J’entends énormément de palabres autour de ces 3 mots. Je ne parle volontairement pas de concepts car ces 3 n’en sont pas puisqu’ils représentent, ils incarnent oserais-je écrire, le principe même de la vie.

Les mots qui voudraient définir ces 3 notions ne seraient alors que des prisons qui les enferment. 

Peut-on enfermer la Vie dans des mots… 

Trop de théorie autour de ces mots serait comme écrire ou lire un traité de natation sans jamais avoir sauter à l’eau et avoir senti, ressenti l’élément dont il est question.

Je serai donc bref et flou volontairement pour laisser une porte ouverte. Sans trop faire, de mes mots, une prison verbieuse.

Je reviendrai aussi aux mots japonais Sei, Ki et Shin, plutôt que les mots chinois, jing, qi, shen, le shiatsu étant et restant un art japonais…

Ki (Qi)



It is as easy to define this notion as to define the Tao, the Way. The more we try to define them, the further we get away from them.

However, we Westerners want to understand and put into words. Normal. We even forget that ideograms are not words but a visual transcription of abstract notions. Limiting an ideogram to one word would be laughable.

Therefore, not being able to be limited to a single word. Ki (or Qi) is too often seen enclosed in a word, “energy”. Some even want to lock it behind the needle of the galvanometer, an almighty object because it believes it objectifies the invisible to our eyes.

Coming back to ideograms (yes, there are more than one and I invite you here to read Stéphane Cuypers’ articles or ask him your questions) and to take a little time to caress abstraction, we perceive the movement of Life, just that!

Ki is the subtle sensation that arises under your fingers, in your hands, in your bodies, on their surface as well as their depth.

Ki is not defined, it is lived, experienced.

Shin (shen)

Is there a pilot on the plane?

Have you ever tried to clearly and concisely define the sky?

Huuum, will you tell me, what are you talking about? What do you mean by “sky”?

It is precisely that… the point of view changes everything or almost. Defining “the” sky is as vast as itself. There are several skies depending on what we are pointing at.

Same for Shen, it depends on the point of view, the situation, the moment.

To simplify, in the case that concerns us, the practice of shiatsu and the relationship to the person, I could define it as the embodied spirit, the soul without going into religious considerations.

This Shin will give its clarity to the shin.

Ah, until then a form of clarity seemed to be happening and yet I put no puns on it.

Let’s see Shen as the pilot of the plane and Shen his clarity of mind to navigate these troubled waters.

Sei (jing)


It’s the plane.

We could speak of the vehicle, of matter. We, for example, would be our our body but not only…

The body is the result of the meeting of 2 beings at a given time, in a given place (notion also linked to kharma). Our bodies are therefore the result of this equation. They are the tools that allow us to move and experiment through our own possibilities.

Each species offers potentialities of various experiences since each vehicle is different in its form, in its feelings, in its possibilities of acting. Whether you are a bird, fish, insect, plant, tree, etc., each vehicle offers a range of possible experiences (vain points of debate, recent scientific research highlights a form of consciousness and intelligence in each kingdom) .

The trio is life


A phrase that could be recurrent at Odo shiatsu. 🙂


From the meeting of 2 Shin and the fusion of 2 sei springs the spark of life which creates a new being (I will not extend here, it is a vast field, in particular that of the marvelous vessels).

However, these 3 are one and indivisible…


Does that seem blurry to you?

It’s good. The principles of life cannot be clear and exhaustive. Everything is related and interacts all the time. The vagueness invites everyone to feel, to let these concepts resonate deep inside, it is the Shen that resonates.

Remember those images lying on a sheet of paper that ask us to squint, to lose sight of the pattern, to let the blur set in and then a relief image emerges. From 2 dimensions, we perceive a third.

So let this blur find its way and percolate into your being. An accepted mental vagueness that reveals a new dimension.

Do you feel Shin (shen) come to experience life through your sei (jing)?

A mind experimenting with matter?

We are then here to experience through the body that is lent to us. Its possible imbalances or inequalities invite us to take a particular point of view that guides learning.



Sit or lie down, let the body relax.

Feel its wholeness and all its parts.

Where are you in this body?

Imagine having your legs taken away, are you still there?

Imagine that your arms are also removed, are you still there?

Where are you in this trunk?

If they take away your pelvis, your genitals, are you still there?

Do not let your mind tell you that you physiologically need this or that limb or organ. Ask yourself where you are, who are you in this body.

Continue to the last part you think you are in.

Let it dissolve. Allow your body-matter to dissolve into space.

And you are still there.