Reishi Mushrooms: The Mushroom of Spirituality

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Good morning, I am Fran Fainman and I have come to share some fascinating information around Medicinal Mushrooms, also known as  tonic herbs, and in particular Reishi or Ganoderma. I intend to enlighten you around what Medicinal mushrooms are and how they are able to serve you in your quest for physical health and spiritual well-being.  We will look at the three treasures and as well as discovering the impact that Reishi has on our Spirituality and physical well being.

A little about me and how I came to Reishi mushrooms… My background is in horticulture, turned Holistic wellness coach mainly to support my kids and prevent them from being medicated, which led me to David Wolfe in 2009 and the discovery of Reishi and Cacao and adaptogens and Superfoods.  If you had to ask me 5 years ago if I would consider consuming, eating, talking about Medicinal Mushrooms I would have thought you were crazy. This was definitely an exercise in trust and being guided!

As a plant person and being fungiphobic, the idea of delving into the world of Medicinal Mushrooms has been a fascinating one indeed.  I stand here sharing what I am learning in a field that is so huge and vast it is incredibly humbling.

Asian societies have embraced our fungal friends for millennia some say 4, whereas the west shunned them.  They have been accused of causing fungal infections, Candida and most people think of magic mushrooms when we speak of them.

There is so much information that I would love to share with you regarding this remarkable tree mushroom Reishi and since we are at the 7th ray spiritual centre I decided to focus on the spiritual qualities of Reishi.

Reishi is believed to be one of the most researched herbs on the planet.  The last time I googled Reishi, I got 1,9 million hits!

Reishi is the Japanese name for Ganoderma that was first described 2400 years ago, during the Shu dynasty.

Shen Nong, a legendary herbalist emperor around 206 B.C. classified Reishi as a superior herb.  A superior herb is a substance that causes no side effects by being consumed continuously, it promotes radiant health and harmonises the function of the body, mind and spirit.  Of Reishi, Shen Nong said “it makes your body light and young, lengthens your life, and turns you into one like the immortal who never dies”

Other names that Reishi is known by are 10,000 year mushroom, Mushroom of Immortality, Herb of Spiritual potency.  Reishi translates to “spirit or divine mushroom” and its Chinese name Ling Zhi means Spirit plant. The 3 chinese characters literally mean “Shaman” “praying for” “rain”.

Ganoderma means Gan = shiny and derm skin.  Show it!

Historically Reishi has been associated with longevity, spiritual potency and vigour.  This is evident if one looks at ancient Japanese and Chinese artifacts. In Japan, emperor’s staffs donned a carving of the sacred mushroom.  It was also shown in temples, tapestries and carvings. Kuan Yin, the G-dess of compassion is often depicted holding it.

These mushrooms were only reserved for Emperors and one could be killed if one was found eating this sacred mushroom.

Medicinal mushrooms are mushrooms that grow on trees, usually old, decaying logs in the Far East, in densely wooded mountaineous areas with high humidity. How phenomenal that a fungus growing in such conditions has the ability to heal on so many levels.  There are many types of Reishi and only some of them have healing properties. The Reishi that we bring in is Red Reishi, which is organically grown in a pure, Indigenous climate.

According to Ron Teeguarden whose work I admire and respect, ”among the great tools discovered by humankind to aid in the attainment of Radiant Health are the Chinese tonic herbs also called Superior herbs in Asia”.  The tonics herbs are the elite herbs of the Chinese herbal system. Reishi is considered to be even more superior than Ginseng.

Reishi has been associated with long life, anti ageing, glowing health, happiness, wisdom, vitality, adaptability, sexual vigour, mental clarity, intuition and more.  By achieving these goals one is said to have attained “Radiant Health”.

The purpose of consuming these special herbs, according to Asian culture is to promote health and wellness as opposed to the west where the focus has been to eradicate disease.

One of the most remarkeable facts about Reishi is that it is a nourishing tonic specifically tonifying what is known as the 3 treasures.

What are the 3 treasures?

The 3 treasures are substances or energies  that can be cultivated through meditative practices, or Chi Gung and through consuming tonic herbs. They are translated as Essence Jing; Vitality Qi and Spirit Shen.

Jing means essence and is the first treasure.  It is associated with our primal energy of life and is intimately associated with the ageing process.  The amount of Jing which our bodies store, determines our life span and quality of life.

Without focusing too much on the technicalities of how it is created, utilised and stored, it is important to know that Jing is used up by chronic and acute stress, overwork, excessive behaviours, substance abuse, chronic pain or illness and sexual excess (especially in men)  For women childbirth uses Jing energy.

Perpetual stress can lead to Jing reserves in the Kidneys being used up. Further stress eventually can lead to weakening and the breakdown of the body, mind and spirit and could result in a shorter life.

The use of Chinese tonic herbs, meditating and a healthy lifestyle profoundly influences the manufacture and transformation of life energy.

By protecting our Jing supply and reserves, we not only can live a long, quality life, we can also provide great genetic potential to our offspring.

Ganoderma lucidum, or Linzhi or Reishi is one of these fine

tonics which assists in cultivating Jing, an “Elixir of Immortality” as it was believed to bring eternal youth and longevity.

Qi the second treasure

Qi is the second of the 3 treasures and of the three treasure system includes both energy and blood.  It also represents vitality, and involves action, function and thought. Qi which nourishes our body is Nutritive Qi and  Qi that protects is protective Qi, these are both produced from the food we eat and the air we breathe on a daily basis.

Qi tonics, therefore increase our ability to adapt and function as human beings.  Qi strengthens our digestive, assimilative and respiratory functions and also improves the quality of the blood flowing through our system.

We are all connected to each other, the earth through Qi  The nature of life is to extract Qi from its environment and to transform it .  The more Qi that can be accumulated and used, the more success we will have as a living beings.

Shen the third treasure

Shen is the channel of spirituality that runs through our being! It is our consciousness, it is considered the most important treasure as it reflects our nature as human beings.

Shen is the love you feel in your heart, compassion for other beings, kindness and generosity of spirit, acceptance and tolerance.  It is the ability to see the big picture, to rise above pettiness, it is the ability to see both sides of the story to see the Unity in all things.  It is the spark of divinity in all things, we are all connected, the spiritual radiance of the human being. The godliness within.

Shen is not an emotion or even a state of mind, it Is beyond that.

It is the space of non-judgement, of Being in allowance,

It is also about balance.  When one is in a state of imbalance, then Shens’ attention is distracted from its path.  When balance and harmony reign supreme, the Shen has an opportunity to develop.

By losing balance, we allow ego, greed, worry, anger,  to take over and Shen is hidden.

These are the 3 treasures of which by consuming Reishi, is able to assist in bring our entire Being into balance.

Reishi Mushroom is also known by the name “Lucky Fungus” and in Chinese is “Lingzhi” which means “spiritual potency”.

In the Taoist tradition, Reishi is said to enhance spiritual receptivity and it was used by monks to calm the spirit and mind.  Reoshi expands our levels of consciousness enabling us to access higher realms in search for enlightenment. Reishi is said to support the expansion of energy in the unfolding of Kundalini as well as opening the Crown chakra.

Its effects seem to be cumulative, gradually strengthening the nerves and assisting in changing the way we perceive life.

Many people report being able to stop using chemical drugs and tranquilizers.

It has an ability to ground and calm the body in addition to clearing the mind, relaxing the body and opening up sources of inspiration and creativity.  With these added qualities, meditation and other spiritual practices become natural experiences.

The benevolent cycle of reishi mushrooms has also been shown to improve the connectedness of body and spirit, inducing a sense of calm, well-being, and wonderment. Reishi works with your body to improve your ability to handle stress while helping you overcome difficult situations.

The physical benefits of Reishi are so many, vast and varied that they sounds too good to be true.  Primarily and fundamentally supports your immune system, helps prevent the development of colds, flu, and more seriously bronchitis, pneumonia and Chronic disease like cancers, and AIDS.  Reishi balances blood pressure, thins the blood (no need for Warfarin), Reishi has the ability to modulate the body, bringing it back into balance and thereby supporting the immune system. Difference between modulate and boosts.  If one has high bllod pressure of low blood pressure Reishi is able to balance and modulate that.

Reishi has been shown in ancient scrolls to be the bridge between heaven and Earth. As the mushroom is a symbol for longevity and spiritual radiance, Ganoderma is often compared to the lotus flower, which is a significant spiritual symbol to Buddhists. As mentioned earlier ii is grown from decaying trees, and in the wild is so rare that to find it one was said to be extremely lucky.  

The numerous studies and observations prove that Reishi has multiple benefits in a very wide range of diseases and symptoms, shows no side effects and can be consumed in high dosages and in combination with other medications.

Tonic herbs bring about changes in one’s physical condition, some slower than others, and play a part in influencing the conscious and subconscious mind, emotions and spirit.

No form of health care is complete if one separates the parts from the whole, since there is no real distinction.  As many psychic healers will attest, degeneration and illness in the body is detected in the aura before it manifests in the body.  One of my spiritual teachers taught that the physical manifestation is the last part of the process. Since Reishi works on all levels -physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being, what if this was one of the solutions to our stressful lifestyle?

What I love about these herbs is their effect on the body’s ability to produce energy, defend itself, cleanse itself and rejuvenate itself.

In conclusion

Spirituality is subjective, and for me it is about feeling that connection of being part of something bigger than ourselves.  Reishi in its humbling yet empowering way has capabilities of tapping into this source of energy and allow us to experience that sense of being part of a bigger picture in our small yet interconnected Universe.

As we on Planet earth are expanding our consciousness – it seems that Reishi has found us, by being more readily available.  It was once priceless, very expensive and difficult to come by – it is now available, why not give it a try?

I read from an anonymous source which I thought you may appreciate and I quote “ The commonly accepted theory about mushrooms is that they are an extra terrestrial species. Spores are easily carried by the wind and ‘become lighter than air” with the slightest gust of a breeze.  They have been found in the furthest reaches of our atmosphere and can even survive in outer space in their dormant state! This suggests the possibility of otherworldy origins and is a commonly accepted theory in the field of mycology. Perhaps you may choose to think of your Reishi consumption as a type of shamanstic alien space medicine…..