It is not my intention to convince anybody that reincarnation is something that happens to each of us. For those of you who are cynical, I encourage you to temporarily turn off the logical, analytical part of your mind and just let the events described in this blog bathe your consciousness. There will be time enough later to be judgmental and critical.
Keep in mind that perhaps it doesn't matter if reincarnation is real and if past life regression is a true phenomenon if we learn something from the experience, if it enlightens us, if it makes us wiser, more loving, more mindful, and more present. After all, that is the whole point of being here: to make sense of this life, to maximize our experiences, and to grow in wisdom and love.
On the first day of the past life regression therapy workshop, Dr. Weiss did a group regression. Then and throughout the week, approximately two-thirds of the 129 participants experienced past lives. Many of them shared those experiences in great detail and it was all very profound, moving, enlightening, and inspiring, not to mention mind-boggling.
I, personally, was unable to be regressed during the first few days. Dr. Weiss explained that some of us are very left-brained, very analytical, critical and judgmental, and that this often prevents some of us from initially going into an hypnotic state and recovering memories from past lives.
Despite my being one who embraces the unknown and the inexplicable with an open mind and open heart, I'm also a psychiatrist with a job that requires judgment and critical analysis, which is why Dr. Weiss's explanation for my difficulty regressing resonated with me.
Nonetheless, during the first regression exercise I did have an image that came into my mind two times. It was shocking to me because I have always been inept at visualization and imagery. The image that came to mind was that of two cupped hands. More on this later.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." ~ Shakespeare
On the first day, Dr. Weiss also did a psychometry exercise during which people were paired up, personal items were exchanged, and each individual had the goal of acquiring information about their partner based upon the object they were holding in their hands.
The impressions I received were sparse and fleeting: A small brown and white dog growling. A howling wind. The word book came to mind. And the left side of my face was tingling and hot for several seconds.
When the exercise was over and I shared what I had experienced with my partner, he did not relate to any of it. Dr. Weiss remarked that sometimes, even though we are focused on our partner's object, we may pick up images and experiences from the minds of others in the room.
And with that, Dr. Weiss described what he and his wife Carole had observed during the break prior to the psychometry exercise: He and Carole were walking through the woods. The wind was howling and they observed a small brown and white dog growling while chasing a buck through the woods.
I commented that the words buck and book are similar. Dr. Weiss concurred that words can get distorted in these situations. He also said that while observing the dog chasing the buck he had also observed a man who seemed to have something wrong with the left side of his face.
On the fourth day, Dr. Weiss offered to do a past life regression on individuals who had had no past life experiences. I volunteered to be one of these subjects.
During the break, prior to this happening, I decided to kill some time by walking through the bookstore. Imagine my surprise when I walked into the back room of the bookstore and, upon looking down, saw a perfect replica of the two cupped hands I had envisioned during the first regression exercise on the first day. The sculpture was titled, "The hands of God."
After the break, when I was on stage with Dr. Weiss, we decided that it would be best if he used a rapid induction technique rather than the progressive relaxation technique he had been using during the group regressions so that my analytical mind would have less time to be distracted and derail me.
This rapid induction was a shocking experience for me. I had seen it performed on other people and never, in a thousand years, did I think it would work on me, but it did! Within a matter of seconds, I fell back in the chair and was in a deep state of relaxation.
Dr. Weiss decided to use the image of the hands as a starting point. He remarked that when people have hands they usually have feet as well, and he guided me to look down at my feet. The imagery I received was not clear. It was difficult to discern. It was as if I were looking through a thick fog.
Nonetheless, I did get the sense of feet in leather sandals, that I was a man, and that I was wearing a garment of cloth. When Dr. Weiss asked me why I was cupping my hands, I perceived I was by a river and that I was cupping my hands to give water to my dying dog who was laying on the ground beside me.
When he asked me to fast forward in that lifetime I found myself alone. The dog had passed. I felt very sad. Dr. Weiss asked me if there was a lesson from that lifetime. The word "Love" entered my mind. He suggested that I would receive additional information regarding that life and he advised me to signal him with my left index finger when I had finished receiving the information, which I did.
Was the experience real or did I imagine it?
As far as I'm concerned, it's a moot point: When the regression was over and I opened my eyes, I was in an elevated state of consciousness. I was euphoric and giddy. I was giggling uncontrollably for several moments.
Several of the workshop participants who had observed my regression commented that when I was on the stage at the beginning of the regression I had appeared anxious, contracted and pale, and that afterwards I appeared radiant and joyous.
When one of the participants asked about the additional information I received during the regression, this is what I shared with them: "Love others fully and with all your heart and do not fear disapproval or rejection. Do not hold back. The more you give the more will be returned to you." People applauded. People were exhilarated. People were inspired.
The rest of that day and the following day as well I experienced an incredible lightness of being. I was relaxed and joyous, I was truly in the moment, feeling very mindful of all the blessings in my life and feeling great love for those around me.
I truly was transformed by the experience and not just for a few days afterwards. When I returned home to the business of my life I was different. I am different. I am calmer, less reactive, more appreciative, more patient, more loving, and more devoted to the care and well-being of others. My soul journey has changed me forever.