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Since the first time I ever heard or read anything about reincarnation, I instantly felt there was truth to it.

For me, the belief that my soul returns from previous lifetimes seems totally natural because the soul never dies. It continues to live on. The body is the physical vehicle through which the soul travels. 

In my mid-30's, when I was investigating the whole purpose of life, I left myself open to many different theories, philosophies, and beliefs.

However, for as open and receptive as I am, I question everything. 

I have also come to understand that not everything can be 100% proven, but that some things are just a “knowing."

I believe that life is very much like attending school and the whole purpose of being here is to experience things that my soul has come to learn. And I also believe that it may not be possible to experience these things in one single lifetime. It's an evolution process. 

There had been many times in my life when I felt that reincarnation was possible, but there was one time in particular that made me believe it beyond the shadow of a doubt. 

Back in the 90's, I had the opportunity to visit the country of Japan.

Now Japan was not a place I ever had the desire to visit, nor was it a place I ever thought would hold any interest for me. But I accepted an acting job because I thought traveling to another country would be a new experience; not to mention that the salary I was offered was quite tempting. 

So I went.

And boy, am I ever glad that I did because the experience was life-changing. 

I spent a little over two months in the city of Kobe performing in a theatrical production, during which time I had the opportunity to visit the magnificent city of Kyoto.

And it was while I was in Kyoto, I knew in my soul that this place was extremely familiar. In fact, even before the train pulled into the city, something told me that I was about to experience an "awakening." I remember looking out of the train window and noticing the misty morning fog hovering over the mountain top. It was very early in the morning when we arrived, therefore we caught the sun rising. And it was stunning.  


As our cast members and tour guide walked through the narrow little streets that led us to the area where the ancient temples were located, I was overcome with emotion. Once we actually got to the temples, I told a close friend of mine who was also in the cast that I wanted to be alone so that I could walk the grounds by myself.

I remember sitting down on a bench in a secluded area and breaking down into tears.

It felt as though I had come home.

And it wasn’t just the breathtaking beauty of the place that affected me, it was something much, much deeper.

It was as if a memory had been reignited within my soul. 

While touring the temples of Kyoto, visitors were permitted to go inside and actually perform the traditional rituals that the Japanese do when they pray. And while I was performing some of these rituals, it was as though I had done them before. I could feel the sacredness and reverence of why I was doing them. 

Throughout the duration of our visit to Kyoto that morning, I felt myself more and more connected to the Japanese people and their culture, as if I were one of them.

This feeling of familiarity continued throughout my stay in Japan. And when it was time for me to return to the States, it was extremely difficult. I remember sitting on the plane next to my good friend. And as the plane pulled away from the gate I said to him, “I feel as though I’m leaving my home.”

It took several months for the feeling of homesickness to dissipate. And even to this day, I still feel a deep, deep connection to Japan. Particularly, Kyoto. 

When reflecting back on my life, I can recall a familiar feeling I had while looking at a painting or a photograph; seeing a particular period-style of clothing; hearing a specific piece of music; or even meeting someone for the first time and not feeling like it was the first time, but rather as if I had always known them. 

And immediately sensing deep within myself…

a powerful knowing.

Min'na subarashī tsuitachi o

(which means, "Have a great day everyone!" in Japanese)



*photos from Unsplash

33 comments:

  1. Ron, I got chills reading this. Wow, what a powerful experience! Funny, I had a conversation with someone last summer about this very topic. I too am open to things and realize that not everything can be 100% proven, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. As you shared, it's a knowing. I very much believe in the possibility of reincarnation. And reading about your experience in Japan makes me believe it even more. How fortunate you were to experience this.

    I have never been to Japan, but would like to go one day. I work with a woman who was born in Osaka and she is lovely.

    Did you ever see the movie, "Somewhere In Time?"

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  2. Ron, I've been reading your blog for nine years now and I cannot believe that I keep learning more and more about your experiences. You have so many interesting layers to your life. Wow, what an experience! Being a traveler, Japan is a place I've always had on my bucket list of places I want to visit. There is something about that country I've always been fascinated with, particularly their technology. They are always leap years ahead of the rest of the world.

    My girlfriend and I have joked about being soulmates because the first time we met each other, we were instantly comfortable. We have frequently talked about possibly knowing each other in a pas tlife because we are so connected in a profound way. That doesn't mean we don't have to work at things, but we are both willing to do that because of the deep connection we share.

    Thank you for sharing this story, dude. Very powerful!

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  3. Morning Candice!

    Yes, you're right. There are many things that cannot be proven 100%, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Kind of like miracles. We can't always prove them, but they do happen. And they're real.

    "I work with a woman who was born in Osaka and she is lovely."


    I'm sure she is. I found the Japanese so incredibly gracious, polite, and very generous. They have such a wonderful balance of both forward thinking and yet an inner peace that they have from their rich history and beliefs.

    OMG, yes....I've seen "Somewhere In Time" and LOVED it! In fact, it's one of my all-time favorite romance movies. To this very day, I still cry at the end.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Happy Wednesday!
    X

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  4. What an interesting, heartfelt post, Ron. While I've never believed in reincarnation, I'd never denigrate anyone for doing so either. Beliefs are extremely personal, and from what you've written here, I have no doubts that something you experienced in Japan affected you on a deep and abiding level. No wonder you're always speaking so passionately about Japan and the Japanese culture!


    How fortunate you were to have that experience, to accept temporary employment in a foreign land, and to immerse yourself in life there! xx

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  5. https://t.co/ayAHPWliXc?1wG88P

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  6. Ron, although I've never given much thought or investigation into reincarnation, I have to admit that after reading about your experience, it is something to ponder. Whoa! What an experience! I could feel your emotion and the affect it had on you just from reading your words. I'm a firm believer that there are different beliefs and philosophies for a reason. Not everyone has to believe a certain way. Just because something it right for one person, doesn't mean it's right for everyone. I too have met people and felt like it was not the first time.

    Your post makes me want to visit Kyoto!

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  7. Humans have always wondered what lies beyond the grave. Buddhism and Hinduism teach the soul reincarnates or rebirths in many different bodies. Belief in reincarnation reinforces that death is not the end of our lives on earth. I can understand why reincarnation has such an appeal. It offers hope to those who are concerned if they "didn't get it right" in this lifetime, they have another chance. What is concerning to me is that most have the feeling that when reincarnated, they will attain a better life. But what keeps a person from being reincarnated as an animal, or insect...or not in a better life? In Eastern religions, karma goes hand in hand with reincarnation as the determining factor in this decision. The problem I see with this is karma is based on the belief of cause and effect. My current life circumstances are determined by the moral actions of my previous life. My future lives will be determined by my past moral success or failure. "Karma" evaluates my actions and decides what kind of life I deserve. My biggest issue with reincarnation and karma is there is no room for grace, mercy or the acknowledgement of a personal creator who cares for the human soul...which I find odd since karma is suppose to decide a person's fate based on the morality of their actions. For me, reincarnation has more questions than answers; for example, who or what determines where the human soul goes; who or what decided how a human soul would be put into another being at the conception of a new person? You know my worldview so I know you'll understand why I cannot reconcile the concept of reincarnation with my beliefs. The grace and mercy of my God makes the cycles of rebirth in order to achieve a better life unnecessary. But I suppose it could be argued that I do believe in a reincarnation of sorts....since I believe in a final resurrection of souls to a better life at the end of this age. Interesting concept and very open to many views and discussion. X

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  8. Hey there Daniel!

    " I'm a firm believer that there are different beliefs and philosophies for a reason. Not everyone has to believe a certain way. Just because something it right for one person, doesn't mean it's right for everyone"

    Yes, exactly. And this experience was something that left me open to the belief in reincarnation. It may not be someone else's belief or understanding, and that's okay.

    OMG... if you ever get the opportunity to go to Kyoto (or Japan in general) do, because it's truly remarkable. It's an entirely different culture than ours. I'm so glad I decided to take that job!

    Always a delight to read your comments, Daniel. Thanks so much for stopping by!

    X

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  9. Hey there Debbie!

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful words. And I agree with you...beliefs are extremely personal. To each his/her own.

    And yes, my time in Japan affected me on a very deep and abiding level. It was life-changing in more ways than one. I learned a lot about myself when I was there. I loved the "energy" of the country. Like you said, I immerse myself in the life there.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend! Again, I am soooooooooooooooooo happy about your new pup, Sully! He is ADORABLE!

    Much X to you and he!

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  10. Hiya Matt!

    " Japan is a place I've always had on my bucket list of places I want to visit. There is something about that country I've always been fascinated with, particularly their technology. They are always leap years ahead of the rest of the world."

    Yes!....the technology there is phenomenal! But what's really neat about Japan is that for as technically advanced as it is, it's also a place that has a wonderful balance of ancient history that they still honor. If I could sum up Japan in one word it would be balanced.

    "My girlfriend and I have talked about being soulmates because the first time we met each other, we were instantly comfortable. We have frequently talked about possibly knowing each other in a pas tlife because we are so connected in a profound way"


    OMG...I loved that!!! And I believe it because I too have felt that way about certain people. In fact, I felt that way about my first partner.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a most excellent week!

    X

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  11. "You know my worldview so I know you'll understand why I cannot reconcile the concept of reincarnation with my beliefs."

    Yes, I do, Lisa, and I know how strongly your feel about your beliefs. But I thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and feelings on this topic.

    And all I can say to you is that I believe there is not ONE way to know God. There are many ways.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a fabulous week!

    X

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  12. How interesting, Ron! And I’m so struck by your first photo. That tunnel is the perfect representation for this post. I think I’d really enjoy visiting Japan. A friend of mine has a son that’s lived there for over 5 years now and he loves everything about it, but especially the people and culture.

    I’ve never had any sort of experience like you mentioned, but I do have a strong faith and it’s not something that’s easy to convey to people without one. The fact that it’s unseeable and inexplainable is the reason it’s called faith! So, I do understand the essence of what you are talking about. And I know it must have been an amazing thing to experience because you can still feel it from that long ago. Thanks so much for such an enlightening post!

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  13. "...but I do have a strong faith and it’s not something that’s easy to convey to people without one. The fact that it’s unseeable and inexplainable is the reason it’s called faith! So, I do understand the essence of what you are talking about."

    Thank you not only for your openness in understanding my experience, but for also using the word that sums up how I felt exactly....faith.

    Yes, that's it!

    For me, I don't need 100% proof because I have faith in it.

    Isn't that first photo exquisite? I found it online at a free photo website I sometimes use, called, Unsplash. And I chose it because of exactly what you said, "the perfect representation for this post." And I have to also say that it was because of what you said to me in your comments about posting photos of my time in Japan that made me share this post. And once I get the photos scanned and edited, I will post them on my blog. So thank you for the inspiration!

    "I think I’d really enjoy visiting Japan. A friend of mine has a son that’s lived there for over 5 years now and he loves everything about it, but especially the people and culture."

    Yes, I know you would! And your friends son is right, I loved everything about Japan...but especially the people and culture. It is truly the most amazing and life-altering place I have ever visited. I would love to go back someday!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a faaaaabulous rest of your week!

    X

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  14. I get it, Ron...on a very deep level. In fact, I recently wrote about my own belief in reincarnation, too. https://wordpress.com/view/swingedcat.com

    If you haven't checked out the Netflix series "Surviving Death," you should. I feel like it would be right up your alley.

    Stunning temple photo, btw.

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  15. Ron, I don't understand people who scoff at philosophies and beliefs that are unlike their own, such as Buddhism and Hinduism, judging that their belief is the only belief. Don't they realize that God connects to everyone in a way that they will understand? That's why there's a variety of religions and philosophies. I once knew a priest who said that although he was Catholic, he believed their were many paths to God.

    That being said, beautiful post! I can only imagine what it must have felt like to have been there and experienced what you did. How wonderful that you spent two months in Japan! I spent several months studying in France when I was in college and loved it. I felt like you, as if I were home. I love all things French!

    Thanks for sharing, Ron. So interesting! xo

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  16. Forgot to mention that I love the photographs. The one of the Geisha is gorgeous!

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  17. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comThursday, March 04, 2021

    Wow - those photos are stunning! I would really like to visit some day.

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  18. Fiona, you would LOVE it! And it's a country that not only has some of the nicest, sweetest people, but it's also an incredible place for taking photographs.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Hope you're having a fantastic week!

    X

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  19. Aren't they beautiful? I found them on a free photo website called, Unsplash. Yes, the one of the Geisha is gorgeous, isn't it?

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  20. Hi Mark!

    Reincarnation is one of those things that you either believe or you don't. Ever since I was a kid, I felt it to be true. However after my experience, I "know" it to be true.

    Thanks for suggesting the Netflix series because I kept seeing the trailers on YouTube, but never watched any of them. But I did last night and WOW!

    Hope you're having a super week. Thanks so much for stopping by!

    X to you and Tara

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  21. Hola Denise!

    I know. And that's why I don't bother discussing or debating my beliefs with those people because it's totally pointless. They only hear what they want to tell you about their beliefs. And they most definitely don't want to hear that there is more than one path to God. It's their way or no way. And that is sad.

    " I spent several months studying in France when I was in college and loved it. I felt like you, as if I were home. I love all things French!"

    That's AWESOME!!!! And I bet you had an incredible time living there. I've never been to France, but I know many people who have and they said it was fabulous! I've only visited two places in Europe -- Belgium and Amsterdam. I would love to visit Italy, Spain, Germany, and Austria.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a great rest of your week! Gosh, I can't believe it's already Thursday!?

    X

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  22. Ron, I read this fascinating post yesterday but wanted to come back today when I had more time to leave my comment. I can't tell how excited I got when I read it because although I was raised Catholic (I'm Italian) LOL!, I've always found the study of different religions and philosophies so interesting. In fact, I took a course (Religious Studies) in college and really enjoyed it. I can't label myself any particular religion because there are things about many of them I feel in my heart. I guess you could say that I'm a potpourri of religions and philosophies. And reincarnation is something I absolutely believe in. Even my husband believes.

    When I read about the experience you had in Japan, I was so engrossed in your words. As you said, life is like attending school in order to experience things we each came here to learn. That's the whole purpose of reincarnation. To evolve and continue to learn with each lifetime.

    What you shared about hearing a piece of music and looking at painting, etc., and feeling a connection is something I've experienced myself.

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Ron. It's so neat to learn something about someone who you've been blogging with, never knowing you shared the same thoughts. X

    I would love to visit Japan some day. By the way, how long of trip is it? I'm assuming it's quite a trek.

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  23. Helloooooooooo Elaine!

    "I've always found the study of different religions and philosophies so interesting. In fact, I took a course (Religious Studies) in college and really enjoyed it."

    That is soooooooooooo cool! And it's funny because I was raised Catholic too, but also wanted to examine different religions and philosophies. My mother was the same way. She loved being a Catholic, but she also believed in things from other religions. She had an aunt and a cousin who were nuns, can you believe that?

    "That's the whole purpose of reincarnation. To evolve and continue to learn with each lifetime."

    That's right. We progress.

    OMG, yes...traveling to Japan was a MAJOR trek. However, the production company that I worked for got the cheapest tickets possible, which meant we had TWO layovers (one in LA and one in Soul Korea). In total, it took us 27 1/2 hours to get there!!!!! Not only that, but we landed in Osaka and then had to drive another 30 minutes to Kobe. But trips to Japan are not normally that long. It normally takes about 16-17 hours, with one layover. But I have to tell you, it is so worth the flight because Japan is fabulous!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, neighbor. Have a faaaantastic weekend!

    X

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  24. Gosh, Ron, what a powerful story. I can't thank you enough for sharing this moving, emotional experience with us.

    I've heard many wonderful things about Kyoto but after reading your post I want to pack my bags and fly over there tomorrow! It's amazing how that you felt so at home at a place you'd never seen before. What an incredible moment it must have been.

    My sister-in-law is a Buddhist and she has talked to me about reincarnation. To be honest, I don't know how I feel about reincarnation, but it fascinates the hell out of me.

    I've been meaning to investigate past life regression therapy for a long time now. I want to open up some of those closed doors in my soul and see what I find.

    Beautiful story, my friend! Take care!

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  25. Hey there Rob!

    If you ever get the chance to travel to Japan, you have got to include Kyoto on your itinerary. Rob, just knowing you for these many years, I can tell that you would truly love it because of the "energy." Plus, the people. You would love the people because they are so respectful, calm, and kind. And it's ironic because about three years after I got back from Japan, I discovered Reiki and began my certification. And as I began to study the history of Reiki, I found out that it had been rediscovered in KYOTO!!!

    "I've been meaning to investigate past life regression therapy for a long time now. I want to open up some of those closed doors in my soul and see what I find."

    Okay, so I have to tell you something. Back in the 80's, when I began investigating things, I had several past life regression sessions with a past life regression certified therapist in Orlando, Florida and it was very profound.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have an awesome weekend!

    X

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  26. Oh my Ron, twenty-seven and a half hours????? Were you able to get some sleep on the plane? I bet you collapsed when you finally got there. I think you're right about it being more like 16-17 hours because I worked with woman who traveled a lot and I believe she said the same thing.

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  27. No, I didn't get any sleep on the plane. I'm one of those people who can't sleep on planes. I did close my eyes now and then, and rested. But, I didn't "sleep." Yes, when we finally got there, I was so tired that I couldn't even hear what the producer of the show was saying to me at the airport when he picked us up. Thank heavens they gave us the next day off, because we were all able to catch up on our sleep and prepare for the start of rehearsals. Oddly enough, I was so excited to be there, once rehearsals started, I was so energized!

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  28. This was a very thought-provoking post, Ron and I agree that reincarnation is not something to be scoffed at. While I have never felt any personal connection with a past live, that doesn't mean I disbelieve those who have had such an experience. To me, it would be fascinating and wonderful to have such an experience, which sadly has not happened (yet). Thank you for sharing your experiences while in Kyoto and perhaps one day in the future, you will be able to return. Also, I agree that the imagery you selected for a perfect accompaniment to this post. I was wondering if perhaps they were some of you own images.

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  29. What a powerful experience! I have no real opinion on things like reincarnation, but don't dismiss things like that out of hand. The only similar thing I can think of is how Ireland felt very much like home to me. Like I was meant to be there and it was familiar to me. Everything in me wanted to move there. I felt so connected that I even said part of my wedding vows in Gaelic. I always thought it had to do with the genetic connection I had to the place.

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  30. Hello there D!

    My thing is this...I may not have the same beliefs as someone else, however, I realize that everyone sees (and feels) their spirituality in different forms and ways. I'm neither Buddhist or Hindu, yet I do believe in reincarnation of the soul. Even as a kid, I felt it. I always had the feeling that I was from another time.

    Traveling to Japan (and Kyoto) was such a highlight in my life. And yet it's odd that initially I had no interest in ever going there, but ended up LOVING it and feeling as though I was one of them.

    "I was wondering if perhaps they were some of you own images."


    No, all the images in this post were from a photo website that I sometimes use called, Unsplash. It's fee to use, but I like to give them a link back whenever I download their photos. I actually have my own photos from Japan that I will be posting in the future on my blog. But they are film photographs, so I have to scan them first. The only thing about scanning I'm not thrilled with is that you often lose the "quality" of the photos.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope your week was fabulous and that you have an AWESOME weekend!

    X

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  31. Hello my Libra friend!

    I LOVE what you shared here....

    "The only similar thing I can think of is how Ireland felt very much like home to me. Like I was meant to be there and it was familiar to me. Everything in me wanted to move there. I felt so connected that I even said part of my wedding vows in Gaelic."

    Yes. And I think I remember you posting about your trip on your blog and really enjoying both the narrative and your photos. And that's exactly how I felt in Japan, so I know you understand.

    "I always thought it had to do with the genetic connection I had to the place."


    I am so glad that you brought up "genetic connection" because I read something about that many years ago in either an article or a book, that said reincarnation and deep cellular memory from a genetic connection are actually one in the same. Therefore, even though I'm Italian, yet have never been to Italy, I feel like you do about Ireland. I have always felt a deep soulful (cellular) connection to that country. As if I had lived there before. And perhaps my traveling to Japan, reignited that cellular memory for me, which is why I felt so re-connected.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your experience. Have a terrific weekend!

    X

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  32. This is almost like I had written this myself. I also think sometimes that this life is just a dream and when we pass away we awake on another planet.

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  33. Hi Rick!

    I LOVE what you shared..." life is just a dream and when we pass away we awake on another planet."

    YES! šŸ‘

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings on this post. Have a grrrreat weekend!

    X

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