Sunday, September 28, 2008

Reflections on a Past Life Regression Workshop

This article gives you an overview of what happens during a “Past Life Regression Workshop”. My workshop is base on one offered by Dr. Brian Weiss, author of the non-fiction bestseller “Many Lives, Many Masters” and as seen on Oprah.


I presented another Past Life Regression Workshop on Sunday 9/28/2008 at The Institute for Spiritual Development in Sparta, New Jersey. My workshops are usually scheduled for 4-5 hours and I suppose the cliché is appropriate, when I say, “Time flies when you’re having fun”. Today’s was no exception; we had a lot of fun and the time just flew by.

The day was miserably rainy and dark with many people cancelling. Due to all the cancellations, we had a very small workshop with only five participants, which made it warm and personal. All through the workshop, there are many questions and answers and everyone was very involved.

The agenda for my Past Life Regression Workshop is,

  1. There is a brief introduction period, where we meet each other. As we all settle in, I encourage people to share any experience they may have with hypnosis or their views about past lives.
  2. I introduce myself, giving my background and how I became interested in hypnotherapy and Past Life Regressions, including my workshops with Dr. Brian Weiss, Neale Donald Walsch, Paul Aurand, Suzanne Northrup and John Holland. I also share my views on and have a discussion about the subjects of the soul, reincarnation, your life’s purpose, beings in “The Light”, ESP, psychic/mediums and more. I reinforce my belief in all of my workshops, that this entire discussion is based on opinion… not on verifiable facts; that when it comes to metaphysics, no one truly knows the truth. The only way we will truly know the actual “truth” about these subjects is when we are out of our bodies and in “the light”.
  3. We continue with an in-depth discussion about how hypnosis and a PLR work.
  4. Participants view a DVD about the true story of a young boy who experiences memories of a past life as a fighter pilot during WWII and the way his family assists him.
  5. I then introduce the participants to three experiences with hypnosis. The first is a hypnotic induction called “Heavy Hands”, where I have the participants picture a yellow page book placed on one hand while imagining helium balloons lifting up the other. We then discuss that experience. The purpose for this exercise is have the participants feel what hypnosis is and to ask questions about their experience, so that they don’t question hypnosis during their regression. The second is called, “A Deepener”. It is to allow a person to go deeper into the hypnotic state; the more often you are hypnotized the easier you can be hypnotized. The third is having participants experience an actual past Life Regression.
  6. At the end of the workshop, I ask if anyone would like to discuss and share his or her experience.

A few interesting things happened today, that I would like to share with you. During the “Heavy Hands” exercise, all participants hold their arms out, extended from their bodies. People react differently to the experience, but all learn how the mind can affect their perceptions in powerful ways. After the exercise, which lasts a few moments (during which time, the participants are sitting with their arms extended out in front of them), most people feel a tension in their shoulders. I noticed Roger, a participant, was rubbing his shoulder, which seemed to me more than the others did. I asked him if he was all right and he told me that he has bursitis in his shoulder and that the exercise did irritate it. I was concerned and wanted to help, if I could. I asked him if he wanted to try a hypnotic technique to see if it might help with the pain. He agreed and I did a procedure called a “instant induction” and then did pain relief management, using a healing technique called “Reiki”. I am pleased to say he was quite pleasantly surprised with the positive results of the 5-minute intervention.

Then during the third hypnotic experience, which is the actual Past Life Regression component of the workshop, all the participants are hypnotized. I access the depth of the hypnotic state of each participant and decide on the speed in which we go through the life that they were visiting.
Joann, a married woman came to the workshop wanting to understand how a Past Life Regression works. She came to the workshop with a certain amount of healthy skepticism, not cynicism. Being a cynic, a person refuses to change their mind about a current believe, even after undeniable proof to change is offered to them. JoAnn was not a cynic. Because the group was so small, I was able to spend more time in deepening everyone in the group and I observed that JoAnn was having a very powerful experience. At first, during the beginning of the regression she was smiling and happily involved with the images she was receiving. Soon after her expression changed, becoming more somber and very soon tears flowed from her eyes. After the regression ended, she needed a few moments to compose herself. When she felt more comfortable, she shared with us that the regression explained many deep-seated problems and answered many questions that she had been dealing with for years. I thank her for sharing her experience with us.

Although I have conducted dozens of PLR workshops, they are always different and I am always awed by the power to heal that Past Life Regression Therapy can offer.

I want to thank Joann for her email testimony, which she has sent to me and can be found on the testimonial page on my website

Friday, September 12, 2008

9/11 Post Script

This is a postscript to yesterday’s posting “911 a Remembrance and a Sharing”.

Yesterday was 9/11/2008 and I had hoped that there would have been an assembly in our school to remember the tragedy and honor the victims and heroes on that day. Instead, we had what has turned out to be the standard and obligatory “Moment of Silence” at 9:00 am. I am frustrated and angered that seven years have passed and no politician has proposed a National Day of Remembrance. Although I know that we will never forget, we need to honor those 2,948 innocents who died that day. We must honor and acknowledge the heroes… Not only the NYC firefighters, police officers and EMT’s who valiantly gave their lives to save their fellow New Yorkers, but those in Washington DC at the Pentagon and those amazing, courageous, civilians on Flight 93, who sacrificed their lives to stop the fourth attack on our soil, by crashing their plane into a Pennsylvanian field.
For the past two years, I have been teaching US History, so it seemed appropriate that in our US History classes, we would do a memorial to 9/11/2001 on September 11, 2008. I was impressed and quite proud of my students, most of whom were 8 or 9 years old on that day, seven years ago. I shared my experience and those students, who were willing to, shared theirs. I then showed a PowerPoint presentation to the class, who were quiet and respectful. If the government will not designate yesterday as a day of remembrance, I sure will.

During the Christmas holiday 2001, my wife and I went into New York City to see a Broadway play, which has been our holiday tradition since I became a teacher. We refused to allow terrorists to take that tradition from us. I was aware of the fear of terrorist attack in the eyes of the people around me and within my own heart when I saw military personnel in combat uniforms, carrying M-16 rifles in the streets of NYC. We walked through the streets that we both knew so well; being Brooklynites, walking through NYC was a normal experience. However, that evening was different. As we walked by a firehouse, the lights and sirens went on and the large red garage door opened. As the fire truck started to inch its way out of the firehouse, everyone standing, waiting began to applaud the firefighters; our heroes. New Yorkers, who are noted for their impatience, aloofness and abruptness, embraced their heroes and here we were, showering these firefighters in the appreciation they so rightly deserved, an appreciation that was non-existent before 9/11. The memory of being a part of a group of strangers cheering for those firefighters in Manhattan has stayed with me for these past seven years. But then, the feeling faded. The heroes are still there but we went back to our own lives. The cheers stopped… The applause quieted down, like the clapping at the end of the last act of a Broadway play, just faded away. We just stopped noticing and acknowledging them.

Although I am new to bloging, I will attempt to attach some PowerPoint presentations of the attack and the aftermath on this posting, not for those of us who have become more or less hardened to their subject matter. Becoming “hardened” may not be the right description, but I feel, in order to keep from crying continuously, we need to become a little… hardened. The PP presentations I will be attaching are for those children who, like my two beautiful granddaughters, were born after 9/11/2001, whose life, through no fault of their own will be described as the “Post 9/11” generation. The beauty of the web and blogs is that these PP presentations will be around (hopefully) long after we are all gone. So that future post 9/11 generations will have accurate sights and sounds of the attack that changed the world, in order to always remember. And hopefully the old adage will come true… “Those of us who forget history are doomed to repeat it.”
The PP presentation that I plan to paste onto this blog may just soften you and if you are by yourself with no one around, and you feel a tear or two well up… let them flow… it’s OK to cry.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11/2001 - A Remembrance and a Sharing

Whether it was the assassination of JFK or the explosion of the Challenger, there are those experiences in your life that become indelibly etched into your memory. Even more than weddings, birthdays, graduations etc. these life altering, shared, catastrophic experiences stay in your memory, your psyche for your entire life. You remember every detail, every emotion, where you were, what you were doing, who you were with. When a catastrophic event happens, your experiences surrounding the event will always stay in your mind. Even after 45 years, I could tell you, in detail, my experience as a 13-year-old living through the assassination of a president. Those who have had the events on 9/11/2001 be their first experience with a shared, catastrophic event, will realize in their future, just how long the memory will last… forever.
We will always remember that day.
In the sharing of our mutual experiences on that fateful day, we can, along with the experience, share our fear, pain, anger, frustration and profound sadness. In so doing, find that the memories of that day can become a little more bearable.
On that note, I would like to share with you, my experience of 7 years ago, today.

It was a perfect morning; the sky was a beautiful pale blue without a single cloud, the temperature was in the mid to upper 70’s and there was a comfortable breeze.
My day started like any other and ended with the death of the innocence of the American people.
As I drove to my school on Foothill Rd. in Bridgewater NJ, I may have been driving a little fast when I saw the lights in my rearview mirror. The officer was a graduate of the Voc-Tech and let me go with a smile and a suggestion to slow down.
I entered my shop and turned on the equipment and the lights. My shop was the Supermarket Careers Program at Somerset County Vocational Technical High School, where I taught special needs High School students, supermarket skills. Tuesday was the day for our Herr’s Potato Chip delivery and Eddie our driver was right on time, but he wasn’t smiling.
“Did you hear the news? A plane hit the World Trade Towers!” he said as we went into my office. I turned on the radio and my jaw dropped when I heard the first reports of what had happened.
The fear was in the voice of the DJ, but he was in control. “I thought it was a small plane, but I am seeing it on CNN now, it was a commercial plane a big one! Oh MY God! Another plane just hit the other tower! … my God”
I went numb.
I decided to take my students to the library as the announcement came through the PA system into the room. “Please stay in your classrooms we will have information soon.” “Let’s go to the library,” a student said, “there’s a TV there”. I decided to ignore the announcement to stay in class even before my students asked me to leave. In the library, many teachers and students stood, sat on chairs and the floor around the TV. CNN was on and the videos of the explosion in the first tower and the second plane hitting the second tower were playing repeatedly. Then a live, shaky picture showed the first tower collapsing.
Silence… mouths agape and everyone gasped.
I was in shock and distracted by the events that were unfolding and to my responsibility to my students. Seeing the first tower fall made me realize that I had at least four family members working in the shadow of the World Trade Center. True panic seized me. I took out my cell and frantically started calling family members but the lines were all busy. The family members I was able to reach had no news.
The last bell rang and the busses took the students home, the faculty and staff said their good-byes and I slowly walked through the parking lot to my car. I thought that although I had walked to my car the same way for the past eleven years, this walk was very, very different. The school is located under the flight plans for Newark Airport and there are always planes flying overhead. The plane-less sky would greet me for the next few mornings and was an eerie feeling foreboding of the many more changes that were to come.
Driving home, I noticed how light the traffic was and quickly noticed the first American flag on a home next to the school, then another and another. I didn’t know where they had all been stored, but it seemed that every house was proudly flying the red, white and blue. It filled me with a powerful connection with every other driver on the road, every pedestrian, every other American. Yes, they were able to hit us hard. They hurt and killed us, but the sight of all the flags gave me a feeling of closeness, connection and a communion with every other American I passed. We were in this together.
I turned unto the street where I live and my neighbors were out waving flags and screaming at passing cars. It was a surreal feeling, no traffic, no planes in the sky, no one on the roads, until I turned the corner and it would seem that my neighbors had gone completely insane. But these were insane times; I parked my car and went into my home hugged my wife a little longer than usual, called my kids just to hear their voices and let them hear mine and tried to find out if my family working at ground zero were… alive.
Sitting at the kitchen table, I couldn’t eat, I just wanted to go to sleep to wake up and realize that it had only been a nightmare but I couldn’t sleep either. Lying in bed till 3:00 am watching the news, seeing the planes repeatedly hitting the towers, seeing the towers repeatedly collapsing, I could not stop nor did I try to stop the tears and finally, I slept.
The next day at school, the fear continued. The Principal asked me to order an emergency delivery of food that could be stored at the school to feed students and faculty for at least a week. Plans were made to be able to quickly move all students and staff into the gym, where there was plastic and duct tape to seal us inside in the event of chemical or nuclear attack. The food in the supermarket and additional supplies, delivered over the next weeks was stored in the school. The plan was that in the event of another terrorist attack, we (students, staff and faculty) would use the plastic and duct tape to seal ourselves into the gym, where we could survive on the stored water, cup-o-noodles and potato chips. The plan was that we would stay, all together in the gym for the duration. Thank God, it had not become necessary to determine if plastic sheets and duct tape could have saved our lives.
Over the next few months, fears subsided and so too did our pride and connectedness.
That Thanksgiving, our family got together for that most traditional of American holidays. For the prior twelve years, I had made a speech before we all ate our meal. My speeches were always filled with humor, inside family jokes and more importantly, the things we should be thankful for over the past year. As tradition had it, I was prepared with a speech on this less than traditional Thanksgiving… this Thanksgiving was very different. My speech that day was considerably shorter than usual. It started; “I’d like to thank God for allowing ALL our family to be here” and I named those family members whom, we were all so concerned about and who were now sitting around the table. “This Thanksgiving” I continued, “we can be so thankful that all of our loved one are here and healthy. But, I would ask for a moment of silence for the over two thousand families whose Thanksgiving was so cruelly taken away.” We ate our food and dried our tears.

9/11/2001; 7 years and a lifetime ago
I believe there is something cathartic in the telling and sharing of this experience. The fact that others feel the way you do and have similar experiences can lessen your fear and anger. I would love to hear from you and be able to post your experiences in the comments section.
Thank you.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I Hate(d) Labor Day

Well it’s September and I am back at school. I used to hate Labor Day; the end of summer, felt almost like death. Before I started teaching, I was an assistant manager at Pathmark Supermarkets (A supermarket chain in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area). For 12 very long years, I struggled with the pain and frustration of working at a job, which paid the bills (barely), but was not what I wanted to do. The main problem was that I really didn’t know what I did want to do. So that was my life, I was in a dreadful career situation; knowing that I did not want to do what I was doing but not knowing what I did want to do. My only respite from depression (other than my family) was the summer, which gave me the rest, recreation and vacations that took my mind off my depression.
I would look forward to the summer the way a child looks forward to Holidays, their birthday and playtime all rolled into one! Memorial Day was my favorite holiday, it was the beginning of summer and I hated Labor Day, the end of summer; the two holidays that represented birth and death to me.
After leaving Pathmark and teaching for 17 years, the depression I felt towards the end of August, had turned to a sad melancholy, which I still had at the approach of Labor Day. Hey, don’t get me wrong, one of the perks about teaching is having the entire the summer off (more to come about teaching) and I know I get no sympathy (nor do I expect any) about the sadness associated with the end of summer. After all, I did have it off. But, something happened this year that was different. Perhaps the change was due to my daughter’s wedding on Labor Day. Her wedding was as perfect as anyone could have prayed for. The weather was perfect. The anticipation of the wedding and its coming to perfect fruition may have also helped. I don’t know the cause, perhaps it was due to the ability, after 17 years to let the past (Pathmark) go; or the changes that come with maturity (a nicer way of saying “getting older”); or the final realization that I now, truly know what I want to do with my life. Whatever the reason was, the depression / sadness / melancholy I have felt over many years, has seemed to stop.
I have a passion and a love of teaching and I incorporate it in not only my profession as a teacher, but as a hypnotherapist, father, grandfather, husband, uncle, friend, etc. etc. etc…

It’s September and I’m looking forward to working with my new students. At the end of the last school year, I took off my teacher’s hat (I never truly take that hat off) and put on my hypnotherapist hat. I have spent the last two and a half months hypnotizing people for everything from uncovering their past lives to eliminating their phobias; from breaking their addictions to cigarettes to improving their golf games; from helping them understand why they overeat to why they have low self-esteem and much more. Now it is time to put back on my teacher’s hat and keep my hypnotherapy hat ready for evenings.
I now know how to remove depression from your life. It is simple really. Get passionate about something… anything that gets your interest stimulated. My passion started with teaching special needs high school students, supermarket careers. Once I became involved and passionate about what I was doing, every other good thing in my life followed and quite suddenly, I realized that my depression is now, a thing of the past.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Dancing with my Baby at Her Wedding

I love Billy Joel!
His music and lyrics resonate with me, so when he released his "River of Dreams" album in 1993, I couldn't wait to buy it. It was my third year as a High School teacher and my daughter had just turned 13. Which is a tough age as an adolescent or for the parent of one. On the way home from school, I stopped at K-Mart, bought the latest Billy Joel cassette and listened and sang along with my favorite piano man. I enjoyed the first 6 songs and then "Lullaby" came on. At first I listened to the melody, Billy's voice and the musical backgrounds. Then I heard the lyrics; I replayed it 3 times. I did not understand why my vision was getting blurry until I felt the tears in my eyes run down my cheeks. Listening to, memorizing and singing along with it helped me deal with the pressures of raising a 13 year old girl. With one line of the song, memories of holding my baby in my hands when she was a week old; another brought back stroking her forehead before kissing her good night; another calming her after a nightmare. And I was more able to deal with the sometimes, irrational behavior of a 13 year old (she fortunately grew out of that stage relatively quickly). During rational times with her which were actually much more than the irrational times (although it seems that you remember and dwell on the trying times more than the good), we would drive together in my car and my daughter and I would sing to the cassette. She would look at me in the way she does and comment on the sweetness of the song. I am not being boastful to say my daughter has a beautiful voice and after singing Lullaby, I thought at that time, I would be dancing with her, to "Lullaby" at her wedding.

And I did.

I didn't know if I would get through the wedding without crying and the odds in my family were 20 to 1 that I would be a blithering idiot. But, although I did get misty eyed, I didn't cry; my baby cried for the both of us and as I dried her eyes I sang in my head...

"Then in your heart there will always be a part of me"

Those fathers of daughters out there know what I'm talking about and I'm sure you mothers do too. Read the lyrics and see if you don't get misty eyed... I dare you

I double dog dare you...

Tile :Billy Joel - Lullaby (Good Night My Angel)
This is lyrics from
*Verse 1*
Good night my angel time to close you eyes
And save these questions for another day
I think I know what you've been asking me
I think you know what I've been trying to say
I promised I would never leave you
And you should always know
Where ever you may go
No matter where you are
I never will be far away

*Verse 2*
Good night my angel now it's time to sleep
And still so many things I want to say
Remember all the songs you sang for me
When we went sailing on an emerald bay
And like a boat out on the ocean
I'm rocking you to sleep
The water's dark and deep
Inside this ancient heart
You'll always be a part of me

(Musical Bridge)Do do do do...

*Verse 3*
Goodnight my angel now it's time to dream
And dream how wonderful your life will be
Someday your child will cry
and if you sing this lullaby
Then in your heart there will always be a part of me
Someday we'll all be gone
But lullabies go on and on
They never die
that's how you
and I
will be

You cry?

I do

Every time!