The Shen

One of the most ancient texts of Eastern healing, written 2000 years ago, tells us: All diseases arise from the heart; all healing comes from the heart. The heart they are referring to is not just the anatomic heart muscle; nor is it simply the emotion of love; the ancients call it shen.

Shen is the spiritual power depicted by the Chinese character:  ? representing an altar, through which extending influences flow from above/beyond. Other definitions of Shen include:

The very essence of divinity; Consciousness; Spirit, infused from heaven. Pure, infinite, cosmic light, a luminous  force of vitality which comes from the divine. Shen is the means through which the will of heaven is known. The Shen encompasses the highest mind of consciousness that provides insight and makes you conscious of who you are. It is the energy that enlivens the body and psyche. The Shen resides in the heart.  The Heart holds the office of Lord and Sovereign. The radiance of the spirits stems from it.

When the ancient emperor Huang Di queries the sage, Qi Bo he asks him how we can lose harmony with the spirit of nature so that disease can arise. He understands that before healing can happen, we must be “rooted in spirit.” And Qi Bo goes off on a discourse regarding the power of heaven.

Spirit, heaven, consciousness – the vibrant energy through which all is enlivened and known. Spirit brings all into existence, and to spirit essence returns. When we can enliven this power within, we enter a state of healing, which does not require the intermediary of a physician, a state of profound healing is at hand.; closer even than your thoughts. The Tao te Ching tells us – Use it as you will; it never runs dry.

Chinese medicine is essentially about one thing – healing the spirit. Before true change can occur, we must raise our consciousness to a level above where the disease has been manifesting. It is an inside job. A true “healer” does nothing beyond taking you into the power of your own shen. And they watch in amazement at the transformation that heaven brings about through your inner essence.

When individuals come to retreat, many are confused about the concept of true healing and what fertility has to do with the heart. Many have had less than profound experiences with acupuncture. On the first day, I tell them that my intention is to bring them to a place where a shift in consciousness occurs, and that which obstructed their energy loses hold. The essence of all life, yours and your child’s, will come from that which envelops the spirit – the heart. It flows into your womb and invites life.

A  true “healer” does not hold the attitude of “I know what to do and how to do it, and I will heal you.” A true “healer” is in a sate of awe, rooted in their spirit, so it can be enlivened in you. Anything else is quackery.