The exploration of mediumship, spirit communication, and all things paranormal can be an exciting and overwhelming process. For some, the interest begins when they have an experience they can't explain. They may have seen a ghost or felt a presence or had some unexplainable phenomenon occur in their home. For others, the study of death, dying, and the afterlife comes with the passing of a loved one or friend. Sometimes finding the right resources to start can be a bit overwhelming, but hopefully these next five steps will help you get started.
- STEP ONE: Allow the Search
In June of 1998, my wife's uncle died; when she called me with the news I tried my best to console her and then immediately began to surf the Web for any information I could find on death, the afterlife, or near death experiences. Not more than an hour into the search, I received another call. This time it was from my mother, calling to inform me that a friend of our family's had died. Suddenly, I was not only trying to find the right information to console my wife, I was also looking for inspiration to help console myself.
There was a deep desire to search for some answer or understanding of death. The strongest evidence for an afterlife on my search seemed to be near-death experiences. Cases of people dying and coming back to share what it is like on the other side flooded my vision. The second strongest evidence was mediumship or the ability to communicate with the other side. The idea that it was possible to "see, hear, and sense" those loved ones in spirit seemed like such an incredible gift.
As spiritual beings embarking on a physical experience, we are presented with a lot of philosophies, religions, and ideas in this life. Those who explore these ideas of the meaning of life, metaphysical perspectives, and ideas outside the norm are often called "Seekers." They are people who are searching for understanding in this world and who open their hearts and minds to new ideas, people, and experiences.
It was allowing the search in my own journey that opened the door to many wonderful experiences. However, it's also important to remember that the searching is never over; this beautiful universe has created endless opportunities to grow and develop. So strap in for the ride, and believe me—it's one wonderful ride.
- STEP TWO: Embrace the Sense
Once you find yourself "allowing the search" on the journey to new understanding about all things afterlife, you begin to allow your intuitive sense to open. You will begin to expand your awareness, and in doing so you will most likely begin to attract the books, websites, and people you need to assist you on your journey.
These new "senses" can come in many forms, but the three that tend to work most closely with mediumship and spirit communication are clairvoyance ("clear seeing", clairaudience ("clear hearing"), and clairsentience ("clear feeling"). When you take the step forward and declare to yourself, your loved ones in spirit, and the universe as a whole that you want to open up your sixth sense and begin the process, then embrace that sense and know it is divinely presented to you. The sixth sense is something we are all born with. Some are aware of that sense as a young child, while others won't discover the sense until later in life.
Most importantly, when you begin to embrace the sixth sense in your life you begin to embrace the true essence of your soul, the part that is beyond the physical body and the part that is a divine fragment of the source. For some, these new senses can be scary, but remember that you are in control and that you can say how fast or slow you'd like the process to grow. Be patient and know that when you embrace the process that you acknowledge that you are more than your body.
- STEP THREE: Find the Sensei
In Japanese there is a titled used for teachers, clergy, martial arts instructors, and figures that have achieved a certain level of mastery in their field; this title is Sensei (Pronounced Sin-Say). In the development of mediumship it is important to find a "sensei," or mentor. On my journey my senseis came from The First Spiritual Temple in Brookline, MA. Rev. Simeon Stefanidakis and Rev. Stephen Fulton were incredible mentors to me. They had been studying mediumship for over twenty-five years and provided a strong foundation for my development and understanding.
Finding a sensei allows you to study under someone who can help you as you work through questions, challenges, and breakthroughs while you are building your connection to spirit. A sensei is there to push you beyond your comfort zones and also to remind you that this journey is a process. When I began my study over ten years ago, my enthusiasm and energy was over the top; my mentor Rev. Simeon reminded me to slow down to avoid psychic burnout. Their support helped me and reminded me that although I wanted all the answers right away, the joy is in the journey.
Now, there are some who might read this and say, "But what if I can't find a teacher?" Or, "they don't have churches like that in my area." And my response is this: when the student is ready the teacher will appear. Technology today allows so many opportunities for people. By opening your heart and mind you'll discover that senseis can appear in many ways; they don't have to be right in front of you, they can come through books, online courses, webinars, DVD programs, or workshops.
I like to sum it up this way: in the movie The Karate Kid, Mr. Miyagi appeared when Daniel needed guidance, and the lessons of "wax on, wax off" transformed the young man' life. You, too, will find your Mr. Miyagi…just have patience, Daniel-san.
- STEP FOUR: Build your Support
The study of mediumship and building your intuitive muscle is an exciting and wonderful process, and the best way to strengthen the study is by having a solid support system. When I started, my strongest supporter was my wife, Chanda; she is to this day. Slowly I shared with my family, and my parents have embraced my abilities and been supportive.
I know not everyone has the same support system in family or friends. I've discovered that spirit communication can be a very hot-button issue, and depending on how you were raised it can be thought of as anything from the devil's work to a gift from God. But it is important to realize that anything that comes from the space of love can only come from God. In reality, this whole universe comes from God. There is nothing that God is not.
But if you can't find support in a spouse or parent, find the support from a friend or church group. When I returned to Fargo after college I thought my wife and I were the only ones in our community who thought the way we did. We figured that if we shared about our study in mediumship we'd be burned at the stake (metaphorically, at least). But we were pleasantly surprised to find a community that shared like ideas, and now we have some of the best friends and colleagues because we chose not to just talk about the weather, we chose to have deeper conversations to connect. If I can find a spiritual/metaphysical community in Fargo, North Dakota, then you can find it anywhere!
- STEP FIVE: Recognize the Sacred
This opportunity to connect to spirit is truly a sacred one. Knowing that you can become a bridge connecting one world to the next is a blessing. By being this bridge, you are in service to others helping them heal and find hope in their moments of grief, you are in service to those in spirit who are reaching out to let their loved ones know they still live on, and when you are in service to others you are also in service to yourself. You reap what you sow, you get what you give, and the love you make is equal to the love you take.
To recognize the sacredness in communication with spirit also helps you recognize the sacred in day-to-day connections with those who are still here in the physical. When we remember that our ability to communicate must first begin with those who are still in our lives, we open the opportunity to create heaven on earth experiences right here and now.
Often times we wish we could be up there with our loved ones; we think it would be better to be with them than it is to be here living our life. But the heaven we seek "up there"is available to us here. If you live in a space of love the connection to the sacred is fully alive and well both here and in spirit. Continue to take steps in love and all will flow to you.
What you are looking for on your study and journey of mediumship is already within you. This is a layered process and with each step forward you peel another layer. Ten years ago I would have never thought I'd be writing this article, talking about how to strengthen and build your connection to spirit. I always thought those "other people" were mediums and that this gift was only possible if you came from a family of seers or were struck by lightning. I'm here to tell you that is not the only way to connect with your loved ones.
I'm just an ordinary guy who was drawn to mediumship because of a death in the family. Now I'm a medium sharing the message of spirit through my book, Bridge to the Afterlife: A Medium's Message of Hope and Healing. I'm an example of someone who followed the fives steps above; I allowed the search, embraced the sense, found the sensei, built my support, and recognized the sacred.
Now you know one way to begin this journey when you didn't know where to start.