The Way of the Livingness – the Religion I’ve Always Known

By Shannon Everest

RELIGION AT SCHOOL

For all of my schooling life I attended a Catholic school. It was the same school that my mum went to and also the same school that her mother attended.

Religion was a subject taught in different ways over the years as I made my way from Infant School to Primary, and then to High School. It was a compulsory part of the curriculum, the same as Maths, English and Science. We also attended a mass in church once a week, and when we had events like assemblies or graduations, we would do this in the church. We also celebrated all of the normal religious events in church, like Easter and Christmas. 

GOING TO CHURCH

Sitting in the church was never a pleasant experience for me. It felt like time stood still and all I could think about was how long it would be before we could leave. It felt dark and cold in there and devoid of the natural lightness of being and joy I otherwise felt. I would sit and yawn over and over again, and I would look for opportunities to find relief by asking the teacher to go to the toilet as often as was feasible.

Why was it such an uncomfortable and unpleasant experience? Why did I dread going to church so much?

The most interesting part was getting up to receive the communion – a symbolic piece of wafer – only because you got to get up and move your body around and meet eyes with other kids… have a chat and some giggles. Like all children, I loved to sing but the hymns felt tiring, heavy and burdensome.

In High School, we had the opportunity to study all religions – Judaism, Protestantism, Ba’hai, Buddhism, Hinduism and so on. I approached it with eagerness – here was my opportunity to look further afield to find truth and something that resonated with me – but still I found nothing in my studies that made sense.

After leaving school I moved on in my life, with no real focus on religion. It wasn’t until my sister’s Year 12 Graduation 4 years later that I walked back into a church. I was shocked and gobsmacked to sit in the church for this ceremony; to now become aware, as an adult, of what I had learned to tolerate over all those years. In returning, I could now feel the cursing and imprisonment I was under as a student in a Catholic School. My rejection of religion grew stronger.

REJECTING RELIGION

All that I took in over those years left me feeling like I didn’t want to know about God or Jesus. What I had heard didn’t all add up and make sense with what I felt in my body and in my heart. So the easiest solution at the time was to reject it all.

I would question myself too – who was I to question all of this history and ceremony? I was just a child…

After spending all of those years in Catholic School and going to Church, I had come to reject religion and its concepts of God because:

  • The way God was presented felt harsh and very separate to me.
  • I was told that God was judgmental, and that you would go to heaven if you were good, or go to hell if you were bad. It gave a sense that God was someone to be feared. But how could a True and Heavenly Father be judgmental? – This didn’t make sense.
  • I was told that Jesus was God’s only Son… and that Jesus died for our sins. This felt very intense and dark to me as a child, and left me with scarring that needed to be healed. If Jesus was God’s only son, that would mean that there was only one in the whole world who was special and worthy of God’s love, rather than ALL of us.
  • I was taught that Jesus was a martyr: that he died for the sins of humanity. This is symbolism for someone who takes on other people’s issues. It glorifies the taking on, absorbing of and feeling responsible for the choices of another. As a person who has spent a lifetime taking on other people’s issues, I know the end result and devastation that results from this in my own body, so this can’t be a true way of being. I have learnt through trusting myself and feeling what is true based on the body I inhabit that the best thing for all is to not take on the issues of others, or try to fix anything with band-aid solutions, but call others to take full responsibility for themselves.
  • The reason for Jesus being put to death, I was told, was to clear humanity’s sins or wrongdoings, but his death didn’t really change any of that… it all still continues. What I can feel now is that he was a speaker of truth and I have experienced that when I speak the full and whole truth, I can get persecuted for it. This feels more in line with why he died. Through time, there have always been those that fear the truth being exposed and therefore seek to silence that truth being delivered.
  • I was presented a way of ritual, ceremony and devotion that wasn’t in line with the natural way I felt to celebrate. The true essence of celebrating always felt to me to be from a lightness of being – but my being never did feel ‘light’ in church. The light felt crushed.
  • I had rejected many ‘religious’ words such as holy and glory because the way these words were used didn’t translate to the meanings I knew deep within me.

There was always something very wrong with my religious education; it conflicted with what I felt from within. My body would say “no, that just doesn’t sit well with what I feel”. My mind would say “but you must be wrong because this religion has been building its momentum for a couple of thousand years – with so many followers and so much history behind it”.

When I came across a religion called The Way of The Livingness, there was a sad realisation that I had rejected religion and my connection to God because of all that had been imposed on me that didn’t feel true. When I had rejected that version of Religion and God, I had also rejected the possibility of it being a living truth – and in doing so, I had rejected a part of myself.

THE WAY OF THE LIVINGNESS – RETURNING TO WHOLENESS

At presentations of The Way of the Livingness I have been able to re-claim back all that I know in my heart and soul to be true – because finally I am hearing the words that make sense. But not just that, the words are spoken in the quality that goes hand in hand with the sacredness and essence of Religion – a returning to the Glory we come from.

I no longer feel fragmented – like religion and God are separate to me: now we are one and the same.

The Way of the Livingness – the very name captures the truth for me, because it is about living the love in our hearts.

It represents the living truth that is now active again in me – that we all have within us the same and equal opportunity to live in the Glory of Love. There is not a chosen one or few, but there is a spark waiting to be re-ignited in each of us.

Those days in church always felt like I was hearing empty words. Yet in the presentations on The Way of the Livingness I can feel the energy of equal-ness, brotherhood, love and divinity – as the words are being spoken and in the very room where I am sitting. I can feel it in me, in the presenters, in everyone in the room, and in those outside the building too – it is Unifying.

In these presentations, I don’t find myself yawning, or bored or watching the clock, waiting for it to be over. I don’t feel like I am being cursed for being who I am, or imprisoned by being there. I can laugh out loud and have tears of joy in my eyes. I feel free to express the truth and the love in my body, heart and soul as an equal Son of God.

These feelings are not ones that remain in a building and that I can’t take out into my life and apply practically to all I do. I have come to feel a Holy Reverence at work and at home, washing my car, or shopping at the supermarket, talking to my children’s school teachers and paying my bills: and the feelings don’t stay the same, they keep increasing, strengthening and building over time.

So I have finally found the truth I knew was possible in my heart as a child in The Way of the Livingness, because it confirms what I always knew – that the Kingdom of God is inside me. Living this fact in a world that has accepted far less is not always easy, but it is a truth that lives within and I will now never forget.

364 thoughts on “The Way of the Livingness – the Religion I’ve Always Known

  1. I love what you have shared with us Shannon. The simple truth is that religion, as we know it, has far more to do with distancing ourselves from God/each other than it does with truly unifying us all. Because it is not yet coming from a love being lived but more so from a dogma that is being blindly/intellectually followed and adhered to, it leads us astray in one of two ways; either we align to a consciousness that is not coming from truth or, we react to it and thus we reject God/truth. Either way we walk away from the divinity we innately are until such a time as we can see through these veils and begin to live again the true beauty, wisdom and love we each in essence are. Only then can true religion be activated as we begin the re-turn to our true self.

  2. This is a great definition of what true religion is in practice – ” I have come to feel a Holy Reverence at work and at home, washing my car, or shopping at the supermarket, talking to my children’s school teachers and paying my bills: and the feelings don’t stay the same, they keep increasing, strengthening and building over time.”

  3. If I hadn’t come to know The Way of The Livingness as presented by Serge Benhayon, I probably would have totally forgotten the fact that I had known truth and I had known God.

  4. Religion is a beautiful thing, it’s a shame so many of us turn away from it after experiencing a lesser and crushing interpretation of it. Its like a woman having a string of bad relationships and then when a truly loving and caring man comes along, she cannot open her heart to him because she is hurt and no longer believes in love. The Way of The Livingness is unique in the sense that it offers everything but does not push it onto you and leaves you alone to come to it or not. Its a truly inspiring that you were able to let go of the scares and open up to love once more.

  5. Being told Jesus died for our sins is something I was told as a child but it was not until reading this that I realised how much I have taken on this belief and tried to live it, despite knowing it doesn’t work. It’s really helpful to be able to see the origins of beliefs like this, for in seeing them exposed for what they are, it is simple then to let them go.

  6. Hearing the words from The Way of The Livingness presentations always makes complete sense and always feels absolutely true. Living from the love we feel in our hearts brings a wholeness and quality to our being.

  7. You go to a confessional school. You get a concept of education that is not it and you get a concept of religion that is not it either. This is indicative of the extent to which in life we get bombarded with notions, understandings, beliefs that pollute us and that end up meaning something to us, even to live a life in reaction to all of them.

  8. I love what you share here Shannon, ‘The Way of The Livingness – the very name captures the truth for me, because it is about living the love in our hearts.’ So true, The Way of The Livingness is a true way to live, it is about connection, brotherhood and living the simplicity of joy and love each day.

  9. I remember the most hated subject at school was Religious Education. And now I know why. Not because anyone was ‘bad’ but because what was being taught naturally conflicted with the truth of the body because it was never true to begin with.

    1. Absolutely agree, the way religion is taught in school is very much the same as science. The love and beauty of the relationship with God is delivered from a place of no truth and is boring, dull, delivering naught of what is there to be expressed.

  10. The way religious institutions have bastardised the truth of its meaning, let alone the many misinterpretations that have been spread through it in which we are diminished as the sinners of the world, has kept us under the veil of not knowing who we truly are and what power we hold. How different is that when coming back to the The Way of The Livingness the religion of our inner heart. There we are glorified as being the Sons of God and are supported in returning to be the powerful beings we in truth are. How different is that?

  11. “There is not a chosen one or few, but there is a spark waiting to be re-ignited in each of us.” – Absolutely – an immanent spark within us all no more or less in anyone and always there for us to re-connect with and bring back into our expression in this life.

  12. I love re reading your sharing Shannon and am inspired once again to look within for the truth and not outside myself as most Religions would have us do. We are all part of the whole that is God.

  13. The Way of The Livingness has signalled my return to true religion also, after a progression similar to yours, Shannon. Indeed I’ve read a lot of stories like this by fellow students of The Way of The Livingness. It leads me to wonder if there aren’t forces at play and very much alive in our institutionalised religions and in the new age and spiritual paths that abound that are designed to keep us away from the truth of who we are, and the connection to true religion we can have.

  14. I have had a similar church experiences, which rather than connecting me to me, just sent me searching for something else. However, The Way of The Livingness through Universal Medicine has provided me with an experience that has not been steeped in what a lot of organised religions profess. It allowed me to feel what real truth is in my body and to be responsible for my behaviours.

  15. “a returning to the Glory we come from.” “I feel free to express the truth and the love in my body, heart and soul as an equal Son of God.” The Way of The Livingness offers the opportunity to feel the glory and love of your connection to yourself and to God in every move you make.

  16. I too went to a Catholic school and I can say since having also come to be a student of The Way of The Livingness that I have never known of such a practical simple, very real and joyful way of knowing God. No longer is it something confined to a building but rather He is forever someone there in everything you do. Perhaps one of the greatest ills in modern religion is how it separates us from the simple truth.

  17. This is just so amazingly exposing to read, I was also raised in catholicism and I recognise so much in what you share and the unease I felt in church services and the fact that there were all these words that sounded great but were not lived in how I saw people being around me. Your points on the lies we’ve been told about God, and Jesus make absolute sense, how could sacrificing yourself for another be good and how does this support another to be responsible .. and that’s the rub and one I saw when I went back to a church service years after having left the church .. I was struck by how everything is geared towards looking without at an outside power and authority to find an answer, to confirm you and suddenly I could feel what the church does, it infantilises it’s followers, encourages them to look outside for the answers and in doing so doesn’t support them to take responsible for who they are, what they truly feel and that they in fact know God deep within. It takes them away from God and from themselves and that for me is a definition of evil.

  18. “The Kingdom of God is inside you” is something that I wasn’t always familiar with until presented by Serge Benhayon. I truly understand what this is and what this means now and live it.

  19. “THE WAY OF THE LIVINGNESS – RETURNING TO WHOLENESS” this is a fact, as it is the only way for us to begin and accept the grandness of who we are and that is our responsibility to just let out and surrender to what already lives within.

  20. What better way to hide the truth than create a hundred imitations of what is right. Then people will spend their lives shifting through a million lies to find the real deal. It’s a cunning plan except for the fact that every woman and every man feels energy and thus the truth. We actually do know what’s love and what’s not, so intimately and feel so much more in this world than what we think. It’s just we have been so practiced at hiding and running away from the amazing knowing we have inside. True religion as you beautifully show Shannon is just a return to what is so clear and light.

  21. ” There is not a chosen one or few, but there is a spark waiting to be re-ignited in each of us. ” Amen, thank you for sharing Shannon just lovely.

  22. ‘…there is a spark waiting to be re-ignited in each of us…’ So true. Something that inspires me to feel the brotherhood between us all.

  23. Reclaiming the truth in our heart and body reconnects us to our true nature and quality of being, that returns us to a unifying wholeness the more we accept the love we hold within.

  24. There are so many things in life which do not feel true, our bodies are experts in truth. But anything we reject shows us there are parts we reject ourselves, as our inner reflects our outer. So why not just allow everything and anything to be and in the process do not hold back what we know is the true way and live that, this is my learning in life.

  25. My experience of being brought up catholic and then moving on from this as it never felt true, to become a student of The Way of The Livingness has been such a wonderful experience. Always knowing there was God but didn’t feel like I was connecting with him truly. What I am experience from day to day is that this Connection with God is Religion and that I need not go anywhere, pray to him or have to say the rosary for the bad things I have done. God is Love, We are an expression of this Love when we were created so it is this that holds firm a union that can never be diminished no matter how hard we try.

  26. All other religions, particularly Christianity, teach that one is less and have to transform oneself while The Way of The Livingness presents that one is already everything one needs to be, one just has to live that in full.

  27. The Way of The Livingness is alive, vibrant and inspirational as it is one’s own religion and the religion of everyone equally at the same time.

  28. I love the word ‘reverence’. When we reconnect to our own Divine essence, reverence becomes a natural way of being – a way of ‘the Livingness’ and a unifying way. The Way of The Livingness is a religion that has supported me to ‘heal’ my relationship with God, with Love and with my fellow man.

  29. The Way of The Livingness has supported me in building my reconnection back to God, a connection I had given up on as a teenager from my experiences with the lack of truth and love I felt within the catholic faith. But as you say Shannon ‘…there is a spark waiting to be re-ignited in each of us…’ and I can say that my spark has well and truly being ignited with the love and truth I feel within The Way of the Livingness Religion.

  30. I loved your list of reasons for distancing yourself from catholicism. Brainwashing has been proven to not exist but to me your list shows that the catholic church will go to any lengths in its attempt to do so.

  31. For me traditional religion is not a coincidence, it’s no mistake that they function the way they do, to leave a feeling of austerity, guilt, sin, obligation and contraction throughout you. I feel it’s because there is a truth, a very real connection with God that we are here to return to, to celebrate and eulogise. It’s this each day we are here to live, like our own precious sermon to divinity. What’s not true just exists to obscure the beauty that there is. Thank you Shannon for this text.

  32. There is only one person throughout my life who has presented what, I can feel in every part of me, is true religion and that is Serge Benhayon. When he began to present The Way of The Livingness as a religion there was a part of me that wanted to run and hide as all the old programming of what religion was purported to be rose up in total opposition to what I was hearing. But the difference this time was that I was not just listening to what was being presented, this time I could feel the truth of the presentation right through every cell in my body; my mind might have been telling me to run but my body was saying so clearly – stop, listen and feel, for this is truth. So, I did and now today The Way of The Livingness is my religion, “the religion I’ve always known”

    1. Can totally relate Ingrid, it was a big step getting over my suspicion of religion and once I could see the misrepresentation of the word and way of life that is religion it has been much easier to accept the truth and simplicity that is religion – reconnection to the soul.

  33. Its a terrible feeling to know a magic in the world and inside of me, and yet the natural places to look for a relationship with this magic do not deliver. Its both a travesty that the religions I was exposed to as a child do not have this, and a marvel to have found The Way of the Livingness that helps chart a course back to the beauty and majesty inside.

    1. Love how you have expressed here Simon, the course being charted back to soul living, we are very much supported by God and nature to our natural way.

  34. I went to a secondary school where regardless of your faith or lack of it, everyone had to attend chapel every morning for a quick hymn or two and a reading then on Sundays we had to go to school for a full hour plus long service. I always felt very uncomfortable and as if I was in the wrong place. None of the words read out or sung struck a chord with me. On the other hand everything about The Way of The Livingness strikes a chord with me.

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