the treasure of seed

The Three Taoist Treasures are Qi (energy), Jing (essence) and Shen (mind/spirit).

Jing is stored in the Kidneys and belongs to Water. This is some of what I learned from Thea about Jing:

Jing is Potential. Resource. Blueprint. Seed (see Chris Corrigan's telling of the Sky Goddess creation story: in it, Seed holds the roaring power of transformation, which can require deep endurance and sacrifice, and the prospect of that often evokes terror -- all Kidney/Water attributes).

Jing is "the thing you can't change about yourself", your individual uniqueness given through family, lineage, ancestry, everything that's come before. You can fight it or embrace it, but it's innate and it unfolds over time.

The transformation to virtue is from Fear, to Wisdom. The wise person is deeply attuned to the inevitable unfolding, to what is going to unfold/emerge from the seeds planted now, deeply attuned to the song whose opening notes are just starting to be sung.

We have two kinds of Jing: Original Jing, which is passed to us by our parents and all of the ancestors before; and Postnatal Jing, which we make from Kidney Yin (sleep) and Kidney Yang (from the energy of the Sun -- in the air we breathe, and in the food we eat). One of the main ways to deplete Jing is to be other than what we're meant to be, to deny our authentic nature. We are given quite enough Jing to realize our True Nature, but it uses up more Jing to be/do something other than that. "Are you going to will for yourself what Heaven's willed for you?"

Original Jing is irreplaceable. When we kick into "willpower" (effortful striving) to live our lives, it means we've surpassed the amount of Jing we acquired from eating, breathing and sleeping for that day, and we are squandering Original Jing. "It is OK to tap your Jing for immortality" -- for that which will live beyond you: your child who needs you in the middle of the night, your life's devotion; just be aware of what you're choosing to use it for. Teaching is a Jing activity, relying as it does on the ability to understand the authentic Nature of each student.

A "Jing crisis" will put you into what Dr. Ted Kaptchuk calls "existential vertigo": it's "looking into the pit" or looking at the night sky and feeling like you're falling in, it's "losing your place in Time". People in a Jing crisis will visit their home town or people who knew them "before they got lost", wondering "who am I now?"

Jing tonics and medicines can't replace Original Jing, but they can help us attune to our "Jing vibration" so that we will be more likely to move in accordance, and not squander.