow through the channels in larger amounts which has the effects of opening blockages and accumulating in greater quantity. When the qi reaches a sufficient quantity it then can be converted into Shen. I have glossed over some of the details in this part of the process, but that was beyond the scope of the topic being written about. 

   

   To summarize, semen is not Jing. Retaining semen while reaching orgasm with not conserve Jing. Jing is conserved by avoiding Jing consuming activities that are often associated with elevated levels of physical pleasure. Once Jing is retained qi increases. Once qi increases Shen increases.   

Edited by dmattwads
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Thanks for that sensible information.  A few questions...

 

If somebody especially needed to "nourish their jing" how would they know it?  Are there specific signs and syptoms to look out for?  

 

Do you have any advice for cultivating jing above and beyond the commonsense suggestions of eating right, resting, etc?

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, liminal_luke said:

Thanks for that sensible information.  A few questions...

 

If somebody especially needed to "nourish their jing" how would they know it?  Are there specific signs and syptoms to look out for?  

 

Do you have any advice for cultivating jing above and beyond the commonsense suggestions of eating right, resting, etc?

 

I will try to keep the answer as basic as possible to try to avoid as much confusion as I can. One of the primary manifestations of the Jing beginning to be depleted to a level that is noticeable are the general signs of aging. Wrinkles, thinning and/or greying hair, lower back problems, loss of memory and cognition, fatigue, weakness, ect. So for the average lay person that is not interested in cultivation of the mind/Shen these are the most common things to look for. 

 

As far as cultivating Jing beyond eating and resting there are many methods. One of the easiest are essence tonifying herbs. The reduction of physical body based pleasure is also an important method as to reduce consumption. Beyond that practices that balance yin and yang are helpful (i.e. physical movement/exercise and static practices such as mediation) since essence comes first when the body is developing and then the differentiation of yin and yang, so it stands to reason that balancing and uniting yin and yang can be beneficial in conserving Jing.

Edited by dmattwads
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1 hour ago, dmattwads said:

It is not the creation of semen that consumes Jing at an accelerated rate, but the use of Jing in the orgasmic experience.


Orgasm depletes Jing - but even simple arousal does it too.
 

Become sexually aroused and an aspect of Jing (the aspect one wishes to work with alchemically - preheaven yang Jing) descends and gets ready to create a new life.

 

If you orgasm and ejaculate - it goes to create a baby. If you don’t ejaculate (but keep getting aroused) you’ll still ‘load the gun’ - and over time you’ll create stagnation.

 

Over time this stagnation leads to what’s known as ‘muddying the waters’. Basically heightened compulsive lust and a kind of emotional emptiness and depletion.

 

If you have intimate sex in a loving relationship, but not ejaculate, the energetics can balance between you and you will be slightly less depleted (though it’s still inescapable) and it won’t cause stagnation. 

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1 hour ago, dmattwads said:

So what IS Jing. Jing might be compared to what Plato meant as the ideal form, or the essence of something.


At a deeper level, Jing is also your essence at the level of your Ming (or Karma) coming into form from your primordial, ‘soul’ through the Ming Men (the gate of life) and into your local physical self.

 

 

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1 hour ago, freeform said:


Orgasm depletes Jing - but even simple arousal does it too.
 

Become sexually aroused and an aspect of Jing (the aspect one wishes to work with alchemically - preheaven yang Jing) descends and gets ready to create a new life.

 

If you orgasm and ejaculate - it goes to create a baby. If you don’t ejaculate (but keep getting aroused) you’ll still ‘load the gun’ - and over time you’ll create stagnation.

 

Over time this stagnation leads to what’s known as ‘muddying the waters’. Basically heightened compulsive lust and a kind of emotional emptiness and depletion.

 

If you have intimate sex in a loving relationship, but not ejaculate, the energetics can balance between you and you will be slightly less depleted (though it’s still inescapable) and it won’t cause stagnation. 

 

56 minutes ago, freeform said:


At a deeper level, Jing is also your essence at the level of your Ming (or Karma) coming into form from your primordial, ‘soul’ through the Ming Men (the gate of life) and into your local physical self.

 

 

 

In my original version I had included arousal as a Jing depleting activity but decided to omit it in order to streamline my point, but yes arousal will deplete Jing as well. It's ironic that the activities that Jing motivates, deplete Jing. 

 

Yes I agree that the pre-natal Jing is what carries our Karma. Since the prenatal Jing is stored in the Kidney I have noticed that when I do mantras that have a purging effect on Karma I urinate more. I assume this is part of the karmic purging process.

 

I did notice in the past when I practiced retention while having sex with someone else that the process of exchanging energy with the other person caused me to take on some of that persons characteristics. Sometimes this was good sometimes this was bad. It did indeed reduce stagnation, but brought with it, its own set of issues.  

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In alchemy ‘alchemical water’ fills the cauldron in the ldt and ‘alchemical water’ has to rise to the mdt, wouldn’t this alchemical water actually be jing, found only on the subtle level?

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30 minutes ago, Bindi said:

In alchemy ‘alchemical water’ fills the cauldron in the ldt and ‘alchemical water’ has to rise to the mdt, wouldn’t this alchemical water actually be jing, found only on the subtle level?

 

That is my understanding.

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Hello,

 

It seems to me that, celibate people, like priests, do not live much longer than average people, similarly to the thing, that athletes do not live much longer than average people.

 

Can anyone elaborate on this?

 

Thank you.

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2 minutes ago, Indiken said:

Hello,

 

It seems to me that, celibate people, like priests, do not live much longer than average people, similarly to the thing, that athletes do not live much longer than average people.

 

Can anyone elaborate on this?

 

Thank you.


Life Expectancy depends on the density and robustness of your silver thread.

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2 minutes ago, XianGong said:


Life Expectancy depends on the density and robustness of your silver thread.

 

What is silver thread?

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5 minutes ago, Indiken said:

What is silver thread?


The energy given before birth, that binds your soul to your body.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Indiken said:

Hello,

 

It seems to me that, celibate people, like priests, do not live much longer than average people, similarly to the thing, that athletes do not live much longer than average people.

 

Can anyone elaborate on this?

 

Thank you.

 

Yes I can elaborate on this. There have been studies done that show on average priests, monks, and nuns do indeed tend to live longer than the average population. I attached one such study for those who like numbers, graphs, and research studies.

 

 

122836.pdf

Edited by dmattwads
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On 10/1/2021 at 12:27 PM, dmattwads said:

To summarize, semen is not Jing. Retaining semen while reaching orgasm with not conserve Jing. Jing is conserved by avoiding Jing consuming activities that are often associated with elevated levels of physical pleasure. Once Jing is retained qi increases. Once qi increases Shen increases. 

Jing is energy in a continuum of consciousness (shen) in movement (Qi) before taking material form (matter). 
 

Jing is conserved by not letting the mind scatter - one of the things that happens to do so is wanton sexual mental habits. Compulsive patterns of mind such as overthinking, worrying, anger/shame/guilt are also factors that scatter the mind and therefore expend jing. So not physical activity but compulsive mental activities affect jing/quality of jing. 
 

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18 minutes ago, dwai said:

Jing is energy in a continuum of consciousness (shen) in movement (Qi) before taking material form (matter). 
 

Jing is conserved by not letting the mind scatter - one of the things that happens to do so is wanton sexual mental habits. Compulsive patterns of mind such as overthinking, worrying, anger/shame/guilt are also factors that scatter the mind and therefore expend jing. So not physical activity but compulsive mental activities affect jing/quality of jing. 
 

 

I think this is one of the things the Buddha was getting at when he spoke of craving and clinging being the cause of samsaric suffering.

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Posted (edited)

My experience on this subject:

 

1. Jing is semen indeed, BUT the underlying energetic principle. It's your root, the connection to the physical realm. Your animal sign (Yin) will tell you how much Jing you have and it is directly related to Kidney strength.

 

Water Pig lots of Jing. Rise families with several children.

Fire Horse very little. Celibacy is recommended for people born in a Fire Horse Year (1966, upcoming 2026).  Famous Buddhist monks were all Fire Horses.

 

2. Once a certain amount of Jing has been developed resulting from a healthy diet, fresh air and energetic-meditative practices one must move a lot in order to allow circulation of that Jing to prevent stagnation hence increased sexual desire. Sex is logically the best venue to dissipate/eliminate Jing. The downside of this is that your overall 'spiritual' energy will diminish greatly so you need to start all over again when Jing is lost due to sexual activity or leakage.

 

3. *One meal a day before noon keeps Jing levels in balance diminishing sexual desire. 

 

4. Vegetarianism decreases sexual desire enormously.

 

5. Fasting for long periods of time will also eliminate sexual desire and excessive Jing build up.

 

Buddhism follows these principles too but they don't talk about it officially the same way Taoism has. 

 

Hope this all helps. :)
 

*Years of removing Qi blockages, clearing the internal organs, opening the joints of the entire body, softening of the entire tendon-muscular system, elimination of internal heat and dampness will finally allow one to cope with eating one meal a day (especially during the warmer months and depending on mental & physical activity).

Edited by Gerard

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On 10/2/2021 at 6:44 PM, Gerard said:

My experience on this subject:

 

1. Jing is semen indeed, BUT the underlying energetic principle. It's your root, the connection to the physical realm. Your animal sign (Yin) will tell you how much Jing you have and it is directly related to Kidney strength.

 

Water Pig lots of Jing. Rise families with several children.

Fire Horse very little. Celibacy is recommended for people born in a Fire Horse Year (1966, upcoming 2026).  Famous Buddhist monks were all Fire Horses.

 

2. Once a certain amount of Jing has been developed resulting from a healthy diet, fresh air and energetic-meditative practices one must move a lot in order to allow circulation of that Jing to prevent stagnation hence increased sexual desire. Sex is logically the best venue to dissipate/eliminate Jing. The downside of this is that your overall 'spiritual' energy will diminish greatly so you need to start all over again when Jing is lost due to sexual activity or leakage.

 

3. *One meal a day before noon keeps Jing levels in balance diminishing sexual desire. 

 

4. Vegetarianism decreases sexual desire enormously.

 

5. Fasting for long periods of time will also eliminate sexual desire and excessive Jing build up.

 

Buddhism follows these principles too but they don't talk about it officially the same way Taoism has. 

 

Hope this all helps. :)
 

*Years of removing Qi blockages, clearing the internal organs, opening the joints of the entire body, softening of the entire tendon-muscular system, elimination of internal heat and dampness will finally allow one to cope with eating one meal a day (especially during the warmer months and depending on mental & physical activity).


Great advice as always and the real nugget is first determining the Animal sign you were born under…it will tell you what path/advice you should follow for your specific manifestation, i.e I am a Metal Pig, your general advice of fasting, sexual restraint, living in selection, etc. would not apply to me, a Fire Horse like you has more to “fear” from living in the world and “spending” some JING here and there along the householder pathway. 
 

Deepest respect my friend, you are a man truly walking a real Practice 🙇‍♂️
 

I have always followed your posts with great expectations as they usually contain wisdom, practicality, and are imbued with Being 🙏

Edited by yugenphoenix

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