Peter Chan enjoys his little friend.

To see how a child's mind work is to see how our own mind work before it is clouded by years of human experience.

by Master Luke Chan

Children's mind or Yee is very easy to be noticed. A child can smile at one moment and cry the next. Give them a toy, they will go for it even when they are playing with another. Their mind goes with anything gets their attention at the moment. Their span of attention is small if there are any.

As we grow up, our Yee (mind) becomes more complicated but it functions basically the same. According to the Chinese philosophy, Shen is the essence of Yee. Yee listens to Shen. Shen and Yee are easily confused and for most people, they are not separated and lumped together in the head. As in a child, Yee plays more important role as he or she needs to explore the world freely without preconceptions. As life goes on, Shen emerges as a person begin to have his or her own opinions and want to have control over things. Their span of attention is increased by suppressing other senses.

In Qigong, we try to distinguish the Yee from the Shen. Shen should reside in the upper Dantien (in the brain area). Yee should reside mainly in the lower Dantien (between Navel and Mingmen). The Yee is like an octopus, with its mainly body in the lower Dantien and its tentacles reach the hands and legs. To keep the Yee in the lower Dantien is a challenge. As a child exhibits, Yee is easily distracted by the five senses: smell, taste, hearing, sight, touch. As an adult, the Yee is not only distracted by the immediate environment but also by one's memories. The memories stored in the impression of the five senses.

One of the most powerful ways to keep our Yee (also known as monkey) in where we want it (lower Dantien) is to use images, instead of using logic. So each time we practice qigong, we are trying to tame our Yee into a form of images so as to obtain the healing power of our body, Yee, and Shen (spirit). A true body and Yee (mind) connection occurs when all movements, no matter how quick or slow, abrupt or continuous, light or heavy (power), up or down (any direction), are directed by the Yee. In another words, Yee makes a movement quick or slow, abrupt or continues, light or heavy, up or down, depending on what the Shen wants.

We separate Yee from Shen in order to effectively use its power. Even though we use two names, they are a continuous spectrum. Please don't regard them as two different organs, like that of the heart and lungs. Traditionally, the taoist believes a person is born with Jing, Chi, Shen. The Jing develops into body, Chi can turn to Shen. In practical use, we divide Shen into finer parts as Shen and Yee.