Past life regression. Is it real or is it just imagination? This was the question I was left pondering after my past life regression experience. Although I believe in past lives, I still wondered if my mind had conveniently made what I saw up.
Recently, I went to Goa for a spiritual experience. My Reiki teacher from Manali is in Arambol for six months of the year. In addition to Reiki she also does Tarot readings and past life regressions. In particular, I wanted to know if I’d had a past life in India, and whether my husband had featured in it.
Past life regression is actually a form of hypnosis. It aims to bypass the conscious mind, in order to access the subconscious where past life memories are stored but “forgotten” in the current lifetime. You remain awake during the experience, and remember everything that you see and say.
Since the regression relies on hypnosis techniques, some people — who are more susceptible to hypnosis — will have more powerful experiences than others. It’s not always possible to bypass very active or dominant minds, therefore you need to be as relaxed as possible in order for the technique to be effective.
There are a number of ways to access the subconscious memories during past life regression. My Reiki teacher asked me to picture myself walking down a staircase and opening as series of doors. Behind these doors were the past lives.
Initially, I found it difficult to relax enough. My mind was active, and very keen to wander and remain in control. I mentally opened the first door only to be confronted with blankness. What’s more, I still felt “normal”, and not involved with the process at all. I told my Reiki teacher this, and she gently placed her hands on either side of my head to give me Reiki energy and calm my mind. Her energy is so strong that I felt the soothing effect immediately, as I always do. She left her hands there and we tried again. This time, the images did come.
As I opened a door, the blankness started giving away and a picture formed from the haziness. I could feel my eyes fluttering deeply and a sensation like memories were being shuffled. Then, it was as if I was looking at scene from a movie. This was accompanied by limited sensations and feelings. It was much more subtle than I expected, and this is what confused me somewhat. Naively, I was anticipating a grand display that I felt involved in, AND a running commentary!
It was what was revealed behind the second door that held the most interest for me. The scene opened with a vivid purple sunset over a hill. Nestled at the bottom of the hill was a mass of box like houses. On the hill sat a thin middle aged man, wearing a white turban and dhoti. He had a moustache that curled up at the ends. I felt an overwhelming sensation that it was in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
My Reiki teacher asked me to move forward with the scene, to find people around me. The man appeared in one of the houses with a woman and small boy, aged around 10 years old. It was a very basic house with dirt floor and sparse furnishings. The woman sat on a bench, with a greenish-grey coloured sari partly over her head, and bowls of masala (spice) in front of her.
My Reiki teacher asked me who the people were. I could hear my voice as I spoke, but it felt distant and not like it was coming from me. I felt that the woman could be me, and the son my husband. My Reiki teacher again asked me to go into the future to find out what happened to the people. My forehead also creased. But I couldn’t see any more images. Yet, I strongly sensed something to do with a horse and the boy. The boy was either taken by someone on a horse, or rode on a horse, and was killed. Perhaps in a war. He just didn’t seem to feature in the future.
I attempted to look though a third door, but the image wouldn’t come. I felt so tired and exhausted, like it was time to stop. I told my Reiki teacher this, and she brought me out of the hypnosis via a simple counting down procedure. I opened my eyes and felt a wave of emotion, to the point that a tear or two rolled down my cheek.
So, how does what I saw relate to my current life? It definitely explains the relationship between my husband and me. From the moment I met him, I felt an overwhelming feeling of already knowing him and a need to look after him. I do play a significant mothering role in his life, and this was also confirmed by the cards in his Tarot reading. Countless Indian people have told me that they think I must’ve had a past life in India, from the way that I’ve easily adapted to the culture here and can readily appear to be Indian looking. In addition, I’ve always had a particular attraction to Rajasthan. It’s the place in India that I feel most alive and inspired.
Recently, I’ve also come to a number of interesting conclusions about this life and what I’ve needed to learn and experience from it. To me, my life has had a theme of judgement and rejection running through it. My beliefs and behavior have never been particularly conventional, and various aspects of these have met with disapproval from my conservative family.
Of course, the biggest thing that I have done to bring about the possibility of judgement and disapproval is my moving to India and marrying an Indian — judgement and disapproval not just from family but society as well. It’s taken a lot of courage, but the end result has been that I have been blessed with one person — my husband — who totally accepts me on all levels. Slowly, I’m becoming comfortable with the fact that there’s nothing about myself that I have to hide from him, nothing that he will reject. I can bare myself to him and feel unconditional love. It’s such a liberating feeling.
Life really is a complicated but fascinating web! One really has to risk so much to get so much sometimes.
As for the past life regression and whether or not it was my imagination coming forth, it’s a fine line. It didn’t feel like I was simply imagining something. If I was, where did the images come from? There was a depth and reality to what I saw. I also have a very active imagination, and can spend hours daydreaming. However, it didn’t feel the same as a daydream. It was accompanied by additional sensations, such as the sensation of “Jodhpur”. The word formed in my head. And the scene that I saw certainly looked like the pictures I’ve now seen of Jodhpur. I’ve tried to imagine my past lives before, and came up with no ideas at all — apart from the “bizarre” possibility of my husband being my son. So I don’t believe I was just “making it up”. There was also the very distinct and strange sensation of memories being sorted though in my head. And the rush of emotion at the end.
What’s more, neither my husband nor I are disturbed by the idea of him being my son in a past life. It’s all strangely comforting actually.
Believe it, or not?
Photo of Jodhpur courtesy of Flickr user Dan Lundberg.
© 2010, Diary of a White Indian Housewife. All rights reserved. Do not copy and reproduce text or images without permission.
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