Visions from a Past Life?

Oh Love, whenever I hear your name, I hear the heartbeat of every lifetime all at once. I feel the heartbeat of the universe the way I get extreme earthquake shocks but completely safe.
~Nicola An, The Universe at Heartbeat

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Many people around the world believe in the concept we call reincarnation or its close cousin transmigration. Fewer have memories of their past lives and fewer still have verifiable evidence of events in their past lives. The Greeks said that all who pass through the underworld on their way to rebirth drink from the River Lethe so that they may forget their past life and prepare for reincarnation.

In Buddhism, a fully enlightened being - a Buddha - is able see his own past lives and those of other people. Having such knowledge would allow us to see the threads of our reincarnational path and perhaps glean something useful in this life from them. However, there seems to be a prohibition or at least an attempt to prevent us from seeing our past incarnations. Perhaps it would confuse us for the mission at hand in this life.

There are techniques such as regressive hypnosis and deep meditation that are said to open the doorways to our past lives here, elsewhere, or in different forms. Some have seen past lives in their dreams.

I had an experience of this back in the late 1990s. I was using a "Past Lives' regressive hypnosis recording and I slipped off to sleep. I had a dream of a past life with me living in a cave high up on a mountain overlooking a desert scene. The people in the dream were people I know in my current life, although they didn't look like them. I simply knew them as such.

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Like the many, I had come to believe in reincarnation by 1996. However, I never imagined I would ever glean any information from a past life. One day while hiking along a creek on 100 degree plus day, I had an insight that my father and my next youngest brother had been involved with me in previous incarnations. The insight was strong and very specific. It even got into what roles we had played in each other's lives in multiple previous incarnations.

I stopped and went down closer to the creek and found a good place to sit and meditate. I wanted to follow up on this insight. Sweat was dripping down my body on this hot day. The sound of the rushing creek drowned out other noises and formed a meditative soundscape. Soon I was in a deep meditation.

My vision cleared and I saw myself standing as a young child in this life in the corner of my childhood front yard. It was a summer night and I was examining some flowers my mother had planted. Then I remembered. I remembered a reverie I had that evening back in the late 60s. 

I saw myself running and playing with other children on a jungle path. I remember thinking it looked like the images of the jungle we were seeing on the nightly news at that time from Vietnam. I knew it was somewhere in Asia. Something happened to me. I was suddenly laying down with my friends gathered around me above. Someone was calling for my father. He appeared (not my current father) and was calling to me, but I soon lost consciousness and emerged from the childhood reverie and returned to this life.

At the time as child Ray Davis, I did not know what had happened. However, on this sweltering day in 1996, it became clear to me. I'd been bitten on the neck by a snake and I had died in that Asian jungle scene.

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In my early childhood, I had two images in my mind when I conceived of God. One was a dark cloud with light behind it. The cloud seemed to separated into two winged-shaped parts. The second was an image of a man with a light around his head walking down a path in orange clothes. It was something similar to the image at left.

Later, in the fifth grade, we were studying ancient cultures. At this point in my life, I was a white, Christian, American, suburban kid without much knowledge of other cultures. We watched on of those old reel-to-reel films about the history of India. In the film, they mentioned an enlightened being who had become perfected through a series of lives. They called him the Buddha. There was nothing in my life at that time that would have clued me into who Buddha was. Yet, I felt an immediate, if soon-forgotten, connection to this story. Years later, in my 20s and recovering from nearly dying, I would again find the teachings of the Buddha and solace and wisdom in them.

In my teens, I had a very frightening incident occur. I nearly choked on a piece of hamburger. This created a fear of choking and an avoidance of some foods that remains in my life today. I'd had a number of energetic healers mention that the halo around my head was very bright, but that my energy was cut off at the throat chakra and the rest of my body was not getting the energy it needed. This resonated, as I have always been a person who tends to get into the mind and ignore the body for long periods, though I've gotten better at balancing this over the years.

During a session with a Barbara Brennen School healer a few months after my meditation at the creek, something startling happened. The healer had done his normal session, pulling energetic blockages out of the energy field around my body. When we debriefed after the session, he said he was having a difficult time clearing the flow of energy through my neck. 

He asked, "Have you ever been bitten on the neck by a venomous snake? I saw something about that during the session. It may have to do with a past life." My mind flashed back to the meditation by the creek. I shared with him what I'd seen. He believed that event had karmically imprinted on me in this life and was causing the blockage between head and heart. 

We spent a few sessions on this and eventually he was able to help me have a breakthrough. While not total, it allowed me to become unstuck and move forward.

Something struck me on the way home from that session. All my life, I've had a weird obsession with venomous snakes. I can remember being barely old enough to read and going to my grandmother's encyclopedia for the express purpose of knowing what snakes were the most venomous and where they lived. When YouTube came along, I was always checking out videos about the ten most venomous snakes. Before April and I travel anywhere, I always check out the venomous snake situation. 

I have no desire to handle them. I'm not petrified and I don't avoid going places because of it. I just like to be in the know. When we traveled to Australia and Costa Rica, this was heavily on my mind throughout the trip. In fact, a few weeks before we went to Costa Rica a Canadian man nearly died there after being bit by a Fer-de-Lance snake on a Costa Rican beach. He had to fly back to Canada for treatment because there was no one with him that spoke English. When we went and saw sea turtles at night and had to stand with our backs to the jungle along the beach, I was thinking about that man.

So, what does it all mean? A vision of an event from a presumed previous life when I was about five leads to a remembrance of it in a meditation 25 years later, and then to a healer commenting on the same event. What about my lifelong feeling of connection to Asia and to Buddhism, even before I knew much about it. Finally, issues with my throat in this life and the obsession with what venomous snakes look like, how venomous they are, and where they live.

Did I have an insight into a real event in one of my previous lives? I can't prove it, but I believe I did. I believe that event had real impacts on this life and that I got a glimpse so that I could use that information in this current incarnation. It's not as cool as being Caesar or Cleopatra in a past life, but it was profound for me.

Have you had inklings, visions, or information about past lives come to you? I'd love to hear your stories below.

Ray Davis
for 6 Sense Media

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