While I was photographing an editorial piece on factory child labor in India, I had walked into a store in a small town north of Bangalore. I was only in there ten minutes when I heard a man, who looked like the owner, command the workers to shut and lock the door and draw the curtains. I looked around and realized I was the only female in there, me and five men.
What happened next is challenging to put into words, as most spiritual or divine experiences are. I stood near a shelf of scarves, scrutinizing the men who were all lasciviously eying me. Sweat pearled on my forehead and in my hands and I felt lightheaded and nauseous. My heart beat so loud I thought the men could hear it. It was as though I was wearing a stethoscope, the sound of my heart pulsating drowned out their words.Then, the pressure of the air shifted around me, becoming dense yet electric, comparable to how it felt the night I saw the warrior and when the man was in my room. A calming sensation came over me and I heard words in my mind, yet the voice was not my own, say, ‘Go tell the man sitting at the desk about your father’s illness.’ I didn’t hesitate as I had no alternative plan.
I walked over to the desk and sat across from the man and said, “My father just had a heart attack and I’m not sure he’s going to live.” The man’s eyebrows lifted and he said, “Your father! The father is everything. The mother is nothing but the father, yes, he is most important.”
I told him how distressed I was and how much I loved my dad. How hard it was to be away from him and what a good father he was to me. The man looked at the other men and said, “We’re letting her go. Unlock the door.”
I bolted out the door and ran to the hotel. I sat down on the bed and tried to calm my heart. I still felt a warm presence. The experience exhausted me and even though my nerves were sizzled from the adrenaline, I eventually laid down and fell asleep. Right before I nodded off I thought I heard the words, “You will be okay. All is well.”
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While in my twenties, my psychic ability expanded as well as my experiences with the divine. I traveled the globe alone either for recreation or work as a photographer.
On one occasion as I was leaving on a trip to Asia to do a photo shoot, I was staring at my dad as my sister pulled out of the driveway to take me to the airport, when I saw an image of a skull, his skull, superimposed over his face. It looked like he was wearing a Day-of-the-Dead mask, dark holes protruded from sunken cheekbones, skinless. I drew back, gasping, blinked and it was gone. Then, I saw his smiling face, blowing me a kiss. I didn't know what to think. I wanted to ignore it and act like it didn't happen.
But I saw it, I know i did. While traveling, an ominous energy surrounded me. I knew something bad was going to happen. I didn't know where or how but I knew. I tried to hide from this dread-like companion but it followed me everywhere, even when I tried to outrun it. Eventually it would catch up to me and cozy up inside my stomach like a lead ball.
I was in Bali, sleeping soundly when I heard, again words spoken to me, “Rachel wake up.” I opened my eyes. The early morning light stretched across the room. I searched for the source of the voice and there was no one there. As I sat up, I knew with the utmost certainty that I had to call home.
This was in the age before cell phones and the internet. An hour later, I found a hotel with a phone and called home to find out my dad had had a severe heart attack and was recovering from heart surgery. His heart had actually stopped entirely while waiting to be seen in the emergency room, only to be resuscitated back to life many minutes later. Upon hearing the news, I crumbled. I wanted to be near him. Yet at the same time, I felt relief. The dread churned as I listened to my sister tell me our dad had a bipass. When she spoke the words, "He'll be okay. He's doing well," the dread passed through my bones into the ground.
When I was 17, I moved out of my parent’s home and into a friend’s house near Pleasure Point, in Santa Cruz. At the time, I was training for a state Karate competition so I was meditating and practicing mindfulness around my breath every day. I was surfing a lot which also helped to center my awareness in my body. Being in the ocean awakened my senses. Between the Karate and the surfing, I noticed my intuition expanding. There were days I sensed the energy everywhere I went, feeling it alive on my skin. There was nothing like the ocean’s energy calming my mind yet exhilarating my body. I felt so vibrant and awake.
Late one night after training, I lay asleep on my stomach in my bed when I heard a voice say, “Wake up and turn around.” I did and there above me was a young man, maybe in his twenties, trying to get into my bed. There was no one else in the room. The man’s exact words were, “I’m going to sleep with you now.” His voice sounded entirely different from the voice that had wakened me.
Normally such an event would be terrifying, but I wasn’t scared. It was as though whoever or whatever told me to wake up, was still in my room, protecting me. I just couldn’t see it. This thing or energy, sucked all the fear out of me. I felt a warm presence encase my body, and despite this man’s intentions, I knew he wasn’t going to hurt me. What I felt, as that man stood over me, wasn’t fear, but compassion. I calmly told him he had to leave. But he didn’t. Instead, he walked around to the other side of my bed and tried to pull the covers off. I still wasn’t frightened. I told him under no circumstances was he getting into my bed and that he had to leave. I was composed and my voice was even. I don’t think he expected me to behave in such a manner. Maybe he thought I would be terrified and allow him to do whatever he wanted, and when he saw I wouldn’t, he got confused and lost his power. The man stepped away, walked out of my room and pretended to leave. He waited in the hallway outside my bedroom. I sensed this and sat on my bed, in my t-shirt and underwear, until he peeked his head around the corner. I again said calmly but forcefully, that he had to go and that I was going to call the police. This time he left.
Shortly after, the warm protective energy dissolved and I began to feel angry. I grabbed my karate stick, which I used for practice in the dojo, and ran outside looking for him. All the compassionate energy had dissipated and I was left with rage. I wasn’t going to let a man get away with trying to violate me. But after a few minutes, I went back to the house figuring it wasn’t smart to be outside, in the middle of the night, in only a t-shirt, looking for a potential rapist. I was grateful of my training but also of the energy that protected me and allowed me to disarm violence with compassion instead of fear and rage
When I turned twelve years old I started training in Karate and trained for ten years, competing at both, the state and national levels. My sensei taught me about breath work, chanting, meditation and the power of positive intention along with the art of Shorinji Ryu Karate. When I was 15 years old, he took me and four other students aside and said we were ready to practice a more advanced and ancient form of chanting. We recited some of the chants in the dojo and then were instructed to practice the chants at home if we so desired. That night while in my bedroom, I started reciting the words, repeating them over and over. One chant was very long and was to be repeated a hundred times. Sitting in my chair I started this chant but felt too tired to finish. I turned off my bedroom light and got into bed. As I adjusted my pillow and pulled my covers over me, I saw a dark form standing near my bedroom door. I sat up abruptly, my stomach clenched tight, I barely breathed. In front of me was what looked like a huge Samurai warrior. The energy in the room charged, similar to how the air feels before a lightning storm. The warrior figure lumbered toward me. Scared, I pulled the covers over my head. One part of my mind was petrified and the other was telling me to stay calm. Just because the figure was foreign and obviously not human, didn’t mean it was ominous or harmful. It didn’t feel negative, in fact it felt immensely powerful. Curious, I peeked out from beneath the covers, the figure stood beside my bed with its head bent forward. At about six feet tall, it had broad shoulders and thick arms, and looked like an ancient Japanese warrior wearing armor, with a pointed helmet on top of a faceless head. It remained beside my bed for roughly five minutes, which is a very long time when you are frightened. At one point it stepped back a few feet and faded.
I never saw the warrior again and have always wondered where it had come from and why it visited me. After that night, it dawned on me that perhaps not everyone was having experiences like I did. I knew, from that point on, the universe was very alive and full of wonder and that there is so much more going on than meets the eye.
Spiritual Experience #1 Enveloped (Long post but hopefully interesting)
People often ask me what experiences I’ve had that led me to the work I do. I decided to start blogging these events in a chronological order. I do this because: 1. People say they want to know. 2. Maybe you’ve had similar experiences and you can relate and/or feel validated. 3. Hopefully these stories will be interesting enough for you to read and get to know more about my work and what it’s based in. 4. Maybe they’ll provide fodder for conversations, jokes or deep thought (perhaps I humor myself here). Feel free to share.
I was nine years old when I was lying on a bench at the University of California in Santa Cruz. My mother was visiting with my brother at the Whole Earth restaurant on campus, he had just been hired there. As I lay on the bench waiting for her, I noticed the color of the grass which had reminded me of the Kelly-Green crayon I had used to color in the picture of a four leaf clover at school. Above, a tree leaned over me as though it were tucking me into bed, its leaves shimmered like a fishing lure. A large set of chimes hung from one of the branches, tinkling in the wind. I breathed in the warm summer air, smelling the scent of the redwood trees as the light bounced off the fluttering green leaves. At one point, I felt as though I was being lifted into a white light which engulfed me entirely. I laid in this light in complete peace. I detected four forms around me, barely visible, speaking words of encouragement and affection. Their essence was instilled in me so that I would recognize it later in my life. Without that recognition, I may have missed the call to engage in divine energy. It may have slipped past, unnoticed, but because their tone resonated so strongly in me, when I came across it again, I recognized it as such and woke up to my soul’s purpose.
During my time in that light, a ball of intense white light entered my heart and I knew it as love. Eventually the light faded and I was back on the bench. The chimes reverberated in the wind and I was left with deep serenity. I remember thinking then that the feeling reminded me of being held in my mom’s arms. I forgot about that day until years later when I heard chimes vibrating with the same lower key notes. That experience came rushing back to me, the tranquility and love of that moment there at UCSC.
I talk to Earth and she talks to me. I hear her voice, she hears mine and we have long conversations. I am a 53-year-old woman and am married with two kids. I have a house mortgage and I’m a working professional. Just like many of you. If you were to see me walking down the street, I would not stand out. I look and act like most people, except I can hear Earth. I literally hear her words. She talks to me and she has something to say.
I wrote this text on the heels of Hurricane Harvey. Within a matter of days, Hurricane Harvey caused over 150 billion dollars’ worth of damage to the state of Texas. Hurricane Irma and Maria annihilated the Caribbean Islands and Puerto Rico. In the same week an 8.1 earthquake shook Mexico and the temperatures hit a record high for the area I live in and broke all the historic weather records by a long shot. Yes, I think Earth has something to say and she just might be trying to get our attention. She got mine.
Throughout my life I have felt deeply connected to the earth. As a child, my parents would load me and my six older siblings into their station wagon every summer and take us camping. It seemed like we backpacked, car camped and skied nearly every mountain on the western slope of the Sierras. Often, my father would wake me up at dawn to go fishing with him. Invariably he’d snag his line on either a log or a branch beneath the water and I gleefully offered to jump in the river or lake, no matter how cold it was, to detangle his line- something he appreciated and I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved waking up to the day this way; feeling my hair float on the surface of the water, weightless, the smell of water on my skin and the cold air giving me life. Mostly I felt clean, not just literally but clean down to my bones. Clean in my blood, like I was baptized and everyone’s energy was washed from me. As an Empath, I feel the emotions of those near me. I feel their moods in my body. Jumping in the water on those summer days washed me clean of everyone. The only thing I felt was Earth itself.
Like so many of you, I have strong intuitive abilities. These intuitive traits manifested when I was a child but I didn’t yet have words or a language for them. I saw energy around everything, like the clock, my parents and siblings, my dog, my school desk, and so on. My father was a Lutheran minister and during his sermons, every now and then, I’d see my grandfather who’d passed on, sitting in a chair with his head bent forward, listening to my dad. Growing up, I thought everyone was like me. I’m sure many of you can relate. Everyone is intuitive; however, some are born more open and sensitive than others.
Words like psychic and channel were not discussed in my house and if they had been, they would have been met with little respect or regard. I kept my mouth shut, and honestly, I never thought of myself as psychic or intuitive. I was raised with a healthy dose of skepticism and I confused cynicism with intelligence and thought of metaphysics as hogwash. What I didn’t realize was how much I limited myself by not taking any metaphysical idea seriously. As my mother once said, ‘It’s silly crap.’ Even though, as she disclosed to me a few years before her death, she saw energy, auras and the spirit of loved ones leaving their bodies as they passed on. I think she, like so many people, felt shame and/or fear in admitting their ability or their curiosity around the spiritual and intuitive arts. It wasn’t that long ago, those who openly expressed their intuitive ability or anything remotely related to the spirit world would have been deemed a witch or heretic and suffered torture and death. Our collective conscience holds fear of being called out and blamed, but instead of being burned at the stake, now there might be character assassination and humiliation. I was certainly afraid of not being perceived as someone with integrity or intelligence if I said I was psychic. Fortunately, times are changing and more people are opening their minds to the possibility of what the cosmos has to offer.
Over the years I’ve had many metaphysical experiences. What I’ve learned is that when I’m present with my surroundings, whether it be through meditation, mindfulness, being outside or participating in travel or sports, my psychic ability and mystical experiences increase. I believe this is due to being connected to Earth’s energy as well as being more present in the moment, such as when you are traveling or engaged in a sport where the consequences can be harmful if you aren’t paying attention. I think we become highly aware of our surroundings and the energy of those near us. Such experiences and or lifestyle increases wakefulness.
In the following posts I’m going to write about the spiritual experiences I’ve had over my life. People often ask what led me to this path and work. It’s difficult to put into a soundbite as there’s never just been one mind blowing experience, but rather a culmination of both subtle and extraordinary. These experiences provided a textured landscape of a life to peruse through and learn from. Maybe some of you have had similar events or spiritual exchanges in which you can relate and feel validated. I hope you enjoy the reading.
The Importance of Connecting to Earth
Earth's energy is highly accelerative, which means she raises your frequency and helps you to decrease your fear, especially around impermanence. Her energy will help you cultivate more peace in your life. When you connect to Earth, you may feel and/or hear or see her spirit in a way you may never have experienced before. You will realize she's alive in the same way you are. She has feelings and thoughts, just like you. She desires to connect to each and everyone of you. When you learn to connect to Earth on this deep level, you will understand her loving nature and why it is such a gift to be here, living on Earth. She will feel like a best friend, and an honest one at that. Cultivating a relationship with Earth will give you a new and meaningful perspective on life. Plus we have to in order to survive here. She needs seven million of us to connect to her in order for her to swing back toward balance. She states, 'Your fearful energy is what causes so much of my imbalance and chaos. In order for me to retain balance, I need to feel your love and respect. I need you to connect to me and know who I am. We need to have a relationship. You and me.'
New Class - Release the Old and Manifest the New
April 15th - Subud Center in Soquel
10a.m. to 1 p.m.
I'm holding this workshop again because many couldn't make it due to flu and storm. Also, those that did make it, really loved it and got a lot out of it. They suggested it be a longer class because there's a lot of information. If you come, please prepay on my services page. Also, bring a yoga mat or pillows and a blanket and something to write with. Hope you can make it!!
This class will focus on meditation and manifestation. Those of you who have taken my classes know they are more information driven than experiential-for the most part.This class I'll spend a bit of time on teaching channeling but most will be spent in meditation. The first half of the class we'll spend time contemplating the year of 2016. What worked for us that we want to keep and what we need to let go. I will facilitate meditations on release and manifestation through the use of channeling, visualization and body centered meditation. This is a wonderful opportunity to start the new year consciously setting our intentions and releasing limiting patterns.
Please contact me if you are interested in a class on cultivating peace and intuition in your life for your business.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
And amidst the chaos
Keep Peace within your soul-Max Ehrman
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