I entered the lifetime behind a donkey sliding down a narrow, steep winding pathway on the side of a hill. It was hot, dusty and dry and daytime.
Dry, white, chalky rocks and pebbles of all sizes were clicking and rolling downhill all around and under us as I attempted to push the donkey down the hill.
My dear sweet friend Sikh (pronounced “Seek”) was pulling the donkey. He had hold of the rope that was tied around the donkey’s neck.
The donkey was sitting in the path, refusing to move. I was bent over, my body shaking with laughter, my hands under the donkey’s butt, my face necessarily pressed into his shaggy fur to get a better grip underneath him, lifting, heaving, pushing and cussing—but mostly laughing.
I was laughing so hard that I wasn’t having much effect on the donkey.
Sikh was looking at me over his right shoulder with his usual, disgusted look reserved for my antics, and that was what I was laughing at. His dark eyebrows were drawn up and together in his characteristic scowl of disapproval. He was angry with me for laughing, but I couldn’t help it. It was just too funny.
It became even funnier when I suddenly remembered the donkey’s name. It was a word that literally meant “stubborn,” but was also used figuratively as a particularly nasty expletive.
Sikh’s sweaty, dirty face was so dear to me as I looked at it over the donkey’s back for what seemed like the first time in a very long time. A part of me wanted to sit down right there on the rocky path and cry with relief and gratitude at getting to see him again. I felt a sad longing for him, like we had been apart for forever.
A part of me, though, was laughing at our donkey predicament on the narrow path—and the look on his face.
Hypnotherapy can be like that. One part of the brain is processing the inner events that seem to be in the present but that are actually the past lifetime.
Another part of the brain is kind of watching from a distance, processing information from the vantage point of the modern, true present lifetime, where we are sitting in a hypnotherapist’s office doing a past life regression.
Sikh always had that amusing effect on me. He was the serious, cautious one most of the time. I was the crazy, funny one—always the person to think up some daredevil, dangerous stunt that was likely to get us killed—or at least in trouble.
I loved Sikh like a brother—or even more so. How to describe the love I felt for him? I trusted him completely. I felt so much affection for him in his seriousness. I felt somehow responsible for him—for his happiness.
We were friends—young boys, dark skin, dark eyes and dark hair. My name seemed to be something like Anand. This was all happening in some vaguely hot, dry, “foreign” place.
We were taking some sort of drink (wine?) back to his house where there was a gathering of some sort. We were late because of this stupid, stubborn donkey, and we both knew Sikh’s father would not be happy at our lateness.
The Hypnotherapy Session
I had readily agreed to be a volunteer for a friend who was training to be a hypnotherapist. She was a novice at that point, and we started the session with the intention of doing some committee work.
So she began by doing a standard progressive relaxation induction. At some point, however, my brain jumped suddenly into this lifetime with me laughing and pushing a donkey down a hill behind Sikh.
I tried to ignore the donkey and Sikh and follow her instructions, and somewhere along this mind path I had picked up my Inner Advisor (IA) too, so when my friend asked me if I was standing at the committee room door and was ready to go in, I turned to my IA and asked, “Should we tell her or should we go into the committee room?”
My IA smiled, feeling like an accomplice in some crazy conspiracy, and told me to tell her where I really was.
“Uhm…that’s not where we are…”
I felt some anxiety come off her as she calmly asked, “Okay…where are you?” I could tell she was just trying to kind of roll with it even though I could also still feel her anxiety.
I began laughing then and told her where I was and what was happening.
She began to ask more questions to ascertain the reason for the sudden jump into this lifetime. A part of me was curious about that too. Mostly though, another part of me was just so happy to be with Sikh again that I simply wanted to stay with him and experience the joy of getting to see him again.
We finally, with much sweat, cussing and laughing (on my part), got the donkey and its cargo to his house. There were happy people everywhere—inside and outside the house.
His father was nowhere to be seen, but his mother acknowledged our arrival and thanked us, sending us off to have fun there too. No one seemed to care that we were late.
Indeed, a part of my brain realized, there had been no actual time limitation. This same part of my brain went on to analyze this lifetime the way my young boy self, actually in that lifetime, never had.
Sikh was a worrier—sometimes even creating dark drama where there was none. He was analytical and logical—pessimistic most of the time, contrasting starkly to my love of fun, frolic, mayhem and laughter.
I loved him anyway—maybe even more so because of all of this; he was my best friend.
When Sikh’s mother sent us off with a smile and head tousles, I began to feel a profound sadness, because this gathering was reminding me of another gathering at this same house—a gathering in that lifetime’s future.
My friend was continuing to ask pinpointing questions, and as she did, I began to know why I had come to this lifetime. I suddenly wanted to not be there anymore.
“I got him killed,” I began to cry. “It was my fault he died.”
“No, no, no, no, no; it can’t be true—no.” I was sobbing, heart-broken, guilty, inconsolable.
It seems in that lifetime that I was always the one breaking the rules in the name of creating fun. I was the one who had come up with our usual MO, something we had been doing all of our young lives.
We had this understanding, Sikh and I, that whenever we were sent on an errand, we knew we would dash about the errand as breakneck as possible, because that would give us more time, away from our families and homes, for goofing off—for finding interesting things to amuse us. If we got the errand done quickly enough, no one would know we also had time for a detour or two.
This is how I got Sikh killed.
My mind fast-forwarded to the evening when Sikh’s father sent us on an errand that would take us past a small lake we liked to swim in. When we heard the directive, we looked at each other and knew the drill.
Laughing, we took off running, already turning a deaf ear to the, “be careful” and “go straight there and come straight back”—the usual send-offs from our mothers.
To our credit, we nearly always accomplished our errands before detouring. It was no different this time. We accomplished the delivery of Sikh’s father’s message, then we raced to the lake on our way back to Sikh’s house.
We stripped down to skin and jumped in—couldn’t have wet clothes convicting us upon our return home.
And after one of his dives, Sikh did not surface.
It was beginning to get dark; the sun had already set some time ago and the light was fading. I dove time after time—frantically, crying—snot and tears mixing with the lake water.
I screamed his name; I cursed him for not appearing; I begged him to show himself; I bargained with god; I prayed; I ranted at him, the gods, myself, almost drowning myself I was so exhausted.
I finally gave up diving and ran to his house, bursting in upon the group, naked, wild and crying.
We were searching in the black water, candles and lanterns of some sort on the banks and held high by family members and friends—many more had joined us.
Finally, one of Sikh’s older brothers brought his naked body up and out of the dark lake.
The women set to wailing at this sight and their mother fell to her knees when presented with this affront, this horror. His limp, blue body was so small and deflated in his brother’s arms.
The contrast between the two bodies, one small, blue and still, the other so large and vibrant and colorful, was obscene and shocking.
I felt a weird, sick anger at his older brother for being so alive while Sikh was so still.
I also felt the guilt settle squarely on my young shoulders in that lifetime with me standing on the bank of that black lake. I felt it sink in and grow roots. I had caused this. It was my fault.
Sikh would never have done anything like this without my suggestion, or more to the facts, my persuasion, because I had nearly always had to talk him out of his doubts, out of his worry at detouring from the normal, sane plan.
So I had jumped into this lifetime to observe and disassemble this guilt.
As that lifetime progressed within my friend’s pointed questions, I began to learn that no one blamed me for Sikh’s death. I was able to feel his parent’s emotions, and I felt only sadness there—both for his death and for their loss—but also for my loss. They knew how close we had been.
As I processed, as she asked me questions, I began to feel guilt’s grip on my throat loosen and then finally fall away. I felt my breath settle lower in my belly; I asked for Sikh’s forgiveness, sending it out into the Universe. I felt only love and warm regard in answer.
I felt me forgive myself. I sent my love for Sikh up and out, hoping it would find him somewhere, in some lifetime, some timeline.
As my friend was finally counting me back up and into the present there in the office, my Inner Advisor turned to me and said with a smile, “He is returning to you this lifetime. Get ready.”