James R. Doty, M.D., is a Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University and the director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, of which the Dalai Lama is a founding benefactor. In the first half, he discussed his journey to find comfort after a difficult childhood and how his life was changed at age twelve when he wandered into a magic shop looking for a plastic thumb. While at the shop, he met a woman named Ruth who taught him a series of life-changing mental exercises that allowed him to neutralize his suffering and fears, and manifest his desires and goals.
One of the first things she taught him was that negative emotions were creating stress on his body, and he could use attention and focus to correct this. There is an artificially created dialogue going on in our heads that is typically hyper-critical rather than self-affirming, and many people mistake this as their self, he continued. Later in life, he became extremely successful and wealthy but realized that he was unhappy, and hadn't been observing Ruth's suggestion to keep his heart open. Doty ended up giving away all his money (millions of dollars) to a charitable organization, and learned that compassion and concern for others was key to his personal happiness.
In the latter half, Kim Russo, known as 'The Happy Medium,' the star of Lifetime Movie Network's Psychic Intervention and The Haunting Of... shared how she came to embrace her gift of mediumship, and ultimately accepted her soul's mission as a voice for the spirit world. As a child she began to see curious spirit figures at the foot of her bed, dressed in clothes from a previous era. At first, the spirits were silent, and communication was hindered by her religious upbringing, she remarked. Over the years, through trial and error, she learned how to communicate with spirits and spirit guides, and was able to extensively talk with her husband's spirit guide, initially when she conducted a past life regression with him.
Russo was one of 19 mediums scientifically tested by the Windbridge Institute, who concluded that she was able to tune into a different frequency and bring back accurate information about the deceased that she would have no way of knowing. She cautioned that the Ouija board and recording of EVPs tend to draw in low level entities that might seek to attach themselves to the living. Describing the afterlife, she said that the essence of a person's energy becomes free and travels to its original home in another dimension. When trying to contact a departed loved one, she advised not to request that they take the form of an apparition as this is very difficult for them. Rather, request a sign such as something electronic or a number, as the spirits can more handily manipulate the environment, she noted.