The 5 Aspects of Shen in the Yin organs

Shen, one of the ‘3 Treasures’ together with Jing and Qi, translates into English as spirit. However, this spirit doesn’t exist apart from our body but communicates with and from our body into other realms. Shen resides in the Upper dantian energy field, and also travels throughout our body within our blood. Many traditions believe the spirit or essence of a being resides in their blood. Apart from the upper dantian and our blood stream, shen is also expressed through each of our 5 Yin organs: Heart, Lungs, Liver, Spleen and Kidneys. 

SHEN The Emperor / Heart

Our Heart houses xin spirit or ‘mind’, associated with the Fire element. Xin reflects the quality of our consciousness through our eyes. When we are peacefully heart-centred, our direction seems clear and our eyes shine with ‘good shen’. We can think with our Heart and become aware of our deep feelings and beautiful desires. A sense of poised self emerges. We ‘speak from the heart’.

PO The Corporal Soul / Lungs

Our Lungs house po spirit our ‘corporeal soul’, associated with the Metal element. Po embodies our every day desires, our short-term concerns, happinesses and disappointments, that are felt in tandem with our physical comfort.

HUN The Ethereal Soul / Liver

Our Liver houses hun spirit our ‘ethereal soul’, associated with the Wood element. Hun embodies our pioneering vision and deeper values. As we mature the more superficial desires (or the need for immediate gratification) of po and the deeper commitments of hun complement each other for a clearer, more harmonised identity an value system.

YI The Intellect / Spleen

Our Spleen houses yi spirit or our ‘intellect’, associated with the Earth element. Yi is an awareness of spacial relationships, the energies in our outer environment in relation to our inner potential. Yi builds infrastructure between our personal placement and where we would like to be. When yi is balanced our self-esteem is strong and we are able to formulate strategies with confidence and clear intention.

ZHI 志 The Will / Kidneys

Our Kidneys house zhi spirit or our ‘will’, associated with the Water element. Zhi expresses our steadfast efforts towards our goals and desires. Strong zhi lends us confidence in our ability to achieve positive outcomes no matter the challenges.


Nei Gong creates a bridge between spirit and the material world, connecting our body with the energy of the Universe.

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