Nay_ho_tze's Medicine Musings

this article was first published in 2007 on
where NHT had been an active community moderator for many years

FAQs - Reincarnation: Transmigration: Metempsychosis
part 3 of 3
“I died as a mineral and became a plant, /I died as a plant and rose to animal,
 I died as animal and I was man. /Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?”
- Rumi

...on remembering

Q: Can everyone remember their past lives?
A: Potentially, yes.
The memories are in you, 
and you are fully equipped to access them safely. 
Ordinarily, to start, I suggest considering the answers 
to two simple questions. 
First, what mode of dying do you prefer least? 
The answers to this question may suggest ways 
in which you have died before.
And, second, is there a period in history, 
or a geographic location 
to which you are inexplicably drawn? 
These answers may suggest 
when and where you might have lived before.

Now, in meditation, focus on one of the answers that came up.
Keep yourself open to images, 
sounds, etc. that might come up. 
If a scene comes up, see if you can move around 
and look for clues.
In meditation, you are in control, 
so if your anxiety rises ever so slightly, 
without halting the process, consciously remind yourself 
that what is being viewed is from the past,
 unchangeable and harmless – 
that you are safe, and simply wanting to learn. 
Ego is very childlike, so repeat this as often as needed. 
It won't take long for Ego to “become prepared," 
and your meditation will move anxiety-free to the next level.

Q: I was wondering since my other friend was told 
she was crushed in a cave in her past life and  now her body remembers that by being asthmatic in this life - can that happen?
A: Yes, it can, and often does. 
Memories can definitely be stored in the body.
For example, as far back as I can remember, 
I have feared heights in this life. 
Then, in my thirties, traveling around the country, 
I came into an area where, in a previous life, 
I’d fallen from a cliff – 
visiting the area triggered the memory…
no wonder, height made me uncomfortable!!
The experience inspired this poem

Q: A friend of mine had a past life reading done by a psychic. 
Can we access past life memories ourselves 
or do we need someone to do it for us?
A: With regards to accessing a past life,
know that the answers you seek are already inside you 
in the form of a past life memory (PLM). 
You don’t need anyone outside yourself to access the information.
While you’ll hear people talk about having a “past life read”, 
I’m not big on third party readings, 
simply because by definition a third party reading 
leaves a lot of room for doubt – 
and past life work can only be effective 
when the information received is owned. 
In order to dispel the inherent doubt of a third party reading, 
the information received must be translated 
into the first person ((I am/I was) 
from the second person (you are/you were). 
This is the only means to gain benefit/understanding of the lesson 
of such information. 
Since it’s much more effective and efficient 
to leave out the middle man in past life work, 
meditation is the most effective means
 by which past life workers access and process the information 
that is already inside them.


...on getting started

Q: Is meditating a way to get started [discovering my past lives]?

A: Yes, meditation is the method most advised by ancient writings. 
My teachers said if one learns to meditate well, 
then everything else follows almost without effort.
The depth of that truth is something I am still learning 
and opening to,
so yes, IMHO, meditation is the way to go. 
For those who might be interested 
in exploring CD facilitated meditation  
I strongly recommend the Hemi-Sync series
from the Munroe Institute, 
who developed a unique recording technique, 
based on the left-brain, right-brain research. 
This recording technique greatly increases 
the efficiency of the brain. 
As such, their recordings are superior 
in effectiveness and efficiency.

Ancient teachings cite meditation as a most efficient means 
to access past life memories, 
which are usually kept from conscious recognition 
by the present life Ego.
Ego’s purpose is two-fold: to survive, number one, 
and second, to act as a stop-gate mechanism 
against past life memories flooding into the present life. 
By practicing meditation, one’s mind is prepared 
to open Ego’s stop-gate without triggering its survival mode. 
This “alarm system” is the cause of anxiety 
that beginning past life workers must learn to subdue. 
It’s natural for the unprepared Ego to experience anxiety. 
After all, under its prime directive to survive, 
Ego sees death as death –
there is no past vs. present involved.
Remember In meditation, you are in control
so when your anxiety rises ever so slightly, 
without halting the process,
consciously remind yourself 
that what is being viewed is from the past, 
unchangeable and harmless – 
that you are safe, and simply wanting to learn. 
This changes your perspective from participant to observer.
Ego is very childlike, so repeat this as often as needed. 
It won't take long for Ego to become comfortable as observer,
and your meditation will move anxiety-free to the next level.

...on Dreams and Past Life Work

Q: I am wondering [if dreams could be] considered 
a starting point [for past life work].
A: Absolutely. Dreams are viable past life tools, yes. 
In addition to meditation, I also work in the dreamtime
but for me, dreams are closely related to moon cycles 
so they’re not always reliable or even available 
(for example: one of my teachers 
totally disregards "full moon dreams"). 
Also medication can blur dreamwork.
A note about dream work that’s worth mentioning: 
try to recall dreams immediately upon awakening, 
before moving the physical body. 
I learned this from my teachers who said that, 
after awakening, 
dream memories dissipate rapidly 
with physical body movement. 
If you remain as still as you can, it becomes possible 
to access and recall many more details of your dreams.
Once you have brought these details 
into your conscious mind, 
then you can later journal them.

Q: I had a very vivid dream that felt like more than a dream 
in which I saw myself as another person in another place and time.
Could this be a past life?
A: Meditate on the details on the dream.
See what comes up for you.
Pay attention to images, sounds, smells, etc.
Especially pay attention to what might seem inconsequential, 
as these are often powerful triggers 
that reveal further information 
in later meditations.
And pay particular attention to your feelings.
Be aware that a valid past life memory (PLM) 
will cause a deeply personal "shift" in self-knowledge 
that cannot be faked. 
Should your emotions get too intense,
or should you begin to feel fear, and you want to quit, 
simply remind that you are safe,
and that you are meditating.
This practice allows you to adopt the perspective of witness,
rather than that of participant, 
where our emotions will no longer 
stop the process of remembering.
Of course, as in any spirit work,
take whatever precautions beforehand as may be dictated 
by your tradition or beliefs...
for example, a Christian might commission angelic protection.

...on past life memories vs. imagination

Q: How can I know that I’m having a past life memory (PLM)
 and not some fantasy?
A: IME a valid PLM typically ends with an “ah-ha” moment – 
by “valid” I refer you to the process 
A valid PLM nearly always leads to a profound, 
deep and personal shift in one’s self-knowledge …
hence, the “ah-ha!” moment.
This shift is like seeing one’s face in the mirror –
which certainly can be denied, 
but denial doesn’t change the fact.
And further, acceptance brings 
untold healing and self-understanding.
Of course, hesitation is common 
before the “ah-ha!” happens –
IME, with valid PLMs, obsessed with accurate discernment,
(and much to the consternation of my guides and teachers), 
I’ve had to arrive a number of times to the same moment
before I’ve accepted the healing salve 
of the “ah-ha!” moment.
In the end it is this “ah-ha!” moment 
which raises any reincarnation “controversy” 
out of the intellectual realm and deposits it firmly and squarely 
into the individual’s experience, heart and soul.
The truth is when one comes face to face with one’s own self,
the question of reincarnation, cell memory, imagination, etc.
falls deftly away in the explosion of one's consciousness 
rising into the stratosphere…
To those who have experienced a valid PLM,
it becomes exceedingly clear 
that the “controversy” of reincarnation 
is markedly, purposely, and solely 
between the individual and his Maker.
Sure, it’s quite impossible to deny 
what one sees in the mirror…
but it’s equally impossible to deny the shift that occurs 
in one’s self-understanding when one stands naked, 
and face to face, with oneself.

Q: How do you tell if [it’s] 
(like in meditation you see something) 
an actual past happening, 
rather than your imagination hard at work? 
A: IME, with a valid past life memory, 
something deep inside always shifts, 
or at the very least, is touched profoundly. 
The shift is easily recognizable by the sigh 
that almost always accompanies it. 
This shift is very powerful and resonates 
with a new self-knowledge 
that manifests into the present lifetime. 
(for example: after discovery of a previous death by drowning, 
fear of water is "mysteriously" dissolved.)
Sometimes this being touched profoundly is so deep inside 
that it is only recognizable by discernment
Oftentimes something insignificant 
triggers this sense of recognition – 
one member mentioned her mother cooking potatoes 
triggering her memory. 
This being touched becomes a foundation on which 
to gather more memory information through further meditation 
until ultimately a shift does occur.
I guess the simple answer is: 
after exploring through meditation, 
applying discernment, discrimination, and detachment
if you still have to ask, is this realthen it probably isn't. 
That deep shift inside leaves no doubt. 
I am usually left stunned with clarity. 
The being touched, however, can be missed if not discerned,
and if nothing else, could be a signal 
that further investigation might be helpful.
But then, OTOH, human beings are never simple,  
and there are those so committed to “know for sure,” 
that they don’t/can't/won't respect 
their own instincts and intuition. 
IMHO, past life work goes much, much easier 
for those who trust their instincts and intuition.

Q: [Are] the feelings and awarenesses [of remembering a past life] … 
true, or fantasy?
A: Admittedly this is the most difficult part of past life work,
separating fantasy/imagination 
from a valid past life memory (PLM).
It’s difficult because the work is hindered by one's own ego. 
There are three very helpful tools 
for past life memory workers to use 
in mastering recognition of the ego: 

The trick is to stay focused. 
When you’re meditating, keep ego subdued and distanced 
from the images that come up.
By doing that one recognizes that refocusing 
on discernment and discrimination easily placates ego’s demands. 
Also, be aware that once you start meditating 
in search of a past life memory, you'll want to pay attention 
to your dreams as well...
some people find dream journaling and such helpful. 

Q: ...[I have had] odd and powerful memories… I later on wondered 
if it was a very deep imaginative experience I concocted. 
A: Meditation can lead to validation of past life memories. 
Steep yourself in what you know. 
Seek more clues. 
‘See a landscape? 
Try to move around in it to discover maybe a building, or a landmark. 
‘A face? Listen for a name to it or try to sense the relationship 
that person might have had to you.
‘Know the time period? Check out literature, art and music 
of said period, all powerful memory triggers. 
Is it a location? Search online travel agencies for images. 

Spirit always puts into my path exactly 
whatever I’m seeking. 
How do I recognize it as such? 

...on PL&R and free will, love, and compassion

Q: I guess I have trouble understanding how somehow a soul 
may CHOOSE suffering, especially if the personality didn't sign up for it. 
A: For the sake of explanation, think of your soul 
as the “higher self” or the wiser part of you. 
Then, armed with the idea of free will, 
the “personality” part of you is okay 
with what your higher self chooses. 

Q: What are people to do in such situations? Suffer for the good of mankind's karmic debt? Is there no hope for them at all? It seems like an enormous thing to ask of innocents
A: First of all, no-one asked the “innocents” to suffer for mankind – 
of their own free will, they chose to do that 
from their enormous love and compassion.
They are not victims. 
In fact, for those who "have ears to hear...” 
these are our teachers on love and compassion. 
To view them as victims denigrates their gift to us. 
To understand their gift to us, meditate on the implications 
of free will and love and compassion.

Q. … [I don’t understand how], through no fault of my own, I was destined to suffer to pay for the karmic debt of others
A: If you accept that your Creator endowed you with free will, 
then who else’s fault is it, if not your own? 
The idea of free will allows that each individual is responsible 
for his/her choices. 
You can’t blame your karma, good or bad, on someone else’s choice.

Q: And if we say that everything works out on a macro level, it almost suggests that there is divine justice but that this may not always happen
for each individual's soul. Meaning, someone's soul might come 
out a "net negative" in order for someone else to end up with a "net positive.”
A: Karmic debt cannot be assessed in banking terms, 
like net negative or net positive, 
because love and compassion negate need of any net, 
positive or negative. 
To understand karma, one must first integrate love and compassion 
along with free will into the formula and ultimately into one's life. 
Until that is accomplished, the intricacies of karmic debt 
are simply beyond mortal understanding.

...on research to "jog" on past life memories

Q: Should I investigate the period [I’m drawn to] further or would this "contaminate" my recall? 
A: While some might consider investigation “contaminating” recall, 
IMHO, because a past life memory is such a deep, personal event, 
just as it can’t be faked, neither can it be contaminated.
It just is.
Research is analogous to an archaeological dig. 
So personally, I invite students to research. 
Why not jog the memory, if there’s one to jog?
will determine a memory’s validity.
Absolutely, investigate. 
At present, my favourite means of research 
is visiting virtual museums.
That’s a trip, especially for those 
who’ve had past life memories already,
and even for those who only suspect, 
to check out relative online museums. 
In addition, I suggest reading the literature 
and studying the contemporary art of the time period. 
Art, music, literature, these all touch the emotions, 
and emotions are very powerful memory triggers. 
From the research process, I have seen 
unexpected surprises happen many times. 
Spirit will bring things together for the focused seeker 
through synchronicity and/or “coincidences.”
When that art book just happens to fall open 
to a portrait of a familiar face,
or a piece of classical music catches your ear 
and you’re suddenly on the Danube, 
a place that heretofore had never interested you, 
these are often pieces of art which had touched you before 
and by Spirit’s providence now, 
they are reaching out to you again …
you reaching out to you, really. 

Q: Is my interest in [particular time] periods and particular people 
enough to assume I may have lived in these times? 
Is this a starting point for identifying times and places 
you may have lived before? Where do I go from here?
A: While others might surely disagree, 
my own experience has shown that yes, 
such interest and feelings are enough to suggest a previous life. 
It is definitely a starting point for a search. 
I search by meditating on information that I already have, 
to see what else comes up. 
I will also work in the dreamtime for more information. 
f I encounter a block, and nothing comes up, 
if I still continue to feel very strongly about it, 
before I abandon the idea as imagination,
 I will submerge myself in research – 
check out library books or visit virtual online museums of the area.
 Lots of ways to research. 
Research jogs not only memories, 
but oftentimes synchronicity as well. 
Almost always, Spirit has synchronistically led me 
to where I need to go in order to find 
whatever information I’m looking for... 
which oftentimes I don’t even know what that may be until I find it. 
(I know when I’ve found it because something deep inside shifts…
(see previous posts)

Critics say research “creates” memories – 
but that’s why the Ancients taught 
As very essential tools for past lifework, 
discernment, discrimination, and detachment act as safeguards 
against creating false impressions and memories, 
in order ensure against misconceptions and “created” memories.

...on the Bardo, or, Life between lives...

Q: What happens after death and before our next life?

A: In Tibetan Buddhism, there is a book called The Bardo Thodol
or translated, The Tibetan Book of the Dead
It is a funerary text that describes, 
and intends to guide the newly deceased soul 
through the experiences of the consciousness after death 
during the interval known as bardo (between death and rebirth).
The purpose of such ritual is to assist the soul 
in making choices to achieve enlightenment 
and avoid reincarrnating altogether… 
This is the goal of all souls, to liberate from what Hinduism
refers to as The Wheel of Death and Rebirth. 
(Buddha was a Hindu prince, much like Christian Jesus was Jewish)

To avoid this Wheel Hinduism teaches the importance of dying consciously --
to make choices for the purpose of freeing oneself 
from the causal effect of karma …
Typically though for most of us, we live a lot of lives 
before we gain enough wisdom to liberate ourselves.

Having said that, and based on the Bardo Thodol
I was taught that during the bardo,  we take stock of the life we just lived, 
then after we rest and recover,  together with our teachers/guides, 
we closely analyze our just-past life  for our failures and our successes. 
From this analysis, we construct a skeleton 
for our next life with focus on fortifying our successes 
and amending our failures. 
I say, skeleton, of course because of the x-factor is the law of free will.
Some have likened this period to one big school. 
Others have expounded on that idea by suggesting 
that each planet is a different classroom
for its own peculiar vibrational energies –

interestingly, these “classroom energies” correspond to astrological data.
For instance, for a person working on processing emotions,
his classroom might be Venus, which astrologically rules emotions.
Or for a shy person working on, say, acquiring aggressiveness, 
his classroom might be Mars, the planet of energy, and so on. 
I think that’s an interesting take … 
‘might explain part of the UFO phenomenon.

A chuckle: 
in an early regression study in reincarnation looking to understand the bardo
researchers regressed subjects to move beyond birth 
until they were “without a body” at which point
the researchers asked, how it felt to 'be dead' - 
to the amusement of all present, one subject responded quite vociferously, 
I’m not the dead one. You are!!”

Q: Do we cease to exist once we have reached the highest place of conciousness?  Or do[es] our soul then move up in rank?
 Like do we then become angels or something like that?
A: I am sure most are familiar with what 
the French Geologist, Priest, Philosopher and Mystic, 
Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) wrote:
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. 
We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

If you substitute the word divine for spiritual
it seems to echo what one of my own teachers often pointed out,
that all sorrow comes from not remembering our divinity, 
and that all longing comes from our desire
to reclaim and re-establish that consciousness to our divinity.

Reconnecting with that consciousness is enlightenment.
And when that is done, according to my tradition, 
we enter what most religions describe as paradise, heaven, nirvana. 
This paradise, of course, would be reflective of a person's belief system. 

My vision about how it all ends?
In one huge, celebratory, masquerade ball, where we all unmask ourselves and reveal to each other all the lives and characters 
that we each created and contributed to mankind's history!

now wouldn't that be the ball to beat all others?


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related on-site readings:
Reincarnation - part 1 of 3
Reincarnation 101 - part 2 of 3

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