I was instantly fascinated by Dr. Brian Weiss’ books about past lives. So in November 2017, I scheduled a session for my first Past Life Regression session. Along with sharing what I experienced, I’ll also be answering some of the major questions my clients ask on the subject to help readers dispel any myths about hypnotherapy and past life regression.
Let’s jump right in.
What happens during Past Life Regression?
When I found the healer I wanted to work with, I was asked to read Many Lives, Many Masters before coming for the session, just so that I’d know what I could expect. Having already been acquainted with Dr. Brian’s books, I then prepared myself by putting together the questions I wanted to explore in my past.
I was additionally asked to be well-rested, listen to some guided meditations, and come on a light stomach. Why? Let me explain by going into the science of past life regression. This will also be fundamental in helping you learn how to do past life regression for yourself, in case you’re interested.
Hypnotherapy is the underlying tool used to review past lives, by working with the subconscious mind.
A person is regressed back into a certain period of their life, using steps that I’ll discuss shortly. The end-to-end process takes up a lot of mental energy! And if unrested or on a heavy stomach, it can make you tire easily. In some cases, you could even doze off.
Hypnotherapy is not exclusive to past life regression though.
When hypnotherapy is used to access the “Akashic Records”, or past life memories, we call it past life regression therapy. However, the same technique can also be used for inner child healing, overcoming addiction, or getting closure from a traumatic experience from the past.
Side note: Akashic Records is a metaphysical term used for the energy ‘database’ of all events that have happened, are happening, and are yet to occur. The belief in hypnotherapy, especially past life, and future life regression healers is that because everything is energy, you can tap into the past or the future (beyond constructs of time) and gather the information that will help you heal. A wonderful peer, Manprit wrote a guest article for us about Akashic Records here.
Is hypnosis dangerous?
Hypnosis is NOTHING like the dramatic TV shows where a person is influenced and taken captive!
In the words of the pioneer in the field, Dave Elman, you must understand that “all hypnosis is self-hypnosis“.
This means that when you’re hypnotized, it simply means you’ve been given a suggestion by another person, and you have willingly taken action on it. For example, in your day-to-day life, if someone says, “come, have a seat” and you go sit down, you’ve accepted their suggestion.
On the contrary, if someone said, “let’s go eat chicken wings” and you’re a vegetarian, you will reject the suggestion.
When you undergo a hypnotherapy session, the only difference is that you’re given several layers of suggestions in order to achieve deeper stages of relaxation.
This helps you experience your past memories, without the excessive resistance of the conscious mind. What are some examples of steps taken to deepen the hypnosis?
You may first be asked to count back from 50 to 1, while staring at a wall. Then, you might be asked to close your eyes and visualize a pleasant situation, like walking around a garden. Eventually, you’ll be asked to travel back in time to a specific memory, which is the part called regression.
This process is a rather artificial means to tire your conscious mind that operates in beta waves. Thus allowing you to experience the subconscious thoughts by moving towards alpha waves. The different brain wavelengths and their purpose can further be understood through this source.
If you’ve listened to a guided meditation before, you’ll realize that the process is the same. Because guided meditation is also a form of hypnotherapy.
There’s nothing more dramatic or fanciful to it!
So, no, it is NOT a dangerous process. Even under hypnosis, you are fully aware of sounds around you, you can talk and you will remember everything that happened. You are just more relaxed while experiencing your subconscious thoughts.
This is why you’ll even find self-hypnosis videos on YouTube. Many people claim to have experienced healing through it too. It hasn’t worked for me though, for various reasons but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for you.
Here are four other common myths that hypnotherapy practitioner, Serena and I recently debunked in a workshop with the tribe.
“Isn’t hypnotherapy scary?”
No, it’s just different.
When you recall an old memory, does it scare you? Probably not. A few incidents might create anxiety for the future, or stir other emotions like anger, insecurity, or sorrow. But then logic will kick in, and you’ll be able to self-soothe by self-affirming thoughts like,
- – you’re HERE now and you’ve overcome everything;
- – the past is gone, and there’s new hope for what lies ahead;
- – the past doesn’t have to control you or enslave you;
- – you’ll continue to overcome your obstacles beautifully in the future;
- so on, and so forth.
This is the purpose of hypnotherapy. To revisit the exact moment in the past which influenced your behavior to be a certain way.
Many times, the reason will seem so silly and unnecessary that as a consequence a person can experience major breakthroughs. Like immediately quitting smoking, no longer needing to binge-eat, or no longer feeling so insecure about key relationships.
Does the hypnotherapist directly take you into a past life or is it gradual?
Every hypnotherapist has their style, and they might take you into a pleasant memory, or help you tap into childhood wounds first. It isn’t necessary for you to access your past life right away.
While the hypnotherapist will walk you through different ‘doors’ or walk downstairs in your imagination, it is your soul that decides what happens when you cross the door to the “other side”.
However, before the session, the healer will typically ask you what your area of concern is, and why you are using PLR to heal it. In some cases, past life regression may not even be necessary to heal something, which is why it’s important to let the healer suggest what they feel is best.
Ultimately, whatever may be the area of concern, your regression into the past is navigated to find some answers.
Such was my case. Here are some interesting findings from my own past life regression stories.
How Past Life Regression Healed My Fear of Black Cats
As I regressed into my third lifetime, I saw a woman in her late twenties being tortured and raped by a group of men. She was left to die in the jungle, stripped naked, sans resources to return.
She made her way into a cave, where she shivered through the night. When she opened her eyes, there were a couple of giant black leopards ready to attack. This was how she finally died in that lifetime.
My healer worked with me to release the trauma of assault as well as the wildlife attack. Ever since then, I adore cats! And rape? The fear was reduced significantly.
It’s important to understand here that when you consciously access past life memories and work to heal them, you will notice that many experiences will no longer matter. But some things might still have some charge around them, such as the “rape” case here.
It is both an opportunity to understand why it still grips us, and a chance to free ourselves from fears that might seem irrational and unexplainable in this lifetime.
Are Past Life Regression Experiences Real?
There have been countless validated cases, where exact details were mapped to lesser-known family history. The works of Dr. Ian Stevenson and Jim B Tucker focused precisely on validating such claims, by children.
There is compelling evidence in Dr. Brian’s books too, especially in Only Love Is Real where two people narrated the same past lives with each other, without even knowing about each other. It was magical to read!
Personally, whatever I saw did not have concrete geographical information or detailed timelines. I still consider a past life regression experience logically powerful because:
- When you revisit a subconscious fear and retrain your brain to look at it differently, you alter your conscious behavior too. This is precisely what we want to achieve,
- Our brain uses the knowledge and dictionary we have created from our experience, so what you see is the closest possibility of what happened. Good enough to help you understand the significance, at the least,
- Irrational and unexplained fears are explained through the story you see. At the time, it feels so real that it can shift your point of view. Thus lifelong fears can be transmuted in a short span within a few hours of hypnosis,
- Even if it’s a figment of your imagination, or confabulated, the fact that your subconscious is conducive to healing can be a breakthrough in itself for people who otherwise struggle to make lasting changes in their lives consciously.
For me, it didn’t matter whether what I saw was factually correct. But it did help me see aspects of myself that I wasn’t aware of, at least not consciously. One such example is intense anger and anguish.
How Reviewing A Past Life Helped Me Mourn A Child I Didn’t Have
I wasn’t even married at that point, let alone a mother. But regressing back in time, I saw a woman badly starved and beaten by her drunk husband. She held a baby, her baby. Their baby; force-fed alcohol by that man. As her child passed away, she grieved intensely. And so did I. I could deeply feel her pain and anger.
Now to put things into perspective, I’m not easily emotionally swayed. It takes a lot to make me cry, but this vision felt so personal, so real, it really felt like my loss.
And the kind of anger I felt was nothing like I’d experienced before. My healer worked diligently to help me release the emotional charge that was discovered in that lifetime.
I was stunned when I recognized that baby in the past was a friend from college in my present. The next day, out of curiosity and upon my healer’s recommendation, I asked that friend if he had “stomach issues”. He mentioned that he did, but he healed from them in college. Which was when WE had met.
“Mother healed baby”, said my healer as I conveyed my findings.
How do you recognize other people?
You might have an instant knowing (feeling), you might recognize their characteristics (visual), or in introspection, a name might come to you (auditory). It’s my theory that perhaps the psychic sense which is strongest in you will be utilized during this process.
Past life regression in itself is like seeing a dream. Except it’s not illogical, and you can remember it long after you wake up.
But just like a dream, you can experience the past life by being a passive viewer, an active participant, or somewhere in between. You will see places, people, and important events in ways that are unique to you.
I’ve had the privilege to see a significant past life in one of my dreams, which I’ve talked about in a post analyzing the spiritual meanings of dreams.
How many past lives do we have?
To be honest, I don’t have an answer for that because each soul is unique. Some choose to incarnate often, while others try to learn their lessons through the other realms. I’m not a huge fan of religious scriptures that put a number on our births and deaths because healing, once conscious, is timeless.
This means that you could take several lifetimes to overcome a pattern or you could finally sit down and “get it” one day. The process of incarnation is so fluid and dynamic. But it’s safe to say that we have had many, many lifetimes. At this point, I’ve seen over a dozen glimpses from mine and they have all served in my healing.
Instead of worrying about how old your soul is, it’s important to focus on what you’ve been doing with your time while you’ve been around. And of course, what can you do ahead, to make the most of your time here?
Why is it good or bad to get a past life review?
While the benefits outweigh the flaws, here are some things to be mindful of during subconscious work:
Unless you heal the memory after seeing it, it may not be useful having seen it. For example, when I saw the black cats, I didn’t know what to do because I was scared. A professional hypnotist needs to help you navigate such incidents. My healer suggested I turn the black cats into beautiful, vibrant butterflies and let them carry my body into the Light.
NOTE: This isn’t about denying something happened, but to creatively help you reconnect with the bigger picture.
Therefore, on most occasions, you will not be able to see a past life yourself, unless you’re capable enough of dealing with it.
- It can seem exciting to revisit the Akashic Records and retrieve your soul’s journey. But becoming overly obsessed with the past is one of many spiritual vices. Trust me, I’ve been there! So please remember that though past life regression is useful to understand some of our behaviors, we don’t always need to know WHY something happened for us to change who we are NOW.
- It is expensive. I don’t know why. But in general, all healers charge a fortune for past life regression. I don’t discredit their work, and I’m all for balancing the karmic debt in whatever way one deems fit. But I’d say that if you can understand the process and go for a few sessions just to get the idea, you should focus on learning how to regress yourself.
It’s really not that difficult. Dave Elman, who we met earlier in the article, explains all of this at great length in his book called Hypnotherapy. Unfortunately, his book is difficult to purchase at this point. But looping back to where we started, Dr. Brian Weiss has a fantastic collection of resources for self-hypnosis, layered into his books.
All that being said, let’s talk about the benefits of a past life review with a few more stories.
How Seeing My Best Friend From A Past Life Healed My Trust Issues
This story had both of us laughing. We were in fits when I slowly mumbled through my phone, “you were my wife in a past life”. Ironically, when we were roommates, I would always call her biwi (Hindi for wife).
In the first past life that I had regressed into, I saw that I was a secret agent, on a mission in Russia where I was finally captured and tortured to death. My best friend, the wife at the time, had left me, unwilling to stand by my side in my life-threatening decisions.
It was her leaving then that had placed a subconscious message in my heart that she might leave me again. It was this thought that challenged our friendship. Even though we were best friends, I had a tough time trusting she would stay that way.
Sure enough, this silly but sweet story brought us closer. I’m married to my husband now, but it was cute to see how our roles keep switching in lifetimes. And even our genders!
Not just that, past life regression showed me why I had an inclination toward Russian history and thriller stories, and why I’d conveniently switch to a faux Russian ‘accent’ in casual conversations.
Would you like to hear more? Okay, one more!
How I Finally Stopped Being Scared of Diving
In my first session, I regressed a total of five lifetimes. They were all tragic in their own ways. But brought me great insight into the trauma I was carrying subconsciously.
One recurring pattern I saw was about drowning. Two of my lifetimes came to an end because I drowned in the deep side of a river and pool. It had to do with swimming and losing control.
Growing up, I used to learn to swim at the YMCA. But every time I was led to the 10-foot diving board, I would panic. My body would freeze, and I would become a fetus in mid-air. I ended up scraping my wrists very badly, twice.
When I finally learned why my inner child took a deep sigh of relief too. She wasn’t scared without reason, was she?
I could go on and on about my regression stories, and the messages I gained from them. But my objective here is to help you understand the beauty and empowerment that comes with all this.
If you have any other questions for me, please drop them in the comments below. I will edit this post to include them, in the due course of time!
UPDATE: I am officially offering past life regression sessions (combined with afterlife regression and soul guide work)! I’d love to support your journey too. You can book your session here.
Vasundhra is the Founder & Writer of My Spiritual Shenanigans. After seeing 11:11 on the clock one fateful night, her life turned around. Ever since, she has been blending modern psychology and ancient spirituality, to help herself and people around the world elevate the quality of their lives.
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