Sunday, 4 November 2012



 A psychic once told me that I had been Lucrezia Borgia in a past life.  I responded to this about as well as I do to anyone who presumes they can determine my personality by my star sign or by the flip of a tarot card.  If there is such a thing as reincarnation, I don’t really believe someone can tell me about myself or my past lives by looking at my palms, or dealing out cards, or asking me about my star sign. 

Soooooooooooo… a workshop about past life regression was always going to be INTERESTING.  Gahl Sasson is a super-buddy of Gurmukh and travels to Vancouver to speak at Semperviva every year.  He’s based in LA and specialises in Kabbalah, mythology, astrology, etc.  As part of YTT we attend three, two-hour workshops with him.  A rainy Friday night session of past-life regression was certainly more appealing that sweating through a yoga session so I was willing to go into it with a (slightly) open mind. 

I don’t even really know where to begin with this.  Gahl talks off the top of his head and while he is obviously incredibly educated and knowledgeable and charismatic, some of what he said made sense to me, or was at least interesting, and at other times he was talking in circles and I found myself scratching my head a little.  The first half of the class he talked about reincarnation.  I was half asleep, I have to admit, so a lot of it is fuzzy but I took notes and recall some particular ramblings;

  • “Indigo kids”, or “new souls”, were aliens in a former life so they’re not new at all, just new at being human.  (Apparently this explains a lot of Generation Y…)

  • Astrology provides the contract that you signed for your present life time, good karma, bad karma and all (he used a rather poorly constructed analogy about ‘choosing’ to have a down-syndrome child which didn’t go down very well with some).

  • A toddler’s strange behaviour can be explained by the fact that they will still remember their past lives at this stage of their life. 

  • There was an analogy about Hamlet – I think he was talking about it can be a good production or a bad production but it’s still the same script – and for some reason he said, “Is Hamlet a true story?  No.  Have there been princes in Denmark who had a father that was killed by the uncle who then married the prince’s mother?  Of course.  It happens all the time.  It happened in the Lion King, too.”

  • The idea of a past-lives is actually a contradiction, because we are living all of our lives at once simultaneously.  Past, present and future are all an illusion… 

  • In the West, particularly in Orthodox faiths (ie Christian, Catholic, Jewish), we have so many ghost stories because we’re not very good at letting go, unlike cultures and religions that believe in reincarnation. 


The second half of the workshop involved a 40 minute meditation that was supposed to help us begin to tap into past lives.  Gahl warned that we wouldn’t remember half of it.  I truly don’t.  I remember the bit about being in the womb, being born….then we were supposed to be in a garden, and there was a bridge and a river, and I remember going into the river… and then I was getting out of the river and leaving the garden and it was over.  I had no idea what any of this was supposed to represent about a past life.  Afterwards, when Gahl asked about our experience, one girl mentioned that she could remember all of the flowers in her garden, and he suggested she look up the meaning of the flowers.  My garden was full of Dogwood roses.  So when I got home, I looked up the meaning of the Dogwood.  Apparently the Dogwood was selected to be the timber used in the crucifixion of Christ.  The tree was distressed about being used for this purpose, and so Jesus told the tree, "Because of your regret and pity for my suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross. Henceforth it shall be slender and bent and twisted and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross, two long and two short petals. In the centre of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the middle of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see it will remember ..." 

Right…. No idea what this means to me. 

Yesterday, I was discussing it with one of the girls in YTT, Yogi M, and M was going on about the part of the meditation where we had ‘died’.  I had no idea what she was talking about.  Apparently there was a section where we were asked to picture our death and our funeral and M could even remember who had been at her funeral.  THIS ENTIRELY PASSED ME BY!  I have no recollection of Gahl talking about this.  Was I asleep? 

Gahl also warned that we would be really hungry after the meditation.  I wasn’t at the time.  Then I went home and ate two slices of toast with honey.  And an apple.  And some strawberries.  And some yoghurt.  And two cups of mint tea.  

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