The Essence of Channeling
(excerpt from an article for Fili Magazine, Tokyo, December 2000 issue)

Twenty years ago I began a career as a professional trance channel. Since that time I have channeled the Ecton personality for thousands of people worldwide. My hope has been to provide clear and practical guidance to help people improve the quality of their lives. The feedback I have received over the years indicates to me that I have been successful in doing this. And for this I am grateful, to Ecton for his loving assistance, and to my clients for their openness and acceptance.

For those of you not familiar with channeling, a simple description would be "The use of altered states of consciousness to access information or skills not readily available while in ordinary waking states of consciousness." What this means is, the channel has developed the ability to relax and adjust his thinking and perception to allow for a larger amount of skill and information to come to his awareness.

The type of channeling I do is called trance channeling. This means I use my skills as a meditator and hypnotherapist to mentally journey into a deep, dream-like state of consciousness. As soon as I achieve this sleepy state of consciousness, I invite the Ecton energy to come in to my body. As Ecton comes into my body, my essence or personality separates from my body and, essentially, goes to sleep. Then Ecton is free to use my body to present to my clients information and assistance.

There are many different types of channeling. Some channels are conscious and can hear and remember what they say to the client. Some channels are fully unconscious and cannot remember anything about the channeling session. I am a semi-conscious channel. While in a trance I can hear a voice coming from my body. I cannot always understand what this voice is saying and when I return from my trance, I usually do not remember what Ecton said. But sometimes, I can remember, if the information was particularly interesting, challenging or related to me in some way.

Some channels do not allow the energy or personality to come in to their bodies as I do, but connect to the energy in the same way you would connect with someone over the telephone, and then relay the information they are "hearing" to the client. Or they may practice something called "automatic writing", where they sit with a pen and paper or word processor and channel words, ideas and concepts. Some people channel "Universal Consciousness" instead of specific entities or personalities. Some people channel what they perceive as their "Higher Self." And some people do not channel information at all, but music or art designed to stimulate and bring forth your spiritual and loving nature.

In fact, it's possible that you, the reader, have already experienced yourself as a channel. Think of a time when a close friend or family member has come to you for some guidance or opinions about his life. And as you began sharing your ideas with this person, a slight change in feeling occurred for you, where the words you were saying just started to pour from your mouth. You didn't know what word or sentence was going to come next, and you weren't really thinking about what you had just said a moment ago. It was as if the only moment that was real, was the present moment, as each word tumbled comfortably from your mouth. And it felt good to say these words. You had an intuition you were making sense and you were being helpful. Later, your friend may have come to you and thanked you for such helpful ideas. And you accepted his thanks but didn't quite remember exactly what you said, other than it felt right.

To me, this is a form of channeling. This is opening yourself up to a body of knowledge that you don't usually use in your day-to-day life. Professional channels do this all the time, with every client. Channel artists do this with images or ideas or music. The channeling experience is much more common than most people realize. When I teach people how to channel, one of the most important elements of this training is to assist the student to realize what form of channeling is best suited for them. Everyone has his own style, and it is very important to discover this as you learn how to channel.

You may wonder if going to a professional channel could help you with your life issues. As a channel, of course I must say "yes", it can help, very much. Sometimes clients come to me because they have exhausted all the "normal" pathways to a solution to their troubles including traditional therapy, prescription drugs, or self-medication with alcohol or other intoxicants. For some clients, I am their first stop along the pathway to healing, having heard from trusted friends or family members that a channeling session can be a rapid pathway to self-discovery.

But it is not for everyone. Each person has different needs, so therefore not all channels will be able to "blend" with your energy in a helpful way. Generally speaking, the longer a person has been channeling, the more clear and helpful they are likely to be. A channel has a very challenging job of making sure his ideas or beliefs do not interfere with the channeling of clear information. This can take years to learn to do properly.

When people ask me what to look for in a channel there are a few things I recommend. One, get a personal reference from someone you trust. If they liked the channeling they received, it's likely that you will enjoy it and benefit from it too. Two, do a little research regarding the channel. You may want to read their books or articles or peruse their website. It's perfectly appropriate for you to ask a channel you are considering some questions. Does the channel focus on practical daily matters? Do they focus on more spiritual or esoteric topics? Is the channeling scientifically or spiritually oriented or both? You may wish to give the channel an example of the kinds of questions you will be asking in the session and listen to how the channel responds to your concerns. Trust your intuition. If you feel good when communicating with the channel or the information you have gathered about the channel feels right and makes sense, this might be the right channel for you.

When my potential clients ask me about my channeling I tell them Ecton's focus is always on concepts of unconditional love, unlimited creativity, and absolute personal responsibility. He does not focus on "doom-and-gloom" scenarios of life on Earth, but tries to empower each individual to discover his innate loving nature and profound creativity, and tries to help them deal with their daily issues of relationships, career, life purpose, spiritual growth, health, and more. I mention that Ecton honors and supports the client's god-like sovereignty and teaches the client about his or her profound choice-making ability.

When the day arrives for your channeling session, you might feel a bit nervous. This is common. After all, you're about to venture in to an environment where your life could change. This could make anyone nervous! But generally, channels are skilled at helping you feel comfortable and welcome. And most channels truly appreciate the trust you place in them and want to help you improve the quality of your life. Personally, I prefer to spend a few minutes relaxing with my client over tea or coffee before the actual channeling begins. It's OK to tell the channel that you are nervous. They may have some suggestions to help you to calm down a bit.

When the actual channeling begins, it's important that you pay attention to the channel's words and the feelings that you are having. And remember, the more open and flexible you are, the easier it will be for the channel to "read" you. You might want to stick to your prepared list of questions, or be more spontaneous with your questions. And, certainly, if you don't understand something the channel or entity says, it's appropriate for you to ask for clarification. Since each channel's focus is different, it's impossible to address the many things that could occur during a channeling. What is important, though, is that the information makes sense to you and feels "right."

A channeling session is not always an easy experience for the client. Sometimes, when confronting old belief systems, patterns, or habits, the client can become distressed and have an emotional reaction. But this distress is part of the healing process, as an attempt to remove the familiar "old" and invite in the unfamiliar "new" occurs. A well-trained and experienced channel will know how to work with your emotional reaction to assist you in achieving your goals. If you don't know what your goals are, the channel should be able to assist you in developing them, and assist you in following through on them.

After the channeling session, it is your responsibility to go out in to the world and apply the things that you have learned about yourself. Listen to the tape recording of your session. Try to apply the suggestions you have heard. Resist the impulse to run back to the channel for more information. Remember you are a capable, divine, and loving being and a channeling is one of many guides along the pathway of your evolution and unfoldment as the god-like human you are.

With Love, Richard Lavin,

11/11/00, Honolulu, Hawaii