QUESTION: How can I develop my psychic abilities?

ANSWER: Everyone is psychic. What a person can or cannot do is not an indication of your true abilities, only that which interests you (at least on an unconscious level). Furthermore, intuition is interesting. The more you listen to it, the more feedback it will give you, and the better you'll get. So, you really want to practice paying attention to the way your unconscious mind tells you information. For some it's a simple "knowing" in the quiet moments of meditation. For others, it may be a gut feeling or a body sensation like itching or warmth. Basically, the unconscious mind can use any of your senses to communicate, whether:
  • VISION - this can involve isolated images or symbols you "see" or can be more detailed images of clairvoyance or remote viewing.
  • HEARING - also known as clairaudience, often it seems to involve hearing words or sounds in one ear and not the other. Can be somewhat scary for those who aren't familiar with it, as "hearing voices" is traditionally a sign of insanity.
  • TOUCH - which could probably also be considered clairsentience, it is feeling intuition as physical body sensations.
  • SMELL - sometimes psychic information is transmitted as a smell, whether simple or complex.
  • TASTE - although far less common than the other methods, some people can get tastes in their mouths that, when interpreted, give them psychic information. I know when I first started as a psychic, I got auras as complex tastes that I had to interpret.

It may also simply give you information as "knowing."

There are countless ways you can practice your intuition. Annette Martin wrote a workbook of exercises for her students called Discovering Your Psychic World which you can use if you want some examples. The main thing is to make it something you would care about or that is useful in everyday life. For example, when I first became psychic, I would use it to sense what kind of emergency cases I would be doing on call, and at what time of the night. As an anesthesiologist, it was extremely useful to be able to plan ahead. And I always got feedback in that if I got called in to do a case, I would note the time and type of case and compare it to what my intuition had told me. I found I was nearly 100% accurate for up to 8 hours. However, there are a great many other ways you can practice:

  • TRAFFIC: If you live in a city with frequent traffic reports, try to "guess" which roads (if any) are bad and why. This works even better if you have two routes to get home, each with an equal chance of having delays, and you guess which road would get you home faster then listen to the report. It is not helpful if one road is always bad, because then logic takes over.
  • SHOPPING: Without checking the adds, try to "guess" what you're going to pay for something and where is the best place to buy it. Then check out the facts.
  • PARKING: Try to let your intuition guide you to the best parking space. This is particularly useful during the holiday shopping season.
  • THE TELEPHONE: "Guess" who is calling when the phone rings (and no cheating by looking at caller ID).
  • SPORTS: Without knowing anything about the game or the teams (or the horses) try to guess who or what will win and by how much. Then check on your results.
  • COMPUTER GAMES: There are lots of computer games with electronic ESP cards or their equivalent, both on CD-ROMs and the internet. Some will even calculate out your score. The problem with this is that you may not really care whether you do well on it or not because it's not important to you.

The trick is to find something you: 1) care about; 2) can't know for sure based on past knowledge and experience; and 3) can get feedback on. Then pay attention to the difference in feeling between that which proved to be right and that which was wrong. Also, notice if you ignored intuitions that you later regret not acting upon, and be aware of how that information came to you so that the next time it happens you DON'T ignore it.

Psychic Basics
There are certain basic things that every psychic should do every single time they sit down to work (or even at night before they go to sleep if they plan to do a bit of astral traveling) regardless of their degree of experience or talent. Make this a habit! Be consistent and it will save you a lot of grief.

1. Protection: The first thing you should always do is protect yourself! This doesn't just means when you decide to play with a Ouija board (which can be a lot more trouble than it's worth and far more cumbersome than simply picking up the information directly). It means ALL THE TIME. So, if you're going to do any kind of psychic work at all, take a moment and protect yourself. If you're working with others who may not have the skill or talent to take care of this for themselves, then protect them, as well. This is doubly true if you are sending healing to someone. Two quick and simple ways to protect yourself are:

(A) Before you meditate, always contact your guide and tell him/her that you are not working, but you are meditating and building your energy.  Surround yourself in white light (like a yolk in the white of an egg), center and ground yourself, and ask your guide to protect you while you meditate.

(B) Before you work, surround yourself in white light, setting the intention that nothing but good can come to you, and nothing but good can go from you to others. Take a second to really "see" yourself in that light, surrounded, safe, and protected.

NOTE: Some people also like to say a prayer before they work or light a white candle. These are helpful (but not necessary) rituals. Rituals are great at providing comfort, making it easier to relax and focus, and enhancing that sense of protection. What that ritual consists of may not be so important as whether you like it and it works for you. They work by making it easier to feel protected and setting a stronger intention.

Intention really is EVERYTHING in psi. That which you intend to be true and really "feel" (no secret doubts or insecurity) will be true in the astral. After all, have you ever heard of a true skeptical disbeliever being successfully psychically attacked? No! And the reason is because in their minds it's impossible for you to attack them using psi because psi doesn't exist. Their confidence in this belief protects them.

2. Centering and Grounding: After you are protected you need to balance and ground yourself. Visualize a silver cord coming from either your solar plexus or crown chakra and reaching up through space to infinity or state that it is going to "the highest source of information for those who serve the light." Then visualize a gold cord coming from your solar plexus or your root chakra and reaching down to the center of the earth. You may feel a tug up and/or down as you visualize the silver and gold cords reaching out. Allow yourself to take a second and really "feel" that connection. Have a sense of how balanced you are now, and let yourself enjoy that feeling knowing you are now centered and grounded.

Remember to meditate regularly! It's important. You should make it a habit! All first year students are instructed to meditate before they have a circle, and for 20 minutes each day. An easy way to reach a meditative state is:
  1. Sit in a comfortable position – do not cross your legs or ankles, just relax.
  2. Now tell your guide to be with you and protect you while you meditate, wrap yourself in white light, remind your guide that you will not be working (getting messages), then center and ground yourself (see above).
  3. Start the meditation by visualizing the color red – visualize an apple or whatever helps you to see in your mind’s eye the color red.
  4. Next visualize the color orange – visualize an orange or whatever helps you to see in my mind’s eye the color orange.
  5. Once you have visualized the color orange, concentrate on visualizing the color yellow.
  6. Once you have maintained the color yellow, concentrate on visualizing the color green.
  7. Continue to the color blue, then on to lavender, and finally to white.
This may take you several meditations, it is different for each person, but it is a good stress reliever, and will prepare you for working in a circle, communicating with your guide, or giving a reading.

Other Musts:
1. Learn to listen to feedback from your body on the psychic hits you get:  One of the best basic psychic development techniques for learning to tell when you are getting information that is "right" or "wrong" appears in Lysa Mateu's book Psychic Diaries.

2. Work on your issues: People hear this all the time, but they rarely do it. You have to work on your psychological baggage! I can't emphasize this enough! All information is accessed and processed through the unconscious mind. If you have issues you don't want to look at, they will color and distort the psychic information you receive. And many the student has found him or herself blocked by the spirit realm from further progress because they are unwilling to tackle their own issues. It's smart to seek the help of an experienced professional, too. Most of them are more open to psi than you might think.

3. Be ethical. There are stories of many psychics who have been said to lose their powers because they abused their gift. It's impossible to say whether this is really the spirit realm turning off the spigot or their own guilt unconscious mind/soul, trying to tell them they are on the wrong path. But even if you don't lose your abilities, you certainly run the risk of other difficulties, from angering another psychic who does not appreciate your scanning them without their permission, or in more extreme cases criminal prosecution for fraud. Be ethical. Be considerate. Always ask for permission before you scan someone. And never promise what you may not be able to deliver, whether it be a sure-fire investment scheme or the spirit of someone's long-lost grandfather. Honesty truly is the best policy. Everyone has "off" days. Psychics aren't any different.

EVP researcher Konstantin Raudive once said, "Transcommunication is not a hobby for those who can't cope with the realities of life." The same can be said for those who want to "dabble" in psychic self-development or become a parapsychologist. This isn't a game. It's serious work, with serious consequences -- not only for others, but for yourself because it brings up unconscious issues, which must be addressed for you to proceed.

Key Points to Remember
If you find yourself wondering if you're crazy, it probably means you're sane. People having an initial psychic opening often start their conversations with lines like "You're going to think I'm crazy but..." or "You're never going to believe me, but..." What they soon learn is that parapsychologists have just about heard it all. The mere fact that a person doubts his or her own sanity is a reassuring sign that they are still in touch with reality - simply trying to figure out what their new reality is.

The issue isn't whether you're hearing voices, but what those voices are saying. Parapsychologists have a rule of thumb. If the voices are saying helpful, supportive things, then it doesn't matter whether those voices are a part of your unconscious mind or discarnate entities, its okay to have them around. But if the comments are destructive or negative, hurting you, then it's time to get rid of the source, whether through professional counseling or moving a spirit onto the light.

The hardest thing to learn is not what to say, but what NOT to say. You get a lot of information that is better left unsaid. This is probably the most difficult thing to learn, because it requires good judgment, which sometimes only comes with time and practice. Some psychics claim they say EVERYTHING that comes to them. In these cases, I suspect their guides try to filter the information before it get to their mouths. However, for most of us, it's wise to consider what might be helpful (if you can word it right) and what would only be harmful (whether true or false).

Timing is everything. Time is a tough subject for many psychics. You spend so much time in the astral, where there are no boundaries of any kind (including time), that it can be harder for psychics to be aware of time. But without time, you cannot have timing. And to be the most effective as a psychic you need to have timing and know what to say when.

Remember to live in the present. And I'm not just talking about from a Zen perspective, although that's not bad. You may be vividly aware of past lives and able to slide mentally with ease into the future. But you are living in the present, and that's where you need to focus. Most people forget their past lives for a reason--they're PAST and that's where they should belong. The future will take care of itself if you remember to focus on the present without being pulled off balance by the past or future.

If You Want to Turn it Off:
It's common when people are first starting to open up as a psychic that they will see colors or images (especially faces) at night. This is partly because the normal shift in consciousness that occurs as people fall off to sleep or are waking up increases the ability to sense things. So, to some extent it's normal. Also , issues may be coming up - but that's beyond the realm of what we can discuss here.

So, how do you turn your psychic talent off? There are a number of things you can try.
  1. Shield. To put it simply, imagine yourself surrounded by white light for protection. You can control the solidness of that shield - make it impenetrable so that others can't see in and you can't 'see' out. Set the intention that it will effortlessly maintain itself throughout the night.
  2. Ask your guides for help. They can shield you and keep other spirits away.
  3. Use the "control room." This is a technique used by hypnotists. Imagine your sensitivity to psychic information as a number on a control screen in your mind. Then, visualize that number going down, decreasing, until you are no longer aware of psychic information. In the morning, you can always reverse the process and return the number back to where is was before. However, I wouldn't increase it by more than that.

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