The Shen 神

    In Chinese Medicine the Shen is energy located in the center of the chest. The Shen is said to be the equivalent of the Emperor or Empress and as such he/she is in charge of all the other organs in the body (which also have ‘jobs’ in the Emperor/Empress’ Court).  When the Shen is present in his/her Palace – located over the physical heart, then the Shen can be seen in a person’s eyes and in their face.  The Shen indicates the overall health of the body.  

    Through energy balancing the Shen (and the body) becomes healthy and happy and the ‘face’ a balanced person shows the world can be strikingly different than the face they had when they were ill/imbalanced.  To illustrate this concept I’ll share here an email I wrote to a friend that I was doing energy balancing with:  


I wanted to make sure I mentioned this before we got too far away from yesterday…
But I saw what I would describe as your Shen being fully in your body yesterday – and it is so amazing.

You’ve said in the past you can’t see or feel the difference but to me it is so striking, so amazingly different. So much so I feel I have to tell you about it.

What does it look like?  I’ll try to explain…
Mostly I see it in your face.  And it is definitely like how seeing people’s Shen has been described in class.  Your skin tone has more color, more yellows and pink tone rather than blue and beige.  Your smile is much broader and wider. Which then makes a difference in your cheeks and the overall shape of your face…being rounder/softer shapes.

And your eyes are the nexus of it all.  They are so alive and full of joy.  They seem to be so many colors at once.  And actually when I see this in you and look in your eyes it’s so captivating I loose track of what I am saying; 

And the feeling you emit is open, inclusive, and warm.  Other times you lead with your boundary layer but at these times it feels like your heart and compassion are shining out from beyond your boundaries and that’s what greets people in the world.  Your boundaries are still there, but underneath.

It’s really incredible. And I’m so reminded of the line in that Chinese poem I showed you….  ‘When there is light in the Shen, there is beauty in the person’.

When I see what I feel is your Shen in you, like yesterday…..You are so beautiful.
And I mean that in the most celestial way.
It’s that Universal beauty you may have seen when you look at the night sky, far away from city lights…the beauty of thousands of stars forming the Milky Way….a beauty so great that it fills you with awe and wonder.  And you are immediately captivated and speechless.

That’s what I saw yesterday when I looked at you.