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Soul Without Shame:
Exploring the Nature of Self-Judgment

An Online Course with Byron Brown

The judge, superego, or inner critic shapes and limits our daily life. This psychic entity, which praises, accuses, promises, and threatens, is forever looking over our shoulder to see if we measure up. Invading our relationships and undermining our self-esteem, self-judgment is also the primary force interfering with our personal spiritual work.

This online course will guide you to begin to directly address the inner judge using principles of the Diamond Approach. Through embodied awareness (to support presence) and open-ended inquiry (to bring about understanding), we will learn to recognize and confront the assumptions and principles that keep self-judgment in place. We will cultivate aspects of our true nature that can act as antidotes to self-judgment: awareness, compassion and strength. Most importantly, we will practice disengaging from the judgment process through understanding and deliberate action.

The six segments of the course will each include meditation, lecture, discussion, repeating question exercises, and experiential/movement practices. The course is open to everyone with an interest in and a willingness to confront habitual patterns of self-attack. Bring your courage, compassion, and curiosity.

This online course includes:

  • Six pre-recorded video teaching segments; each session lasting between 90 minutes – 2 hours
  • Experiential activities to help you explore the content in your own life, including meditation, movement practices, repeating questions, and interactive games
  • Private Online Community to connect with other course participants from around the world


The course is appropriate for those engaged with the Diamond Approach, as well as those new to this work.

Scholarships are available.  If you have any questions about the course or would like to inquire about a scholarship, please email our team.

In this 6-module online course you will learn:

Module 1 – Judgment and Standards

  • A definition of judgment based on external ideals and standards, “should’s” and “should not’s”
  • How we orient to our experiences by evaluating them as positive or negative, good or bad, right or wrong—the manifestation of inner judgment
  • How family history and dynamics are a source for foundational ideologies of the inner critic

Module 2 – The Judgment Cycle

  • How to understand the cycle of judgment that occurs with the inner critic
  • How to bring awareness to and examine judgments, including identifying words used in judgment and examples of judgments of ourselves
  • Both the energetic impacts of judgment and the emotional effects of judgment

Module 3 – Being With and Engaging the Judge

  • How we stay engaged with judgment through various strategies, including rationalizing, absorbing and collapsing, and counterattacking
  • How we learn to access strength, knowledge, and control through judging our own experience and identifying with the superego (the inner critic)

Module 4 – Compassion

  • How compassion serves as the heart’s direct antidote to judgment
  • How compassion can arise in us, for ourselves and our situation, as a natural response to hurt and pain
  • The relationship between truth and compassion

Module 5 – Strength

  • How we can reclaim our essential strength from the superego–our passionate aliveness, capacity, focus, initiative, courage, and bright fullness
  • How we can use true strength to stand up for ourselves and reclaim what the judge has taken from us

Module 6 – Disengaging

  • How to dis-identify from the “child” self-image to prevent self-judgment attacks
  • How to shine a light on habitual attitudes and activities of the judge
  • Tools for disengagement from the inner critic, including humor, healthy aggression, disinterest, compassion, and active visualization

Watch a Segment of the Course

This video features a sample teaching segment and exercise from the course:

Read a Segment of the Book the Course is Based On

Read the first two chapters of the Soul Without Shame book this course is based on.

Learn more about the book.


Byron Brown has been a Diamond Approach teacher since 1990. He leads groups, works with individuals, and trains teachers in the Ridhwan School. He has taught workshops on the superego across the US and in Europe for the last twenty years. His book, Soul Without Shame: A Guide to Liberating Yourself from the Judge Within, was published in 1999 by Shambhala Publications.

Comments on Soul Without Shame

“[Soul Without Shame] is not only a study of the inner critic and how to deal with it, but a clear presentation of how this work can be done in a way that actually helps reveal our true and spiritual nature. In other words, it demonstrates how the work on the inner critic can become a path toward realizing true conscience—the essential conscience of which the inner critic is merely a limited imitation. Byron has also succeeded in demonstrating how the work with the inner critic and the arising of inner spiritual states are related, and how they contribute to and support each other. ” – A. H. Almaas

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