This page provides information about different ways you can develop your mediumistic abilities. Keeping in mind that people have different learning styles, you may want to try more than one method, so as to find the best fit for you and your lifestyle. As you explore them, just remember to remain patient with yourself. This is not an overnight process, but rather a gradual unfolding of ability that continues over the course of one’s life.
The five ways of learning covered in this section are listed below.
- Learning by going internally, by meditation and connection with spirit
- Learning by observing externally, such as by developing an awareness of coincidence and synchronicity
- Learning by direction instruction in the form of teachers and classes
- Learning by reading books and similar material
- Learning by observing others, such as other mediums
Learning by Going Internally, by Meditation and Connection with Spirit
There is perhaps nothing more important in the development of your mediumistic abilities than engaging in a regular meditation practice. Going inside, sitting in the power, connecting with spirit—no matter what you call it, the first place to go is within. Learn to calm and clear your mind, perhaps for a few minutes at first, then for longer periods of time. At the least, you’ll learn to relax yourself easily and reduce stress effectively; at the most you’ll be fine–tuning your receptivity to communication from spirit.
The point of meditation, from the standpoint of mediumship, is to move out of everyday consciousness and into an altered state where you are more sensitive to impressions from spirit. Learn to clear your mind of everyday distractions and listen for a quiet voice, a picture, a subtle impression, and/or a feeling of knowing. Don’t worry if you think it’s just your imagination at first—over time and with practice, you’ll learn to discern the difference. Also understand that impressions from spirit may come subtly at first, so don’t expect to be “hit over the head with a baseball bat,” so to say, with impressions. Be still and see what comes in.
As you’re listening, always trust your first impression—not once in a while, but every single time. In fact, I can’t stress this enough. Over time, you’ll probably discover that mediumistic receptivity is a two-part process: there’s a first impression that comes to mind—that’s the spiritual impression—followed by a process of your mind wanting to judge, analyze, or evaluate that impression. The spiritual impression, which may come directly, symbolically, or metaphorically, is the one to trust. If it doesn’t make sense, don’t try to analyze it (I think of this as “running away with the message.”) Instead, go back and ask spirit for clarification. Do this as many times as needed, until you understand the message completely.
In the future, I may post some articles about basic meditation techniques. In the meantime, there are many books and courses available that can teach you how to meditate. Skills covered in them often include, but are not limited to, breathing techniques, creative visualization, grounding, energy clearing, and connecting with God–consciousness. I encourage you to sample a few to find what style works best for you.
Learning by Observing Externally, Such as by Developing an Awareness of Coincidence and Synchronicity
Chance meetings. Lucky breaks. Accidents avoided. Knowing who’s on the phone before you pick it up. All of these are classic examples of what you might call coincidence, synchronicity, or, for the more skeptical among us, a stroke of good luck.
In my worldview, these moments aren’t simply coincidences. Rather, I see them as evidence of an Infinite Intelligence, orchestrating our world with amazing interconnectedness. To me, these moments of coincidence and synchronicity are like tethers, connecting the spiritual world to the material world. They provide a place to be in touch with spirit and step out of ordinary life, even for just a few seconds.
In terms of your mediumistic development, these moments also provide a great learning opportunity: all you need to do is to pay attention to them when they occur, and really take in their magical quality. Over time, being keenly aware of them will help you to get a sense of being connected to something greater, and to get a better feel for the vibration of spirit. Certainly, you can sit and wait for the next of these moments to occur. But in the meantime, why not recall some times in your life when you really felt the power of coincidence and synchronicity. What stories do you have? For example, you may remember moments of coincidence and synchronicity as they played out in your love life, such as in the unlikely and romantic timing of how you met your life partner. Or perhaps you have a story involving money, such as when you found the needed financial documents at your deceased relative’s house. Alternatively, spirit might be the focus of your experience, such as in the morning you had the uncanny feeling a departed loved one was right there with you, and suddenly a song long associated with them came on the radio.
The important thing isn’t so much where in life you’ve experienced these moments, but rather, that you’ve found and recognized them in the first place. In finding them, you’ve found spirit: your spirit, and Spirit among us.
Learning by Direct Instruction in the Form of Teachers and Classes
In the United States, there are several places to go to develop your mediumistic abilities via teachers and classes. Dr. Rom regularly teaches classes and courses in the New York metro area and from time to time in other cities; see her Events page for current details. You can also inquire about church–based courses and development circles by contacting The National Association of Spiritualist Churches. You may also find that your local metaphysical bookstore has courses available, or perhaps there’s a well–known and well–regarded medium in town who offers private instruction. I also wholeheartedly recommend Sharon Klingler of Starbringer Associates. Additionally, The Morris Pratt Institute offers courses on Spiritualism. Overseas, the Arthur Findlay College, “The Worlds Foremost College for the Advancement of Spiritualism and Psychic Sciences” is also an excellent resource, as is The Spiritualists National Union; both are in the United Kingdom.
Learning by Reading Books and Similar Material
There are a great number of books available on mediumship and related topics; a simple search on Amazon.com, or at your public library, will bring up plenty for you to choose from. For your own spiritual development, I would recommend that you explore readings on a broad range of topics; these may include meditation techniques and philosophies, including Eastern and Western perspectives; creative visualization techniques; basic psychic skills; spiritual philosophies and comparative religious traditions; mediumship techniques; and different perspectives on death and the afterlife. Over the years, I’ve been drawn to a few favorites again and again. Among these are the writings of Shakti Gawain, namely Creative Visualization, as well as a number of books by or about Edgar Cayce, such as Henry Reed’s Awakening Your Psychic Powers. I also think Rita S. Berkowitz and Deborah S. Romaine’s The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Communicating with Spirits is an excellent resource (as much as I don’t like any title that begins with the “idiot’s” anything). Other books I’d recommend include Laeh Maggie Garfield and Jack Grant’s Companions in Spirit, Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer’s Opening to Channel, Echo Bodine’s Echoes of the Soul, and Lee Lawson’s Visitations from the Afterlife, as well as the numerous books written by mediums listed in the following section. By searching under those mediums’ names, you will not only find some excellent books, but some wonderful audiotapes and videotapes as well.
Learning Through Observing Others, Such as Other Mediums
Finally, there is the most obvious way to learn mediumship, and that’s from the mediums themselves, either by direct observation of their sittings and demonstrations, or through instruction in their classes and seminars. In no particular order, some publicly known mediums on the internet include John Edward, Rosemary Altea, James Van Praagh, Suzane Northrop, and George Anderson. Many mediums also work with the Arthur Findlay College; among them, I’ve studied with the late Glyn Edwards, as well as Simone Key, Janet Parker, Eileen Davies, and Nora Shaw. I’ve also led a number of public demonstrations with mediums Adam F. Bernstein, Rev. Karen Rose, and Felix Lee Lerma. Rev. Janet Nohavec, of the Journey Within, is another medium, as are Sandy Anastasi and John Maerz. Bob Olsen, a psychic medium researcher and editor of OfSpirit.com, also lists a number of mediums on his website; they include Rita S. Berkowitz, Glenn Klausner, Pat McKenna,Vicki Monroe, Laura Scott, and Carole Lynne. Sharon Klingler of Starbringer Associates also teaches mediumship skills, as does Carolyn Molnar, of Toronto.
Do spend the time learning about other mediums and their styles; each offers you their unique perspective, abilities, and life experience. Along the way, strive to develop all of your channels of perception, and enjoy the process of working with spirit and unfolding your own gifts. Truly, it’s the experience of a lifetime… and perhaps well beyond!