Indeed, the story of The Living Word of Kuan Yin may have begun when Lena Lees prayed to a beautiful stone visage of Kuan Yin. During the third trimester of her pregnancy, Lena and her family traveled from California to visit with family and friends in Philadelphia. Her delivery date swiftly approaching, Lena knew this would be the last time for a while that she’d be able to visit the East Coast.
Placing a visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art on her family’s vacation itinerary, Lena had no idea of the importance of her decision, how it would later profoundly transform her life. At the museum with her husband and children by her side, she suddenly gravitated to a room boasting an impressive display of Asian shrines and statuary. Drawn to a particularly striking sculpture of Kuan Yin, Lena believed the statue was comforting her, speaking to her.
Praying to Kuan Yin, she and her family asked for assistance with the many challenges they faced ahead. Weeks later, with the safe birth of her daughter, Lena believed her prayers had been answered. Nowadays, upon entering Lena’s house, one is greeted by a small menagerie, a beautiful assemblage of female deity figurines and images: Guadalupe, Mother Mary, as well as an extensive array of Kuan Yin images and statuettes grace her walls and mantle.
A librarian, student and mother of three, Lena had originally scheduled an appointment with me early in March 2004, to discuss and troubleshoot her college graduation project. Not knowing much about hypnosis, she was anxious to discover if she could go into trance.
To satisfy my Client-Centered Hypnosis internship practitioner hour requirements, I agreed to hypnotize Lena. I explained that I had several years of prior therapy experience and that I was still immersed in my client-centered studies. I told Lena her session with me would fulfill my weekly homework requirement. Describing the process, I also delineated another countdown technique our class was presently focused upon called transpersonal hypnosis. Informing Lena that she had the option of either a traditional or transpersonal countdown, we set the appointment date.
Transpersonal hypnosis employs a ten to zero countdown similar to a traditional countdown protocol. Once, however, one has established her safe place, a resource fallback position if, for any reason, one feels unsafe during trance, she is directed to her sacred place. One’s sacred place is whatever the client experiences, once the directive is made. Sacred places vary greatly from one individual to the next but very often represent one’s deepest sense of the divine.
Agreeing to meet with me for her first trance induction, Lena mentioned during our phone intake together, that her goal for her first trance experience was to receive guidance on how to refine her college graduation thesis, to get a better idea of how her final project would take shape:
Utilizing the client-centered approach, I conducted the standard interview, completing a custom intake sheet for Lena. Understanding that Lena had initially come to trouble-shoot the particulars for her college field study project, I explained that my homework project had to do specifically with transpersonal hypnosis. Detailing further, I relayed that even a very pragmatic question, such as hers, could still be addressed in one’s potentially more spiritual, transpersonal trance. Choosing the transpersonal countdown instead of the traditional countdown, Lena then laid back and got comfortable.
Conducting the countdown (utilizing Lena’s own intentions and vocabulary), I spoke the words that would direct Lena to her safe place. Acknowledging her arrival, Lena described the beautiful Pennsylvania woods of her childhood. Her safe place was a cornfield near the backyard of her home. Lingering in the field, she experienced the blazing colors of a fall sunset: the east coast crisp, autumn air.
Asked if she would like to now experience her sacred place, Lena agreed, finding herself in a beautiful bamboo forest. Traveling a bit further, she found herself in a beautiful garden with a waterfall. I asked Lena if she was ready to invite in her spirit-guide. What transpired next was a phenomenon I never would have imagined.
To my amazement, I heard Lena speak, while in trance, powerful phrases and metaphor that were utterly foreign to her. Incredibly, upon waking from her trance, she remembered nothing. Believing Lena’s first encounter with the Goddess Kuan Yin was a chance one-time event, I listened attentively (but with a healthy skepticism) during our second session together. By the third episode, I knew that something incredible had occurred.
From her first hypnosis induction, forward, Lena realized she had a personal “channel,” some mysterious and lingering association with the Eastern Deity, Kuan Yin. From the onset, it appeared Lena had a natural affinity with the Goddess. I, on the other hand, had difficulty (at least in the beginning) accepting Kuan Yin as my muse. Maybe it was because my lineage dated back to the Mayflower and the Puritans that I found it curious, even ironic that, over time, I became enchanted with this legendary Asian Goddess.
Further into this channeling phenomenon, it was revealed that Lena had worshipped Kuan Yin throughout many lifetimes, that because of their former relationship Lena’s personage is compatible for bearing Kuan Yin’s compassionate message. When transcribing the Kuan Yin material, I often wondered if she somehow knew Lena would always ask selfless questions, that because of her love for humanity, Lena had true compassion.
A hypnotist for over twenty years, I could detect (during Lena’s and Kuan Yin’s exchanges together) no interference from her persona. I recognized her absolute transparency, realizing I was witness to true mediumship, one who transmits communications from the spirit world.
Though Lena was in full trance during the sessions, the format of The Living Word of Kuan Yin manifested as timely and sometimes intense questions and answers between her and Kuan Yin. Impressed by Lena’s polyphonism, I could only marvel at her ability to precisely detail her and Kuan Yin’s deeply spiritual and thought-provoking dialogue. Indeed, Kuan Yin concedes: “it is difficult for some to hear the voices of the Divine Spirit.”
To conduct a comprehendible alpha conversation is challenging, at best. However, Lena’s verbal adroitness made Kuan Yin’s often-challenging precepts approachable for the common reader. Possessing an uncanny ability for relaying complex phrases and concepts of not only Kuan Yin, but those who no longer dwell in the physical world, Lena accurately relayed discussions with other spirits who could, quite unexpectedly, voice their opinions during the Kuan Yin sessions.
In parting, I now share with you the powerful words Lena spoke to me during her first trance:
“Yes, I see my spirit guide. Today, she looks older than I’ve always believed her to be. She has aged beautifully. She is kneeling down beside me. She is so wise. I hear her now speak to me:”
“You’ve known me. I am no stranger.”
“I am straining, confused. I’m trying to remember other times, places where I might have known Kuan Yin. In this trance, however, I’m only focused on the now,” explained Lena.
“Look beyond what this world offers.” Kuan Yin instructed.
“Laid out before Kuan Yin is a beautiful oriental carpet with intricate design,” described Lena: “Watching her suddenly lift the carpet, I hear Kuan Yin say, ‘Seek out another place beyond this earth. Be in the now. Where you are right now is what is important. Slow down. Everything is too chaotic. Lay down everything you need to do.’
“She is holding a beautiful vial. I know it holds a liquid that reminds people of their Oneness, and makes them feel lighter and aligned with spirit. It is a stress-relieving ointment.”
Kuan Yin then concluded for the day: “You love confections as they remind you of the sweetness of life. Take caution, however, not to overindulge. Too much of any substance can create an imbalance. You’re not just your bodies, you know. Keep your spirit connection. Gravity and chemicals are more influential upon the body when one is not connected with spirit. Connection with spirit can help overcome even genetic and hormonal limits.”
In the weeks and months to come, I believed this was no accident; that somehow Lena was able to bring from her hypnotic trance to waking reality, highly relevant information; wisdom to live by. Witness and scribe to this sage discussion between Lena and her muse, Kuan Yin, I knew that something spiritually monumental was unfolding before my very eyes.