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Are so-called past-life memories a fabrication of people’s imagination?

 Eleanor Cheung went for a past life regression session in search of an answer and found the experience inspiring.

From Life Lines:
Q Magazine, March 2002

Meeting Shannon Andersen is an inspiring experience. The past-life regression session with the Florida-based transpersonal coach on her recent visit to Hong Kong gave me a clearer idea of my mission, encouraging me to make decisions that I had put off for a long time.

Andersen’s own past-life regression in 1987 was equally potent, and at 32 convinced her to go to graduate school to be trained as a mental health counselor and a hypnotherapist. Since then she has been regressing people around the world and has developed her own techniques called Conscious Dreaming.

During my regression, I was put into a very relaxed state and asked to imagine walking down a staircase and through a series of doors. I saw visual images in my mind. After going through the last door, I ended up in an unknown place and saw myself wearing a pair of boots walking in a forest overlooking snow-capped mountains. When Andersen asked for my name, “David Honderish” came to my mind out of nowhere. With guided questions, I discovered that Honderich lived around the turn of the nineteenth century and used to work, probably as a carpenter, in forests during his early life. Toward the end of his life, he became a wise old man counseling the young.

Andersen believes that past-life memories are not figments of the imagination. In her first past-life memory she discovered she had been a doctor living in a town in Indiana in the early 1800s. A few years later, Andersen went all the way to that town and discovered that there really had been a doctor of that name.

Andersen stresses that even for those who do not believe in past-lives or who are unable to document, regression therapy can still be beneficial. People can learn from the experience and apply the lessons to their current life.

“The material that you get is useful even if it only acts as a metaphor for your own life,” Andersen says. “It is a tool for the person having the experience to get to know themselves better, and to look at issues that might be holding them back from being all they can be.

 “I always ask my clients what the message is, so it comes from their subconscious. It is a message they need and that they might not have access to in another way. If there are issues in their lives they are not willing to address honestly, they will come out in their past-lives.”

Psychiatrist Brian Weiss recorded in his bestseller Only Love is Real how he discovered that two of his clients who didn’t know each other at the time, described the same past-lifetimes with a stunning similarity of detail and emotion. He guessed they had been lovers throughout the past centuries. The story had a happy ending: The two apparent strangers were brought together again.

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