-The Jade Emperor's
Heart Seal Classic-
The Yu Huang Xin Yin Miao Jing 玉皇心印妙经 (Jade Emperor's Mind Seal Classic), similar to the Qing Jing Jing 清静经 , is a short Daoist text with an emphasis on the importance of preserving and cultivating the three treasures (Jing, Qi, Shen 精炁神). Reading this Daoist canon helps practitioners of Daoist living to understand the necessity for preserving Jing, Qi, and Shen and how to practice correctly.
The first two lines of this text explain clearly the importance of this practice:
上药三品，神与气精 （Shàng yào sān pin, shén yu qì jīing）
These two lines state that the highest and best medicine is comprised of three parts: Jing, Qi , and Shen; all of which are contained within the human body. 精Jing can be loosely translated as essence; 气Qi can be loosely translated as vital energy or subtle breath; and 神Shen can be loosely translated as spirit. In order for us to be healthy, strong and balanced individuals it is essential that we learn practices which enables us to cultivate these three vitalities in our bodies. Sometimes in our practice of meditation we feel nothing, only that we are sitting for a long period of time. However, the Yu Huang Xin Yin Miao Jing tells us that this is normal and merely the first step in our meditation practice, and with continued and devoted practice, as the temperament and heart begin to calm and the mind races less, we begin to experience new feeling. We begin by fixing our bodies and supplementing our deficiencies and then move onto quieting our minds and emotions.
Because Daoist cultivation requires a disciplined and devoted practice, it is essential that we follow the natural laws of Daoist cultivation in order to advance and progress. If we are always wasting our energies (both physically and mentally), then we will never be able to progress in our practice. If we are devoted to our practice and take our training seriously, then we will bear the fruits of our efforts.
Jing, Qi, and Shen are all interconnected in our practice of meditation. We have to make sure in strengthening and cultivating the three treasures in our bodies that we avoid allowing ourselves to waste these energies. This should not be understood as merely physical wasting and spending. One of the greatest ways in which we waste our bodily energies is through our emotions. If our emotions are in a constant flux or imbalance, a great amount of energy is being spent, as opposed to being retained and stored, and thus imbalance is created. Not only are the Jing, Qi, and Shen in our bodies interrelated, but our physical bodies and our emotions are also interrelated. Each of the 5 major organs correlates to each of the 5 emotions. We can see from this that it is not only important to have a healthy and balanced body, but also a healthy and balanced mind. If we want to improve our Jing, Qi and Shen, then we must improve our bodily health as well as our mental and emotional balance.
It is only by our constant devoted practice that we can continue to cultivate the three treasures in our bodies and enjoy the wonderful benefits of that cultivation. As our cultivation and practice grow we can begin to understand more and advance deeper into our experience of Dao, and when we understand our practice more deeply and can learn to abide by the natural laws of our practice we can learn to truly enjoy the path that we are on. But we must make sure that we are practicing correctly.
In order for us to understand that you can 'instantly have success' with our practice we must understand that 道不言寿 Dao does not discuss time or age. When we understand this, we can then understand why 10 or 20 years is only an instant. Knowledge is only gained through great experience and its processes. Dao is endless and timeless. Our conceptions of time in relation to Dao is merely an instant. If we are really interested in practicing Daoism, we must understand that it takes great devotion, discipline, and continued practice. If we understand this, then it is much easier for us to connect with Dao and excel in our practice and cultivation. These are natural laws of Daoism and Daoist practice.