“Channeling is a relatively new term for a very old practice. To channel means to create a connection - a channel - between yourself and a source of wisdom. When people used to communicate with the spirits of trees and the natural world, they were channeling. When artists used to hear the voice of the muse, they were channeling. When people saw archangels, spirits of ancestors, dead relatives, they were tuning into the channel of connection that exists between the realm of spirit and your own.
“Each of you is capable of "channeling" because you each have a part of yourself which dwells in the divine. Each of you does channel, from time to time, without being aware of it. Your Wiser Self will give you guidance or information and it will feel like you have just had a flash of insight or a thought. The spirits of the trees and rocks and creature world communicate with you in ways that you tend to take for granted. Their energetic presence is so familiar to you it doesn't seem like contact or communication. Yet you can certainly feel the absence of this energetic exchange when you are shut inside a room with no windows for a time!
“Many of you think of channeling as a process of speaking for wise entities. You may have seen or read about mediums/channels, who go into deep trance and allow an entity or spirit to speak through them, to animate them, complete with strange voice tones, gestures and odd turns of phrase. This is the most dramatic form of channeling, to be sure, but it gives the illusion that the medium is some kind of passive puppet or empty vessel. This is entirely incorrect. A medium is indeed choosing to act as a messenger, but is also, first and foremost, a student -- a seeker like yourself.
“For some individuals a deeper trance and mediumistic channeling is the most comfortable form of apprenticeship to their teachers. But for most of you this is neither a useful nor productive stance. We would like you to think of channeling as a practice, like yoga or meditation. Through creating a channel of connection with a source of wisdom, and by articulating what you perceive there, in some fashion, you are developing your awareness and broadening your perspective. You are training your conscious mind to work in concert with your intuitive self. You are increasing your expressive capacity. The goal is not to speak for entities, but to communicate and study with them (us)!
“You live in a culture that likes instant results, dramatic effects, and startling personalities. When a medium is able to evoke the presence and power of an entity, and to speak as that entity, the sheer unfamiliarity of that process can be impressive and compelling. There is a tendency to give authority to that voice: it must be true, it must be wise, it must be correct. But we encourage you to question the information you receive from channels, and for yourself as you channel, and to test it out thoroughly against your own perceptions of reality. It is not necessarily wise or correct, just because it purports to come from disembodied spirits!
“All channeled information is shaped by the instrument which receives it or gives it form. All channeled information contains some distortion, because it is a translation from a perspective and world view that is resonating at a different note than your own. And the value of channeling is not in its information or details -- it is valuable because it helps you to open up your thinking, to become more flexible and fluid, to feel your heart and mind grow more spacious and loving. Like yoga, or meditation.
“As you listen to us, or to other entities speaking (or singing or creating images), it sets off an energetic resonance in you. It awakens your recognition of your own truth. It teaches you to view your life with the sense of a larger context. And if it is effective, it energizes you to live your life more authentically, in a more healthy manner.
“If you find yourself feeling dwarfed by the majesty or "personality" of an entity, being told you are an "old soul" and others are young souls, being labeled or reprimanded or harangued, being told that only one individual is authorized to channel a particular intelligence or entity, being told that the entity is Indian, or Greek, or male, then be aware of the distortion in that thinking. Hierarchies, status, sex, and cultural membership are all constructs of your reality, but don't adequately reflect the truth of ours.
“What are entities? We are a portion of living consciousness, as you are. We are beings whose prime reality is not centered in the concrete realities of your earth, but in the more abstract realities of "spirit". Because of our proximity to you, and also our distance, we can provide guidance, perspective, reassurance, information, just as a weather satellite is able to give you data and images to help you understand your weather more fully.
“But ultimately we do not shovel the snow that falls. We do not pay bills. We do not get frostbite. We do not, in our present form, participate in the dramas and specificities of your level of being. And for that reason, we are capable of insight and guidance, but are limited in our usefulness as well. We are not allowed, by our nature or by the laws of the universe, to tamper with your free will, to interfere in your development except as invited by all three of your selves in unanimity. We are not here to become the new "authorities", but rather to teach you and remind you of your own inner authority. We are here to remind you that what you know is not nearly as important as how you know it. Our reality is not more "glorious" or noble than yours. It is just different.
“We invite each of you to learn to channel. To create a channel between your consciousness and whatever source of wisdom speaks most meaningfully to you. As you read our words, you become part of the channel Ellen learned to create through many years of training. As you listen to the music of Mozart, you are given access to the channel he established with the divine. As you listen to the teachings and musings of some of your fellow seekers, you enter into other channels that have been created. It is up to you to decide what to do with the ideas and perspectives you learn there.”
Creating Your Own Channels
A channeling exercise: (You may wish to tape record this exercise so you are free to participate with your eyes closed)
“Get as comfortable as you can sitting or lying down. And breathe... check to see if you are grounded and centered.
“Use your breath to come more fully into your physical self.
“And take a moment to name yourself, either by the name others call you or a name that feels true for you at this moment.
“In your mind's eye, take yourself to sit beside a body of water. It might be a lake, a stream, a pond, an ocean, whatever appeals to you... Go with what comes to you and gently put aside whatever judgements you have.
“Some individuals among you will move very quickly as we do this exercise and others will find your attention wandering to other things. That is fine. You can still create a channel and make contact with wise teachers even if your mind is wandering all over.
“Look at the water in your mind's eye. Notice the place where you are sitting as best you can. You may have a clear image, or may just have a murky or intellectual sense of being near water.
“Do you have the sensation of sounds around you?
“Do you see colors?
“You may hear or see nothing, but sense that the water is near. Whatever is true for you is fine... Again name yourself sitting in this place.
“Now ask to meet an entity or being who can guide you and be a teacher for you. You might wish to ask for only the wisest being who has your best interests at heart. Or you may ask for your Wiser Self to approach.
“Let this being or entity approach you from behind, if that is comfortable.
“[Your perception of energy is often clearer behind you than ahead of you, because your rear protective radar is more tactile and sensation-oriented than your front radar].
“Note what you can about the being you have summoned, how it feels to you, and what your response or reaction to it is.
“[If you are uncomfortable at any time, ask the Being to wait, or back off, while you explore your reaction. You can discontinue the experience at any time by asking the entity to leave and opening your eyes.]
“What do you do with an entity, once you have invited it in? Interact with it. Explore the sensations of its presence. Ask questions. You might like to ask it for a name or designation or visual image, so you know how to recognize this same energy in the future.
“Ask this entity what it has to teach or offer you.
“[Some of you will find it easy to imagine a dialogue. Some of you will only get a vague sensation or image, and some of you will not feel much of anything at all, and that's O.K.. You may find, over time, that for you the import of the exchange is not in a conscious, verbal experience.]
“Ask your guide if there is a special place or manner for contacting her, him or it, to make the contact clearer.
“If there is any long-term work you would like to do with this particular guide or spirit, put in a request. If there is any concern or issue you would like some help with over time, just let them know. Even if you perceive or feel nothing, it never hurts to put the request out there.
“Now thank the spirit or entity that has come to you. Even if you have not perceived anyone or anything there, it doesn't hurt to thank them anyway... they have been there and your perception will open over time. So thank them... take a deep breath... and pay attention to the water for a moment.
“Name yourself again... take another deep breath, and bring your awareness to your body, sitting in your room. Name yourself again, and then bring your awareness to your everyday focus of consciousness. As it is comfortable for you, open your eyes and maybe move around a bit....
“For some people this exercise is very easy and Guides come through very quickly. For others there is a blank and the effort needs to be repeated more than once. For still others, the experience is not focussed on interaction with an entity, per se, but on images and "adventures" that happen while in "the country of the mind". If you trust that your mind will gradually open to exchange, in whatever form works best for you, then over time you will see how your particular form of channeling can evolve.
“After you emerge from your experience, or while you are still in it, it is useful to write down or tape record what you see, feel and hear. It can help you to "catch" fleeting details and images, which like in dreams, can seem quite solid when you are experiencing them, but then fade rapidly when you return to everyday consciousness. Often something you are channeling seems insignificant while you are in the channel, but may strike you as quite profound or evocative later on.
“For most people, it is not necessary to go into a deep trance in order to channel. Shut your eyes and imagine yourself going to visit a friend. That is a slightly altered state of awareness. You are not directly focussed on the immediate reality of your surroundings, but you are not off in la-la land either. That is a good healthy depth of "trance" for conscious channeling. You are still in touch with your everyday consciousness, but you are in the next room over, in your imagination, inviting imaginative excursions and experiences.
“From this place you can stay in touch with the questions you wish to ask, but also recall the responses you hear. Since channeling is a training for your mind and understanding, it makes sense to stay in proximity to your conscious awareness. If you go deeper, there is a tendency to bliss out or doze off.
“There is one other aspect of channeling which we want to point out to you. As we mentioned before, the universe tends to respond rather than answer when you pose questions. And wisdom is a very three-dimensional experience. You may find that conscious attempts to channel yield all kinds of dialogues and images. You may, on the other hand, receive nothing in that form, but then, some time within a few days after posing a question, you may find that you are being given information or guidance nonetheless. You have a significant dream. A friend says something which is helpful. A book or movie illuminates the situation for you.
“This, too, is a fruitful form of "dialogue" with entities. If we (they) can not get through to you verbally or imaginatively, we can always activate your awareness in other realms, and through symbolic events. As you learn to recognize these symbolic events as responses from "the universe", and from your entity kin, then you can feel your training proceeding, and your sense of awareness deepening and opening as well.
A Note about Malevolent Spirits
“Some people fear channeling, because they think they might encounter bad spirits. But malevolent spirits do not exist. There can be difficult energy or interference on the wire, but interference is not so solid or purposeful as spirit energy. And of course most of the "bad spirits" turn out to be voices of the parts of yourself which you have disinherited -- psychological constructs that have much to teach you about your whole self, even its more scary elements.
“Although malevolent entities do not exist, energy that is "destructive" does exist. So is it possible to meet a spirit whose message or energy is disruptive to you. If you do, ask them to leave. You are not at the "mercy" of spirits -- they enter through openings and invitations you create through your belief system, and you do not have to be "invaded", unless there is a part of the self (usually a disinherited part) which is seeking that invasion, or has low self-esteem and believes it "deserves" invasion. If you carry a lot of superstitions about "the occult", then it is best to work through whatever belief systems give you strength. Ask for your guardian angel, or Jesus, or the Buddha as a guide. And then work to rethink your belief systems.
“If you encounter something that feels like "bad spirits" telling you to do harmful things, and they do not disappear immediately upon request, then we suggest you get some counseling help to strengthen your self-esteem. There are some people whose Talking Self has difficulty with letting Wiser Self speak, for fear of being “taken over”. If that is the case, it is better that you avoid channeling and divination, for now, and work instead on learning to pray and meditate. Practicing faith, gratefulness, and non-verbal connection to source, can help some of these difficulties or blockages dissolve over time.
“Talking about an inner experience can, in some cases, dilute the energy of it, or invite other people's judgements and mental constructs into what is best a private workshop. It is a little like telling someone the plot of your story before you write it out -- it can dissipate your energy to write the story. By the same token, talking about your guides can distance you from the actual experience and sensations you had. It can make you self-conscious or self-censoring in ways that limit the kind of relationship you are able to build with your council.
“On the other hand, you are exploring new territory and sometimes it helps to discuss what you have seen and felt with someone who is experienced enough to help you maintain a healthy perspective. If you do this carefully, with a teacher who has agreed to respect your evolving perceptions, it is better. Someone who has not experienced contact with their own guides, or with the Divine in some form, is probably not qualified to help you understand the truth and the illusions in what you experience while visiting the "country of the mind".
“Since you live in a culture which does not "officially" believe in us, or in the individual sources of wisdom within the inner realms, you can not help but carry some of the fears and illusions about this realm that are rampant in your society. We have students who run into fear figures from their imagination, and believe them to be "real". We also have students who believe every image and word they "channel", as if it were the word of God. This is not healthy.
“There will be distortions in your channeling for years and years, as your receptors evolve and your understanding transforms and awakens. It takes a long time to sort out the relationships between our highly symbolic perspective of truth, and how that relates to lived experience. We had a student, for example, who asked what was the meaning of a brief affair she had had, and heard a voice in her mind say: "you are quite pregnant". She scared the young man half to death when she informed him of her state, and spent several highly dramatic weeks before her period started and she realized that her pregnancy was a symbolic, emotional state, not a physical reality!
“All channeled material is filtered through the instrument receiving it. All channeled information needs to be evaluated carefully and thoughtfully and with a healthy dose of cynicism. And the essence of channeling is not what information you get, but what you do with it, how you integrate it. The bottom line is to stay true to your deepest human values and reverence for life.
“So in the process of learning to channel, you may need to talk about your explorations as a "reality check", but you will also need to use great discretion in how and with whom you discuss them. You will probably need time to find the most comfortable balance between maintaining privacy in your spiritual experiences and discussing or sharing them with others. Since in your culture information is often used as a power tool to aggrandize the ego or to curry favor with others, it is important that you avoid channeling information for friends or family until you are skilled enough to do so cleanly and clearly. Instead, help these friends find ways to tune into their own knowing -- independent of you.
“We feel it is important for all students to learn the difference between keeping secret that which is sacred (to preserve the energy in its truest context), and using secrets to maintain power hierarchies. Those practitioners who tell you that you are someone very special (reincarnated royalty, for example, or a high-level spiritual master), but to keep it secret, are encouraging delusion. Each individual is special.
“Those guides who tell you that they are more holy and powerful than other guides are a distortion. Your power comes from your ability to learn and assimilate and live your deepest values. Those spiritual societies which encourage secret hierarchies and brotherhoods are distorting the teachings they claim to be receiving. All human and creature existence is sacred and of value.
“We offer you these thoughts as a way to help you evaluate some of the spiritual "systems" and configurations out there. Most spiritual traditions have something to offer you. But the bottom line is that any spiritual practice should help you to experience love as a connecting force, develop trust in the inner wisdom, and gain access to inner authority and knowing. We encourage you to explore the inner realms, but also to stay grounded in your body, in your instrument of self, and in your deepest human values in all that you do.”