On a beautiful summer afternoon in New York in July 2010, my wife, Carole, and I were driving up the tree-lined Taconic Parkway toward the Omega Institute, a rustic retreat center where we teach an intensive course on past-life regressions. We love teaching this course. Incredible events happen every day, again and again. Participants not only remember past lives but have amazing spiritual or healing experiences, find soul mates, receive messages from departed loved ones, access profound wisdom and knowledge, or encounter some other mystical and marvelous event. Carole and I have witnessed such life-transforming occurrences over the years in these workshops and trainings, and we feel blessed to be able to facilitate and observe them. Often we do not know that a particularly powerful experience has just transpired in the workshop. The person may need time to process it, and we will only hear of it in a later e-mail or letter.

At that moment on the sun-dappled highway, Carole’s BlackBerry buzzed with an e-mail describing another one of these wonderful workshop healings. The timing was perfect, for we were about to reenter the very place where we had observed so many similar happenings. We never knew exactly which amazing events and changes would transpire—only that they would. Carole turned to me and observed in her wise, understated way: “Sometimes miracles happen.”

The miracles may be large ones that affect the entire group. They may be small and silent. No matter their scope, the transformation is permanent.

Relationships are repaired. Souls are nourished. Lives acquire newer and deeper meaning. Miracles happen.

A miracle happened for me on the day that a patient named Catherine walked into my office and introduced me to an entire spiritual universe that I had never believed to exist. My earlier books contain a very detailed account of her experiences, and they describe how her life was permanently altered for the better as a result of them. My own life was affected at least as much. Before uncovering her amazing past-life memories, I had been a left-brained, obsessive-compulsive academic. I had graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with a degree in chemistry from Columbia University. I earned my medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine, where I was the chief resident in psychiatry. Completely skeptical of “unscientific” fields such as parapsychology and reincarnation, I was the chairman of a prestigious psychiatry department at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami, and I had authored more than forty scientific articles and book chapters in the fields of psychopharmacology, brain chemistry, and Alzheimer’s disease. Catherine turned my skepticism—and my life—upside down.

Although it has been over thirty years since that day, I still remember the very first time that she crossed the invisible boundary of her current life and entered the realm of other lifetimes. She was in a deeply relaxed state, her eyelids lightly shut but her concentration intense.

“There are big waves knocking down trees,” she whispered in a hoarse voice as she described an ancient scene. “There’s no place to run. It’s cold; the water is cold. I have to save my baby, but I cannot . . . just have to hold her tight. I drown; the water chokes me. I can’t breathe, can’t swallow . . . salty water. My baby is torn out of my arms.” Her body had tensed; her breathing accelerated.

Suddenly, her body and her breathing relaxed completely. “I see a cloud . . . my baby is with me. And others from my village. I see my brother.”

My skepticism needed more time to erode, but the process had begun. Catherine’s severe symptoms began to disappear as she remembered more scenes from this and other prior lifetimes. I knew that imagination could not dissolve such chronic symptoms; only actual memories could. Catherine would go on to remember many historical facts and details from her past lives, which we were sometimes able to confirm. She was also able to relate private truths from my own life, truths that she had no obvious way of knowing or discovering. She would tell me these personal facts while she floated in that beautifully relaxed state in between physical lifetimes.

Those powerful evidential encounters with Catherine began to open my mind and to erase my doubts. I found other reputable clinicians conducting regressions and research, and I became further convinced. Ever since Many Lives, Many Masters, my first book, was published in 1988, I have treated over four thousand individual patients using past-life regression therapy and many, many more in large groups during my experiential workshops. Each case validates and confirms, teaches and expands. Each case reveals more of life’s mystery. In that time, I have met with past-life pioneers and luminaries from all over the world. Where there was once disbelief, there is now carefully collected knowledge and wisdom. The stories in my new book Miracles Happen will propel you on the very same path and lead you from doubt to discovery. Just open your own mind and let this miraculous journey begin.

Whenever my patients and workshop participants successfully remember one of their past lives, a direct avenue to divine wisdom and to physical or emotional wellness is established. The awareness that we have had multiple lifetimes, separated by spiritual interludes on the other side, helps to dissolve the fear of death and to bring more peace and joy into the present moment. Sometimes, just the remembrance of past-life traumas leads to incredible insights and healings. This is the rapid route.

Those who have not had a past-life memory can attain understanding and an enhanced perspective by witnessing or reading about the experiences of others. An empathic identification can be a powerful transformative stimulus. This is an alternative route, where the direction of progress is more important than the speed. We will all eventually reach a state of enlightened awareness.

Reincarnation, the concept that we have all lived past lives, is the door through which I entered a greater level of understanding. Catherine opened the door for me, and I have subsequently held it open for many more. But there are many doors. People have accessed the higher realms through near-death experiences, through mystical encounters, or through meditation. Others have had a sudden insight or “aha” moment. All doors lead to the same place: a transcendent recognition that our true nature is spiritual, not physical. There often is a simultaneous awareness that we are all interconnected and that we are somehow manifestations of one energy.

The author Paolo Coelho writes: “Life is the train, not the station.” On our soul’s journey home to a state of infinite love and wisdom, a journey filled with mystery and miracles, we rest, recuperate, and reflect at the stations, in between lifetimes, until it is time to board again: another train, another body. There is only one home and eventually we will all return there. It is a place of bliss.

Brian L. Weiss, M.D., is a psychiatrist who lives and practices in Miami, Florida. He’s a graduate of Columbia University and Yale Medical School, and is the former Chairman of Psychiatry at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami.