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« Heed the wise counsellor | Main | What is the journey? »

Michael J Tamura & Interview on NDE revelations

Michael J. Tamura enriches the lives of others with spiritual teachings and profound sharing about his near-death experiences (NDEs). After reading about him, his personal awakenings, and insight into soul growth, I approached him to learn more. I am especially grateful he made the time for this dialogue before embarking on a 27-day promotional tour for his new book, You Are the Answer.

Why do you view yourself as a messenger?

James Van Praagh wrote in his Foreword to my book, You Are The Answer, that I was “...a true spiritual messenger...” Personally, I hadn’t really viewed myself that much as a messenger. But, now that you ask and having re-read what James so graciously wrote, I suppose I am a kind of message-bearer. Perhaps, I’m like the old-fashioned Western Union Telegraph Messenger, but for the Holy Spirit! I have, however, thought of myself at times as a cross between a wake-up service and a kind of spiritual ambassador.

What is your message?

I do my best to remind people that it’s a beautiful day to wake up to and I practice representing what I experience as Divinity: That which is limitless, eternal, immortal, ever-present and all-loving. I try to bridge the gaps that I see between where a person is and where he or she truly is as an immortal soul.

What did you know of NDEs before your own?

Another friend of ours, Dannion Brinkley, I’ll nominate as the president of the “Dead-Again Club.” He’s had more near-death experiences than you could shake a stick at! I’ve read his bookon his first NDE called, Saved By The Light. Joking aside, which is hard to do when you’ve been to “the other side,” I’ve been a regular on “the other side” for a good portion of my life.

How do people you know help you reframe this?

After my wife, Raphaelle’s father passed on, he came to one of her sisters in a dream and told her that “death is not what you think it is.” At the end of her dream, he also told her that he was concerned about her sister’s husband (me), since he saw me hanging out with “dead” people all the time. Not only is he correcton this, I’ve been teaching and healing souls in the spiritual realms, or “the other side,” as long as I can recall.

When I was a child, I would often end up around flashing red, blue and white lights of emergency vehicles as I fell asleep at night. I was helping those who were in an accident or a major disaster like tsunamis or earthquakes around the world in the out-of-body state. For the past thirty-five years or so, every night I would go out and teach my “astral class” to a growing number of souls, some who are incarnated presently and are my students here as well as many more who are between lives either having passed on or preparing to incarnate. I also teach many souls who are incarnated currently but would not be able to easily attend my earthly classes, such as those who are still infants and children as well as the elderly.

Please explain your sense of "the Other Side."

In fact, the idea of an “other side” isn’t all that correct. There’s only one side to the oneness of spirit. It’s all here and now. Yet, when we experience an experience that doesn’t relate with anything we think we experience here, we start to think of it as “somewhere else” other than here. Then, there’s dead people and live ones! Yet, as we become increasingly more aware, we begin to realize that the variety of our experiences is something akin to looking at a cell under a microscope.

For example, at 10X power, a cell looks a certain way. At 50X power the same cell looks quite different. And, at 200X power it looks nothing like any of the rest. “Being dead” means that you see the same so-called reality at a different power than when you were “alive.” But, even after dying, each of us will experience “reality” at different “powers” depending on how aware we are. The more you awaken while incarnated, the higher power you can experience things. Soon, you become aware all of this is a dream. It’s like going from one dream state to another. Until we awaken, whatever dream state we’re in we believe is reality. Waking up in the morning after a good nightmare we are grateful to realize the nightmare was just a bad dream. We’re so relieved that we forget that we’ve just only moved into a different dream state and we need to wake up from this one as well.

How would you describe the 'real' you?

Long before my two NDEs in the past six years, I’ve experienced many different states of being that are not the experience of this body person named Michael. As we let go of the layers of energy-thought patterns making up our ego, we experience different states of our beingness. In my book I attempted to describe a little of how I experienced the coming back together, or formation, of the ego as I re-entered this physical state. Yet, that allness where there is no ego can’t be described or explained. It truly is beyond words, beyond any thought. When I was “there” there was no “there” to be. There wasn’t even an “I.”

Between here and “that” there are myriad realms. I’ve experienced a few of them. Some are very much like here on earth except less dense and more vivid where people are like people and there’s even houses and cars. The only difference is that some people float or teleport more easily there and things like that. Some realms are much more celestial. There’s truly heavenly music that permeate the whole realm and everything is just varying energies and colors. The purer the thoughts, feelings and actions that you produce, the finer and more beautiful the environment you live in. Your thoughts are actually more alive than your body. And, contrary to popular belief, it’s a whole lot easier to die than it is to come back here. They don’t call what your mother went through to get you here “labor” for nothing!

When did you discern that the soul or an energy body is in charge (and not the physical body)?

It’s been a few lifetimes. Many people I think will be surprised to discover how much they already know as souls while they are out of their bodies. It’s that when they return into their body consciousness, much of that gets lost in translation.

There’s a point in soul development where we make a commitment to live the life of an immortal soul in the physical body and world. It’s what Jesus’ “transfiguration” experience was partly a demonstration of.

Often, the pull of the energies that make up our physical body and this world is so great that we tend to forget that we are more than these bodies and the thoughts and feelings we seem to have in them. But, in each life, we have many opportunities to remember. Throughout the earlier years of this incarnation, I had experiences of looking down at my physical body from above as spirit, yet, I didn’t have the vocabulary to call it anything and no one with whom to talk about such experiences. So, they tend to stay in the background more.

I remember I progressively gave up my spiritual awareness from about 5 years old on each time I felt that I couldn’t get into communication with others where and how I was. I kept inadvertently down-grading my vibration and awareness until magically one day people started to talk to me. But, within a few years after the initial excitement wore off, I realized that they weren’t talking to me after all. They were talking to the me that I had to become so that someone would talk to me. It’s truly a case of shooting your own foot when you decide to become someone or somehow else in order to have communication. If you’re not you, no one can communicate with you anyway - you won’t be there to receive it - or give it.

How has your perspective evolved as the result of new levels of connection to spirit?

It keeps getting simpler. I realized I had to make myself more and more complicated to be understood by others when I was a child. Now, I’m making myself simpler and simpler. Spirit is utterly simple. But, simple isn’t stupid. Have you ever noticed in art and music and martial arts, when the practitioners begin to master their craft, their paintings, songs, and movements become simpler and simpler?

What makes us simpler?

We hold on to less and less. The whole journey we call life is but learning to forgive all trespasses. When Janis Joplin sang, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose...” she didn’t know quite the truth of what she was singing. (Today, she’s reincarnated and knows much more about forgiving herself, however.) But, when we keep losing what we’ve held on to - what we’ve loved and believed we had to possess in order to keep them - we eventually come to a place where we’ve got nothing left to lose. Then, we realize that freedom was always ours - that we’ve never lost anything. Forgiveness comes naturally as a consequence of realizing that nothing real can ever be taken away or destroyed. Do we continue to cry over spilled milk or do we just go milk another cow? (Or, better yet, go for an ice cream cone!)

How have your dreams changed since your NDE?

I don’t seem to dream a whole lot. My wife is more the dreamer. My younger son, Nick, often dreams epics. I have a friend who nightly dreams entire movies complete with musical score with lyrics! And, many of them even are prophetic.

But, I only dream occasionally. I’m probably too busy teaching my astral classes and making my healing rounds every night to dream. Also, much of the out-of-body “time” I spend while sleeping is on the mental and spiritual realms that don’t have the same kind of “dreaming” as on a more personality level. It’s more thought, geometrical progressions and light. I tend to dream more when something on a more personal level is troubling me. I haven’t notice any marked difference in dreaming since my NDEs - but, I have noticed that my relationship with spirit is much more grounded and part of this body’s consciousness much more. In a way, I get to have more of my relationships and communication with spirit here in the body than having to go “out” in the spirit realms.

Please discuss the power ofcommunication from spirit and physical world. How does intention differ?

Intention is one of the most important aspects of a soul’s growth process. Your intention as a soul defines the course of your progress. We also need to check the consequences and results of our thoughts, words, energy and actions against the North Star of our soul intentions. Are we making the correct choices and expressing them in a way that fulfills what we intended? For example, on a practical daily application, if our soul intention is to be truthful so that we could have better relationships, but our blunt “honesty” is offending or chasing away the person with whom we are having a relationship, we need to realize that our intention is still correct, but that we may need to change how we express our truth.

Also, as we become more aware, we begin to realize our thoughts and inner feelings are not private at all. They affect everyone and everything especially around us. So, the unaware person thinks to himself that as long as he doesn’t yell at and hit his children or pets, he isn’t abusing them. Yet, if he is angry and wanting to wring their head off, they are definitely going to experience the effects of those violent thoughts and feelings, even if he is smiling on the outside and saying nice things.

What is it that tells you when you trust in the "right" thing?

It is the real you, or spirit. The closer you are to your true self, the more easily you will know what is the “right” answer or choice. It isn’t in the answer or choice or “right thing” that you need to trust. Rather, you need to trust in yourself.

For example, as parents, we often want so much to be able to trust our children to do the “right” things. We want to trust that they will be safe or not make stupid decisions or act out in dangerous ways. If we believe that they are the ones who must become trustworthy in order to allay our fears, we will try to impose our responsibilities upon them to fulfill. If, however, we realize that it is our lack of trust in ourselves that is driving us to try to “make them” responsible and trustworthy, we will examine what it is that we don’t trust in ourselves or why we don’t.

The basic one as parents in relationship to our children is easy: We’re scared to death that we’re going to lose them. We’re afraid that we aren’t good enough and that they’re going to suffer because we don’t do something right. We need to ask ourselves the very hard question: Am I going to be able to manage if my child dies (gets seriously injured, etc.)? It’s a question none of us ever want to even consider. But, if we are going to be able to trust ourselves, we have to look at it deeply.

In any area of our lives that we are terrified to examine and discover for ourselves if we would be willing to live with or through it, we’re going to have a hard time trusting in ourselves. And, if we can’t trust ourselves, we’re going to expect and demand that someone else be perfect for us so that we could put our trust in them and feel safe.

If you put trust in anything that is changeable, it will definitely betray your trust sooner or later. The only thing that will never betray your trust is that which is forever, never-changing, limitless, ever-present. And, that, is within each of us. Whenever we find that in our own self, we will be able to trust that in another - regardless of what the other does.

How did writing, 'You Are the Answer,' transform you?

That’s a good one! And boy did it transform me. It took me nine years from the beginning of when I wrote the first few paragraphs for “my first book” to completing my manuscript for publication. I actually wrote three whole books. The third one is what turned out to be You Are The Answer. The first manuscript had 495 pages! The first publisher/editor I had said it was three books in one - at least. The second book was completely different and it had two books in it still. I finally got it on the third full attempt. Just that whole process of writing a book was transformative. Then, came the publishing of it - another whole story in and of itself.

I don’t know if I can describe exactly how the whole process transformed me. The first manuscript was very much autobiographical - and, now, I know why I had to do that first before I could write You Are The Answer. I had to get myself out of the way of the book without removing myself out of it. And, to get myself out of the way, I had to excavate many areas of my life that I didn’t particularly care to revisit. After all, don’t we all have better things to do with our time? Ha, Ha!

Having written the book, I feel I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for life, for myself, for everyone in my life. I learned that it is truly a team effort to write and publish a book - and, by expanding that - to do anything, to live one’s life. I got to realize more deeply why I’ve always loved the sense of community. Because we are - we all are.

What do you hope readers take away from this book?

First and foremost, I’d like the book to inspire people to seek deeper within themselves for their own truth, their own ever-lasting beautiful and brilliant light. Second, I hope that reading the book, even just holding it, will give the reader an experience of profound healing. That connection to that which always is. Third, I would like to see people embark upon a whole new and wonderful adventure into what is just the tip of the iceberg of possibilities in awareness, healing, fulfillment and how we could really live our lives. And, finally, I hope that each person can have for him or herself a starter spiritual toolkit to get onto that new life.

Describe how you met James Van Praagh, why he wrote your forward, and why you're listed as a spiritual teacher on his site.

You can read about James’ experience of how he came to meet me in his foreword to my book. It’s a great story. A very brief version of my side of the same story of our initial meeting is this:

In the early 90’s, I was giving private reading/healing sessions in the Los Angeles area about every other month for a couple of weeks each time at a hotel there. My wife, Raphaelle, would schedule the sessions ahead of time and people would show up at their appointed times at my door and knock. I saw that the next client was named James Van Praagh, but at the time I didn’t know who he was or anything. But, as soon as I opened the door and saw him, I felt like I was seeing an old friend - which we are from way back. I immediately liked him, his brightness and enthusiasm. His aura was very bright and seemed to dance.

It was interesting because unlike many clients, James didn’t offer any information about himself. It was a different experience for me because the only people that I read before him who didn’t offer much communication about themselves or what they were interested in me reading and healing were the occasional few who were quite closed or so much in pain that they couldn’t communicate much. But, here was this wide open, very friendly and loving person who didn’t tell me much about anything. Of course, I later realized that this is the way he read others! As one whose work at the time was to give people undeniable evidence of life after death, James instructed those he read not to disclose any information about themselves. Otherwise, if they did, what he told them could be questioned as not really coming from spirit. Since that’s neither my expertise or purpose, I didn’t do that. I liked to have the person I was reading give me the starting point as far as why they came to get a reading and what they were interested in me covering and so forth so I didn’t have to spend the time getting to that point. If evidence of spirit or the afterlife or even of psychic abilities was what someone wanted, I would send them to others who did that sort of thing. Why go to a baker if you want your carpet cleaned? Ha, Ha!

Anyway, I could tell that James was giving me his utmost respect doing what he was doing. So, I just started from the beginning and went forward. We immediately hit it off and had a wonderful time throughout the whole session. It’s nice when someone can laugh with you about pretty much anything - especially things that most people are generally afraid to even talk about, much less do anything about. I think we both knew quickly that our soul relationship went back many lifetimes.

We’re both so busy these days that we don’t get to see each other too often, but whenever we do, it’s like no time has past since the last time. Sometimes it gets hilarious - when I lived in Colorado, near Denver, James called me on my cell phone to see if we could get together for dinner. I was in LA trying to call him to ask him the same question! That happened a few times in various places. Then, one time Raphaelle, my wife, and I were driving into San Francisco to give a weekend presentation and all of a sudden, she said, “You should call James now.” So, I did and discovered that he was staying at the hotel across the street from ours to give a presentation that weekend. We were able to get together for breakfast after we finished our respective events.

As to why he wrote the foreword to my book is that he’s a wonderful friend who has lovingly and enthusiastically supported our work ever since we first met. I have seen him graciously help in many ways those he felt were tremendously benefitting people spiritually and other ways. He shares his fame in ways that support and enhance many people’s lives.

Why he listed me on his site as a spiritual teacher is because basically that’s what I am. I teach people spiritually. Also, I retired from giving private sessions several years ago so that I could fully devote my time and energies to teaching more people through our seminars, audio products, writing/publishing, and media projects.

What are basic qualities of spirit that people can begin to grasp and apply?

Spirit is. That means that there is no beginning, no ending to that which is. Without beginning or ending, there is no change. So, spirit is never-changing, ever-lasting. Which also means everywhere present. Spirit is undivided. The minute we divide ourselves against anything, anyone or against any aspect of ourselves, we go away from our experience of spirit.

Spirit actually cannot be grasped. That which tries to grasp is the mind. That expression, “I can’t wrap my mind around that” is a great expression because it describes exactly what mind does to make something out of nothing. The mind is the builder. So, when we are “trying to wrap our minds around something” we’re making spirit into something, some concept or image that we could hold with our mind. Yet, to experience spirit, we need to let go of the grasping and the holding onto to the images and empty and still our mind. When we’re busy trying to “get it” we miss the allness that is spirit.

Notice when you are truly relaxed, you become a lot more loving and giving. Because when you are relaxed, you are giving yourself space to BE. It is intrinsic to that which is all and has all to give. That which has everything and is everything doesn’t need anything and doesn’t take anything. It only gives. So, whenever we come from a space of givingness in anything we do, we enter into the stream of that all-givingness that is life.

From your view, what is reality? How can a person learn to shift awareness of their own reality more consistently?

My answer to the first question is the same as above (#11). To become more aware of what is truly real, practice discerning that which is from that which appears to be. That which appears to be, which is all things perceived through our senses, is not real. True reality is permanent, unchanging. Everything else is fabricated in the mind. Anything made up in the mind can be changed. When we identify with the ever-changing instead of the never-changing, we experience fear every time that with which we strongly identify changes. We experience that change as “loss” and “death”.

Anything else you would like to add?

Thank you for this opportunity to communicate. May the light of Divinity illuminate your every step along your wondrous path to your true being. With much gratitude, love and laughter.

Check out: http://www.michaeltamura.com/

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Reader Comments (11)

I like Michael's thoughtful and caring approach in this interview. His life experience echoes some of my own.
June 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTerry
Hi Liara .. that was really interesting .. & I've made a note of Michael's website and his book .. I am aware that there are people at different levels in life and it was really 'strange' that when I walked in yesterday my Mum addressed me as Lady Hilary (not sure why! .. I was just surprised) .. especially as I'd just written the post about Lords and Ladies ..

I'll find out more as we progress as Mum moves on .. then I'll have a chance to learn and grow ..
Thanks - really interesting
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters
June 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHilary
Fascinating! Thank you, Liara and Michael. I've been wanting to wrap my mind around this for some time. And, now, with Michael's explanation, there's so much information here that I've bookmarked this for re-reading, probably several times. :)
July 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie
Terry, your comment renforces the universal oneness that connects every creature. Thanks for sharing this impression and revelation with our readers.
July 8, 2009 | Registered CommenterLiara Covert
Hilary, past lives and reincarnation are topics that do not resonate with everyone. Yet, as you raise awareness, you begin to connect the dots and find relevance in unexpected references. A person only ever chooses to believe what the conscious mnd is ready and willing to accept. That is, a universal truth may not seem like your truth until you register experiences that connect you in ways that often defy words. Highly recommend Michael J. Tamura's book. If you read it, share your views here.
July 8, 2009 | Registered CommenterLiara Covert
Julie, certain ideas seem like possibilities until you connect with them on a level of iner knowing. At this stage in your soul journey, Michael's book is certainly worth reading. As you explore your own experiences, consdiner sharing them with us here.
July 8, 2009 | Registered CommenterLiara Covert
Liara, I've ordered Michael's book and will read it when I'm finished with yours. ;) Thank you, again!
July 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie
I love to hear or read about the individual NDE into the unknown and the familiar. I find it interesting that many describe the tunnel that ends in bright light that is unconditional love, I find it interesting when comparing it to the birth experience. This tends to make me even more a believer in recycling. Personally, I feel that we are here to expand our soul with human experiences, so I believe the soul can change and grow. I am an artist that grew up intuitive and spirit lead. I feel that we are not meant to judge so categorizing others is not relevant and I don't believe in truth. We each see and hear with our own filters and what is, is. I did find a great deal of wisdom in Michael's comments. The unending dream state is a little hard to wrap my head around. Thank you for sharing.
September 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie littlelight09
Debbie, you are not alone. Infinity is a concept human beings often find difficult to grasp. It is a multi-dimensional concept that cannot be measured or pinned down by a third dimensional mind. To consider an expanding, non-temporal state of consciousness is itself a quantum leap from general awareness. One view of the true core of reality is an energetic understanding of reality that one cannot put into words. To be fearful is to be unaligned or to resist awakening to other ways of seeing. Your statement that, "we each see and hear with our own filters" is a wonderful way to remind people they perceive as they choose; based on karma, emotion or whatever else they bring with them. Every choice has potential to bring you closer to your heart centre or lead you further astray.
September 17, 2009 | Registered CommenterLiara Covert
I have a dog-eared, highlighted, well worn copy of Michael's book that I leave on my bedside for easy reference as I use it often. I have read and re-read it over and over. I have given many copies away. It is an inspiring, uplifting, yet practical book with tools in the back of the book. The tools are profound and wonderful in their simplicity and their potential. I highly recommend this book.
September 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFleur
Fleur, thanks for taking a moment to share such meaningful insights with fellow readers. You gently remind people when a pupil is ready, the teacher appears.
September 30, 2009 | Registered CommenterLiara Covert

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