At the age of 18 I was an Athiest. I entered rehab that year and had an experience during a deep meditation session we had. My closed mind went into this expecting absolutely nothing to happen. I ended up having a vision of me swimming with a whale. This blew my mind. I don't know why, but I immediately felt like I needed to seek the guidance of the Native American counselor there. He gave me the Native American book The Red Road to Sobriety and did my animal totem cards for me. The only two I remember for certain are my main totem which was raven, and spider which happens to be my biggest phobia. Well when I saw that raven was my main one I was like wow that is lame because I had no knowledge of how much of a gift this is to have. It just seemed like silly nonsense to me. However, this experience started my spiritual journey because I left believing in God. Fast forward about a year and I was in a rough spot in my life. For the first time I truly surrendered myself to God and begged for help. I entered rehab again and this is when I started to understand the universe and life better. I was being given signs that were more than just coincidence. Someone told me once you start to walk to Red Road you will start to see signs. Throughout my whole journey I have been learning stuff through thought, meditation, signs, and ideas of what is the truth. The past four months have been significant for my spiritual growth. Raven entered my life. To be honest I now know I was irresponsible in what I was doing, but it has changed me for the better. I started taking DXM to get high since I found pills and have never been able to drink the cough syrup. I decided to try meditating while on it one time and was amazed by the experience. I started meditating on it on a regular basis. One time I decided I wanted to enter the dream world and I asked to take me there. I learned be careful what you ask for because you just might get it... after a while I began seeing the world and understanding things from a different point of view. It was easy for me to see things from others points of view. I was looking at myself from a different point of view and realized how I was not doing anything with my life. I started to see all the pain and suffering the world is going through, and it really hurt me. One experience I had was that I was at my friends house and I felt like everyone was singling me out for something I said. As it turns out my memory of the night isn't what really happened... well the next time I went over a new friend of mine with the same name was being singled out. He was talking about some stuff that I don't blame anyone for not wanting to listen to him, but I remember how I felt. I sat there and listened to him. The next day his kid was being born and he asked me to go to the hospital with him even though I barely met him. He said it would make him more comfortable. Just recently a friend of mine said there is nothing scarier than not knowing what is real. Well, as it turns out he pretty much lost his mind like I did for a period of time at about the same time as me. I told him I know how it feels to not know what is real and what is just a dream. We went on to have a long discussion. He told me how happy he was that he could talk to someone who understands. One day I thought I had the truth figured out, but that was only for a very short period of time. I entered the rabbit hole as soon as I thought I got things... everything made sense, but yet nothing did. I ended up becoming delusional for a period of time and it was the scariest time of my life. Not killing myself because of the unbearable pain I was going through was hard. I even checked myself into the mental hospital. One of the main reasons I'm posting this is because before today I knew next to little about shamanism and I had never heard of aninism. After reading through the posts I found out I could relate to and understand most things, but I have questions about rebirth. While meditating one time I went on a journey and met with who I think one of my spirit guides is Buddha who I have seen on multiple trips. I can't explain exactly how I felt or knew it, but I had this strong sense that I had been reborn. Can someone explain in better detail what happens and how you are reborn? I feel like God or raven felt it was finally my time to learn. Now I look back and I can see the signs that have showed up in my life as far as my memory goes. The first memory I have is of a dream where I entered a building with a bunch of crows or ravens on top of the building. The second memory I have is of a dream where two giant bird-like creatures landed in my backyard with people on them. This was when I was 3. Lately, I haven't been meditating. I accepted the magic of raven and appreciated it for a while, but lately I have been having doubts. This isn't the first time. Whenever I have no doubts my life goes well, but when I doubt it seems like things aren't right. I'm thankful for what I have learned. The only thing that I am ever thinking about now is God and spirituality. I have been taking action to make change in my life. I haven't had cravings to use drugs or alcohol. I haven't had an urge to have sexual relations. I have always liked to keep to myself, but lately I have been completely isolating myself for long periods. Once I started having doubts I fell into deep depression, lost all energy, have been sick, felt overwhelmed with negative energy that I think I picked up from my best friend who has been asking me to help her through her meth addiction which I warned would happen to her, but she didn't listen. Now that I'm staying home and doing as much learning as I can about all this I'm starting to feel better. Can someone give me another point of view or better explain what I have been going through lately?