November 1

My past life mother is a Tibetan Monk, and I met him.

past lives

Do you believe in reincarnation and past lives? In this episode, we hear two powerful stories about past lives. The first is about the moment Katische realised that her past life mother, was a Tibetan Monk. The second is a story about how Ruby realised how her fear of fires originated in a past life as a Chimney Sweep..


Listen here, on the podcast player, or you can find the podcast on Apple, Spotify, Audible, Amazon Music and all of the major podcast players. The YouTube video version is below.

Transcript:


Welcome to the Infinite Life Podcast. I'm your host, Katische Haberfield.

I am an intuitive sound healer and an incarnation guide. this podcast is for you if you wish to make sense of your life by understanding your past present and future incarnations for we are all spiritual beings in a human body who have never died just change costumes from life to life in order to have experiences that help our soul grow and expand my hope is that this podcast helps you weave together strands from all lifetimes so that you can make peace with your journey and understand that you are a perfect expression of your soul in this moment in this incarnation.

Welcome to episode one. Today we're going to be talking about past lives and what I wanted to specifically talk about today is the fact that past lives are really helpful for understanding who we are why we are and help us make peace with the way our lives have turned out so far.  In each episode of our podcast we're going to be learning a little bit about past lives, present lives and future lives. We will be listening to a past life story from one of our podcast listeners, they'll let us know how they learn about one of their past lives and what insight it gave them and how it helped them in their lives.  I'll also be sharing some intimate details from my past life reveals and letting you know about some of the things that might be of interest to you when trying to get your head around what it is to be a human being who incarnates time after time. so grab yourself a cuppa and let's get into episode one.

Now I'm not sure about you, but I've always been aware about the concept of past lives for as far back as I can remember. I’ve been comfortable with talking about death and I've also been interested in reading about near-death experiences and reincarnation.  It hasn't seemed too weird or strange, murky or against any of my religious beliefs to delve into the concepts of have we lived before, who have I been?, and where am i going to in the next life? so in each episode i'd like to teach you a little bit about past lives, present lives and future lives and give you where applicable an insight into my journey and bring you some people through interviews who would also like to share their stories as well the whole purpose of this is to help normalise discussions about reincarnation.

 and so we'd like to encourage all discussions irrespective of religious and cultural backgrounds all opinions are unique according to our experiences and are valid.

 So with that I would like to share a story today of my first past life reveal. This is a story about the first time that I realised that my current life was being influenced emotionally by a past life so I'm going to tell you a little story and I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

It’s late afternoon and I’m sitting on a green plastic chair in the middle of an otherwise empty and cold communal bathroom. Besides me stands a Tibetan Buddhist Nun in her saffron robes. Being early autumn, she’s wearing saffron coloured socks with her house slippers to keep her feet warm. 

 

She’s laughing and smiling, and she holds a pair of clippers.  

‘Do you want to keep any of your hair as a souvenir’? 

No, I do not.

I think to myself that would be the ultimate sign of attachment. 

 

The clippers buzz into action and my hair falls on my lap and onto the floor. The volunteer on cleaning shift comes in and sweeps it up and puts it into a big green bin. I’m not clean-shaven and bald, probably a blade 3 all over, but it’s a huge difference from the bob that I sported a few minutes ago.  

 

It feels good. It feels significant and I feel like it is an acknowledgement of the change that I want in my life.  

 

But how did I get here, to this moment in time? Let me take you back a few moments.

 

It started with a search for happiness in the pages of a book, or more specifically, a shit load of books. I believe anyone who turns up at the checkout with a book on happiness needs to be given a hug.  A book on happiness is like grabbing a polishing rag and an old teapot in the hope of shining a genie. Wishing for happiness won’t help one bit, until you scratch beneath the surface and figure out what’s wrong. 

 

I’m searching for a way to answer my question: why am I so unhappy? Why don’t I want to be married anymore? If you think that sounds like a line from Eat Pray Love, well then you are right. I found myself curled up in bed watching Eat Pray Love wondering if someone had tapped my thoughts and turned it into a movie.

 

Unlike Elizabeth Gilbert, I have two children, and I can’t go in search of answers by leaving the country. The answers have to be found in my own backyard. Which is what has strangely brought me to a Tibetan Buddhist Institute.

 

It can only be said that finding the source of my problem and deciding whether to leave my husband is not a state accompanied by inner peace. I am filled with anger and sadness and an overwhelming mixture of anxiety, grief, and guilt. I need somewhere to run to, a place to be silent, to weep, to explode, to process the entire inferno that is raging within. I don’t want it to be in the arms of another lover or in the depths of a bottle. And so I run towards the Buddha.

 

On a weekend when my husband is home to look after the kids, I book myself in for a stay at the Buddhist Institute. Reaching the top of the stairway, I enter the reception, which doubles as a Dharma shop. It is filled with the most beautiful objects, prayer flags, Buddhist beads, statues, jewellery and clothing and a selection of Buddhist music and literature.  

  

The receptionist asks me the purpose of my stay. This confuses me.  

‘Is it a personal retreat, or will you be attending the course?’ 

I wonder what she means by ‘retreat’?

 ‘Oh I hadn’t thought about it’. ‘I guess as I am here, I may as well do the course’. ‘What is it about?’  

‘Everyday kindness in Relationships’, she replies.  

I’m not blind to the irony in that. 

 

My room contains a single bed and a bedside table with a lamp. There is a communal unisex shower and toilet block at the end of the building. Nothing exciting to keep me in my room like at a hotel or resort. So, I decide to venture to the ‘Garden of Enlightenment’ before it gets dark. 

 

Before me is a red building, at the base of which is a veranda containing a number of Buddhist Prayer Wheels. Above it, on the roof are eight Stupas, each referring to a specific event in the Buddha’s life.  

 

I know from my travels in Nepal that you are supposed to spin the prayer wheels. I follow the veranda around and find a small concrete staircase leading to the roof. Turning the bend I am faced with a sight that makes me stop. The sun is behind a beautiful stupa and prayer flags are fluttering in the wind. 

 

I walk up to the Stupa to take a closer look. The largest Stupa is in the centre, and the others are connected to it by a row of lighter coloured prayer flags. Each Stupa sits on a terracotta base and is white, decorated with gold leaf and brightly coloured images. Some contain spaces for the ashes of the deceased marked by a memorial plaque. Below are eerily quiet shrine rooms containing a large mandala and countless small Stupas made in memory of a deceased loved one or pet. An incense stick burning in an offering jar is the only sign that someone else has been here today. 

 

A loud chorus from the resident Kookaburras wakes me before dawn. After breakfast I head to the Gompa (otherwise known as a temple or meditation hall). Fourteen steps lead down a steep incline to a rectangular building which contains one large upstairs room, surrounded by wide verandas and underneath, the toilets and a dormitory. The wooden posts, which structurally supported the building, both on the outside and the inside of the building are painted red. Prayer flags flutter and either side of the entry door are wooden shoe racks. 

The room itself is empty except for coloured meditation cushions, a large statue of the Buddha, and colourful red and green altar at the front. Taking my shoes off, I follow the lead of others and sit on a cushion on the floor.  

 

An attractive, slender woman with a fringed ice grey bob comes into the room and waits to be introduced. Renate is a lay teacher, meaning that she is not ordained, and therefore not a nun. The course volunteer introduces herself, nervously notes that this is her first time volunteering, and that she will handle the administrative aspects of the course. She asks us to check in with her and grab a name badge, and then reads aloud Renate’s credentials. 

 

Renate is a psychotherapist by trade, and a student of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, who is one of the founders of Chenrezig. The Lama had unexpectedly honoured her by asking her to teach at a time when her knowledge of Buddhism was still forming, and she had taught ever since. 

An unapologetic widow and a divorcee, Renate is brutally honest and able to look at the topics with an analytical mind, and both a Psychotherapists and Buddhist’s perspective. She is very clear which hat is on at any one time and notes when her clinical training contradicts her Buddhist perspective.  

 

The course is very informal, and covers a number of topics including Anger, Forgiveness, Compassion, Karma, Happiness, Attachment, Emptiness and Mind Poisons. 

I find her insight into relationships refreshing. She seems to be innately wise about relationships having been married twice. One relationship ended in divorce and the other with death. She describes relationships as a ‘dance where you try to dance in step with each other. But you may not always dance together. Sometimes you can be accommodating of change, other times you simply have to acknowledge the impermanence of relationships’.  

 

This concept of impermanence in relationships is new to me. Naturally when you are young and dating, impermanence is clear and easy to understand. Despite our best wishes we all know deep down that we will all have a number of relationships from teenage hood to adulthood. Some may last weeks, others months and years. However, we all expect that someday we will find ‘the one’. At that time, we will get married and be faithful and the relationship will become permanent. In Western society we expect relationships to be permanent, and take the till death do us part of our marriage vows very seriously. We feel that we have failed if our marriages end in divorce, despite the fact that fifty per cent of them do. 

She challenges us to stop being so romantic and philosophical about our relationships. She tells us  

 

‘Wisdom in relationships is not philosophical wisdom. It is about the knowledge of where relationships lie’.  

 

We need to see that the very nature of a relationship changes over its course, and that the karmic intensity for the relationship may fade over time. This may bring us great sadness and suffering. We must learn to deal with change. 

 

This point about the karmic intensity of a relationship interests me. She explains that she was suffering terrible guilt after leaving her husband, and spoke about it with the Lama. She felt almost embarrassed to admit that the relationship had ‘failed’. It didn’t bother him. He quite frankly told her not to worry and that the karmic intensity of the relationship had ended. The reason that they were brought together had now been achieved, they had learnt the specific life lesson, and now the karmic attachment between the two of them was dissolving. 

 

Apparently it is simple as that. There’s no need for guilt or blame, it just is. 

Renate  implores for us to relax in our relationships and be ‘light’.   

‘Laugh, laugh, laugh.’  

 

 ‘Embrace the messiness of relationships and try and use humour.  Use private jokes for unresolved issues where you see topics going around and around that always seem to be unresolvable and ending at the same point’.   

 

Easier said than done. 

 

 

We are reminded that conflict in relationships cannot be defeated by hatred, a point I struggle to understand. When someone has been so critical of you for so long, you develop a secret burning hatred of them. It sits and bubbles inside you until life provides you with an opportunity for it to reach the surface and explode.  

 

Walking back from my room to the café in the evening, the anger does explode. It explodes as pain in my leg as I am walking and I have to grab hold of a tree to steady myself. Sciatica has returned. 

 

In the depths of my despair about my marriage I have a dream. In the dream I call out for help from Buddha Shakyamuni. An image of the Buddha appears in my mind’s eye, and I wake sobbing, knowing that he will help me find my way.

 

A few weeks later I head back to Chenrezig for the five-day Easter Course, the ‘Seven Point Mind Training’.  I have no idea what that means, but I’m up for it. This time I stay at my own house and commute each day to the centre. 

 

There are over a hundred people who attend the course, and it is completely different in format and style of delivery. This is a much more formal course. It is delivered in Tibetan by the Geshe, and then translated.  All the nuns and monks sit in front of us, at low red wooden tables, which contain shelves for the sacred books, which cannot be disrespected by being placed on the floor. 

 

The first time the Geshe walks into the room I burst into tears. Upon seeing him, there is one thought in my mind for which I have no explanation 

 

‘Oh mother I am suffering.’ 

 

 

WTF? 

 

I quietly ask a nun what this is all about at lunchtime on the second day, as it seems that every time he walks into the room, crying is going to be a regular occurrence for me. She explains that although uncommon, this is not unheard of. It happens only to those people who have a very strong past life karmic connection with each other.  

 

There are a couple of familiar faces from the last course, and one of the volunteers recognises me and strikes up a conversation.  He’s one of those people that are just so friendly, and enjoyable to be around. He seems to know a lot more about this Buddhist gig than me, and acts a little bit like an interpretative teacher to me. We swap war stories over chai and become friends. 

 

Each evening after dinner there is a non-compulsory meditation. I haven’t been attending these regularly because they are usually one to two hours after the course has finished for the day. 

 

We receive the news that during the day, Lama Zopa Rinpoche has ‘manifested the signs of a stroke’. I know that Renate will be very distressed. 

 

Many of the nuns had just come back from Bendigo where the Lama was holding a retreat. I know from them that she was there, but has not yet returned to the institute. I feel very sad for her, given her close relationship with the Lama.  

 

The Nuns set about organising a Medicine Buddha Puja for the evening, which will replace the normal meditation session. I’ve got no idea what this entails, and I’m not really interested in attending, but as I walk down the stairs to the car park to go home, something compels me to walk in the opposite direction to my car and attend the Puja. 

 

The room is filled with all the resident nuns and monks, also the Geshe and the other course participants. A small square table covered in a purple tablecloth has been set up in front of the altar. On it is a display of love from the nuns to the Lama.  Apparently the Lama has a good sense of humour, so the nuns wanted it to be playful. 

 

There is a row of eight very large chocolate hearts, which seem to be standing up, because behind them are a row of eight tea-light candles in small votives. Behind them a row of eight Easter bilby chocolates, then another row of tea light candles, behind that a row of eight votives filled with sand, containing two sticks of incense in each. Behind that, yet another row containing votives filled with floating flowers. Above this, is the piece de resistance, eight cuddly new children’s toys, pink, purple and white.  

 

According to the Institute the following is the explanation of the Medicine Buddha Puja: 

‘The Four Tantras, the fundamental cause of every disease is to be found in the three delusions of ignorance, attachment and aversion. 

 

Buddhas such as Shakyamuni and the seven Medicine Buddhas are referred to as great physicians because they have the compassion, wisdom and skilful means to diagnose and treat the root delusions underlying all mental and physical malaise. 

 

The seven Medicine Buddhas work to pacify the obstacles to the achievement of temporary happiness, liberation and the ultimate happiness of full enlightenment. The Medicine Buddha practice can be used to help those who have already died and liberate them from suffering. It is also very powerful in bringing about success in daily life and spiritual practice. 

 

Lama Zopa says, “It is very important that the elaborate Medicine Buddha puja with extensive offerings be done regularly. The offerings should be as extensive and as beautiful as possible, and done in order to benefit all sentient beings.” 

 

The Medicine Buddha puja is in English and takes around 60 minutes.’ 

 

The chanting is to aid Lama Zopa Rinpoche. There is a booklet placed at everyone’s seat, which outlines the words we must chant. It is complex and I am totally lost and over my head. So I do as I am told and follow everyone else in chanting the words NAMO GURU MUNI INDRAYA .  

 

My eyes well with tears.  

 

Not again.  

 

And then something quite incomprehensible happens. I cry uncontrollably for the next hour as the nuns and monks perform the Medicine Puja. 

 

If you’ve ever tried to stop from crying and making a noise in the middle of a public ceremony, you’ll understand how hard this is.  

 

The crying would be ok, if not accompanied by amazing pain in my chest. I have no idea how I am going to get through this. I know I cannot leave the room even if I want to. Physically, it actually would be impossible, because I am having difficulty concentrating on just getting by at the moment. This moment is all consuming, and it’s overwhelming and sad and painful and I just want someone to help and someone to stop it. I am aware that everyone is aware of my suffering right now.  

 

When the chanting stops, I am relieved and I am able to quietly whimper until the suffering subsides and I am like a drunk who has awakened aware of their hangover, but without the ability to remember where the drink came from. I am exhausted. 

 

One of the nuns, who I have previously discussed this whole crying business with, comes over to me and softly and compassionately, tells me to go home and have a bath and a sleep. Things will be better in the morning. 

 

In the morning I feel a bit idiotic and as though I need to explain myself and perhaps apologise. Amusingly when I arrive, the nuns hand out badges and proclaim that it is a day of silence. No one, other than the teachers are allowed to talk.  

 

Problem solved. 

 

On the last afternoon of the course, I sit listening to Geshe, when I notice how much my hair is annoying me. It keeps flicking into my eyes. I had tried to tie it up in a headscarf earlier, but was quickly reminded that it is an offence to cover your head in a Buddhist temple, so removed it. My hair is not long, just in a short bob, but the side bangs are bothering me.  

 

On the way up the hill to lunch, I pass one of the nuns. I smile and make a joke about the fact that she is lucky not to have any hair. She quickly seizes the opportunity  

‘Well I would be happy to shave it off for you’.  

 

I cannot believe that she is serious. But she is. And so, that is how I find myself, at the end of the afternoon, in the bathrooms with Venerable Pema and a set of clippers. 

 

And that my friends, is the story of the first head shave in this lifetime. And the realisation of a past life connection with a Tibetan Buddhist Geshe. I’d love to say that I connected deeply with the Geshe and we formed a deep relationship on the basis that we realised the past life connection, but it did not happen that way.

 

I was not ready for it at the time, and although the nuns urged me to come back and study intently with him, I never made it. Life and the children and my separation and divorce got in the way, and ultimately the Geshe moved back to Tibet. 

 

There is nothing lost from the experience however, it was complete in itself. It would bring me back into the throes of Buddhism for quite a few years, until I would move towards spirituality. Ten years later, I would no longer describe myself as ‘Buddhist” on the Australian census.

Often our past life realisations are to help us through a particular period in time, and to make linkages that will make sense much later on. They may eventually be the “logic and reason” that Buddhism loves to run the filter of life through, to help us explain why we are the way we are.

For me, it helped in hindsight to understand why I ran to Buddhism in my time of crisis.  Although born as a Christian in this lifetime, I have at least two lives that I know of as a Buddhist Monk, and so our subconscious minds bring to us that which will comfort us in our time of need.

Did the Geshe lose out by being deprived of meeting a past life daughter? No, his life is complete as is in this incarnation. There is no need for his awareness, or perhaps he was aware, and his presence was the only thing that I needed. The mere fact that he was doing a period of time as the resident Geshe at a Buddhist Institute in Australia, in a little town, 30 minutes drive from where I was living is proof enough for me.  There are no coincidences after all. 

Understanding our irrational fears for emotional healing at an epigenetic and past life level.

Often our greatest fears are irrational. Meaning someone else could listen to your fears and not see how or why you are worried about them. Or perhaps you have absorbed the fears of your family- passed down through your genetic DNA.  

You see what is emotionally unresolved, is passed onto your children. Beliefs and trauma are almost always handed down because experiences which are stress inducing and traumatic, change us, and change our genetic expression at the DNA level.

A memorised trauma response is something that is not talked about.

For example, if a family member died in traumatic circumstances, then the fear associated with the way they died- say for example- drowning in a river, may be passed along genetically.  We tend to hear people say things like “we prefer swimming in the safety of a public pool”  (without even realising why we prefer….)

So it really is important to be in touch with the stories of your family.  The sharing of stories is something that we are losing the art of. We are more connected to our friends on social media than our own families these days.

When we connect with our gene pool, we can begin to distinguish what emotions are our own, which are our families and which are the irrational ones that are most likely related to an incarnation experience.

Speaking about irrational fears, it’s time to hear about Ruby’s irrational fear of house fires.

One last thought, from the Buddhist American Author, and Academic Robert Thurman (also famous for his present life daughter Uma)

The Buddhists think that, because we've all had infinite previous lives, we've all been each other's relatives. Therefore all of you, in the Buddhist view, in some previous life ... have been my mother - for which I do apologize for the trouble I caused you. - Robert Thurman

And that my friends is the end of this episode. I look forward to spending more time with you next week.  

For further information about how you can use sound journeys to access other incarnations you can visit my website at katische.com where you can read my blogs and also subscribe to my newsletter “Incarnation Insights”. To send me a story about one of your incarnation insights head to the voice recording facility at katische.com/theinfinitelifepodcast.

About the author 

Katische

Spiritual Regression Therapist- Past Life, Future Life and Life Between Lives Therapy infused with sound and energy healing.

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