Past Lives: Are they Real?

Past Life Regression: Is It Real? 

by Meredith McDonough, Owner of Higher Vibrations LLC 

Certified Hypnotherapist, Certified Past-Life Regressionist and Certified Past-Life Life Between Lives Regressionist 

Whenever a conversation about past life regression occurs people are often intrigued, finding the subject one of curiosity and fascination.  There is often also a healthy dose of doubt or skepticism.I frequently encounter people who have a genuine curiosity and fascination to explore their past lives by means of a hypnotic regression.  Generally speaking, they fall into two categories:

1) “I absolutely think I had a past life in X time period!” or
2) “I’m curious, hmm but I have apprehensions / resistance / sounds a bit crazy to me, Meredith.” 

Let me begin by saying that past life exploration is something I do, however it is not who I am.  I will not be offended if you don’t think past lives are real.  Past lives are not a religion and have no dogma.  At times, the very term “past life” itself has led clients to question everything they’ve ever known about organized religion and their own religious belief systems.  However, I reply with some parting words that my grandmother often says:“just because you don’t believe in it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.”

A past life regression is the act of going into a hypnotic state  to explore the subconscious mind’s soul memories from previous lives.  Clients often seek out a past life regression because they have been unsuccessful in resolving an issue or conflict by other means.  Others simply desire to explore for fun and curiosity. To illustrate, I describe my personal experience of past life regression in this way: “It’s like a movie playing above my head, very much like day dreaming.  In the movie I am playing someone else who is me but, at the same time, isn’t me.”  However, not everyone experiences past lives in the same way and your experience will be unique to you.  You may interpret visually or by thoughts, feelings or other sensations coming through.  It’s important to be aware of all these different senses and impressions in order to capture the full representations of that time, place and personality. 

Another factor to take into consideration, is that some clients who are not experienced in exploring their past lives can be quick to dismantle the past life information they are receiving and feel as if they are just making it up. This is often due to two reasons:

1)  A high expectation of the experience has been created through reading about past lives, or others experiences. (Sorry not everyone gets to be Cleopatra in a past life, sometimes you’re just going to be a peasant.  I know it’s not sexy, but it is what it is). 

2) Somewhere along the way during the client / practitioner pre-talk there may have been a lack of questioning, either on the client’s part or on the practitioner’s part.  Sometimes the excitement and expectation of the past life regression can overtake both client and practitioner, making it easy to forget to ensure the pre-talk is thorough and clear. As a result, this can lead to a lack of rapport and trust for the client. 

The pre-talk is not just about asking the “standard” questions but is also about asking the questions that will address any areas of concern prior to the client beginning the process.  It’s also necessary to establish what they truly desire to achieve from their session. For example, I will often ask clients about any abuse or trauma that may have occurred in their present life.  Being aware of any such issues means that if a present or past life memory surfaces that is particularly unpleasant or uncomfortable, a safe space can be held for them.  In this way, new insights may be formed and even healing on the traumatic event itself may occur.  It’s not uncommon when I’m in the role of practitioner to ask a client at least three or four times in a pre-talk, “Do you have any questions or concerns that I can answer?”A solution to common obstacles is to educate clients that regressions do not always equate to a past life experience. Often, prior to a past life regression, I will guide clients to a pleasant young adult or childhood memory, depending on their age.  As a result, this “pit stop” will assist in creating a confidence within the client as to how they process information during their past life regression session.

Before people even consider doing a past life regression session they want to know:“How exactly does this work?” 

And the truth of the matter is, nobody really knows the how.   There is no exact science relating to the subject of past lives.  There is simply a general protocol which entails a fluid and flexible approach.  The subconscious mind is not engrained in time or other human-created scientific abstracts.   The only real “proof” is in case studies which are then later backed up by historical validation.  As an example, the famous case of James Leininger, a six year old boy recalling traumatic events of an individual WW2 pilot crash through nightmares. 

In reality, the approach in itself is pretty straightforward and simplistic.  However, the end result often leads to healing outcomes for the client and even for the practitioner.To illustrate, while the client is reclining or lying down, the practitioner guides them into a state of focused relaxation.  Following this, the client’s mind will be directed towards the past, which will be in the form of childhood or young adult memories.  Following the successful revivication of these earlier memories, the client will then be guided through their birth and into a past life.

 At this time the practitioner begins to play detective with questions such as: 

“What are you wearing?”
“If you could have a name, what would others call you?”
“Are you rich or are your poor?”
“Do you feel male or female?”

The client is still able to respond in the deeply relaxed state to such questions.  The role of the practitioner is simply to guide the client along to an open-ended chasm of memories, gathering information from those memories through specific and clean questioning. When all the information has been gathered the practitioner may then guide the client to smooth out any karmic residues.   These could be mental, emotional, physical, or even spiritual matters which may be holding them back or affecting their present life in some way. Upon awakening the practitioner and client will debrief for analysis of the past life and consider any patterns or themes that may be reflected into their present life. 

Although the intention can be to guide the client specifically into a past life, the subconscious mind will go wherever it wants or needs to go.  I’ve had the opportunity to see clients who came in with the intention of exploring a past life and instead traveled to another dimension, and even into the future!  That is where the subconscious mind desired to go and therefore this would have had the most beneficial impact for the client at that time.

To conclude, to be a part of a person’s past life journey is always an honor.  The process itself is a sacred one and at times even an intense one, but always an honor nonetheless.  

After several years as a Certified Regressionist and guiding individuals to tap back into their soul’s past life memories, I can truly say no one session is the same as another and every individual’s experience is a unique one. 

Further Common Questions:

“If I have past lives, am I still me, John Doe, or am I someone else entirely?”
Yes, there is nothing to worry about, you are still you. When tapping into past lives we are simply tapping into the subconscious mind’s soul memories. 

“Will this conflict with me being a good (insert religious belief or label here)?”
Past lives may trigger questions regarding the religious beliefs and dogmas we have been raised with.  How a client views this experience is up to the individual alone to decide. 

“How do I know past lives are real and I’m not just making it up?”
Again, case studies  later validated by historical research are often  our only real “proof in the pudding” indicators. 

Suggested Reading

Mind Probe Hypnosis By Irene Hickman 

Many Lives, Many Masters By Brian L. Weiss M.D.

This writing is dedicated to the memory and appreciation of my mentors Dr. Allen Chips and  Dee Chips, founders of NATH- National Association of Transpersonal Hypnotherapy. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the field of spiritual hypnosis. 

“The materials in the page and this page itself are exclusive copyright of Meredith R. McDonough.  Reproduction of this material is permissible as long as it properly attributed to Meredith R. McDonough with prior written or verbal approval by Meredith R. McDonough.”