Every semester my students and I bring heirlooms to class to see what secrets they hold. It is everyone’s favorite and most wondrous night. We light candles and turn down the lights, then pass around the heirlooms. With pen and paper handy, we cup the treasures in our hands and meditate on them one by one. When we’re done, we reveal to the owner our visions and impressions. Comparing the visions with real life stories is as exciting for the
reader as it is for the owner.

Holding a small picture frame which, unbeknownst to me, someone”s great grandfather had taken with him as a young man to war, an image appeared in my mind’s eye of a group of soldiers in WWI uniforms, huddled in the rear cab of a muddy army truck. It felt more real than scenes from a Spielberg film. Cupping a student’s antique pocket watch, I saw a man whose life hung by the tips of two fingers. Then the scene changed and I saw a milkman, white uniform and peaked hat, his milk truck waiting at the curb. Holding the same pocket watch, another reader felt the anguish of a man wandering city streets in search of work to feed his family. After we revealed our visions, the current owner told us that his grandfather, the original owner of the watch, had been a telegraph operator in the 1880’s, his livelihood depending on two fingers! Then it had been passed to a son who lost his business during the Great Depression, and, in despair, had ended his own life. The watch then went to a younger son who spent his life as a milk man, always sporting that peaked hat!

This is psychometry, an extraordinary capacity that allows us to step into the lives of those who lived long ago. Imagine meditating on objects of historical significance — a belt worn by Queen Elizabeth I or Abraham Lincoln”s wedding ring. What visions would we get holding an ancient Mesopotamian necklace? You can experience the lives of your own ancestors this way, and gain insight into your self in the process.

Follow these simple steps: Choose an heirloom with a history that someone knows. Without knowing any of that history yourself, and keeping a paper and pen handy, hold the object in your hand and meditate on it. Take deep relaxing breaths, calm your body, and focus inwardly. Pay attention to every feeling, thought, and image arising within you. Jot it all down quickly then resume meditation. Listen for any words that come to mind, smells or tastes. If you’re reading your own heirlooms, try to bring some friends in on the process to gain objective insight. If you’re alone, just open yourself to the visions and feelings you get and write them down.

Take Advantage of Group Energy: Like any meditative or psychic exercise, the process is especially potent if you do it with a group because group energy intensifies your focus, and increases the psychic energy. Invite some friends over and have an heirlooms party!

The Physics of Consciousness: How is it possible that inanimate objects can hold consciousness? Consciousness scientist Stuart Hameroff, M.D., has the most compelling theory. Founder of the University of Arizona”s Center for Consciousness, Hameroff proposed that consciousness is present throughout the universe in the form of proto-conscious qualia or tiny packets of energy that we can sense when our nerve cells resonate with them. For a detailed explanation, check out his site quantum consciousness.org. It seems then that people leave impressions on their possessions, like invisible scratches, that people can detect, even centuries later.

NOTE: Come to an Heirlooms Class with Jeanne at Newton Community Ed on  2/28/  7-9 pm. To enroll,  click here.