Course Description

What do all of your problems, frustrations, and challenges have in common? 

What is the through-line that connects them all? Where would you look to get to the root of them all?


You are the common denominator. Have you noticed?

Most people relate to their challenges with the following unconscious question, “How do I stay the same person and change my outer results?”

Your challenges are not different from you. They are your creation, based on your choices, which come from your psyche. If you can clearly see this, then you can productively work on them.

If you cannot, you inevitably play victim to your problems and go in circles.

I wish this weren’t true, but it’s the hard truth for all of us.

Our problems are our teachers, showing us how we need to change. When we don’t listen, they get worse.

In Light and Shadow Themes, we looked at the eight core problems that all humans have to address this root issue. We looked mostly at the problem from the shadow side, and learned how to identify and track deep wound-based patterns.

Cultivating Soul Essence explores more deeply the light side and is an independent, but related part-two. Light and Shadow Themes is not a prerequisite for Cultivating Soul Essence, and all are welcome.

If the word “soul” is a loaded word for you, please understand you do not have to believe anything in particular about the soul; in fact, it’s best if you come with no beliefs at all. This course will give you a direct experience of your own soul, such that you need no belief about it whatsoever.

In the end, it is only our direct, embodied experience of soul that helps us differentiate and heal our shadow issues. We can target shadow dynamics, and this is helpful, but not enough. The human shadow must experience that something better comes to take its place in order for it to let go, and this is the process of soul embodiment.

Your issues are a contracted expression of soul, the same way a knot is a contracted expression of a rope. The human shadow is the sum of the kinks in the purity of our soul-expression that must be unraveled. 

To do this, however, we can easily negativize the rope in our frustration with the knot. When we negativize our own essence (the rope), as most paradigms do, we fail to make room for our own soul to embody and our shadows remain in place.

Only by undoing the false split between the best and worst aspects of ourselves can we become whole. Just because the knot is a problem, doesn’t mean the substance of the rope is to blame. If we think it is, we may approach the knot with a knife, you see?

But you cannot unravel a soul-knot with a knife, and if you try, you only hurt yourself, resulting in more knots, which were only ever scabs protecting older cuts to begin with. 

How should we access our own souls, then, if not with a willful knife? This is the question this course experientially explores.

Cultivating Soul Essence broadcasts live on Zoom, Thursdays at 11:15 am PT, beginning September 22, 2022 for 11 sessions. When you join the live course you become part of the workshop and get individual support. All recordings are posted by the morning following the session, becoming an online course.

You can purchase this course alone or become a dojo member and get access to this and all online courses (it's a better deal).

Josef Shapiro

Since I first trained as a business coach at EMyth in 2002, I’ve been a change agent for thousands of business leaders and managers. Coaching is a fast-growing industry, but it's also very young. I'm a perennial student and never satisfied with the pace of human change because I think we can do better. For me, it’s an unsolved mystery and the needless suffering inside workplaces around the world hangs in the balance. It affects us all. Learn more at

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Introduction: The Stillness of Soul (9.22.22)

    • Introduction: The Stillness of Soul (9.22.22)

    • Assignment

    • Stillness: Guided Meditation

    • Stillness: Guided Meditation

Membership Saves You $$ on this Course!!