The Spiritual Uses of Reishi Mushroom
For over 2 millennia, reishi has been a prominent forerunner in the herbal world for spiritual use. Spirituality could mean a lot of different things for a lot of different people, but maybe a running theme amongst it all is the feeling of connection- of being part of a greater whole. Reishi has notorious capabilities to tap into this source of energy and create a heightened experience within our own spiritual practices, whatever that looks like for you.
It is important to note that reishi can be a supportive herb for spiritual practices if they are a part of your routine. Simply taking reishi will not induce meditative coma or an unforeseen blast into the 4th dimension…. well…. maybe the 4th dimension part ;).
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, reishi is an exalted spiritual herb, known for thousands of years to nourish the “shen.”
Shen is the channel of spirituality that runs through our very being. It’s known as the heartmind, and is the “awareness” that inspires our existence. Shen provides us with insight and allows our true selves into being, as it is essential for enlightenment.
To further depict shen for you, it is the life-giving “opposite” of jing. You are born with life essence, jing. Jing is at its height when we are born and in the earlier stages of life, and when jing is completely depleted, we die. Shen is on the other side of the life spectrum. It is the life-heart-mind-spiritually-cultivated awareness that grows as we do.
Fertility and creativity can take these different shapes as well. If we increase our shen, we increase our spiritual fertility, our greater creativity. The ability to manifest and balance input and outputs come from shen-fertility, and when we are fertile in this way, we are creative and reproductive as our higher selves. If you are entering a later stage in life, this is very important to keep in mind. Fertility is sustained, but shifted, and cultivating shen not only aids in this transition but also nourishes the destination.
Reishi supports shen, which is both special and rare in the field of Chinese herbs, thus making its supreme class unmatched.
Mystical History of the “Spirit Medicine”
Since its discovery over 2,000 years ago, reishi has been renowned to “make the body lighter.” Ling Zhi, another name for reishi, translates as “Spirit Herb,” and it was regarded as the key to immortality. In Chinese culture, it was even said reishi could bring life back to the dead. It has been depicted in ancient scrolls as a bridge between heaven and earth. The fruiting body of the mushroom is used as the symbol for longevity and spiritual radiance, much like the lotus flower is to Buddhist culture. Ancient Taoists used reishi to become “capable of spiritual transcendence.”
There were many different uses that were noted without the modern science we have today. Even Mayan culture has mentioned use of reishi mushroom for disease prevention and treatment. It was used in China as a general tonic to inhibit fatigue, weakness, sickness, and disease, while also as a restorative for sexual prowess. As it became an increasingly desirable commodity, it has also been said that the discovery of Japan originated from a fleet that was sent out to discover more reishi in distant lands. The story involves a fleet of 50 young men and 50 young woman that was said never to return.
Whether that is true or not, reishi obviously has enough of a reputation to make that a considerable possibility. All of these traces of reishi imprint in history support the body-heart-mind connection of this amazing herb.
Their Legend is Our Reality
Over 2,000 years ago, Shen Nong, Emperor of the Qing Dynasty recognized that reishi was of a superior class of herbs and was able to “lighten the body.” Today, we have the technology and the thousands of years of reishi-use to truly express these amazing qualities of the spirit herb.
We can used reishi in myriad of ways to help promote not only our overall health, but also our spiritual practices. If there was one mushroom fashioned for meditation, this is it. Reishi has significant ability to help reduce stress by being a powerful adaptogen. Also, its amazing grounding and calming effects help to clear the mind, relax the body, and open up to your inexhaustible source of inspiration and creativity. With this increased focus and tranquility, meditation and other spiritual practices become more natural and embodied, which in more recent times can be a struggle for many people. Reishi has been seen to be evidently transformative on the open path of mindfulness.
Some even believe reishi mushroom is extra-terrestrial. Many mycologists look to our solar system as the origin of different types of mushrooms. It is believed their purpose is to activate consciousness here on earth, and the introduction of reishi into your life is the trailhead of enlightenment.
Healthy body, Healthy Mind, Open Heart
Reishi, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, has been seen to facilitate all three treasures, Jing, Chi, and Shen, and is a full being health elixir that is able to nourish your mind, body, and heart (or soul).
Reishi is a wonderful liver tonic, helping to prevent against free radicals and protect and support the function of the liver. Less work for the liver means that it will function at a higher level. This mushroom is a powerful adaptogen, while also rooted strongly as anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant. With its immune-modulating abilities, reishi helps to protect your body by supporting your immune system.
When your body is at its highest functionality and your health is optimized, your mind and heart can start to elevate to higher levels, making reishi an ideal companion on your journey of spiritual cultivation.
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