Personal Commentaries About My Journey


What is meditation? By my definition, it’s any practice, technique or trick that quiets the mind and allows one to just BE. The goal of meditation is to experience at least a taste of pure bliss. This level of cosmic consciousness is described by a multitude of labels in different spiritual traditions including: Enlightenment, satori (a glimpse of enlightenment), one taste or the non-dual state, samadhi, moksha, heaven or nirvana, Satchitananda─pure truth, consciousness, bliss─being one with the Tao─and many more.

When clients ask which meditation will work optimally for them, I always say: “Go for your bliss.If you don’t get a taste of inner stillness─and you don’t enjoy the process of getting to this taste─then keep searching until you do.” That’s what I did!

My first introduction to meditation came when I was eighteen. My stepfather, who went on yearly silent retreats at the Abbey of Gethsemane, (Thomas Merton’s home), had a library of spiritual books. He shared with me his favorite: The Miracle of Mindfulness, by the Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. And while it took me well over a decade to begin to grasp the simple but not necessarily easy concepts in this mindfulness primer, it has remained one of my favorites─as have all the writings of Hanh to this day.

During my early and mid-twenties I read spiritual and psychic books voraciously, ever-seeking my true path. From all of Edgar Cayce and the Seth books, to all of Ram Dass, Alan Watts and that trickster, Rajneesh, among multitudes of others, I was on fire with an urgency to not waste a moment of my life’s journey on anything that didn’t resonate with deep meaning.

My twenties was also a time of many scenic side-trips─that is before I got on the main track with the Saturn return cycle that heralded in my thirties. All my grazing at the smorgasbord of possible spiritual paths didn’t stop me from simultaneously indulging in hedonistic tendencies─”well honed from many past-lives of second chakra development.

This meant that, while I was engaging in my karmic desire rut of sex, drugs, and rare meat on the bone, I was also trying to experience all my senses and emotions as mindfully as I was capable of. (A detailed saga of my escapades in this area can be found in my memoir, Cosmic Sugar, The Amorous Adventures of a Modern Mystic, under the pen name, Leela Jones.)

When I was twenty-eight, I cleaned up my act somewhat through a commitment to sobriety and seriously developing my psychic gifts. At this time, I also chose to make peace of mind my primary goal in life. Not surprisingly, shortly thereafter I found Tantra─a spiritual path that was perfect for me.

In the book Zen Flesh, Zen Bones (by Paul Reps), in the chapter called “Centering” there is the “Vigyana Bhairava Tantra” which is translated as “techniques for going beyond apparent consciousness.” When I read this,I knew I’d found what I’d been seeking. In this 5000 year-old Sanskrit text, there are 112 meditation techniques for 112 different personality types as told by Shiva to Shakti, while in loving embrace. And when I read the one that said: “If you want to be happy, see all the world as a juggling show, a picture show.” (In other words, from the witness perspective, see all as Leela, Cosmic Play) I had no doubt that I was home.

Then when I read discourses on these 112 techniques in The Book of the SecretsVolume I-V, (by Osho, aka Rajneesh), I was literally in heaven, I was so blissed-out! Osho called the Tantric path “Indulgence with awareness.” The idea that these ancient techniques from India─considered the foundation for many of the meditations that came much later in Buddhism, Zen, and Dzogchen, to name a few─had enough practices to keep me busy for lifetimes, still feels like the spiritual mother-lode.

Around the same time, I read Lao Tzu’s The Way of Life, (translated by Witter Bynner), which is the foundation text of Taoism. With this, I knew I had found an adjunct philosophy and way of being in the world that synergistically combined with Tantra to form the ideal customized vehicle for my inner journey.

Both of these paths encouraged embracing everything as part of the Divine, or the Tao. There is no repression of the senses, the desires, or the emotions─but rather techniques for accepting and working with All parts of being and life itself as the vehicle of awakening. Over the years, these Tantric techniques, in addition to mindfulness and Taoist practices, have become the spiritual toolkit I use for myself and for assisting clients in finding the optimal practices for them.

By the time I hit my early thirties, with a few years of sobriety under my belt and no more pot smoke to anesthetize me, I became very aware that my predominate default emotional tone was what I called “metaphysical angst” more commonly known as free-floating anxiety. This meant that while my externals could all be just fine, my internals were emotionally anything but. So, with peace of mind as my goal, I made a commitment to very mindfully dissolve this fear every time it arose and replace it with faith in the Divine plan. I did this for almost a year, sometimes dozens of times a day and, by the end of that year, this anxiety had unwound completely and I haven’t felt it since. The miracle of mindfulness indeed!

During my mid-thirties, after reading Hanh’s Transformation and Healing, I experimented even more deeply with the emotions. All one summer, during a time when all my externals were stable, I sat in my garden for hours each day. I witnessed the arising and falling away of the full range of emotions─from sorrow to joy─from weeping to laughter─and back again. I realized viscerally that I was powerless over my emotions arising─they were just karmic impressions unwinding, (called samskaras in Sanskrit). I experienced allowing them to arise and flow away in the mindstream of the river of life.

Since then, I’ve been very conscious that I don’t need to pin my emotional states on external people, places, or things─or their comings or goings. But rather, I’m always aware that my emotions are internal formations first, and while I may have no control over externals, I do have power over what I choose to do with my emotions once they arise. I can either: repress, express them appropriately or not or, optimally, just witness them dissolve, as I did in my garden.

By age thirty-five, after doing a number of Zen retreats and yoga classes, I came to the conclusion that I received more benefit walking mindfully in nature than anything involving just sitting or static poses, especially in group settings, which I found distracting. At this time in my development, because of the speed of my monkey-mind, I still needed practices that predominately involved movement. I also knew it was time for me to start integrating my Taoist philosophy by grounding my body to the earth more through mind/body practices. In the Taoist tradition there are five forms of meditation: lying down, sitting, standing, moving, and sexual─so all levels of my nature would be covered.

For three years, I studied with a fire-method Taoist teacher doing spontaneous healing standing chi gung, which I loved but, unfortunately, wasn’t what I needed. Isn’t that often the way? These fire-method practices were not insulating my finely-tuned nervous system and psychic circuitry or giving me the grounding wire I needed to the earth, but rather fraying my wiring even further.

Then I discovered water-method chi gung, tai chi and meditation─which is much gentler and slower in its effects. Because it doesn’t push, shake or pack chi─but rather allows it to move through the body with the intent of the mind, it was exactly what I needed.

I proceeded to study in this lineage for over ten years, with one main teacher for retreats, and some of his senior students for weekly classes (up to five hours a week), and then through my late forties with another Taoist teacher for some more advanced practices involving self-healing.

This brings me up to the years from 2001-2005, during which I integrating all the Taoist practices I had learned by doing them daily, sometimes for hours at a time─out in nature whenever possible.

By 2005, at the age of fifty-two, I was more grounded and stable than ever before through my daily sadhana─both Taoist and Tantric. As a major relationship was just ending, I felt it was time to be seriously open to finding my next spiritual teacher. I found a Naada Master from India who specialized in chanting sacred mantras, opening the chakras, and offered purification retreats to accelerate one’s development. I felt like I had hit the trifecta and then some.

For almost four years, I channeled all my energies into moving to the next level of my evolution. I got up at dawn to meditate and chant mantras, went to weekly classes, bi-monthly private sessions for tuning and opening the chakras, bi-yearly purification retreats, as well as summer and winter retreats, and finally a mind-blowing three-week spiritual pilgrimage to India.

By the spring of 2009, all of this concentrated spiritual work really began to pay off and I felt empowered to “own my own inner guru,” as my teacher described it. Since then, although I’ve unwound studying with him directly, I took all I’d learned from him and integrated it into the spiritual practices that I’m doing now.

So what do my daily meditations look like these days?

While I must admit that I don’t do a dawn practice everyday anymore (although it is the most powerful time to meditate), I’m still committed to doing it on the mornings after the New Moon and Full Moon every month. Instead, I try to do a sunset meditation daily, which is the second most powerful time to meditate.

My main practice in the morning before breakfast involves a minimum of a twenty-minute standing chi gung practice followed by a ten-to-twenty minute sitting practice. During the sitting, I start with some mantra chanting and then, if needed, to quiet the mind, I go up the chakras, visualizing each one and saying internally:

1. I am not this body (following each with “neti-neti”─meaning “not this-not that” in Sanskrit)

2. I am not my senses, desires, or gender.

3. I am not my roles or functions.

4. I am not my emotions, compassion, or desire for service

5. I am not my words, creations, or channel for these.

6. I am not my thoughts, philosophies or witness of these.

7. I am that I am: pure being/consciousness/bliss absolute.

After this, with the intent of my mind, I further dissolve down into the earth all the levels of chakra identity I have just detached from. By now, my mind is silent and I can just sit. The breath slows and sometimes stops. I AM pure being. No thoughts. Bliss spontaneously arises. And that’s how I like to start my day!

In the afternoon I do some yoga, chi gung and tai chi and, as mentioned, some sitting at sunset and then, just before bed, I enjoy doing my favorite chi gung practice, called “Gods Playing in the Clouds.” On nights of the New Moon or Full Moon, and especially at eclipses, solstices and equinoxes─I do Taoist meditation far into the night.

While it might appear that my journey has been long and, at times, circuitous to get to where I am now,from experience I know that the journey is infinite, just as new levels of awareness arising are infinite as well. And, knowing this, I can just relax and enjoy the trip!

In hindsight, (which is always 20/20), I can see that my relationship with the Divine through spiritual practices has very similar patterns to my romantic relationships with men. By nature, I seem to be a serial monogamist, with occasional grazing in between major love bonds. After I made a conscious commitment in my forties to make my relationship with Source the primary one in my life, my similar dynamic with men and the Divine became even clearer.

I saw that once the majority of spiritual gains have been made and there are rapidly diminishing returns on staying with one technique, path, relationship, or teacher─I move on. My priority is always on accelerating my growth optimally and not resting too long in the known, safe or comfortable as it breeds stagnation. And, if I pretend to forget, the Higher Forces always push me out of any nest that has become too cozy.

The key is to retain and utilize what I’ve already learned─just as in my heart-bond relationships, even once they’re over within linear space and time─the lessons continue to integrate and the heart remains open.

I used to joke that zazen was about as appropriate for most people as committed monogamy and/or marriage for life was. I figured that these paths were optimal for maybe 1-2% of the population.

But, since I hit my fifties, after decades of a mix of moving and sitting meditations, my monkey mind is finally quiet most of the time and I can just sit and BE in shakshi─the Witness.

Therefore, I would like to rephrase my former humorous appraisal and say instead that perhaps silent sitting practices─whether zazen, vipassana, shin-ne, Taoist meditation, or any other─are appropriate, whatever age, once the monkey mind is calm enough to benefit rather than just rebel. And, of course, they’re a good fit if it’s your natural karmic predisposition to enjoy silent sitting from many past lives as a good monk─rather than a rebellious one like me.

Given my inner nature, I have a feeling that, while I may ultimately end up on one spiritual path primarily, it will be one uniquely suited for me─which no well-traveled path could ever possibly be. So, I continue to take what I can use, leave the rest and focus on building momentum, balanced with periods, sometimes years or decades, of stabilizing new practices. And, of course, always cultivating gratitude for lessons learned from all paths, teachers and relationships.

In closing, I hope in sharing my journey as a seeker, it will allow you to own your own unique path of awakening.

Finally, I’m enclosing some of my favorite mantras.

There are many sources for mantras─teachers, books, websites and cds─as there are literally millions─but the Biij (seed) mantras are considered the most impactful. In addition, our faith and devotion to the meaning of what we’re chanting─doesn’t just still our monkey mind in the inner silence after the chanting─but can open us up to accelerate our karmic unwinding and spiritual progress.

Also, before chanting mantras, it’s important to learn proper pronunciation and breathe through your nose first for the maximum effect. You can check out this website: SANATANSOCIETY.ORG─for some audio samples. And there are several very good books on mantras by Thomas Ashley-Farrand.

AUM is considered the most powerful mantra─as, in Sanskrit, it is thought to be the original sound that created the Universe.

To become a servant of the Divine:
Om sri rama jaya rama jaya jaya rama

Mastering the elements/siddhas:
Om Namaha Shivaya

For removal of obstacles to abundance:
Om Lakshmi Ganapatayei Namaha

Sun mantras:
Om Suryaya Namaha
Om Hroom Adyitaya Namaha

Short form Gayatri:
Om bhur bhuvaha swaha
Om tat savitur varenyam
Bhargo devasya dhimahi
Dhiyo yonaha prachodayat

To be a true teacher:
Om shreem hreem kleem glown drahm dattaya namaha

Biij mantra for Krishna (2nd and 6th chakras):
Om Kling Krishnaya Namaha

My current favorites:

Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha
Biij mantra to Ganeesh─for removal of obstacles

Om Kring Kalikaya Namaha
Biij mantra to Kali

And, last but not least, here is my default mantra for any occasion in this lifetime, given to me very early on by my channels:

There is no time, there is no space, I AM in the Eternal Now.

In closing, here’s another of my favorite practices:


This meditation utilizes the alternate nostril breathing technique from yoga called pranayama combined with the following visualization:

I. Inhaling through my left nostril, while holding closed my right, I visualize taking in all the baggage that I am ready to transmute from my past.

II. After my inhale, holding my breath with both nostrils closed, I experience time stop, as that part of my Self which is unchanging transmutes and distills from my past that which is essential for my growth and illumination.

III. Exhaling through my right nostril, while holding closed my left, I send this illuminated energy out into new future probabilities, untainted from any past preconceptions.

IV. Breathing in through my right nostril, I transmute any old preconceived future probabilities through the awareness of my Higher Self as I hold my breath.

V. Breathing out through my left nostril, I exhale and release the old probabilities.

VI. Breathing in through both nostrils, I experience that which is eternal and unchanging as I tap into the Divine programming of the Universe.

VII. Breathing out, I experience becoming One with the Co-creative Forces in a space that transcends linear time.

I close this practice by sitting and breathing in a replenishing place of Being in Source that transcends the ephemeral play of the Earth Plane while simultaneously being fully engaged in my role in it . . . and smiling.

INTERVIEW: The UneXplained: How a NYC Psychic Ended Up Doing Past Life Regression Therapy on Television

Author’s Bio: Adele Ryan McDowell, Ph.D., is a psychologist, teacher, and channel, who likes looking at life with the big viewfinder.

This interview originally appeared in 2012 in: ReligionandSpirituality.com (no longer in operation)

Joan Pancoe is appearing in the new A&E/Biography channel documentary series, The UneXplained. Her episode “The Weight of My Past,” premiered on Saturday, September 15th, 2012.

In this show, you’ll get to watch Joan doing past-life regression therapy over the course of ten months with a 380-pound man with a chronic weight problem. He reconnects with his inner warrior and releases his karmic attachment to a larger body-type than what is needed for this life. You will see him dramatically transform himself with sparing and kick-boxing as he frees up his energies to expand and conquer the business world instead of struggling with extra poundage.

Joan Pancoe’s experience as a trance channel, karmic astrologer and spiritual teacher in private practice in New York City since 1976 gives her a unique perspective in reading the soul’s secrets and helping people remember and get on track with why they’re here. She is the creator of psychic therapy, a ten-session intensive that utilizes altered states to help release karmic blocks and experiences and integrate the soul level of consciousness and beyond. Joan is the author of Openings: A Guide to Psychic Living in the Real World and Cosmic Sugar: The Amorous Adventures of a Modern Mystic, under the pen name, Leela Jones.

In a follow-up to our July, 2009 interview, I caught up with Joan as she prepares to debut on television.

Adele: How did an East Village Psychic end up on the Biography channel?

Joan: I hung up on them when they initially called me in July 2011. I thought I said, “No, thank you” and hung up. But the producer, Johanna Baldwin, informed me later, with much laughter that I just hung up on her! (I guess my reflexes were a bit off─and had mumbled, “No, thank you,” after I’d walked away from the phone.)

But then, after two clients volunteered to be regressed on camera and encouraged me to call the producers back, we had a sit down to discuss filming past-life regression for their documentary series. The vibration felt right and in the Flow─and, most importantly, aligned with my soul assignment of coming out of my psychic shell. So, I green-lighted myself!

I’d never envisioned that I would need to appear on TV as part of my journey of karmic healing and soul growth. It has been and I’m sure will continue to be terrifying and exhilarating simultaneously. There’s nothing like confronting your absolute worst karmic fears of all time to make you feel more alive and in the Flow than ever before.

The only reason I was even able to do the show was by using my own past-life regression techniques to deal with these fears. The PLRT sessions allowed me to understand that the terror I felt about going public with my psychic power was quite legitimate when viewed from a soul-level karmic perspective. The awareness of where the fear came from allowed me to feel the fear and take the action to move through it simultaneously. My daily mantra to help with this is: “That was then───and this is now!”

Adele: What do you want your viewers to come away with and what would be their take-away from watching your episode?

Joan: After a year of filming hundreds of hours that have been edited down to 22 minutes for a half-hour show, I have absolutely no idea what the final result will look like and have had to sign away any control of how my work is going to be presented. However, the executive producers, Russ Stratton and Doug Liman (The Bourne Trilogy and Mr. and Mrs. Smith) maintained complete integrity and respect of my therapy process throughout the shooting, and from the episodes I’ve seen that have aired to date, I’ve been very impressed with the production quality and editing to get the main story across in an impactful way.

I can only hold the faith that those who are meant to find me through the medium (haha) of TV will have an easier time of it once this show airs. As, before I had a website, you had to know someone who had been to see me and use their name as a referral─otherwise I tended to not be so available. I jokingly called my psychic work a very private practice.

But, joking aside, what I hope for most is that people who watch my─especially those who are feeling stuck and powerless over some inner or outer condition in their lives and have done everything they could to deal with it─experience at least a glimmer of hope of turning their situations around.

I am continually amazed by the shift I see in clients once they have been through past life regression therapy, a soul reading or psychic consult. They get this lightning-bolt moment of awakening as they remember other chapters in their soul’s story that legitimately explain why they have the stuck condition─which I call a karmic rut─and what they need to do to heal it.

Knowing that there is a justifiable reason for their condition from past lives─and that it is not from anything specifically they’ve done in this incarnation to cause it─creates a major shift that turns around their whole relationship with themselves and with life to one that is much more empowering.
From a soul perspective, all circumstances from one’s birth on are just the tip of the karmic iceberg. The way it works is that it’s usually only after a karmic condition has been activated, played out and bottomed out on that there is a willingness to seek understanding from a higher perspective of what soul qualities are needed to be developed to get the lessons inherent in the karmic challenges. Only then can there be a conscious free will choice to release karmic attachments for identity to specific conditions or body karma.

The great thing is how well PLRT works on all types of stuck situations or circumstances─from body karma to krazy-glue karmic bondages. I’ve seen incredibly dramatic results in the before and after places clients get to within themselves. Not only is it very empowering to gain the karmic perspective, it’s also a very forgiving process that releases any residual anger at self or Life for what has seemed unfair or insurmountable.

My final hope is that once viewers get the pertinent past life information for themselves and have that “AH HA!” moment─either from someone like me who can act as a middleman between them and their Higher Selves or through their own inner journey of discovery─they can consciously own and integrate this higher perspective and move to the next level of their karmic healing and soul evolution.

Adele: Thanks, Joan. This is very exciting. You know I am a huge fan of soul work and this takes healing to a whole new and much needed dimension. Just think of the applications and possibilities!

INTERVIEW: Portrait of a NYC Psychic

Author’s Bio: Adele Ryan McDowell, Ph.D., is a psychologist, teacher, and channel, who likes looking at life with the big viewfinder.

This interview originally appeared in 2009 in: ReligionandSpirituality.com (no longer available)

Are you a curious type? Do you ever wonder how someone becomes an intuitive, and what their life has been like?

Allow me to introduce you to Joan Pancoe, a psychic, trance channel and karmic astrologer in New York City since 1976.

Recently, Joan gifted me a good portion of her afternoon to quiz her about her life, times, and spiritual journey. After walking through her apartment where her original works of art adorn the walls, we settled ourselves amidst the surprising greenery and playful statuary of her secret garden, deep within the heart of NYC’s East Village.

I wanted to start at the beginning. Did Joan grow up in a home where the paranormal was the norm? Like many intuitive types, did she regularly commune with the other realms as a dreamy, spaced-out kid? Did she blurt out psychic hits to the neighbors?

The short answer is no, to all of the above. Joan’s trajectory and development are anything but the norm.

Born in Chicago in 1953, Joan was a chronically crying, hyper, red-faced, didn’t-sleep-didn’t-eat kind of infant. Joan, now, attributes those early years as reflective of a personal law (learned through rebirthing sessions) that stated, “I don’t want to be here; it’s not safe.”

As a child, Joan was unusually tiny; she describes herself as “cute, but monkey-like” and adds “there was arrested development.” She was unable to talk until speech therapy intervened at age 4 or 5. She was unable to read as well, until her desire kicked in at age 7, and she picked up the TV Guide and read her first words, “The Danny Thomas Show.”

This was a critical moment in her life: her first shift in consciousness. Joan remembers, “Reading tests within months went from 0 to 12th grade. There was acceleration. At the age of 7, there was some sort of release, and I came mentally online. I was off-line; here, but not here. That’s my story: sequential cycles of not here and, then, more here. It is the process of coming into this incarnation. Recently, over the last few years, I have come in for a landing and been more embodied.”

A relentless student in honors and A.P. classes; the teachers’ chosen artist with an aptitude to draw exact replicas; popular, even with glasses and braces; and a cheerleader until side-lined with an injury, Joan stormed through high school.

The combination of the cheerleading injury, the Zeitgeist of the 60s, and hormones brought another great shift. Joan went from “good girl to not so good girl.”

Almost overnight, Joan became a hippie chick, atheist and pothead. She smoked pot from the time she got up in the morning, between classes and all through the evening. She let her hair grow half way down her back; wore rose-colored glasses and T-shirts emblazoned with “LOVE”; became “hyper sexually precocious” aided and abetted by a gifted vibrator; and vowed her only desire in life was to be a hedonist.

Hedonism and pot notwithstanding, Joan graduated salutatorian of her high school class.

In 1971, Joan headed off to Barnard College in New York City. On February 19, 1972, in a West End bar, she met James Rush, the single greatest influence of her life and the person who gave Joan her psychic wings.

When Joan was 19 years old, her world exploded when Jim offered her a tab of windowpane acid. The ensuing trip resulted in Joan’s third eye seal breaking wide open. She was unlocked psychically. Joan says, “I experienced my eternal nature and everyone else’s, and I never fully came back from that trip.”

Joan’s early adult years were like a thousand bottle rockets being launched at once. Joan dropped out of college and had a wild and wooly relationship with Jim. She went to art school in Europe, partied heavily, endured migraines and fed her sexual appetites. She returned to the US and, ultimately, stopped running and surrendered. She accepted her psychic abilities, stopped having migraines, and entered a 12-step program. Once she became sober, peace of mind became her priority in life.

The juicy details of her wild ride are detailed in Joan’s second book, Cosmic Sugar: The Amorous Adventures of a Modern Mystic, which is published under the pen name Leela Jones, and explores how Leela looks to reconcile “her desire for pleasure and her passion for soul growth.”

In the early to mid-80s, Joan was energetically rewired for the first time─-an experience she details in her book, Openings. Joan reports that it felt like she was undergoing brain surgery for a couple of days as she was fitted with an energetic funnel cap in her 6th chakra. The funnel became her transmitter and, as a result, she no longer needed to travel out to various planes of consciousness; now, the readings came into her.

Concomitantly, Joan, also, realized that she needed to find substantial ways to better ground and root herself. Psychics can burn out because they run a great deal of current through their systems. Joan was feeling the reality of this. There was too much energy coursing through her present-day wiring. There was no grounding wire, and she was not insulated enough. Joan was seeing acupuncturists and healers on a regular basis, but knew she had to find a more lasting solution to prevent a major meltdown.

Philosophically, Joan has been a Taoist since her late 20s/early 30s and opted to pursue that direction. She sought out teachers and practices to help her deal with her energy overload and discovered tai chi and chi gung. For 13 years, Joan apprenticed herself, sequentially, to two different masters of two different lineages.

When Joan looked down at her small, tight, size 5.5 feet, she knew, without a doubt, that her feet had been bound in past lifetimes. She, also, knew she needed to open up her feet to be able to ground her energies more effectively. Pancoe chose tui na massage work, a kind of chi gung which, in this case, was a painful process. The result was a leap to shoe size 8W, and an ability to ground her energies more deeply.

For over 20 years, Joan has maintained her daily chi gung practice. A natural outcome of her years of practice is that Pancoe now offers Taoist and Tantric practices and meditation to her clients.

Joan credits her Taoist pursuits and daily practice with the ability to physically withstand energetic rewiring upgrades from the cosmos. Joan has concluded that she is rewired on a 12-year cycle; the astrologer in her notes that is, also, a Jupiter cycle.

Her last major rewiring came during an all-night, new moon ceremony at a qigong camp in northern California. Everyone was chanting. Joan went to the causal plane, then, the galactic and, then, the void. Joan shares, “The Taoist system has infinite levels of the void; form arising out of formlessness at every moment simultaneously.”

To Joan, the energetics of the rewiring were akin to gigantic yellow snakes invading her body and entering through her crown chakra. Understandably, she was freaked out with this enormous push of energy. These energy “snakes” travelled down her central channel. Joan felt “stretched open on all levels simultaneously,” and, then, the energy “snakes” popped out through her feet. Joan was excited when she realized she had received major insulation (think yellow casing on electrical wires) and had been, once again, rewired.

Initially, Joan channeled her information from the Akashic Records. Now, as a result of her latest rewiring, Joan channels from the Galactic Forces, and they exacted a conscious commitment from Joan. The commitment required was that Joan’s primary relationship had to be with them. (When Joan asked for clarity, the Galactic Forces allowed this did not preclude Joan from having “consorts,” mates, or intimate relationships.) In return for her commitment, the Galactic Forces said they would take care of Joan. She willingly agreed.

As a result of the rewiring, Joan was having more fun with her life. One book had come out; another was being written. She was “doing her daily practice, aligned, making the most of this incarnation, moving at high speed, open, and the emotional tone of her being was changed.”

Joan’s primary tone became one of joy in being─being in this moment, in this body, in this lifetime, in these experiences. Her primary message is “Enjoy the ride.”

But like all of us, Joan has learned through experience: “When I was going through my divorce at age 33, I realized my worst fears of being open, vulnerable, and hurt. There was huge pain that I had been avoiding. Literally, he tried to kill me. I was sitting in my home group [of a 12-Step meeting] and realized that even though I was hurt, I never felt more alive.”

These days, when it comes to pain and suffering, Joan does not indulge or feed her demons. She is able to let those feelings move through her, and she knows her core is stable. Throughout the years, Joan has been a student of higher consciousness and studied with a wide range of teachers.

In 2005, Joan went on a pilgrimage to India with her spiritual teacher, a Naada master. There was much chanting, meditation and visitation of temples. Simultaneously, Joan was awakened to hundreds of past lifetimes in India, many of which found Joan homeless, destitute, and despairing. Joan concluded, “All of these lifetimes had been sealed until I got there. There is joy, now, because I know I really paid my dues.”

Joan’s says her spirituality is what gives meaning and value to everything in her life. It is her bliss.

I asked Joan to share three pearls of wisdom for those on the path. This is what she had to say:

1. Validate your inner journey as much as your external accomplishments because society won’t do that for you.

2. The thing you fear and resist the most is the direction that you need to go in because it’s probably why you are here [from a karmic standpoint].

3. If you don’t cultivate a tone of joy in being or at least have equanimity about your journey, you are probably going to have a karmic do-over.

Remember the aforementioned James Rush, who offered the LSD that cracked open Joan’s psychic seal? When Jim was alive, he would continually taunt and ridicule Joan about her sobriety. Once he passed over, Jim apologized; he allowed that he now understood: Joan was a clear channel because she had no alcohol or smoke in her system. And her greatest gift was not the clarity of her channel, but “her tone of enthusiasm for the adventure.”

Joan and Jim’s relationship, a huge soul contract for them both, continued and deepened throughout the years. Even after Jim’s death, 12 years ago, they remain in contact. Jim comes through with messages, and he has guided Joan on a number of big, multidimensional trips and continues to help her expand her consciousness.

Today, Joan’s expanded concept of herself and what she feels she is becoming is that of a “galactic dakini.” Wikipedia describes a dakini as a tantric deity; the term is translated as “a female embodiment of enlightened energy,” “she who moves in space,” and “sky dancer.” The Galactic Forces would concur: this is where Joan Pancoe is going.

PSYCHIC THERAPY: THE BACKSTORY or How the Universe Pushed me into Confronting My Deepest Karmic Fears by Putting me on Television!

In 1972, at the age of nineteen, I had an experience of spiritual awakening on LSD that cracked open my psychic perception irrevocably. I experienced my eternal nature and everyone else’s on seven different planes of consciousness—first sequentially and then simultaneously. It was my very first “trip” and I can say that I’ve never truly come back from it! It only takes one really good trip—and I ‘ve been clean and sober for over 30 years since 1982.

Since that awakening, I could look at others and see their past lives in this dimension as well as their sojourns in other dimensions and began to spontaneously channel soul readings for myself and others from the Akashic Records. I would define these Records as a storehouse located at the frequency of the causal plane or sixth dimension of consciousness that contains the continuously evolving histories of all souls.

The previous five planes or bodies of consciousness are: the physical, etheric, emotional, mental and psychic or soul-level. In modern Western terms, the closest equivalent that would describe the causal plane of consciousness would be as Jung’s collective unconscious—which is in actuality a level that we all potentially have equal conscious access to.

By 1982, after a decade of offering soul readings to help people clarify their options in making major life decisions based on what would be optimal for their karmic healing and soul growth, I was starting to get quite discouraged by my function.

Too many of my repeat clients were becoming dependent on me for guidance in a way that felt ultimately disempowering to them. I started to think that there must be some way for them to access this level of information and do readings for themselves that would eliminate the need for someone like me to act as a middleman between themselves and the Higher Forces. And thus, was the seed thought and desire out of which Psychic Therapy was born.

Over the course of the year, 1982, I gathered together a small group of clients and friends that I called my “psychic guinea pigs” and began to develop the ten sessions of intense altered state work that I would come to call “Psychic Therapy”—the root of the word “psychic” coming originally from the Greek meaning “of the soul.”

I prefer to use the term “altered state” or “trance” to describe the state of consciousness that I induct clients into in their sessions, as I feel the word hypnosis has too many mixed connotations in our culture. This is also certainly true of the word “psychic”—which is why I prefer to call myself a trance channel. However, for the soul-level therapy I was creating, in choosing to use the word” psychic” I was attempting to reclaim its original meaning, even if it has meant going against the tide of commercialism and more.

My personal readings had told me that—while my psychic gift emerged fully intact in this life and was well earned through my reincarnational development through dozens of incarnations—it was also simultaneously a gift from the Divine to be shared with those in need. And that I had made a commitment to be of service in this way before entry into this incarnation.

I use the soul readings as a prerequisite for anyone interested in embarking on an ongoing commitment to work with me in therapy, as I knew that Psychic Therapy is only going to be the perfect vehicle to open up the vertical channel in about 10% of the people that come to me. So, for anyone interested, I created a three-part question to ask at the end of their soul reading: “1. Is psychic therapy appropriate for me at this time? 2. If not, what is? 3. If yes, please give a specific outline of what my therapy would entail.”

This way, if the soul reading gave a red or yellow light instead of a green light for doing therapy with me, I can refer them to a spiritually-oriented psychotherapist instead. In short order, I had a list of therapists who had already completed psychic therapy with me to refer clients to as, many times, soul readings indicated that there was a need for more healing connected to this incarnation first to develop a healthier ego structure, which I call horizontal development, before it would be optimal to accelerate in the vertical channel.

The best way I can describe this is: just like a rocket ship taking off into orbit needs many component parts for lift-off, a healthy functioning ego structure is necessary for take-off to accelerate in the vertical channel—and THEN, as one evolves, those parts of the ego-structure that no longer serve can fall away. But it’s important not to skip this step—as developing at higher psychic frequencies without the grounding of a healthy functioning ego can be very destabilizing—not to mention the necessity of having daily mind/body/spirit grounding practices so that the nervous system and psychic circuitry don’t become fried.

Ideally, the process of the psychic therapy allows one to evolve to a level of consciousness in the vertical channel where the ego is used solely as a translucent tool through which the soul shines through for functioning in the third dimension.

In the first few sessions of the therapy process, I move clients through clearing any remaining blocks in their energy or emotional bodies from this life and teach them practices to maintain these openings on a daily basis. In addition, I teach them energy and mind/ body/spirit practices for clearing, energizing and grounding the lower bodies as well as psychic techniques for dreamwork and cracking open the psychic perceptions through mirror work.

Once we’ve cleared any major blocks in the emotional and etheric bodies from this life that could color any information we get as we go further out, we begin the core of the therapy: the past life regression sessions. These entails going into more than a dozen lives in which there are karmic habitual limiting beliefs or fears that are keeping their entity (that part of the soul focuses on the reincarnational process) from operating fully from the soul-level perspective. After releasing these karmic blocks between self and Self, and self and Life, we work on karmic relationships with others that are ripe for healing.

In the last few sessions, we go beyond the individual soul-level to the next plane of consciousness—the causal plane—which I also call the Flow State or the Cosmic Ocean of Consciousness. This dimension or frequency contains the Divine Blueprint for all souls, as this is the plane out of which all souls are birthed. Once the Being is stabilized there, I teach them techniques to access the Akashic Records and practice doing readings for themselves. Finally, we do experiential energetic work for opening their channels to being upwards of 100% in the Flow as their normal operating mode of being.

A small percentage of therapy clients give themselves a green light from the causal plane for going even further out to explore their soul functions in other dimensions, so that we can open up the vertical channel to these higher frequencies as well, to allow them to operate there and here simultaneously. (I will be writing a more detailed article on this type of development soon, entitled: “Aliens Are Us”)

By the time we’re finished with this first cycle of therapy—usually between 8-12 sessions—10 sessions being the average—my guarantee and promise is that each and every client will be able to do readings for themselves. And in fact, this has been the case—primarily because the weaning process in the soul reading only gives the green light to proceed to those who will benefit the most at the present time in their conscious evolution.

*In 1985, I did a soul reading for John Perriakos, the founder of Core Energetics, whose wife, Eva, was the trance channel for the Pathwork teachings and had passed in 1979. At that time, I was completely unfamiliar with her work. After John’s soul reading, he informed me—as well as his colleagues—that my channel was as close in tone and language to Eva’s as he had ever experienced.

I began to be deluged with healers, therapists and creative types who wanted to work with me from the Brennan, IM and Society of Souls schools of healing, among others. First, many of the senior teachers came to me and then all of the students were referred.

I became inundated with prospective clients and my waiting lists became so long that it was creating an internal pressure within me, as I could only do at most five therapy clients ongoing at any given time, to allow space and energy in my schedule for soul readings and karmic astrology consults.

The question I was most asked by prospective clients was: “Where did you study?” And to say I created the psychic therapy from within my own Being didn’t always seem to satisfy them—nor did saying, tongue-in-cheek, that I got my diplomas from Lemuria, Atlantis, Egypt, Delphi etc. And, then, the second most common annoying question I was asked was, (and while it may seem absurd now, at the time it was very upsetting to me): “Are you insurance reimbursable?” To which I would usually reply: “Are you kidding?”

Triggered by this upsurge of interest in my psychic work, I decided to begin working with a psychoanalyst, Dr. Avery Manchester in 1985 for both personal and professional reasons. I knew that I had to take conscious responsibility for whom I went to for advice—as I intuitively know—even before I ask a someone a question—what their response is most likely to be based on my read of their tendencies and predisposition. Therefore, I thought, since Avery was psychoanalytically trained, his orientation would be to let me off the hook in terms of coming into my psychic power.

In our first session, I asked him whether I should shelve psychic therapy and psychic work in general and go back to school and become a Jungian psychoanalyst—since I was very good at the school stuff (Dean’s List at Barnard, etc.) and loved working with dreams.

Surprisingly, Avery responded with unconditional complete support of my continuing with the therapy I had created and developed and said, to paraphrase: “In thirty years your therapy will be cutting edge, and Jungian will be considered a bit out of date.” Well, you could have blown me over!

Now, almost thirty years after my dear friend and wisest counsel Avery gave me the encouragement I needed to continue on my path, a series of past life regression sessions that I did with a client was filmed and will appear as an episode on the Biography Channel’s new documentary series, The UneXplained. How cool is that! Thank you, Avery!

After a year of filming hundreds of hours that have been edited down to a 22-minute episode for a half-hour show, I have absolutely no idea what the final result will look like and have had to sign away any control of how my work is going to be presented. I can only hold the faith that those who are meant to find me through the medium (haha) of TV will have an easier time of it once this show airs.

The journey of coming into my psychic power has been a bumpy ride—karmically speaking—to say the least. I have had to do a lot of work on myself—on all levels—over these last 30 years, to be able to handle the level of responsibility that comes with these abilities and function.

Because my karmic blocks towards coming into power were inhibiting me at each stage of putting my work out there with deep immobilizing fears, I had to avail myself of past life regression therapy in my thirties—to keep me from shutting down the full flowering of the gift and sabotaging my soul assignment for this incarnation.

Using my own regression techniques—and with my partner, Jim Rush, a healer, as conductor—we confirmed in a series of sessions that I had indeed been whacked, tortured or had my eyes put out by fire in multiple past lives of psychic power—to name a few of the karmic cellular fears I’ve dealt with. No wonder each stage of coming into my psychic power has brought up new layers of irrational (from this life’s perspective) feelings that my safety was being threatened.

Now, because of the TV show, even more intense levels of dread have arisen and need to be consciously worked with and dissolved. But, thanks to the past life regression and releasing and dissolving of karmic fears that I continuously do for myself—this has been more manageable and much less irrationally terrifying and immobilizing than in the 1980’s.

Looking back, it still amazes me how, at each stage, I kicked and screamed with so much resistance to my own psychic coming-out party! Even with all that I consciously know about the previous chapters in my soul’s story that have created these once-legitimate fears, I still need to repeat daily one of the mantras that I teach clients: “That was then . . . and this is NOW.”

For example, until 1995, I’d never created a brochure explaining or offering Psychic Therapy, (thank you, Jerrold Mundis). Up until then, for over a dozen years—not only did I only see people by personal referral— but no one even knew I did this type of therapy unless they knew someone that had done it with me. The brochure started with the question: “Have you gone as far as you can go with psychotherapy?” and then said, “Then Psychic Therapy may be your next step.” to warn people off. And, of course, there was no photo of me and no fees listed. It felt scary enough just to have my work detailed in writing for public consumption at all.

Then, in 2000, I finally got pushed (thank you, Dallas Piana) into updating my brochure, listing all my services and fees and even including a photo of me. I felt like I was being tortured and was going to die. Dallas also encouraged me to get the proper recording equipment for my phone consults, as over the years, when clients moved out of NYC, they would call me for psychic reading updates.

Consequently, they started referring their loved ones who needed long-distance phone consults. Finally, after many years of this, I decided that the phone work was valid enough—although obviously not as impactful as in-person—to record and send to clients—first as mailed cassette tapes—and now as mp3 audio files attached to emails (since 2008—thank you, Lisa Zimmerman).

Some of the occupational hazards of my being a trance channel are that I’m technological challenged, mechanically dyslexic (operating heavy machinery including driving appears to be contra-indicated for the safety of all concerned) and literally had a computer phobia bordering on panic attacks until 1995 when I bought my first computer, Calibur. (I’m now in a relationship with Calibur IV—anthropomorphizing my machines helps keep me and them calmer.)

In 2009, I launched my website after being pushed into it by my client and friend Jay, who, by buying my domain name and webhosting for a year as a birthday gift in 2008, made me realize that the jig was up—as I hate to waste anything.

After a nine-month gestation—because I wanted the site to be a true expression of my Being and so had to create all the templates and designs from scratch and then have others implement my vision, (thank you, Vasken Kalayjian and Arben Mehmetaj)—my website went live. I had known since 2000 that I needed to have a presence on the World Wide Web, but I procrastinated out of fear for almost a decade.

Now, what brings me the most co-creative and soul-level fulfillment is writing the free offerings of newsletters sent out monthly and articles posted on my site—and the feedback and clients that come to me from these. Who knew this would make me so incredibly happy? Even psychics have blind spots—karmically and literally!

In July 2011, I got a call from a TV producer (referred by an old therapy client) asking me if I’d be interested in being filmed for a TV documentary series. I thought I said, “No, thank you” and hung up. But the producer, Johanna Baldwin, informed me later, with much laughter, that I just hung up on her! (I guess my reflexes were a bit off—and had mumbled, “No, thank you,” after I’d walked away from the phone.)

But, with the encouragement of Carol Irving and Jay Sikora, both clients who volunteered to be regressed on camera, I called the producers back and we had a sit down to discuss filming me doing past-life regression for their documentary series. The vibration felt right and in the Flow. And, most importantly, aligned with my soul assignment of coming out of my psychic shell. So, I green-lighted myself!

I had never envisioned as part of my journey of karmic healing and soul growth that I would need to appear on TV next. It has been and I’m sure will continue to be terrifying and exhilarating simultaneously. There’s nothing like confronting your absolute worst karmic fears of all time to make you feel more alive and in the Flow than ever before. And so it is.


It has only been in the last few months, after 40 years of offering soul readings, that my channels informed me that my pre-entry karmic commitment would be fulfilled after another 1500 readings. This being my second Saturn-return year, (I’ll be 59 in September), it feels like I am entering my third thirty-year karmic cycle at a level of coming into full psychic power. The first 20 years being the beginning period of development and the last 20 being the intermediate.

Now that I’ve been informed that the end is in sight in terms of being of service as a channel through my readings, I have a feeling that I will need to become even more discriminating of who I have the time, energy and inclination to do the deep work of Psychic Therapy with. For more information: Psychic Therapy


Dear Friends: I’ve lost touch with so many of you that I did psychic therapy with in the early years. I would love to hear how you’re doing now and how our work together has impacted your journey. Please let me know!

For a more detailed backstory of my psychic and karmic development, please check out my two books:

Openings: A Guide to Psychic Living in the Real World
Cosmic Sugar: The Amorous Adventure of a Modern Mystic, written under the pen name, Leela Jones

I hope you’ll enjoy reading the great reviews on Amazon, but also know that signed copies of both books are available directly from me: BOOKS

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