Great Past Lives Regression article

Interesting article from a guy who apparently got his mind blown by a past lives journey. He describes it like taking “ayahuasca cut with Mountain Dew Code Red.” Writer Will Fulton worked with Ann Barham, who’s been doing this long enough to have the web address That’s a good website; she has a questionnaire posted where every question can be answered by getting a past lives perspective. My attitude completely! And with props to the Awareness Techniques, Fulton’s journey started with:

“We started from the bottom and worked our way up. I saw my bare feet in a dust-swept valley. “

That’s Swygard’s instructions which have been absorbed into the mainstream of past life regression hypnosis, and I bet Ann Barham never heard of the Awareness Techniques or William and Diane Swygard. But what is most impressive about Fulton’s article is his takeaway:

The vision of past/possibly-made-up-me was a lot like me-me. The same flaws that hindered my life "back then" live on in the present… (S)keptic or not, the journey of past-life regression is not a passage to be taken lightly. If nothing else, you will face some uncomfortable truths(.)

“I Visited a Past-Life Therapist and It Literally Changed My (Current) Life” by Wil Fulton

Hijacked Orwell/Santayana Quotations

I am totally guilty of hijacking George Orwell’s amazing quotation from his novel “1984” but it made me smile when I saw it today. The Orwell quote was in a Daily Beast article about how the “number of students choosing to major in history at the nation’s major colleges has plummeted” according to the American Historical Association. So yes, I know Orwell is speaking of the study of history so we aren’t “doomed to repeat it” as Santayana is widely misquoted.. But in the context of past lives explorations, and uncovering the subtle energies that filter into our daily lives, its golden:

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

I believe this past lives work allows us to control our past history and keep it from ruling our present,

And this is George Santayana’s original text, often misquoted but equally applicable:

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Happy New Year 2019 Quotation/Updated 1/6/19

The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.

Carl Sagan

I posted this on January 4th. On January 6th, I attended Sunday mass at Jubilee in downtown Asheville, and in the first sync of 2019, the choir sang the Disney classic “When You Wish Upon a Star” written by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington for Walt Disney's 1940 carton adaptation of Pinocchio. I was blown away by these lyrics, composed decades before Abraham/Hicks:

When you wish upon a star

Makes no difference who you are

Anything your heart desires will come to you.

If your heart is in your dream

No request is too extreme

When you wish upon a star

As dreamers do.

Like a bolt out of the blue

Fate steps in and sees you through

When you wish upon a star

Your dreams come true.

So if we are made of “star-stuff” then how does it feel to think of yourself as the way the Universe/God/Source knows and experiences itself? Remember, no request is too extreme.

Tapping Into Past Lives*

(*Acknowledging that Australian author and EFT trainer Jenny Johnston already has a book out of this title, its an awesome title for this chapter!)

I was having a phone/Zoom conversation with my friend Debra who does QHHT, Dolores Cannon’s interesting technique that goes into past lives and other interesting places. When Debra asked about my EFT certification training, I offered to do some tapping so she could appreciate this powerful technique. I asked if she had any fears or phobias, and she immediately came up with “I hate snakes. If someone even mentions that they have a pet snake at home, I get the creeps.” Perfect for EFT I thought. So we established her base line discomfort on snakes, what it was she disliked about them, and started doing some tapping. After a few rounds, I kept Debra tapping on the collar bone point and asked her to say her own words to describe what she was feeling. 

Debra: “I feel like I’m in a pit, surrounded by poisonous snakes.”

That got my attention. When the client’s own words describe something that is a degree of complexity above the presenting situation, my thoughts go to a past lives issue rising to the surface. In Debra’s case, being afraid of snakes lead to a feeling of being attacked by snakes, with the added details that the snakes were poisonous and being trapped in a pit. 

Now for the last year or so in my MeetUps, we have been doing group journeys using a positive emotion as a bridge to the past life. This has worked extremely well, 80-90% of the participants are accessing a past life AND the positive emotions that drew them to that particular life. But in Debra’s case, tapping in the present on fear of snakes brought up a deeply uncomfortable emotion and accompanying physical sensations, so I decided to try using this negative emotion as a bridge to a past life experience. With no induction, just following the emotion, Debra was able to feel the body that was going through a nightmarish experience. She described her clothing as a white wrap-around garment, and there were 2 large men on either side of her carry/dragging her forward. She described trying to use her feet to slow them down “like the Flintstone’s cartoon (great 60’s reference)” until they got to a hole in the ground. Since we both had an awareness of what happens next, I told her to go backwards in time to the events that led to this situation. She saw herself as a servant girl tasked with pouring the wine at a fancy feast. When she was approaching her “master’s” place at the table, she accidentally spilled some wine on his sleeve and watched in horror as the stain spread as the cloth absorbed the dark red wine. There was no yelling, just a simple wave of the hand and 2 men appeared at her side and dragged her away. Then she found herself at the edge of this pit. We tapped on her fear at what she new was about to happen, and I did not feel the need for her to go through the whole sequence of being attacked by multiple snakes. So I moved her forward to the events just after she left the body, and we had an enjoyable between lives session where we examined how this applied to her present life. 

We were both astonished at what just happened; Debra because she learned the power of EFT tapping when confronting physical and emotional traumas, and myself, because I just used a negative emotion brought to the surface by EFT tapping to access the core issue behind that fear, which as I expected was in a past life. I have now completed a series of sessions all starting with EFT tapping on current issues that lead to a core issue from a previous incarnation. Progress and a new (but unconventional* and off label") use of EFT tapping!

*For the record, I still do classic EFT sessions that don’t lead to past lives. It is only when the clients own words lead the way that we pursue a core issue from a previous life.

Regressionist = Archeologist of the soul?

The science of exploring the mysteries of the human soul — the part of us that is most human — is called “mysticism,” and the explorers who study it are known as regressionists. Their work is analogous to that of archaeologists, who study sites and artifacts of historic or prehistoric peoples. Regressionists, the ar­chaeologists of the soul, dig through the strata and sub-strata of memory rather than through the records of geology. They sift through the potsherds of a bro­ken past, discovering what may be of value and what may be discarded as unimportant or even harmful. They reassemble mosaics for a clearer view of the ancient ways of past lives.

”Life Patterns, Soul Lessons, and Forgiveness”

Henry Leo Bolduc 1994

(Wondering how “Bobby Baranowski - Archeologist of the Soul” would look on my new cards. Vote in the comments.)

Carol Bowman Quotation

Past life memories are the autobiography of your eternal soul-—personal stories that explain who you are now and why you’re here on Earth…Past life regression is healing.  You were born not as a blank slate, but as a soul rich with both the wisdom and scars from many lifetimes.

Carol Bowman

I recently discovered that Carol Bowman formerly lived in Asheville NC. Her website, carol, contains “the oldest and largest reincarnation discussion forum on the Internet”, which started in 1997. Now living and working in Media PA, Carol is the author of 2 books on children’s past lives.

Great Mitch Horowitz Quotation (and advice)

I’m currently reading “The Miracle Club: How Thoughts Become Reality” because a) I could use a miracle and b) I read everything that Mitch Horowitz writes. I became a fan after discovering an audiobook version of his “Occult America: White House Seances, Ouija Circles, Masons, and the Secret Mystic History of Our Nation”, which has become my reference guide to New Thought and the (mostly) American prosperity and positive thinking movements. Here he references Wallace Wattles 1910 classic “The Science of Getting Rich” in a quotation that I offer as advice for anyone doing this past (and between) lives work as a spiritual journey:

“The finest thing you can do to honor the memory of this good man-and to advance on your own path in life- is to heed his advice: go and experiment with the capacities of your mind. Go and try. And if you experience results, do as he did: tell the people.”

Standing on my digital soapbox I recommend doing the work of exploring your inner world, then tell me and others what worked for you. We are all on this journey together, and one person’s success can be the “spiritual 4 minute mile”. It was assumed that man was incapable of running a mile in under 4 minutes until in 1954 Roger Bannister broke it by six-tenths of a second. Since then over a thousand runners have passed this formerly impossible time.

“Was there a sudden growth spurt in human evolution? Was there a genetic engineering experiment that created a new race of super runners? No. What changed was the mental model. The runners of the past had been held back by a mindset that said they could not surpass the four-minute mile. When that limit was broken, the others saw that they could do something they had previously thought impossible.”

(The Power of Impossible Thinking, Yoram Wind and Colin Crook)

But it probably wouldn’t have happened as rapidly if people hadn’t heard that Bannister broke the record and then went out to better his time. Since then others followed him through what was thought to be an impenetrable barrier, and the record is now almost 17 seconds below Bannister’s achievement.

So- do this past lives work for yourself, or contact me for a series of sessions, to push the limits of your own mind and consciousness, and notice how it changes your mental model. Then share both your struggles and your successes, and let me know or tell your tribe what you accomplished.

NY Times article has a unique spin on reincarnation and karma

This article by Michelle Alexander is the first mention of politics on this blog but is worthwhile because of its unique approach to the issue:

“The prospect of being reborn as a poor person in a world ravaged by climate change could lead us to very different political decisions.”

In other words, if you assume you’re coming back for another incarnation in a physical body on this planet, consider how we are treating this planet that we are coming back to, and that we may return as someone of a different sex, race or social status. Michelle addresses whether we switch from perpetrator to victim in succeeding lives:

“Would we fail to respond with care and compassion to the immigrant at the border today if we thought we might find ourselves homeless, fleeing war and poverty, in the next life?”

I haven’t talked about climate change and social issues here because I’m taking the broader, more spiritual perspective. But Michelle Alexander beautifully focuses on the personal intersecting with the political in examine the ideas of John Rawls and his idea of the “veil of ignorance”-

In his landmark 1971 book, “A Theory of Justice,” the political philosopher John Rawls urged his audience to imagine a wild scene: A group of people gathered to design their own future society behind “a veil of ignorance.” No one knows his or her place in society, class position or social status, “nor does he know his fortune in the distribution of natural assets and abilities, his intelligence and strength and the like.” As Rawls put it, “If a man knew that he was wealthy, he might find it rational to advance the principle that various taxes for welfare measures be counted unjust; if he knew he was poor, he would most likely propose the contrary principle.” If denied basic information about one’s circumstances, Rawls predicted that important social goods, such as rights and liberties, power and opportunities, income and wealth, and conditions for self-respect would be “distributed equally unless an unequal distribution of any or all of these values is to everyone’s advantage…

Rawls was right: True morality becomes possible only when we step outside the box of our perceived self-interest and care for others as much as we care for ourselves. But rather than imagining a scenario in which we’re entirely ignorant of what the future holds, perhaps we ought to imagine that we, personally, will be born again into the world that we are creating today through our collective and individual choices.

Yes, if we are going to be born again into this physical world, and that’s a big IF, consider the shape of the world that you left behind and how you might want to be treated the next time around.

Pew Research data on new age belief

According to this recent survey, 33% of Americans express belief in reincarnation. That breaks down to 39% of women and only 27% of men, with the highest % of belief in the youngest.

(Which would explain why there are more women in my MeetUps and in my practice than men.)

Michael Talbot's Past Lives: A Reincarnation Handbook

I am familiar with writer/researcher Michael Talbot because of his incredible book “The Holographic Universe” but did not know until today that he was an avid past lives researcher. In 1987 he published “Past Lives: A Reincarnation Handbook” and I can’t think of anything else in this format of a how-to book for past lives work. Talbot has obviously done a lot of his own past lives explorations, and is one of those lucky enough to remember their previous incarnations well into his childhood. This book covers keeping a past lives journal and explores a wide variety of techniques including dreaming, meditation and self-hypnosis, guided meditations (including the Christos technique, more on that below), Active Imagination, and exploring with a past life therapist or psychic. He even has his own technique called the Resonance Method and this quote from Yogananda sums up Talbot’s Resonance Method:

“Through analysis of your present strong tendencies you can pretty accurately surmise what kind of life you led before.”

Paramahansa Yogananda, Man’s Eternal Quest

Talbot describes this as:

“a special draw that you feel toward some things and not others when there is no logical reason in this life for you to feel the way you do.”

“One of the easiest ways for you to begin to decipher your past lives is simply to analyze your current psychological makeup. Many past-life researchers believe that past-life origins can be found not only for current emotional and physical problems, moods, habits, talents, and ways of relating with people, but even for food preferences, clothing tastes, nuances of personality, facial expressions, and body language. By determining which of these various pieces of yourself are holdovers from other lives, you can begin to formulate certain pictures of who and what you've been before. This is what the Resonance Method will help you do… As you use the Resonance Method, remember one cardinal rule: No single piece of information means anything. Pieces of information only start to mean something when they fit together into larger pictures.”

Interestingly, he references the Christos Technique as one of the best methods for 2 person explorations, and even mentions “a Massachusetts couple named Diane and William Swygard” as the originators. But in a pre-internet age, with William Swygard’s death in 1981 and the books out of print, Talbot had no way of knowing that the Christos Technique was Swygard’s technique, using the same instructions that the Swygard’s mailed from their Miami, Florida home in the previous years. At the very least Talbot says in print what I have been saying in my presentations: “Whatever its origins, the Christos Technique has become an established part of the past-life-recall repertoire, and variations of it can now be found in numerous sources”. More on Christos in a future post.

Going deeper into the book, Talbot offers this excellent advice on the method of working with a psychic:

“Just as a talent to play the piano in itself tells you nothing about the integrity or wisdom of the person playing the piano, a talent for paranormal functioning does not necessarily imply an equal gift in the areas of compassion, ethics, or spiritual wisdom…(N)o matter how talented a sensitive is, the information he channels will always be at least slightly colored and distorted by the mere fact that it is passed through him.”

Then Talbot writes one of the rare criticisms of Edgar Cayce for his “tendency to tell a statistically preponderant number of the people who came to him for past-life readings that they had had a lifetime in which they had known and talked with Christ.” Boom!

Which leads to this advice on discernment:

“(I)f you see an image of Marilyn Monroe, do not automatically assume that you have some sort of past-life association with Marilyn Monroe. Instead, ask yourself what Marilyn Monroe represents to you on an archetypal or symbolic level, and see if that image helps you unravel the message your unconscious is giving you.”

Talbot was obviously influenced by the work of various channels who deliver wisdom from beyond the mortal perspective and speaks highly of Jane Roberts’ Seth. He seems to have been in communication with what he calls a “trance entity” named James who was channeled by Jane Roberts’ longtime editor Tam Mossman. I was unfamiliar with “James” but an internet search revealed that Mossman published his own book, Answers from a Grander Self, in 1990 which I will add to the ever growing list of books I need to read. “James” has some interesting ideas on time and suggests that instead of past lives they be referred to as adjacent lives. That’s a rabbit hole I’ll be exploring in the future.

Talbot, who passed away in 1992, has written an excellent guide to past lives explorations. This out-of-print book is an awesome addition to my ever expanding library and is highly recommended.

Your Past Lives - A Reincarnation Handbook, 1987

Lyme Disease and a Past Lives Perspective

I have not yet written about my own personal Lyme disease journey and healing crisis due to a tick bite I received back in 2005 (while playing at the Poconos blues festival!!!) but maybe its time to address this. I shouldn’t have been surprised while was reading this article* about Lyme disease to find a reference to past lives. The author, Scott Forsgren from the better health guy blog and website (, is in recovery from Lyme and the article promotes “casting a wide net” in the healing journey. What got my interest was the first item on his list is :

Reducing the impact of negative thought patterns and past emotional traumas and conflicts

“Emotional traumas and conflicts do not necessarily have to be personally experienced; they may be inherited from our ancestors or even past lives (if one believes in this possibility).”

Among his recommendations are::

“Family constellation therapy, applied psycho-neurobiology (APN), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), BodyTalk, the Emotion Code, EFT, and related techniques may be very helpful in exploring this realm.”

I am glad to see EFT included along with EMDR to deal with what he calls “a PTSD-like condition” that results from being sick, very wise advice. I am pursuing a past lives perspective on my personal healing crisis and highly recommend it to anyone dealing with this and related illnesses. More on this as it develops. Check out the article:


Nerd's Eye View: Bi-Lateral Alternating Tactile Stimulation as an alternative to EFT tapping

Digging deeper into this fascinating process that George Duisman introduced me to with CTT, I felt the need to nerd-out, to dig deeper and research how the simple act of tapping on alternate sides of the body can move stuck energy so effectively. This led me to EMDR, which is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing;

“It was discovered accidentally by Francine Shapiro Phd as she was walking in a park in the late 1980’s. As she was walking… she noticed that some distressing feelings she was having about a particular situation suddenly ceased. When she reflected back on what happened, she remembered that she had experienced some spontaneous saccadic eye movements (kind of rapid blinking). This led her to experiment further and the discovery that when a person deliberately focuses on a distressing memory, and then concentrates on bilateral stimulation, their distress is reduced. ”*

Further research by EMDR practitioners discovered that it wasn’t only eye movements that brought about these shifts:

“Bilateral stimulation is stimuli (visual, auditory or tactile) which occur in a rhythmic left-right pattern. For example, visual bilateral stimulation could involve watching a hand or moving light alternating from left to right and back again. Auditory bilateral stimulation could involve listening to tones that alternate between the left and right sides of the head.”*

So the focus shifted from eye movements to any stimuli which occurred in a rhythmic left-right pattern.  This resulted in a number of products ranging from audio recordings of tones which shifted from left to right channels, to devices looking like twin wrist watches that deliver a vibration to alternating wrists. The effects are similar to what has been shown with EFT tapping:

“These effects are experienced as a ‘bottom-up’ cascade of changes meaning that they are experienced in the lower areas of the brain first, as a physiological response (ie; decreased tension) then travel ‘up’ the brain leading to mental changes (eg; decreased worry). Because this order works with how the brain normally processes information, the effects are often experienced more quickly and easily than with say top-down strategies such as insight and conscious introspection.”*

Which brings us to what George Duisman explored with CTT (Consciousness Transformation Technique). Using EFT as a jumping off point, Duisman started from a cross-armed position, tapping with alternating hands on the upper arms. I have found this to be surprisingly effective. I will be going forward on a dual track: I am using Duisman’s bi-lateral alternating tapping form on my clients who are not familiar with EFT.  But as many of my clients already know the EFT procedure and the tapping points, that is more comfortable for them and doesn’t require further explanation. I am in the process of getting my certification in EFT to deepen and enhance my use of this amazing healing technology. I believe that the combination of EFT tapping with the Swygards’ Awareness Techniques is a major breakthrough in moving energy and processing traumas. Try it, it works!

* (

Great Quincy Jones/Count Basie quotation

You can always count on the greatest of musicians to come up with the greatest of quotes. Here’s one from the new Netflix documentary “Quincy” about composer/arranger Quincy Jones. In the doc, Quincy Jones refers to bandleader Count Basie as like a father to him and who gave him this advice:

“Learn to deal with the valleys, the hills will take care of themselves.”

Beautifully stated, especially in light of adding EFT and CTT tapping to my sessions to deal with the valleys.

CTT: The Powerful Combination of Past Lives & EFT

My intention in pursuing past lives explorations was always to find what is next for this field. I believe that the most significant advance in the field is the combination of EFT tapping with past lives explorations. Synchronistically in August 2018 I started an EFT tapping MeetUp here in Asheville. I had been doing EFT and working with some of its energy psychology offshoots like TAT for 10 years and never thought of tapping in conjunction with my past lives work, but George Duisman has been doing just that with his online community for years.

I was researching the work of Dolores Cannon and QHHT (Quantum Healing Hypnosis Technique) which has an interesting induction using visualizations of objects and colors. Cannon, who passed away in 2014, had insisted her trainees only work in person so after her death an offshoot called BQH (Beyond Quantum Hypnosis) emerged that was designed to take advantage of the internet resources like Skype and Zoom. It was on a website for BQH practitioners that I connected with George Duisman whose innovative technique is called CTT (for Consciousness Transformation Technique). I have added tapping to my sessions since I learned about this and its extremely powerful. What’s even more interesting about CTT is that George uses a modified form of tapping which is much less complicated than classic EFT but just as effective. I connected with George Duisman for an interview last week to find out more about his process. (For the word-weary, scroll down to the end of this article for the audio interview.)

GD was one of the earliest adopters of personal computers and programming, building one of the first PC golf games. Always interested in spirituality, he was drawn to the early teachings of J. Z. Knight’s Ramtha and also investigated EFT in its early days. Duisman’s curiosity brought him to two innovative uses  of EFT, which are tapping for insights and a simplified cross armed form of tapping. Inspired by the bilateral movements of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing), Duisman’s method involves crossing the arms over the chest and tapping with alternate hands on the upper arms. This allows the tapper to remain in a self-hugging position and doesn’t require guidance to change positions. Its simplicity took some getting used to but it has proved effective with my clients who are not familiar with the EFT tapping points. (I’ll post a “nerd’s eye view” of Bi-Lateral Alternating Tactile Stimulation, and yes, that’s a mouthful, to examine the background on this method.) But that is only the first of many innovations in CTT. I have been researching various methods of inductions, both hypnotic and non-hypnotic, for the past year, and CTT dispenses with the induction altogether. Instead, it poses the question (which I love) “What is the Optimum Negative Belief that is blocking your joyful empowerment?” Followed with “What is the first clue?” The clue being whatever image, word, sound, feeling or emotion that arises in response to the question. (Once again, the almighty trusting of the first image that is central to past lives work and shamanic journeying.) This allows even the most subtle impression to be drawn out to a full experience.

In one of the CTT sessions I did, my first impression was of an orange, just a single piece of fruit. Further questioning uncovered an incredible life as the very wealthy but unhappy and unfulfilled 2nd generation owner of an empire based on acres of orange groves in Spain. Money, a big house and a beautiful young 2nd wife couldn’t soothe my heartache over my failed career as an artist and I succumbed to alcohol and overwork, just like my father whose lifestyle I was determined to avoid. All of this emerged from that image of a single orange, which expanded into the groves of the family business and the emotional turmoil behind this dynasty. There were multiple episodes in this life where I connected to his heartache and tapped on the pain: he was a wanna-be artist, I was a wanna-be rock star, there were echoes of that experience in my life and I experienced shifts when we were tapping.

I am currently incorporating Duisman’s CTT tapping and some of his wording into my past lives work with clients with great success. Lots of energies being moved, lots of clearings and insights being received. I believe that the combination of some form of EFT tapping with the groundbreaking work of the Swygards’ Awareness Techniques is not just the next step in Past Lives Therapy but a giant leap forward.

Book Review: Past-Life Therapy in Action by Dick Sutphen

I hadn't read any of Dick Sutphen's books so when the shelf elves delivered this one to me, I was intrigued. Sutphen is one of the original New Age personalities who helped to put Sedona on the map, and he has one of the earliest mass market books on reincarnation with "You Were Born to Be Together", published in 1978. The timing of reading this book is interesting as Sutphen is an advocate of what hypnotists call "regression to cause," going immediately to the source of the trauma. His style is very "in your face", challenging people's belief systems with the confidence of someone who has years of experience. He even jokes in one chapter that he tells people "I wish you a miserable past-life regression." His reasoning is:

"If your regression experience is vivid and real enough for you to get upset, then I guarantee you this past-life incident is still in your present life. It is programming that is still under the surface, festering and manifesting as problems. By getting in touch with the cause in regression, you can totally experience it, possibly resolving your problem... Everything you feel, every attitude, hang-up, fear, and phobia is rooted in your past. There is a past event or series of events that is causing you to experience the present undesirable effect."

That sums up Sutphen's philosophy and methodology better than I could. Sutphen is an advocate of the belief that “you create everything, that you are totally responsible for everything that happens to you.” Luckily, he also stresses that “wisdom erases karma:”

“Can you make it all right with yourself to release and rise above the past, the past of being a victim and the past of being the bad guy? Can you let go of all the past situations you’ve lived and suffered? If you are ready to truly forgive yourself, you can release all the undesirable effects right now. You can wipe the slate clean and move forward into your present life; clear, focused, in balance and harmony. The choice is yours.”

I have recently been working with this very intense practice, doing this past lives version of shadow work. This is being willing to look at the events and choices that lead to you being “the bad guy.” And its surprising to find that for all the times I’ve seen myself as the victim, further digging uncovered a life where I was the perpetrator, sometimes with the same people involved! It is extremely powerful and I am in agreement with Sutphen that it is necessary. In fact Sutphen goes further:

“If my subject has a severe physical problem which is also associated with depression or emotional troubles, experience has taught me not to be satisfied with a ‘cause’ that does not include guilt.”

The only aspect that dates this work from 1983 is that the old model was to access the trauma but full back from feeling it, working from a "detached, all-knowing level of awareness." Sutphen’s induction includes the command:

"I want you to be an observer of your own experience. Detached, without any emotion or pain." 

Now I understand that this book is based on transcripts from workshops where he was doing group work. It must have been an intense experience for participants to open themselves to exposing their issues and confronting them in a public format. But its an interesting sync that this book shows up just after I connected with George Druisman and started experimenting with his CTT method. This consists of aiming directly to the source of the trauma, not detaching but acknowledging the level of distress, then tapping on it using his unique innovative form of EFT. (More on CTT in my next post.) 

These words from Dick Sutphen will be my quote of the month in the newsletter:

Nobody punishes us but ourselves. And nobody rewards us but ourselves.

Past-Life Therapy in Action by Dick Sutphen and Lauren Leigh Taylor, Valley of the Sun Publishing, 1983

Nerd’s Eye View: 240 times a minute

Just after posting my drum nerd/shamaninc journey story, this item found me and the number 240 jumped out.

"(Two) studies — one on humans by a team at the University of California Berkeley, and another on macaques done by scientists at Princeton University — sought to pin down how many times the human brain oscillates in and out of focus per minute. Four times every second, explains Princeton Neuroscience Institute Ian Fiebelkorn, Ph.D., to Inverse, the brain stops focusing on the task at hand. That’s about 240 times a minute.

'The brain is wired to be somewhat distractible,' he says. 'We focus in bursts, and between those bursts we have these periods of distractibility, that’s when the brain seems to check in on the rest of the environment outside to see if there’s something important going on elsewhere. These rhythms are affecting our behavior all the time.'”


Just as I focus on the magic number of 240 beats per minute this study mentions '240 times a minute", the equivalent, as how often our brains check in and out of the object of our attention. The reason this is a good thing is that our ancestors who were open to signals from their environment when focusing on picking a piece of fruit or hunting survived more often than those that were so focused on the task at hand that they became the hunted. I understand that moving attention to the environment 240 times a minute is not a frequency, but I'm not grasping how NOT focusing 240 times a minute relates to being in the zone while hunting or gathering; these seem contradictory. But I offer this information to you, let me know if you have any insights. 


A drum nerd's take on the shamanic journeying experience (and the Bee Gees)


It seems appropriate to address this topic just after examining how psychedelic research can give insight into the workings of the human brain and how alterations to the brain, whether chemical, energetic, or spiritual, affect consciousness. So how does performing CPR to the beat of the BeeGees “Stayin’ Alive” link with the drum beat used during a shamanic journeying session, which connects with EFT tapping on meridians on the body, which, as all things in my universe, leads to past life explorations? Start with this video: here’s a rare funny public service advertisement that describes how to perform CPR properly while waiting for the EMT’s to arrive-

 I apologize for the fact that you'll be hearing that song for the rest of the day. The takeaway is that this iconic BeeGees song that most people are familiar with from being used to choreograph John Travolta’s walk down a Brooklyn street (which happens to be Bay Ridge, where I lived for 7 years before moving to Asheville) just happens to be approximately 100 beats per minute (BPM for short). So if you need to restart and maintain a heartbeat for someone who’s had a heart attack, pushing hard on the center of the chest rhythmically at 100 BPM is ideal. As a former drummer and current drum nerd, recognizing beats per minute is something my brain attuned to at an early age. “Stayin’ Alive” was so ubiquitous in the 1970’s (the first time disco music put live musicians out of work) that everyone knows it, so its easy to sing or hum the song in your head while performing CPR. Also the song is called Staying Alive, which extends the metaphor.


This alerted me to the power that a simple drum beat can have on the body and made me wonder how drum beats could affect consciousness. So when this drum nerd attended a shamanic journeying session, I heard the drummer playing a simple steady rhythm on a single drum and couldn’t believe how powerful it was. Since I’ve been trained to remember tempos since I was 14, when I left the session I took out the metronome app on my phone (ProMetronome by EUMLabs in the Apple store) and tapped in the beat. It was 255 beats per minute, which is just over 4 beats per second (4 beats per second times 60 seconds = 240 beats per minute), which translates to slightly more than 4 Hertz*, which, in terms of brainwaves, is theta. 

In theta (3-8 Hz or 180-480 beats per second), our senses are withdrawn from the external world and focused on signals originating from within…In theta we are in a dream; vivid imagery, intuition and information beyond our normal conscious awareness.” **(

That simple repetitive drum beat was integral to setting and maintaining the brain in theta, which gives our brain access to the vivid imagery that is the hallmark of a good shamanic journey. I heard a recording of the famous shamanic practitioner Sandra Ingerman and, again with my metronome app, determined that she was drumming at 230 BPM, which is just under 4 Hz (which would be 240 BPM) but still in theta range (180-320 beats per minute). I went looking for a popular song in that range and the closest I found was “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson, which is 118 BPM. Why is that important to a drum nerd? Because once you know how a song sounds you can tap along with it. When I began drumming at my weekly shamanic journeying group here in Asheville, I could  “hear” Billie Jean in my head and tap on all 4 beats which doubles that 118 BPM to 236 beats per minute, which is solidly in Theta. I could establish a tempo in-between Sandra Ingerman’s and the previous drummer at my session and move the group towards theta. 

As I mentioned in a previous post, one of my other enthusiasms is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) which is tapping on meridian points on the body for emotional relief. I listened to a recording of a session where the tapping sounds were audible, compared them to the tempo that I was tapping at, and measured them on my trusty metronome app. Incredibly, the tempo was in the range of 240 beats per minute, actually a bit faster @250 BPM, but once again, THETA! One of the characteristics of EFT tapping is how it calms the body and helps you to tune in to your emotional state. Recall the quote above: “In theta, our senses are withdrawn from the external world and focused on signals originating from within.” So instinctively the tapping tends towards a tempo that induces the calm focus of theta. 

Since everything in my worldview angles back to past lives explorations, I have been experimenting with inducing theta by both rhythmic tapping and drumming in the 240 beats per minute range. But the goal isn’t getting to theta or any other brainwave state, it is directing consciousness to a previous body in a past life and seeing through those eyes and hearing through those ears. I'm avoiding making a "Staying Alive" pun here to wrap this up, you can thank me later. 


*Beats per minute (BPM) is a unit typically used as either a measure of tempo in music, or a measure of one's heart rate. A rate of 60 bpm means that one beat will occur every second. One bpm is equal to 1/60 Hz. -

** Some sites put theta at 4 - 8 Hertz, but I have found the range to be more like 3.5 - 8, which includes Sandra Ingerman's slightly slower beat (230 beats per minute) which is very effective, widely used and is @3.8 Hertz.

Further (Drug-Free) Psychedelic Adventures & a Book Review

I previously referenced Michael Pollan's book "How to Change Your Mind" back in May when articles began appearing before the book's publication. One quote jumped out for me:

"...a mystical experience can permanently shift a person's perspective and priorities."

Pollan's book examines the work of researchers using state of the art technology to study what happens in the brain under the influence of psychedelics. One of his surprise discoveries is how the psychedelic-ized brain matches up with the brains of experienced meditators. I wonder how the brain of someone on a past life journey would appear on an fMRI. Even more so, the brain of someone exploring the NPE (Non-Physical Experience) between lives, where consciousness is navigating untethered to a physical body, present or past.

Pollan refers to an un-named psychedelic experiencer as a "psychonaut", that is, someone who is using psychedelics for consciousness expansion, and his deep observation:

"If it were possible to temporarily experience another person's mental state, my guess is that it would feel more like a psychedelic state than a 'normal' state, because of its massive disparity with whatever mental state is habitual with you." 

A very trippy thought because in the context of past lives explorations, that is only the starting point. Some of the best past life journeys can be likened to mystical experiences because we have set our conscious intention to "temporarily experience another person's mental state", with the added layer of knowing that we ARE the person inhabiting that mental state, are aware of its back story and its justifications for its behaviors. Like the psychonaut's inner adventure, the past life journey requires some unpacking afterwards. There is the disparity between the behaviors of our present and our past life selves (especially when the previous incarnation making those decisions is acting in a way that is either evil, an asshole, or both), combined with the resonance from that past life state that is echoing into our present life. That "echoing" is the reason we are drawn to examine that previous life. Pollan's take on this-

"The long-term fate of the novel connections formed during the psychedelic experience—whether they prove durable or evanescent—might depend on whether we recall and, in effect, exercise them after the experience ends. (This could be as simple as recollecting what we experienced, reinforcing it during the integration process, or using meditation to reenact the altered state of consciousness.) Franz Vollenweider has suggested that the psychedelic experience may facilitate “neuroplasticity.”

All aspects that I believe also apply to the past and between lives journey.  In fact, except for set and setting, most of the requirements for a successful psychedelic journey apply to past and between lives work:

-setting an intention

-having a good, experienced guide

-discussing and journaling the experience afterwards to fully integrate it

Set and setting, so important to the trip experience, are of significantly less importance. Some of my most powerful sessions were online connecting with people in their living rooms.

After a particularly intense past life journey, I have often thought (and heard brave participants say) "Wow, what a trip!" That concept of a trip has been altered after reading this book. But, and this is significant, I am not entirely trusting of psychedelics as a consciousness expanding device. In fact, this book about research into psychedelics has reaffirmed my belief in the power of past and between lives exploration for the purpose of expanding consciousness. With this powerful tool, we have the ability to inhabit, with full consciousness, both another mental state and another physical state of a different race, culture, environment, and, for the ultimate contrast with our present life, another sex. That's the journey that can shift a person's perspective and priorities. 

I don't recall Pollan mentioning past lives even once, and I still highly recommend this book:

Michael Pollan- "How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression and Transcendence"