Sunday

11:11 flipside talk at the Life After Life Club in Laguna Woods

Here we go again...

More stories from the Flipside, courtesy of the folks at the Life After Life club in Laguna Woods, California.



Over a decade ago, these folks decided to start talking about this topic, inviting people who've had experiences with the afterlife.  A couple of years ago they invited me down for a chat. This was filmed yesterday.

There are about 100 people in the audience, and most of them were not aware of my research in the field, so I give a brief overview of how I came to the work.  If you've seen or heard me talk about this before, you might listen to see how much I differ or veer from the story I've been telling for over a decade.

The subject of the talk "11:11" is based on an event that happened a couple of years ago, via a dream my wife had.  That post is here:

The reason I'm discussing it in this forum - is I've learned that any event is accessible. If it happened, it exists like a packet of time, or like a DVD of all the things that occurred during that event. (Although the conscious mind may misinterpret or mistake what it was seeing or saw, we can also learn "new information" from revisiting the event).  The vivid dream, the visitation, the NDE, the OBE, the LSD trip, the deep hypnosis session, once experienced - (like the lives of our loved ones) - always exists, and can be accessed if one takes the time to learn how.

Some people find it easier to access these "events" or "memories" through hypnosis, (or meditation or some other method) - I've learned that a person does not need to be under hypnosis at all to experience things that are not in their conscious mind.

(Here's an example from last week's radio program with Heather Wade, who accesses the Flipside, her council, her former boss Art Bell, her teachers, guide, councillors - things she was not aware that she could access, but the same things that many people access while under deep hypnosis, during a consciousness altered event like an NDE - but she's not under any form of hypnosis at all.  I am merely asking her the simplest of questions and she supplies the answers live, in real time. Note her incredulity at being able to do so:)







In this talk above, the "11:11 Flipside chat" I note some of the work I've done with Scott De Tamble - I've filmed over a dozen sessions with him, done five of my six sessions with him, so in terms of "Where do you find a hypnotherapist who can do this kind of deep dive into my subconscious?" he's the one that Paul Aurand, former President of the Newton Institute recommended, Scott was trained by Michael Newton. 

Scott's at LightBetweenLives.com (and I'm told he also is doing Skype sessions.)

Since that recommendation, I've filmed many sessions with him - and he treats this research as I do; something to be understood or learned from.


I recount in this talk how I met the renowned medium Jennifer Shaffer (JenniferShaffer.com) and her abilities working with law enforcement and how I came to realize that I could "access her talents" like a cellphone - and recount some of the incredible and recent sessions we've done together.

During this chat, I forgot to mention how to try "the simple way anyone can speak to their loved ones" given to me from someone on the flipside, but thankfully it was the first question asked in the Q and A so it's at the end. (The advice came through Jennifer Shaffer, who was accessing "Morton" (as she called Michael Newton) who gave us a simple formula for "how to speak to our loved ones who are trying to reach us from the other side."  

It's at the end of this clip.

Thanks again to the wonderful folks Laguna Woods club, I only wish I had brought a dozen more books as I sold everything I had with me except my Sharpie.  I hope they continue to expand the path in this form of examination; wonderful group of individuals.

As a reference, here's a session I filmed years ago. During a book talk in Venice, CA a woman in the front row burst into tears when I mentioned my memory of a previous lifetime as a Lakota Sioux who "lost his family."  Scott asked her if she wanted to "come up and explore" that memory - this was live demonstration (posted with her permission.)  






The subtitles are accurate - I found the Sioux tribe that matched her memory of living in West Virginia prior to the forced "trail of tears."  What she says about burning the clothing to "release the souls" is something that is not commonly written about but I did find reference to that particular practice in a forensic search of tribal accounts stored on a University website. (Those cites and footnotes are in "It's a Wonderful Afterlife.") 

Here's a talk with Scott De Tamble about how he came to the work via Michael Newton.


Three Flipside Musketeers





and something from Jennifer Shaffer


Jennifer Shaffer


 

Stay tuned. More to come.





Thursday

Art Bell on the Flipside

I get it. I'm living in a flipside bubble.

When you spend a good part of your day filming sessions where you're talking to people on the flipside, talking to council members on the flipside, then transcribing those sessions - and you can "feel them" over your shoulder as you're typing up their words... well, it's "all flipside all the time."


Art Bell portrait.jpg
Seriously smoker. But funny guy. Art Bell from Wiki.

Recently I went on the show with Heather Wade.  Heather was the person who contacted me a few years back, because she was working with Art Bell and Art asked her to call me about appearing on his show.  He had heard me on Coast to Coast (his old radio show) with George Noory, and suggested I come on to talk about the research into the flipside.

But at some point he must have had a change of heart, or other things transpired - and he stepped away from the mic and Heather took over for him.  I was on the show "Midnight in the Desert" that Art had begun, but she was doing.

Heather had a near death experience years ago - and because she'd had that, I suggested instead of me "talking about the research" we might try an experiment.  I would ask her some questions and we'd see where we could go.

We went. We went far and fast and furious. (For three hours!) She was able to access her guide (he introduced himself as Mr. Chown and she described him in detail) we went to visit her council and she described them in detail as well.  She also described an event that occurred in the future, where she saw herself (they were showing her an image from her Akashic records) of herself down the road, retired and happy.

I went on to do other things, Jennifer Shaffer and I worked together - I wrote two books with her assistance, talking to the Flipside.  I went on Coast to Coast so often talking about the flipside, George Noory dubbed me "the Afterlife Expert."
The last show I did someone called in and said "Could you talk to Art Bell?  He's dead now."




I knew that Art had died.  I was familiar with his show decades ago, and when he called to invite me on his show I thought that would be "full circle."  But it didn't happen.  However, I'm not the person who "talks to people in the afterlife."  I talk to people who can talk to people in the afterlife either via deep hypnosis or through a medium.  I'm not doing the seeing, hearing or talking - just asking questions to a third person.

Got it?

Not me. Them.

But this guy was adamant on the call.  "But why don't you talk to Art Bell?"  I said "I didn't know Art, and frankly someone who knew him should talk to him because then they'd know if the answers were accurate."  I further suggested that based on my research, "Anyone can talk to Art Bell by taking out his photograph, asking him questions and listening for answers. "When you hear an answer before you can form the question you'll know it's him."

This guy then wrote to me at another email and said "I'm reporting you to Coast to Coast as a fake.  You said you'd channel Art Bell and then you said you wouldn't."  I tried to be reasonable about that oddball threat - or annoying email - but just let it go.  I didn't know Art. Wouldn't know what to ask him.  "How's the flipside?"  "Fine."  It wouldn't be up to his standards of radioshowmanship.

But eventually we did talk to Art Bell on the Flipside; via someone who knew him well.

I was transcribing Heather's session for my next book.  And I was amazed at how far we went on the air - I've posted it here before.  She saw and heard and described things in wonderful detail.  I must add that she wasn't describing anything I hadn't heard before in terms of the flipside - but she could see it all very clearly. Live on the air.



Here's that clip.




So I sent her the transcript, and discovered she hadn't been on the air in awhile, and was just returning.  I have no idea of any drama that went behind the scenes, but I'm under the impression his death hit her hard - as it did his family, friends and fans.  

She set up a time and gave us three hours to go on our adventure.  And oh my, it was quite the adventure.  It was fun for me, because I was already familiar with who her guide and council were - I wasn't sure if she would remember - but she did, with great clarity.  Like we'd never left.

We covered a lot of ground. She revealed she'd had an accident that broke her foot, then Art "showed up" and talked to her about his perspective on the flipside. Told her new information - things she'd never heard before about what he was seeing and doing.

And the people he was hanging out with.  How we was having conversations with people's "higher consciousness" which they would not be aware (perhaps vaguely) and could continue where he left off. He talked about accessing memories - and then revisiting them in real time. Talked about visiting his pal Whitley Streiber, etc.


A packet of time with George Noory
Which is in the research. 

Stephen Hawking told us the same thing - (in "Backstage Pass to the Flipside") time packets of events are like CD's of that event.  You can revisit all the information from that event, and then examine it from a different perspective, plus talk to a person's higher consciousness directly.

Which is basically what I'm doing in my interviews with the flipside.  Accessing an event (a dream, a near death experience, hypnosis session etc) and then treating it like a hologram - a time packet - and revisiting it, but bringing in new characters and information (guides, teachers,councils, etc.)  

Art was describing exactly what I've been doing.

Heather talked openly about her depression after he crossed over, including a point where she felt so low she wanted to check herself off the planet.  

So I wasn't surprised when her guides said "We stopped you from ending your journey prematurely. And we want to remind you that it's important you not do so. You still have people to help on the planet."  I had no idea those events occurred to her and learned them on the air from her council. 

I will add here that there are some rabid Art Bell fans - who just are upset that he died, upset that Heather talks about him, upset she's a woman, not really sure what they're so upset about. 

But for some reason there were odd sounds bleeding through her studio - she couldn't hear them, but some in her audience claimed to hear them. Heather mentioned it on air.


I can barely tear Jennifer away from her law enforcement
gigs.  Plus she's booked a long time in advance. But hilarious
to think she'd ever "feed" someone answers.

One of those wackier fans came up with the theory that the medium Jennifer Shaffer was "feeding her the answers from Art."

If we can think about this one for half a second.  This theory is not saying that we're making this stuff up - that Heather was pretending to be "speaking to Art Bell on the flipside" - but that somehow, a medium (who works with law enforcement nationwide on missing person cases) who is booked months in advance, took the time out to spend three hours to feed answers to a radio host she doesn't know, never met - based on my personal loopy questions.  

Argh. People can be really bizarre with the mental pretzels they work up around this stuff.

The other vitriol came from people who were furious that Art's family would be upset.  Art wasn't addressing them directly - wasn't reassuring them he was okay, wasn't apologizing to them for dying - he was answering my questions in rapid fire fashion, asked me questions that threw me for a loop and generally acted like the Art Bell he always acted like.  (If they contacted someone like Jennifer to assist them to talk with him - he'd say exactly what they needed to hear.  Those messages should be private.)

And the idea that this was disrespectful to his grieving family - hold on a second.... what grieving family wouldn't want to know that their loved one still existed?



Think that over for a minute.  Sure, they can believe that I'm making up these questions, and that Heather (or a medium or a "wacky voice on the phone") is making up the answers - but if you actually listen to what Art was saying "I like to walk around alot, there are landscapes over here and I walk alot, I can move at the speed of thought, the vistas are amazing, the forests are filled with color and I can create a sound studio using my memories of how its put together and I'm having a blast...."

No one could make those up... but me. 

Because he was saying THE EXACT SAME THINGS other people I've interviewed have said on the flipside.  

It's not just Art Bell creating a radio sound stage - it's Robert Towne's father Lou Towne creating a racetrack where he gets to watch Seabiscuit run (!), it's Garry Shandling saying he creates golf courses that would defy imagination, when asked if he "plays 36 holes or 18?" he said "Two. The tees are very far apart."



Or Jonathan Krane, my old friend and film producer who said he was "on a yacht and sailing."  There are no yachts on the flipside. We have to create them - like CGI.  And yes, it takes time and effort and focus and concentration - but all of them said the same exact things about how to do that. "Math."


Garry Shandling's thought

Bill Paxton told us he was creating white sandy beaches, where he loved to walk and "think."  Paul Allen told us he was playing a ukelele because it was the "easiest instrument to craft" - Harry Dean Stanton described an elaborate trip to the Monterey Pop Festival from 1967 that greeted him on the other side, and it wasn't until they got a flat tire that he realized his old friend Luana had created the entire event to give him a "soft landing." All created images, from memories. Sorry. It's just data.



I have little tolerance for intolerance. 

To those Art Bell fans upset that Heather would deign to speak to her old friend - hey, move along, these aren't the droids you're looking for.  


Travelers. With Jennifer Shaffer and hypnotherapist Scott De Tamble.
Either or both can walk you into the Flipside. I've filmed both
of them doing so for a long time now.
But if you want to know how that could be - why that could be - what that means for our own journey on the planet, open a book, take the time to read scientists at UVA talking about reincarnation, scientists at IANDS.org talking about near death events that prove consciousness isn't created only by the brain, read up on PSI studies down by Ed or Emily Kelly, examine the science that shows our consciousness lives on. Or even watch the three hour clip above. That was a preamble to the show, which I'll post at a later date.

Then bring it back home and do your own research - try to talk to your dead grandmother. She won't mind. You're not grieving for her anymore, and she's aware of that too.  You haven't said her name or mentioned her in years - went right back to the chat room after her funeral, left Granny's memory along with all the other discarded photos in a box in the basement.


Image result for granny beverly hillbillies
The one and only Irene Ryan. America's granny.

But she still exists. She knows she exists. And she's been waiting for you to reach out to her.

Not through me.  I'm not a medium. Not even a medium needed. Take out her photo - if you still have one, or haven't deleted them yet - and say her name aloud.  Ask her questions you don't know the answer to.  Wait until you hear an answer. When you hear the answer before you can start the question you'll know you're connected.

Don't blame Heather Wade for talking to her old friend.  To those fans out there, he's an abstract esoteric chain smoking fellow who hung out in bunker in the desert talking about things that went bump in the night.  But now he's the thing that goes BUMP IN THE NIGHT and he wants you to know it.  

Nothing to fear here.  Except the liberation of your spirit - your loved ones still love you, Art still loves his fans, try to show him some love back, see what he actually has to say.

SO IN THAT VEIN:

Here's the THREE HOUR INTERVIEW DONE WITH ART BELL.

I've included the same footage from the previous video - because I own it, and it's something interesting to look at while listening to the audio.

Again - nothing written, scripted or rehearsed here. A LIVE ON AIR demonstration that people don't need to be under hypnosis to talk to loved ones, to recall previous lifetimes, or to speak with their council.  All courtesy of the maestro himself, the one and only Art Bell.







My two cents


Sunday

How to Cure CTE from folks on the Flipside; How to Save the Planet via Trees on the Flipside

It's been my observation, since beginning to film people under hypnosis for the past decade, that there could be a practical result from these sessions.

To recap, I've been filming people under deep hypnosis for over a decade. I've filmed over 50 cases, and have compared those responses to the ones that Dr. Helen Wambach got in her research with 2000 cases in the 1980's, and with Michael Newton, who reported 7000 cases over his 30 year career in "Journey of Souls" and three other books.

I interviewed Michael for my film "Flipside" (his last interview) and released that film and book in 2011.  I did my first "Coast to Coast with George Noory on Sept 11th 2012, and my book went to #1 in all its genres at Amazon.

Since then I've written "It's a Wonderful Afterlife" which interviews scientists about consciousness studies (including the scientists at UVA and others in the field), and continued to include "transcriptions"of filmed sessions with various people.  Many I chose for their skepticism and disbelief - I would say to them "Hey, I think if you do a session you'll see there actually is an afterlife" and they'd say "That BS Richard.  There's no way that's the case. And I'll do a session to prove you wrong."



Then they'd say the same things everyone else would say - about guides, teachers, and how we choose incarnation. About how consciousness works.

Then I met Jennifer Shaffer, a renowned medium (works with law enforcement on missing person cases nationwide) and know how effective she is.  She reached out to me, and we interviewed someone I never met, but had researched extensively.  Jennifer reported what this person had to say from the flipside, and it was accurate and included new information that I didn't know - later verified - but proved to be verifiable.  That's in "Hacking the Afterlife."

Then we began to interview people via my friend Luana Anders on the flipside - she became the person with the "backstage pass" that allowed people to come forth and chat with us.  Apparently she was teaching them "How to do that" on the flipside, and Jennifer was reporting what she was hearing, sensing or feeling.  I would be able to forensically verify those details as they came through.

Aretha Franklin told us about her handwritten will that her niece would find (and did find), Harry Dean Stanton had private messages for friends of his at his memorial - details of illnesses he was now aware they had, and I dutifully passed those details on to them.  Each was startled and shocked that I was telling them their atheist skeptical pal not only still existed, but knew things about them they'd not told anyone. (And still have not).

So when we did a session with Paul Allen, it was an experiment.  I know one person who knew him, and he passed a private message on to that one person - but in general, my interview with him was surprising to him as it was to me.  I asked the usual questions I ask everyone "Who was there to greet you on the flipside?" "What do you miss" "Any messages for your loved ones?"

He told me to tell his sister Jody to "go to the doctor and get checked out for illnesses because she's a hypochondriac and doesn't have any."  I have no way of knowing if that's accurate or true - all I can do is report that they ask. (I've had others ask me to reach out to their families about people who are giving them bad legal advice, or from the flipside perspective are misusing funds - but that's not up to me to publically reveal those things.  I seek them out, pass it along, and if it resonates with them - fine. If it doesn't, that's okay as well.) 

But I realized there are some things we can learn about the planet from people no longer on it. For example:
JenniferShaffer.com

In the interview with Paul, he said that two football players were there to greet him. I asked him why that was, if they were Seattle players and he said they were not.  I realized one was Dave Duerson, the other Junior Seau (Jennifer said "He's Polynesian.")  They had both "greeted him on the flipside to thank him for his work with brain trauma."  

I did research to see if the Paul Allen brain institute does that kind of work - I can't find any evidence they do, but these two players also cited/thanked the doctors who had worked on the autopsies of their brains (including the doctor at Boston University the film "Concussion" was  about.)  I sent a message to him - but doubt he has received it.  Filters and all, you know.

But that doesn't stop me from reporting.

So I arranged for Junior Seau's widow Gina to come to Manhattan Beach for a session with Jennifer - Jennifer didn't know who was coming, didn't know who she was, until her husband showed up in the session.  It was long and involved, and had a number of personal private information.  But he talked about CTE, and he talked about how to help those.  Jennifer kept referring to a quarterback and CTE - she could see his face, but didn't know his name.

My research didn't find any particular quarterback - and I let it go, but that was the second time that information came forward.  First with Paul Allen and the second with Junior, with Jennifer saying "They're showing me this quarterback; I want to say Joe Montana, but he's still alive - I don't know who this is."  I figured it was too hard to dig, and couldn't find any famous quarterbacks who had died from CTE, or reportedly died from it.

But a few weeks later, in another session, Dave Duerson came forward and gave us private messages for his family, which I passed along.  He also talked about CTE and what it had done to him, talked about how "The Fridge" has it (Jennifer didn't know who that was, but I did, being a life long Bear fan), and he joked about how many people "The Fridge" had given it to with his crushing play on the field.  (The Fridge is William Perry, and he reportedly is suffering from CTE.)

But after the session, I renewed my search, because this "Joe Montana like" quarterback showed up again. (Sometimes people will show Jennifer a face she knows and it's either the person's name or their occupation that is supposed to jog her memory - either a guy named JOE or a Quarterback.)  Turns out it was both:

JOE NAMATH.

Image result for joe namath cte

Joe has been talking about how he cured CTE using hyperbaric oxygen treatment.  He's been on talk shows about it - they generally want to talk about his exploits, and not about this cure.  But PEOPLE ON THE FLIPSIDE ARE TALKING ABOUT IT.  

They want me to say it LOUD AND CLEAR.  If you want to cure CTE look into the treatment that Joe Namath has been doing.  He's got the key.  Use that therapy to help those who have it, then design equipment that prevents any trauma occuring to the neck or head.

That's coming from the Flipside.  Not from me. It's not opinion, my theory or fanciful thinking.  I'm just reporting that on three occassions, these players tried to direct Jennifer's attention to a quarterback named Joe - and when I sent her a message with his face saying "could it be this Joe?" she said "THEY'RE ALL APPLAUDING.  THAT'S WHO IT IS!"

Image result for joe namath cte

Okay, now on to saving the planet.

For the past couple of years, I've been filming sessions with people not under hypnosis.  That is - I'm just talking to them, sometimes live on stage - and they often report seeing a "place of healing" on the flipside.  I ask them about this "place of healing" and sometimes it's inside, but more often they see a "grove with trees."

Image result for muir woods

One day I thought "I wonder what these trees are? They're energetic constructs on the flipside - so if they're energy, who is creating them? Is it the person seeing them?" So I asked the person I was talking to, "Can you go over and touch this tree?" They say they can.  I ask "Can you put your hand into the tree? It's a construct after all." And they say "Yes, I can." Then their eyes grow wide and they say "I'm sensing something. An entity. A person. An energy."  I ask questions about that - male, female, what's the emotion associated with this energy?

Image result for muir woods

They say - and it's been about a dozen - "This is a very old soul.  He (or she) had incarnated on earth in the past, but now they're here, just like my energy is here as well." What I've LEARNED from talking to trees on the flipside is "WE USED TO BE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOU BUT YOU ARE NO LONGER ABLE TO."

Image result for muir woods

Sobering thought.  They say "Trees retain all of their memories in their roots - and because of their long life cycles, they see the foibles of humans in perspective. The most recent tree said he was over 600 years old, had once been a human being who died in battle,and this was his choice to incarnate as a tree...and after his death, he was now existing in this healing place."

But my point isn't to blow one's mind about trees.  Yes, hug trees. Yes,they're sentient.  But I asked "So how can we save our planet?"

Image result for muir woods

And one fellow answered "Plant a trillion trees. We are the lungs of your planet - our physical structure is the same structure that are lungs, but the opposite. If you plant a trillion trees, the temperature of the planet will cool, there will be more oxygen and less carbon."

That's from a tree on the Flipside.

It's not from Jennifer - in fact it was someone else who was accessing this tree. It was from someone who claimed to be a tree and from their perspective could see what it is we're doing killing our oxygen supply.

Image result for muir woods

So plant a trillion trees.  

I'm working on creating an app that will do that. Connecting tree lovers worldwide with tree planters worldwide.  Finding the right property or space - the Amazon may be the best place for trees, but it's not the only place.  And it's worth figuring out how to do that - a million trees at a time.

Image result for muir woods

I bought "PlantATrillionTreesToSaveThePlanet.com" 

It's something to do while I finish my two books on the flipside - one with Jennifer, the other with councils around the universe.

Stay tuned.

Saturday

A reply to a post on Quora regarding reincarnation....

Richard Martini
Richard Martini, Best selling author of books about the afterlife




Our son’s first sentence:

“Dad, I was a monk in Nepal.”
I had yet to begin my research into the flipside, I was aware of Carol Bowman’s book “Children’s Past lives” (and the subsequent books by Dr. Jim Tucker with ample evidence of reincarnation studies) but this was way before that… this was while I was home in Chicago and my son was on the phone saying goodnight.
He was 2. It was his first sentence to me. As if he’d been waiting two years to say it.
I said “Put your mom on the phone.” We went over “why did he say that?” Asked if they were watching a tv show, reading a book - no, no, and more no. She didn’t know. I let it go. Until he was 3.
One day riding around in the car I said “Son, where did you meet me?” I’m looking in the rear view mirror at his little face in the child safety seat. He looked up at me and said “Tibet.” Stunned, I said “Where in Tibet?” He said “On the path.”
Trying not to react, or over react, I thought about all the paths in Tibet I’d traversed when going there with Robert Thurman filming a documentary for Tibet House in NYC. (“Journey into Tibet with Robert Thurman” on youtube) Then I remembered when we were on the sacred mt. Kailash, Professor Thurman had offered “If you make a wish on this spot, Tibetans say it will come true.” I thought of an appropriate wish… “Hmmm. A million dollars… No, wait, a three picture movie deal.” I couldn’t make up my mind so determined I would count down from ten and whatever came out of my mouth would be my wish.”
“I want a son.” I said. I froze. What? Why did I say that? I had no clue. It wasn’t one of the two options. We had a daughter back home in Santa Monica… but it was the last thing from my conscious mind. I thought “Wow, why did I say that? Is that like a genetic thing that happens at altitude?” I let it go.
But now I was in the car with that 3 year old son. “On the path?” He nodded. “Wait, was it on Mt. Kailash?”
He shook his head “no.” I thought… wow, I was on a lot of paths in Tibet…but then remembered a name… “Was it on Kangra?”
He nodded. “Yes, it was Kangra.”
Kangra is the name of the path that goes around Mt. Kailash. It’s technically more precise, as that is where I made the wish. He was correcting me BUT IN TIBETAN.
But I said “Kangra” and he repeated it. And he was 3. So I let it go. A year later, I was working on the film “Salt” in Manhattan, had sublet an apt, when I got a call from my wife while I was on set. “Did you show him this book?” “What book?” I asked. She said our son had gone to the library of the apt’s owner, pulled two books out, threw one in the trash. My wife said “What are you doing?” He said “That book is worthless. This is the important one.” It was Robert Thurman’s book “Circling the Sacred Mountain” (written with Tad Wise) about his trip around Mt. Kailash.
Our son opened the book, pointed to a photograph of the place where I made the wish, and said “That’s where I FOUND DADDY.”
He was 4. He could not read yet. I told my wife “I’ve never said the word Kailash to him other than that one time in the car a year ago.”
But wait… there’s more.
When he was 5, we were in a Tibetan shop in LA and he disappeared. I mean my wife came and said “He’s disappeared! I can’t find him!” I looked around. Not a big shop. I said “He’s got to be here somewhere.” She came back 5 minutes later with a look of shock on her face. She said “I found him in the back room. He was in front of a mirror. DOING FULL PROSTRATIONS. (The way Monks stand up, hands over head, to lips, to heart, then go all the way to the ground.) She watched him for 3 minutes before he caught her in the mirror.
He said “Oh mom. You need to meditate more and this is how you do it.” He pulled her to the ground. He looked at her and said “Can you hear the bells in the music?” (A CD of Tibetan music “Traditional Chants of Tibet” by the Nechung Monks) was on the player. He said “Whenever there’s the ringing of a bell; that means peace comes into the world.”
I listened to her and later asked a Tibetan friend what it meant “during Tibetan music, when you hear a bell - does that represent something, like wisdom?” He shook his head. “It means peace comes into the world.”
Not something I knew or was aware of. And finally, since he no longer remembers these conversations, I’ll end with this last one. (This is cribbed from a chapter in “Flipside: A Tourist’s Guide on How to Navigate the Afterlife” - “My son the monk.”) I got a phone call five years ago that my mom was dying. My friend the nurse called to say she wouldn’t make the weekend.
I sat the kids down and said “Now look, the next time you see grandma, she’s going to be wearing heavy makeup and will be in a casket.” I was trying to prepare them for my own experience of seeing dead relatives when I was a kid. I thought it was weird they had on heavy makeup and were in a box.
Our son laughed. “Dad, it’s okay.” He picked up a half empty bottle of water. He said “Spirit is like water. Watch.” He threw the bottle on the ground then stomped on it. He started jumping up and down on it gleefully. I can remember looking at my wife like “what is he doing?” He stopped, then picked up the crushed, broken bottle - but it still had the cap on. He showed us the bottle of half empty water and said, “See? The water is okay.”
Easily the most profound teaching I’ve heard about the nature of spirit. Our bodies grow old, they get stomped on a squished, fall apart …but the water is always okay. It may transform into mist, turn into clouds, turn into rain.. but our spirit… is always okay.
One last comment - lest anyone think that only former monks have this kind of ability to “remember their past.” When he was four, we were watching TV and on came a sexy ad for Victoria’s Secret. It was a pretty young model wearing giant white wings, wearing a bathing suit and dancing provocatively. He jumped off the couch, pointed at the TV and said “I want that!”
I laughed, not really knowing what part of the image he meant. But then I remembered what he’d said to me on the phone years earlier. I said “Wait a second, I thought you said you were a monk in Nepal.”
“Not anymore!” he said, happily. “Not anymore.”
What I suggest parents of toddlers do is to ask questions they don’t know the answer to. Ask kids this non denominational question; “Did mommy and daddy choose you? Or did you choose us?” And see what the answer is. The trick is not to judge or react to whatever the answer is. But in about half of the accounts I’ve heard,the answers have been nothing short of amazing.

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