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    A Natural Method for Learning To Communicate with Spirits

    Introduction
    Other Types of Psychic Perceptions
    Theta waves and the Hypnogogic State
    A Word of Warning
    Exercise 1: What is it like to receive communications from spirits?
    Exercise 2: Relaxation Techniques
    Exercise 3: Long Term Development
    Exercise 4: Communicating When You Want To
    Doing a Reading for Another Person
    The Traditional Method
    Basis in Natural Law
    Related Reading
    More Articles at "Life in B Flat"

    Introduction

    Everyone has spirit guides, therefore everyone can be influenced by spirits. Why would people have spirit guides if they couldn't be guided by them? But, can everyone learn to recognize the influence of spirits in their own lives? The answer is yes, and this chapter will explain how.*

    There is a natural method for learning to communicate with spirits. It makes use of the fact that spontaneous communications with spirits can occur when a person is in the deeply relaxed state that occurs just before falling asleep which psychologists call the hypnogogic state. Not all mental activity that occurs in the hypnogogic state is spirit communication, but by observing the activity of their mind in the hypnogogic state, a person can also practice recognizing faint mental impressions that are similar to those that occur during spirit communication.

    Throughout my life, I have often seen people in my mind's eye just before falling asleep. I often wondered if they might be spirits because the people I saw were of every race, type, and age. I am not around many different people during the day so I didn't think I was just remembering or dreaming about what happened during the day. After I began to take classes in mediumship at a Spiritualist church, I tried to communicate with these people. I found that some of the people I saw were recognized by my classmates as deceased relatives and that the information conveyed by these people seemed to be characteristic of those relatives. I concluded that seeing these people is a natural and spontaneous form of spirit communication. I also found that preparing to do mediumship by doing a meditation that causes a person to become deeply relaxed and to enter the hypnogogic state helps them to do better mediumship.

    Everyone goes through the hypnogogic state every time they fall asleep and anyone can learn how to cultivate that state through relaxation exercises. Therefore if one is interested in learning to communicate with spirits they can make use of this natural ability to become highly receptive to spirit communications.

    * The section Everyone is a Medium in the chapter on Short Topics expands on the discussion of why everyone can perceive communications from spirits.

    (You can find links to more articles on communicating with spirits on my blog post How to Communicate with Spirits. That post discusses how to communicate with recently departed loved ones, easy techniques for communicating with your spirit guides, and techniques, such as the one described on this page, for developing a general ability to communicate with spirits. You can discuss psychic phenomena on-line in the Psychic Support Forum.)

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    Other Types of Psychic Perceptions

    This chapter is primarily about learning to communicate with spirits, however you can also use the method described here if you are interested in developing other types of psychic perceptions. Precognition, remote viewing, and astral projection* have all been experienced using this method. To use this method for these or other types of psychic perceptions, it is recommended that you still perform Exercise 3 daily (below). In Exercise 4, once in the hypnogogic state, you can simply observe your hypnogogic visions and other perceptions. Keep a log and see if any are precognitive (happen in the future). You also can ask your spirit guides to help you develop other psychic abilities that interest you. For example, you can ask about distant locations or help visiting the astral or spirit planes.

    *The terms remote viewing, and astral projection are used in different ways by different authors. Here, remote viewing is used to refer to perceiving distant locations in the physical universe and astral projection is used to mean perceiving the astral or spirit planes. Astral projection is meant to refer having only mental perceptions. The experience of leaving the body, traveling to another location, and seeming to actually be there is a separate phenomena and would be referred to using the term out-of-body-experience.

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    Theta waves and the Hypnogogic State

    Scientists have found that theta brain waves are associated with reports of psychic experiences and that visualization exercises induce theta waves (See "Leaving The Body" by Scott Rogo). The types of psychic phenomena reported from various sources include remote viewing, out-of-body experiences, spirit communication, precognition, and possibly others. Scientists have also found that theta waves are produced during the hypnogogic state - the state between sleeping and waking. This is important because the hypnogogic state is recognizable by the person experiencing it. A person can use it to identify when a he is generating theta waves and thus in a psychically receptive state without the need for expensive EEG equipment.

    Exercise 1 will show you how to learn to recognize the hypnogogic state by watching yourself as you fall asleep. You will recognize that the hypnogogic state is occurring when you are very relaxed, your mind starts wandering wildly, and you see frequent images in your mind's eye.

    Exercise 2 will show you how to induce the hypnogogic state by using a combination of relaxation exercises including visualization exercises. (These relaxation exercises are described in the chapter "Relaxation". ) You can learn to get into the hypnogogic state at times other than bed time by using a combination of relaxation exercises. Each exercise in the combination relaxes a different system in the body. Using them in combination will relax you faster and to a deeper state than any one relaxation exercise by itself. A good way to combine relaxation exercises for this purpose is to start with ten to twenty minutes of meditation using The How-To Mantra as described in the chapter on Meditation while sitting. Then, lying down, repeat a sequence of: chakra work, hypnotic induction, visualization of colors, and repeating a mantra or prayer in rhythm with the breathing.

    Exercise 3 will help you to learn to recognize the hypnogogic state by trying to repeat a mantra or a prayer as you are performing a relaxing type of healing meditation. A healing prayer is used in Exercise 3, but the Lord's Prayer, the rosary or any mantra that is several sentences long would work as well. (You can also learn to recognize the hypnogogic state this way by repeating the mantra as you fall asleep at bed time rather than during a meditation or relaxation exercise). When you find you are so deeply relaxed that you cannot concentrate for more than a few words at a time without becoming distracted and it feels like it just takes too much energy to keep saying the mantra, you are in the hypnogogic state.

    You can use these exercises to learn to get into the hypnogogic state in successively less restful postures. Initially you should start lying down with your eyes closed. Once you are able to enter the hypnogogic state when lying down, try doing it sitting up with your eyes closed, then lying down with your eyes open, then sitting up with your eyes open. There are also numerous health and psychological benefits associated with cultivating the theta state.

    The hypnogogic state can be used to enhance creativity. Thomas Edison, one of the greatest inventors of all time, used the hypnogogic state to get ideas for his work. He would hold a fist full of ball bearings and when he began to doze off, his hand would relax and the bearings would fall on the floor. The noise of the falling bearings would alert him to his state.

    Charles Tart describes a method of maintaining the hypnogogic state on his blog. It involves lying down while holding the forearm upright resting on the elbow. As you fall asleep, the arm will begin to tilt and the effort to straighten it keeps you from falling completely asleep. He discovered the method in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research. Tart writes: "The author had figured this balancing technique out and was using it because he thought it would help ESP messages get through when they couldn’t penetrate the everyday noise of his conscious mind." The method evidently worked for the author. An example is given: "he got an image of someone wearing glasses, which was the target being sent".

    Arthur Edward Stilwell, the railroad tycoon, communicated with spirits who guided him to build a business empire. Stilwell's method of communicating with spirits is similar to the method described here. It is described by Brad Steiger in "He Built a Railroad Empire by Listening to Spirits":

    He would lie down in bed alone in a dark room.

    He would next focus his mind on his immediate problem and allow himself to drift off into a sort of half sleep.
    http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/haunted/RailroadSpirits.php

    Some readers may think that hypnogogic visions are merely dreams or that they are simply a window into the unconscious mind. These views are entirely consistent with the contention that many hypnogogic visions are psychic perceptions. Many psychic perceptions are too faint to reach consciousness and remain subliminal. Any activity that accesses the unconscious mind will help to make psychic perceptions conscious. When a person is dreaming, theta brain waves are predominant. In the book "An Experiment With Time" by J. W. Dunne, the author shows that many dreams are precognitive. He gives an explanation of how anyone can learn to remember their own dreams and prove this for themselves. Another book, "The G.O.D. Experiment" by Gary Schwartz explores this phenomenon too. Lastly, there are a great number of anecdotal reports of spirit communication during dreams. Many such reports can be easily found found by searching on the internet.

    Doing the exercises explained below should allow most people to learn to communicate with spirits very easily. It will still take time (years) and consistent practice to develop this ability, this is not an instant short cut. It is a way for people to use a natural capability of the mind (the hypnogogic state) as a stepping stone to develop the ability to communicate with spirits. It takes the mystery out of mediumship.

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    A Word of Warning

    One should be very careful before undertaking these exercises. You should read the chapter Further Adventures of a Student Medium, and my blog posts How to Get Rid of Spirits and What to do if You Start Developing Psychic Abilities and the books "Confessions of a Psychic" by Susy Smith and "Thirty Years Among the Dead" by Carl Wickland first to learn about some of the risks involved. These books should scare you. After a while the fear will subside and rational caution will remain.

    You should not undertake the study of mediumship if you abuse addictive drugs or alcohol, or if you are involved in activities that are harmful to other people, or if you are suffering from emotional or mental illnesses. You should only undertake the study of mediumship if your intention is to act in the service of God and humankind. You should understand that the purpose of psychic development is to advance the spiritual development of yourself and others. Like attracts like, and any type of selfish behavior or selfish motivation for gain or renown you have in learning to communicate with spirits will attract spirits that are also selfish. You can never gain any benefit to yourself by interacting with selfish spirits. Such spirits may promise you some benefit, but being selfish, they will not deliver on their promise though they will use you for their own purposes which may leave you permanently under their influence doing things that are harmful to yourself and other people.

    If you are certain that your motivation is pure, you may begin these exercises.

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    Exercises

    Exercise 1 What is it like to receive communications from spirits?

    Exercise 1A Observe the Hypnogogic State.

    As you fall asleep at night, notice your mental state. When you find your mind wandering wildly and you see dream like images in your minds eye, you are in the hypnogogic state. Watch yourself whenever you go to sleep and learn to recognize this state.

    These hypnogogic experiences are very similar to what many mediums experiences when communicating with spirits. If you have done this exercise you now know what it is like to communicate with spirits. It is not mysterious, it is not extraordinary, and it does not require any special ability at all. This exercise gives you practice recognizing the faint mental impressions that occur during spirit communication. it will help you learn to do mediumship even though there may be no spirits communicating while you practice it.

    Exercise 1B

    The point of exercise 1 is to give you an idea of what you will experience when you are communicating with spirits so that you will be able to recognize spirit communications. Exercise 1A is more realistic because you are passive, the experiences seem to happen spontaneously and you just observe them. However if you have trouble observing the hypnogogic state there is another way to have these same experiences.

    Visions and words are most often (but not always) communicated by spirits subjectively, that is, you experience them in your mind. To get an idea of what this is like:

    • Visualize something in your minds eye. It could be a person or an object. Concentrate for a few seconds on this image. This is often the way a spirit shows you something - it appears in your minds eye.
    • Say a word or two to yourself. This is very similar to what you will experience when a spirit gives you a word or two during a communication.

    Smells and physical sensations are often communicated objectively. When a spirit communicates a smell or physical sensation it is often experienced exactly the same as when it is really happening.

    • Smell a flower. This is what it is like when a spirit communicates an odor to you.
    • The next time you feel a sensation in your body, notice that. This is often what it is like when a spirit wants to identify a part of the body. Frequently a spirit will do this to indicate what part of their body was diseased and caused their death.

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    Exercise 2 - Relaxation Techniques - Preparation for communicating with spirits.

    In order to communicate with spirits when you want to, it helps to be able to enter the hypnogogic state at will. These relaxations techniques will help you learn to do so.

    Try a variety of relaxation techniques and see which ones can help you get into the hypnogogic state at will. Often a combination of techniques will work best. The details of the various relaxation techniques are explained in the chapter on relaxation.

    • Muscular relaxation:
    • Breathing exercises : relax the respiratory system. Breathe gently, focus your attention on your breathing, possibly synchronize your breathing with some number of heart beats.
    • Chakra meditation. Focus your attention on each chakra, notice any sensation in that area, visualize the corresponding color of each chakra.
    • Visualization: Visualizing colors, or some pleasant imaginary location, deeply relaxes the mind, puts you into a dreamy mental state, and cultivates a type of brain wave that has been associated with psychic experiences (See "Leaving The Body" by D. Scott Rogo)
    A good way to combine relaxation exercises for this purpose is to start with ten to twenty minutes of meditation using The How-To Mantra as described in the chapter on Meditation while sitting, then, lying down, repeat a sequence of: chakra work, hypnotic induction, visualization of colors, and repeating a mantra or prayer in rhythm with the breathing. For the mantra or prayer you can use the Lord's Prayer or the verses in the chapter Develop the Habit of Being Relaxed .

    After doing relaxation exercises for ten or so minutes, stop but continue to lie still and let your mind wander freely, notice if it goes into the hypnogogic state.

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    Exercise 3 - Healing Meditation - Long Term Development

    Two distinct groups of advanced spirit guides working through different mediums have both given similar instructions on how to meditate to cultivate spiritual development. This meditation involves moving healing energy from a higher source through you and into the world with the intention that it be used for the highest good. When you do this type of meditation you identify yourself as a spiritual worker and you attract spirit guides who desire to work with you and who will help you develop into a better spiritual worker. This includes the development of spirit communication. These two groups of spirits guides are those who communicated through Grace Cooke (See "Meditation" by Grace Cooke) and those who communicated through Betty White (See "Anchors to Windward" by Stewart Edward White)

    The following is a suitable adaptation of these instructions:

    • Choose a time and do the meditation at the same time every day. This is a courtesy to your guides who have to come to you to help you and provide protection. This can involve more than one spirit and if you want them to work with you, you should make it easier for them by being consistent and predictable.
    • Lie down comfortably.
    • Begin with this opening prayer for protection: "Oh God, please watch over me and protect me so that only the highest and best forces can influence me." Repeat this once or twice if necessary to ensure it is clearly impressed in your mind.
    • Visualize a beam of white healing light shining down from heaven onto the top of your head. While you do this try to notice the feeling in your crown chakra. Imagining a point a couple of inches above your crown or lightly touching yourself on the top of your head may help you to feel the crown chakra.
    • At the same time, calmly repeat one of the following prayers inwardly for five or ten minutes:
      • "Oh God, please may I have healing energy to give me healing for my highest good. Please may any surplus be guided to where it's needed for the highest good ."
      • "Oh God, please move healing energy through me to where it's needed for the highest good.
      • "Oh God, please move healing energy through me to where it's needed for the highest good, and to [name one or more people you would like to send healing to] to give them healing for their highest good.
    • When you practice this meditation every day, after a period of time you may find yourself spontaneously entering the hypnogogic state at the end of the meditation. If you do not spontaneously enter the hypnogogic state at the end of the meditation, use the sequence of relaxations exercises you used while lying down in exercise 2 to enter the hypnogogic state. Try to maintain the hypnogogic state for five or ten minutes. Pay close attention to your experiences. At first, most of your impressions may just be random activity of the mind. However, try to notice if you sense the presence of anyone. Are they male or female? Do you have any sense of what they look like? If you see a face or a whole person flash in your mind's eye, mentally ask them, "tell me about yourself" and then observe your mental impressions. If you see images in your mind's eye, try to describe them to yourself in as much detail as possible. If there are words that seem to be on the tip of your tongue notice that. Finally, ask the spirits, "do you have any message for me?"
    • Try to notice how your mental perceptions arise and try to notice the different qualities of mental activity you perceive. Are you just thinking about daily life, the past or the future like you do in ordinary wakeful consciousness? Are mental images visualizations of what you are thinking about or do they seem to come spontaneously? Are your thoughts a series of associations, one thought leading to another and another and another or do some arise completely unrelated to anything in your life and unrelated to previous thoughts?
    • Spirits are attracted to us when we think of them. Therefore, if you believe you are communicating with a spirit during the meditation, you can try to strengthen the mental connection by thinking of them. For example, if you see a spirit in your mind's eye, try to hold that vision while you are communicating. This should help you maintain a stronger mental connection with them.
    • Feelings of love by the incarnated person for the spirit make it easier for the spirit to communicate with them. Love and Joy are said to "raise the vibrations" of the incarnated person and make it easier for spirits communicate to someone who has such positive feelings. The section on Tapping into Universal Love in the chapter on Meditation describes how to attune yourself to the Joy and Love that permeate the atmosphere of the spirit realm. Practicing this meditation will make it easier for spirits to communicate with you. Try this meditation and if you find you are able to do it, then entering that state when you are communicating with spirits should make it easier for spirits to communicate with you.

    Generally spirits in the spirit world do not have any physical disabilities that they may have had on earth. If you see a spirit that is deformed or you perceive an angry, malevolent, confused, or unhappy spirit, you may be encountering an earth bound spirit. In the beginning it is wise to avoid contact with such spirits. If you encounter such spirits you should repeat the prayer for protection until you feel comfortable again, and imagine a barrier of white light surrounding you that only the highest and best forces can penetrate. When you become more experienced communicating with spirits, you may want to try to help earth bound spirits by encouraging them to complete their transition into the spirit world and to look for loved ones who may be trying to help them. Details on how to do this are explained on the Spirit Rescue page. The book "Thirty Years Among the Dead" by Carl Wickland is also a good reference on how to do this.

    • If you find that your experiences during the communication sessions are not very meaningful, asking questions of your spirit guides is a good way to make the sessions more relevant. One way to do this when you are in the hypnogogic state is to repeat a question over and over in your mind as if you were meditating and the question was a mantra. Then, just like in meditation, after a short time, you may find that you have become distracted by stray thoughts, a mental image, a few words appearing in your mind, or other types of mental impression. When this happens, examine that mental activity see if it could be an answer to your question. Sometimes the answers will be given symbolically and you will have to interpret them.
    • It is a good practice to write down your experiences afterwards. Often you may find a message becomes clearer or elaborated when you write it.

    Never do anything because you think a spirit told you to that you would not otherwise do without spirit influence. In the beginning you may have difficulty distinguishing spirit communications from your own wishful thinking or your own fears. In any case, a spirit guide's role is to help you consider all options before you make a decision and not to make a decision for you.

    Sometimes when you are doing the above meditation, you may feel sensations around your head or in other parts of your body. This can be an indication of spirit guides working with the healing energy to give you healing or working on you to help you become more sensitive to communications. (See "How To Develop Your ESP" by Susy Smith who calls this "changing your chemicals" in her chapter on "The Development Class")

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    Exercise 4 - Communicating When You Want To.

    In addition to the healing meditation in exercise 3 you can also have a dedicated practice session for communicating with your spirit guides. If you do this you should still continue doing exercise 3 every day too.

    1. Choose a time to do this exercise and practice it at that time every day. Practicing at a the same time every day allows your guides to know in advance when you will need them to assist and protect you.
    2. Start with a period of concentration meditation as described in the chapter on Meditation. Use The How-To Mantra . When using meditation as a preparation for communicating with spirits, try to put more emphasis on keeping your mind focused than otherwise indicated in that chapter. Do the meditation sitting comfortably. The amount of time you meditate during this step should be between ten and twenty minutes. The purpose is to calm the mind and body as a preparation for the relaxation exercises in the following steps. You can try different lengths of time and see which is most helpful in entering into the hypnogogic state in the relaxation exercises that follow. As you become experienced you will notice how you feel when you are ready to start the relaxation exercises and then you can gauge how long to meditate by your mental state. When you are ready to go on to the relaxation exercises, you will be in a deeply relaxed state where you begin to have trouble concentrating because you are so relaxed (not because your mind is hyper-active and busy. The distinction between these two states is discussed in more detail in the section on Distracted States of Mind in the chapter on Develop the Habit of Being Relaxed ).
    3. Do this step and the following steps lying down. Say a prayer for protection, guidance and assistance in the following manner:
      Oh God, please watch over me and protect me so that only the highest and best forces can influence me. Please send good and wise spirit guides to help me learn to perceive accurate, precise, and detailed communications from spirits and show me how to distinguish those communications from my own thoughts. Please guide me to use the ability to communicate with spirits for the highest good.
    4. Tell your guides your intentions for the practice session. Use the following as an example:
      Hello spirit guides. I'm going to do the relaxation exercises now and try to get into the hypnogogic state. Then I'll ask for sign from you that you are present and then I'll ask some questions.
    5. Use the relaxation exercises you learned in exercise 2 to get into the hypnogogic state.
    6. Ask for a sign from your guides and then ask them questions or simply ask them to help a spirit to come through as a way to practice mediumship.

      When you ask a question or request a sign from your guides always start by addressing your guides and then ask the question. For example you might ask, "Oh spirit guides, please give me a sign that you are here". Repeat your request over and over in your mind as if you were meditating and the question was a mantra. Then, just like in meditation, after a short time, you may find that you have become distracted by stray thoughts, a mental image, a few words appearing in your mind, or other types of mental impression. When this happens, examine that mental activity see if it could be an answer to your question. Sometimes the answers will be given symbolically and you will have to interpret them.

      It is very important to address your guides and repeat the request until you get an answer. This is because doing so will use the law of attraction to create a stronger link with your spirit guides. The law of attraction says that you attract what you think about. When people are going for a reading with a medium, it is often suggested that if there is a certain spirit they want to come through during the reading, they should think about that spirit during the day they have the reading. This is the same principle. If you concentrate on your guides when you are asking the question it will help create a stronger link.

    Sometimes it may seem like your guides are not available to work with you. One reason for this may be that your guides want you to learn to recognize when there are no spirits communicating with you. This is an important part of learning to communicate - knowing when spirits are present and when they are not.

    The following set of questions is an example of how you might structure a communication session:

    • Spirit guides, please give me a sign that you are here.
    • Spirit guides, do you have any messages for me?

    You can then ask any personal or spiritual questions you might have. However, don't become dependent on spirits for every little triviality in your life. It is not the responsibility of spirit guides to run your life for you. You are incarnated to learn from your own experiences and decisions.

    If you would like to hear from any friends or relatives in the spirit world you can try these questions:

    • Spirit guides, are there any friends or relatives of mine in the spirit world who would like to communicate?
    • Spirit guides, do they have any messages for me?

    It is not a good idea to strongly insist on hearing from a particular person in the spirit world. If you want to hear from them they will know about it. If they are unable to come to you, you can be sure there is a good reason for it. It may be better for them to avoid the earth plane for a period of time after their passing, or they may be involved in important work that keeps them from visiting you.

    If you want to give readings to other people, it is probably a good idea for you to take classes from an experienced medium. However if you are in a class and want to practice giving readings you can add these questions to your communication sessions:

    • Spirit guides, is there a spirit here who can help us practice mediumship now?
    • Spirit guides, what were some of the things they did in their earth life?
    • Spirit guides, is there any other evidence they can give to identify themselves?
    • Spirit guides, do they have any messages they want to give?

    An important point about the way this exercise is designed is that you are controlling the process. Spirits are allowed to help us in proportion to the effort we make. By taking the initiative instead of just lying around waiting for the spirits to do something, you earn a much higher level of assistance.

    When you find you are able to enter the hypnogogic state easily when lying down, you may want to try this exercise sitting in a chair. In that case the following points may be helpful:

    • Let the head tilt forward slightly as if you were going to try to sleep.
    • Be sure to do the relaxation exercises in a relaxed way. Don't rush through them or that will keep you from becoming deeply relaxed.
    • Try to notice a sensation of floating for a few seconds between each relaxation exercise.
    • Try adding a brief period of rhythmic breathing to the end of the sequence of relaxation exercises you are using. Rhythmic breathing is described in the chapter on Relaxation.

    If you find you have trouble entering the hypnogogic state sitting up, don't worry about it, just go back to doing the practice lying down. You can always try again in the future.

    If you are able to notice your mental impressions in the hypnogogic state then you have a pretty good idea of what it is like to communicate with spirits even if you are not yet doing so. Spirits influence the mind by using its natural capabilities, and communicating with spirits seems very natural and very similar to what one experiences in the hypnogogic state. (In fact many of the thoughts that come to us are inspired by spirit guides but we don't recognize it.) This is the cause of one of the biggest difficulties in learning mediumship: that people don't recognize they are being influenced by spirits because it seems like the normal activity of their mind.

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    Doing a Reading for Another Person

    A "reading" is the term used to described a session in which a medium helps spirits to communicate with a living person. Learning to give readings is a serious endeavor and the many details and complexities of giving readings to other people are more than can be covered in this short chapter. When giving a reading you may be dealing with people who are suffering from intense grief or you may have to communicate sensitive personal information. Proper training is needed learn to handle these situations correctly. If you would like to learn to give readings to other people you should study with a authentic and experienced medium. Spiritualist churches often have inexpensive classes.

    How to Find a Good Medium

    The best way to determine if a medium is good is to watch them give readings to others first and then try a reading from them yourself. This is possible at Spiritualist churches where messages from spirits are given during the weekly service. You can attend church services for a few weeks and watch the mediums that work at the church. If you do not get a reading during the services, you may be able to schedule a private reading with the medium. Spiritualist churches often have fairs or "mediums day" events where you can schedule a reading with the medium of your choice.

    During a reading, if all the medium tells you is that the spirit "is an old lady with gray hair", or "was a father figure" that is usually not enough to tell you who the spirit is. A medium should be able to provide information about a spirit which would normally be unknown to the medium, and which uniquely identifies who the spirit was when they were living on earth. This information may be a description of the appearance of the spirit while they were alive, things the spirit liked to do, things they did with the person getting the reading, the cause of their death, their personality, their relationship to the person, etc. All mediums work differently so the types of information may vary from medium to medium.

    When giving the reading, the only questions the medium should ask are if the person getting the reading recognizes the spirit and if the information about the spirit is correct. The person getting the reading should only answer yes or no. The purpose of a public demonstration of mediumship is to show the continuation of the personality after the death of the physical body. In order for everyone present at the demonstration to see that a spirit is communicating with the medium, the medium must ask the recipient of the reading to say whether or not they recognize the spirit and if the information coming through is correct. It is also necessary for the medium to receive this type of feedback in order to maintain their skills (This is explained in more detail in the subsection "Feedback" of the section "The Traditional Method of Learning Mediumship below).

    Some mediums may allow the person to ask other types of questions at the end of the reading. However you should be very suspicious if the medium asks you any questions about yourself or the spirit. This could provide the medium with information that they could use to make educated guesses about the spirit. Questioning by the medium occurs sometimes and is not necessarily an indication of deliberate fraud, it may simply be due to inadequate training. However the medium's job is to tell you what the spirit wants to say. The telephone doesn't need to know anything about you or the person you are speaking to, and a medium shouldn't either.

    You should also be aware of a technique that stage mentalists use called cold reading. Someone using these techniques can create the impression that they are psychic when they are not. Before you go to a medium, you should understand how this works. If you intend to learn to give readings to other people you also need to understand how this works so that you can avoid using these techniques inadvertently.

    An overview of cold reading can be found on the internet at:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_reading

    An example of a cold reading is explained at:
    http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2006/11/i_feel_a_cold_r.html

    Before going to a medium, or a spiritualist church, you should also read this book review that discusses fraud.

    Another Warning

    Be very careful in selecting a teacher. Being a good medium is not the only characteristic you should look for in a teacher.

    • The most advanced teachers are the most humble, and will be uninterested in titles, hierarchy, or financial gain.
    • Observe their actions not just their words.
    • Avoid anyone who believes they are infallible, or who justifies their actions by saying they are guided by spirits.
    • The ability to do mediumship is not an indication that a person is a highly evolved soul, nor is it an indication that they will be a good teacher.
    • A medium is not a priest that intervenes between you and God, nor a guru, nor an avatar, nor some type of enlightened being. A teacher of mediumship is an ordinary person of average spirituality, who is trained to teach you a skill that is inherent in most people.
    • You should not entrust your spiritual development to someone who cannot manage their own personal affairs.
    • Watch out for mediums who use a charismatic personality to misdirect attention away from their mediocre talent.
    • Avoid anyone who tells people they have some type of spiritual problem (a curse, a black aura, evil spirits around them etc.) and then charges fees to fix the problem. Do not believe them, study with them, or associate with them in any way.
    • Some churches and organizations offer certification to mediums who take a series of classes and pass a certification test. Certification is not a guarantee of excellence nor is lack of certification a problem. Many excellent mediums are not certified.
    • Learning to communicate with spirits requires an environment where you feel comfortable describing the faint mental impressions in your mind. This requires the teacher be gentle and encouraging and non-judgmental. Avoid anyone who is critical or negative or creates unnecessarily stressful situations in their efforts to teach you.
    • Everyone is different, every mind is different, everyone communicates with spirits in a slightly different way. Your development is something that is determined by your spirit guides. For this reason you should avoid teachers who insist that "their way is the right way", or insist that you try to bring through certain types of information.
    • Be on your guard for any group where one or more persons exercise inordinate influence on others. Often cult leaders seem beneficent at first and it is not until they have abused their status, often in subtle ways, that one realizes their selfish, egotistical nature.

    On the other hand, when you see a teacher in front of a class, their public persona may give you the impression that they are extraordinary. Then when you find that, behind the scenes, they have the same combination of strengths and weaknesses that all people have, you can become disappointed - which is a bit unfair to them.

    If you are unable to find a teacher or are not interested in becoming a medium, there are still many benefits to continuing the healing meditation daily. It will give healing to yourself and others, it will bring the highest and best spiritual influences into your life and it will help you to grow spiritually.

    Outline of a Reading

    Every medium is different and a style that works for one medium might not be appropriate for another. The method of organizing a reading described here is only a suggestion. If it does not seem appropriate for you, you do not have to use it.

    The example below involves only one spirit. During a real reading, several spirits may come through, either one after another or at the same time.

    A reading starts with the medium giving evidence of the spirit. Evidence is any information that will help the person recognize the spirit. This can be information about the appearance of the spirit while they were alive, things the spirit liked to do, things they did with the person getting the reading, the cause of their death, their personality, their relationship to the person, etc. Sometimes additional evidence is provided if needed to distinguish between more than one spirit who fit the initial description.

    If the person recognizes the spirit from the evidence, then the medium can move on to the message. The message is whatever the spirit may want to say to the person. It may be something as simple as an expression of love for the person or that the spirit is truly alive and well in the spirit world. The message may also be something more complicated such as advice about a personal problem the person is facing. In this case, the message will often be some type of encouragement rather than a specific solution to a problem. We are incarnated to learn from our experiences and decisions and spirits will not lightly take away that learning experience by giving away the answers to life's problems.

    If the evidence is not recognized, the spirit may be a guide. The person getting the reading may have never known the guide while the guide was on earth, so the person will not recognize the description of the spirit. In this case, the spirit can identify themself as a guide by showing that they are around the person. This is done by giving information about the activities the person has been involved in. For example, if the spirit is a guide that is helping them in their career the spirit may give information about what the person does on their job. If the spirit is determined to be a guide, the medium may then move on to give the message.

    If the spirit does not give evidence that they are around the person then the spirit may have a message for another person present. Sometimes a medium will not be able to correctly ascertain who the reading is for. In this case, the medium may try an indirect reading. In an indirect reading, the medium describes the spirit and then asks if anyone present recognizes the spirit. If another person present recognizes the spirit, the medium may provide more evidence to confirm the identification before moving on to give the message.

    If no one in the group recognizes the spirit then a message may be given for the group or an anonymous person.

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    The Traditional Method of Learning Mediumship

    The traditional method of learning mediumship usually consists of going to a class that meets once a week. In class, students either communicate with spirits during a meditation session and discuss their impressions afterwards, or they meditate as a preparatory exercise and then give each other readings afterwards. There is no reason why someone who is practicing the method of communicating with spirits described in this chapter cannot also take such classes. If students desire to give readings to other people, it is recommended that they take classes with an experienced medium. Anyone considering taking classes will find it helpful to understand the differences between the traditional way of teaching mediumship and the method described here.

    The State of Wakefulness

    Most mediumship classes teach students to communicate with spirits in a more wakeful state than the theta/hypnogogic state used here. When giving readings to other people it is preferable to do it in either normal waking consciousness or the slightly relaxed state of mind associated with alpha brain waves. The alpha state is usually achieved through meditation done immediately before communicating with spirits.

    A High Dropout Rate with the Traditional Method

    As a practical matter, the traditional method of teaching mediumship doesn't work for many people. Students who are already somewhat psychic may find the classes a good way to develop and hone their skills. However, if someone is not aware of their psychic abilities at all, that type of class may not be much help. The dropout rate for mediumship classes is very high, and this is because many people do not get any positive results in the beginning which leads to discouragement. This is especially pronounced in classes where beginning students are mixed in with more advanced students. People who are already somewhat psychic are often drawn to classes, so even a "beginners" class may have students with a wide range of abilities. It can be extremely discouraging for a true beginner in these classes and that is one of the reasons the method described here is so important. Anyone can get started in the privacy of their own home without worrying about how they compare to other students.

    Working Alone when Necessary

    The method of communication described here can be used by anyone working alone. This is an advantage because taking classes in the traditional method may be impractical for a number of reasons:

    • In some locations, classes are not available.
    • Some teachers charge an unreasonable fee.

      The typical cost of a mediumship class at a Spiritualist church at the time this is being written is around $10 per session. In some locations it is less, in other locations it is more. This is a nominal amount required to prevent people who are not serious from crowding out students who are. In some cases the fee may be greater out of necessity, for example, the rent for the classroom may require a higher fee. The teachers of classes offered at Spiritualist churches usually do not receive any monetary compensation - the fees collected go to the church.

      In our society, people must have money to survive so there is nothing morally wrong with spiritual workers (teachers, mediums, and healers) who are devoted full time to their work charging a fee for their services. However, they must guard themselves against the incentive to contrive their teachings to maximize financial gain.

    • Some people may not be able to afford classes even if they are reasonably priced.
    • Sometimes a student and teacher may not have compatible personalities.

    Teaching Non-psychics

    Often a person who is very psychic is not the best person to teach those who are of average psychic ability. This is because a strongly psychic person who has been communicating with guides or spirits since childhood will probably not understand what a non-psychic experiences when beginning to learn to communicate with spirits. While most classes are taught by people who are strongly psychic, the method described here is designed for any person but especially those who do not yet realize they are psychic.

    Daily Practice

    Learning mediumship is in some ways similar to learning to play a musical instrument. It would be absurd to think that anyone could become proficient at a musical instrument if the only time they could get their hands on the instrument was during a weekly lesson. While the traditional method of learning communication with spirits involves classes that meet once a week, the method described here permits practicing everyday.

    Uncertainty

    Giving a reading to another person involves a large amount of uncertainty. The medium does not know if a spirit will be available, if the spirit will be good at communicating, or if the spirit will be recognized by the person receiving the reading. Reducing this uncertainty can help the medium to work with the assurance needed to act with complete integrity. It can also help the medium to be more relaxed during a communication session which leads to more accurate, precise and detailed communication. The method discussed here helps to reduce uncertainty by providing the student with a large body of experiences from daily practice and by teaching the student to perceive the presence of spirit guides before commencing a communication session.

    Psychometry

    Many teachers include other types of psychic skills in their classes. This may be attractive to some students. Other students, however, may want to avoid developing the psychic skill called psychometry. In psychometry, a person obtains information about an object and the person who owns it simply by touching the object. When developed, this skill can be used by a psychic to obtain information about a spirit other than through true mind to mind communication. Some people feel that a medium's job is solely to help the spirit to communicate with the person receiving the reading. According to this view, information obtained by psychometry is misleading and out of place since it is not communicated intentionally by the spirit. This can be complicated by the fact that some students may not know whether the information they are receiving is coming from the spirit or through psychometry. For this reason some mediums prefer not to develop psychometry.

    Asking Questions

    In the traditional method, mediums are taught not to ask questions that are too specific because of the danger of filling in the answer with whatever might come from the activity of their own mind rather than what comes from the spirit.

    Passive vs. Active Mediumship

    Many teachers of the traditional method of learning mediumship tell students that in order to get started, the should "just start talking" whether or not they realize they have any information about a spirit. This is intended to retrieve subliminal information that the spirits may have communicated but which has not reached the conscious mind of the medium. However this type of "active mediumship" may lead to "creative readings" that come from the mind of the medium. This reduces the accuracy of a reading. The method described here is entirely passive. The medium asks questions of his spirit guides and then observes the mental activity arising in his mind. This method is not completely accurate either, however it avoids this source of invalid information.

    A similar problem with the traditional classes is that students are often taught to say everything that comes into their mind without thinking about it in order to prevent the analytical part of their mind from keeping back something the spirit may be trying to communicate. This can be helpful for beginners who may have trouble recognizing that they are receiving communications from spirits and who need to learn which types of mental activity are caused by spirit influence and which are not. Unfortunately, in an experienced medium it can also result in various associations, memories, and inferences that are come from the mind of the medium being incorrectly attributed to the spirit.

    Prejudice Against Education

    It is unfortunate that among devotees of spirituality, including teachers of mediumship, a few individuals have a prejudice against education. They suffer from the mistaken belief that education, especially education in engineering and science, prevents a person from being spiritual and interferes with their ability to develop mediumship. This belief is false. Anyone interested in taking classes in mediumship should be aware of this phenomena so they can avoid making the mistake themselves and steel themselves to it's effects if it is applied to them.

    In his book "After Life : Answers From The Other Side" the medium John Edward has written about a mediumship demonstration he gave with another medium that proves that education does not interfere with spirituality or mediumship. John Edward had worked in the medical field as a phlebotomist. His partner in the demonstration had studied geography extensively. During the demonstration, John amazed his partner with his knowledge of cardiac and blood disease. Likewise, his partner gave a reading where her detailed knowledge of geography allowed her to discuss a small town in Prussia, a country that no longer existed, that was relevant to the deceased relative of a member of the audience. This shows that education does not interfere with spirituality or mediumship but that the opposite is true. Education makes possible feats of mediumship that would be impossible without it.

    Spiritualists formed churches so that their beliefs and practices would be considered as valid as any other religion in the eyes of society. This was needed to protect them from persecution. It is profoundly ignorant and hypocritical for a spiritualist to publicly make any group of people the butt of jokes and snide comments about perceived handicaps. Anyone claiming to be a spiritual teacher would be embarrassed to be found out making jokes about ethnic or religious groups or about people with handicaps. Yet slurs against educated individuals continue at Spiritualist churches.

    Spiritualism claims to be compatible with other religions and welcomes everyone to its services. It is extremely hurtful to single out certain individuals as second class citizens because they are well educated. This is nowhere more true, and nowhere more hypocritical, than in a church which claims to provide a haven where people can express their interests in spirituality without fear of persecution.

    This prejudice is not just hurtful. The prejudice itself can interfere with a person's ability to learn mediumship. In a mediumship class, the teacher will most likely be an experienced medium who is seen to have access to information that most people do not have. If the teacher seems to believe a student will not be able to learn mediumship because of their education, it can be very damaging to the student's belief in their potential. Belief in one's own potential is crucial to success in most endeavors but none more so than in mediumship.

    Feedback

    Psychologists who study how people learn have found that feedback is essential to learning. If feedback is eliminated then a learned skill cannot be maintained. This has also been shown to apply to learning psychic abilities (See "Learning to Use ESP" by Charles T. Tart Ph.D.)

    In traditional mediumship classes, feedback is provided to a student by the other students in the class. When a student perceives a spirit, they describe the spirit and the information they obtain from the spirit. When another student in the class recognizes the spirit they say so and that provides the feedback. In the case of spirit guides or distant relatives, a person may not recognize the spirit because they never met them in life. This can cause a problem for the student because the lack of feedback will be ambiguous. The student will not be able to tell if the information in the reading came from a spirit or from his own imagination.

    When working with the method described here, you use a different type of feedback. You use the feedback of your own senses. A child learning to walk does not need a critical review of their gait. They learn from the feedback of their own senses. They know if they fall to the floor. They know if they are remaining upright. When you use the method described here, you observe the mental impressions in your mind and that provides the feedback.

    This is somewhat like learning to ski without poles. Using ski poles when learning to turn can cause the student skiers' attention to become focused on their hands instead of on their balance and their feet. By taking away their ski poles, a distraction is removed and they naturally focus their attention where it should be - on their sense of balance and the position of their feet. When learning mediumship with the method described here, by working alone, the student is able to focus on the activity of the mind and over time learn to recognize different types of mental impressions. In the traditional method there are many distractions which make it difficult for the student to pay attention to their internal experience. Worrying about whether or not someone in class recognizes the spirit is one distraction, the next section describes other types of distractions that are problematical with the traditional method.

    There is also another type of feedback that can occur with the method described here. Sometimes the mental impressions that occur during practice will be precognitive. For example you may be reading a book and realize that you saw the scene from the book you are reading that morning during a practice session. Or, an acquaintance may be showing you some photographs when you see something in a picture that you saw in your last practice session.

    Distractions

    There are other distractions that are avoided by working alone. These include repetitious or irrelevant advice from the teacher which can distract the student from observing the activity in their mind and can result is losing the connection with the spirit. It is hard to describe how frustrating and discouraging it can be for a student who only has a few minutes a week to practice, to have the teacher continually interrupting, harassing, nagging and otherwise distracting them from trying to observe what is going on in their mind during spirit communication.

    Some teachers overestimate their psychic ability and claim to know what the student is experiencing internally and then give irrelevant advice based on their own fantasies. Other times a teacher may have a strong opinion about how students should communicate with spirits and will keep interrupting a student to remind them of what to do while all along the student is trying to do what the teacher is suggesting. Other teachers like to show off their abilities by interrupting the student with information the teacher is obtaining from the spirit. Sometimes a teacher will ask the student to obtain specific information from a spirit which distracts the student from bringing through what the spirit is trying to communicate.

    Putting on a Good Show

    Another source of distraction occurs when teachers (often those associated with Spiritualist churches) put a great emphasis on teaching their students to make a good impression while giving a reading. The focus is on presenting a confident image to the people present at the demonstration. These teachers are training their students to give readings during the church services where a confident medium helps to give the members congregation confidence in the truth of survival after death. Sometimes this emphasis is made too early in the training and it can distract students from focusing their attention on the main objective of the class which is learning to communicate with spirits. It can significantly retard their development which is especially serious when the students' only practice time is their weekly class.

    Some teachers will tell their students to end a session if they do not have a good connection with a spirit. This is often the correct thing to do for an experienced medium who is giving a public demonstration. However it is completely wrong advice for a beginner. If a beginner is having difficulty connecting with a spirit the most likely explanation is that the student needs to improve their skills. Instead of being told to give up, the student needs to be encouraged to keep trying in order to learn to connect with spirits. If beginning students are told to give up when they encounter difficulty, they will wonder whether the teacher believes that they can ever learn. The teacher will most likely be an experienced medium who is seen to have access to information that most people do not have. If the teacher seems to lack confidence in the student's ability, it can be very damaging to the student's belief in their potential. This can be disastrous for a student by destroying the confidence they have so slowly attained by patient and diligent attendance at weekly classes. Belief in one's own potential is crucial to success in most endeavors but none more so than in mediumship.

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    Basis in Natural Law

    The method of communicating with spirits described in this chapter has a firm basis in natural law.

    Everyone Can Be Influenced By Spirits

    Everyone has spirit guides and therefore everyone can be influenced by spirits.

    Everyone Has The Ability To Perceive Psychic Impressions

    Everyone goes through the hypnogogic state when they fall asleep and generates theta brain waves which are associated with psychic experiences. By learning to induce the hypnogogic state when you want to (exercise 2), you are able to become psychically receptive at a time of your own choosing.

    Spiritual Assistance

    In exercise 4, you learn how to correctly pray for assistance in learning to communicate with spirits. When you pray for spiritual assistance, assistance is given in proportion to the effort you make. Through daily practice and asking questions your effort will be substantial and will allow your guides to give you substantial assistance.

    Free Will

    Everyone has free will. This means that anyone who has a sincere desire to learn to communicate with spirits has the right to pursue it. The method described in this chapter is open to anyone who has the sincere desire to learn. You do not need the approval of a teacher. The method will work for anyone whether or not they are already in touch with their psychic abilities.

    Law of Attraction

    The law of attraction states that like attracts like and that you attract what you think about.
    • By working as a healer (exercise 3) you attract the right types of spirit guides.

    • Thinking of a spirit will draw them to you.

      Thinking of your guides when asking questions and concentrating on what you learn about a spirit as you communicate with them helps to bring them close and strengthen the connection.

      This principle is also used in the methods of communication described by Dr. Raymond Moody in his book "Reunions" and by Veterans Administration psychologist Bodkin in his book "Induced After Death Communications".

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    Related Reading

  • 8/29/7 "The most recent study that examines the possibility ... of enhancing ESP performance through an altered state of consciousness, specifically the hypnagogic state (the state between wakefulness and sleep)."
    http://www.mind-energy.net/archives/232-On-the-Latest-Study-of-ESP-and-OBEs.html

  • "An Experiment With Time" by J. W. Dunne. This book describes the author's experiments with precognitive dreaming. He kept a log of his dreams and found that many of them were precognitive. Other people have done this and found that they also have many precognitive dreams. Dunne has a simple technique to help remember dreams: when you wake up in the morning, the first thing you should do before anything else is ask yourself, "What was I thinking about and why?".

    Remote Viewing - There are many similarities between remote viewing and mediumship and it would benefit any student of one technique to to learn the other. The methods of remote viewing have been studied scientifically and it was discovered that anyone can do remote viewing if they use the right method. Those studies also revealed several principles of psychic perception that can be applied to improve the accuracy of any psychic reading.

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