Every day, we make all kinds of choices. And every one of those choices has an effect on us at a subtle level - the level of our energy. As the effects of our choices accumulate in our energy body and energy field from one day to the next, our life changes in ways that reflect our changing energies. But because we are largely unaware of our energies, we can’t see why ‘good’ things, ‘bad’ things, or simply unsatisfactory things, are happening to us each day of our lives. Stuff happens. And we really don’t know why.
We all, without exception, experience challenges in our lives. Many of them we overcome. And some we don’t - they just become part of our everyday experience. A challenge might be physical, energetic, emotional, mental or spiritual. In all cases, it’s a disturbance, a sense of unease, a pain, frustration, a conscious or subconscious wish that something were different.
For some challenges, we go looking for a solution. For others we don’t or, eventually, having tried a bit, we give up - it’s just one of those things. Or perhaps it’s just the way we are, or someone else is, or the way our life worked out. If it’s a health challenge and we go to a doctor, he might say, “It’s your age,” or, “there’s no cure.” Some things we just don’t have the energy to pursue - as someone once said, “life’s too short to stuff a mushroom,” i.e. we just can’t be bothered to do anything about it.
A traditional way of classifying people is as ‘seekers’ and ‘non-seekers’ - those who look for answers, and those who don’t. There’s been some research into this, in the area of health, at least. The conclusion is that the more someone is engaged in their own healing process - as opposed to just passively doing what they are told to do (even by their doctor) - the greater their chance of recovery. The patients who ask the most questions and research the most answers are the ones who are most likely to get better.
The Way of Life is the natural extension of this concept taken to the nth degree - not so much in terms of accumulating intellectual knowledge, or treating health problems, but in the sense of consciously being engaged with all of your own life experience. The central question is always, ‘how much, (and in what ways), do you aspire to be different from the way you are now?’
People tend to be largely unaware of, or not even interested in, why they are the way they are, or why their life has worked out the way it has, or what they could do about it - even supposing they still had the interest or energy to change. Life just happens - you have this personality and those abilities, you are attracted to that education, you get whichever job, meet a certain person, have kids, move to another town . . . one thing after another. But you change in the process; you are changed as a direct result of your life choices. The person you become is, in many respects, not the person you would have been if you had made different choices . . .
It’s easy to see. You move to an exotic country, contract a rare disease and get run over by an elephant. This obviously wouldn’t have happened if you had, instead, married a banker and moved to the suburbs to raise marigolds. The first ‘you’ has had an exciting life but has ended up with some serious health challenges, whereas the other ‘you’ hasn’t, in either respect. And that’s just an example of how your physical health can be affected by your choices. But change is occurring in every area of your life and personal condition, at every level, all the time - most of it beneath the threshold of your awareness.
It’s important to recognise that our changing energies always precede our changing internal and external states and circumstances - e.g. dangerous ‘elephants’ don’t show up until our security/respect qi has been significantly reduced. Every choice we make either cultivates or diminishes our energies. But most differences pass un-remarked until certain energies reach the point where a particular challenge is triggered in our life. We and our lives change over time, but without much energy awareness we can only rationalise (i.e. explain to ourselves) why we think something is the way it is.
Spiritual development has often been compared to healing. It arises from the recognition that all is not well within oneself - a sense of unease. What is life for anyway? What is my life for? What do I need to do? Who am I? The mind, for all its words, theories, beliefs and knowledge, doesn’t have the answers. Yet all kinds of individuals and organisations claim to know, and the faithful flock to believe them . . .
But a genuine Way for life, your life, is about increasing or cultivating your awareness. It doesn’t require you to believe any particular dogma or abide by any set of beliefs. A real Way requires you to see things for yourself, in your own right, living your life as an experiment, a process to be observed and learnt from - far more useful and real than believing endless statements about it that you have no way of verifying.
Just as spiritual development is often likened to healing, health science and religion also tend to have a lot in common - they depend on the blind faith of their followers. ‘Wifi and genetically modified foods are safe,’ says the government, or ‘god is in his heaven,’ say the priests, rabbis or imams - the evidence for both is equally equivocal. Who or what do you believe? Better to cultivate your awareness so you can come to see for yourself - no faith required.
Of course, the mind is useful but it habitually oversteps its mark - it likes to think it knows all sorts of things which, upon closer explanation, it turns out it doesn’t know at all. Our mind is an impeccable con-artist - it’s always fooling us into believing things we have been taught or want to believe. So we imagine we know ‘facts’ that, in the absence of the necessary awareness - being able to see for ourselves - inevitably delude us into making harmful choices.
Even those who aspire to freedom from the limitations of their mind, (through cultivating their awareness), are defeated to the extent they remain emotionally attached to the control of their mind. To the degree we are still entranced by our mind’s urge to know this or that, be ‘right,’ debate, argue or otherwise insist on its competency to draw conclusions about subjects it can’t wholly understand, we find ourselves unable to grasp the language of the heart, of the spirit within.
The awakening of awareness is a process of gradually turning down the dials on our interminable, distracting, ‘chat show’ of thoughts, feelings and intuitions. Our awareness stirs, yawns, and starts looking around the more we learn to simply calm down - to become still, like a hunter in the woods.
‘Cultivation’ is a word we often use with respect to developing awareness. It may remind us of a park, an orchard, or a vegetable plot - plants growing, bees buzzing, peace and quiet . . . not much happening, on the surface, from the point of view of an agitated mind. But, in fact, plants are busy putting out roots, resisting predators, growing flowers, then producing fruit. Or, if it’s all going wrong, they’re overwhelmed and dying. Time- lapse photography, which is not unlike higher awareness in some respects, reveals a world of high-octane activity. It’s all go - when you have the eyes to see.
An effective Way develops an oasis in your life - a place to relax, to be nourished, to hang out away from the madding crowd. It’s a place to feed your spirit - not with beliefs about the Spirit or who you really are, but with ways of discovering, for yourself, everything that really matters to you.
The ‘spirit’ simply means the energy in you that generates your awareness. In its active form, it’s also called ‘intent.’ This energy, which is seen by seers as an ascending helix of bright light, illuminates life. Regardless of a person’s knowledge, reputation, worldly influence, or the power of their mind, the weaker their spirit the more they live their life in the dark, or in ignorance as the Buddha called it.
Everything has its own spirit, small or huge, simple or complex - there’s simply a world of spirit out there. And inside us too. Everyone has one spirit in common - their spirit, a tiny helix at the root of the heart chakra. If someone undertakes effective ‘spiritual development’ they inevitably cultivate this helix and, potentially, other forms of spirit or presence too.
Here are some examples of unusual spirits:
Nisargadatta Maharaj has a bright helix rising from his stareye [image with link - ]. This spirit gave Nisargadatta talents that included spontaneous solutions, direct transmission and mantric touch - automatic resolution of problems, teachings imparted without words, and activation of helixes in the body through sound and/or touch, respectively.
In the world of dogs, Lou also has an extraordinarily bright helix rising high above his crown. This helix, rooted in his heart chakra, gave Lou a unique presence, an incredible set of skills, and an extraordinary life detailed in ‘Last Dog On The Hill,’ by Steve Duno.
When received through the spirit place practices of the Way of Life, the helix at the Men-An Tol, in Cornwall generates a helix rising from the base of the spine - a spirit of ascending success. Whereas success is achievement of your goals, ascending success is achievement of your higher energy goals. This means goals that release you from the grip of lower energy karmas - e.g. making enough money to pay your bills, thus releasing you from the stress of worrying about how to pay next month’s rent. This contrasts with the equivalent lower energy, but culturally-approved, ‘success’ of [becoming addicted to] making as much money as possible. The higher the energy of your success the more your lower energy concerns fade away.
Any helix of light that rises within your energy body brings a relatively lighter way of being - and consequent talents of one kind or another. But feeding your own spirit - the spirit within your heart chakra - brings karmas to an end. This is why the ascension of the heart [helix] is considered, by seers, to be the ultimate spiritual practice.
Feeding your spirit makes a world of difference to everything that’s really worth anything in your life. And avoiding whatever weakens your spirit - or, rather, you - is just as critical to an illuminating life. The brighter your spirit’s energy becomes, the more you see what it’s showing you from one day to the next - what your life is all about. By cultivating your spirit, your spirit shows you how to live your life well, and to be well in all necessary ways.
Many people live a long life, but few discover the hidden parts of the world in which they live - hidden because a descending life, a life committed to energy-consuming choices - destroys awareness. Only by cultivating your awareness can you come to see what is there, in front of you, all the time. And which profoundly influences the quality of your life and consciousness from one day to the next.
Without this higher awareness, the world of energy remains unknown, unappreciated, un-enjoyed. And so, damaged, destroyed and partially ruined because, to the degree we don’t see the world in which we live, we treat it, each other and ourselves the same way a maddened bull treats china in a restricted space.
Imagine not being able to feel - your nerves are deadened - not being able to hear, to see, to sense much of anything at all. Scientists say we use less than 10 percent of our brains. Seers would say that, where awareness is concerned, this is hopelessly optimistic. We live in a world of energies unknown to science - energies that impact us and our lives in every possible way - but our awareness of them is almost non-existent. So we are victims of almost all our choices and actions - how could we not be?
A life without a Way is a life lived in the dark (of little awareness). But a [traditional] Way, which often rejects some areas of life, is in many respects, not so very different. By learning to embrace all of your life you receive essential gifts in return - gifts of wisdom, inner strength, happiness and success that, like the foundations of a tall building, support the awakening of your higher awareness.
In the beginning, and given sufficient intent, gifts of the Spirit tend to sneak up on you unawares. Later you come to see how it works, how you need to trust your spirit to show you how to be through the medium of your life and all the experiences, pleasant or unpleasant, easy or challenging, your spirit brings you.
This living with intent is a way of becoming open to the real, to accepting what is, serving the spirit in all presenting forms, attending to the living moment as it arises, committing to the spirit of your life - or, rather, to the you you are becoming. Living with intent shows you the path of your life. And your path shows you the ways in which you need to live with more intent.
We call this unique path, this increasingly conscious walk with your spirit through your life, the Shendo - your spirit [shen] path [doh] - because this word, this heart name, holds the spirit of the Way of life. And, because it holds the spirit, it also holds the community of the Way of life - those who follow their spirit, each in their own way, but also in communion with others who choose to do the same.
So is the Shendo right for your spirit?
The name of the Way of life - ‘Shendo’ - is resonant with the spirit of anyone who is capable of living a Way of life, a life of intent. If you are such a person, it causes the energy of your heart [chakra] to advance when you whisper the word or say it outloud. This resonance can be recognised by touching your thumb to your heart chakra (two inches up from the bottom of your sternum) and testing at the same time. Or, if you have sufficient heart energy awareness, simply by attending to your heart.
If the word, ‘Shendo,’ causes your heart to advance, the Way of Life is a path that will generate higher energy fortunes in your life. As a consequence of feeding your spirit - it will give you, in return, a higher quality of karma. Karma isn’t ‘bad.’ Karma is simply the many forms of misfortune - confusion, failure, exhaustion and harm - and fortune - wisdom, inner strength, happiness and success - that you need in order to become more aware . . . in other words, the ‘sticks’ and ‘carrots’ that you most need.
As Pema Chödrön says:
“People get into a heavy-duty sin and guilt trip, feeling that if things are going wrong, that means that they did something bad and they are being punished. That's not the idea at all. The idea of karma is that you continually get the teachings that you need to open your heart. To the degree that you didn't understand in the past how to stop protecting your soft spot, how to stop armoring your heart, you're given this gift of teachings in the form of your life, to give you everything you need to open further.”
The spirit within [your heart chakra] beckons karmas to your energy body. The more we nurture our spirit the more we beckon lesser misfortunes rather than greater misfortunes, or fortunes rather than misfortunes. And the more such fortunes tend to be of a higher quality - e.g. higher energy happiness or success - than they would, otherwise, have been. And so the more they teach us.
It’s a simple physics - invest more of your energy in your spirit and it will treat you more kindly. All beings necessarily have many karmas ripening from past choices, but today is always the day you can choose to follow a new, more energy-ascending, path.
The Shendo is a way to cultivate your awareness of the directions you need to take in your life that lead to the fulfilment of your real needs. Living this way, your fortunes [qi] will grow as you leave your sorrows and other forms of suffering behind.
If you choose to become a member of the Shendo, the Way of Life Community, you will be able to participate in the private forum, and receive, support and teachings (‘wyrds’ - pronounced ‘words’), or in-depth responses on the forum, to your questions about your path and personal development process. You will discover how to define your practices and other needs so you’ll be both supported in, and responsible for, your spiritual development.
As you know from the Living With Energy Awareness Training, (if you have taken it), complete and successful energy awareness development is reflected in grounded real life changes and transformations. This depends on the ‘three-legged stool’ of developing energy awareness:
Regular energy cultivation practice, to furnish you with the energy for change , both by the cultivation of new energy and the elimination of chronic blockages to your higher awareness
Living with intent - rigorously practising the ‘guardians of awareness’ of Commitment, Acceptance, Service and Attention, in whatever forms they manifest in your life
The wyrds (teachings) and related practices are core to this process, but some Way of Life practitioners choose to accelerate and expand their progress with personal support and mentoring. This increases your ability to apply the three-legged stool of developing energy awareness in your day-to-day life, effectively tackle arising karmas, and cultivate your ascending fortunes. So there are three optional services available to you as a Way of Life practitioner in addition to the core Way of Life process:
Vision Life Coaching - for developing and sustaining a karma-transforming life
Decisions Decisions - for discerning and making ever more energy-ascending choices
The Shendokahn - for cultivating your essential creativity
For these additional forms of support of your Way of life, all practitioners receive the minimum published prices for the first two services. The Shendokahn is only available to members of the Shendo who are developing a concrete form of essential creativity.
The good news is that we've managed to put all this extra input and support into a monthly fee which is significantly reduced from the previous Entry Path fee (which was £55.00 per month) - and if you choose the annual rate, it’s reduced even more.
The monthly membership fee for the Way of Life empowerment process plus the Shendo (forum) is £35 (approx $55 for US practitioners, but you will be billed in £'s).
Even better, if you prefer to pay your membership annually, you will get twelve months subscription for less than the price of ten months - £348 per year, the equivalent of only £29 per month, (approx $45, at this time, for US practitioners).
To become a member of the Shendo, go to the Shendo website where you can also read an introduction to the Way of Life process. You’ll find all the subscription options there and a sign-up box for activating your membership. You can choose to pay monthly or annually.
You’re under no obligation to continue with your subscription any longer than you wish to. Annual subscriptions will be refunded in full minus any months already completed (charged at the monthly rate) or started as soon as you tell us you no longer wish to be a member of the Shendo. Monthly subscriptions will be cancelled at the end of the month in which you let us know you’d like to stop your subscription and you’ll make no more payments. In either case, you may keep all the materials you have had up to that point and we hope they continue to serve you well in your life.
We're very excited about this new development of the Way of Life and look forward to meeting you in the Shendo - the vibrant community of practitioners dedicated to their energy awareness development, who are integrating it, with increasing effect, into their life and work.
“Taking responsibility for myself has been a big part of my life recently, not just my actions but my physical and emotional body, and it’s so interesting to have a bit of understanding of it . . . So, lots of responsibility, and living in reality, and change! . . . if anyone would have predicted, last year, that I would be like this now I would have told them to get lost!” AH, UK
“The Shendo is helping me see the positives in life and that I have the wherewithal to do what I need to do. I'm at a stage in life right now where I've dropped relying on all my outmoded child-like beliefs including, 'I have to get everything "right"’ . . . For the first time in my life I'm actually understanding what ‘living with intent’ really means.” IW, UK
“So this is what the Shendo is like in action ..... Awesome!! VD, UK