"He has changed people's lives, banished the fear of death, and
brought grieving parents the solace of their dead children's presence
... It is impossible not to be moved."
"Van Praagh could have used this text to prove that his gifts as a medium
are authentic - the story about the deceased teenager who led his parents
to his murderer is impressive (the result was a murder conviction) -
but instead, Van Praagh offers spiritual and psychological comfort to
those grappling with the loss of a loved one.
He also helps readers develop their own means of talking to heaven.
Even those who aren't aching for contact with the deceased will find
Van Praagh's down-to-earth discussions of karma, the afterlife, and
spiritual guides fascinating."
"This is a wonderful and uplifting book, and I highly recommend it.
If you have ever ... grieved the loss of a loved one, James Van Praagh's
spiritual stories and lessons will heal your heart. He is without a
doubt one of the most gifted mediums on the planet at this time. This
inspiring book is a must read."
- Brian L. Weiss, author of Many Lives, Many Masters
"... the groundbreaking book ... that changed people's lives, that
gave them hope, that answered their most profound questions about life
... A nationally recognized medium offers a compelling and inspirational
message ... providing readers with the means for recognizing and dealing
with the harrowing pain of grief in a healthy manner."
His very natural, easy-going style would lead you to believe that James
Van Praagh is chatting with a friend on the telephone, not communicating
messages from the grave. Van Praagh is a survival evidence medium, meaning
that he is able to bridge the gap between two planes of existence, that
of the living and that of the dead, by providing evidential proof of
life after death via detailed messages.
"I'm clairsentient," he explains, "which simply means clear feeling.
I feel the emotions and personalities of the deceased. I am also clairvoyant,"
he adds, clarifying that, "the first is feeling, the second is seeing,
very much like Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost."
The true essence of the messages are the feelings behind the words.
Van Praagh is an expert on this subject, since he has been in touch
with those feelings most of his adult life. "The spirits communicate
by their emotions. No words exist in the English language, or any other
for that matter, which can describe the intense sensations."
Personality traits come in as well. If a person was talkative while
alive, he will come through with plenty to say. Van Praagh also relays
physical traits and death conditions as evidence. "If I convey recognizable
evidence along with even a fraction of the loving energy behind the
message, I consider the reading successful."
Van Praagh's message of hope has touched a great many more people due
to his television appearances on such shows as Oprah, Larry King Live,
Maury Povich, 20/20, and 48 Hours. His popularity began during his appearances
on the NBC talk show The Other Side. The show concentrated on paranormal
issues, and Van Praagh became the favorite guest and resident expert
on the subject of life after death.
Even Howard Rosenberg, the Los Angeles Times distinguished television
critic, dubbed Van Praagh "spectacular".
about james van praagh
Van Praagh was born in Bayside, New York, and is the youngest of four
children. An average child, he remembers having a tremendous fascination
with death. He was raised Catholic and served as an altar boy, entering
the seminary at the age of fourteen. It was there that his interest
in Catholicism ended and his sense of spirituality began. There are
no schools or training that could prepare Van Praagh for his unusual
vocation. Indeed, his ability to communicate with the dead arose out
of his ... well ... life.
This belief was affirmed by an astonishing encounter that he had when
he was only eight years old. The young boy was praying for God to reveal
Himself to him, when an open hand appeared through the ceiling of Van
Praagh's room emitting radiant beams of light. Incredibly, he recounts,
"I wasn't scared. It was actually very peaceful."
Graduating from public high school, he continued to pursue his studies
and later graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree
in Broadcasting and Communications. You could say that he ended up working
in Communications, just in a different capacity. After graduation, he
moved to Los Angeles where he became involved in metaphysics and psychic
phenomena. At 24, the promise of that outstretched palm so many years
before was fulfilled.
realizing the gift
During his early days in Los Angeles, Van Praagh was invited to attend
a session with a medium, although he didn't even know at that time what
a medium was. Given that, he was understandably dubious when the medium
informed Van Praagh that he would be doing the same work within two
years. "My first reaction was, I have enough trouble dealing with the
living; why do I want to talk to the dead?"
As Van Praagh's sensitivity increased, he began doing psychic readings
for friends. During these readings, he began receiving detailed messages
from the beyond. Though at first this seemed bizarre, the more he learned,
the more he could not deny the fact that he had the gift to reach beyond
the familiar plane of existence we call life.
Today, Van Praagh is recognized as one of the foremost mediums in the
Naturally, there remain skeptics about what his abilities. Van Praagh,
however, is the first to say that he welcomes healthy skepticism, declaring,
in fact, that he is a skeptic himself. "I believe that I am doing this,
but I don't believe that just anyone can do this. All mediums are psychics,
but not all psychics are mediums."
A psychic senses energy around the living people or objects. A medium
not only senses energy, but is able to interface between the slower
vibrations of the physical world and the much faster ones of the spirit
world. Though Van Praagh is quick to point out that his gift does not
provide insights into the future, he is able to provide detailed evidential
proof that a loved one survived death. Surviving death may seem to be
the supreme oxymoron, but he has a firm belief that we are all spirit
beings, and that there is far more to our life than our life span.
Ultimately, Van Praagh feels extremely fortunate to be a conduit of
comfort, healing, and most importantly, love. "As a medium, I have never
experienced anything but love and compassion and healing in my work,"
he avows. "It is the love bond between people which allows me to make
the connection between the living and the dead."
sharing the understanding
To assist others in spiritual awareness and fulfillment, Van Praagh
has produced two meditation tapes - Tuning
Into: Intuition / Abundance and Tuning
Into: Healing / Forgiveness. In his instructional video Devleop
Your Psychic Self, Van Praagh shares his personal techniques to
develop your own innate abilities. His unique paranormal experiences
during the past fifteen years have been recorded in his best-selling
books Talking To Heaven, Reaching To Heaven, and Healing Grief,
all published by Dutton Books.
A television mini-series is being produced based on his first book Talking
To Heaven. This CBS special will star actor Ted Danson and is scheduled
to air in February 2002. In the Entertainment Tonight interview
on May 23, 2001, Van Praagh shared his thoughts about the mini-series,
"I think that people are ready for it, and I think there's a major audience
out there ... My belief is that CBS will see how powerful this is ...
and I think that [the mini-series] will really open the door to many
more productions about spirituality."
Van Praagh is also in production for a new television talk show, Beyond
With James Van Praagh. "The books and television shows are another
way to share my gift and the message that our personalities do indeed
survive death. My greatest satisfaction in doing this work is witnessing
an instantaneous change in people," shares Van Praagh about his work.
"When someone is alone and overwhelmed by grief, life seems over. But,
when someone is able to make contact with a loved one by utilizing the
information in my books, grief and loneliness disappear and proper closure
can take place."