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Have You Lived Before

Over the last 26 years, I (Rick) have had the chance to witness an aspect of human consciousness that few encounter: the individual’s inner experience of past-life memories. I have facilitated over 1000 past-life sessions.
Many skeptics challenge the validity of past-life memories. How do we know the memories are real? It is almost impossible to prove that the stories my clients tell me are indeed true past-life memories. From my point of view, the validity of past-life memories does not affect the therapeutic and deeper purpose of such profound inner work.
So let me take you through some of the benefits as I see them:

    1. Experiencing past lives broadens our narrow vision of reality by looking from new points of view. For example, if I’m a man in this life, I can experience looking through the eyes of a woman in a past-life session. I can feel the body, the emotions and the different programming of what it feels like to be a woman. If I’m Chinese in this current life, I may experience the viewpoint of other races and other cultures in other lives.  If I am a victim in this lifetime, I may experience being a victimizer in a previous life.
    2. One of the most practical benefits of experiencing past lifetimes is releasing the fear of death. After undergoing a few rounds of birth, life, death, afterlife, and rebirth in sessions, we know death is not the final exit and is absolutely safe.  We remember that we have “survived” many, many rounds of death.  Past life work is wonderful therapy for anyone who is approaching their dying, such as patients with terminal illnesses.
    3. We notice that we are more than just an ego defined by this particular lifetime in this particular locus of time and space.  We have reincarnated again and again in different bodies.  We know that who we are is beyond death.
    4. There are deep attachments, dependencies, addictions and destructive patterns that may possess and control our lives. Past-life sessions can reveal their origins in the past and their developments through lifetimes.  We can also glimpse the consequences of living a life that was so negative.
      For example, if a man is in great conflict because he is energetically and psychologically attached to rape and violence toward women, past-life experiences allow him to become more conscious, step out of his habitual destruction, and learn how this karmic habit affects himself and others. Through the sessions, this man can now witness himself abusing women repeatedly through lifetimes. The facilitation work guides him to stop the negative patterns, forgive himself and heal the past.
    5. Past-life work can provide a unique perspective into the nature of relationship.

To experientially know that you have traveled together before with significant people in your current life, probably countless times, deepens current relationships.  Relationships do not end when someone dies.  Our relationships continue life after life.  Love is forever and once you love, it is forever even though the nature of the relationships may have changed.  To see the differing roles you play with one another through time gives you an awesome sense of the depth of bond between your souls.  Even though the role I play for you is mother in this lifetime, I may also have played your daughter, son, husband, enemy or friend in other lives.

Any unresolved issues in relationships also continue into the next life.  The discovery of the karmic themes between you and another provides important insights to understanding the dynamics currently in play. Past -life work can expose the patterns that may again be in play today, though today we may have taken a new role with the other. The roles of the past may need to be energetically and consciously disengaged to free one of old habits or previous dependencies.

    1. Past-life work helps to de-condition the mind in order to be free of the urgency and pressures of time.  You are immortal and you have many lives at your disposal.   By freely moving forward or backward in time, you can experience the flow of time and your relationship to it. You can release any attachments to time and discover “no time”. This experience empowers the mindfulness of living in the moment and its consequent freedom.
    2. The evolution and development of the soul through time can also manifest in the expression of talents, abilities, and “knowings.” Past-life sessions can connect one to a history of expertise, whether it is physical or emotional expression, intellectual or artistic development, or the skill of multidimensional healing. You may retrieve valuable teachings or a sense of your soul’s purpose in order to apply the knowing of the past into the needs of the present.


This is how, I (Hwee-Meng) first connected to my life purpose.  My first past- life vision happened spontaneously, sparking my interest in this field of therapy.  I was lying on a massage table, receiving some bodywork.  My right shoulder and elbow were hurting.  When the therapist touched that part of my body, what felt like an inner movie sprung from within.  I was mesmerized as nothing like that had ever happened before.  I saw myself as a man walking through the hot desert in rope-like sandals.  I knew that I was a spiritual teacher and I was rushing to witness something terrible. The pain in my right shoulder and elbow intensified.  I was jolted out of my inner visions when the therapist vomited because she was not equipped to handle the energies in the session.

I immediately looked for an experienced past life therapist and signed up for 8 consecutive sessions.    Lifetime after lifetime unfolded in the sessions.  It was like going to the movies except better as I was actually re-living the events.

What were the benefits I received from watching the theatre of my soul?

  • First of all, I noticed to my surprise that in many of my past-lives, I was a healer or a spiritual teacher of some sort.  It was as if my soul used those past-lives to draw my attention to the healing arts.  So, I began to train in various healing modalities and re-discovered my passion in this field.
  • How wonderful to learn from the mistakes we have committed in previous lifetimes so that we do not have to repeat them again and again.   It is truly hard-earned wisdom.  For example, there was a lifetime where I was an orphan in a cold, mountainous region.  The monastery kindly adopted another orphan and I.  We grew up to be like brothers.  He fell in love with another woman and was kicked out of the monastery.  Years later, I was in succession to be the abbot.  One bitterly cold winter, my brother knocked on the monastery door and asked to be admitted.    He was starving.  In order to ensure that I would not be rejected as the future abbot, I closed the door on him.

    I paid a bitter prize for my ambition.  He froze to death from the cold.  To relive the feelings of deep pain and sorrow as I held my brother’s dead body is a somber reminder to never sacrifice love for ambition.  I succeeded as the abbot but it was a lonely victory that I spent the rest of my life suffering.

  • Not only do relationships continue lifetime after lifetime, but physical symptoms, ailments and injuries.  For example, the neck is my area of weakness and I have chronic neck pain.  To understand if my neck pain had its origins in past life, I did some sessions.  It was an eye-opener.   I re-experienced death by choking, hanging, beheading, strangling and other fatal accidents to the neck such as falling from a horse.  No wonder I have such neck pain! Clearing the negative imprints from these lifetimes helped my neck pain considerably.

    Through experiential work with clients, I have noticed that if you have a repeated pattern of injuring a specific area of the body in many lifetimes, there is a high chance that you will re-injure that area again in this lifetime!

  • Fourthly, past-life work offers powerful spiritual teachings. The teachings are embodied on a cellular level and not on an intellectual level.  After experiencing all the multitudes of roles I have played, as sage and fool, as lover and enemy, as king and beggar, as leader and follower, and as man and woman, I realized we are all one. Does it matter that you are woman and I am man?  Does it matter that I am Chinese and you are African?  Does it matter that I am poor and you are rich? We have played them all. Sexism, racism, and national pride no longer made any sense.

    The sages have taught us that we are one global family. To re-experience your friend or your enemy as a family member in your previous life is to truly know that we are all related by deep bonds.   We meet again and again.

    Another spiritual teaching I gleaned from observation of my lifetimes was that accumulation of material goods is not the most important objective in a life.  IT IS WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED AND WHO YOU HAVE BECOME for you truly cannot take any gold and money from lifetime to another.  The only thing that incarnates with you is your wisdom and your life experience.

  • For me, the most profound gift of re-experiencing my lifetimes is to identify with the part of the Self that is immortal, to know that eternity is my playground and death is never the enemy.

Opening Our Hearts to Pain

Rick Phillips – Excerpted from a talk given in Texas, U.S.A.

My life is about helping people expand their awareness into life and empowering them to take responsibility for their own healing. The basis of empowerment is our relationship to Spirit. Spirit exists within the unified field but unfortunately, our ordinary awareness usually exists in a field of separation. Our senses project us out to the superficial world: the world of form and matter.

In this field of separation, we have polarities at work here. Everyone has to question these polarities, for example, material and spiritual, light and dark, and the judgments we associate with these polarities. Obviously, duality is the primary issue that we need to examine. The cycles of life and the Yin and Yang are as fundamental and as natural as we can find. Without the experience of one, we cannot have a point of reference to the other. We attempt to discern between the light and shadow. We are taught to assign value based on society’s cultural biases.

“This is good. This is bad. This is right. This is wrong.”

We are taught by parents, by society, by the consequences of our actions, and by the current rules of the particular culture we are living in. But have we questioned deeply what this dichotomy of life is truly about? Do we see how it evolves through time? Do we appreciate the importance of “personal choice” in a dualistic reality? Do we understand how choice is a powerful tool of freedom, how it plots our course of karma, how it determines the lessons we have come into life to learn. Because, without a doubt, our personal choices in life effect every living soul in the universe!

Choice is made possible by duality. Do I choose this or that? Do I see the yin and the yang of this possible choice? Am I free to look from the opposite point of view? Am I able to exchange places and switch roles? And whatever I choose, the experience will be what teaches me about life. Does my action expand my understanding of life? Does it teach me a vital lesson for my evolution, and what are the consequences? Do I hurt others through this choice? Do I hurt myself?

Most, if not all of us, are not so conscious about our choices. We just act, sometimes paying little attention to what we are doing and their consequences. We do it the way we have been taught or programmed. For example, we may not recycle the aluminum can because we were taught to just throw it in the trash. We do it unconsciously, because it’s easier to be unconscious.

We raise our voices in anger. Or we say something hurtful to another rather than be compassionate to them. Why? Because it’s easier to be unconscious. And even now many of you will judge yourselves as failing to act the way you think you should based on what I’m saying. This tendency to judge yourselves or others is a fundamental issue and a big challenge for us all. How conscious are you of your judgments? Do you see how you unconsciously repeat this pattern of behavior and therefore perpetuate separation? This unconsciousness of ours diminishes our clarity of choice and diminishes our appreciation of all the possibilities an experience may provide us.

This is true for judgment also. When I judge, I separate from whoever or whatever I judge. If I judge another person, watch how this person immediately defends him/herself. How does it feel to be judged by another person? Do you close yourself down or start to fight against this subtle or not so subtle attack?

The most painful type of all judgments is self-judgment. Because to judge yourself is to deny the Spirit within. When I feel that heavy judgmental energy directed toward myself, its separating influence immediately triggers the ego in all its infamous glory. It pushes the true Self out of the picture. “I’m bad, I’m evil, I’m not good enough, I’m ashamed.” How can Spirit, my very essence be evil? Judgment tries to convince us of that. And if it succeeds, we will live life as hell. The tragedy of judgment is the number 1 issue that I work with in people. It is the ultimate challenge, because it mirrors our separation from God.

I’d like to share a recent experience with you that illustrates all these ideas I’ve been talking about. In September, my wife Rachel and I were invited to do a tour for my first book in Poland. We have traveled to a lot of places, but I never thought I would work in Eastern Europe. So I was eager to go. Rachel had not been there since 1972 when she was working on a film project about the Holocaust. All she said about Poland was that she remembered it as very “grey.” Now that there has been a radical political shift, the people have more freedom to seek their truth, and continue their collective healing. We found them hungry for anything spiritually nourishing. We had large crowds showing up for our lectures and workshops, and we had a lot of people in deep pain from decades of abuse — harsh child rearing practices, a lot of repression of feelings, a history of defeat, and the list went on. It was exhausting for us, many times frustrating, the collective depression is imprinted deeply.

In the middle of our trip, Rachel wanted to take a group of people to Auschwitz as a spiritual pilgrimage of remembrance. When she was there 24 years ago, she had no governmental permission to travel, so she covertly hired an illegal taxi to take her to Auschwitz. It is different now. Auschwitz is a museum. It is clean, the propaganda is evident, but if there is a place on the earth that triggers immediate unconsciousness, this is it. Just the thought that you are walking into a meticulously engineered place of human extermination is enough to send you running for the hills.

Even though I thought I was prepared, I was not prepared for the need to shut down, the need to not feel, and the need to withdraw into safety. What a test! How do you keep your heart open in the midst of such overwhelming energy? What would happen if you were able to feel the pain of just one prisoner’s fear, not to mention millions? The need to go unconscious is the ego’s need to protect itself. It is instinctual, it is automatic, and it is easy. When there is pain, we run away, shut down, or try to fight it. It’s the fight-flight mechanism of our sympathetic nervous system. This reaction to pain is not taught. It is genetically coded and is as old as life itself. How do you stay open and conscious when your body is being pumped full of crisis hormones? Is control the only answer in a situation like this? Is shut-down the answer for pain?

As a psychospiritual counselor, I can tell you repression only buries or covers it up. Repressed pain does not go away; it just grows unconsciously inside of you. You may have been successful in covering it up, or denying that there was a problem. But, even the small problem can fester and grow into the demon. I deal with this in people everyday. There is only one thing that I have found that works.

In psychology there is an important teaching for dealing with pain. As I said the instinct is to go unconscious. So the teaching says, where there is pain there is the need for attention. Pain is a warning signal. It is calling awareness to it. So go into the pain, go deep into the pain and correct its source. Emotionally, this is the only answer that works. When people go into their pain, only then can they find the source, maybe the purpose, and hopefully the teaching of this experience.

As I walked into Auschwitz, I realized that I had a challenge on my hands and a choice. Do I ignore the pain? Do I walk through the crematorium as an objective scientist studying the architecture? Actually there were a few people doing just that. Maybe that is what we have to do to avoid the suffering. Isn’t that logical? Isn’t there enough suffering anyway? Why open to more?

This was the choice to make. But I also know my ego and how it likes to go unconscious and not feel at a moment like this. This trip to Poland and to Auschwitz was about working with pain, about healing and about expanding consciousness. So if I could not do it, how can I expect others to do what I am unable or unwilling to do? This was one of those important moments in my life: to transcend my ego’s fear, to go beyond animal instinct and take a chance to embody Spirit and to choose to trust Higher Self in a time of challenge. To break out of the norm and risk a different way.

So I’m standing at the front gate of Auschwitz looking at the infamous sign that says, “Arbeit Mach Frei” – “ Work will set you free” and I realize that I have to work, right now. I opened my heart to the pain and it rushed in and my heart broke. I should not say it broke, it shattered! The pain was multidimensional and I became aware of several levels of reality. First, I felt like I was one of those Jews being destroyed because of religious judgment and racism. That I was being eliminated because of judgment. Second, I saw myself as the victimizer. I was the Nazi, and my humanity was overcome by programming, by fear, by power, and I was forced into unconsciousness by this heavy weight of pain. Thirdly, I then became the collective, the world humanity, addicted to the pain of the victim and victimizer throughout history, unable to let go of my vicious games of polarity and denial of Spirit. And lastly, I was Rick, crying in this moment of unbelievable pain.

Yet, in this moment I was still conscious, still alive, and still here in this difficult moment but I realized I was OK. I hadn’t been destroyed. As a matter of fact, I was fully alive and one with the deepest part of me. My broken heart was only the personal heart which was already rebuilding, somehow resilient from a deeper place of strength. And My Divine Heart was responding to this situation with incredible love, with incredible compassion, a Divine Presence that had not been overshadowed by the pain, but had stepped forward into the pain. At this moment God was present in Auschwitz. Instead of a place of darkness, I felt it as a place of Light, a holy place for us to know God, to learn the deepest karmic themes that Earth can give us. Instead of judgment toward our dark side, I could view it with compassion. I looked down and I saw a rose garden filled with red roses. I picked one as my token of healing and renewal. But it was what I carried in my heart now that I will forever treasure and that is what I offer to you today.

We are not separate as our ego identity would like us to believe. We are part of a whole. We are the world and we are one consciousness. This unified consciousness when manifested in our world becomes a duality. The One splits in two, into the Yin and Yang. Because of this energy of separation, this power of duality, we lose awareness of the underlying interconnectedness. We lose awareness of our source and the ultimate reality. When we lose awareness, we suffer. We enter into judgment which polarizes us even further; it separates us from our source.

Separation is the first imprint into the collective consciousness. It creates duality and then we assign value to each polarity. Judgment is the emotional energy that perpetuates separation and negates unity. It is the pain of judgment that shuts our heart down. It is that shut down that diminishes the voice of Spirit within us. Then we only hear the screaming of ego, the pain of separation. Some people walk into Auschwitz and only hear the fear within and the panic of self-preservation. Others open to their true voice within.

The difference here is consciousness. Have I done my homework? Have I worked on my unconsciousness and my fears? Have I confronted my pain? In other words, have I worked on my emotional issues? If I have not, then the ego defenses will many times run the show and a closed heart will be my response to the challenges of life.

I can tell you without hesitation or doubt, that there is an answer to this human predicament. There is an answer to our wounds of the past and to our history of suffering. And you already know this answer. The answer is Spirit. There is no doubt that the Spiritual energy is the greatest healer. The energy of Spirit is the highest vibration, it holds infinite love, infinite forgiveness and infinite possibilities. Just a moment of that energy can dissolve our attachments. But we have to choose it. We have to call it in.

Jesus Christ, Buddha, or Krishna, it does not matter who, are prepared to offer you infinity with open arms, but if you say “no”, if you do not choose to accept their offering, no healing will occur. It is up to you. You have the power to heal yourself; it is your choice and only your choice. I ask you to make this choice, to take this step for yourself and for the world. When you heal yourself, you set in motion a wave of healing that affects all of creation. You are the World! Open your heart, open your consciousness, and ask God to set in motion the opportunities for healing. That’s all it takes to start the process. And when those opportunities present themselves, go for it! And realize, your choice to be here today, is a choice to go for it!

Healing Communication

Transcribed and edited from a radio interview with Rick Phillips by Deborah Coryale

D.C.: I am just delighted to have Rick Phillips, author of Healing Communication and Windows to the Soul, as the first guest of the millennium.  Why don’t you tell us about the bigger picture of your work, and then we’ll get down to the more focused material.

R.P.:   My work is consciousness work, healing work. It’s about helping people to move inside to connect to their inner knowing,  and to use that power, that spirit, to heal themselves. We do this in several different ways: we do individual sessions and we teach people how to do this work. That is why we have facilitators all over the world.

D.C.: I really appreciate how difficult it is to take the notion of consciousness which is so vague and to bring it down through very physical channels, i.e. to be able to talk about it and be able to heal with it.

R.P.: Once you practice a few techniques, once you open that door, it’s as normal and natural as anything else. It’s just that we have been so external in our lives; our senses are always out into the world.  We don’t have so much time to go inside to  touch that consciousness and get accustomed to how it functions in our lives.

D.C.: So, when we talk about consciousness, we are essentially speaking about awareness?

R.P.: Being awake.  It will totally change your life! Most of us are sleepwalking. Most of us are rushing around.   Our minds and attention are fragmented into a thousand places.   We are not really able to focus and bring the inner world into the outer world and see that harmony.

D.C.: Yes, then it all works. I love that little Freudian slip just now when Diego announced the title of the book and called it Healing Communion instead of Healing Communication.  In the introduction to your book, you talked about an experience you had with the dolphins, but the word that you begin with is “communion.”

R.P.: I  hope that the communication process would bring us into a state of communion. Or, to have moments of communion, where all of a sudden, the boundaries just fall away, and there is no more separation.  The word has “union” in it. And, a communion experience has to be something where you are joining in such a profound way, that a new reality, or insight, or connection takes place that is so special, that it changes you. Somehow, the old ways of looking at the world will change at that moment.

D.C.: Now Rick, tell us about your experience with the dolphins.

R.P.: Well, I’ve been SO lucky about these things.  That experience was the catalyst for me to write this book, Healing Communication.  We had a friend who let us use a house in  Hawaii. It was right on the beach and we would watch the spinner dolphins out in the ocean.  They would be jumping,  spinning around and playing with such delight. So, we went out on a boat.  It’s a long story, so I won’t tell the entire thing.  But, at one point, after this big storm, we were surrounded by all these dolphins. I went into the water with my snorkel.  I went underwater.  It was like going into the unconscious, going into another world. All of a sudden, I could hear the dolphin sounds; the clicking, the whistling and the singing.  It did something to me.  I was hearing underwater, and therefore it was coming from every direction, and it pushed me into a place that was so profound.   I connected.  Then, the dolphins started surrounding me, and the sense of being within their family, being connected to their consciousness, feeling the vibration of their consciousness, was such a healing effect. On top of all of that, this one dolphin came up to me with her little newborn baby. She swam right up to me, turned on her side, with her baby right next to her, as if to say, “Here’s my child, I want to show you this. I want to show you that we are connected, that everything is connected.” It literally blew my mind.

D.C.: I want to read a couple of sentences from your book.  You speak about your desire to honor  the dolphin, “by continuing to help people to see our interconnectedness, to experience within ourselves that we are not separate, and to help find new ways to tear down the judgments that separate us from ourselves and each other.” Very powerful, powerful words, that really reach to the heart of the challenge of communication. It seems the entire body of your work is contained within that core teaching of judgment and separation.

R.P.: That’s right. For my personal path, this has been the most powerful healing and discovery that I have found. First of all, if we look at the challenges of our lives and the work that we have come here to do, this separation issue must be one of the biggest, if not one of the most difficult. We are so identified as separate entities that we really believe that “I” ends where my body ends. If I’m a little bit esoteric, I may say that my aura goes out a little bit, and that’s where I end. This is such an illusion. We are caught in this habit of thinking and believing. And so, the separation theme is aggravated to the nth degree by judgment. Whenever I judge a person or judge myself, I am going through an act of separation.

D.C.:  We talk about the fact that judgment is a no-no. On the other hand, people will say, wait a minute, how can I make choices or decisions without judgment?

R.P.: When I talk about judgment, I am talking about an emotional issue that creates separation. A judgment is that banging on the scriptures and saying, “THIS is RIGHT. THAT is WRONG. This is absolute, and if you have done something wrong, you will suffer for it.” Now, in that judgment, there will be a situation where we will identify with the duality of life and look through the eyes of black and white, good and bad, and right and wrong. There is usually no gray area.   However, judgment has another function which is called discernment. We are making choices and evaluating what we need to do in any given moment, but we can do that without this sense of separation.

D.C.: Let’s stay with this judgment and separation theme a little longer, because we all have such struggle with judgment.

R.P.: Judgment will shut down consciousness. It will shut down your heart. Think of those moments when you are really in judgment. You are  judging  another, and if you pay attention, they will start backing up out the door, because nobody likes to be judged.
It’s like you are pushing them back. So, your heart is not open at that time. This is not the highest form of life. Actually, this is shut down. And that is why I call this judgment theme, separation AND judgment.  Both create the other and perpetuate the other. So, the more judgments you create, the more you are going to be alone in the world.

D.C.: Let’s take relationship, when there is an intimate bonding, and suddenly, one begins to feel that the fabric of the relationship is breaking down. Let’s say, I begin to feel that my partner doesn’t like how I am being in the world. Let’s say I am now feeling judged.

R.P.: Well,  the walls will go up, the defenses will be triggered. At that time, communication becomes almost impossible. How can your true voice come forward in the middle of that judgment? It is very difficult.

D.C.:  We, as humans, are essentially social animals. So, we move toward relationship. And the way we relate is through communication.

R.P.: A very simple way of looking at it is that communication will create relationship. There is an exchange of energy between you and something else, and it creates a relationship. Once you have a relationship, you have a flow going, until the walls fly up, judgment being one of the big things. If you feel somebody is telling you that you are wrong, you’re bad, not good enough, I don’t like you, etc, it’s going to be really hard for you to break through that.

D.C.: Yes, and you know that feeling you have sometimes when you meet someone who you either really like or do not like, and no words have been exchanged, you have simply walked in a room, and immediately you feel it. And anything you then do will be offensive.

R.P.: There is so much unconsciousness running the show.

D.C.: So now let’s say you bring it into consciousness. Let’s say you walk in, I walk into the party, and I say, “I don’t like that person,” and suddenly I find myself reflecting, “ok, I just decided I didn’t like that person based on nothing.” What would be the next step?

R.P.: By recognizing the judgment, or the feeling, or the wall that is there.   This is where consciousness comes into play.  You have now identified that you are in a reaction pattern. You don’t know where it is coming from, but you can see it. Then you can make a simple choice to let it go. Maybe even step into it and confront it. If that happened to me, I hope that I would immediately walk over to that person and make contact. I would challenge myself to walk through my fear, to step through that gap of separation, and do something to then fix it.

D.C.: What might happen when you step through your fear and engage this person? What might ensue as a result?

R.P.: Certainly, the communication can go many different directions, but I would think that since it is a set-up, I mean, it is no accident that you had that reaction, therefore the set-up is kind of taking you by the hand and leading you into that relationship. I would think that something wonderful would happen. Something in you would learn. If nothing else, there would be a pat on the back to say, “Good job, at least you didn’t run away, you walked right through it.” It’s a show of your personal power.

D.C.: Something might ring in  the unconscious that might help you know more about yourself?

R.P.: Yes, you might identify what that person has reflected back to you, mirrored back to you. They remind you of somebody. They have touched you in some way, so there is something important there.

D.C.: Or some aspect of yourself.   So, to rephrase that, by taking an action, we move  a relationship to consciousness and it is that relationship that will take us to wholeness, or healing.

R.P.: Through consciousness, we will find some answer. We will discover something new that has been hidden. We will find a new way. So one of the most important things, I think, in any kind of spiritual work or inner work, is to be able to shift the rigid point of view. We’re kind of like a horse with blinders on.  We are very linear and very repetitive in the way in which we approach the world, and therefore we get very rigid in our points of view. We see it in only one way. But at a time when we can expand beyond that linear groove, we will see a whole new reality, a new point of view, new information, and new insight. Those are the things that consciousness changes. If we are asleep, then we will miss a lot. But if we can carry more wakefulness, more alertness and attention into a difficult situation, almost always we can shift to a new point of view.

D.C.: One of my teachers used to say that sometimes all you have to do is change your seat, and by changing your seat, nothing in the universe changes, but everything you see changes, and that is a very powerful metaphor.

R.P.: Yes, that is right on. When we are relating to a person, we have several boundaries to jump: physical, emotional, mental boundaries. All of these taint the communication process. The more separate I feel, the harder I have to really connect to the other person. In a very simple way, what we are saying is: open your heart. If you really want to know what to do, open your heart. That will work better than anything. That will work better than any theory here. Just open your heart and know that this person is not so different than you. Remember, we are an ego. The ego is who we think we are, but we are more than an ego. If you have some spiritual experience, you know that there is a spirit, or a consciousness that is common to that other person, to the other.

D.C.: That other is not, in effect, separate from me.

R.P.: And I must have some experience that shows me that.  I can’t convince you of it, intellectually. But, there are experiences where the communication process will bring you into communion. That the communication process will connect you inwardly to that place that is common to all things. That unity.

D.C.: For example,  your experience with the dolphins.

R.P.: Yes, that was a great example.

D.C.: In the book you speak about  hearing sounds versus  listening at deeper levels of consciousness.   Intuition is a state of consciousness that is available to us simply by listening to ourselves, yes?

R.P.: In our work, one way we do this is by connecting, or helping to support the connection to what we call  Higher Self. There are a lot of terms for this, the inner knowing. . .

D.C.: We can even risk God/Goddess?

R.P.: We can say that. If we just learn how to go inside, if we start to practice communicating inside, then all of these things are going to develop. That inner voice, inner knowing, then becomes more real. At first, we aren’t sure, the mind is doubting, and judging.   The mind is confused. But with experience, all of that falls away, and we start to trust, to feel connection. Communication is connection, and therefore that experience will grow and expand.  It will reap incredible benefit.

D.C.: There was a teaching I received many years ago. That between the body, the mind, and the spirit, the only thing that can be confused is the mind. Yet, that is the part of us that we deify. The way to get clarity out of the confusion of the mind, is to begin to listen to the communication that is going on within ourselves.

R.P.: It makes a big difference. If I could shift this for a moment—right now we are in a technology explosion, especially in telecommunications. I see this as an outgrowth of a need to communicate more. But, because we deify the mind and look at life in very external ways, we think that technology is the way to do this. Certainly, technology is able to make more information available, but information is not really what communication is about. Communication is about connection. Information can service, but what about the connection?

D.C.: I loved what you said in the book about technology bringing us information, but never being able to help to speak from the heart.

R.P.: It’s not going to be about just talking to somebody. When you merge with another person in a state of communion, then you will really know what love is about. You will really know what reality is about. When separation falls away, somehow it becomes crystal clear what you are here for.

D.C.: I am very caught with what you are saying. I trust we will be able to have you back. I would like to leave the listeners with a quote from your book, which is perfect for where you have just been. “To listen to the Higher Self is to hear the eternal silence.”


Sacred Contract

Ang Mui Keng
Translated by D. Light

“We are each born with a Sacred Contract, an agreement
to learn certain lessons and develop wisdom in this lifetime”
— Dr Caroline Myss

Life is bound to contain challenges that serve to grind your grit and build your character. It may come in the form of your father: your devotion and worship of him like a perfected idol, only to turn into contempt when he betrays your beloved mother with his scandalous affair. It may be your grandmother, who mocks and scorns at every worthy thing you do, trampling on the last bit of your confidence. Or it may be your mother, inundated with atrocious gambling appetite, who can spare her child little affection. A brother who trespasses the boundary of your modesty, leaving you to wallow in a deep sea of shame. A colleague who spreads rumours about you like wild fire, sparing you no peace at work. Heartbroken from giving birth to a child born with birth defects. An intimate household with incessant strife. Unemployment. An incurable disease..

Nevertheless, Life also contains heartening episodes that touch your soul. A righteous classmate who stands up for you when you are bullied. A forgiving friend who stays up a whole night listening to your woes and grievances. When everyone shuns from your mistake or misfortune, a bosom buddy who sticks with you through thick and thin. A father who wholeheartedly accepts all your decisions without passing a judgment. A mentor who guides your soul. A supervisor who admires and promotes you. A life partner who sits by your side, watching sunrises and counting stars, marches with you through life’s ups and downs..

If someone were to tell you: these beautiful and uneventful people and scenes in your life are part of a sacred agreement with you; that you have chosen to let them come in order to uncover the grace and lightness of your being; are you willing to believe? Will you believe that these intimidating people are doing hurt to you out of deep love? That they have brought you the greatest gifts out of the vicissitude?

I had my initial reservations.

I perceived it was the old trick of diverting our thoughts or ‘make-believe’, a consolatory statement to make ourselves feel better, similar to the popular self-help ‘positive thinking’.

Till I heard the following story told to us by a spiritual teacher:
(this teacher does not specifically follow any spiritual tradition)

In the beginning, the soul dimension of your being resides in the heavens. An angel brings you to a beautiful place and you witness all the people you are going to meet when you reborn in a new lifetime. They include your biological parents, siblings, friends, teachers, bosses and co-workers..

Angel explains that in that lifetime, these people will appear, and out of deep love for you, they are even willing to play the bad guys in your life. You will think they are out to make a hell of your life, yet with each triumph over each tribulation, you will soon discover the essence of your being.

The angel presents the life lessons you can learn, what role each character is playing, and the relationship each will have with you. You get to choose the lessons and wisdom you are willing to partake. 

“Are these the lessons and wisdom you are willing to commit to? If you are willing, please sign your agreement on this contract,” said the lovely angel.

In the contract, the important people in your life will have a special appointment with you. They are going to help you realize the lessons you have agreed to. Because of this, you will meet each of them at a stipulated date and place to begin a life story together. 

In the spiritual dimension of being, you have the wisdom to know that secular experience, whether pleasant or unpleasant, are borne out of a deeper purpose and meaning. With an ardent spirit, you are willing to walk the path of this higher purpose with these people who love you; to learn, and to benefit the universe. With gratitude, you sign the contract.

In the passageway out of your mother’s womb, earnest to see the world, the angel gives you a magical touch to erase all your memories of the sacred contract..

You are born, a little life with an innocent beginning.

This story touches me very much.

It gives me a new understanding.

A sense of liberation.

And gratitude.

I am willing to believe this story.

Since young I was told about karma and rebirth; I have also heard stories of how you were erased of memories before rebirth. Perhaps, due to my shallow understanding, I always felt a moral dictum of retribution and reward, and a sense of helplessness towards the inevitable law of karma and rebirth.

What we once held to be dear and familiar, and what we used to yearn for.. upon the ‘Sighing Bridge’ and beneath it, the ‘River of Oblivion’, we have to partake the ritual of memory-erasure. The eternal promises of love with our beloved, the patient waiting, the affectionate nudges, familiar gestures, looks, and even the color of his hair.. will fade to nought with a sip of the magical potion from Granny Meng. The past life is like a beautiful dream, yet a tragic one with regrets and helplessness.

The story of Sacred Contract, on the contrary, does not harbor shades of regret or lament; instead, it encapsulates the essence of a brave and willing spirit.

The multi facets of a lifetime, in all throes and euphoric moments, are a journey I have chosen to embark. Kin or kind, the characters sprung from a well of deep love, manifested in the appointment of this lifetime.

The raucous, inebriated and abusive father you abhor is here with the lessons on non-judgment and forgiveness. Your sickly child with endless medical complications is here to bring forth your resilience and unconditional love. You may miss a train and grumble throughout the night, yet little do you know you are meant to meet the person and the turning point of your life at the following daylight.

All who are cast to be players of your life turn up as appointed, bringing with them a lotus of pure love and great gifts of lessons to uncover your wisdom and golden light.

Upon these ruminations, I can only feel gratitude – grateful towards everyone I have met and all that have happened.

Yet, we are forgetful about the sacred contract, especially when we meet misfortunes and setbacks.

Whether it is the feat of the lovely Angel or old Granny Meng, forgetting past memories is a necessary rite of passage. For how else can we will ourselves to experience the pain that life inevitably contains, and to build relationships with people who hurt us?

You are laid off, ends up unhappy in a new job, you feel dejected and miserable. You thought for a long time and it is still incomprehensible what lessons you can take away from this predicament. What wisdom? What growth?

If you will believe in the story of sacred contract, you must surrender to the inner wisdom that manifests such life conditions. Surrender to the guidance of universal energy, and to the great unknown.

There will come a day when you realize the deeper significance of your layoff, and the healing that is necessary for growth and spiritual awakening.

Because I believe in such sacred contract, I start to see my predicaments with new perspective. I learn about surrendering to the Higher Purpose. And I am willing to accept that people around me are here because they have kept their promises in fulfilling the conditions for me to grow. Taking full responsibility for this journey of learning and growth that I have chosen to embark, I am able to take greater and lighter strides.

At a sharing session in my spiritual coursework, I take the liberty of modifying the lyrics of the Chinese song, ‘New Moon’, by Cai Qin. It is written to express my gratitude towards everyone who has come to walk with me in my life.

By the bridge
I await the promise in the wind
The sparkling stars
Light up the prayer in my heart
In the first light of dawn
I gaze at the eternally awaken East
Because of Knowing
Tears turn into flowers

The river flows
Celebrating the ups and downs of Life
The rainbow sings
In the clear blue sky after the rain
Taking a deep breath
I dance to the pulse of Mother Earth
Because of Love
We can embrace the wind tonight

I’d like to sing
Singing a poem out of Life
Please call me By my real name
In fresh breeze You come as promised with a lotus in your hand
Under the starry heaven We embrace the eternal moonlight

(English lyric translated by Ninjie)


Thank you for fulfilling your promise to the sacred contract.

I believe and I am willing,

I accept and I surrender,

Thank you.

I am happier than never before.

If you also like the story of sacred contract, you may be happy to read more about it in the book Sacred Contract by Caroline Myss.

Please Hear What I’m Not Saying

Charles C. Finn

Don’t be fooled by me.
Don’t be fooled by the face I wear.
For I wear a mask, a thousand masks, masks that I’m afraid to take off,
and none of them is me.
Pretending is an art that’s second nature with me,
but don’t be fooled.
For God’s sake don’t be fooled.
I give you the impression that I’m secure, that all is sunny and unruffled with me,
within as well as without,
That confidence is my name, and coolness my game,
that the water’s calm and I’m in command,
And that I need no one.
But don’t believe me.
My surface may seem smooth but my surface is my mask,
ever-varying and ever-concealing.
Beneath lies no complacence.
Beneath lies confusion and fear and aloneness.
But I hide this. I don’t want anybody to know it.

I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear being exposed.
That’s why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant sophisticated façade,
to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.
But such a glance is precisely my salvation.
My only hope and I know it.
That is, if it’s followed by acceptance,
if it’s followed by love.
It’s the only thing that can liberate me from myself,
from my own self-built prison walls,
from the barriers I so painstakingly erect.
It’s the only thing that will assure me of what I can’t assure myself,
That I’m really worth something.
But I don’t tell you this. I don’t dare. I’m afraid to.
I’m afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance,
will not be followed by love.
I’m afraid you’ll think less of me, that you’ll laugh,
and your laugh would kill me.
I’m afraid that deep-down I’m nothing, that I’m justno good,
and that you will see this and reject me.

So I play my game, my desperate pretending game,
with a façade of assurance without
and a trembling child within.
So begins the glittering but empty parade of masks,
and my life becomes a front.
I idly chatter to you in the suave tones of surface talk.
I tell you everything that’s really nothing,
and nothing of what’s everything,
of what’s crying within me.
So when I’m going through my routine,
do not be fooled by what I’m saying.
Please listen carefully and try to hear what I’m not saying,
what I’d like to be able to say,
what for survival I need to say,
but what I can’t say.

I don’t like to hide.
I don’t like to play superficial phony games.
I want to stop playing them.
I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me,
but you’ve got to help me.
You’ve got to hold out your hand
even when that’s the last thing I seem to want.
Only you can wipe away from my eyes the blank stare of thebreathing dead,
Only you can call me into aliveness.
Each time you’re kind and gentle and encouraging,
each time you try to understand because you really care,
my heart begins to grow wings,
very small wings,
very feeble wings,
but wings!
With your power to touch me into feeling
you can breathe life into me.
I want you to know that.

I want you to know how important you are to me,
how you can be a creator – a honest-to-God creator –
of the person that is me
if you choose to.
You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,
you alone can remove my mask,
you alone can release me from my shadow-world of panic
And uncertainty, from my lonely prison,
if you choose to.
Please choose to. Do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you.

A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach to me
the blinder I may strike back.
It’s irrational, but despite what the books say about man,
often I am irrational.
I fight against the very thing that I cry out for.
But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls,
and in this lies my hope.
Please try to beat down those walls with firm hands
but with gentle hands
for a child is very sensitive.

Who am I, you may wonder?
I am someone you know very well.
For I am every man you meet
and I am every woman you meet.

Attending To What We Love

Attending to what we love

– Wayne Muller

Attention is the physical manifestation of love. If I keep pushing my children away when they want me to play with them, they do not feel loved. I may have love in my heart. I may feel joy when I see them, and want only the best for them. But they will feel my love only when I turn around and give them my undivided attention. Through my attention, they experience my love.

Attention is a tangible measure of love. Whatever receives our time and attention becomes the center of gravity, the focus of our life. This is what we do with what we love: We allow it to become our center.

What is at the center of your life? Carefully examine where you spend your attention, your time. Look at your appointment book, your daily schedule. These things – these meetings, errands, responsibilities – this is where you dedicate your precious days, hours, and moments. This is what receives your care and attention – and, by definition, your love.

What do you notice about those people and things that get your attention? Is this what you wish to love? Are these the people and situations you hope will receive the gift of  your life and your companionship? Are these the places you would intentionally choose to offer your love and devotion? Why or why not?

We become what we love. Whatever you have given your time and attention to, day after day, this is the kind of person you will eventually become. Is this what you want?