Hypnotic Storytelling

Trunk to Tale

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Storytelling is perhaps the most ancient form of hypnosis; imagine a nomadic tribe staring into a flickering fire as a storyteller weaves a tale in their collective mind’s eye, passing on the wisdom of their culture.

Milton Erickson, considered the Father of Modern Hypnosis, was renowned for telling hypnotic stories that carried embedded suggestions for healing and growth.

I’m proud to uphold that tradition of hypnotic storytelling, both in my private sessions and in the classes I teach to incarcerated groups and people in recovery.

I first learned the art of storytelling from my father, who passed down many stories of our ancestors to me. I honed the art as a bard in the Society for Creative Anachronism, where I had not only many fine teachers and exemplars, but also audiences who appreciated stories and realized that storytelling is for everyone, not just children. When I first studied hypnosis, I was surprised to discover that I had accumulated years of experience in group hypnosis by telling stories.

For your enjoyment, I’ve recorded some of my favorite stories, and they are available on CD or as instant downloads. All stories told in this collection are a combination of original invention, traditional tales, or real events; some of them are even true.

Enjoy. –James

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How to Purchase: Click on the image above to order the entire collection in CD form ($15), or click on the image to the right to download the whole album as a mp3s  in a .zip file ($10).





Just want one story? Click on each of the images below to download each of the individual stories instantly.

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“Tales from an Elephant’s Back” is a set of stories nested within one another, all sharing the wisdom, weakness, folly, and strength of elephants and the people who would ride them. This jumbo-sized story runs over twenty-five minutes long.





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“Dreams” begins with the familiar tale of two wolves fighting inside each person, and then it wanders into unknown territories, including an hallucinatory interpretation of Pronoia. ($2.99)





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“Nasruddin and the Travelers” braids together three tales of Mullah Nasruddin, the wise fool of Sufi lore, into a fascinating story that teaches the importance of expectation, the value of dressing for success, and of course, the virtues of being a good tipper.





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“Present to Win” nests myths from India with fables by Aesop to address the value and meaning of mindfulness.





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“The Ox Meditations” tells of two monks who meet a mesmerizing beauty on the road. One of the monks gives into temptation–but which one truly falters? This tale of identity and focus ends in a mind-bending transformation. For maximum effect, you should listen to it after you’ve heard the other stories.




Executive Producer: Richard Nongard

Cover Design:  April Porter

Musical pieces Ishkari Lore, Senbazuru, and Drone in D were provided by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)and licensed under Creative Commons "Attribution 3.0"



Recording, Editing, Sound Design, Additional Cover Design, and Mixing: James Hazlerig

Additional sound design was created using licensed software: Atmosphere Deluxe and SHARM.


Photo Credits:

Hazlerig Head Shot: Gene Chavez

Wolf and Persian Bath: Images courtesy of James Barker / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lovely woman: Image courtesy of Michal Marcol  / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Elephant Statue: James Hazlerig


Recordings © James Hazlerig (2014) All Rights Reserved.