The Five Essential Qualities of the Heart

The Five Essential Qualities of the Heart, sometimes called Wu Xin or Five Xin, is short for the five different states or environments of the heart characterized by five different qualities and feelings. The Five Xin, trust, openness, love, gratitude, and Gongjing, are a natural part of human life; humans are born with them. The manifestation of Five Xin plays a crucial role in wellbeing and growth. They are at the foundation of building a kind, positive, harmonious, and healthy relationship with ourselves and with the world.

In Ren Xue, working on Five Xin to purify the heart is greatly emphasized as the heart holds the key to open the door to the True Self. The 7th Method of Yuan Gong, Tong Yuan is for this purpose. Going through the three stages of practice, one can eventually achieve the ultimate goal – manifesting Five Xin unconditionally in every present moment.


Trust refers to many things: trust in ourselves, trust in others, and trust in the wisdom of the universe. When we trust ourselves, our body, Qi and Shen (True Self), our trust will inspire them to realize their potential. Trust is also the foundation for building healthy relationships with others. Our trust can encourage others to be creative and to be their best. Our trust in the wisdom of the universe can help us surrender to it and relinquish the urge to control so we can be the instruments of the universe.

Trust is the key that opens the door to all the other essential qualities of the heart.


Openness allows Qi and information to flow freely. When the heart is open, there will be no obstacle for communication and making connection with ourselves and others. Like trust, it is an essential quality for healthy relationships. Openness also enables us to see things for what they are so we don’t relate to them from a self-centered perspective. An open heart is ready to fully accept and embrace everything no matter what.

All facets of openness rest on a foundation of trust.


Love is the natural state for human beings. Love connects us with ourselves and with others in a most intimate way. It motivates us to cultivate our deepest natural qualities and accept responsibility in our interactions with others. It is an important source of the power and strength needed for living a meaningful life.

Love is a quality that can be cultivated and deepened.


Gratitude is an essential part of human life. A heart filled with gratitude makes our lives happier, more positive, and lighter. Gratitude leaves nothing out: it extends to others, to animate and inanimate objects, to ourselves, and to our bodies. When we are aware that our individual lives are interwoven with the entire external world, we are able to experience deep gratitude for everyone and everything. Gratitude helps us navigate challenges in a healthy, relaxed, and calm way. It enables us to see the benefits hiding within apparently difficult experiences.

Gratitude shifts our perspective, so we perceive our connection with everything around us.


Gongjing is a composite heart quality. It embodies trust, openness, love, gratitude, and other qualities, such as true respect, reverence, humility, acceptance, accommodation, compassion, appreciation, understanding, and empathy. All these interwoven qualities are integral to Gongjing and Gongjing is the manifestation of a healthy heart. As Gongjing develops, it enables a unified life by taking the focus off the fragmented “me” and dissolving the distinctions between the internal and external. The deeper our Gongjing, the more inner strength we generate. Cultivating Gongjing for ourselves, others, and nature is important for the development of realization and wisdom.

Gongjing arises from a true understanding that everything is a manifestation of the laws of the universe (Dao). Gongjing helps us hold everyone and everything as equal, valuable, and part of the whole.


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