Reishi: Will Take Your Meditation to the Next Level

by Farley D January 18, 2019 5 mins read


Mason (founder of SuperFeast) in China with a wild red reishi, notice how it's sort of a heart shape?


Used for thousands of years and arguably the most revered tonic herb in the east, reishi has been used to overcome insomnia, cholesterol issues, asthma, anxiety, stress and to lengthen life. Wow. But there's a lighter and more soulful side to reishi we want to share today...


While the physiological benefits of incorporating this beautiful adaptogen into your life are endless, it's the lesser tangible effects that are really getting us wild at the moment. And by wild, we mean zen AF. Reishi is a powerful Shen tonic and is often lovingly referred to as the mushie of spiritual potentiation.


Shen: get your spirit on 

If you're new to Traditional Chinese healing philosophies and lore, then the notion of Shen would be an unknown. We suggest tuning into this excellent podcast episode which provide a rad overview :)


Shen is one the Three Treasures, along with Qi and Jing. While reishi tones all Three Treasures, it is predominately a Shen tonic; it's heart heavy. Let it be known, by toning all Three Treasures, it starts to become apparent pretty darn quick how magical this mushie is.


These treasures basically govern health, both physically and spiritually:


Jing: essence, foundational, from birth

Qi: energy, breath, attitude, day-to-day

Shen: spirit, awareness, mental health, your shiny-ness, the heart houses your Shen


What is Shen all about?

Each Treasure is intricately involved with the other, so a strong Shen does have a certain dependence on a foundational Jing and Qi; each Treasure supports the other. 


Why should I be into nourishing my Shen?

We'll tell you why!


Your Shen is your spirit coming forth, allowing you to have a balanced interpretation of the world, a strong personal evolution, the ability to healthily explore and release your emotions and the opportunity to grow your innate wisdom. Translated as our 'higher consciousness', Shen allows the beautiful virtues of acceptance, tolerance and forgiveness come forth. As Ron Teeguarden says:


- Shen is the spark of divinity with each human being -


The ancient Taoists refer to Shen as the most refined level of energetics in the universe. Like you need more reasons to cultivate and nurture your Shen, see below:




  • Having robust Shen means you are not responding from your brain, nor your gut, but rather your heart
  • Shen allows you to explore your spiritual potentiation
  • Want to develop your emotional consciousness? Shen will guide you
  • Are you a spiritual seeker?
  • Looking to deepen your relationship with Source, universe, God?
  • You might be wanting to dive deeper into yourself
  • Want to be more open hearted? Have a flowing heart channel?
  • Because you'll be loving up your nervous system
  • You want to move out of the sympathetic nervous system activation, to parasympathetic
  • You want to strengthen your heart muscles and cells
  • You'd like to accept things as they are

Now you want to develop and cultivate your Shen. Think about it for a sec.


Do you want to react to external stimuli from your head / gut? Be quick to judge? Be reactive, jumpy? Nah, we didn't think so.


In today's landscape, this sympathetic nervous system dominance is relatively normal day-to-day. Adrenaline and all the consequences are constantly flooding the body. And here's a disclaimer: normal and common, does not mean healthy! This chronic flight or fight response (we've spoken about it here) leads to exhaustion and tapped out kidneys and Jing. The body perceives threat at every turn. We all been there friend. But, by toning your Shen, by creating a healthy framework for a healthy Shen, you can begin to intuit and perceive your environment from your heart space. Trust us, it's a much nicer, safer, more enjoyable place to be :)


How do I know if I have low Shen?

It could be a feeling that Western living has sort of pacified you. Maybe you're feeling a little dull. You're a little less shiny. More possible signs:

  • Feelings of lowness
  • Anxiety / depression
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Lost that shiny glint in your eyes
  • Feeling blocked in your heart area? Physically or spiritually
  • On edge, strung out, feeling frayed or frazzled
  • Nervous system feeling sensitive
  • You feel out of balance emotionally
  • Your ego takes the driver seat often

On this last point, egotistically-drive behaviours (we're talking constantly seeking external pleasures, anger, fear, greed, materialism, selfishness, and so forth) push your Shen into hiding. Literally. Your Shen will retreat, withdraw and **hide**. It don't want no part in all that rubbish. 


Rebalancing your outlook, practicing gratitude and giving, getting back to nature, finding harmony and a consistent personal practice (check out our epic article to help you cultivate your own practice) will go a long way to building up your Shen, as will incorporating Superfeast Reishi into your day-to-day.


Best Ways to Use Reishi

Just. get. it. in. We're serious. A day with reishi, is a goooooood day. Mason, founder of SuperFeast personally loves reishi at nighttime, a bit like that lone soldier who guards every nighttime; he's solid, stable and always there for you. Our favourite nighttime tonic is the Sleepy Reishi, and it is truly lovely to have a beautiful tonic herb practice to take you into your wind-down at night. BUT, don't pigeon-hole reishi into nighttime only. Reishi can be used at any time of the day to increase your spiritual radiance. Isn't that a gorgeous term, spiritual radiance? We've got plenty of recipes recipes here for you if you need some more ideas (try typing reishi in the search box). 


Reishi pairs *particularly* well with meditation. So the next time you head to the meditation cushion, try sipping your reishi elixir beforehand and allow the magical wisdom of the mushroom guide you through. 


And before we finish up singing the absolute praises of one of our fave tonic herbs ever, we will leave you with this lovely passage, written by Zhuang Zi (a famous Chinese sage):


When the shoe fits, the foot is forgotten.
When the belt fits, the belly is forgotten.
And the the Heart (Shen) is right,
"For" and "against" are forgotten.




We highly HIGHLY recommend getting onto reishi. Whether you are new to adaptogens, or a long-time lover, this gorgeous mushroom will provide you with profound benefits. You cannot go wrong with the queen. Want to dive deeper into reishi, then head over to our reishi podcast episode, it is a ripper.



The Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs: Ron Teeguarden 

Also in SuperBlog

Russell Brown Podcast
The Privilege of Wellness with Acupuncturist Russell Brown (EP#146)

by Alexandra Anttilla December 15, 2021

Today on the podcast, we have acupuncturist Russell Brown; Founder of Poke Acupuncture LA, with over 15 years of experience practicing this ancient medicine with exquisite finesse. Tahnee and Russell discuss the Eight Extraordinary meridians, constitutional energy, The Five Elements and the privilege that exists in wellness. 
Read More
Healing Skin (and Autoimmune) from Within with Karen Fischer (EP#145)

by Alexandra Anttilla December 08, 2021

Today on the podcast, Tahnee is joined by nutritionist and award-winning author of The Healthy Skin Diet, Karen Fischer, for a very real breakdown of why so many people suffer from skin conditions, inflammation, and food intolerances, and how healing from within is always possible.
Read More
Sexual Activation and Feminine Embodiment with Eva Williams (EP#144)

by Alexandra Anttilla December 01, 2021

Healer and teacher Eva Williams carries over a decade of experience in body and energy work; Reiki, pranic healing, Kriya yoga, shiatsu, Japanese Acupuncture, and Taoist sexual cultivation. In this episode, she joins Tahnee for a deep dive into the world of sexual cultivation practices, birth work, and feminine embodiment.
Read More