I've been a professional psychic for over 30 years. I read cards, I channel information directly from Spirit, I communicate with people who have passed on. These are all ways that I get information from "the other side," the non-physical realm. I can also contact people who are still alive but not present, if they have information they can share.

In this blog I intend to share information about what I do so that people who might need my services can find out about me, and also to help people who are interested in doing similar work.

People often ask me how I got into this line of work, so here's my background in a nutshell:

As a small child, I was able to hold two-way conversations with plants and animals. Growing up, I often knew what other people were thinking and feeling, but I assumed that was normal and thought nothing of it. When I was 38 I met a professional psychic who taught me to read playing cards and urged me to share my gifts by offering psychic readings to the public. In the course of doing readings with the cards, I gradually found out that I could do other things like channel Spirit or communicate with the dead. Somewhere along the line I learned to work with other spirits or energies and do things like clear houses and other spaces. I'll be writing articles about each of these aspects of my work; if you get tired of waiting feel free to ask questions.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Psychic Fair Fun!

The way we did psychic fairs in Texas, each reader had a “front” table, about 6 feet long, where we’d place brochures, flyers, or whatever, and then we did the readings at a smaller table behind the front table. People who were visiting the fair would walk around and look at the stuff on the front tables to decide which readers they wanted to see.

Usually there would also be flowers or some sort of decorative something-or-other on the front table, and at one fair I decided to put a dragon statue on my front table. This was a very relaxed-looking dragon, lying in a circle with its tail at its head, kind of like a big old dog lying in front of a fireplace, and I put a quartz crystal in the circle that the dragon made with its body. It didn’t mean anything at all, it was just d├ęcor.

During the course of the fair, this one particular fellow was strolling around looking at the readers, and he stopped at my table and looked at my dragon. He smiled and said, “He doesn’t look very fierce.” I replied, as deadpan as I could, “He may not look fierce, but if I were you I wouldn’t touch that crystal, ‘cause he WILL take your finger off.”

 I naturally assumed he would know I was kidding. But when I said that he got this dazed look on his face, his eyes kind of glazed over and, without saying a single word, he just turned and walked off! I don’t have any idea what was going on in his head, but he did NOT touch that crystal! J

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Being psychic and serving on a jury

Being psychic and serving on a jury
In Texas, potential jurors fill out and mail in questionnaires ahead of time, with all their personal information. So when I got to the courtroom on the day I was called as a potential juror in a civil trial, the judge and all the lawyers knew ahead of time that I was a professional psychic. I tend to think of those legal types as being too stodgy to want me on a jury, so I figured I would be eliminated right off the bat. But to my surprise, nobody asked me any questions and I was picked to serve.

A few days later, after the trial was over, the judge came to me in the jury room and said with a smile, “So I guess you knew how that was going to turn out all along, huh?” I was totally shocked, of course, but I said, “No, I knew the plaintiff was an honest man and I knew the defendant was not, but I didn’t have a clue how the other jurors would see things.” Then the judge said to me, “After jury selection was over, I told those lawyers, ‘I can’t believe you’re going to let a professional psychic be on the jury and you didn’t ask him a single question!’ And the defense lawyer said, ‘I was afraid to ask him anything because I didn’t know what he might say.’ But the plaintiff’s lawyer said, ‘I was shooting questions at him in my head and I liked what he was answering.’ “ 

I didn’t even know what to say to that! The defense attorney was afraid to talk to me and the plaintiff’s attorney was communicating with me telepathically, or so he thought, and the judge thought the whole thing was funny! So much for stodgy legal types!

Animal Healing: the Grackle

A fun story of healing for a dreary day: The Grackle.
One day while I was driving, I saw a grackle, which is a black bird that's very common in the Austin area. He apparently had a broken wing, and he was running around the intersection of Highway 290 and IH35 with his wing sticking straight out in the air. It was obvious that he would not survive very long like that, so I stopped, got a towel out of the car, and began chasing him all around the intersection, much to the amusement of the drivers who were stopped for the light! That bird could really run! But after about 10 minutes, I finally caught him in the towel, took him home, and put him in a cardboard box. I made a call to Wildlife Rescue to let them know I had a bird that needed doctoring and to find out what to feed him while I had him. (While anybody who's been around Austin very long knows that grackles are real big on french fries and hamburgers, I figured maybe there was something that was better for him. Turns out the preferred diet for a grackle is dry cat food with a bowl of water to dunk it in!) In a couple of days, I got a call to take him to a very nice young lady named Mary, so I went to her house and left the bird, the box, and some good wishes.
I didn't do any healing on the bird while I had him, because of the way his wing was sticking out; he obviously needed some physical doctoring done first. But after a day or so, I called Mary to see what the his status was. She said that she had taped the wing into place, and there was really nothing more that could be done, except for just waiting and hoping that the wing would heal. (Seemed to me like an "iffy" proposition at best, but what do I know?) I explained to her that I was a healer, and that I would like to work with the bird, if it was okay with her. She had never heard of anything like that, but she had no objections, so I headed back to her house. When I got there, she took me into the room where she had the grackle in a cage. His wing was taped down to his side, and he was hopping all over the place. She explained that when grackles are caged, they constantly hop around, looking for a way out, and rarely settle down. I wouldn't say that he was frantic, just very determined! Before I knew what she was doing, she opened the cage and took the bird out. She held him in both hands, while he thrashed his head around constantly, opening and closing his mouth, like he was trying to bite something, anything! He was very intense! For no specific reason, I held my hand above the bird, palm down. When I did, he stopped moving, and froze in mid-bite, with his mouth open. As soon as I took my hand away, he resumed his thrashing. She put him back in the cage, and left the room so I could do my work.
As the bird hopped relentlessly around the cage, I sat down on the floor across from him and got settled. As soon as I began to make the energetic connection with him, he stopped moving and stared at me, with his eyes wide open. I worked with that formerly-hyperactive creature for about ten minutes, and for that entire time, he never moved a muscle, he never even blinked! He just stood there and stared at me. When I finished my work and broke the connection, he immediately began jumping around the cage again, and he was still doing that the last time I saw him. I told Mary it was all up to the bird now, and I left.
A month or two later, I was very surprised to get a call from Mary; she said she was just wondering if I would like to hear what happened to the grackle. Of course, I said yes, and so she told me the most amazing story. After she had kept his wing bandaged for what seemed like "long enough," the only way to find out whether he was okay was to turn him loose, and see if he could fly. (Again, the iffy-ness of this whole process just blows me away!) So she took him, in his box, down to the grounds of the state capital, because there are many other grackles there, along with lots of other kinds of birds. It's like a huge green lawn, shaded by giant trees. As she carried the box to a nice, open area in the shade and set it down, she noticed lots of birds approaching her, some flying, some walking, as if they were coming to see what she was doing. With her audience watching from a safe distance, the moment of truth was at hand. She opened the box, stood back, and waited to see what the grackle would do. I'll never forget her words, or the excitement in her voice, as she told me what happened when he came out of the box: "He flew away, just as pretty as you please! And all the other birds flew after him, like he was Jesus!!!"
Wow! Well, that was exciting enough, all on its own; we helped that bird get back his freedom and, really, his life. But there was more. It turns out that Mary has doctored quite a few wild birds with broken wings, and never had a single one heal well enough that she could release it! Her conclusion about our experience with the grackle was very gratifying for me: "That must be pretty good stuff you do." I'd have to say all of us... Mary, the grackle, and Spirit included... did some pretty good work that time.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Bernice the Tattle-Tale Bromeliad

I am always surprised by our interactions with plants and animals.

When Jill and I moved to NC, all of our plants had to stay in Austin except Bernice, our huge bromeliad, whom we brought with us in the form of just one of her cups in a little plastic bag. (Yes her name is Bernice; you have to name your plants. :) )

Bernice is now huge again, and she lives in a pot in our sunroom with a bunch of other plants. It’s been my wife’s practice for some time now to water them all on Sundays and mist them in between. Her practice for watering Bernice has been to put her in the sink and spray her so that all the cups are filled with water just as they would be if she were out in the rain.

Well, as some of you know, my father-in-law had an accident some time back and Jill stayed with her mother until her father could come home. That meant that watering the plants became my job; no problem because I’ve been a plant person for many years. My method for watering Bernice was different from my wife’s. Because Bernice is so big, when you put her in the sink, her cups are everywhere: in the dish drain, on the counter, hanging out over the floor. Plus, when you bring her back from the sink, you have to be careful of water dripping on the floor. So I just watered her in the sunroom and because I know that all her cups need water in them, I used a measuring cup with a spout and put water in each cup as well as the pot itself. Mission accomplished, no muss, no fuss, plant’s needs taken care of. At least, that’s the way I did it at first!

One weekend my wife actually got to spend the weekend at home (!!!) and on Sunday she watered the plants, including putting Bernice in the sink and spraying her. Later we were talking about something and she said, “Oh, by the way, do you put Bernice in the sink when you water her?” I said No, and I told her how I do it. She said, “Oh my god, she told me you were doing that!!!” I said something along the lines of, “Huh?” She said, “Yes, she said you weren’t putting her in the sink! She misses it; she says it’s like being out in the rain!”

Busted, I said, “(sigh) O…kay.” So, the following Sunday, I carried Bernice to the sink and gave her a good spraying. She smiled. Bernice the Tattle-tale Bromeliad.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Plant Songs

Every creature that exists has a song. Your song is like your energy signature, it’s your passion, it’s what makes you you. And it’s like a fingerprint: no two are alike. People, animals, plants, rocks, a mountain ridge, a creek… we all have a song.

Last night I was pondering songs and I wondered about the songs of some of the plants I had been working with in the yard. So I went looking for songs and this is what I found.

The Morning Glory on my fence has a song that’s from the heart; it’s serene, it’s love, and it flows like water, just as its vine flows along, up, down, and around. I’ve always loved Morning Glories, and that song just feels right.

The Rose of Sharon, on the other hand, is very staid and stout. It is PLANTED, by God, GROUNDED in the Earth! Steady as a rock! It was amazing how emphatic that plant was that it was grounded, solid, and fixed. Reminded me of an English colonel with a monocle and a handlebar mustache. Not what I would have expected from a plant with such beautiful flowers, but what do I know?

And my favorite song of the three, the flowering ornamental Cherry that I posted about yesterday, the riot of pink that makes everyone ooh and ahh. When I tuned in to its song I immediately saw dancing feet! That tree was dancing a jig, or a jitterbug, or whatever it is that Snoopy does in the Charlie Brown comic strip! I tell you, that is one happy tree! And it lives right outside our window! Yay!

Tuning in to the song of natural entities is another fascinating way of communicating with Nature. If that interests you, or if you have questions, I invite you to check out the articles on my website or email me.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Lesson from a cherry tree



The photo shows what we see from our sunroom every spring: These magnificent flowering cherries burst into bloom and fill our window with this beautiful sea of pink. After a few weeks the flowers begin to fall and the deck and the ground are covered in pink. It's wonderful!

If you look closely you can see that there are actually 2 cherry trees, one behind the other. And even though they both contribute to the beauty outside our window, we tend to "see" only the closest one and think in terms of "tree" instead of "trees." 

So yesterday I had a talk with the far cherry tree and told it that we appreciate it just as much as the closer one, and apologized for the fact that it sort of gets overlooked. It's response was, "Don't worry about whether or not I feel appreciated; that doesn't matter. I do what I do for myself."

What a wonderful state of mind! To produce so much beauty and do it only for self-satisfaction rather than to get approval from others! I think it's normal to want to be appreciated for the things we do, but I also think that we'd all be healthier and happier if we could have the same attitude as that tree.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

With a little help from our friends


I had a new client the other day and, as I do with all new clients, I asked her how she found me. She said, “Your website.” I said, “Yes, but how did you find my website?” She said, “I just typed in ‘best psychic in Asheville’ and you popped right up.” I just smiled and looked at her. She said, “Really!” So I said okay and we did the reading.
After we finished and she left, I went to my computer and I typed in, “best psychic in Asheville” and I did NOT pop right up. smile emoticon But, on the other hand, she was very moved by the reading and it seemed to be just what she needed, so I guess “somebody” really wanted her to find me.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Clairvoyance

It's very interesting being a psychic; you see things that you never could imagine. 

One time a man came to me to see if I could find his lost dog. He brought some toys and other items that belonged to the dog, and we sat down to see what I could see. At first I was just seeing red dirt roads, which made sense because he lived in a rural area about 30 miles from town. Then I saw a couple distinctive landmarks that he said were pretty close to his house. So far so good. Suddenly I stopped and said, “This can’t be right!” 

I was seeing an old cabin that looked like it came out of a western movie. It had a long low wooden porch that was about 6 inches off the ground, with posts that looked like tree branches holding up the porch roof, and there was a donkey walking out of the front door of that cabin onto the porch!! 

I told him what I saw and he said, “Oh, yeah, I know that cabin.” I said, “You know that cabin?!” And he said, “Yeah.” And I said, “And they have a DONKEY in the house???!!!” And he said, “Yeah.” Calm as you please, like it was normal. So I said, “Well, your dog’s in that cabin. She’s lying on a rug in the cabin, just looking around. She seems to be fine, she’s just a little confused about why she’s there.” 

So he said thank you and left and I stood there, shaking my head, still not quite able to grasp having a donkey in your house! (And I still can’t.)

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Thoughts on the afterlife

I was sitting here listening to John Denver at 1:30 in the morning and pondering things, like how so many people still love his music after he's been gone all this time. And how it's a common thing for people to think that they would like to be remembered like that after they die; to have people fondly remember who they were or what they did. As if they will "look down" and feel good about it when they're gone.

Of course, they won't. After being gone just a short time, they just won't care at all what they did when they were alive or what people think (or thought) of them. They won't have the slightest bit of interest.

So while we who are still in this life remember them, or read their books, or listen to their music, and think about them, they're on to newer, bigger, and better things and not giving a single thought to us! Not one!


I find that fascinating!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Developing Your Psychic Abilities- Part 3: Chakras


This is actually just a cursory look at the chakras, even if the article seems a little on the long side. If you're interested mainly in ways to take care of them, there are processes below.


Chakras are energy centers located throughout the body. They are bridges between our energy body and physical body, and also between us and Spirit. Each chakra is connected, by a fine thread of light or energy, to each of the other chakras and also to all other living things. All of creation is a web of energy, and our chakras are our points of connection to that web.

Although there are many chakras in your body, there are 7 main ones that are often talked about, and they are located more or less as you see in the illustration. They are traditionally numbered 1 to 7, with 1 being between your legs, “pointed” at the Earth, and 7 being at the crown of your head.

Each chakra performs a range of functions for you, and there are many places where you can read about that, so I’m going to mention each one only briefly. Even though we say “this chakra is associated with so-and-so,” the fact is they are connected to each other, their functions blend, and they depend on each other.
            The first chakra, also called the root chakra, is associated with survival. It connects you to the Earth, your ultimate source of support.
            The second chakra is located about midway between the navel and pubic bone and is associated with sexuality and creativity.
            The third chakra is located between the sternum and navel and is associated with your personal power (or lack thereof).
            The fourth chakra, the heart chakra, is located midway in the chakras, and is sort of their “hub:” if it isn’t working well, none of the chakras will function perfectly.
            The fifth chakra, the throat chakra, is associated with voice and expression. Because it is connected with how you express yourself in the world, it also has to do with manifesting.
            The sixth chakra, sometimes called the Third Eye, is located between and slightly above the eyes. It’s associated with knowledge and the ability to “see” things that aren’t normally seen, hence its traditional association with psychic abilities.
            The seventh chakra, the crown chakra, is one of your main connection points with Spirit and a major route for channeling energy for healing and also for channeling information.

Because of the important role they play in our lives, it’s important that the chakras be kept “clean” and functioning properly.  There are all manner of things that can block or interfere with the functioning of a chakra. Things like negativity, unhappiness, or our reactions to daily life can have a negative effect on our chakras. But the chakras are also affected by major events that shape our lives, whether trauma from childhood or life-altering experiences later on. So it’s very common to have chakras that aren’t in optimal shape. For healing the effects of major life influences, it’s a good idea to seek out someone who’s knowledgeable about doing it, but it’s also true that there are simple things you can do for yourself to help your chakras. It’s kind of like your teeth: Sometimes you need to go to the dentist, but flossing and brushing at home is still a really good idea.
  


So what sorts of things can you do to help keep your chakras functioning properly?


Smudging, which I talked about here.

Visualizations. You can do these sitting, standing, or lying down; it really doesn’t matter. Starting at either the top or bottom of your body, visualize each chakra as a circle of colored light that goes all the way through your body from front to back (so sort of a “tunnel” of colored light). The size really doesn’t matter; bigger isn’t better. If it seems that there are dark specks or spots in the chakra, or anything except pure color, imagine yourself picking the spots out and getting rid of them. When you can see the chakra as pure clean color, just hold that image for a minute or so, then go on to the next chakra. The colors that are generally associated with the chakras are:
1st chakra: red
2nd chakra: orange
3rd chakra: yellow
4th chakra: green
5th chakra: “electric” blue
6th chakra: indigo blue
7th chakra: violet

Chakra mantras. There is a mantra, or sound, associated with each chakra. Reciting these mantras will help to get your chakras balanced and aligned. The mantras for chakras 1-6 rhyme with the name “Tom.” Be sure that you don’t drop the final “m” when saying the mantra; pronounce it fully. The mantras are:
1st chakra: Lam
2nd chakra: Vam
3rd chakra: Ram
4th chakra: Yam
5th chakra: Ham
The mantra for the 6th chakra is the familiar “Om.
For the 7th chakra, I like to chant Om Mani Padme Hum.

Some people like to recite each mantra 3 times, others say 9 times. I start with the 1st chakra and say each one 3 times before moving on to the next. You may be able to feel the chakra “vibrate” when you say (or even think) the mantra. When I first started using these mantras, I lost the paper telling me which mantra went with which chakra, and I was able to tell which was which by the feeling in the chakras as I said the mantras.

If you’re interested in doing psychic work, it’s important to keep your chakras as healthy as possible. These practices are a good step in that direction.






Monday, February 16, 2015

Working inside a copper pyramid


I had a chance yesterday to sit in a copper pyramid, and it was impressive!

I first read about copper pyramids over 20 years ago and the claims they made about them sounded pretty interesting. But it was sort of a how-to-build-it book and there wasn't anything about somebody who was actually doing it, and that was long before the internet. I even built a desktop-sized model that was actually a cube with a pyramid top. It was about 15" tall overall and was made of copper tubing. Couldn't exactly sit inside it! So when I saw pictures of Dichro Glassman sitting inside his beautiful wood-and-copper pyramid on facebook, and saw that it was in the Asheville area, my first question was, "Can we see it?"

Well, ask and you shall receive! That was only 4 days ago and as luck (or fate) would have it, yesterday I got my first chance to sit inside of a copper pyramid!

As soon as I climbed in, I could feel the energy. I was left alone to spend a little time there so the first thing I did was lie down with my head to the north. It was very relaxing and pretty soon I realized I was softly chanting. Now, chanting or toning is something I often do when I'm doing healing work; I don't know where it comes from (other than Spirit), it just presents itself and I allow it to come out. In this case, I was already doing it before I became aware that I was doing it. That's a first! After a while I sat up in the center of the pyramid, and the energy started running through my crown chakra. It was very impressive.

Later Steve (Dichro Glassman) put some music on (there are speakers in the four corners of the pyramid) and I lay down again. With the music playing, it was even more relaxing, and I felt compelled to go into the chanting again. It was a very pleasant, soothing experience and I could have stayed there for a long time. I can see the pyramid being a wonderful place for meditation or for healing work. And we're already planning on doing some psychic readings inside the pyramid; that should be interesting!

So, after 20 or so years, my first experience with a copper pyramid was worth the wait! There's a lot of powerful energy there, and I'm looking forward to working (and playing) with it again. Thanks a lot, Dichro Glassman!







Saturday, February 7, 2015

Developing Your Psychic Abilities- Part 2: Learning to Feel Energy


In this post I'm going to talk about learning to feel energy.

When doing psychic work it’s common to feel energy in various places throughout your body: 
  • When channeling Spirit, you can feel the energy coming into your crown chakra. 
  • When channeling energy for healing, you feel that coming in, possibly through your crown or your heart, and coming out your hands usually. 
  • When clearing a space, it’s the energy that you feel that lets you know what and where there are things that need attention. 
  • When doing healing or clearing on a person, it’s common to feel energy in parts of your body that correspond to parts of the other person’s body that need work.


So it’s good to be familiar with what energy feels like if you want to do these kinds of things because what you feel tells you what’s going on or what you need to do.  The more experienced you are with it the more you can channel, and the easier it is.

I mentioned chakras. Chakras are the bridges between our physical body and energy body and also between us and spirit so it’s important that they work well. I’m going to cover more about chakras in future posts but for now I’m just going to talk about simply getting familiar with what energy feels like.

The simplest way to learn to feel energy is with your hands, and the simplest way to tell you how to do this is to just show you. As you see in the video, you simply hold your hands a foot or less apart, and move them slowly closer together and further apart. As you move them, focus on what you feel in your hands. You’re looking for the spot at which you feel what most people describe as the feeling of moving two magnets together: a sort of push-pull. This is the energy of your body; your body’s energy field.

Once you feel this the first time, it’s easy after that and there are little things you can do to help you get more familiar with it.
  • You’ll find that you can easily increase the distance and get your hands further and further apart while still feeling the energy.
  • You might find it interesting to do this while a friend holds their hand between yours, and see what each of you feels.
  • You can do it with a friend, where you kind of play patty-cake but instead of patting your hands together, you each feel the energy of the other’s hands.

 Well that’s all for now. I’ll probably be talking about chakras next time. As usual, if you have any questions, feel free to comment or email me.



Sunday, February 1, 2015

Developing Your Psychic Abilities- Part 1: Get into the right state



This is the first of a series of posts on developing your psychic abilities. I plan to write about card reading, channeling energy, channeling Spirit, communicating with plants and animals, space clearing, and other things. I’m going to write as if you don’t have any experience at all with this type of work so, if you do, use my processes, or not, as you see fit. Also, I don’t have any specific order in mind for these posts, so if there’s something you’re particularly interested in seeing, drop me an email and I’ll see what I can do. (I won’t pass your email on to anybody else and I won’t use it to spam you.)

So let’s get right to it.

The first step in doing any kind of psychic work is to get into the right space: calm, quiet, receptive.  Since this is the first post in this series, the first thing I’m going to cover is my process for getting into that space. It’s a ritual I follow when I’m in my office; if I’m working in a different place or outdoors, I vary the process. With experience you learn what to do and when.

There are certain stones that are helpful for getting into the right space because they raise the frequency of your body. The higher your frequency, the more clearly you can receive energy or information when it comes to you. The stones I prefer are kyanite and sugilite. They both perform the same function; sometimes I feel like using one and sometimes I feel like using the other. You just hold them in your hand while you’re working. You can also wear them as jewelry, as long as they’re touching your skin.

The first step in my process is to smudge. Smudging is using smoke to clear your energy field and I’ve covered that here. My personal preference is to use white sage, although sometimes I use Palo Santo, which is a very fragrant wood. (If you come to my office for a reading, you won’t see me smudge, but that’s only because I’ve done it beforehand.)

The next step is getting quiet and still. Sit, get comfortable, relax heavily into your chair, with both feet flat on the ground, legs uncrossed. Put your hands in your lap; don’t cross your arms or fingers. Close your eyes, quiet your mind, breathe easily, and it may help to just observe your breathing. Once you’re used to it, it takes less than a minute to get into that space.

Doing these things will put you in the right energetic state for communicating with Spirit, and that’s what psychic work is. My next post will be out soon. In the meantime, feel free to ask me any questions that come up for you, and if you feel like dropping me a note I'd love to hear where you're reading this from.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Herbal Healing Bath

I just finished a wonderful and powerful herbal healing bath, which was put together for me as a Christmas present by my very talented and knowledgeable wife, Jill.

For those of you who like to know such things, it contained horsetail, wormwood, lemon verbena, skullcap, pink roses, rehmannia, angelica root, celery seed, dandelion root, white willow bark, and baikal. Also essential oils of juniper berry, hyssop, balsam fir, tangerine, fennel, cypress, lavender, and spearmint. Also flower essences of aspen and olive and, to top it all off, quartz, pearl, kyanite, and sugilite.

These particular plants and stones, in this combination, help to generate and increase qualities of openness and expansiveness in the recipient. Thank you, Jill, for a wonderful experience!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Learning to be Present, Calm, and At Peace



Being present means being right here right now; it means being in your body. If you’re present you're paying attention to what you're doing. All your focus is on what you’re doing. If your mind wanders off to something else, or the past, or the future, you're no longer present, you're no longer in your body.

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I first read Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now about 15 years ago. (If you haven’t read this wonderful book, he talks about how being present is the key to being calm, at peace, and even enlightened, and how the mind can destroy all these things with its ceaseless yammering and worrying.) I recognized the validity of his message within a few minutes of opening the book but I can't really say that it changed my life in any way. I practiced his techniques for being present but they didn't stick with me for more than a few minutes. My mind was always in the past or the future, not in the Now.

A few years ago I got the audio version of the book and listened to it. Again I recognized the truth of what he says, and as I listened there were so many points that struck me as particularly important that I began to write them down so I wouldn't forget them. But there were so many that I filled page after page with these things that I didn't want to forget, until there were so many that they were no longer special and each new one pushed one of the older ones out of my head and it became pointless to write them down. He says that being present feels good, that it makes you calm and peaceful, but doing the techniques he teaches made me anxious, not calm. There were too many techniques to practice, and too many things to remember.

Reaching the end of the book, I started again from the beginning, deciding to just listen this time. In Chapter 6 he talks about the body and how important the body is to becoming enlightened. There were certain passages that seemed particularly important and I played them over and over. “Your inner body lies at the threshold between your form identity and your essence identity, your true nature. Never lose touch with it.” He talks about how very important it is to stay firmly rooted in your body, and that if you’re thinking about the past or the future you're not in your body. I had found my big ah-ha! Forget all those other techniques; focus on the body, stay in the body!

I began to practice being aware of what my body was doing. Walking, sitting, doing things, I tried to stay aware of just what it was I was doing, rather than letting my mind wander. If I suddenly realized that I was thinking about the past or the future, I put my attention back on what I was actually doing. I actively practiced being aware of the inner energy field of my body, and I noticed that after keeping my attention there a short amount of time I did indeed feel calm and relaxed, just as Eckhart said. I began practicing relaxing deeply whenever I sat, putting my attention on my body and feeling my energy body. Finally, one day, I was having a particularly hectic day and, without even intending to, I sat and went into my inner energy body just to stop my mind and get away from everything. When I realized what I had done, I knew this was a milestone! Instead of being a foreign technique that I was forcing myself to practice, it had become a part of me that I turned to, without thinking, when I needed it.

Now, almost every time I sit, I automatically relax deeply into my body and feel my energy body. I’m much calmer in general and when I do get upset about something (and I do!), it’s not as deep and doesn’t last as long. My mind spends much less time in the past and the future, and more time focused on what I’m doing.

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If being present is something you’re having difficulty with (or if you’ve never even tried), let me offer these specific suggestions:
  • Sit and notice what your body is doing. What are your hands doing, what are your legs doing, what is your facial expression? Relax so much that it feels like your whole body is sinking into your butt. What does your body feel like? Can you feel your inner energy field? (Don’t worry if you don’t know what that means; you’ll find out.)
  • Walk into the other room. Notice your arms move as you walk. What does your head do? What does the floor feel like under your feet? If you move from hardwood to carpet (or whatever), notice how it feels different.
  • As you’re reading this, notice what your body is doing. Your hands. Your legs. Notice if you turn your head as you read the screen.
  • Ask Spirit (or whatever your preferred word is) to make you aware when you’re wasting time by being in the past or the future. When it happens, put your attention on whatever your body is doing at that moment.

When you do any of these little exercises, if that’s all you’re thinking about, you are totally present at that specific time. The more you do things like these, the more you get used to being present, and the more natural it becomes.

It’s strangely calming and gratifying to just watch your hands putting dishes in the cupboard, or to feel your feet touch the floor as you walk, and not be thinking about something else. The bottom line is, it feels good to be present. I highly recommend it!


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Follow-up readings

I love getting those calls where the person says, "Hi, John, you did a reading for me (2 years ago, 6 months ago, whatever) and I just found out you were right about everything so I want to schedule a followup reading." 
I did one of those followups last night. Her initial reading was 2 years ago, and just recently the things I had told her were going to happen did happen, even though they seemed unlikely at the time of that first reading.
I recently did a followup for a client whose initial reading was 5 years ago, and she called me when my (unlikely) prediction came true.
It's so gratifying when clients share these things with me.