Assessing the Essence of GatewayView more...
Focus | Spring 1995
What's so special about the Gateway Voyage program? This "participant's-eye-view" unerringly picks out the components that make the VOYAGE so much more than the sum of its parts.
Thank you so much for the postcard following up on my Gateway Voyage of this past August. I wanted to get back to you sooner, but I've been so busy with so many good opportunities that have come my way since Gateway. I did want to let you know my thoughts on the program and how my life has changed since then. First of all, before coming to Gateway, I had done Waves I through III of the Gateway Experience tapes at home. I enjoyed doing the home tapes and received some benefits from them. However, I always knew that I'd take the leap and do a Gateway at TMI someday. This year, (1994) NJ and I finally made the commitment and are ever so glad that we did!
The Gateway program at TMI is nothing like doing the home tapes. It is a uniquely growing experience all by itself. Though the home tapes are beneficial for quieting the mind and relaxing, they cannot compare to the intensity and personal growth of going through the Gateway Voyage at TMI. After much thought and careful reflection, I have broken down Gateway into five components. These components are powerful by themselves and contribute to the total experience. In addition, their synergy is really what makes Gateway so special. No one component is more important than the others, nor can they really be separated. They are as follows.
1. The Setting.
Being in the Blue Ridge Mountains among the beauty, peacefulness, harmony, and quiet was incredible. Not only were we in this grand environment with nature's sounds all around us, but being isolated from the rest of the world helped me focus on myself and not the "out there." The lush greenness was especially healing. There was also the architectural beauty of the Center itself, making me feel like I was home. The design of the CHEC units was perfectly thought out and nothing I have at home could reproduce that environment.
2. Being Taken Care of.
I have never felt so inconspicuously taken care of in my life! It was wonderful! Every little detail was handled, and the program was so well organized, it ran without a glitch. There was never a worry about what we were doing next or where we had to be--everything from meals to when to go to the bathroom. Not only did this help me to focus on why I was at TMI, but it was very nurturing. I also feel that TMI didn't skimp on anything.
3. The Group.
I am so grateful to have experienced this part of the program. In some ways, it was the hardest part of the program, and it was also the most rewarding and moving. I've never been with a group of people before who have changed so much in six days, who I've learned so many lessons from, and who I've learned to love so much. All that group energy coming together increased the energy exponentially, making it that much easier to go to different levels of consciousness.
4. The Transcendence.
This was so transforming and so personal for me. I experienced things that I never came close to experiencing in doing the home tapes. Messages came to me easily and clearly. The expansion of my consciousness showed such a different and bigger perception of life, death, and reality, that it's a perception I hope to keep with me always.
5. The Trainers.
Our trainers were John Cahill and Ann Martin. They were the glue and the catalysts of the group at the same time. In the nuts-and-bolts scheme of things, they kept everything on schedule, taking care of the many details involved in moving twenty-four people to where they needed to be. I'm speaking in the physical world, of course. On other levels, they were subtle and effective guides into ourselves and other worlds. And when some group members went through emotional crises, Ann and John really showed their skills in gently guiding the person through the crisis and to a better place. It was always comforting knowing they were there. Not only did they help deepen the whole experience of GATEWAY, they showed us how to have a lot of fun doing it.
All five components build on each other and interconnect like a spider's web. Break one strand and the whole web is weaker. But together, you've got one helluva design.
As for my life after Gateway, it's changed in many ways. I am a much happier person, much more at peace with myself, and have a different perspective on everything. Both NJ and I continue to use the tapes and skills we have learned to go to the different Focuses. I continue to use the tools of problem solving and one-month patterning, as well as many of the other exercises.
The Institute is a magical place. I love that TMI keeps a low profile because I always want it to be accessible and unspoiled. I also believe that whoever is meant to discover TMI will find it. Thank you for helping to make my experience at TMI such a special one. I will be back!
Hemi-Sync® is a registered trademark of Interstate Industries, Inc.
© 1995 by The Monroe Institute
The Gateway to Who You AreView more...
Focus | Fall 1999
My vocabulary and motor skills have escaped me, and I am only left with the tingle of one of the most lovely things that has ever happened to me. I felt something today that has been described to me my whole life and still, even the most eloquent words could not describe the space I’m in right now. Externally, the sun is preparing to sleep, the grass is ripe with its own color, and the afternoon is settling into twilight, which gives the mountains and homes a surreal light and energy. The world and environment have complied with my one wish for this magical moment, and have become completely placid and serene. ~ Journal entry, Tuesday, Teen Gateway
How does one describe experience? Is there a way to categorize a true experience that rattles one’s heart and provides a gateway to Who You Are? Two months ago, my parents dropped me off at The Monroe Institute® on a rainy Saturday with their blessings and a kiss and gave me one of the wildest, most enriching experiences in my life thus far. I could write this very dryly and just describe the course of events that took place in that one week out of a million, but to describe what happened to me, I have to abandon conventional writing and resort to the language of the heart. When my parents asked me to go to the Teen Gateway, I was skeptical, excited, and had absolutely no idea what to expect. I showed up with everyone else, hoping to be able to accomplish whatever it was that we had all come to do. Later in the week and in the months since, I learned that I am still doing what I came to the Institute to do, and there doesn’t seem to be any word for that task other than "living."
Something happens when people are placed in a safe, extremely open environment. Somewhere in between "no-time," breakfast, and tapes, we found ourselves being honest, aware, and having absolutely the most wholesome fun ever. All of our words, our bad jokes, our tears, our insecurities, our morning breath--all the stuff that comes with living with people for a week--fell on receptive ears. There was nothing we could say to one another that was not heard, although it sometimes took us a while to understand the intention or truer nature of the comment, and all of us stuck with our issues until we were able to offer each other some help, or at least a laugh. Truly, the most amazing aspect of the program was that fourteen complete strangers, aged thirteen to seventeen, all found each other to be absolutely delightful human beings. There was no pressure to be or to feel more or less than we were during each second of our six days together. It was exactly perfect to be ourselves and to remind each other to speak our truths, to listen, and-above all else--to care.
The most challenging aspect of the Gateway was leaving! In talking to each other afterward, the thing that most of us regretted was our inability to tell our peers what had happened to us during the week. We returned to our "normal" lives with tools to access an amazing part of life, and other than to our parents, there was no real way to communicate what had happened. It is difficult when an experience’s two biggest lessons are learning to communicate what is happening inside and also learning that sometimes communication is unnecessary. We all gained from the program exactly what we took from it; from each other, we gained fourteen friends who truly understood. in August.
Amelia Uffelman is seventeen years old and a senior at Tandem Friends School in Charlottesville, Virginia. She has been deeply involved in theater arts throughout her scholastic career and has appeared in numerous plays. Amelia’s most memorable role was as Beatrice in "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds." She plans to attend Warren Wilson College after graduation.
Hemi-Sync® is a registered trademark of Interstate Industries, Inc.
© 1999 by The Monroe Institute
Focus 21: Expanding to the Edges of the Physical UniverseView more...
Harriet H. Carter, JD
Focus | Summer 2000
Today the energy and the routine of our activity shifted into reverse. The morning started out in David Francis Hall, where we usually end up in the evening. Our Gateway group was in the lecture hall to see the film Powers of Ten. The first scene showed a couple lying on a picnic blanket in a Chicago park. Then the camera zoomed back in increments of 10 percent, all the way out to the edge of the known physical universe. At that point, it reversed direction and-keeping the same momentum-zoomed in on the man’s hand and continued inward, down to the level of an atom inside the skin.
I was fascinated. We live our lives focused primarily in an extremely small slice of physical space spanning the surface of our skins. As infinitely large as the physical universe seems to be, however, there is an infinitely larger nonphysical universe surrounding it-both outward and inward-into which we can expand our consciousness. Through that shift in perspective, I realized that Powers of Ten was a metaphor for Robert Monroe’s lifework and the mission of the Institute that is his legacy.
The film was a fitting prelude to the first of the three tapes scheduled for that Wednesday morning: a tape designed to send us into the silence of self. I didn’t know if I could stand three successive sessions, so I told our trainer, that I might take a solo break at the lake after session one. In Focus 21 we were asked to expand our consciousness to the edge of the physical universe and beyond. I found myself holding the entire physical universe in my hand! That image, and the associated expansion of consciousness, didn’t bother me as much as an intense feeling that the entire universe was now within my body. My ego and body panicked together. All of my cells felt as if they were being stretched in every direction at once on a medieval torture rack, and my whole body seemed to be flailing around in explosive paroxysms. “You call this deep relaxation?” I thought to myself.
My frightening, jolting movement through a psychedelic starfield resembled the trip that Jodie Foster took in Contact. Another scene was analogous to Flatliners, in which the researcher took himself to the edge of death to get a glimpse into the realms beyond, while hoping that his compadres would slap the defibrillator onto his chest before the point of no return. My personal defibrillator arrived in the nick of time in the form of a voice, that of my friend and soulmate, Bob Monroe, who gently brought me back down to Focus 10. I finally relaxed with the thought that I had once again defied the death and destruction of my body.
Tears started to flow just before Bob rescued me. How could I ever get through the levels beyond Focus 21 intact? It felt as though I’d almost had a heart attack or a stroke. So, immediately after leaving my CHEC unit I took my blood pressure. It was 122/81 with a pulse rate of 72. Either the racing heart was all in my mind or else the energy had been released by that earlier volcanic eruption! Even so, I still couldn’t stop crying.
Then it struck me that my cataclysmic experience was connected to the dream that had awakened me earlier that morning-a dream that had played itself out backward just like the day’s routine. The dream had “clicked” from a scene with practically the whole state of Maryland on fire . . . to a whole residential neighborhood in flames . . . to a house engulfed . . . to a child in the house with a little black and white dog (just before the dog accidently started the fire) . . . to the contractor building the house (knowing how the story was going to turn out and trying to change the course of events by making the house fireproof). I was mirrored in every element of the dream. What symbology: fire of passion and anger and violent cleansing; house as the physical container for the soul; child and dog as innocence, spontaneity, creativity, and playfulness; and the creator of the entire reality trying to rewrite the story. The dream also resonated with the last tape exercise on Tuesday evening. We were to pull our greatest fear out of the Energy Conversion Box, identify and feel the attendant emotions, and rewrite whatever frightening story had shut down our souls.
A couple of hours later, I sat under the maple trees and looked out over Lake Miranon. The crying had finally stopped, and I felt soothed, nurtured, and surrounded by peacefulness and love. Two dogs wandered by, sniffing their way around, and fully enjoying each moment in the eternal Here/Now. After that pleasant little diversion, I refocused on my own situation. Just sitting by the lake with an opportunity to regroup represented a major change in a pattern going back to early childhood. My supersensitive soul had been devastated countless times by some event that threatened to kill my body. Yet either my peers, or authority figures, or the rule of form over function forced me to stay with the routine and to minimize or ignore the attack. Tears welled up again as I grieved for the panic-stricken child within beseeching somebody-anybody, please, oh please!-to protect its battered soul.
Today, I stated my intention to care for myself and put my need for sanctuary in nature ahead of the morning agenda. Miraculously, I was supported (even blessed) by both trainers to go and to report back after processing. A major fear--that of disapproval--had been released from my Energy Conversion Box. I saw the many past occasions when brutal violation had been the price for daring to honor my own needs over accepted protocol. By honoring myself today and being supported in that choice, I learned that it was safe and acceptable to put myself first.
This story has a truly happy ending. By leaving the scene of the trauma for a few hours of restoration in nature, my first exposure to Focus 21 ultimately served as a cosmic and psychic roto-rooter. It cleared out the “gunk” in my energetic plumbing so higher energy frequencies could run through me more smoothly later that afternoon. When I mustered up the courage to climb back into my CHEC unit and revisit Focus 21, I quickly discovered that the energy of 21 could be used to speed manifestation of my desires in the outer physical world. Thus, while Focus 21 originally left a bitter aftertaste, it eventually became an acquired taste. Perhaps “No pain, no gain,” really is true. In any event--to quote the indigenous peoples--“That’s a healing story.”
Professional Member Harriet Carter is a full-time attorney specializing in tax law and a part-time researcher in after-death communications and altered states of consciousness. Guided Tour to the Afterlife, her firsthand account of her friend’s death and the adventures that followed, is now available in bookstores. Her intense Gateway Voyage® experiences in August 1999, described here in the edited version of her journal entries, almost convinced her that an NDE was imminent.
Hemi-Sync® is a registered trademark of Interstate Industries, Inc.
© 2000 by The Monroe Institute
The Gateway Voyage: A Family AffairView more...
Adam and Richard Tilson
Focus | Winter/Spring 2004
I'm Adam Tilson and I live in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and I'm sixteen years old. My Dad was always interested in meditation, consciousness expansion, and the Monroe system, but I never really was. He took several Monroe courses and then became a GATEWAY OUTREACH trainer. He had been putting on OUTREACH workshops for several years, when I decided that I should give it a try in May of 2003. I was a bit disappointed. I had assumed that if Hemi-Sync® was working you should have an immediate profound change. But my experiences were much subtler. As the tapes progressed, instead of making myself open to the subtle experiences I began to feel like I was having troubles. I became somewhat annoyed and that didn't help at all. Finally, I realized that I should just let go and let whatever happened happen. Then I began seeing things that I knew were not just my imagination. That had been happening all along but I was too wrapped up in my expectations to notice.
My father and I always traveled every other February during my school's winter break. This year he came up with the suggestion to go to TMI for a GATEWAY VOYAGE®. I wasn't really sure because of how I'd felt about the workshop. In the end it must have been fate. I packed my bags and prepared for what turned out to be the ride of my life. I tried to enter the GATEWAY VOYAGE® with no expectations whatsoever and just let the experiences--no matter how unimportant seeming--come along. Near the end of the week I had met some amazing people but as far as the tape sessions, as much as I tried to have no expectations, they were still there. Fearing that this might be the workshop all over again, I kept an open mind. I'm sure glad that I did because, during one of the last tapes I experienced an amazing enlightening moment. I got the impression that the moment was waiting for me all along, and only showed up when I finally started to trust and enjoy the process. The GATEWAY VOYAGE® gave me a new outlook on my spirituality and a new outlook on life in general. I left it feeling completely fulfilled but at the same time wanting more. It was as if a whole lifetime had passed in that week, yet it was the fastest week of my life.
I'm Richard Tilson and I am honored to be Adam's Dad. I've been interested in The Monroe Institute® since reading Robert A. Monroe's first book Journeys Out of the Body in 1980. Finally in February of 1997, after seventeen years of intent, I made it down to Virginia for my first GATEWAY VOYAGE®. Next to having my kids this was the most wonderful experience I'd ever had. I've tried to take a course about once per year as a special gift to myself.
On one of my trips I discovered a course called TDAP (Trainer Development and Assessment Program). It teaches how to put on a weekend workshop using the Hemi-Sync® technology. So I took TDAP in June of 2000. TDAP graduates must put on two workshops with a mentor in order to become an accredited OUTREACH Facilitator.
I am always telling people that one of the most intimate, romantic things they can do with their partner is to go to The Monroe Institute® together. But, in my opinion the closest thing to unconditional love that most people encounter in this reality is their interaction with their kids. Going to TMI with your son or daughter is one of the fullest experiences that a parent can have. I was glad that Adam could not decide on a destination in February and was open to attending the GATEWAY VOYAGE®. He has a profoundly deep spiritual nature and a conscious understanding of reality that is definitely not mainstream. It was a pleasure to see how readily the warm and courteous, yet diverse, participants and trainers at our GATEWAY VOYAGE® accepted Adam--regardless of his youth. This kind of interaction with fellow participants makes the Monroe experience overwhelmingly enjoyable. I would often hear comments like "Oh I hope I can come here with my son or daughter one day." Everyone seemed to enjoy Adam and I was thrilled to share the wonderment of The VOYAGE with him. Adam's comment, "How can a week be so full and yet pass so quickly?" was true for me as well. Adam is hooked and wants to know when we're going back again!
Richard Tilson was born in a small Ontario town near the Minnesota border and migrated west with his parents to the prairie town of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. He is a businessman and a farmer. As well as being involved in a channeling group, Rick enjoys leading EXCURSION workshops as time permits. His son, Adam, was born in Moose Jaw and is currently in the eleventh grade. An honor student, Adam likes computers and has a talent for understanding technological devices. He is attracted to a career in engineering but at this point his favorite class is law. Adam's giving heart leads him to view everyone as a friend and activities like attending the GATEWAY VOYAGE® with his father nurture his reserved and philosophical nature.
Hemi-Sync® is a registered trademark of Interstate Industries, Inc.
© 2003 by The Monroe Institute
Bring-A-Friend Gateway VoyageView more...
Focus | Winter/Spring 2004
When Laurie Monroe sent a notice that The Monroe Institute was offering a significant tuition reduction for both a returnee and for a friend attending the GATEWAY VOYAGE®, I was intrigued. What would it be like to take this introductory program a second time? Would it be like going to kindergarten again? Or might it reopen channels that seemed to have been clogged of late, sort of like a rotor-rooter? Determined to go, I invited four friends I thought might be interested in exploring altered states of consciousness. Two accepted the challenge to attend.
Participants included the usual exciting mix of people from all over the United States, and also from India, Australia, and the Netherlands. We were twenty-three voyagers led by two brilliant trainers, Penny Holmes and John Kortum.
This definitely was not kindergarten. For me, this second GATEWAY VOYAGE was every bit as powerful as any of the TMI programs I have been privileged to attend. It did, indeed, restore my ability to meditate, my ability to "see beyond" the ordinary. While listening to tapes in my CHEC unit, I witnessed some awe inspiring scenes: wild horses leaping chasms, a mountain pool wherein swam a dolphin, puzzling over how he could have come from the ocean to a mountain pool. At one time I saw a large eye closing slowly in a wink and later white puffy clouds superimposed over a starry, cobalt blue, midnight sky. It was exciting to contemplate the message of these visions.
Before we began our journeys at The Monroe Institute, we had been asked to refrain from conducting business or sending or receiving telephone messages except in emergencies. The day before The VOYAGE ended, Ross, a farmer from Australia, received an emergency telephone message from his wife. Their only source of water, a large cistern, was empty. There were no clouds in the sky presaging rain; there was no wind to power the windmill. What should she do? We decided that our group could concentrate on manifesting wind. We formed a circle and sang three powerful rounds of OM. The next morning at breakfast, Ross reported that his wife had called again. A wind had come up, the windmill had pumped water from a deep aquifer, and the cistern was three-quarters full. Coincidence?
Having "volunteered" to write about this new Bring-a-friend Gateway Voyage, I decided to ask fellow participants to send me an account of their own experiences if they felt so inclined. Here are a few of their responses:
Jayne recollected the program this way: It was all astounding to just relax for six days and be with like-minded people, to have all decisions made for me. I didn't even have to decide what to eat, not to mention cook. The feeling of joy and love amongst our group was so special. I am definitely not a groupie or workshop junkie, yet I felt so relaxed and comfortable. It was as if I found myself there. It all went by too quickly.
Alice said: The highlight of my experience at The Monroe Institute is to really appreciate, on a very deep level, that indeed I am much more than my physical body. And how this has translated on the emotional level is that it has allowed me to shed my "emotional baggage," thereby liberating me from the self-doubt associated with it. The experience has instilled in me more confidence to pursue more of my "dreams," because I also realize that my dreams are on a level of consciousness truly reflecting my soul's longings and soul's attitudes.
This last contribution is from Barb: The night before our Gateway group would disband, Penny said, "The trouble with you guys is that you think you are normal." We all laughed. I laughed pretty hard myself. After all, I had just watched Welcome Back Norman. It took me a little under forty-eight hours to get "Normanized". Grocery lines were always at a standstill and I was always in a hurry. Other drivers were too slow, too stupid. Instead of thinking about Focus™ 21 and the way each of us is bound to the other in the folds of a loving universe, I found myself thinking the word moron a lot.
Then came Jacquelyn's request. I thought I might read through the journal I kept while at TMI and find a section I could draw from. Each entry was like an old photograph. Focus Levels and other worlds seemed more like a recent dream, fogged over from days of forgetting.
Then I remembered the hamsters. During one TMI exercise, Ross and I worked as a pair. Ross had given me his psychic answer to my unvoiced question regarding whether or not to get a new pet for my daughter. My daughter had been begging to get a miniature pig or a hamster. Ross, not knowing my question, envisioned some "furry round things behind black stripes." We now are the proud owners of not one, but two hamsters.
As my week at TMI progressed, I remember feeling awed at the loveliness emerging in each person. It was as if all things superimposed and untrue began to fall away, revealing more and more of the true beings of love that we are. The gift I treasure most is the memory of watching each person's face unfold, more beautiful than the day before, until at last we were no longer twenty-five social presentations of people, but instead one exquisite jewel with twenty-five radiant facets.
In the course of her eighty-six years in Earth-school, Jacquelyn Phillips has pursued a variety of professions. Commercial art was her first career. She was a riveter for Douglas Aircraft and later a draftsman for the Women's Army Corps during World War II. After the war, Jackie married and raised a family, then worked as a real estate broker and agent. In recent years she has attended the GATEWAY VOYAGE®, GUIDELINES®, LIFELINE, EXPLORATION 27®, and MC2, and participated in the Dolphin Energy Club. She is certified at the highest level as a Healing Touch Practitioner. Before moving to Iowa City in 2001, she was the founding director of the Center for Healing Intervention (CHI), which opened in 1997. It was the first integrative medicine center on Virginia's Eastern Shore. Now she is bringing that same missionary spirit to Iowa City and is coordinating training for other Healing Touch practitioners as well as bringing TMI to Iowa in the form of an EXCURSION workshop led by OUTREACH Trainers Robert and Marinda Holbrook.
Hemi-Sync® is a registered trademark of Interstate Industries, Inc.
© 2004 by The Monroe Institute
Life Without BoxesView more...
Focus | Summer/Fall 2004
Like many people who are drawn to The Monroe Institute, I've had several other-than-ordinary experiences over the years. I grew up in a small rural town in the midwestern United States, and there was nothing in that environment that helped me put those experiences into some kind of meaningful context. I hid these odd happenings, and as a result I felt other than normal, not a very good thing to be as a child in a small farming community. Long after I had left home, I continued to lock away a vital part of myself. The walls I built inside me were reflected outwardly in the distance I felt in my relationships with others.
The residential programs at The Monroe Institute have turned out to be the key that has released the magical part of me I had hidden for decades. I became interested in the Institute as a means to cultivate any remote viewing skills I might have. I was focused solely on how the programs could benefit me. What I didn't realize was that this path that appeared to lead into myself would actually take me outward, demolishing not only the walls inside but those outside as well.
When I returned from my GATEWAY VOYAGE®, I saw the town where I live with new eyes. Everywhere I looked, there were opportunities to nurture the part of my life I'd locked away. Shaaron Honeycutt's morning yoga sessions had left me thirsting for more. I was amazed to discover a yoga center just a block from work. I signed up for a class over my lunch hour. I'd become curious about energy healing. A bit further down the street was a massage school that offered Reiki attunements and courses in energy healing. I began registering for classes. I'd been working with dreams all of my life, but never face-to-face with others. I learned about some people who were doing dream work, and soon, we were sharing our dreams. Before long, I was part of a community of like-hearted people whom I'd never known existed.
GUIDELINES® took this a step further. As in all the programs I've been to, the tape exercises were wonderful. The most striking occurrence at GUIDELINES, however, involved another participant. While we were doing a paired intuitive questioning exercise, his inner self-helper (ISH) communicated very energetically with me. The energy of that encounter continued to work on me throughout the night. The program taught me that we are all guides for each other. Mirroring the community I'd discovered at home, I began to find another community among the participants in the programs. No matter how many people I know going into a program, I now make it a point to try to get to know everyone.
And that even includes the people who annoy me. I now know that my irritation is often telling me something important. I try to ask, what is it about myself that is trying to distance me from this person? The answer can be profound. At one program I realized that a couple of women really irked me. Sitting quietly with my discomfort, it dawned on me that my lifelong distrust of aspects of the archetypal Mother was being projected onto them. With that realization a lot of new ground for personal growth opened up for me.
The trainers at each program have always emphasized taking our program experiences back into daily life. My own experiences have shown me that any distance between myself and others is related to distance between aspects of myself. Any judgment about others that cuts me away from them will also cut me away from parts of myself. By serving others, I serve myself. I've tried to bring this lesson into my daily life, into my relationships with family and friends and with people I meet at work-especially at work. I'm a computer systems administrator, and the culture of systems administration is very dehumanizing. The language says it all: people are users, or more often, clueless users. Lately, I've been consciously trying to look at the people I help as human beings and to see my job as an act of service. The steps I've taken in that direction have helped me feel better about myself and the job I do.
Last February, I took one more step to bring Monroe home. I helped a friend, Jackie Phillips, coordinate a GATEWAY EXCURSION weekend with Bob and Marinda Holbrook. I was excited about sharing Monroe insights with my friends. As the program began, I was consciously struggling with a set of fears: "What if my friends don't like the program? Will they still like me?" I felt exposed and vulnerable. It was great! I realized that this was another opportunity to tear down more of the walls within myself, and outside myself. My friends all loved the program, and I took another step toward living my life without boundaries.
I frequently think back to Joshua in a Box, the video we saw at the GATEWAY VOYAGE about a man living inside a box. I'd been doling my life out among a set of boxes. The Monroe Institute has helped me begin to toss out these boxes and live more openly, freely, and joyfully.
Karl Boyken is a computer systems administrator for the University of Iowa. He has been attending residential programs at The Monroe Institute® for four years and is a Dolphin Energy Club member. Karl is also a hospice volunteer and a student of yoga.
Hemi-Sync® is a registered trademark of Interstate Industries, Inc.
© 2004 by The Monroe Institute
No More YesterdaysView more...
Mark W. Shelton
Focus | Summer/Fall 2006
In April 2006, I had a double spinal fusion on my lower back. The surgery was a major success, as was my rehabilitation. I swam and walked the beach every day, ate healthily, and drank lots of water. The best part was being able to walk upright again, no longer dragging my knuckles on the ground like my Cro-Magnon ancestors of ages past. The surgery was a result of a horrible fall in 2003 that pinched the nerves in my lower back, legs, and feet and fractured my L5 vertebra. The neurosurgical genius who pieced me back together explained that I would experience major numbness in my back, legs, calves, feet, and toes, but in six to eight months I might be able to function normally again, for the most part. Wow! Three years of suffering would finally come to an end. I don’t take pills. They mess with my brain, body, and digestive system and even worse, shut me off from receiving the incredible flow from our omnipotent creator. That alone is the true reason I avoid them.
Three months post-op, I decided to go to an actual physical therapy center, trusting that they could take me to the next level. I had no conception of the month of torture I was about to undergo. It led to horrible stabbing pains in my hips and spontaneous cramping in my legs, feet, and toes both day and night. I had worked so hard and had come so far. Why was this happening? A CAT scan revealed that the surgical sites were healing above average and everything looked great, but a static picture couldn’t explain the “why” of my horrifically random pain. It was agonizing.
The next morning I woke up in a very dark funk, feeling hopeless about my recovery and feeling like I didn’t have it in me to carry on anymore. Not in a suicidal kind of way but in a way that’s hard to explain. So I asked God for help. I begged, I cried, I said: “Please, God. Please guide me to a nurturing place––somewhere I can ground and heal myself with the innate intelligence you’ve bestowed on all of us. Show me the way back to your light.”
Lying in bed, I thought about Robert Monroe and The Monroe Institute. I had called weeks earlier to see if there were any openings in the GATEWAY VOYAGE, but it was full. I spoke out to Bob and said, “Hey, Bob . . . can you make a space for me?” The adage “Be careful what you ask for” couldn’t have held more truth. Within the hour, Karen Viar called to let me know that a space was available and I was welcome to participate. It was so much of a sign from God (and Bob) that I decided to take the leap of faith and make it happen for myself.
The TMI experience was incredible and provided me with an array of tools and information to use in my future. The trainers, the participants, the guest speakers and the environment all came together to magnify my experience. Most amazing was that my refreshed perspective didn’t occur until after I left the program and was thrust back into society. Then some extraordinary miracles occurred, which can best be described as the revelation of my own purpose and destiny in Technicolor. The people I met and connected with, the naturally beautiful places I saw, and the internal reflection all enabled me to have an epiphany––one that would help me recharge, reconnect, and forge ahead just like I did before my accident. What epiphany, you ask? Well, in a nutshell, I was allowed to no longer see or feel my yesterdays. My perspective changed so I could move forward unhindered by past regrets, losses, and misunderstandings.
On my return home, I called my mom from the airport. I told her that despite the times we haven’t spoken because of anger, resentment, misunderstanding, and frustration, it is all good. Everything happened the way it was supposed to happen, and she is the greatest mother on the planet. No longer would I fret over not feeling more loved, nurtured, and understood and of all things, that our bond wasn’t stronger over the years. There were no regrets. It happened the right way. Despite the many times she might have felt sad or guilty about not being a better giving, loving, and nurturing parent, she did it all the right way. If she hadn’t done everything exactly as she did, I would quite possibly never have arrived at this moment of complete awareness, because I wouldn’t have needed to search for the truth myself. I told her, “I love you so much, Mom, and thank you for being you and doing it just the way you did.”
My mother was virtually speechless, and everyone who knows my mother would know this was most likely the first day in her existence when that had happened. As she thanked me, I could hear in her voice the tears welling in her eyes. For the first time in a long time, they were happy tears. Could I give her a better gift? Yeah, maybe a hug and kiss, which I promptly delivered on arriving home.
I asked Mom to go to Dad, wrap her arms around him, and tell him the exact thing I’d just told her. And to tell him that despite the years he was gone from our lives while flying presidents, saving people’s lives, and fighting for his country, that he did it all the right way––that I couldn’t be prouder to have a father who gave so much to everyone and that none of it was a loss to me any longer. “Please tell him how sorry I am for the times we didn’t speak because of different beliefs or misunderstandings,” I said. “And tell him how much I love him for all the ways he loves his family, and the tremendous sense of self that he has given all of us as a result of doing it all right.”
I imagined my mom putting her arms around my dad and how for one moment in their lives, they could stop, stand in solitude as the ONE they are and feel the jubilation of knowing their number-one son had finally reconnected to the incredible loving grace of God. What a gift for them and for me!
Sure, eliminating my physical pain would be a wonderful gift. But somehow knowing that everything is complete between my family and me means that much more. Sometimes pain doesn’t hurt so much when you know that the people around you truly love you and would do anything for you in your time of need. That in itself is one of the greatest gifts I know.
Mark Shelton is a Southern California native and actively pursues his interests in digital photography, 3-D animation, DVD and video production, film and television, commercials, music (guitar, bass, and keyboards), stand-up comedy and improv, and last, but not least, traveling God’s beautiful Earth, taking pictures along the way. Mark attended the GATEWAY VOYAGE® in September 2006.
Copyright © by Mark W. Shelton
Hemi-Sync® is a registered trademark of Interstate Industries, Inc.
© 2006 by The Monroe Institute
Gateway Voyager: A JournalView more...
Focus | Winter/Spring 2009
I have arrived at the first step of this spiritual journey. I always find the trip down Route 29 relaxing. It has been at least three years since I’ve been in Nelson County. I had forgotten just how beautiful the Blue Ridge Mountains are.
I stopped at the Nelson Memorial Library and dropped off the Braddock and Johnson genealogy reports and charts. The librarian was amazed and gratified at the gift. Mine is the first African-American genealogy in the library’s county genealogical department. I hope the reports are utilized by other Blacks in Nelson County, who just might be amazed that someone cared to add their family history.
I arrived on the mountain at 2 P.M. and was unpacked by 3 P.M. I realized that the old familiar vibration was beginning, so Luca (the wolf) and I climbed into my controlled holistic environmental chamber (CHEC) and had the first of what I know will be many meditations.
There are twenty-five of us in our GATEWAY VOYAGE® class. The group is international, with three people here from Japan, three from Canada, a mother and son team from Mexico, one person from Denmark, one from Britain, a charming young woman from Romania, and the rest from all parts of the United States. My roommate is a delightful woman. We have a lot in common. I think we will enjoy each other. A man came up to me and started a conversation because his now-deceased mentor—a Black woman—had instructed him to find the Black woman at the VOYAGE and say “Hello.” He was crying as he relayed this message. He misses her very much.
After an introductory film by and about Robert Monroe, we listened to our first Hemi-Sync exercise.
The evening meditation is now over. I am going to wrap myself in Luca’s skin, sit on the roof for a while and enjoy the bright red-orange crescent moon. My mother would have called it a “blood-burning moon.”
The wake-up music was gentle but insistent. I showered, had a cup of tea, and went to yoga then breakfast.
The first exercise was a meditation on Focus 10 consciousness and the second was on building and learning to control protective energy balloons, or REBALS. I have always had a problem with this exercise at home. It’s the same here. Perhaps because my protective energy comes from a different place and manifests in such a different way, this particular exercise feels almost conflicting. Who knows? I will have plenty of time over the next week to practice.
Now that lunch is over, I have called home. Luca’s pelt will wrap me in warmth while I meditate down by the crystal.
One exercise this afternoon was very difficult for me. It involved creating or visualizing tools of energy that would allow focusing to heal. The mechanics I understood, but creating the visualization proved almost impossible. My mind would not hold the images for more than a few seconds before trying to go on to other planes. The final afternoon meditation was a Free Flow that allowed us to go where we needed to without verbal cues. In the meditation Luca, my wolf, and I walked to the crystal and enjoyed its vibrations. After that we lay down together and slept in its energy.
We watched a film of Robert Monroe made about a year before he died. His conviction and strength were astounding. The interviewer also talked with his daughter Laurie. Our last meditation for the night was to teach us to tap into our own energy fields, as well as the energy fields of those around us, and be consciously aware of the sensations. Part of the exercise was to help us recognize friendly, troublesome, and potentially troublesome energy. I am better at the first one than the last two.
This morning has begun with the voice of Robert Monroe waking us to a positive affirmation of this new day, and of ourselves. The mountains are not visible this early. The mist that covers them reflects the gray blue of the morning sky. It does not hover in mystery but simply erases nature’s grandeur. In and of itself, this mist is a natural miracle. My cup of liquid heat and I will watch the Creator unwrap the mountains from their covering. This morning, the mountains are more important than yoga. I cannot help but think that this new day will also find a layer of psychic mist being lifted from my mind as well.
Our first exercise in Focus 12 consciousness is over. If nothing else happened for the next three days, the trip would have been worth it. I watched as a hole was melted in the ceiling of my CHEC unit. I could see through the hole to the trees and sky outside. I had no peripheral vision. Rather it was like looking through a telescope. Slowly the vision turned until I was looking back at the tower of the Nancy Penn Center. I started to walk back toward the center when I became consciously aware of motion.
In an instant I was moving down the road, not so fast as to be frightening or so slow as to be walking. In just a few seconds I had traveled down the mountain and was moving along some familiar streets in Shipman, then on to streets I had never seen. I viewed a man trimming his hedges, a mother scolding her child. My psychic vision kept traveling on, moving through small areas and over what I believe to be local farmlands. A voice through my headphones abruptly brought me back to the reality of my CHEC unit. I’ve had out-of-body experiences (astral projection, if you will) before; this was different. One of my classmates—a specialist in remote viewing—talked to me about my experience. That may be what I had just done.
After the class debriefing we were readied for our next meditation, an exercise in problem solving in Focus 12. Our assignment was to formulate a question with Desire, Clarity, Intensity, and Gratitude, then turn it over to a higher force and wait for an answer. In an effort to make my question simple but encompassing, I asked, “What do you want me to know? What do you want to show me?” The answer came in the form of hundreds and hundreds of images passing before my eyes at amazing speed. Each image had an opposing image with it. By the time the experience ended I understood the answer to my question: Choices, it’s about choices.
We had guided meditations this afternoon. The second one—a free-flow meditation in Focus 12—was the most gratifying. I opened myself to Focus 12 and just relaxed. I cannot remember the images or thoughts save one; parts of my affirmation ran through my mind.
The evening program was on remote viewing. We were given the coordinates of a location and asked to go into a meditation and record our first impression in real time. The concepts of remote viewing have never been something of interest to me. Yet my first attempts met with some success. I can often see those I love. I always thought that connection depended on emotional ties. Now I wonder if remote viewing plays a part.
This morning the mountains are unveiled. Small pockets of mist float here and there in ethereal splendor, perfect accents to the green and blue of nature’s morning palette. I went outside to salute the mountains and allow my body to move in its own way, without the formal structure of the yoga class.
Our first exercise of the day was a free Focus 10. Its purpose was to get us to move or elevate, even slightly, from our physical bodies. Bob Monroe’s voice kept trying to get us to roll out. For me and my roommate, it was much easier to just lift out of our physical housing. The exercise was very refreshing.
The answer came in the form of hundreds and hundreds of images passing before my eyes at amazing speed.
The second meditation was our first time venturing to Focus 15. Based on my reading, a part of me has been both eager for and dreading Focus 15. My venture into Focus 15 started like all of my meditations. Then at Focus 12 the wavelengths started to change. I could hear as well as feel the frequencies change in my earphones. In a few seconds my personal frequencies began to shift with the incoming sounds. The lights and images so natural to my meditations slowly faded into a comforting womb-like blackness. The stillness, like the last blackness before creation, engulfed me. At that moment the temperature began dropping, and then plunged. A walk-in freezer would have been sauna-like compared to the temperatures I was experiencing. The meditation ended and I bolted out of my CHEC unit, climbed into clothes plus sweats and ran out into the sun. I would not have been surprised if I had seen my breath. All during the class debriefing I sat under two blankets, shivering. My teeth chattered for the first twenty minutes. I have scheduled a private discussion with Karen to talk about what happened. We are about to go into another Focus 15 exercise. I’m not thrilled …
Our next Focus 15 was friendlier. I moved on through other times and lives. Some seemed to pass in little more than the blink of an eye. There were more than I can remember here. Male, female, and even animal (at least twice) have been added to my story. This Focus 15 was amazing. Now I am eager to go to Focus 21.
I had a massage after lunch. One solid hour of being rubbed, stroked, and pampered could make for a very spoiled me. I’m going back on Thursday.
The afternoon brought the first unguided exercise. We were all sent to our units with pleasant music and instructed to reach a deep meditative state without the Hemi-Sync wave to rely on. It felt like someone took the training wheels off my bicycle. Don’t know if I really like riding alone. The feeling of the wave within me is quite pleasant. It’s a lot like smoking or coffee: I may not need it, but I really do like it!
The last Focus 15 of the afternoon was a heavily guided exercise. I liked the imagery and guiding in the beginning, but found the voice intrusive in short order. My spirit wanted to go other places than those mandated. My mind drifted off to family and friends. Perhaps I shall try and reach out to them tonight.
The evening class was an audiotape of a soul retrieval that was carried out here by Monroe in the early eighties. Since the first tape was made, many more retrievals have been performed by LIFELINE™ graduates who rescue souls bound to earthly consciousness by their own fears and death traumas.
When the tape finished Karen talked about the Energy Conversion Box that we’ve worked with at the beginning of each exercise. Tonight we are to take all that we have consciously stashed away—as well as things that may be locked within because of unspoken physical, emotional, or spiritual trauma—and release those problems and concerns to the Universe. In return we are to allow the Universe to separate whatever good is in each item/situation and return that to us. I’ve got a lot of crap stuffed in my box, probably more than I know or realize. It’s time to empty or at least lighten the “box.”
THE FACE OF G-D, Day 5
Like smoke rising from a dying fire,
the fog lifts its veil to show the mountains’ face.
They reveal themselves to me at their leisure,
for time has no meaning to this ancient stone.
A thousand years … a heartbeat
to Gaia who made the mountains rise.
Ten thousand years …
the span between her blinks.
Eternal wisdom, ancient strength
rise from the mountains in equal measure,
their gift to me, admirer, disciple
and patient, learning pupil.
This is to be a morning of silence. Eagerly have I awaited this day of introspection and self-evaluation. The awakenings and revelations of yesterday called for some time without cramped social interaction. Our three morning exercises are all meant to turn us inward for a more intimate relationship with the self.
We did the three exercises back-to-back. The purpose of the first was to experience a new level of consciousness. The second instructed us to go back to that level, ask the Universe five questions, and wait for the answers. The goal of the third was to expand yet again and listen to the vibrations of the world around us. In my experiences with these three exercises. I was allowed to reach out and touch the face of G-d.
Exercise 1: My consciousness has expanded. Like the ever-extending force of the Universe, a part of me has drifted as particles of dust on cosmic wind to the end reaches of All. There We sat, forming a membrane around the everything of Everything. In timed timelessness we joined each to the other until we were called home.
Exercise 2: Send me a promise substanced in creation that I may take measure in its meaning. Send me a promise wrapped in Buddha’s lotus, perfect in its purity and beauty. Send me a promise made from my own essence that I might become one with my reflection. Send me a promise made from cosmic consciousness that I might marry it unto myself. I now seek the promise, and its open message, sweet voyager and voyage, we are one.
Exercise 3: Nature plays its melody in perfect harmony with its own majesty. The galaxy sings a rhapsody designed to make it one with sister stars. The Universe hums one note, one perfect cosmic tone, the vibrating e-string that gives birth to our own creation.
We GATEWAY travelers have been brought to the realm of Focus 21. Guided by verbal instruction, we drifted through the wave spectrum to the white light of this new level. Perfect white light swirled around me. I swam, like a young guppy, through the living patterns of this wavelength. Layer after layer of brightness unfolded before my eyes, caressed my very essence. I have touched the part of me where the Creator resides.
Tomorrow is the last full day of classes. Friday quickly approaches. Part of me does not want to leave this place of spiritual magic and majesty. Here I have found a new level of enlightenment and rejuvenation for my weary spirit. I have called to the mountains and they have answered. I have walked again the place of my grandfather’s birth. I have awakened to nature unveiling her splendor without interruption or the rude whinings of civilization’s symbols. Here I am at peace.
I watched the mountains disrobe from the morning mist as I walked the labyrinth in quiet contemplation. I entered slowly and with reverence, noting the colors of the blocks that defined the labyrinth and the green of the grass under my feet. In the center I stopped to pray and thank the Universe for all that has been given to me. On the pathway out I chose to remind myself to not take for granted those I love. That was my affirmation for this new day.
“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.” We were sent on a walk this morning. We were to experience meditative states while out in nature, to see our surroundings through new unhurried eyes. A sour gum leaf that fell at my feet accompanied me, and we walked together. Before I came back into the center, the leaf was placed back under the tree it fell from.
The walk was the introduction to a super meditation. My entry to the familiarity of Focus 10 was smooth and uneventful. I greeted my totems Luca and Lilly, the black panther, and we walked together. At the appropriate time we were guided to Focus 15 and the vibrations of the Hemi-Sync wave began to change. The feelings of cold that I have so come to dread began again. I sent out a conscious request to go on to a higher level and found my personal vibratory rate begin to shift upward, ultimately halting in Focus 21. The experience was so wonderful I could have stayed there for hours. I watched stars twinkle in a private light show all my own.
I have seen angels.
That part of me where Creation resides
has united me with my Creator.
We have walked hand in hand through Eden.
We are now GATEWAY graduates. Laurie Monroe spent the last evening session with us, just as her father used to do. It was fun being able to ask questions about her childhood and what it must have been like being Bob Monroe’s daughter. In the closing circle we shared our feelings about the week and each other. Though I do not want to, I know that I must leave Eden.
Farewell to the Mountains
The gentle affirmations of previous mornings have been replaced with the blare of Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song.” It’s a good thing that I was already awake or the powers that be would probably have been peeling me off the walls of my CHEC unit. Most people don’t want to hear “DAAAYYY-O” at 6 A.M.
Our watches were returned to us last night. I almost didn’t recognize my own piece of jewelry. Having this dimensional anchor around my wrist is the most vivid reminder that I must leave this Elysium and venture forth. I will not be a stranger to this magic mountain.
Viola Johnson says she was the child of a spiritually enlightened, psychic mother who encouraged her to seek the path less traveled. By the time she was thirteen, she was meditating regularly, learning the basics of nature, and exploring the inner workings of her mind.
College brought her first “sensory deprivation tank” experience. In the 1970s she continued to “tank out” at Tranquility Tanks in New York City and at Altered States in Los Angeles. In LA she first learned about the work of Robert Monroe after hearing Hemi-Sync® through the sound system of the tank. The Hemi-Sync “wave” produced one of her most exciting meditations. Viola continued to experiment but seemed to gravitate to Hemi-Sync more than any other tool for enlightenment. After reading the chapter on The Monroe Institute® in Megabrain, she knew that at some time in her life she would make a pilgrimage to the mountain to take her own voyage.
Family genealogical research brought Viola to Nelson County for a series of trips. On the first trip she stopped at the Institute to feel its vibration and to plant her feet on the soil, encouraging fate to allow her to return. In 2005—thanks to her family—her dream came true. She packed her laptop, Luca (the hide of the wolf who is her dream companion and guide), and almost twenty-five years of excitement to embark on a personal voyage of discovery, which she shares with us in this lyrical journal.
Hemi-Sync® is a registered trademark of Interstate Industries, Inc.
© 2009 by The Monroe Institute
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