An Excerpt from Flipside - a lifetime as a Lakota Sioux and a glimpse of Home

This is an excerpt from my book "Flipside: A Tourist's Guide on How to Navigate the Afterlife."

It's been about ten years since I did this initial session.  I had begun to make a documentary about the work of Michael Newton and what people say under deep hypnosis.  I began the film with a skeptic's eye as to what I might find.  I interviewed Newton for the film (his last filmed interview) and it's part of the film "Flipside."  The transcript of that conversation is in the book as well.
Michael Newton and hypnotherapist Morrin Bass
(both in "Flipside" book and film)
At some point, Paul Aurand, former head of the Newton Institute (who had arranged the permission for me to film their conference and teaching methodology) suggested that I try a "session" myself.  The journalist in me said "I can't do that, it wouldn't be objective."  But the artist in me said "Sure, that's a great idea. I can prove this to be inaccurate, because I don't believe in previous lifetimes, I don't believe in an afterlife per se, and I won't allow myself to be "led" by a hypnotherapist.

The night before the session, I thought "Well, what if you do get somewhere?"  I scoffed at that idea, and jotted down a few questions to give the hypnotherapist to ask me "in case I went somewhere."  I thought - "well, what would I ask God if it was possible to ask?"  
I even slipped in a ringer of a question - "What's the meaning of "vanum populatum?"  It was a phrase that I had heard in my sleep, woke up and wrote it down next to my bed, and then weeks later found it and looked it up. I was startled to see it meant something in a language I don't speak, a phrase I've never heard, but actually has a logical meaning.  "Annihilate vanity."  
(I live in L.A., where to begin?)
Luana keeping an eye on me.
This session was conducted in my home town of Chicago where the Newton Institute was teaching their method to prospective hypnotherapists. (Scott De Tamble was there, a hypnotherapist I work with often in LA ( I hadn't met him yet.) Paul suggested I "try" a session and film myself doing so.  I know how hyper aware I am of cameras, especially when directing someone, including myself, so I thought it would be fruitless to try it.  But the George Plimpton in me ("Paper Lion") realized this was a chance to observe a process first hand that I didn't think would work.
I was prepared to say "I don't see anything" for four hours.  But I was in the hands of hypnotherapist Jimmy Quast, ( who does the accreditation for the Newton Institute, and as you'll see, "walked" me into the flipside with ease. I filmed this event; it's partially in the film "Flipside: A Journey Into the Afterlife" and the full transcript is in the book.
I've filmed 50 of these cases since then, and compared the answers to the thousands by the studies of Dr. Helen Wambach and Michael Newton ("Journey of Souls.") Since then I've been working with Jennifer Shaffer to access what I might learn from others on the flipside.  What I say - and what they say - is consistent across the board, across the globe - doesn't seem to matter what the background of the person doing the session is, or who asks the questions - the results are the same.

Since then, I've met numerous people (either through their hypnosis sessions or actually live on camera) where people recall a lifetime as a native American.  It's almost as if the "ghost dances" of the late 1800's were referring to something that actually does occur.  We reportedly choose each lifetime, and those who were native Americans can choose to return to that tribe, or find other groups to work with.  
I must add that since this session, every time I see photographs of a particular region of the country, or look at an article of clothing, or read some of the historical accounts of this same era, I see them with more detail, more respect.  (Since then I've done four other sessions, different hypnotherapists and accessed lifetimes in other countries, other places, other adventures.  But the "between lives" arena is always the same; same guide, same teachers, same Luana.)

Jimmy's questions are in italics, my answers are in bold.
Jimmy Quast: "You're in your front yard, 12 years old. What color is this house?"
Me: I'm in the front yard making a bow and arrow. (I saw my home as it looked in 1967, older cars in the driveways of homes nearby) I've got an ax – Oh. I’ve cut my finger deeply. (I saw blood coming out of my finger) I've cut through the skin, it's deep, bleeding and I have to get my dad. (I choked up at the sight of my father, who had passed away a few years earlier. I was also profoundly aware of my 12 year old emotion of seeing him, the rescuer who can solve any problem.)
He's washing it now - we're inside at the sink.  And then we go to the doctor to stitch it up... he's telling me never to point the ax toward me... “Always away." Something I remember through life.
When he's there with you, helping you, how does that feel?
He really knows how to take care of things.  He’s a smart guy. 
What’s the house like?
The house is a single floor; at this point I'm sharing a room with my brother Robbie...  (As I spoke, I saw Robbie, a red headed, freckle faced brother about 17.)
What's in your room?
Bunk beds. Stickers on the closet door from Mad magazine. There’s writing on the bunk bed underneath... (I was looking at the bottom panel of the top bunk) I can see my brothers and I have written graffiti on the bottom of the bed.
Anything special in this room?
A Tibetan Thankga my uncle gave to my dad. He found it in Burma during World War II, I didn’t realize until I was an adult what it was.
This thangka was over my bed in the house I grew up in. Gifted to my father by his brother who brought it back from Burma after his service there in WWII, it wasn't until I was in Tibet with Robert Thurman that I understood what it meant and where it was from.
Any place else?
My mom's a concert pianist, so there's a piano in the living room, set against a beautiful red brick wall. Downstairs is a basement with all of my father's tools - it’s where my father works as an architect and it smells like lead pencils.
Let's go deeper and younger...
It's the hospital... I'm... coming out... (I gasp). I’m being born. I see the doctor's face with this thing on his head - it's bright and he's sort of  - not whacking me - I guess I’m breathing okay - his face is the first thing I see. I can see him clearly, the color of his eyes, the mask on his head, the head banded metal thing that’s reflecting light, the mask across his mouth - intense hazel eyes. It's very clear. It's a little bit cold... now he's placed me with her and it's nice to be with my mom. It's startling to see... such bright lights.
Image result for st. francis hospital evanston il
This was the hospital. Some years later, when driving down Ridge Ave,
I suddenly recalled the memory of this event - "flying in" as if "being here before"
Let's go back a step; to before you were born... you're in your mother's womb now, into the womb, any impressions coming to you?
I hear voices, but like a buzz. I hear her heartbeat... pleasant.  My body is working ok, fairly comfortable here, my mom is happy... I'm just in tune with her.
Anything else you pick up on?
My dad's not at my birth. He's driving here. I’m aware of the logistics of he's not here, she is; he's on his way. [1]
Go back... getting younger and smaller, traveling with speed perhaps... Back and back, guided to another time, a different place. A different life; one that would be most beneficial to you, the one just before this life of Rich. I want you to trust the impressions without editing or analyzing. What are the impressions?
NOTE: I paused for some time, seeing and saying nothing. I didn’t want to “satisfy the questioner” that I remembered a past life if I really didn’t.  I was fully prepared to say “I don’t see anything,” and end the session.  I felt obligated to be skeptical of “seeing” something that I didn’t actually see.  So time passed, while I scanned in my mind’s eye, for any kind of visual.  Nothing came to me, until Jimmy said simply “Just look down.”
Not me. But in this disputed photo of Crazy Horse I recognized
the chest piece, shoes and single feather (I had two hanging down)
Just look down. What do you see?
This is unusual. (I saw my bare feet in a creek. The water was cold, soothing. My feet bloody, scratched.) What's coming to me is... Native American Indian. I'm a male. And I'm trying to get the impression here... What’s on my legs? I want to say buckskin, there's a feather. Two feathers, not up, but down... tied in my hair, black hair, and I can feel my clothing - suede vest, pants... bare feet.[2]
How old are you?
Seems like 28. I'm looking around; it's hills, trees and dried old grass. It's the dry season...
Are you alone?
Not around anyone else at the moment – I’m by a creek; I can put my foot in. I have wounds on my feet; don't know why, but... I notice they're beaten up, feels good to put them in the water.
Is that why you've come here?
I come here for solace to get away.  I think it's about my spirit guide. I come here to commune.
A spiritual connection with your guide... what do they call you?
I heard Tan’ tanka’ mon, I think that means “running bear” which sounds funny to me; tatanka... (Remembering the Kevin Costner film “Dances With Wolves,” where he was a Lakota Sioux named “Buffalo” – Tatanka). In my case it means “Runs from bear.”  It might be Watanka…[3] 
Your spirit guide is here by the water?
Not a human guide. It's a cougar.[4] Mountain lion.
What does that mean to you?
Hunter, alone.  
Would it be okay to visit where your people are?
(Sigh)  I’d prefer not to.
Where is your village?
My overall impression is that... it's gone. (Sigh) 
Just relax... (Puts his hand on my forehead)
I see. I didn't want to tell you about it. There's a wife, involved... there was a problem.
You’re safe, tell me what happened.
(I started to choke up. In my mind's eye a village of teepees and bodies everywhere. A massacre. Lots of blood. People hacked to death.)
What happened?
Hacked to death.
By whom?
Damned Hurons. [5] Everyone's dead.
Except you?
(Through tears) I was away. I was doing something else, picking something up. I just came back and everyone is dead.
Your wife?
Recognized Wisconsin Tribes.  Eau Claire would be under the D.
I was not aware of this, and this site claims the Huron were there as well. 
NOTE: In my mind’s eye, I saw this village of massacred Indians whom I sincerely believed to be my people.  I went to a teepee, the classical type with a leather flap and sticks holding it up, and pulled it aside to see a beautiful woman with long black hair lying in a pool of blood, dead. I was overwhelmed with the emotion of seeing her; my dead wife.  But I was also conscious of the fact that this emotion swept over me – If I was making this up, why was I so connected to this emotion? I started to sob.

I had one child... My son was taken. (Feeling the full emotion of that thought.)
And where do you go now? Do you have any place?
That's why I'm here, by the river, soaking my feet. I'm trying to understand.
I want you to move to your last day in this life. In this body. Are you still alone?
I'm alone.  I see. It's alcohol and drowning. I got drunk and went to the river and just slipped away. (A muddy brown river, floating down, holding a whisky bottle, bobbing like a cork.)
Not much else to do, was there?
No. Everything about my life that I cared for - my family, my culture, my world is gone.
Move away from that body. You're free now.  Are you looking back?
Much happiness.
You feel any remorse?
No, I’m just passing into "the Great White." I've done this many times. It's time to move home.  No reason to linger.
NOTE: Some years ago, I was at a Christmas party with some old friends, and they pulled out a bottle of whisky from 1840 that had been in the family for generations.  We all took a sip of this concoction, which was smooth and burning at the same time – nothing like modern day liquor.  At that moment I had a flash of me holding an old empty whisky bottle.

Tell me what this is like, you're moving away.
Going home?  Looking ahead. Just getting together with my friends. (I saw a vast field of white in the distance, then I moved into it at lightning speed until the faces and bodies came into full focus. A crowd of people greet me). They’re here with me... It's just lovely. Lots of friends.  Smiling. Embracing me. Everybody's here.
Recognize anyone?
My wife. (The Indian one; long black hair, and a young boy next to her. A profound sense of connection with them.)
The one who was killed.
My son. Both of them. (I saw them standing together, smiling at me).
Who else?
My father. (Charles, who passed away in 2004.)
How are they arranged?
Sort of a semi-circle.  About 20 or so.
Who comes out of this group first?
An elder.  Comes out from the center, about twelve o’clock.  A male, white hair, somebody very gentle, welcoming me, he's my grandfather at one point... (Not in this life - He has a kindly, old face, very distinct, about 70 years old. Smiling. A warm greeting)
His immortal name?
Ray... ma.
Does he touch you? How does that feel like?
Does Rayma have any message for you?
"Welcome home. Welcome... home." Nice.
Back to the circle, welcoming you. Any colors?
Purple light. That's his light. 
If you were to rate this in terms of brightness... is it bright?
Deep purple, rich purple.
Is Rayma your personal teacher?
Feels like it; he seems to be in charge.
So the others, is there a different color?
It seems like everyone's sort of in a darker blue.
NOTE: In Michael Newton’s “Destiny of Souls” he catalogs soul colors of the Afterlife by asking “If I held up a mirror, what color would you be?” He learned the categories followed those from a prism of light; youngest, white, moving to darker colors, the eldest, purple.
In this "Assumption of the Virgin" a lot of folks waiting for her arrival.

What's your sense of this group? Is this your own family? Or is this different?
I sense I'm hanging out with them all the time. It's a little odd that I'm not seeing people come forward, just one, but I sense they're my group. (Seeing a semi-circle of light. When one light moved forward, his features came into view)
If you could see you, through their vision, what do you look like?
Dark blue.  Purple's on the outside, blue is sort of interspersed, like strings, like stripes, they sort of move back and forth. It’s not a static color, it sort of moves. Rayma seems to be a dark purple.
Is there someplace he'd like to take you?  
He wants to take me to a healing center.
How does he do that?
Just sort of glides me by the hand, I know where to go, we go together. It's like an energy field, if you looked at it, you'd see it as multiple, colored lights, but depending what work needs to be done, it's just you and your light. It's sort of the way I was sitting by the river, same kind of equipoise where you draw energy from the room into places where it's been depleted.
NOTE: A common occurrence in sessions, where a person goes to a “place of healing.” In my mind’s eye, this center was a room filled with energy.  I walked into this room and sat down so I could go through the “re-energizing process.”  It’s difficult to describe with words, other than perhaps being re-energized in a Star Trek transporter.  As I used my mind to draw energy into me, it was as if I was filling myself with liquid, and all the areas that had been depleted from a difficult life as an American Indian, now were being made whole again.
Image result for star trek transporter
This image came to mind, although I was sittin down.
 Anyone assisting you?
Just him, he's observing as I pull the energy into myself.  Mentally you draw the energy towards you to repair the places that are damaged or missing. It feels like filling up with liquid water, but blissful water, filling you as you pull it to the places that need to be healed. I'm aware there are people that can do that for you, but you can do it yourself.
You don't need those people to help you?
I don't think so, because Rayma's just sort of smiling and enjoying it.
How long does this process carry on?
The idea is to go from the floor up, (Pictured myself sitting, with feet on the ground, energy coming in waves through my feet to my head) you move it from your toes to your head and then back down repeatedly because each time more energy comes forward. It's a process, doesn't seem to take long. Afterwards you feel rejuvenated.
Is Rayma involved where you're going next?
I'm asking him where we are going next and he said "Well, that's up to you." A bit of comedy.
Where do you want to go next?
I want to go see my friends.
What does Rayma say to that?
"Let's go!" Oh, there's so many places you can go here, people you can see, they're everywhere...
Strewn about?
Well it's more organized, but there are many opportunities to stop and see people and friends and those you’ve touched before.
Do you have a core group that you started out with at one time?
I do. For some reason I feel like they're out working and doing their own thing. My core group is teachers and I can go visit them in their classes.  
NOTE: In my mind’s eye, this classroom was like anyone I’ve been in, or taught in; students in rows at their desks, sitting down, the teacher standing in front of them, some kind of blackboard, or smart board behind them.  In this case, I recognized one of the teachers as an old friend of mine – I knew her name, but didn’t recognize her as anyone that I’ve met in this lifetime.  She had blond hair, and a bright, white essence about her.
From "MapMakersWorld" - an example of a "fractal" or "sacred geometry"
a term I was not familiar with, but has been repeated in various deep
hypnosis sessions.  These "fractals" retain or assist memory.
What's going on?
Just greetings and salutations. I'm in a classroom with a friend who's a teacher and she’s introducing me. The teacher knows me but the class doesn't.
You're like a guest speaker?
Her name is Kajeera, she teaches a class in... Energy construction.
Do you know about that?
She says I do. Energy construction has to do with aligning energy, aligning the milk of the universe into geometric shapes.  They retain energy, they retain everything, the stuff of the universe; memories, dreams, reflections, attitudes, happiness, joy; composed of physical stuff mostly - containing emotions, because emotion is energy, so when you have an intention, it goes into this geometric shape and it stays there.. And if you create it properly it will stay there.
NOTE: These shapes are similar to the ones Sophia mentions in her session recounted in “Aquaphobia,” and similar to the packets of energy mentioned in Morrin’s session in “Golden Light Within.”

You can keep the energy in the geometric shape?
Right, but also you're retaining it. So let's say you're in the classroom and you create this energy; you put your good intention (or some kind of intention) together into this geometric shape. You bring it to life, and you create it so that it stays with you and then you're able to carry that energy packet into your current life so you can have access to it.
That's why it's important to bring it along with you -- how else are you going to retain all of your past experiences unless you have these energy fields? (Responding to Kajeera holding up an example) I see. Here's the thing, you're in the classroom...-- I'm starting to sound like a teacher --
Maybe you are...
You're in the classroom and your teacher helps you to manipulate energy, that's the basic thing - the actual things you're creating in the classroom are almost like emotional ball bearings...
That's the geometrical part?
Yes, they do have different shapes. But because the nature of the way it’s designed, it looks like a geometric shape - but that's how it functions. Try to think of it as a ball bearing - we know how ball bearings work, they help everything in a machine move more fluidly - so you carry these ball bearings with you through your incarnations.  And as you go along, unfortunately, they pick up negative energy, and that causes disruption in the ball bearings. So when you come back here, you work on cleaning that stuff up - make new ball bearings, restructure them - like taking them into the shop. 
So Kajeera teaches people how to do that?
She does.
What's the level of this class? New souls?
No, I can tell you their colors are white tinged with gold. They've been around a bit, but they're learning how to manipulate energy for retention later, it's a lovely class. (pause)  I'm praising her, how lucky they are to have such a great teacher.
Is that why Rayma brought you here?
He said it was up to me, I was in charge of that. I get a feeling he's treating me like I’m somehow... he's sort of like a friend traveler, more than like a spirit guide.... it's unusual.
Even though he's this take charge guy.
Well I mean he's the most vocal. Because he's got the most energy in that area, he feels comfortable speaking up, but I sense he's treating me in a very gracious way, that I'm part of his group or something - it's just very honored and flattered by it.
NOTE: I’ve never talked or thought about geometric shapes retaining “life energy” or “Memories of a lifetime” but it mirrors what quantum physicists have posited about consciousness possibly existed outside the body.  I’ve seen a ball bearing, but not since I was a kid sneaking into the local car shop to look at the pin-up calendars and pretending I needed one.
Michael Newton's book introduced me to "classrooms in the afterlife"
a concept told to me by Luana before she passed over.  She said she had a "recurring
dream she was in a classroom in another universe."
And you're just visiting friends like Kajeera...  Where are we heading next?
He's asking me "Where do you want to go?"  I'm telling him I'd like to go see Luana's class. (As I entered the “classroom” I saw her as a young blond in her 20's, years before I met her – wearing a pony tail, with bright blond hair sitting in the back of the class.) She's in a healing class.
Oh, this is a deep class. She's part of a group of older souls and her teacher is incredibly smart. Their job is to help people on the planet...  Earth. And when they do energy work on Earth... wow. So they're able to help people.
How do they do that?
They heal humans.  I'm asking them "How are the candidates chosen?" (I had the sense of being in a classroom where everyone in the class turns to look at you, wondering what you’re doing there). Not sure they want to tell me. Wait, let me just ask. (Pause) Well it's the choosing. How are they chosen? (In my mind's eye, the class wasn’t used to being interrupted, and the teacher is patient, but not particularly pleased I've interrupted them. I saw Luana smiling in the back, looking mildly amused by the discomfort.)
Are they holding back because I'm here?
No, they're saying the choosing of the candidates is a very complex process, but Luana’s trying to explain that the easy way to say it would be if somebody was really in need of spiritual help and they focused their mind on asking for help... (Pause)  It's like they (members of the class) would help a healer, somebody here on the planet that is a healing energy person who calls upon them to help, and they come down, or come here and supply the energy, the light, to help the healing process.[6]
However, there are caveats - it gets complicated because some people aren't supposed to have the help when they ask for it, because it hinders their journey, so that's where it becomes a little complex.
They have to be ready and ask...
That's right. But this is a very playful, fun class, everybody here is very talented and highly evolved and I'm really only allowed in because I'm seeing Luana, my friend, who I knew in this life. 
And Rayma?
He's not present. I'm trying to focus on the teacher.
What's your connection to Luana? Is she one of your old bunch?
I'm getting the sense we've had many lifetimes together - but way back - a long time ago. We came together this lifetime after many interruptions. I'm getting the sense I've done that with many people.
NOTE: In the last chapter, I revisit this detail, and through the help of my spirit guide, detail a life where I claim she and I were part of a Sumerian cult.  I hasten to add I know little about Sumeria, have less information about Sumerian Priests or cults, but I reference it here and examine it later on.
Luana portrait by Monte Hellman
Is Luana a spirit name?
It's close to her spirit name.  (Laughs) She's interrupting, she's teasing me. We had so many names with reference to her name Luana; "Zooluaga," "Lufthansa;" people had a hard time with her name, and now she's just having fun with me. She's not going to give it to me.
So aliases are a fun thing...
Well teasing, anyway... But her teacher is a very important person to know. I want to say Teth...era...  He's green; he has a deep rich green healing light.
Masculine, no, he's just... that's the sense of him. But he bridges all.  Deep green, he's showing me the glowing healing color.
Coming from his center?
It's around him. His center is purple. I wanted to say that I get a sense that even in this life, the people around me haven't been with me in recent lives, but they were in past lives.
Looks like judging by their color they may not really be incarnating anymore?
Tethera? No, he's a teacher; he's a full timer (meaning “non reincarnating spirit”). But the students in her class, will be coming back. Luana will be coming back, she may be back already. I'll have to track that.
NOTE: When asked a question I can’t answer, I feel myself saying things randomly like “I’ll have to track that,” as if I had the ability to do so.  However, in the later session with another hypnotherapist, I was able to find an answer to that question, and give a detailed answer about Luana’s current incarnation on Earth. 
Hard to call filmmaking a "form of healing" but
somehow I manage to do so.
What are you involved with?
My work? It’s a form of healing. It involves energy transfer, I'm trying to do it with art, voice, music, film; but I get caught up in so many other things that hold me back from doing that.  It's like I'm trying to teach how to transfer energy through emotion, through words, through language, through art. 
Everything you create is an energy form, if you create positive energy things, energy forms, then you're putting out positive love and energy into the universe, it's a way of keeping that light going...  of expanding it.
So you are in healing as well?
I think it’s a form of healing, but this is my odd way of doing it... You can heal people through words. We all know you can heal through action, but the idea of healing through words, through thoughts and putting those into pictures and film, because those are all images of...
Just another way to deliver the energy...
..the same energy, that transfer.
It's very clear to you.
It's clear to me, but (in my career) I'm not very successful at it. What was I thinking?
NOTE: At this point Jimmy laughed, but so did the members of my council. I had the odd experience of getting laughs on two different planes of existence simultaneously.
 I mean I’ve had limited success (in my career), because people are caught up in their own things, their own paths, and there's so much information that's perhaps not healing, that's not in a positive manner, that gets dissipated into the sea of energy transference…
Sounds like you're a little bit frustrated.
I agreed I would come and do this (using healing energy through filmmaking), and that's what I'm doing. It could be I’m just here to help other people have success.
This was Rayma's idea?
My idea. And using Rich (referring to myself as the current vehicle, as if Jimmy was asking the question to my eternal self) to be the story teller.
Have you tried this before in other lives? With the voice, the music?
When I was Lakota I was a healer.
Was that about using herbs...?
No, I was healing through touch. Like a shaman - people accepted I was good at that way of healing - witch doctor, I guess, and they came to me (in the Native American world) when they had psychological problems.
So you're trying something different this time, you're an innovator, looking for another way to...?
Honestly, I don't think it was my original idea, I get the sense that other people are using it right now, on the planet, using voice and energy, and maybe it's always been the case, I think it was just that I was going to try it myself this time. "I'll step up and see if I can do that." Still, I have a certain amount of confidence in my ability to deliver (chuckles) which is unusual.
Did you actually have a teacher who suggested it?
NOTE: As Jimmy asked this question, I saw myself in a “life planning session”  - standing in a room full of people, casually sitting around, as I raised my hand and detailed how I was going to attempt a lifetime that dealt with the same kind of energy that’s involved in healing, but through cinematic arts.  I saw myself describing it as an “outside the box” way of viewing energy transfer between people, and how the healing energy of the Universe can be drawn down in a variety of fashions, including, surprisingly, film, music and art. 
On the set of a film I wrote and coproduced "My Bollywood Bride"
Healing? That's a stretch, but I manage to avow it.

It came from a classroom environment, yes, where we were talking about coming back and what was the method you could use to help people with energy transference, that might be a little bit out of the box, or unusual, or different.
 Did the word fun come into it?
I think it was just natural I’m fun. I think whatever I ended up doing was going to be fun.
And you've learned that quite well. It seems...
Well, the quickest path from someone's lips to their consciousness is through laughter. Because then they can hear it. Tears work as well, but certainly laughter is the most pleasant way.
Will you continue, are you trying to decide if it's worthwhile..?
I think, I’ve made the deal -- I'm "in for a penny, in for a pound."
And that's with regard to the life as Rich?
I'm being told it's all going to pan out the way I imagined it. It just takes time. It's one of my bugaboos; patience.  I've always charged up the hill expecting everyone to follow and then I turn around and no one’s there. And then I go down the hill and say "Hey, what the heck's going on?" they say "Patience. Give us time to get on the same wavelength."
Is this part of your lesson? Patience, is really important?
Yeah, patience is really key... and letting go. There’s a lot to be said for enthusiasm, but also a lot to be said for just letting go.
So is it clear to you that patience is going to be essential, from what you're telling me?
Patience, because the end result will work out as I imagined it, and had planned it - and intricately manipulated it. And everyone’s on the same ride and I think it's going to work out just fine.
I'm wondering and I’m not sure why... Tatanka...
I said that wrong... either “Tan Tanka” or "Wa’ tanka."
NOTE: Through research, I’ve been able to determine that Wa’tanka means "Holy Man" in the Lakota language, typically be a name for a Holy or Medicine Man.  Tatanka, as we’ve learned from “Dances with Wolves,” means Buffalo.  “Tanka” means great, “Tan-tanka” means short. According to R.J. DeMailie, the Dakota world was “characterized by its oneness,” with no separation between the natural and supernatural world. Wakan Tanka is defined as “the animating force” of the universe” or “The Great Spirit.”

He was a healer and his life ended in a way that I wonder if that has imparted some energy... or shift in direction.
(Thinking of the way I saw the death, floating down a big muddy river while drinking a bottle of whisky) A little bit of water filling the lungs is not pleasant; alcohol wasn't really a huge problem, but it certainly a lesson to avoid, but I knew that everything was over, the shell was just there... age.
When you returned from that life as Wa’ tanka and the welcome back seems really marvelous, is there any concern about how you brought about your own death?
I would tell you right away if I felt it was a suicide, it really wasn't... it was more just letting... go.
Incredible remorse there, unhappiness because everyone else was gone.
Honestly it was a tired body, and the loss of not only my people, but all the values of my people, and the way a person feels when they've been dominated by another group to the point of relentlessness. I mean, I sensed it was time to move to the next episode. The journey was finished and it was just time to move on, and I don't think I had the courage to do a sky burial. (Referring to an ancient Lakota practice of leaving the dead on a scaffold for consumption by birds.) Easier to just float down the river.
Easy to get drunk and go in the river.
(Chuckles) Have a little cocktail before you go and then have the big cocktail.  And honestly I didn't chastise myself for it. It was just; "Was the ride okay?"
Is there someplace else that we need to go?
NOTE: I continue this thought later in the session, but the research shows there is no pejorative concept associated with a person taking their own life, rather it’s the person themselves who is reportedly distraught over breaking previous commitments to complete a chosen life.  There’s a sacred oath involved with choosing a life, and those who break it return to find themselves disappointed with their lack of ability to fulfill it.  In this case, I argue that the life I was leading had become a shell and was ready to return. 
Council of Elders? Waiting to review your lifetime.

Let's go to the council. Does Rayma come along on this trip?
(Pause) He's there with me.  He says "You're on." (Like an actor going onstage.)
NOTE: I had the profound sense of a buzz in the room, as if there was some kind of anticipation of my speaking to the council.  The only feeling I can associate it with is just prior to going onstage to perform or speak, but knowing that good friends are in the audience, and eager to participate.  In my research, many people had said they were apprehensive about this trip to see their council, either having the feeling like a trip to the principal’s office, or in Albert Brook’s hilarious “Defending Your Life,” before a judge.  In my case, it felt fun.

What's this like?
Beautiful room; beautiful in a light sense.  A radiant room, radiant place. And... counting (the amount of people in the room)...
The energy, what's that like?
Very peaceful... (Laughs) I feel like it's a little bit of a performance.
By whom?
By me, but because they're used to my sort of antics, everybody’s in a good mood. Eight people that I can see.  There might be more...
What do they look like?
Non-denominational... sort of just lights.
Not flashy.
No, rich hues of purple and a little bit of red tinge over there. Just purple with a tinge of vermillion... (Seeing a woman cloaked in a purple light, but a few streaks of bright red shining within).
What's the red mean to you?
Fierce... warrior... fierce person. I've got green here, but it's a purple green... [7]What's the color called... chartreuse?
Just checking again, how do you look to them?
That dark blue with maybe a little, I want to say, purple.
It is what it is?
And... I'm asking them my questions.
NOTE:  I’d read that it was helpful for the session to bring a list of questions that might be answered.  I had no clue that I would get this far in my own session, but the night before, I quickly jotted down some questions one might ask God if they had the chance.  My first questions: “What does Vanum Populatum mean?” was a trick question, as I knew for certain that no one, outside of me, would know the answer. The rest were #2. “What is my connection to Tibet? Or Rome?” – two places I felt that I’d returned to.  #3. “What part in my life does music play?”  #4. My relationship with Luana.  #5. A question about the deaths of my Father and friend Paul Tracey #6 was a question about a vivid dream I had when my daughter Olivia was born,  #7 “What creative projects I should focus on?” #8 and finally “What’s the meaning of my life, what am I doing here?”  Oddly enough, after the session, I thought the therapist had asked the questions and I answered them, but the footage shows that I asked them in my head as if I’d memorized them, even though I’d only jotted them down the night before.
Atop the Jokhang looking at HHDL's pad

They're saying... “Yes.” (Laughs.) "Yes, you were a monk in Tibet, not so long ago."
Something that you want to pause and go look at it?
It was in a monastery that was an old tradition of Buddhism, closer to the older dogmatic point of view. Nyingma? (One of the older Buddhist sects in Tibet.) They're reminding me this monastery was not as rich in tradition. The reason I was there was to learn patience (laughs) because the teachers were not very bright and I felt I knew more than they did. That particular life, as a Tibetan monk, was to learn patience.[8]
Is there a pattern with you and patience?
Through eternity. They're also taking me back to my other question. the vanum populatum question; it was a dream that came to me and it was me (my higher self) speaking to me, part of my energy that's back there (between lives), speaking to me in Latin..
And those words…? 
(Note: Jimmy is reading from the "list of questions" that I jotted down the night before.  I wrote them around 2 in the morning, and then handed them to him.  But when he is asking them, it's as if I had memorized them all, or asked them prior to my council, as they are giving me answers as he's speaking.)
"Vanum populatum."
Does the meaning of that deepen now that you...?
They're all amused by the cleverness of me speaking to me in Latin to myself, knowing I (in this life) don't speak Latin, never studied Latin, would write it down because it was unusual, and then knowing I would look it up (on the internet) and find the Latin translation. Knowing that only by my forcing myself to examine these words as a puzzle, would I come to embrace or understand them. As if just saying "Destroy the Ego," or "Annihilate Vanity" wouldn't help me get it - I had to Google it in order to understand it. And knowing the concept was the same I’d learned in Tibetan philosophy about stripping away the ego. What they're saying to me is "If you heard it as a phrase you would have dismissed it, but because you heard it in another language, you gave it depth."
Had to dwell on it.
They're showing me a past life I had in Rome. I was a patrician, a teacher of Latin and Ethics.  I can feel the feeling of the toga around me as I walk, and as I reach into my pocket, I can feel the sensation of what Roman era coins felt like to my touch. I'm stopping at a food stand in Pompeii, being greeted by others, and nodding to them.  I didn't die in the eruption - actually there had been some kind of scandal with me and a slave, something about me spending more time with my slaves because they were much more entertaining and educated in a different way and that somehow brought shame to my family. My wife's family - I think it's her father and brother, who supplied the poison - so that she would live on in the style and luxury to which she was accustomed. But I had true friendship here - especially with these people who were considered my slaves; I considered them my teachers.
Even though I was rather successful and wealthy from teaching Ethics, it was a fun and unusual life. Ah, okay, in my current life in film, I've written a story about a character living in Rome during this era; they're showing me that my past lives parallel my writing…
Ok. Let me ask another of question...  I’m asking them about a project I'm working on right now, and the question I'm asking them is, "Is this important?" and they're hesitant to respond, in the desire to not direct me where I may already be going.. They enjoy saying to me "You know the answer, why are you bothering us with the question?" But the answer is -- that this person I'm writing about had a tremendous amount of influence, energy-wise, on the planet, and that's why it's important to tell the story, or work on the story, or even recreate the story in a writer’s mind. Whether it gets made or not is not important, but the focus on the person and the energy is... Okay I get that.[9]
It makes sense to you...
Yes. My next question is about my family. I already know the answer; my wife is what someone might call an angel -- a spirit that is selfless and loving, and knows I need grounding.  And my daughter is yes, a very old soul... as I knew. And my son is the same, a little younger soul, but as playful as me.
NOTE: At some point the lead member of my council said “Richard already knows the answer to this question,” and an image appeared before me of myself on the couch, with Jimmy Quast sitting next to me.  That image and answer made me realize he was addressing my eternal presence, or spirit – and by saying “Richard” he was referring to the guy on the couch – my present incarnation.

The specific question I have is when our daughter was born, I had this vision of men dressed in white; older men with beards, surrounding her. She was only a few days old lying in the bed next to me, and I was completely aware of their presence.
I'm asking them about this, how there was one elderly man standing in the center of this semicircle around the little baby - and he was pouring something into her body from a copper vase, like an antique funnel -- as he was pouring this golden liquid out of the funnel I panicked and shouted "What are you doing?" He turned around and said simply; "This is how it's done." So I'm asking (the council) about "What was the liquid?" (Pause)  Uh... nobody wants to fess up. 
(Pause, as I understood their answer) Ok, what I saw as a liquid -- it was energy... I want to say, I'm not sure if I should reveal this to you, but it's a little bit of  predetermination of how long a person might be on the planet.
For her?
For everyone. When you're born, there's this little bit of a determination of how much energy you will have and I was seeing a demonstration of filling a person up with that... or maybe they're teasing me with this answer. I can't tell. They are letting me ramble on with this story and are not talking. Maybe I'm not supposed to reveal this information. I can't tell; they do that.
This is separate and apart from her soul energy committed to her life?
Separate and apart from her spirit, but it was like visualization of what your life experiences are. I mean it was like literally coming out as a golden liquid into a funnel into her, and everyone in the vision looked at me like, "Why are you asking this question? This is obvious." I'm not getting a straight answer (from the council) from anybody... They're all just saying... not it's "none of your business," but it's something you'll figure out eventually.
You had a question about music?
Music, well that was answered. [10]
(Refers to the list of questions)  What about your friend Paul (Tracey) and your dad?
Paul, is a young soul. Dad, a bit older soul. Just a great guy, both great people.  Paul’s very... like me, sense of humor; he's saying his excuse is that he's younger and he's working stuff out... [11]
What color is he?
Your dad?
Golden, more yellow. Little twinge of orange, maybe that's the architect in him. But Paul’s a young soul, I was very angry with him for dying early, dying young...
Can you understand it was by plan?
Oh yeah, it's true.
Does that mean they didn't pour enough of that stuff into him?  
(Chuckles) Or he mistook it for a beer, which is one of the difficult issues he spent a part his life working on. (Pause) They're telling me "You already know the answer to whatever question you have, just meditate on it, and go within, and the answer will come to you.” Also “keep up the good work."[12]
Anything from them about Wa’ tanka?
I healed and touched a lot of people. The reverberation from that is important. I was able to do that in difficult circumstances, but by and large, a happy circumstance... somehow I turn what seems difficult into a happy circumstance; a bit more fun.
So even though the other tribe...
Goddamned Hurons.
Damned Hurons... (Laughs)
I don't see it as a predetermined, before life agreement;[13] the tribe had issues they were working on, and there was an ego dispute between a Chief of the Huron and the Chief of our tribe. I know there are other names for our tribe (Lakota) but we just refer to ourselves as The People.[14] Ultimately the battle between us was more about a war of insults, tit for tat - revenge.
NOTE: As I remembered, the arguments, war council, planning for battle came back to me in a flash.
Mt. Kailash in Western Tibet

And they went beyond the plan a bit, or a lot?
Honestly, everybody was in agreement; "Eh, when you act out of revenge, this is what happens." People get hacked up if you don't find a way to resolve your differences. There is always the opportunity to change the contract, or the path. You can always change your so called ‘karma,’ if you resolve to change.
There's nothing predetermined. You don't have to pick up the rifle to kill someone, even if that's part of your contract or your reason to be on the planet. You can always learn, change, and evolve.  You don't have to go through a whole lifetime to learn one lesson.
It's just that simple, isn't it?
(Resisting agreeing) It's very difficult. Because even after you've made an agreement to live a particular life or act in a particular way to help yourself and others, you can change the agreement - if you can find the determination within yourself to change yourself and those around you and put your energy towards curing and healing. 
Simple to say, but difficult to do.
Very difficult. And when you see the agreement going awry, it’s sort of "Well, we did agree upon this and we didn't get to the point we should have." In my mind, you haven't worked hard enough to change the dynamic in a healing way. That's my feeling. But I'm unusual that way. (Laughs)  Not everybody (in this realm) agrees with my point of view.
Anyone else you'd like to see?

Soul group or just old peeps?

(As I'm heading back, I see my father, handsome, young, in his 40's, standing next to my friend Paul Tracey, in his early 20's - side by side, happy to see me. I stop to kiss my father on the head.) I'm just giving a loving kiss on the forehead to my father. Thanking him. (Laughs) "Get back to work." That's what he said.
Anything else you'd like to impart to Rich?
To tell him he needs to try to be more in the moment, in the present, and just... let... go.
Remember these experiences you've had, you're not alone, and you have a big bunch of friends.
(Pause) Hmm.  I'm just saying goodbye to everybody. They say "See you later."  I ask "When?"  They all laugh; they're not about to tell me. (Chuckles) Very funny.  Okay. 
Remember this world is always with you and within you... and you may have moments of clarity in the days ahead,  all is retained to help and empower you with renewed energy and greater... What was it?
Back through the tunnel to the present as I count from one to ten... back to a very fortunate life.”
with pals Paul (no longer on the planet) and Dave
who is an avatar living in Miami.

In the first class I visited during my session, everyone welcomed me as if the Teacher’s Pal had arrived.  In Luana’s class however, the teacher stopped speaking, the class turned as if to say “Why are you here?”  The students mocked my simplistic description of their complex work. Apparently not everyone can get attend this advanced class. Somehow I’d found a hall pass to get in.  
Recently I was at a family funeral in upper Wisconsin. I happened to speak to a relative who is a Lakota Sioux historian, something I was unaware of. I said “I had this unusual vision while under hypnosis about me being what I appeared to be a Lakota.” He stopped me. “How many feathers did you have and were they up or down?”  I said, “Two, they were down.” He said “That means you were a medicine man. What did they call you?” I said “Sounded like Watanka.” He said “Wakantanka or Wa’tanka means The Great Spirit, and what they call medicine men.” I said “If that’s true, then why would I think the Huron killed my tribe when they’re located on the East Coast?” He said, “We’re actually sitting near a spot they fought over for 60 years in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.”  He confirmed details that I tried to confirm on my own but couldn’t.
In my session, I met my spirit guide, who seemed to be someone I’ve known forever, and then found my soul group of fellow travelers. I visited classrooms where I got to see myself through other’s eyes.  I’d made a trip to my council where they confirmed a number of details about my life that seemed extraordinary.  I had the same experience Newton’s clients had. And most improbably of all, I felt as if I’d gone to the classroom Luana had told me about before her passing – I saw her there, spoke to her, felt as if I’d really seen and heard from my dear departed friend. 
I felt as if the Earth had suddenly shifted on its axis. Everything I thought I knew about the planet, about humanity, about life, had been altered by this session.
My skeptical, conscious mind kept hammering at this new information. Had I really just seen a past life? Was I just eager to make it up? How would that account for details I didn’t know until later? Or could it be I’d already been through this psychic door, and like most people, merely ignored the signs and messages that had already come from the Great Beyond? 

I cannot think of permanent enmity between man and man, and believing as I do in the theory of reincarnation, I live in the hope that if not in this birth, in some other birth I shall be able to hug all of humanity in friendly embrace.
Mahatma Gandhi

[1] After this session, I spoke to my mother and asked her where dad was while I was being born, and she said, "He was driving on his way to the hospital..." something I had not known previously.
[2] I found out later from a Lakota historian that medicine men had two feathers pointing down. 
[3] Tatanka, means "Bull Buffalo" in Lakota. According to my historian, it‘s definitely a Lakota name. Watanka means “Great Spirit.”
[4] Some Native American tribes have a “Vision Quest” where they commune with an animal spirit, who becomes their “spirit guide.”
[5] My conscious mind thought - "If I'm calling myself by a Sioux name, I couldn't be fighting with a tribe associated with the East Coast.” But post session, I discovered through research that the Sioux and the Huron fought a series of battles in the upper Midwest.
[6] This process is described later, which I found in various citations about near death experience (NDEs) and LBL’s. However, at this point, I’d never heard that Doctors or healers on Earth might have help from the Afterlife.
[7] Green is associated with being a healing color in many cultures, including Tibetan. (Green Tara)
[8] I examine this more fully in the final chapter.
[9] I wound up working on "Amelia," starring Hilary Swank, and assisting them with all of their research into Earhart's life before she disappeared.

[10] Meaning: the idea of energy transfer and why I chose to learn different musical instruments, and how my lifelong connection to music has to do with the transmission of the energy.
[11] In my mind's eye, I see my father as a young man in his 40's, and standing next to him, my friend Paul, looking as I knew him in his 20's, but am feeling more like he's a brother, than a friend.
[12] These questions I'd wondered about, and by meditating on them had come to various conclusions prior to the session.
[13] Meaning the killing of my tribe by the Huron tribe with regard to the testimony that sometimes people who kill each other do it as part of an agreement to learn something deeper.
[14] I didn’t know this, but it is accurate. “The Sioux: Life and Customs” by Royal Hassrick pg 73

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