Yvonne Kason Transcript

Yvonne Kason interview


  • Dr. Kason’s personal STEs: She shares how she had five NDEs, two in her childhood and three in her adult life, as well as a Kundalini awakening at the age of 23, and how these experiences changed her life and opened her to various paranormal phenomena, such as out-of-body experiences, seeing spirits, and remembering past lives.
  • The concept of STEs: She explains how she coined the term spiritually transformative experiences in 1994 to encompass a wide range of phenomena that can trigger a profound shift in consciousness, such as NDEs, mystical experiences, psychic experiences, and others. She also discusses the common after-effects of STEs, such as enhanced intuition, sensitivity, creativity, and compassion, as well as the challenges of integrating them into one’s life.
  • The research and counseling of STEs: She describes how she became the first Canadian medical doctor to specialize her medical practice in the research and counseling of patients with diverse types of STEs in 1990, and how she co-founded several organizations and networks to support and educate people about STEs, such as the Kundalini Research Network, the Spirituality in Healthcare Network, and Spiritual Awakenings International. She also mentions some of her books, such as “Soul Lessons from the Light” and “Touched by the Light”, which offer guidance and insights for STE experiencers and seekers.
  • The implications and significance of STEs: She reflects on how STEs can reveal the interconnectedness and multidimensionality of reality, the continuity of consciousness beyond death, and the potential for human evolution and transformation. She also emphasizes the importance of honoring and respecting the diversity and uniqueness of each person’s STE journey, and the need for more research, education, and awareness about STEs in the medical, scientific, and spiritual communities.

Full transcript:

Rick: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews, or conversations I should say, with spiritually awakening people. We’ve done nearly 700 of them now. And if this is new to you and you’d like to check out previous ones, go to batgap.com, B-A-T-G-A-P, and look under the past interviews menu. This program is made possible through the support of appreciative listeners and viewers, so if you appreciate it and would like to help support it, there are PayPal buttons on every page of the website. There’s also a page mentioning alternatives to PayPal. Also we have a team of volunteers doing a number of things. Look on the volunteers page, you can see some details, but there are people proofreading transcripts, there are people making video shorts, there are people making chapters on YouTube, and a few other things. So if you’d like to volunteer in some way, get in touch. My guest today is Dr. Yvonne Kason, MD, MED, CCFP, FCFP. I don’t know what all those acronyms mean, but she is the president and co-founder of Spiritual Awakenings International and the past president of the International Association for Near Death Studies, IANS, from 2020. Dr. Kason is the person who in 1994 first coined the phrase spiritually transformative experiences or STEs. She is also the group leader and co-founder of Toronto Awakenings Sharing Group. Dr. Kason has had five near-death experiences, two in her childhood and three in her adult life, as well as multiple spiritually transformative experiences of many kinds. She is a retired family physician and MD psychotherapist, previously on faculty at the University of Toronto, and an internationally renowned medical expert on NDEs, kundalini awakening and other spiritually transformative experiences. In 1990, she was the first Canadian medical doctor to specialize her medical practice in the research and counseling of patients with diverse types of STEs. She has over 40 years’ experience counseling STE experiencers. She co-founded the Kundalini Research Network in 1990, and was the chair of the Kundalini Research Network’s questionnaire research project, results of which were published in Explore, July 2020. She co-founded the Spirituality in Healthcare Network in 2000. She’s published six books, including her most recent, Soul Lessons from the Light: How Spiritually Transformative Experiences Changed My Life,  which I just read, and Touched by the Light, Exploring Spiritually Transformative Experiences. She has made hundreds of professional presentations, given scores of media interviews (scores plus one today!), and is in demand as a keynote speaker. So welcome Yvonne.

Yvonne: Thank you Rick for having me.

Rick: You’re most welcome. So, over the next couple of hours, we’re going to talk about your near-death experiences, which were all fascinating. And I’m glad that hasn’t been my path. I’ve pretty much stayed alive to have my experiences. And we’ll answer audience questions if they come in. We’ll just sort of let the conversation flow as it may, this way and that. But where would you like to start? Would you like to go chronologically and discuss the highlights of some of these near-death experiences and how they shaped your life and why they’re significant? Maybe we can even take a step back from that, because in your book you say you eventually reached the conclusion after having many of these experiences that you were not new to this. You began to remember past lives in which you had had similar experiences, had been alive in every culture in the world, and had gone through all kinds of similar things, which is the conclusion I usually jump to whenever I hear somebody spontaneously having such experiences. I think, well, they’re picking up where they left off in a previous life.

Yvonne: Exactly. That’s what I learned too.

Rick: So in your case, you were five years old or something when you had your first one?

Yvonne: Well, I didn’t realize it when I was a child because as a child, you don’t have a barometer of what’s “paranormal” and what’s “normal,” it’s just what happens to you, right? But now that I look back as an adult, I realize that I actually had my first near-death experience when I was five years old. I was traveling with my family – we were visiting relatives in Switzerland, which is where my mom was from – and we were standing at a train station. I was a little rambunctious five-year-old, and I saw a station-hand jump off the platform down onto the tracks, run across the tracks, and jump onto the next platform. So, as a five-year-old, I thought, “Oh, that looks like fun. I’m going to do that, too.” I immediately leaned forward and started to jump onto the tracks, and then it was as if time stood still. It was as if my life was a motion picture and somebody pressed the pause button and there I was frozen at an angle and all of a sudden my consciousness or point of perception was up higher. It was like 20 or 30 feet above my body. I could see it down there, the whole scene, everything, everyone, frozen in time, and I’m looking down. I was feeling nothing paranormal, that was just what was happening. There I was, and I had not looked both ways before I jumped onto the track.  And when I was up, which I now know was out of my body, though I didn’t know that at the time, I remember very, very calmly saying to myself, “Oh, I see. I’m about to be hit by a train.” And there was no fear, there was no panic. I knew that meant I was going to be killed. But there was this very unusual calmness about realizing I was about to be killed. And then all of a sudden, it was like, “Boop!” Somebody released the pause button, and the movie of my life started going forward again and what happened was that a gentleman on the platform reached forward and grabbed my little five-year-old body, pulled me back onto the platform. So I was not hit by the train, and whoosh the train went in front of me. Of course my parents scolded me, but the interesting thing I now realize looking back is that that experience, even at the age of five, started opening windows in my consciousness, because I started having out-of-body experiences after that. But of course, as a five-year-old, I didn’t know they were out-of-body experience. I remember very clearly, because I used to have experiences which I think would happen in dreams, where I’d see myself flying down the street and over to the local schoolyard and things like that.  I started kindergarten that fall – the railway incident was the summer before kindergarten – and I made a new little friend and I said to him, – why I remember this so clearly I have no idea, but I do – I said to him “Guess what? I can fly!” Because that’s how I as a five-year-old understood it. And he goes, “Oh, you can’t!” And I said, “Yeah, sure I can!” And I climbed up on the fence in front of my house, I spread out my arms like wings and I jumped off, planning to show my friend how I could fly down the street. And of course I couldn’t, I fell to the ground and my friend laughed at me and went home. But I remember being so puzzled as a child, like how come I have such clear memory of flying and I can’t do it to show somebody else? But I now realize that it wasn’t that I could fly, it was that I was having out-of-body experiences after that out-of-body type of near-death experience. And that frequently happens to people. If you’ve had an out-of-body type of near-death experience, it makes you more open to more out-of-body experiences afterwards. And if you’ve had a mystical type of near-death experience, it makes you more open to mystical experiences afterwards, and everything in between. So that, I now realize, was the beginning of my awakening journey. I had another one when I was 11.

Rick: I remember having the experience when I was a little kid of flying around the house, and I told my mother I used to fly around the house when I was younger. She said, “No, you didn’t fly around the house.” But, “Mom, I remember, I flew up and down the stairs and all kinds of things.” I couldn’t convince her.

Yvonne: So you were probably having out of body experiences too.

Rick: I probably was. As you know, a lot of little kids have interesting experiences which they lose the ability to have when they get older. They see angels, they have all kinds of stuff and then they kind of shut off. They remember past lives. I interviewed a guy named Jim Tucker, who took over Ian Stevenson’s work in studying children who remembered their past lives, but then after five or six years old it shuts down.

Yvonne: Interesting. Well, I’m going to move on and tell you about my near-death experience when I was 11, because it had another interesting after effect that relates to what you just said about seeing spirits. When I was 11 years old, my family was involved in a car accident. My dad was driving and there was some big accident, we went down a deep ditch, and the car rolled over a few times. In the course of that accident, I was thrown into the back – it was an old-fashioned station wagon, and we had luggage in the back. I was thrown into the back with the luggage, I had a head injury and I was unconscious for three days. It took three days after that car accident before I regained consciousness. But I have always had a memory, and as a child, it never occurred to me that this was paranormal, because I figured this is what happens to everyone when they’re unconscious. I now look back and go, “Oh, that was a near-death experience!” One of the interesting things about near-death experiences is how the memory seems to be like hard written into your brain. You may forget everything else, but you remember the near-death experiences. What I’ve remembered to this day was floating above the accident scene, so that I was seeing my father, who had been quite seriously injured. He had a big scalp laceration, and he had blood all over his face. And I was above him and I could hear him saying, “My daughter, my daughter”. He has later confirmed this for me. When when they pulled him out of the car and he was sitting or lying at the side of the road, he was looking around to make sure they’d found all his children and his wife from the car, and he realized I was missing. They had found my brothers and my sister, but not me, because I was stuck in with all the luggage in the back. No one had found my body, and I was unconscious. And so my dad was actually calling out for me, going, “My daughter, my daughter!” And he told me, yes, that was what he was doing. And I wonder if that is why my soul was hovering there above my father, because there was that love connection, he was calling out for me.  Anyway, somebody did look through the luggage, they did finally find my body and then dad said that then he was able to just relax and let the paramedics look after him, because he knew that all of his children had been found. It’s interesting that now my memory seems to skip through time, which many NDE-ers say also happened to them. So I’m above the accident, then suddenly I have a memory of being in the emergency department of the hospital and I’m floating above my body.  My body’s on one of these little examining tables. I can still see a little outfit I was wearing, a little skirt. There were two men in white coats huddled over my body, and I guessed they were doctors that were trying to resuscitate me. And as I was looking down, it was as if the ceiling above me was transparent. I was a bit higher than the ceiling, but as I was looking down, I could see the top side of this big, round, metallic, disc-shaped lamp. As an 11 year old I didn’t know what lamps looked like in an operating room or an emergency department. But later on when I went into my medical training, I did see what the lamps were like in emergency departments and surgeries. I went, oh yeah this is exactly what I saw but from a top down perspective during my near death experience.

Rick: One of the things that fascinates me about NDEs is that they provide evidence for materialists and skeptics who think that we are the body and that when the body dies that’s it. They provide evidence that the consciousness is independent of the body. There have been so many stories of people like Anita Moorjani and many other people not so famous, experiencing things when when they’re in a coma or under anesthesia or whatever, that they couldn’t possibly have known.

Yvonne: Exactly

Rick: And then when they wake up, those things are confirmed. “Oh, I saw my uncle getting a candy bar. It was a Snickers bar, in the machine down in the waiting room. And he doesn’t like candy bars, but I saw him buying one”. And yet she was in surgery. So that kind of stuff, it provides evidence to me and to anyone who is open to it that we are not just the body.

Yvonne: Exactly, and those are those two incidents, I’ve now confirmed both of them, that what I saw while in the near-death experience, while out of body, was true.My dad confirmed that he was going, “My daughter, my daughter, my daughter,” over and over again, and that’s what I heard. And then similarly, with the lamp. I’ve never climbed up to look at one from from the top down, but you can get a pretty good idea of what the top of one of those surgical lamps looks like. And then in that near-death experience, my memory jumped again. The next memory that I have is actually the moment that I regained consciousness. I remember waking up in the hospital and looking around trying to figure out where on earth I was, then realising, because I was always a pretty bright kid, oh I’m in a hospital I guess. I won’t go into more of the story but I want to talk about the after effects.  I didn’t realize this was an after effect again until  I reflected on it quite recently, but for almost a year after this near-death experience, I could see ghosts. I could see spirits. And I never put two and two together. We had been moving house, from Toronto, Canada to Los Angeles, California when we had the accident. So when we moved into the new house in California, I was seeing spirits and ghosts. And I was scared. How I interpreted it as a kid was that the house we moved into was haunted. It never occurred to me that something had changed in me that I was now able to see spirits. They were sort of wispy figures. They had sort of facial features, but the bodies were quite wispy. They never did anything threatening or scary, but I was just frightened.  As a kid, I guess you’re taught to be frightened of ghosts. That lasted for almost a year after the near-death experience, and then somehow that openness in my consciousness shut down.  Just like you said, in children, things will shut down.

Rick: And a skeptic might say, “Oh, well, you had a brain injury and so your brain was wonky and that’s why you were hallucinating”. But I think our explanation would be that somehow the trauma opened you up to a subtler form of perception that you didn’t ordinarily have. So you were seeing stuff that was there all the time anyway, but you couldn’t see it before.

Yvonne: Yes, and I would say it’s a well-documented after-effect of near-death experiences, from the research I and other people have done, that many NDE-ers develop mediumistic abilities either to see or to hear spirits of departed individuals. So I now realize that my spiritual awakening journey started as a child, but I never labeled it as such. To me as a kid, it was just stuff that happened to me.

Rick: I think that’s how James von Praag got started. He had some heart attack or some near-death experience and then next thing he knew he was able to communicate with the spirit realm.

Yvonne: The first experience that I labeled in my life journey as something unusual was when I started meditating. When I was in medical school, aged 23, they offered a meditation course at the university, which was advertised to help you with your exams: as a doctor there are tons of exams before graduation. So I took this meditation course and it actually did help me relax and it did help me study.. But I also found that for me, meditating was like I was a duck and I’d been led to water. It was an absolute fit. I started meditating regularly almost an hour in the morning, hour in the evening. I loved it. And this connects to something you and I were chatting about before the show started, that we come in with proclivities and tendencies from our past lives that we don’t know about.  I’ve been a meditator for many, many lifetimes and I’ve had diverse types of spiritually transformative experiences.  So, after about three months of meditating regularly, I had a very powerful experience which I now know was a kundalini awakening, though it took me 10 years to figure this out. While I was meditating, all of a sudden I started hearing this really loud inner roaring sound that was like the roar of a waterfall. And at the same time as I heard this, I felt this really powerful energy that seemed to be moving up my spine and entire body. It was just moving up and then it moved up through the top of my head. And when it did that, it was as if my point of awareness also moved up out of my body. I was up above, but then I expanded. My sense of me was no longer the size of a human being. I now expanded and filled this vast space. And not only had I expanded, but it was as if my whole being had transformed into a force field of love. I felt this really, really beautiful love together with the expansion. I was so uninformed and naive at the time, I figured that this was happening to all the other more experienced meditators every time they meditated, and that I’d finally gotten my technique correct that day. So I was finally having the “it” experience that you’re supposed to have every time you meditate. Anyway, I stayed in that expansive state of love until my meditation ended, which was about an hour later, and then I contracted down into my normal state of consciousness. And afterwards, I was really puzzled why I wasn’t able to recreate this experience every time I meditated. I thought I was doing something wrong in my technique. I went up to the meditation group leader, quite embarrassed and with my tail between my legs, and said, “I must be doing something wrong with my technique. Can you tell me what I’m doing wrong, why I’m not having that experience every time I meditate?” When  I told him about my experience his jaw dropped. “That happened to you?” And I said “Yeah.” That was really my first clue that this wasn’t happening to everybody else all the time. Then he scratched his head and said, “Well, I don’t know what to say. The only thing it sounds like that I’ve ever heard of is a kundalini awakening, but couldn’t possibly be one because you’re way too young, you haven’t meditated long enough, and you have to be in the presence of an Illumined Guru and he has to initiate you with Shaktipat. Otherwise you can’t have a kundalini awakening.” So I thought, “Okay, it’s not a kundalini awakening. What is it?” I didn’t have an explanation for it. But through my own research and through the grace of God and synchronicity, I had the opportunity to travel to India the following year when I was 24. And I met Gopi Krishna. If some of your listeners are not familiar with Gopi Krishna, he wrote 17 books on Kundalini Awakening, and he was presenting on Kundalini Awakening in India. He became a mentor to me. I had many personal interviews with him, and we used to correspond, and he would say to me repeatedly, “Yvonne, do Kundalini research.” And I was thinking, “Why is he always telling me to do Kundalini research?” And he would say, “Yvonne, do Kundalini research in the crucible of your own consciousness.” but somehow, the dots didn’t connect until many years later. I finally did realize, after reading all of his works and reading many other works about Kundalini, ”Oh, he was trying to help me figure out that I’ve already had a Kundalini awakening”. So, for your listeners there, I just want to affirm that, as you mentioned, I was one of the founders with Dr. Bonnie Greenwell in 1990 of the Kundalini Research Network. Many people are having spontaneous Kundalini awakenings, and no, you don’t have to have been meditating for like 40 years in the Himalayas, and no, you don’t have to be at that moment initiated by a guru, although it can happen that way. But I now realize for myself, this happened because I’ve had Kundalini active for many incarnations. Maybe the very first time I got it activated many lifetimes ago, it might have been at the foot of a guru who gave me Shaktipat and then I awoke my Kundalini, but this is something that I’ve been experiencing for many incarnations, and I think other people have as well, which is why people are now having spontaneous Kundalini awakenings.

Rick: Yes, that’s what it does say in the literature. If you have a Kundalini awakening in some lifetime and then you die, it’s going to pick up where it left off in your next lifetime. And I’ve encountered many people, some of whom were not even interested in spirituality or anything, who had this thing happen. And then they got on Google and tried to figure out what the heck happened to them. I remember one woman who initially thought it was some kind of disease, Kundalini disease. And then she investigated more and more and figured out something good had happened to her. You’ll probably get into this because you’ve made a profession of counseling people who’ve had spiritually transformative experiences, but I imagine a lot of poor souls end up in mental hospitals or on Thorazine or some other drug when they have a Kundalini awakening. They don’t know what in the heck is going on, and neither does their doctor.

Yvonne: Well that’s a really complex question, and it has a number of different layers to it, but I’ll just try and give you a couple of layers before we go to my personal story again. In my work with Kundalini awakening, having researched it for over 40 years, I’ve found that people can have a whole spectrum of ways that it awakens. Some people can have a very, very gradual awakening; this sometimes happens with long-time meditators . The Kundalini subtly, subtly, starts activating and they don’t have a big explosive experience like I did.  But then they reach a point in their life where they realize, “Gee, I’m having a lot of energy rushes up my spine and yes I’m having really deep experiences in my meditation and yes I’m feeling all my chakras. Gosh, I guess I have an active Kundalini.” So that’s the gradual awakening. Other people can have sort of a burst at their awakening like I did, where the energy goes up, but mine went up dramatically into a mystical experience, my first mystical experience this lifetime. Other people can go into an inspired  creative experience, other people can just be feeling the energy phenomena without any mystical or paranormal experience, like feeling their body rocking back and forth, feeling shoots of energy up their spine, etc. It may also go part way up. It may only go to the heart chakra. It may only go to the throat chakra. It might go up to the crown. So there’s all these variations. Then there’s the other issue of imbalances in your body. So let’s imagine you have certain imbalances or blocks to the flow of the kundalini energy in the body from past lives or from your genetics or from your current lifestyle. Gopi Krishna wrote about this quite a bit, that one could have a spiritual emergency type of Kundalini awakening,  because of these various factors, and for each person they’ll be different. Rather than going into a blissful, mystical experience they feel like they’re crazy.

Rick: He had a hard time, didn’t he?

Yvonne: He did. He went into we would now call spiritual emergency for many years because it was such a powerful awakening. He was having all sorts of experiences and nobody to guide him or help him with grounding. This is part of the reason why he wrote so many books, and he finally he was intuitively guided to a technique to visualize the energy moving to the central channel. If you look at yogic anatomy of the spinal system and the chakras, there are various channels, and he realized that it had risen up one of the side channels in him rather than the central channel. This can happen to other people. He kept visualizing it moving to the central channel, and all of a sudden everything started balancing out in his system. That was one thing. The other thing that he learned was that with the intensity of the transformation process he was going through, his dietary needs had really changed. He found that he had to eat small amounts of food every three hours, sort of like a baby. In a way it’s like your consciousness is this baby that’s trying to open very rapidly and develop. He sometimes called it the second puberty, when the brain reaches maturity and is trying get into its full adult form of consciousness. And then there’s the body, mind, and spirit. People sometimes think this is just a spiritual process, but it’s not. It’s physical, psychological, and spiritual. So you have to pay attention to the physical body. He was eating small meals regularly, easily digestible meals, and also increasing his protein intake. And I have found this myself in times that my energy is very high, and people who are vegetarians need to be aware of this. If you’re not eating meat proteins, you may need to eat other proteins to help to ground the energy. It’s as if the energy is eating the protein somehow. All of these factors will affect somebody’s spiritual awakening. Now, is it possible that someone will end up in the psychiatric hospital after a Kundalini awakening? Yes, I’ve seen it happen. But I do want to give you a full answer here. Some people think there’s no such thing as mental illness, it’s all Kundalini awakening. In my opinion, that is not correct. Mental illness is very real, and we need to have compassion and help people the best we can. I’m not saying our current medical system is perfect, which it isn’t, but it’s the best we have right now. And for people’s own protection and safety, we need to respect that certain people need the medications and they need supports like psychiatric hospitals. There are some people who have a Kundalini awakening and they are slipping into psychosis, so that they’re becoming very ungrounded, they’re maybe getting very grandiose. I frequently see people slipping into manic episodes. They think they’re the second coming of Christ, that they have all the answers for the universe, and if everyone would just listen to them, there’d be world peace. They’re getting these grandiose ideas about themselves. I talked about this in my other book, Touched by the Light, which is a guidebook for people going through a spiritual awakening, including Kundalini. If I saw a person like that in my medical practice when I was counseling them, they’d need grounding. They need to be told that  “Hello, you’re not the first person to have a spiritual awakening, and just because you’re having a glimpse of expanded realities does not make you a spiritual master”. It’s the beginning of the awakening process. We don’t become fully illuminated with just one experience. We’re beginning a process of expanding our consciousness. So I have seen people with a spiritual awakening, usually a Kundalini awakening, slip into mania and those people sometimes actually do need to be hospitalized for their own safety. I saw one person like that who tried to jump off a high bridge because he believed he could fly and he ended up being seriously injured. So it’s not a black and white situation. And are there people who are having unhealthy Kundalini awakenings because of their own blocks and issues and maybe their genetics and lifestyles, who are ending up in the psychiatric hospital? Yes, I think that’s also true. So there are various categories. It’s not a black and white answer about the relationship between psychiatric illnesses and spiritual awakening.

Rick: Yeah, it’s really a detailed science. I don’t know if you know Joan Shiverpeak de Harrigan.

Yvonne: Yes, I do.

Rick; She’s a friend of mine, and she’s written a big thick book about the detailed knowledge of Kundalini and all the various ways that it can be misdirected and properly directed. And she’s revising it, it’s becoming an even thicker book. But it’s not a simple thing.

Yvonne: Yeah. So I just want to say that to your listeners. It’s not black and white. It’s not all or nothing. There are a lot of individual variations.

Rick: And then just one more thing, there’s the proviso or the cautionary note that one shouldn’t try to in some way, unnaturally or forcibly awaken the Kundalini, as some people do. I had a friend who once did a whole bunch of intense pranayama to make his Kundalini awaken and indeed it did but he ended up like in really serious trouble. He actually got some kind of burns on his skin and he was very unstable. This is powerful stuff. You have to proceed cautiously with it ,and hopefully with the advice of someone who knows what they’re talking about. We often get contacted by people who have had some kind of spiritual awakening through whatever means, sometimes drugs are involved, and they’re in trouble. They can’t work, they can’t think clearly, they’re trying to get back to some sort of normalcy. And it’s good to know you exist, because I imagine I can refer such people to you.

Yvonne: Well, Spiritual Awakenings International is where people can go. We have a lot of subscribers who are in Kundalini awakening, and we have experiencer sharing circles and we have a number of affiliates who do do one-on-one counseling. I personally have retired from medical practice, so I’m not individually counseling anymore. I recommend people read my book, Touched by the Light, which is a guidebook for people who are in an awakening process, Kundalini or otherwise. But like you, I think it is best to have a balanced, moderated approach to your spiritual awakening process rather than trying to force anything. The divine, what I’ve come to understand is the intelligence of the divine force behind the universe, however we understand it, knows when your body is ready, knows when your consciousness is ready. And there are universal spiritual laws, which are in the the Limbs of Yoga by Patanjali, the do’s and the don’ts. So lead a healthy balanced life, live according to the universal spiritual laws, do not lie, do not steal, etc. Work on yourself, work on your psychological issues. If you need to get into recovery, go into recovery. If you need psychotherapy, go into psychotherapy, for childhood issues, or whatever it is. And meditate, do a spiritual practice. Find one that resonates with your heart. For me, it’s Kriya Yoga meditation. Doing those things will deal with body, mind, and spirit and make your consciousness ready for the awakening so that when the awakening happens, it happens at the right time and not necessarily at explosive intensity.  I do not recommend people taking drugs to try and awaken their Kundalini. Many people are exploring that nowadays, and like you I’ve seen very negative things, so I don’t recommend that. And similarly, these intensive pranayamas, as you described, that’s the other one that often gets people into trouble. Just doing a little bit of pranayama as guided by your spiritual teacher, that’s okay, but deciding on your own, I’m going to do four days of pranayama, you’re asking for trouble.

Rick: Yeah, it can get very dangerous. I’m glad you mentioned Patanjali and the yamas and niyamas and we can come back to this in greater detail later. But you mentioned that at one point you had what you called a Truth-o-Meter turn on in you, where you couldn’t even tell a very slight lie without some kind of immediate physiological discomfort or reaction. And I feel that one of the greatest shortcomings or stumbling blocks in contemporary spirituality is the lack of attentiveness or appreciation to right living and ethical values. It’s responsible for all these gurus having downfalls. I helped to establish an organization called the Association for Spiritual Integrity, which is doing very well and gaining great popularity. Maybe we can talk about this more later, unless you want to get into it now, but we still have plenty to cover with your story and your various near-death experiences.

Yvonne: So, yes, the Truth-O-Meter actually developed after the next experience that I wanted to talk about, which was the near-death experience in a plane crash that happened to me when I was 29.

Rick: That was a doozy.

Yvonne: I was 26, sorry. That’s right.

Rick: It happened in 79, that’s why you said 29.

Yvonne: Yeah, it happened in 79. I was 26 at the time. And I was a young doctor at the time and I was a resident (after you graduate medical school, you have to do your residency training to specialize). I was assigned as part of my residency to work in Northern Ontario in winter with in a remote Native Indian community. And on this particular day, March 27, 1979, I was assigned on a medevac, a medical evacuation of a critically ill Native Indian woman on a twin-engine airplane called a Piper Aztec. We were supposed to fly about one hour from where I was in Sioux Lookout to the next largest city, which was Winnipeg, so that she could go into the intensive care unit there for her deteriorating condition. Anyway, making a long story short, as we were flying partway to Winnipeg, we ran into a bad winter storm, like we get in Canada. They said later at the inquiry that they thought the air filters of both of the engines froze over, first one, then the other. So, twin engine plane, two engines, first we lost one engine, then we lost the other engine. You don’t have to be brilliant to figure out that, “Oh, we’re crashing!” I immediately heard the change. If you’ve ever been in a propeller plane, you know how loud the motors are. So when the motor stops, all of a sudden it’s quiet. So I looked up and I’m like, “Oh, that propeller’s stopping.” And then the other one went quiet, “that propeller’s stopping”. And then we started plummeting down to the ground. And if anyone wonders what it’s like to be in a plane crash, imagine the worst turbulence you’ve ever been in. The plane was just being bounced like that. The pilot was trying to steer it. He had lowered the altitude when he realized we were having engine trouble, and he was trying to avoid crashing into trees; it’s fully forested in northern Ontario, but there’s also a lot of lakes. He was trying to get us over a lake so we wouldn’t crash into the trees and he pulled up the wheels. He was trying to do a wheels up belly landing on the ice to get us down safely, which is really very heroic. Anyway, as the plane’s going down with all the turbulence and I see the pilot doing whatever he’s doing there, my first reaction is, I think, like anybody else’s reaction would be. I felt this intense fear and panic. The thought leapt out of my heart: “Oh, God, help! I’m going to die!” It was just like a reflex, and I think that was close enough to a prayer. It had the word “God” in it. That was actually when my near-death experience started. It was before the plane crashed. And then what happened was, all of a sudden, this force field of peace started descending on me. And it was literally like it was pushing down all the fear. I felt this incredible peace, this incredible calm, I was no longer afraid. And then I heard an inner voice. Up until this time, I’d never heard inner voices before. I heard an inner voice, very clear, and it was a masculine voice, and it said, “Be still and know that I am God. I am with you now and always.” And with those words, it was like this incredible spiritual tranquility filled me, and I was not afraid. The plane had not crashed yet. And I stayed in that state. The pilot managed to get us down onto the ice. We were skidding across the ice, so heroically we didn’t crash into trees, but as soon as the plane came to a stop, the weight of the plane was too much for the ice. The ice broke, the plane quickly nose-dived and sunk into very deep water. So I had to get out of the plane very quickly. The nurse and I tried to pull the patient out. The pilot tried to help too, but the plane went down and we lost the patient, unfortunately. And then I found myself in open water wearing heavy winter clothes, a heavy coat and boots. It was sub-zero weather in a storm, with a big wind. And there was open water between me and the shore and there was this really strong current. And away from shore, going out to the open lake, there was some ice. We didn’t know how thick the ice was. The pilot started shouting, “Try to get on the ice! Try to get on the ice!” And the voice in my head said, “Swim to shore.” Now, interestingly enough, I’m embarrassed to admit it, but this is actually what happened. I was inexperienced with higher guidance. This was the first time I had experienced it. I argued with the voice. I mentally argued with the voice, because I’d been trained as a lifeguard when I was younger. and I thought, “No, I’m not going to swim to shore. They train you in lifeguarding. If you’re in a boating accident, don’t try to swim to shore. You’re going to drown on the way to shore.” So I ignored the guidance I was receiving and I tried to climb on the ice. The voice repeats, “Swim to shore.” And finally, after the third time the voice said, “Swim to shore,” I surrendered to that wisdom and I turned and I started swimming to shore. The ice was too thin. We could not get on it. It was a really hard and a really difficult swim and I went under a few times, the lake water filling my lungs. I struggled with all my might, kick, kick, kick, using every little bit of adrenaline I had to get my mouth above water again so that I could breathe in air, and then stroke by stroke I was struggling to get to shore. Somewhere in the process of swimming to shore is when my near-death experience deepened, and what happened was all of a sudden I heard that roaring sound similar to what I heard with my Kundalini awakening, like the roar of a waterfall, and and I felt my consciousness again lift up out of my body and I found myself like 20 or 30 feet above my body. But interestingly, time was still going on, the movie of life was still going on, so my body was still down in the lake trying to swim to shore and it was really like my consciousness was two places at the same time. I compare it to a split screen TV, the big picture on the screen, was my consciousness that was now above my body, but the little picture on the screen was the part of my consciousness that was in my body, continuing to try to swim to shore. And then the main part of my consciousness went even higher. I rose up higher and I rose into this realm or state, it’s really hard to find the correct words to describe it. I was suddenly visually perceiving that I was in a realm of light and a realm of love. Many people talk about it as the white light realm, but my personal experience was that the most powerful aspect of this realm was the love. I would call it the realm of love rather than the realm of light. Because I was feeling complete, profound, beyond the capacity of my words to describe, unconditional love. I felt like I was home. This is where I belong, I made it home. And in this realm of love that was also filled with light, for a moment I saw a face of light and then it sort of disappeared into like the cloud light periphery. I just knew things. It’s not like things were told to me or explained to me, it’s like my soul knew things when I was in this realm of love and light. I knew that what I was experiencing was the love of our higher power or what I had been raised to call God, and what I was experiencing God to be was not anything at all like what I’d been taught. It was not an old man with a long white beard sitting on a throne judging me, “Have you been good or bad?” That was not at all what I was experiencing. I was actually experiencing that our higher power, what I call God, was unconditionally loving, profoundly loving, and like a massive, omnipresent force field of intelligence and love that is underlying, interpenetrating all of past, present, future, everything. This is really much more compatible with what I later read about in some of the yogic and Buddhist texts, particularly the yogic model of consciousness and of the higher power behind the universe. Infinite intelligence, infinite love, infinitely present. That’s what I was experiencing. And what I also knew somehow while I was in that realm of love and light was that what I think of as “me” would live on, whether my physical body down below lived or died in the plane incident. And I really was completely detached. I had no desire one way or the other, because I was home. So I watched, with that part of my consciousness, what was happening to the physical body, sort of like how you would watch a movie you’re not really interested in, but you want to know how they ended the story, so you watch it to the end. I just wanted to see whether or not this woman that happened to be me when I was in a body made it to shore or not. Well, through a series of miracles and coincidences, which I’m not going to go into just for time, I did manage to swim to shore. There was a really heroic rescue by helicopter pilots, who shouldn’t even have been there but they were, and they’d picked up a message that nobody could receive, but somebody did. All these coincidences led to my rescue. They brought me, the pilot and the nurse, to the closest hospital, which was in Kenora. I remember watching from above as they landed on the driveway of the hospital. They wheeled out the stretchers from emergency, put me on a stretcher, brought me in. A nurse tried to take my temperature and I remember watching her because she couldn’t figure out why she couldn’t get a temperature reading. She couldn’t get a temperature reading because I was profoundly hypothermic. I was almost frozen to death. I was colder than the bottom reading on her thermometer. And then I heard a voice say, “Boy, could I use a hot bath.” And I was really surprised to see that had come out of my body because I wasn’t planning to say that, but somehow out of my body came, “Boy, could I use a hot bath.” And it turns out that’s what we needed. We needed to be reheated. And then the nurses said to each other, “Oh, let’s take them down to the physiotherapy department, put them in the hot whirlpool baths. Maybe that’ll revive them.” So then they took us down and when they put my body in, it was what my body needed. I don’t know which angel spoke through my body and told them what to do, but somebody did. They put me in the hot whirlpool bath and as my body was being reheated, that was when I felt my consciousness re-enter my body. What it felt like was how they depict genies being sucked into a bottle. I’d been in this vast, expansive space all above and suddenly I was sucked down through the top of my head into the small confines of my body and then I’m back. And then I knew that I was going  to live, that I was going to survive this experience. I’m just going to pause in case you want to ask me something before I go into the after-effects.

Rick: No, it was quite an experience and I guess I won’t ask anything at the moment but I found that portion of your book riveting. There were some really cool synchronicities about how you were rescued. The pilot radioed out a signal, but there were mountains all around so nobody could pick the signal up, but an Air Canada flight happened to be going over at that moment, and they got the signal and transferred it down. And then that guy with a helicopter shouldn’t have been at that airport, but he was transporting the helicopter to somewhere else, and he’d just stopped at the airport to wait out the snowstorm. And so he got the message that you needed help and he was only five miles away. And he initially came and rescued your friend who was hanging on to a piece of wood unconscious, and then left again. And you thought, well, that’s it, we’re dead, you and the pilot. But then he came back just in case and ended up seeing you. I understand that they’ve actually dramatized this and made some kind of documentary with people acting it out.

Yvonne: Well, they’ve acted parts of it out. You‘ve put in more details, and the whole story is amazing. And as it was happening, you just live in the moment, but now looking back, there’s so many signs that there were invisible fingers that were helping. There were so many coincidences that led to the rescue.

Rick: That’s why I wanted to mention those things. Because I don’t think it’s just because they make it a cool story. I feel like that’s the way life works, at least for those who are blessed with some kind of divine support. Things kind of work out in improbable ways to save the day.

Yvonne: Absolutely. Well this experience, and again, I didn’t know it was a near-death experience, I didn’t even have a word to call it. Same as the Kundalini. It took me years to have even a word to label the experience. After this, thank goodness I had some time off work recovering from the frostbite and the near-drowning and my physical injuries from the plane incident. It gave me a little bit of time to emotionally integrate, because I literally felt like I brought some of that love back with me. I was just like drunk with love afterwards. They have a saying in yoga, “love intoxicated.” Well, I was love intoxicated after that. I was just so filled with love. I remember that I would look out the window and I’d see the kids playing on the street where I live and I just had these waves of love coming out of my heart for the children. I’d see the squirrels running in the tree and I’d have waves of love coming out of my heart for the squirrel. I was just drunk with love afterwards. But it also did other things to me. One of the most profound gifts I think I got from that is it made me realize that what’s important in life is love. I had been feuding with my father since I was a teenager, these things happen. And it was like a new emotional clarity or emotional maturity blossomed in me after this experience. I called up my dad  and I said, “Dad, I love you. Let’s be friends.” And we completely reconciled. We talked about some of the disagreements we’d had in childhood, and it was resolved. My dad and I were able to have a loving relationship for seven years after that until my dad unfortunately passed away. I look at that as one of the biggest blessings of the near-death experience, because my dad hadn’t changed. He still had those quirks and things that used to drive me crazy when I was in my ego before the experience, but after the experience it was like I shifted into my heart. Like all that stuff didn’t matter anymore. All that mattered was the bond of love between me and my dog.

Rick: And if you read near-death experience books like Dannion Brinkley’s and Betty Eadie’s, and so many  other near-death experience books, you often find this pattern, that these experiences are very transformative and they completely change a person’s emotional state and very often the course of their life in terms of what they dedicate themselves to.

Yvonne: The combination of the Kundalini awakening followed three years later by this near-death experience completely changed the course of my life. But I want to mention a couple more of the after-effects. I absolutely lost my fear of death after this near-death experience. I just knew that I would live on after the death of their physical body. I knew this to be true not only for me but for everyone. What I also knew to be true for everyone was that we’re all trying to understand or reach the same one God. That there’s not a different Brahma, different Allah, different Great Spirit. There’s one higher power who gets it. It’s like we’re all climbing from different angles of the mountain, so we have different perspectives. But once we get to the top, we realize it’s the same one source that loves all of us, regardless of what religious path we’re following, regardless of what name we’re calling him, it, her, whatever. And even if we don’t believe in the higher power, the higher power goes on, still loving us, still underlying the universe. And it made me much more accepting and tolerant of people with diverse religious views. Everyone’s trying to understand the same one truth, they’re just coming at it from a different angle, and who’s to say that my angle is better than your angle? It just happens to be my angle for climbing the mountain. So, this was a really huge change in me.

Rick: Yeah, when I think of religious narrowness, I think of the size of the universe and the probable number of inhabited planets and how many trillions of religions there must be out there throughout the universe, probably 99% of which believe that theirs is the only true one. It seems kind of absurd when you look at it in that perspective.

Yvonne: Yeah, absolutely. I could say much more on that topic, but I also wanted to say that the other interesting after effect was that I started to develop an increase in my Kundalini symptoms. You may have noticed I described that when I went out of body with the near-death experience I heard the same roaring sound and had a very similar sensation to when I had the original Kundalini awakening experience. And in my research I’ve come to understand that Kundalini can awaken and activate a rising with a particularly mystical type of near-death experiences, which is what mine was. And so I had an increase in my Kundalini energy symptoms, chakra symptoms, et cetera. But I also started developing an expansion of my range of consciousness. I had a psychic awakening after maybe two weeks after the near-death experience. I was going to visit a friend, and I was stopped at a red light in my car. And all of a sudden, I got a clear visual image in my mind of my friend’s brain covered in pus. Now, how I knew it was my friend’s brain, I don’t know. I just knew. And to me, as a medical doctor, the symbology was perfectly clear. I got it immediately. It was symbolizing meningitis. And I now know that was my first clairvoyant vision. So I went to visit my friend and she had a bad headache. And yes, it turned out that later on that day, she was admitted to the emergency department and diagnosed with acute meningitis. Fortunately she was treated and recovered all right. But this was a beginning, and I now started having more clairvoyant experiences. And then I started getting many clairsentient experiences and clairaudient experiences. So this was the beginning of an opening in my consciousness where what was normal for me was expanding to include all the Clairs, as they call it, Clairvoyants, Clairaudients, Clairsentients. And I was a young medical doctor and you can’t talk to other medical doctors about this, so I had to be in the closet about what was happening to me for many, many years. But I wanted to relate this to what you said earlier about the Truth-O-Meter, because this is also when the Truth-O-Meter developed. As this clairsentience was opening in me, I found that if somebody was lying, I would feel it, usually as a pressure in my third eye center. I’d be like, “Oh, I knew they were lying.” And if I’m talking about a book and I say, “Oh, I read 60 pages of the book last night” and I really had only read 50, even if it was just was a slip of the tongue, not an intention, I would feel like this pressure in my chest. So I’d have to correct myself:  “sorry it wasn’t 60 it was 50 pages that I read”. It was like an obsessive Truth-O-Meter, and and I learned that, for whatever reason in the divine design, this was how I am now, that I must be completely honest. I can be silent if I choose not to say something but I cannot tell a lie. So that developed as part of my psychic awakening after this near-death experience.

Rick: I’m sure you’re aware of stories in the Vedic literature of sages or people who were like that. They couldn’t tell a lie. And their adherence to truth was so clear and strong that if they said a thing, it actually had to come true. So that’s kind of the the other way around. Not only did they adhere to the truth, but their words had to make things happen if they spoke them because they were so established in truth. It’s interesting.

Yvonne: I don’t think I’m quite there yet! But anyway, the combination of these two things, after what I now know was a Kundalini awakening when I was 23, and the near-death experience, I started reading everything I could find about mystical experiences, near-death experiences, paranormal phenomena, eastern literature, western literature, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, many, many versions of it. And finally, in 1990, I was invited by Dr. Bonnie Greenwell, who you know, to make a presentation in Asilomar in California at a conference put on by ITP and the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology and the Spiritual Emergence Network on Kundalini Awakening. They wanted me to share what I had learned about Kundalini from Gopi Krishna. I spoke at the conference, and Bonnie Greenwell and I hosted an experiencer sharing circle one evening. If there were any people experiencing Kundalini and they’d like to share with us, we’d be available to facilitate. And so many people showed up, we split in two groups, I had one group and Bonnie had the other group. And I was so moved by the stories that I heard, and by people telling me how much it meant to them, that I was a medical doctor with an MD after my name, and that I even knew about Kundalini. And that I validated that what they were experiencing was Kundalini, because all they’ve been getting is being labeled as crazy, labeled as hallucinating, maybe told by their church it was work of the devil, with nobody to support and help them in their integration. I was profoundly moved by this experience and the amount of gratitude people were expressing. So after the sharing circle I went out for a walk. Asilomar is on the Pacific Ocean, there’s a big sand dunes park there on the ocean. So I was walking out on the sand dunes after, and I had a profound experience which in my book I call my calling mystical experience. All of a sudden it was like my head cracked open and where my head used to be became like a sun, like a ball of light, radiating immense light in all directions and I could feel and taste the amrita, the nectar, dripping in the back of my throat. My consciousness had become a ball of light. There were no words, I just knew knew that I was being called and that what I had to do now was come out of the closet and share what I had learned about Kundalini and spiritual transformation of consciousness publicly as a doctor.  I had to become an advocate for experiencers, because experiencers were being harmed by doctors calling this crazy, by the public calling this crazy, by their churches calling it work of the devil. And so my life changed completely that day. This was in 1990. When I came back, I went to my department head at the university. I’d had a teaching position there for almost 11 years. And I said I’ll resign if you want, but I want to publicly specialize my medical practice in the counseling and research of people with near-death experiences and other spiritually transformative experiences. I couldn’t say Kundalini because he wouldn’t know what that was. And I think my guardian angels overshadowed my department head, because he said, “Well, Yvonne, if you’re doing research, that’s okay with me.” And then he actually gave me some tips on how to do this without running into too many obstacles at the university. So in 1990, that’s what I did. I publicly specialized in this. I sent out an announcement to all the doctors of Ontario that I would accept referrals of patients who’d had past life memories, clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, I tried to describe all this stuff, Kundalini, mystical experiences, inspired creativity, near-death experiences. And my practice became flooded. I got so many people coming to see me, the media picked up on it and I did a bunch of interviews which generated way more people coming to see me. And so it changed my life absolutely completely. And I loved it. I loved being a groundbreaker, raising awareness publicly. I started writing books, public speaking all that sort of stuff. But little did I know that the good Lord wasn’t finished with touching me with these profound experiences.

Rick: Before we get on to the next experience, let’s throw in a couple of things here. So first of all, that’s just your experience in Toronto. So imagine how many people there must be all over the world having these experiences, most of whom probably aren’t fortunate enough to have someone like you that they can come to who will understand what’s going on. But it really must be epidemic everywhere, but kind of beneath the surface of public acknowledgement or official recognition or understanding.

Yvonne: I would say that’s absolutely correct. So, in 2020 I founded Spiritual Awakenings International, which people can look at online.

Rick: And I’ll be linking to all your websites from your page on Batgap.

Yvonne: Excellent. So that’s what I’m doing now in terms of trying to raise awareness globally about the whole spectrum of spiritually transformative experiences, not just near-death experiences, not just Kundalini, but all of them, past life recall, trans-dimensional experiences with UFOs, clairaudience, clairvoyance, clairsentience, all of these things. And now the medium seems to be online, that is the way to get the message out there. And really the focus of Spiritual Awakenings International and my focus now, because I’ve retired from medical practice, is to be a safe place for experiencers. A place that people who are having these experiences can come, that it’s safe, they’re validated, that they can learn. We have various speakers talking about their research or their own experiences, but also they can network with other people who are having awakening experiences. So for me this was a calling from spirit. When I got a download to create Spiritual Awakenings International back in 2020, I didn’t know how many people would come, how many people would be interested. Unbelievably, it’s blossomed. We have subscribers from 87 countries in just three years, with our experience of sharing circles having all types of STEs all over the world. So my direct personal experience validates exactly what you said. It is happening all over the world, but people are saying exactly what you said, that they feel isolated. They don’t know where to find support. They can’t talk to their family. They can’t talk to their friends. They can’t talk to their doctors. So we’re trying to provide a forum for that online and of course you are doing that with your show as well.

Rick: Yeah, to me the fact that this is such a widespread phenomenon is the hope of the world.

Yvonne: Yes.

Rick: When you look at the news, which I do, I’m kind of a news junkie, and you see what’s going on with the wars and climate change and economic catastrophes and pandemics and politics and all the stuff, well I’ve had people get in touch with me in recent days saying the world is going to hell in a handbasket. And if that were the only reality I was aware of, I think I would be quite discouraged. But I’m actually quite optimistic because I feel like there’s this huge upwelling of consciousness taking place all over the world, which obviously isn’t making the news, but which could just save the day in terms of humanity, not only surviving, but transforming into a a very beautiful state, albeit with a great deal of chaos and turmoil during the transition. But I do think that there’s more that’s going on than most people realize, and there is hope for the future.

Yvonne: Oh, there is absolutely hope for the future. I would agree with you. And I agree that there’s a global spiritual awakening happening right now, and I think that that is the hope for the future. Because it’s only by people working on themselves as individuals and maturing psychologically and maturing spiritually through their spiritual practices and their spiritual awakenings that they are able to hold in their consciousness the concept of peace and harmony or universal brotherhood. And yet at the same time the reality is that even though we’re holding that hope, we still have to defend our family when it’s being attacked. Like in the Bhagavad Gita: “you stand up and fight, Arjuna”. Sometimes we would prefer not to stand up and fight but sometimes that is our responsibility because we’re being attacked. So  I want to share my next two near-death experiences, because those relate a little bit.

Rick: Okay. Before you do, a question came in from Pat J. in Switzerland. Pat asks, “I am not taking any drugs or alcohol for a few years now and practice quite intensive meditation. I have some signs of an active Kundalini, some kriyas. Is it advised against any drug use such as psilocybin mushrooms even in a spiritual context?”

Yvonne: Correct. I do not recommend use of drugs even in what people consider a spiritual context. There are some people out there who are promoting it, but I am not. In my experience, using hallucinogenic drugs, number one, it might explode you open faster than you want. That’s number one. And so it can be dangerous. Number two, people who are mediums and intuitives who can perceive the aura have told me repeatedly, and I perceive this myself, that it actually damages our aura. It’s like making Swiss cheese in our aura, taking drugs of any kind, and particularly ones that are affecting the brain, hallucinogenic ones. So I personally do not recommend them, even in people who are saying that it’s in a spiritual context. I recommend keeping your system as clear as possible of all toxins, including hallucinogenic drugs.

Rick: Okay, now just to play devil’s advocate, because people who would be in favor of this would probably ask the following question. They’d say, “Yeah, but what about the research at Johns Hopkins and NYU and Robin Carhart-Harris over in the UK and all these people who are getting tremendous results helping alcoholics stop alcoholism on a dime, or stage four cancer patients no longer fearing death and having this marvelous experience that makes them realize they’re not really going to die even when their body does, and all kinds of different benefits. So would you be absolute in that conviction that one should never use those drugs or would you say very judiciously under certain circumstances it might be helpful.

Yvonne: He asked me specifically if he should try to enhance a Kundalini awakening, or to initiate a Kundalini awakening. I would say no.

Rick: Right.

Yvonne: I deeply respect that there are some cultures where it is part of their shamanic tradition and I’m not disrespecting that. If you’re in that culture and you have that support, fine. I’m now talking as a Westerner to another Westerner who’s not in that tradition, who doesn’t have that support. So for a Westerner who’s trying to have a healthy Kundalini awakening, I would say continue with your meditation practice and continue with your inner work and detachment and reaching the stillness and the various objectives in your meditation practice. That will be the fastest route to have a healthy Kundalini awakening. Now when you talk about research, yes there are doctors doing research and psychologists using psychedelic drugs as an intervention to help people with specific issues. People with depression or people with anxiety or as you were saying with alcoholics. There are different methods of trying to have interventions with people with various mental health challenges, that’s a completely different topic. That’s using psychedelics as a drug treatment to help with a particular condition. And if they’re finding good results with that, people are using that with success, wonderful. But answering the question specifically for somebody who’s already having a Kundalini awakening and wants to deepen in it, no that’s not the way. In my 40 years experience, drugs are not the way to do it.  And also for people who might be listening who have not yet had a Kundalini awakening and would like to have one, I also would say that is not my recommendation. I would recommend meditation and doing your work to try and live a life with integrity following the universal spiritual laws.

Rick: I would agree with you. I’ve been meditating since I was 18 myself, having taken drugs for a year before that with disastrous, or at least with mixed results. It showed me that there was more to life than meets the eye, but it also got me pretty messed up over the course of a year. And then meditation from the outset was extremely helpful in healing and strengthening and invigorating and so on.

Yvonne: Yes, exactly.

Rick: Okay, so you’re about to launch into a new chapter.

Yvonne: So, in 1990, this chapter of my life opened up, and I wrote my first book. It’s called A Farther Shore. I don’t even have it on display. I have six books now that I’ve written or co-authored. I wrote my first book on spiritually transformative experiences, and I thought that was sort of going to be my life path. and I was not expecting anything more, because back then there used to be this concept that you had one near-death experience and then the rest of your life was influenced by that. So I thought, okay, I’ve had my one near-death experience. And similarly with Kundalini awakening, there was a belief that you have just this one awakening. There was very little understanding about the lifelong process of spiritual deepening, spiritual cleansing, spiritual opening that happens after Kundalini awakening. It doesn’t stop. It continues and it continues to this day. And we all have to be careful no matter how long we’ve been on the spiritual path, because we’ll have some little shadow issue that’ll come up and try and grab us right when we expect it least. So we have to be humble and realize we’re in a process and anyone can fall at any point in the path. Anyway, moving right along. Much to my surprise, in 1995, I had another near-death experience in a near-miss plane incident. Tell me how much time we have left?

Rick: We have another 40 minutes.

Yvonne: Good, okay, because I want to also make sure we have time for my most recent near-death experience, which is the juicy one. So I’m going to make this one short. I was in a plane traveling to Toronto, coming back from an engagement where I was promoting my book on spiritually transformative experiences. We flew into a winter storm and I remember thinking, “Oh, isn’t that interesting? My plane crash NDE was in a winter storm.” I didn’t think about it. Then I looked out the window and I could see ice forming on the wing and I’m thinking, “Huh, they say it was ice forming on the air filter that caused the last plane crash.” And then I thought, “Okay, I better read my paper. I don’t know why I’m thinking about that NDE plane crash all of a sudden.” So I picked up the newspaper and I looked at the date and it said March 27. I was going, “March 27th?”, because March 27th was the date of my plane crash NDE. I thought, “What am I doing flying on March 27th again? How could I book a ticket for March 27th?” And the plane’s being jostled with turbulence and all this stuff. And I’m looking at the date, I’m looking, I’m blinking, hardly believing my eyes. And then it’s literally like they depict on TV  sometimes, the letters started swirling. And then it changed to read what it really said on the page, which was February 27th. I’m thinking “holy mackerel, what was that all about?” Well, as it turned out, I guess my consciousness was giving me a premonition that I was about to have another near-death experience, because that’s in fact what happened. The plane, a big commercial Air Canada plane, was coming into Toronto International Airport in really bad turbulence because of the storm. Right before we were about to touch down, the pilot had to abort the landing because there were coyotes on the runway, he later told us.

Rick: I was wondering about that. Why wouldn’t the coyotes be afraid of the jet when they heard it coming and run off the runway?

Yvonne: Anyway, he decided it was dangerous, so he tried to abort. Supposedly, that’s a hazard, if animals are on the runway you can crash into them. So he had to abort the landing. He flipped the flaps back, and then he was racing the engines and the whole plane was shaking like crazy and it was like, “Oh my God, we’re going to die.” People in the plane started going hysterical, “We’re going to crash, we’re going to crash.” People were throwing up and crying. And what happened to me was like, “Oh, I get it. That’s why I was having all those thoughts that I’m going to crash today. Today is the day that I’m going to die. I was meant to live through that other plane crash so that I could write my book and do the work that I have, and today is the day that I’m going to die in a plane crash”. So by this point in my spiritual journey, I had already learned that the most auspicious way to die is consciously. So I decided I was going to consciously die, and I went into meditation. My only attachment in the world was my son. So I said, “Lord, please look after my son.” And then I went deep into meditation. And I went deep, and I went fast, I went far, and all of a sudden I found myself out of my body. And I’m rising up, up through this vast expanse of space, up, up, up towards the light. But different from the last time, the last near-death experience, it was like this force took me and lifted me up. This time I was swimming with the force, I was pushing with it, with my consciousness. I was striving with my consciousness, while I was meditating, to go as high and as deep as I possibly could. And the area around me turned this deep, deep blue. And then all of a sudden, in front of me appeared this being of light. This being of light was of the same deep blue color that my surrounding was and was translucent. And this being of light was like nothing I had ever seen before or ever seen since. It was half male and half female. As I recall, the left half was female and the right half was male. And it was standing in an unusual posture, with one hand upheld, one hand doing something else, and one of the legs was upheld. And the only thing I’ve seen since that that looks a bit like that is the dancing Shiva. Though the dancing Shiva is not of two sexes, it was a posture like the dancing Shiva.

Rick: And Krishna is blue, but doesn’t have the half and half thing either. And doesn’t have four arms, like I think you said this one had four arms.

Yvonne: Yes, it had four arms as I recall. I did not recognize this being, but it seemed to have an energy that was benevolent, that’s the best way I can describe, it. And it telepathically communicated to me, “It is not your time.” Just like that, as soon as it said “it is not your time” I’m back in my physical body again in the plane. And the plane is still in peril, still shaking. And as I looked, I think my third eye was wide open, because I could actually see like a force field of light, like hands of light holding the plane. And so I sort of knew we were going to be okay, and sure enough we were. The pilot finally managed to pull the plane up and circle around and explain what happened, and later we landed. Now, after we landed, I was in a very unusual state of consciousness, because it felt like I had no skin. Normally we have a sense that our boundary ends where our skin is, that this is where I end, where my physical body ends. But it literally felt like I had no skin, that I was open. There was nothing separating me from the world around me. And I went home that evening, took my taxi home from the airport and had a very, very deep sleep. And then the next morning when I woke up, I was in a unitive of state of consciousness. I was home. It was literally as if I no longer had a top to my head. Where the top of my head used to be was now open. And I was directly connected like an appendage to that universal loving force behind the universe that we are all a part of. It might seem grandiose to some people for me to say that, but there was nothing grandiose about the experience at all. In fact, it was incredibly humbling because in this experience of oneness, in this experience of communion 24/7, I was also completely aware and could perceive within my own consciousness and being that everyone, all sentient beings, are equally connected. I call it a million legs, a billion legs of the millipede, right? They were all like little legs that were all equally connected. The difference was that most people have like a veil in their consciousness so they’re they’re not able to perceive the connection, whereas for me that veil had been removed and I was aware of the connection. And while in that connected state, any information I needed, I didn’t need to like look it up in a book, it would just come to me. Through intuition, I would just know. There’s a saying in yoga, “Before enlightenment, chopping wood and hauling water, after enlightenment chopping wood and hauling water” and it was exactly what it was. I didn’t tell anybody. I had no need to tell anybody. I did my regular work, I went to work, I saw patients, I paid my bills, I drove my car all the time in this incredible blessed state of unitive consciousness. And when I was in my office, the psychotherapy work I could do with my patients was phenomenal because when they’d walk into my office, even before they’d open their mouth, as soon as I picked up their energy field I would immediately know, because the intuition was just wide open, what the issues were that they were wrestling with right now. And I would also know how I could best help them in our therapy session. So it was just incredible how I was able to help people while in that state. But what I found as time went on is that because of world attachments, you get into your ego. So my consciousness would start to contract, and then I’d have to meditate. I’d have to put my consciousness, my focus here on my third eye center and meditate and it would be like I would pop into the full communion again. Then as time went on I’d have to do that more frequently and then finally after about two months I was no longer able to get into that unitive state through my meditation. This experience also changed me profoundly because it made me realize that what the saints and yogis and adepts have talked about is possible. It is possible for an ordinary human being like me, it’s not just something remote that only happens to the saints up in the Himalayas. I’d been given a taste. And I yearned to be able to come back to that state of consciousness. It became my spiritual goal. It was like a shift had happened to me. Before this experience, most of my goals were out in the world, being of service to others, informing people about STEs, counseling experiencers. After this experience, it was like my heart changed into, “Yes, I’m still going to do all that stuff. Yes, I still feel called to be of service” but my highest goal now was my inner goal, my spiritual practice, my spiritual deepening. It was like this yearning to be in communion awoke in me. In Soul Lessons from the Light I talk about how I’ve learned about the different stages people go through on their spiritual path. First there’s the original awakening and this puts you on your search, and you start researching and exploring different paths. That’s called the propelled heart stage. And then later on in the path, many of us have had enough of our searching. We find the path we want to follow, and that’s called the steady heart phase. And at that stage, service becomes really a big part of our life. And I exemplified that completely. I knew, okay, I’m a yogi and yes, I’m being called to be of service. So service was what my life was about. But after this experience, it was like I shifted to what in yoga is called the devoted heart stage which was, “Yes, I’m a devotee, I am seeking God, and I will serve however the divine is calling me to serve, but my highest goal is cleansing, purifying myself so that I can be a clarified instrument.” And at this stage in my life, it’s very much about detachment, learning to let go of stuff, discovering just how many desires we have that we’re attached to, and healing what needs to be healed, so that we can be God’s instrument. So my personal spiritual practice became a much more central and important passion in my life after that experience in 1995.

Rick: Do you find there’s a stage, or has it happened to you, where the desperate yearning for the divine settles down because there’s so much contentment? And it’s like you’re not searching any more, it’s more like you’re just deepening and exploring and learning and evolving, but there’s not this enlightenment or bust kind of feeling because you’re just feeling so content.

Yvonne: Yes, that does develop with time. As one starts having deep experiences through one’s sustained spiritual efforts and meditation, then we move on to a stage where we’re feeling peace and we’re feeling contentment.

Rick: Santosh Patanjali calls it contentment.

Yvonne: Yes. But to get there, we go through this stage of intense yearning, and having been given a taste of the goal, it was like that awoke the yearning in me big time. So I very strongly embraced my spiritual practices, and for more than 20 years I have been embracing the path of Kriya Yoga as taught by Paramahansa Yogananda. I tried many other paths along the way but that’s the one that’s taking me the distance. But much to my surprise the good Lord had not finished sculpting the course of my life, because then comes what happened in 2003. So November the 8th, 2003 is when I had my most recent and my fifth near-death experience. And interestingly enough, astrologers had given me a forewarning. They said, “Gosh, Yvonne, November the 8th, 2003, it’s something called the Harmonic Concordance and the stars are in a Star of David alignment, which is really auspicious and it affects your chart directly. Something wonderful could happen to you that day that’s going to advance you spiritually.” And I thought, what on earth could happen that would advance me spiritually? I was so deeply into my spiritual practice, my spiritual path, my writing is all spiritual, my patients are all spiritual. What on earth more could happen? Ha, little did I know. That day I went to Niagara Falls and I had a slip and fall accident on black ice, hit my head really hard on the rock cobblestone pavement there, had a brain haemorrhage and a traumatic brain injury and died. And I was dead for a period of time. Now, interestingly enough, my experience that evening began a couple of hours before I died. I had been meditating at the foot of Niagara Falls, one of the power places I like to go to meditate because the roar of the falls resonates with the Om vibration. I find when I meditate there I can go very deep very quickly. So I was meditating at the foot of the falls and I went really deep really quickly and all of a sudden I found myself home again. I entered that state of communion that I had been striving to reach since that 1995 near-death experience after-effect. I’d found my way back home. And a being of light appeared to me, it was Mahavatar Babaji,  a saint from my tradition. And he telepathically communicated to me, “Welcome home.” And I just felt complete contentment. I had no idea that I was about to die two hours later, but I was still in that state of communion when I actually fell and had my head injury and died. And I’m sharing this with you because I think it was my end of life experience. Many people talk about experiences right before they die where they may be seeing saints or talking to departed loved ones. The veil is thin right before they die. I think that was my end of life experience and it prepared me for my crossing over. And so when I hit my head, I found a force greater than myself raising me out of my body, and very rapidly I was going upwards through a dark expanse of space. Some people might call it a tunnel, for me it was a dark expanse of space and I was going to the realm of light. There was actually an entranceway that was radiating light, which I was rapidly being rushed up towards. And standing there at the entrance way were two beings of light in light bodies that I instantly recognized, two saints from my tradition, Paramahansa Yogananda and Mahavatar Babaji, and they telepathically welcomed me. They explained to me telepathically that my physical body had died and that my life as Dr. Yvonne Kason was finished and completed, and it was a feeling of congratulations, job well done. It was like a celebration, a graduation party being held in my honor as I entered the light and there were other beings of light there but I didn’t pick up faces or identities. I was just absorbing the love and light and aware of Paramahansa Yogananda and Mahavatar Babaji. And as I entered the afterlife, I guess my ego mind was there like a little devil on my shoulder. This little thought comes up, “Uh-oh, here comes the life review!” Because from all my research and talking to so many NDE experiencers, I know that when someone actually dies, many people have a life review. And I’ve tried to live a good life but nobody’s perfect and I’m not perfect. So this part of me comes up, “Oh, here comes a life review!” And it was so incredible and so beautiful what happened. Because the two saints, they knew that this thought had come up in my mind. And one of them, I think it was Yogananda, just turned and glanced at me. And with the glance, there was this transmission and and it just blew away the little devil on my shoulder. And with that transmission, with that glance, came this deep, profound, and beautiful understanding. And it was about the infinite love of the higher power, Mother, Father, God. I just completely understood infinite love. How we all make mistakes, that’s all part of our learning process. And just like a little child, when it’s learning to walk, it’s going to stumble, it’s going to fall, it’s going to bump its head, maybe it’s going to break something when it falls. And the loving parent doesn’t punish the child. The loving parent embraces and encourages the child, “try again, you can do better next time”.  I was being embraced with that kind of unconditional love. And so with that, my heart just opened to completely absorb the profound love that I was feeling from the higher power. And then it was like I shifted into… it’s hard to have a vocabulary for the other side. It’s not a different place. I would maybe call it a different state of consciousness, where I was no longer visually seeing things, but my consciousness had now vastly increased in its capacity to absorb knowledge and information. It was as if my brain had turned from a Pentium II to a Pentium 100, right? I had a huge capacity to very quickly absorb vast amounts of information all at once. And all of a sudden, in this state, I re-remembered all of my past lives, just all at once. I had been aware of many of my past lives previous to this, but it was like before I’d had pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, but now all the pieces were put together. It was a big coherent picture and it was an aha experience for me. It was like, of course this is who I am, this is what my life journey was.

Rick: When you remembered all those past lives, was it kind of like, “Oh, I learned this lesson in that life, I learned that lesson in that life,” and you could kind of see the significance of each life, or were they just characters on the stage?

Yvonne: No, it was neither of the above. It was a completely integrated understanding of the interconnectedness and the perfection of the intelligence behind this mosaic, all at once. Imagine that you’re looking at a tapestry or a mosaic that’s made up of a whole bunch of little pieces. Each piece in itself is something exquisite and beautiful if you look at it individually, but I was now looking at the whole mosaic and I saw how putting all the pieces together was just perfect. It was beautiful, and it made who I was in the incarnation as Yvonne Kason finally make sense because I realized with this “aha” it was like “hello!, it’s my soul”. From the context of Yvonne Kason, person born in Toronto, Canada, little doctor at U of T, having all of these experiences made no sense at all. But from the context of my many past lives, it made absolute complete sense. And I saw that my soul was just picking up from what I’d been like in previous lives. I’d had a Kundalini awakening, mystical experiences, near-death experiences in many incarnations and I came into this incarnation with this proclivity. So it felt like finally I knew who I was. Finally I fit in my own skin. It was like, right, got it, this is me. So it was actually a very profoundly healing experience and it happened all at once. It’s very difficult to explain from the point of view of how we absorb information and knowledge here on this side. And another thing that was very notable and very clear to me while I was in this state of consciousness, shall we call it on the other side, was that I had a very clear awareness of how time passes differently on the other side compared to here. On the other side, I could look into and experience what we here on earth perceive as the past, if I put my attention there, or if I put my attention here, I could perceive and experience what we here on earth perceive as the present, and I could do the same with the future. Like looking at a different pebble in the mosaic, right? If I put my attention there, then that would become my reality. And also, on the other side, it was very clear that time could bend and loop according to how we perceive it here on Earth. I mean, we perceive time to be linear: right now this is happening, a minute from now is the future, two minutes from now is later, but on the other side, things could bend and loop, we could go forward, things could change. It wasn’t linear like this. The multi-dimensional nature of the universe was also incredibly clear to me and how we are only perceiving three, or maybe four dimensions, time being the fourth. I understood how we here on earth perceive things linearly. And there was such a feeling of understanding this complexity, it was really simple. It’s very, very difficult to describe. Anyway, I was on the other side for a period of what I’m going to call “timeless time” because we can’t tell time the same on the other side as here. It felt like I was there much longer that my physical body was dead or unconscious. And then the two beings of light reappeared to me. So again I started with visual imagery and they telepathically communicated to me, “You may now choose whether to incarnate into the body of a baby or to return to the maimed form in order to serve Divine Mother.” And at that point in my life, I was relating to the Divine as Divine Mother. So that was a perfect way for the question to be asked to me. And similarly, I was dedicating my life to service. St. Francis’ prayer, “Make me a channel of your peace, make me a channel of your love,” was sort of my motto. And so to be asked to come back to serve was perfect, to serve the Divine Mother. And I was not given any details at all, that I recall, of what either incarnation would look like, the details. I was just given the choice and immediately it felt like the response came out of my heart, not like it came out of my mind, it literally felt like it came out of my heart. And my heart responded. I was in such a state of ecstasy, openness, communion, surrender, trust in the wisdom of the higher part. There was no part of me that was questioning what would be involved. No. I just trusted the wisdom behind the universe. And my heart responded, “Oh, masters, please guide me. What is the higher choice? I want to do God’s will.” And then they so lovingly, I mean, how a telepathic thought can have that amount of love is very hard to explain, but it was exquisitely loving, the thought returned to me, “It will be more difficult, but return to the maimed body.” And then my heart, again, without missing a beat, just instantly responded, “I accept.” And it was so fast, it was between the thought “I” and “accept” that with a gasp of air, I found myself lying on the ground, starting to breathe air into my previously dead body. And it felt like waking up in an ice cube because I had died outdoors in winter in Canada and my body temperature had dropped. So I’m breathing life back into my body and then for the first couple of minutes I could see both realms at the same time superimposed on each other. I could see the worldly realm through my physical eyes but I, I guess my third eye was wide open, I could also see the white light realm and it was superimposed like a double image photograph, there were two images superimposed on each other. I could see the white light realm superimposed, double exposure on this realm. And the two saints, Paramahansa Yogananda and Mahavatar Babaji in their light bodies were right there with me, which I think is so beautiful and so loving. Like not only had they welcomed me to the other side and explained to me what was happening, but when it was time for me to come back, they were there with me, right with me. And then slowly with time, the white light realm started fading until it just became a dot in my consciousness, which is still there, thank God. And then I was back. And I was back with a disability, a serious traumatic brain brain haemorrhage at the back of my brain, contracoup, frontal lobe injuries both sides of the front of my brain and then whatever happened in between. And to make a long story short, I was disabled by the traumatic brain injury for 12 years despite my incredible effort, seven years of neuro rehab to try and get better. I had to accept that I was now permanently disabled and that the only way I could serve now was through my prayers and my meditation.

Rick: And there’s a happy ending.

Yvonne: Yes, there’s a happy ending. I’ll go right into happy ending. Everyone who is listening will be thinking, how come you’re running Spiritual Awakenings International and writing books and all this stuff if you’re disabled? Well, a miracle happened to me, more than 12 years after my traumatic brain injury, on February 24th, 2016. And just so you know, medical science says you don’t heal 12 years after a traumatic brain injury. And I say poo poo to medical science, miracles do happen, because I experienced a miracle. I was meditating, deep in meditation in Encinitas, California at the Self-Realization Fellowship retreat, on a spot where Yogananda used to meditate and go into Samadhi. So there’s a very strong spiritual vibration there, which is why I have meditated there many times over the years. But on that particular day, all of a sudden when I was meditating, I experienced inwardly this burst of light. It was like a volcano or a fountain of liquid light erupted in the center of my brain. I could see it inwardly and it was literally like the lights came on, and subjectively I had an experience of waking up and my brain was healed. I had a spontaneous brain healing experience with that eruption of light while meditating and the strong inner message was given to me, “Pass on what you have learned.” And then it was like floodgates opened, writing, writing, writing, and it wasn’t that I was channeling, it was like I’d been pregnant for 12 years and now the babies were coming out. They wanted to come out. And so that’s why, in the first nine months, I wrote two books, Touched by the Light and Soul Lessons from the Light. Of course you have to revise them after you write the first drafts, but they’re a product of my miracle healing. And then once I’d written my books, I realized, well, I’m going to have to start public speaking again or else nobody will know that my books are there to read. So I started doing podcasts and speaking at conferences before COVID. And then in 2019 Spirit gave me the download that I was to start a new organization to raise global awareness about spiritually transformative experiences and spiritual awakenings of all kinds and that we’re truly spiritual beings here, having a bodily experience as part of our school of life. So that propelled me to found Spiritual Awakenings International. We’re running speaker events once a month, experiencer sharing circles once a month, Spanish events once a month in addition to our English ones, and an annual conference.

Rick: Which I’m sure are not limited to the Toronto area, this must be online stuff that people all over the world…

Yvonne: Yeah, we have people from 87 countries around the world participating. Just go to our website, you can sign up. All our events are online at this point, and anyone around the world can participate. We do all our events for free. We’re donation-based, same as Rick. If you want to give us a donation, we’re grateful, but we offer all our events for free to make sure that finance is not a reason that people can’t access this information. So I just want to wrap up with my bottom line after sharing my story. It is never give up hope. That’s the message I want to leave everyone with. Never give up hope. Miracles do happen. I am a walking testimonial that miracles do happen. Much to my surprise, over 12 years after a permanent, supposedly permanent traumatic brain injury, I was healed. And if I can have a healing, anyone can have a healing. So never give up hope.

Rick: That’s one of my bottom lines too. Another question came in, let me ask you that one. This is from Rob Holmes in the UK. “Loving the interview with Yvonne. Her book Further Shores was the first book I read after my own unexpected spiritual awakening in September of 2011. It was so wonderfully helpful and supportive for me. It made me realize I wasn’t going crazy. Question, what did she think was the reason for her awakening? Why did her soul choose this experience for her?”

Yvonne: Well, personally, I don’t think my soul chose this experience for me. I believe that it was the divine plan that I was sent here to serve. Although at the end I was given the choice to serve here or there, maybe my soul chose to serve and the divine said, okay, which way, whatever. But I think some people believe that we choose all the experiences that happen in our lives, and I personally am not so sure that is true. I think that there are infinitely intelligent and loving laws in the universe, like the law of karma that determines to a large extent what experiences we’re going to have . How Yogananda explains it is that there’s this magnetism that will attract a soul to an incarnation which will provide that soul with the opportunities that they need. Now do some people describe actually being given a choice about things that they would experience? Yes, they do. So maybe that does happen for some people, but I’m just saying as a universal principle, I think it’s the intelligence behind the universe and the laws of karma that draw us to the experiences. So, now you say, “Here’s me.” I think that my soul, from what I’ve seen in my own spiritual awakening journey, which has gone on for many incarnations, made a commitment to be of service  many incarnations ago. So when the divine said “do you want to go back to that injured body to serve, it’ll be tough”, I said okay. I accepted the assignment because that commitment to being of service in whatever way I can is a commitment my soul made many incarnations ago.

Rick: Yeah, which shows that it was your decision, but it was also like you were given the choice by those beings. And that’s kind of the way I’ve heard it from others, too. That guy who wrote the Life Between Lives books– what was his name? I forget [Michael Newton]. He was saying, based upon his extensive experience hypnotizing and interviewing people, that we’re shown options. Like, OK, you can go into this life, and these are some of the major events that you could have that would concur with your karma. So, you might have to undergo this difficult thing or that difficult thing. But if you choose to do this, it’ll help you work off a big load of karma. And so it’s kind of this collaboration between the incarnating soul and whatever beings are guiding us. Anyway, your story is wonderful. I really enjoyed your book, and I’ve really enjoyed this interview. You’ve obviously done a lot of them because you really can convey a lot of information in a relatively short amount of time. So I’m really delighted to discover what you’re up to. I wasn’t very much aware of it before preparing for this interview. But you have a great resource up there, which I’ll certainly be referring people to.

Yvonne: Thank you. I really appreciate it. And I also really appreciate what you’re doing in terms of raising awareness of our true spiritual nature and all these experiences too. I think it takes a village, there’s that saying. One of the goals of Spiritual Awakenings International is to network with other groups and individuals all over the world who are trying to raise awareness about our true spiritual nature and are actually having first-hand experiences. Because I think this is really important too because, as you were saying earlier, there are many in the world who are really locked into dogmatism, that mine is the right way and everybody else is wrong. And when one has a spiritual awakening and one starts experiencing glimpses firsthand of the universal love of the divine higher power, one learns, “Oops, I think we need to move out of being dogmatic.” And we have to try and grow into being more tolerant, more compassionate, more kind, more understanding.

Rick: It’s essential, it’s critical in today’s world for so many obvious reasons. Okay, well I’m sure we’re going to be in touch. I’d like to stay in touch with you. So, thanks so much for your time. I really appreciated it and thank you to those who’ve been listening or watching. And we’ll see you for the next one. And I’ll have a page up for this interview on BatGap, which will have links to Yvonne’s books and her websites and all this stuff so you can get in touch and follow up with her.

Yvonne: Awesome. Thank you so much for having me, Rick. I’ve really enjoyed talking with you.

Rick: Oh, you’re very welcome. So, thanks to everybody. Thank you to Irene. And thank you to the dogs for not having coughing fits while we were trying to do this interview. Alrighty, talk to you next time.

Yvonne: Okay, bye now.

Rick: Bye. Thank you.