Author, Teacher, Retreat Leader at SilentStay, Napa, California and Assisi, Italy
(Pictures added by AngelicView)
If the near death experiences being shared by many are really to believed, they are actually true life experiences, because what they are describing is our true life in eternity. The vast love and acceptance they are finding upon leaving the confines of body and personality describe a life experience of coming home, coming to the true life which this earthly experience is only a small part of.
Before proceeding, this article is not meant to be a convincer, e.g., whether to believe in NDEs or not. If the stories of people floating above operating tables describing conversations and events happening while their minds are unconscious, people finding relatives in heaven, which they had no previous earthly knowledge of, and the endless examples of people going through a tunnel of light into a realm so different yet so familiar, a realm of love more real then real does not convince people of life after death, maybe there is no convincing. Sorry: Calling all these deeply-felt, life-changing experiences only a chemical reaction in the mind upon nearing death just does not pass the brain or heart test for me.
One of my favorite stories is of a woman in a Seattle hospital who died and on her way through the hospital ceiling while passing into another realm, noticed on the hospital roof an old shoe. Upon her return from heaven and recovering in her room, investigators checked out her story, and sure enough there is an old shoe exactly where she said on the roof! Are we to believe she somehow had been exploring the hospital roof before her accident and near death experience?
The many experiences of finding a realm of non-judgment, intense light, tenderness, colors so bright they dance and sing of innocence and joy are perhaps not near death experiences at all but true life experiences. Maybe these experiences are a new dawn for all of us of our true potential! What people are describing is our true awareness when we are free of the constraints of normal physical and mental life. To find this perfect home after physical death says that somewhere this love must already be a part of us. These seemingly other worldly experiences must be part of our world or they would not be described time and time again as if “coming home.” This heavenly world of acceptance, expansive love must be within all of us. And maybe we do not have to wait to die to get there!
There are many who have escaped the confines of our normal physical and mental world to find something totally other. Lovers who really fall overboard in love often report experiences of great acceptance, communion, knowing the other’s thoughts and feelings. They feel their partner no longer as a separate personality but sharing one large heart. What is all the talk about “soul mates” other than trying to explain something beyond explanation, two beings united so richly, wonderfully as one? What lovers experience can be common for all of us when we are living less from our judgmental mind and more from our receiving heart. There is love’s body, surrender, trust, and most important the presence of love to open to.
People submerged in nature’s beauty often find their normal minds go away. Their awareness is stretched into a vastness, a serenity without limit. In these moments beauty and God and paradise are one. They hesitate to tell others about the overwhelming peace they find, fearing others will not understand or judge them. Many go into the woods or on lakes and ocean for these experiences where everything seems present and nothing is held back. In nature, many find their own heaven where time stops and another time begins.
Parents holding a newborn baby feel a joy that quickly conquers all the challenges of giving birth. Despite not getting any sleep, the joy and incredible bond with this new being continues and deepens. Just to hold the new born and feel the deep peace, God never seems closer then in these moments. Non parents may not understand. Others may think it is the mother’s hormones which the father is somehow also hooked into. But something else is taking place. Love is present and nothing but love. And when the parents are not in a hurry to return to their normal world, this love grows into an incredible sanctuary for many days, weeks, and hopefully months, and years to come. The bonding that takes place is something very similar to God’s bond to each of us described in the NDEs of many. This bond between God and each of us maybe forgotten by us in our busy worlds but by God is never questioned. Every parent knows at least a little of this feeling. No matter who and what our children grow into, there is something inside of us that is solid love, an unbreakable connection of care, awe, and gratitude.
People giving themselves into silence and meditation frequently find their thoughts washed away and a great peace is within them. As they fall into their hearts, they find their normal thoughts and feelings gone. Where are they? They are in a place of no thought and at the same time a place that is their heart of being. Heaven is not a wish or a belief but in these moments their direct experience. With practice, silence, meditation, and their awareness rests inside, open, in a pure presence without end. People who meditate are finding unconditional love in this inner vastness. The fruit of their meditation includes finding compassion,generosity, a deep inner realm to anchor to, learn to resource and renew awareness. Meditation is much more then beating the stress of the day. It is a doorway to a profoundly changed awareness.
The list goes on and on where each of us at one time or another have had a love blinding experience. We all have at one time or another been struck by something much greater and truer then what normal life seems to offer. Like people who have a NDE, we don’t talk about it much. We put away our peak experiences to fit into the normal world. Maybe now it is time to no longer put away our peak experiences. As people with NDEs have come out of the closet and shared with the world, maybe we all need to come out of our closet and open again our life changing experiences of great love, intense love, love without limits or boundaries!
More important maybe it is time to look at the circumstances, what we can do to lessen, if not stop, the busy filter of our minds? Now more then ever it is important to unplug, disconnect and ask how can we open and explore the vast heart? It is time to really embrace our joy to understand what these TLEs (true life experiences) are really about. Every time we give ourselves to joy, something inside us expands and the essential ingredients for more life are present.
Have you had a TLE (true life experience) lately? Maybe it is time to look at our priorities. Are we really living, reaching within ourselves, reaching into the essence of our relationships, embracing the moment or just letting the days and nights pass by? People with NDEs tell of changes they have made. They live more and plan less. They fear less and enjoy more. There is an inner abundance that wants to serve instead of wanting to be served. Each day is for opening as many gifts as possible. What others think about them is much less important then living in the peace and love they find in the heart of life, the heart of being very present in this moment.
All of us on the path of TLEs are taking down the mental walls, clearing the many trails to eternity. There is a very, very bright light within us to see and guide us moment to moment. We are learning a new language, searching for words to describe the richness and humility in the lack of self and the treasure of a greater self. Is it a calling, a yearning, a voice inside of us, asking us to take off our shoes and let our feet get wet. There is so much love. We can take off our shoes and get very wet.
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