Qingjing Jing: Experiencing True Quiet
The Qingjing Jing is one of numerous Daoist texts that focuses on quieting and calming the mind. The title in Chinese when broken down by character can be understood as:
清 – qing - clear or pure
静 – jing - quiet or peaceful
经 – jing – scripture, classic, or experience
The Qingjing Jing discusses the original nature of the Dao and also the original nature of both men and women. Men, exemplifying that of 'yang' and women that of 'yin'. The Dao is comprised of both yin and yang. We can also understand yin and yang as stillness and movement (yin-stillness and yang-movement). The nature of man is that of movement. The nature of women is that of stillness.
Much of the Qingjing Jing addresses why it is that humans tend to have so much trouble maintaining a still and quiet existence. It identifies the causes of this tension as desire and over-thinking. When the yang qi in our bodies rises, causing over-thinking, and the yin qi sinks, causing desire, they become separated, leading to the loss of balance and harmony. This leads to over-thinking, worries/anxiety, delusional thoughts, and desires that are perpetuated by our greed. The arousal of these problems makes it impossible for us to experience the Dao and true quiet because our minds are constantly chasing thoughts, worries, and desires. This is constantly distracting us from truly experiencing life.
To truly understand Dao we must experience it. And in order to experience Dao we must quiet our minds. The question then arises: Well, then how can I make myself quieter? In answer to this, the Qing Jing Jing tells us that in order to experience true quiet and peace that we must balance and bring back to harmony the yin and yang in our bodies and rid ourselves of over-thinking and desire. Quieting our minds is not something that we can simply decide on doing; it is something that gradually comes from the practice of meditation.
Most people live in a world of illusion that is perpetuated by uncontrollable and insatiable desires and over-thinking. Because of this worry, desire, and delusional thinking arise and guides all action and thought. When we follow the distractions created by our imbalance it takes us further and further away from truly experiencing and understanding original pure nature. The reason that those of us who live in this world of self-delusion cannot feel and understand our subtle original nature is because of these delusions distracting us from true feeling and experience. When we learn about ourselves, clean, and make ourselves pure and at peace we can then deeply experience Dao through our feeling. As a result of this internal balancing and purification we can also begin to feel and understand others more. It is only through making ourselves tranquil that we can come to perceive the original nature of ourselves, all life, and Dao.
For us to live and enjoy healthy and peaceful lives it is important for all people to have balance. Balance with the outside world can only come when we have balance within ourselves.