THE MEDIUM EXPERIENCE — What It Tells Us About Life….And Death

I have written about the medium experience before– in blog postings as well as my book.  Yet I am continually amazed by them.  They offer a powerful message about existence on both sides of life. 

A recent one was shared by me by a friend, Joan who has been into these studies for decades.  I will guarrantee her credibility ( a topic I have discussed previously).  This is crucial in any discussion of the validity of these medium encounters. 

Joan had a reading with a well known NJ medium (Deborah Sousa)  who described an event that occurred at her  mother’s funeral.  Speaking for the deceased mother, Deborah seems confused by the message she is receiving.  She states that Joan’s  mother is showing her a card written out and placed in her coffin.  There are heart shapes consistent with a Valentine’s Day card and yet she is being shown writing referring to Mother’s Day. 

Joan was completely blown away by this statement.   Indeed, it was completely accurate.  She had intended to give her mom a Valentine’s Day card but was preoccupied by her illness and never did give it to her while alive.  By the time she passed it was approaching Mother’s Day.  Not having another card available, she wrote “Happy Mother’s Day” on the Valentine’s Day card. 

It should be quite obvious that this could not be guessed, fabricated or faked in anyway.  Joan had mentioned the card to a friend just before her reading, suggesting that if THAT message came through it would be an incredible confirmation of her mother’s presence. 

So what is the importance of these experiences.  For those of us who question the tenents of organized religion, for those of us who seek evidence for their beliefs rather than faith…..these bits of experiences ARE powerful evidence for the continuation of consciousness, ie the soul, after physical death. 

And what does THAT do for us?  For one, it should give us the awareness that our lives are not existential accidents.  We may begin to understand that life here is a challenge we are meant to experience.  We need to live our lives fully and completely, viewing the good and bad, the beauty and the ugliness, the joy and despair as necessary for our soul’s journey and evolution. 

In other words, we should understand that the medium experience is evidence that there is more to existence than life as we know it.  Yet we need to be careful not to obsess over that truth.   If we truly experienced the “other side” we might just stop struggling to live this life to the fullest.  

So for those who seek to understand the nature of reality, don’t hesitate to have your own medium experience.  It might just change your perspective on…..everything.


“FORGIVENESS” — A Gift To Ourself

For a moment, think about someone who you do not like. 

Is this feeling connected to some “wrong” they committed towards us? Do we feel disappointed, upset, disrespected by them?  This emotional response seems normal, justified.  Would we like to exact some sort of revenge on them if possible?  Doesn’t this “righteous indignation” somehow seem justified?  Doesn’t it feel like a position of power rather than one of weakness? 

All this may actually be true– at least for the short term.  However, when it persists for a rather extended period of time it actually hurts us. We remain locked into a dark, negative bond with that person we don’t like.  It is a yoke that weighs heavily on our mind– we generate negative thoughts and feelings which ironically affect our attitude towards life in general. It is a karmic quicksand which drags us down.

Supposedly their is an ancient Chinese saying, “it you hate someone you should dig two graves”.  Hatred locks both parties into the realm of dark, negative emotions which is damaging, ultimately self-destructive.

The only solution is forgivenss. 

Now this seems ridiculous at first.  It seems contrary to what is correct and justified.  Yet ultimately it is liberating.  It is a gift to ourselves.  I am referring to a notion of forgivenss which is actually empowering. It is not justification or acceptance for what was done to us.

It acknowledges that the offending individual may be incapable of doing what is correct.  It allows us to view the “other” as frail, impotent, incomplete and fragile.  It gives us an opportunity to regard them not as objects of power but of weakness.  It allows us to feel compassion for their mistakes and mistepps, even towards us. 

It changes our relationship with them.  It immediately releases the power they have over us.  We let go of our anger, our will to revenge.  We recognize the karmic forces that bring ultimate justice will be played out.

We recognize that how they treated us is their karma, how we react is ours.  We are the ones who graciously bestow forgiveness.  We smile at the healing energy that flows over us. They no longer have the power to enrage us, to upset us.

 We have given ourselves a gift of great healing.





EXERCISE & STRESS — At Least In Mice

Does exercise all us to become more “resistent” to stress?  Is it a universal antidote to adversity?  A recent NYTimes article by Gretchen Reynolds seems to support this contention with references to human and mice studies.  The article  emphasizes the rodent “mind-set” by demonstrating how exercise allows submissive mice to rebound from stressful situations more robustly than their  nonexercising colleagues.

As someone who has engaged in moderate exercise for the past 40+ years I would probably agree.  Although I will not stop just now to test the hypothesis.  But in general exercise seems the most reasonable way to achieve a multiplicity of worthwhile goals: 1) burn calories and control weight, 2) maintain cardiovascular health, 3) maintain muscle tone, 4) improve memory ( seems true), 5) reduce anxiety. 

Will it prolong life itself?  Hard to be sure.  But it should improve the quality of whatever time we do have.

SCAPEGOAT, MD — Blaming The Docs

What I continually glean from the media in the ongoing crisis healthcare costs is the central focus on the actions of physicians. 

We are the easy scapegoats that are blamed for much of the woes of contemporary American medicine.  We order too many tests which are self-serving.  We are blamed for generating our income from doing so.

We are paid “fee for service” which someone how implies that we are fixated on our own incomes at the expense of the wellbeing of our patients.  We can be replaced by Nurse Practioners and Physician Assistants without a blink of an eye.  We are deemed to prescribe drugs which are harmful and ineffective because drug reps bring us lunches. 

I have an idea.  Let’s place lawyers, plumbers, electricians and other business men on a straight salary that does not reflect their hard work and productivity.  It its good enough for docs its good enough for everyone else.  Work longer hours, see more patients, take more risks while being paid on a salary?  Don’t expect to see your physician very soon.  Your wait for an office visit, a procedure, an XRay will become very, very long.

Its interesting.  A half a generation ago physicians were somehow held in high regard.  O how the mighty have fallen.  But is this dramatic change in any way warranted?  Well firstly, perhaps physicians were at one time regarded as infallible.  Believe me, we are not.  As members of the race of homo sapiens we suffer from the same failings as everyone else– we are human. 

But what is disturbing to me is the obvious failure of the Obama health plan to address what is clear to the vast majority of clear thinking Americans– the lack of tort reform.  Physicians are expected NOT to order tests, call consultations, repeat procedures etc. etc. yet have no relief from the constant fear of “missing something” and being sued, however remote.  Failure to order a test, a scan, a new procedure, is the fear of being called up on a malpractice suit to testify why we didn’t do so.  The response that it was “expensive” and might exacerbate the financial status of the system is no defense at all. 

Lawyers have long ago indoctrinated the American public with their self-serving mantra implying that the right to sue is God given, or at least inherent in the Declaration of Independence.  Perhaps so, but what is wrong with directing patients complaints to a panel of experts. 

Yet Obama’s failure to address this problem speaks to his failure to dismiss the influence of the trial lawyers on his political fate. He is not an impartial broker in the health care debate.

 Take the right to sue out of the courtroom and perhaps physicians will practice less defensively.  But for now it is easier  to blame the scapegoat  for the crisis in healthcare costs.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU BELIEVE — Healing Through Letting Go

You are what you think. 

Many philosophical traditions, Buddhism included point to the centrality of mind in creating our own personal realities.  A recent NYTimes article by Nicholas Bakalar points to a particular study relating the perception of stress with subsequent mortality. 

The belief that we are stressed is itself a powerful stressor and therefore a risk factor for illness.  So of course we need to address the sources of our personal stress.  But then, perhaps as important, we need to change our attitude towards that stress.  But self-identifying as victims we wind up predicting our actual fates.  We need to release the belief that we are the sufferers of stress. 

Let go of the belief that we are stressed out and we might be less so– and live longer, healthier lives.