A Channel is Born: From Sensitive Child to Spiritual Counselor
For 30 years clients have come to me for counseling in a mode known as conscious channeling. The conscious part is that “I” never had to go into a trance while another entity from some other century or planet entered me and took over my body. I didn’t speak in a weird voice or lose memory for hours while in sessions. Fully conscious, I’d simply sincerely request that the ego part of me bow out, wait for the channel to ‘open’ and allow higher wisdom to come through me with unencumbered clarity.
The channeling part is the idea that there is another entity or energy without a physical form that comes into and speaks through the channel, who is receptive psychically. Similar to a medium, a channel acts as a conduit and liaison between beings in spirit and beings on the earth plane.
One issue that has arisen over the years is that a highly discriminating process is required to find an inflow of consciousness that is safe and truly worthy of channeling. I’ve experienced many confused and limited beings in non-physical form who’ve wanted to speak through me. Not all non-physical beings or ‘spirits’ are necessarily highly evolved. I had to learn, early on, an exacting level of discernment and find the right questions to test these entities. Only then would I offer myself as a channel to a being I completely respected and trusted.
I’m ready now to share my ‘life after channeling’. A deep shift has changed my life, enhanced my counseling work and altered my perception of what channeling is. I have always wanted to serve, heal and help others, thinking this desire would lead me to a professional life in medicine or mental health. A different path has unfolded. The story, though, needs to start from the beginning in order to make sense.
Sensitive Child, Psychic Perceptions
Childhood was a difficult time for me. I was a moody and sensitive child often stricken with migraine spells that began with visual lights and images and escalated to hellish pain and panic. My mother took me to doctors and always the same diagnosis was offered: highly sensitive with classical migraine. No relief… though once in a while the pain would become so intense that I’d leave my body behind and, lifted out of the pain, would find a vast comforting presence that I could rest in. This became a very close and personal relationship with what I considered God.
In my teens I started to know what other people were thinking and when they were lying. I kept this to myself and wrote it off as an overly vivid imagination.
By the time I was in college, the experiences I was having were not explainable by conventional understanding and I thought I was losing my mind. Blocks of time would disappear and I would find myself someplace not remembering how I got there. I became highly fearful and insomniac after seeing non-physical beings around me and hearing them tell me things. Meanwhile the migraine episodes were escalating in severity and I didn’t feel like I would live much longer.
I had the good fortune to be befriended by a Professor from India who led me to meditation. Already for several years I had been reading about Eastern mysticism and Buddhism, so learning to meditate was interesting to me. Within weeks, my level of stress had lessened and I could feel some balance being restored. Meditation became a key part of my days, and a lifeline to a greater sense of stability than I had experienced before. This timing was very fortuitous since in the years to follow I would need every bit of stability meditation offered.
When I was 20 my mother died from a fast and rare cancer and, in my grief, I left school. I was like a ship without its moorings. I sought out a spiritualist church that would, supposedly, contact my mother’s spirit for me. What got set off instead was a very dangerous period when my emotional vulnerability allowed for some psychic disturbance to enter my field.
Every night I would be visited by beings that would try to pull me out of my body. I would wake up unable to move or make a sound. Very terrifying. I didn’t realize at that time how psychically open I was. Meditation was a saving grace and helped me regain myself slowly.
Finding Teachers, Off to India
Within four years after my mother died (a time I can hardly remember) I moved to Seattle. Three different people I knew from three different areas of my life all mentioned the same therapist to me, so it appeared I was being led to a relevant next step.
This therapist helped me over the next year to stabilize myself and learn how to get grounded. He was a former minister who had gotten interested in Eastern religions and became an important mentor to me. After our professional relationship was complete, he introduced me to the teachings of a master teacher in India. I immediately read everything by him I could find.
The first time I tried the recommended method of meditation,
I had a visitation from this teacher who showed me, “See, you
have a hole in your heart where all the energy leaks out. Lay down, child.” I watched him run his hands over my heart and seal the wound. For days,
I wept tears of thankfulness. I recognized him as my teacher and immediately began to feel stronger. Through a series
of seemingly miraculous, synchronistic events I had everything I needed within
a year to be on my way to India to be with him. I was carried on my journey by a heart bursting with longing for union with God.
All this is just to say that everything that had come before led me right to that moment when I would be brought to India, home of my first awakening, and meet this teacher. I was 26 years old.
There are enough of my luminous stories about Baba and my experiences at the Ashram to fill a book, so I’ll cut to the chase and explain what led to my opening.
After getting accustomed to the rigorous schedule that kept the 800 people at the Ashram working together like a well-oiled machine, I began to deepen in my practices: seva (service or work), meditation and chanting filled my days.
After a particularly potent period of sadhana (spiritual practices), I began to see beautiful scintillating, colorful lights swirling in large, arcing circles in my peripheral vision. I was hearing mantras constantly being chanted in my head (even while I was asleep, though it was a very unusual kind of sleep, somewhat awake always). If I made eye contact with anyone, the energy coming from their eyes would make me swoon and start to pass out. After many days of this, a piercing migraine-type of headache began and lasted for days. I could only cry and wail as the throbbing pain ripped through my head and had me convinced I would die before the next dawn.
Fortunately there was a nurse at the Ashram clinic who was able to do some hands-on healing and offered me some small relief. She took me to Baba, who told me many things—the nutshell being that no, I wasn’t going insane or suffering from a brain tumor (as I thought). Rather, all of these manifestations were the Divine energy (Shakti) at work and that I needed to surrender and let it happen. He told me I needed to cool my system, gave me an ayurvedic remedy to eat and took me off all practices. I was eventually able to participate in the Ashram programs again. Only years later, upon meeting the same nurse back in Seattle, did I learn that she remembered me as the one whose third eye had opened.
Time to Wake Up!~
Opening and Learning
Soon afterward a group from the ashram accompanied Baba on a spiritual pilgrimage (yatra) to his favorite spiritual sites in Maharashtra state. To this day, I consider that journey a turning point and an important part of my destiny. After visiting many amazing temples and sites, we came to Nasik where Rama (of the ancient text, the Ramayana) and his consort, Sita, were banished to the forest for 14 years.
We visited their cavelike home, crawling through narrow, dark passageways and then visited Rama’s huge temple. The sense of holy presence was very strong and I fell into an altered state. I began to hear a voice speaking to me and followed the directions I received. Walking alone, winding in and out of the backstreets of this ancient city, I found myself at a tall iron fence that seemed to be at the perimeter of a park.
I looked beyond the fence and there was Baba sitting on a bench. He turned that moment and looked right at me… and stayed calmly looking at me as tears streamed down my face. Hundreds of people were gathered at the park gateway to get a glimpse of him and I stood alone, having been led step-by-step to the opposite, far side of the city park where he sat. I felt I was being told something big had happened and that I could trust this voice that was leading me.
That same voice has spoken through me in countless counseling sessions ever since. It has taken me time to learn the process of channeling information and energy for others and how to not get in the way of that pure flow. I have since worked with ‘Spiritual Emergence’ networks, helped exorcise individuals and homes with attached spirits, worked with therapists who specialized in cult-related issues, counseled in the capacity of a medical intuitive and channeled a book in three months while under the guidance of a departed Native American teacher.
There is much more to say about these experiences and how they evolved over the years. I look forward to sharing more in this Spiritual Counseling and Conscious Channeling series.