Before I had a spiritual awakening at age 19, I thought I was going to be a child psychologist. Watching children and following their development was endlessly interesting to me. But this plan quickly and radically changed when my diseased mother came to me after she died, opening me up to clairvoyance and clairaudience and the world beyond the physical.

When my son was born I was able to clairvoyantly watch the process of a soul incarnating into his next life. A life as my child, but as I learned, he was really an individual on his own life’s path. I was able to recognize, through meeting my future son in etheric form before his birth, that he had his own character before joining my family. Culturally we are taught that we are a product of genetics and our environment, that we don’t exist until the physical body is formed and that our consciousness resides in our brain. But I know this conditioning to be inaccurate.

It’s not unusual for a society or a group of people to have commonly held beliefs that over time become proven wrong. After all we no longer believe the world is flat.

I have had out-of-body experiences where my spirit is looking down on my body asleep on my bed, yet in the midst of these experiences I am conscious of what is happening to me, even though my brain is still contained in my body. I am certainly not the only person who can report such an experience, for there are many books written about this subject. But what I am most interested in discussing here is the power of conditioning from education, media, parents and society at large that dramatically influences what people believe to be true.

Aristotle said, “Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.”

Our cultural conditioning can be our biggest obstacle in gaining clarity and actualizing our deepest and most pure nature, our Spirit’s essence. A Christian child who grew up in Nazi Germany had very different conditioning than an African American child who was raised in the South during the time of slavery.

We should not be so sure that the conditioning we are exposed to from parents, media or our education is correct. The important lesson here is to not just conform, but to develop the skill of discernment in the midst of the complexity of many strong opinions, some of which bombard us over and over again.

The need for personal clarity is why I’m a proponent of meditation. Stilling brain chatter and quieting our preconceived notions allows us to listen to a source that is deeper than the written word, or any verbal opinions. I often think of meditation as going into the closet and closing the door. While being deeply with ourselves, we can listen to what resonates, what rings true and what does not without being distracted.

For me meditation is more than a relaxation exercise. It is a way of connecting with my inner wisdom and the energetic wellspring of life. If we embrace concepts and ideas without reflection and without taking them into ourselves for confirmation, then we make ourselves vulnerable to letting the confusion of others guide our life. This is not to say that we can’t learn from others, but many experts disagree. Ultimately we are responsible for our choices even when we have little knowledge about a subject or circumstance, because we must live with the consequences of our decisions.

I have taught meditation for many years, guiding people to listen deeply, even in the midst of their daily interactions. It’s not uncommon for me to listen to someone talk and hear the ring of accuracy and then the dull thud of confusion intermingled within a single conversation. Just because someone is confident does not make them accurate or wise.

I would like to suggest daily meditation for the purpose of developing and maintaining clarity, as a tool for navigating our very complex world. Meditation is now commonly talked about and practiced, but it means different things to different people. The way I teach meditation is like an X. The bottom part of the X is everyday thought, the point in the center is stillness.

How do you get to the middle of the X? First focus on something that inspires you. It can be a memory, a person, a concept. Once you feel genuine inspiration, you will feel an expansive openness. This is a prerequisite to receiving access to insight beyond our current state of consciousness. Next repeat one sentence — sometimes referred to as a mantra or positive affirmation — as a way to focus your mind. Some simple examples are “I am light” or “I am Spirit.” Repeat the one phrase a number of times, then pause, holding your mind still, gradually extending the pause, using the affirmation as much as you need it.

Achieving stillness may take practice, but once you can hold stillness for an extended period of time, your ability to listen will deepen — and along with this skill will come greater clarity and confidence. This process is both simple and profound. Try this technique and see what happens for you.

Ellen Tadd
Ellen Tadd is an internationally known clairvoyant counselor who has been teaching and counseling for more than 40 years. She is widely respected for the integrity of her work, the accuracy of her perceptions and guidance, and the clarity and usefulness of her teaching. Her work has been supported by the Edgar Cayce Foundation, the Marion Institute, Deepak Chopra, Child Spirit Institute, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and the Boston Center for Adult Education, among others. Her work has been covered in Newsweek, and Tadd has lectured across the country at colleges, universities, hospitals and community groups. Tadd's first book, Death and Letting Go, appeared on the Boston Globe bestseller list.

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