“On Death And Dying” by Daniel Redwood

Posted on December 18, 2018

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D. is one of a kind. She has been widely recognized as one of the foremost authorities in the field of death, dying and transition for over 20 years.

It might well be said that she invented this field as an area of legitimate discourse in the medical community. Her now-classic first book, On Death and Dying, is today considered the master text on the subject, and is required reading in most major medical and nursing schools and graduate schools of psychiatry and theology.

Her influence has reached far beyond these professional settings. Her lectures, workshops, media appearances and books have reached millions of people around the world, opening lines of communication on these issues which so profoundly affect us all.

Dr. Kubler-Ross received her medical degree from the University of Zurich in 1957. She began her pioneering work with the terminally ill at the University of Colorado Medical Center in Denver, and is currently Clinical Professor of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. In 1979 the Ladies’ Home Journal honored her with a Woman of the Decade Award, after having named her Woman of the Year in Science and Research in 1977. She has also been the recipient of other honors and awards too numerous to mention.

Even a partial list of her superb books is lengthy: Questions and Answers on Death and Dying; To Live Until We Say Goodbye; Living With Death and Dying; Working It Through; Death, The Final Stage of Growth; On Children and Death; and AIDS:The Ultimate Challenge.

In this interview with Dr. Daniel Redwood, Dr. Kubler-Ross describes her strikingly powerful experience as a young woman visiting a concentration camp just after the liberation in 1945, an experience which was to shape the future course of her life. In this context, she addresses the highly controversial idea, first raised to her by a young Jewish camp survivor, that there is an aspect of Hitler in all of us. Recognizing the unspeakable horror of the Holocaust, she raises troubling questions on the nature of human evil and the roots from which it springs. She also shares her thoughts on the fear, denial and uncertainty which characterize much of modern Western humanity’s approach to death.

Due to illness, Dr. Kubler-Ross’ no longer teaches, lectures, or leads workshops.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Interview

DR: What has led you to devote so much of your time, skill and attention to issues of death and dying?

ELISABETH KUBLER-ROSS: It started in Maidanek, in a concentration camp, where I tried to see how children had gone into the gas chambers after having lost their families, their homes, their schools and everything. The walls in the camp were filled with pictures of butterflies, drawn by these children.

It was incomprehensible to me. Thousands of children going into the gas chamber, and this is the message they leave behind–a butterfly. That was really the beginning.

In this concentration camp there was a Jewish girl, and she watched me. I hope you understand, I was a very young kid naturally, who hadn’t gone through any windstorms in life. When you grow up in Switzerland, there is no race problem, no poverty, no unemployment, no slums, no nothing. And I went right into the nightmare of postwar Europe.

So I asked her, how can men and women, like you and I, kill hundreds and thousands of innocent children, and the same day they do that, day after day, they worry about their own child at home who has chicken pox. It just didn’t compute in my brain, you know, being very innocent and ignorant.

This young woman had lost all her brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents in a gas chamber. She was the last one they tried to squash in, and there wasn’t room for one more person, so they pulled her out. What she didn’t understand was that she had already been crossed off the list of the living. They never got back to her. She spent the rest of the war years in this concentration camp swearing that she would stay alive to tell the world about all the atrocities that she witnessed.

When the people came to liberate the camp, she said to herself, “Oh my God, if I spend the rest of my life telling about all these horrible things, I would not be any better than Hitler himself. I would plant seeds of hate and negativity.” She made at that moment a promise to whoever she talked to, God presumably, that she would stay in the concentration camp until she could learn to forgive even a Hitler. When she had learned that lesson, then she would be worthy of leaving. Do you understand that?

The last thing she said to me was, “If you would only know that there is a Hitler in every human being!” If we can acknowledge that Hitler and get rid of it, she said, we could then become like, what we now would say is, Mother Theresa.

And I thought, “She is crazy, I don’t have a Hitler in me.” A few days later, I hitchhiked back to Switzerland, because I was very sick. I was near death. I never made it. They found me unconscious in a forest in Germany, with typhoid. But before I ended up in a hospital (I was picked up half dead in a forest, unconscious), I had been so hungry. I had no food in my stomach for three days and three nights. I suddenly realized in the midst of this hike, that if a small child would walk by me with a piece of bread in its hands, I would steal that piece of bread from that child’s hand.

This was like an illumination in my head. I said, “Now I know what she means, that there is a Hitler in all of us.” Depending on the circumstances, you can do horrible things, which you would never even consider when you have a full belly.

That was the beginning of my journey. When I went back to Switzerland, I said I’m going to study medicine, and I’m going to understand why people, from beautiful, innocent, gorgeous children, turn into Nazi monsters.

What we are doing now in our workshops is to get in touch with your Nazi monster in you, symbolically speaking, and get rid of it so that you can indeed become a Mother Theresa.

But that was the beginning, and I am eternally grateful for that experience.

DR: Is there any good reason to be afraid of dying?

ELISABETH KUBLER-ROSS: No, if you have enough people who love you, who will see to it that your needs are met, so that if you request to die at home you will be allowed to die at home. If you don’t want to die in a hospital, you should at least be able to go to a hospice.

For that, you need a support system around you, people who really know you, because people don’t volunteer that. You have to speak up as a patient. If you can’t speak anymore, like I couldn’t speak after my stroke, you need somebody who speaks up for you. I hope that when I die, if I can’t speak anymore, that they at least let me go to my farm and die at home, where I can have a cup of coffee and a cigarette. Which is a bad habit, but I know it’s a bad habit.

DR: Do you think there’s such a thing as a “sacred inconsistency,” such as your smoking cigarettes, which is justified even though destructive?”

ELISABETH KUBLER-ROSS: If we would only live “healthy,” we would probably all have to be on a macrobiotic diet, and not enjoy coffee, not enjoy meat, not enjoy Swiss chocolates, not smoke, not even breathe the air we breathe in. I mean, the planet Earth has been so polluted with so many things, there is not a place on planet Earth where you could live a totally healthy life.

We should all try to live as healthy as possible. I mean, I grow vegetables for over 100 people, and it’s a totally organic garden, and it’s healthy. We live off the farm, and it’s totally self-sustaining and self-supporting. But I have my weaknesses. I drink caffeine-free coffee, not that it matters terribly, but at least I make an attempt to live healthier. And as I get older, I can’t drink alcohol anymore. I used to like a glass of wine, and I can’t do it anymore.

I think that as you evolve spiritually, automatically your body tells you what is acceptable for your body and what is not. I could not now smoke the way I used to smoke when I went to medical school and worked nights. That’s where I started smoking, to keep awake. I can’t drink 15 cups of coffee,which I still did 20 years ago. Now I have caffeine-free coffee.

I survive. Eventually, when my body tells me it’s time to quit smoking, I will quit smoking. But if somebody tells me you can’t smoke, you can’t do this, you can’t do that, the aggravation of this constant nagging is, I think, more damaging to my health than if I listen to my own body and live accordingly.

I have beef on my farm. Maybe once a year I have beef. Not that I don’t like it anymore, I just don’t have the desire for it anymore. I think everybody who is on a path of spiritual evolution, which all human beings are at different levels . . . you will know yourself what you have to give up. It will be one giving up after another. But it is replaced with things that are much more precious and much more valuable than what you give up. But we don’t tell that to people, because then they do it for the wrong motivation.

DR: Do you find that there are great differences between cultures regarding attitudes toward death? Which ones do you feel have the most healthy approaches?

ELISABETH KUBLER-ROSS: Yes, like Mexicans. They go and visit the graves. They bring food, they talk to them, they have a feast. There are lots of cultures who have much less of a hangup. The old, old, old cultures are also much more natural. In the more sophisticated, more materialistic Western world, even to die costs a fortune.

They put shoes on the dead that are comfortable to wear, and silk pillows, and put rouge on the cheeks, so they look like they’re only asleep. It’s so phony and so dishonest. But that’s more of a modern day deterioration. In the old days, the farmers died here just like in Switzerland. They had what you call a wake. It was in the house, in the best living room. People came. I remember my neighbor. I was able to say goodbye to him, I was allowed to touch him. I touched for the first time in my life a dead body. My father talked to him, like he could hear him, and I was very impressed by that.

Nothing was covered up with rouge and lipstick and makeup and all that baloney. Things have really deteriorated in the last hundred years, and more in the big cities than in the country. There are still places in the country here where it’s much more natural. But that changes very rapidly now anyway.

DR: Does the belief in reincarnation, or the lack of such belief, strongly influence people’s feelings about death?

ELISABETH KUBLER-ROSS: It comes up very, very rarely with my patients. Very rarely. Those that believe in reincarnation, sometimes they’re annoyed that they have to come back, you know, that they haven’t done what the could have done and should have done. My patients, you understand, are usually more indigent and not terribly educated. Many of my patients don’t know anything about reincarnation.

It makes not much of a difference. What makes a difference is if your spiritual quadrant is open. If you have a faith, any faith, any, that is solid and internalized, you have much less of a problem than if you are a wishy-washy Protestant or a wishy-washy Catholic or a wishy-washy Jew.

Of the religious groups, there are some that have a much harder time than others. The Jewish people have a terrible issue about death. I tried to find out why they have such a problem. I asked lots of rabbis. It’s one of the few religions I know of, where if you ask twenty rabbis, you get twenty different answers. One says you continue to live through your son and your son’s son. And what happens if you have no son, if you only have daughters? Do you understand?

Let me ask another rabbi. “You will survive in their memory.” Well, after a hundred years, nobody remembers you. If you have not concretized your concept, then you have a heck of a time.

DR: How can an atheist or agnostic most constructively deal with the inevitability of death? Is there an existentialist sense of angst that enters , and…

ELISABETH KUBLER-ROSS: (interrupting) You have no problem!! When I started this work, I wouldn’t know what that was. I was raised Protestant. In my heart I was Catholic, and I was made into a Jew. For 22 years I was a little bit of everything. Then I worked with dying patients, and I began to realize that we’re all the same. We’re all the same human beings. We all are born the same way.We all die the same way, basically. The experience of death and after death is all the same.

It only depends how you have lived. If you have lived fully, then you have no regrets, because you have done the best you can do. If you made lots of goofs– much better to have made lots of goofs than not to have lived at all. The saddest people I see die are people who had parents who said “Oh, I would be so proud if I can say ‘my son the doctor.’” They think they can buy love by doing what mom tells them to do and what dad tells them to do. They never listen to their own dreams. And they look back and say, “I made a good living but I never lived.” That, to me, is the saddest way to live.

That’s why I tell people, and I really mean it literally, if you’re not doing something that really turns you on, do something that does turn you on, and you will be provided for to survive. Those people die with a sense of achievement, of priding themselves that they had the guts to do it.

DR: Is there ever any justification for not being honest with someone who is dying, about the fact that they are dying?

ELISABETH KUBLER-ROSS: You have to be honest, but you don’t have to be totally honest. You have to answer their questions, but don’t volunteer information for which they have not asked, because that means they’re not ready for it yet. If somebody thinks you’re a good guy if you tell them the whole truth, that there’s nothing else we can do, this is baloney.

Without miracles, there are many, many ways of helping somebody, without a cure. So you have to be very careful how you word it. And you never, ever, ever take hope away from a dying patient. Without hope nobody can live. You are not God. You don’t know what else is in store for them, what else can help them, or how meaningful, maybe, the last six months of a person’s life are. Totally changed around.

So you don’t just go and drown them in “truth.” My golden rule has been to answer all the questions as honestly as I can. If they ask me statistically what are their chances…I had a wonderful teacher, who once said that of his patients 50 percent live one year, another 35 percent live two years, and another so-and-so many per cent live two and a half years, and so on. If you were very smart and added all the percentages up, there was always one per cent left. And the real shrewd ones said, “Hey, you forgot, what about that last one per cent?” And he always said, “the last per cent is for hope.” I like that. He never gave it to them with 100%. He was fantastic.

DR: Could you tell us about your work with the AIDS babies?

ELISABETH KUBLER-ROSS: What bothers me most is that we have been able to get only a few out of hospitals. It’s horrible to get them out. They do not want to discharge them to private families. We have 154 families who are waiting to adopt an AIDS baby, or to become a foster mom to an AIDS baby.

DR: Why?

ELISABETH KUBLER-ROSS: It’s monetary gain. The institutions get $1000 a day per baby. They get research grants, and they do research on them. They are the pin-cushion babies. They do research and nobody stops them. Nobody says, “one bone marrow per week is too much.” That has to stop. They need to be held and cuddled and loved, and see butterflies and grass, and be able to go outside and live as normal a life as humanly possible in the short time they have.

If you do that, they just blossom like a flower.

DR: With the children you have seen who have gone from being HIV-positive [carrying the AIDS virus] to being HIV-negative, what particulars were there in those cases that you feel made the difference?

ELISABETH KUBLER-ROSS: The only brief way I can tell you is that they were totally marinated in love. Totally. You understand that from a scientific point of view, those are children who had the antibodies of their mothers, and if there is bonding, and if there is love and cuddling and all the things children need to survive, then they begin to develop their own antibodies. And about 10% of all our babies will become negative, if they get the bonding, if they get the one-to-one. It’s not such a big miracle from a medical point of view.

But people have to know that not every HIV-positive child is born with AIDS, and has to die with AIDS. That is not true. They can get well.

DR: That message certainly has not gotten across yet.

ELISABETH KUBLER-ROSS: No, it hasn’t.

DR: Please tell us about the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Center in Virginia. What is your main work there?

ELISABETH KUBLER-ROSS: We are building a place which was supposed to be for giving the workshops, on my own land so I don’t have to travel so much anymore. The [surrounding] community is petrified of me. I am called the AIDS Lady, and they say I am of Satan. They are all reborn Christians. They got up [at a community meeting] and said, “if you call for an ambulance, we will not respond.” They said, “I am a reborn Christian, but if you ever send one of these kids to school, the school will be closed.” So they give me a very hard time.

They arranged to only give us permission to house forty people, which makes it impossible for me to do my workshops as planned on my one million dollar project, on that land. So we thought, if that has to be, that will be. We’ll still be able to serve and help people. So what we’ll probably do is use it as a training center. We train a lot of people worldwide. And we will give some workshops there too. So it will serve its purpose, but exactly what it is going to be after they have finished the harassment, I don’t know.

They have shot bullets through my bedroom window, because they are convinced that I am hiding some AIDS babies. But that’s, you know, the stuff you have to live with.

DR: Is the community there divided about this? Is everyone there feeling so negatively?

ELISABETH KUBLER-ROSS: I have old neighbors and sick people in the neighborhood that I visit, and they are the best neighbors any human being could have. They’re a handful. The others are quiet, because they are all inter-related. If one would dare to say something nice, they would probably be shot during hunting season. So they’re very guarded. It’s all intermarriage and all fanatic, and they’re all hunters. I’m sure it’s an aggressive minority, but they’re very aggressive, and the others are so intimidated.

But if I see them alone, I know there are lots of good people there. I live in the forest alone. I am not afraid of the bears nor of the hunters. I feel very protected.

Eventually, if AIDS eventually goes into the community, maybe there will be a change. But anybody who has AIDS in my community, they would be lynched if it were known. So they probably will disappear, for years to come, until there is somebody who can’t get away, and that may be a child. And then maybe things will change. It will change in time, if I live long enough. And if I don’t, at least I planted some seeds.

DR: What goals do you have for the remainder of your life?

ELISABETH KUBLER-ROSS: To continue as long as I can.

Daniel Redwood is a chiropractor and writer who lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is the author of A Time to Heal: How to Reap the Benefits of Holistic Health, and is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. He can be reached by e-mail at Redwoods@infi.net. A collection of his writing is available on the World Wide Web at http://www.doubleclickd.com, and also on the New Age Forum of the Microsoft Network.

Source: AWAKEN

What Happens at Time of DEATH – Eckhart Tolle

What Happens at Time of Death by Eckhart Tolle.
Eckhart speaks about the experience we face at the time of death. Eckhart describes various types of experiences which is faced by human beings. The type of experience totally depends on the type of consciousness of a particular person throughout his or her lifetime.

A person who is identified with the form or the body will face totally different experience at the time of death as compared to the person who is not identified with the form or the body. These different types of consciousness will result in different types of experience at the time of death from person to person.

Some experience might look extremely positive while may be very negative. But having taken that into account, every experience that is faced by a person, positive or negative, has it’s own significance in the person’s life.

Eckhart describes us how the REAL cannot be Threatened, though the death takes away the body of the human being. But there is something which can never be Destroyed & that is the ESSENCE…!

Death and the Idea of Material Body

A conversation exploring death.

Gone, but here BY DONNA QUESADA


Donna Quesada, author of The Buddha in the Classroom, reflects on birth, death, losses, and gains.

After our 13 year-old poodle passed away last year, we couldn’t yet bring ourselves to give away his toys. After losing a loved one—whether human or pet—there’s a part of the mind that tricks itself into believing that the deceased one still cares about the material items left behind. Rather than do anything at the time, my husband tucked them away in a plastic storage bin.

The other day when I was putting sheets away, a hedgehog with a gnawed nose caught my eye. Soon I was finding all sorts of treasures—like the old tractor my son used to play with as a child and the tattered old baby blanket he dragged around until he started kindergarten.

There is a tendency to confer a different significance to these two different kinds of discoveries. The first event recalls a beloved pet that has passed away, and in its sense of finality, tends to evoke sadness. The second involves the belongings of a boy who has simply become a man and, as it isn’t shrouded with that same quality of finality, stirs up an agreeable sort of nostalgia.

While each of us will respond in our own personal ways to the challenging events of our lives, much has to do with our interpretations of them. My point is merely to suggest that with greater contemplation, the difference between events, such as the ones I’ve shared, is less distinct than imagined.

When I said goodbye to Simba on that day last year, it was not the same little doggy that once chewed those stuffed animals. And the man that came up to visit last weekend is not the same person that dragged that old blanket around until we’d hid it, 15 years ago. Neither are here, yet, in uncountable ways, both are infinitely here.

Birth and death, birth and death! When my Zen teacher repeats these words, it is because they reveal a great truth about existence. Neither is what we believe it to be. And despite the concrete definitions we accept by convention, neither is definable and neither refers, objectively, to any specific event. Those two words reveal the reality of life’s continuum.

We celebrate the occasion of a baby’s birth as a singular event and we mourn the death of a loved one as a final farewell to life. But both birth and death are present, unceasingly, at every moment of every life. We might only notice when we look back and note all the change that has taken place over time, or when something shakes us to such a degree that we’re thrown into shock — when we’re sure nothing will ever be the same again. But it’s at any moment that nothing will ever be the same again.

I recently saw a documentary about the American spiritual teacher, Ram Dass. In one scene, a young woman shares a dream in which she asks her recently deceased fiancé if she will ever find someone else to love. “This was small peanuts,” he replies, “and when you find that love, I’m part of it.” At this, Ram Dass breaks down at the power of the message and through tears, whispers “Yum, yum, yum, yum.”

As I write, a little terrier with bushy eyebrows nudges my Mac so that he can squeeze himself under it and rest in my lap. And when I’m not home, he sleeps in Simba’s old bed—a symbol of the sense in which Simba passed life on to this little dog we call Marcel. When my husband and I brought him home from the pound, there was never any thought of “replacement.” It would have been superficial to think that way. We will love many times during the course of our lives, our friends, our children, our pets and our lovers—we love them as they change and we love them in different ways at different times. Like the waves in the ocean, each life is beautiful and unique in its own way and like the waves, each will one day dissolve into the sea of life from which it came and from which it was never really separate. One wave rises up and falls and is succeeded by the next. It is a never-ending continuation.

When a loved one passes away, we need to fill something in, where it says, “time of death.” But death happens in stages. I remember the day I got the call about my grandmother. Her heart had finally stopped. But in a very real sense, she had already been lost to us for many years. The mental and physical decline happened in imperceptible steps, but it was too subtle and we are both too distracted and too reluctant to notice.

I refold some of the sheets in the storage shed and reflect on this process. When did that sweet doggy stop chewing these toys? And my beloved grandmother—could I name the day when she first stopped recognizing me?

We draw a thick black line between birth and death, as we draw lines through all of reality. But, like lines drawn in sand, they’re arbitrary, sketchy lines. Now here, now there, and the waves of time wash them away. After a lifetime of seeing the world in segments, the divisions seem just as real as the sun shining in our eyes: mind and body, right and wrong, east and west, humanity and nature.

But life and death, in reality, form a continuum, like a round of voices in mellifluous harmony, where one voice disappears into another, and the break is indiscernible. When did you become an adult? On the day of some random demarcation called a birthday? Or, similarly, when did you become a painter, or a doctor—at some point during those long hours in Urgent Care as an exhausted intern? After passing the most monstrous exams? After drawing blood for the first time? After saving a life for the first time? How do you know when you’ve saved a life? Maybe we’ve all saved a life.

Where do we ever draw the line?

Source: Lions Roar

What Happens to Awareness after Death?

A discussion exploring Awareness after death and the notion of reincarnation.

The Best Way To Walk Out Of Your Body – Sadhguru

New World Now – Words at the Threshold with Lisa Smartt


Published on Apr 24, 2017

Throughout the past five years, in the first study of its kind, linguist Lisa Smartt has collected accounts of more than 1,500 final words from those who were a few hours to a few weeks from dying. In this expansive conversation, she decodes the symbolism of those last words, showing how the language of the dying points the way to a transcendent world beyond our own.
For more info on New World Now with Kim Corbin visit http://www.bit.ly/newworldpodcast.

Five Invitations: What Death Can Teach About Living By: Frank Ostaseski

Death is not waiting for us at the end of a long road. Death is always with us, in the marrow of every passing moment. She is the secret teacher hiding in plain sight, helping us to discover what matters most.

Life and death are a package deal. They cannot be pulled apart and we cannot truly live unless we are aware of death. The Five Invitations is an exhilarating meditation on the meaning of life and how maintaining an ever-present consciousness of death can bring us closer to our truest selves. As a renowned teacher of compassionate caregiving and the cofounder of the Zen Hospice Project, Frank Ostaseski has sat on the precipice of death with more than a thousand people. In The Five Invitations, he distills the lessons gleaned over the course of his career, offering an evocative and stirring guide that points to a radical path to transformation.

The Five Invitations:
1. Don’t Wait.

When people are dying, it is easy for them to recognize that every minute, every breath counts. But the truth is, death is always with us. Everything is constantly changing. Nothing is permanent.

This idea can both frighten and inspire us. Yet, embracing the truth of life’s precariousness helps us to appreciate its preciousness. We stop wasting our lives on meaningless activities. We learn to not hold our opinions, our desires, and even our own identities so tightly. Instead of pinning our hopes on a better future, we focus on the present and being grateful for what we have in front of us right now. We say, “I love you” more often. We become kinder, more compassionate and more forgiving.

2. Welcome Everything; Push Away Nothing

In welcoming everything, we don’t have to like what’s arising or necessarily agree with it, but we need to be willing to meet it, to learn from it. The word welcome confronts us; it asks us to temporarily suspend our usual rush to judgment and to be open, to what is showing up at our front door. To receive it in the spirit of hospitality.

A friend of mine was once invited for dinner at the home of a renowned psychiatrist named Sidney. Sidney was a man of unusual intelligence, insight, and grace. However, in the few years prior to this dinner, his Alzheimer’s disease had taken a toll on his short-term memory and ability to recognize faces.

When my friend arrived, she rang the doorbell, and Sidney opened the door. At first, he had a look of confusion. He quickly recovered and said, “I’m sorry. I have trouble remembering faces these days. But I do know that our home always has been a place where guests are welcome. If you are here on my doorstep, then it is my job to welcome you. Please come in.”

At the deepest level, this invitation is asking us to cultivate a kind of fearless receptivity.

3. Bring Your Whole Self to the Experience

We all like to look good. We long to be seen as capable, strong, intelligent, sensitive, spiritual, or at least well-adjusted. Few of us want to be known for our helplessness, fear, anger, or ignorance.

Yet more than once I have found an “undesirable” aspect of myself—one about which I previously had felt ashamed—to be the very quality that allowed me to meet another person’s suffering with compassion instead of fear or pity. It is not only our expertise, but exploration of our own suffering that enables us to build an empathetic bridge and be of real assistance to others.

To be whole, we need to include and connect all parts of ourselves. Wholeness does not mean perfection. It means no part left out.

4. Find a Place of Rest in the Middle of Things

We often think of rest as something that will come to us when everything else in our lives is complete: At the end of the day, when we take a bath; once we go on holiday or get through all our to-do lists. We imagine that we can only find rest by changing our circumstances.

There is a Zen story about a monk who is vigorously sweeping the temple grounds. Another monk walks by and snips, “Too busy.”

The first monk replies, “You should know there is one who is not too busy.”

The moral of the story is that while the sweeping monk may have outwardly appeared to the casual observer as “too busy,” actively performing his daily monastic duties, inwardly he was not busy. He could recognize the quietness of his state of mind, the part of himself that was at rest in the middle of things.

5. Cultivate “Don’t Know” Mind

This describes a mind that’s open and receptive. It is not limited by agendas, roles, and expectations. It is free to discover. When we are filled with knowing, when our mind is made up, it narrows our vision and limits our capacity to act. We only see what our knowing allows us to see. We don’t abandon our knowledge – it’s always there in the background should we need it – but we let go of fixed ideas. We let go of control.

These Five Invitations show us how to wake up fully to our lives. They can be understood as best practices for anyone coping with loss or navigating any sort of transition or crisis; they guide us toward appreciating life’s preciousness. Awareness of death can be a valuable companion on the road to living well, forging a rich and meaningful life, and letting go of regret. The Five Invitations is a powerful and inspiring exploration of the essential wisdom dying has to impart to all of us.


Frank Ostaseski is a Buddhist teacher and leader in contemplative end-of-life care. In 1987, he co-founded of the Zen Hospice Project and later created the Metta Institute to train professionals in compassionate, mindfulness-based care. He has lectured at Harvard Medical School, the Mayo Clinic, Wisdom.2.0 and teaches at major spiritual centers around the globe. His work has been featured on the Bill Moyers PBS series On Our Own Terms, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and in numerous print publications. In 2001, he was honored by the Dalai Lama for his compassionate service to the dying and their families. He is the author of The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully. More info: http://www.fiveinvitations.com

Find a Place of Rest – Frank Ostaseski, Founder, Metta Institute, author The Five Invitations

Is the Soul Obsolete? Larry Dossey

Published on Mar 16, 2017

https://www.scienceandnonduality.com

Ian Stevenson
, the consciousness researcher who reported thousands of cases of children who claimed to remember previous lives, observed, “It has been wisely said that the question of a life after death is the most important question that a scientist – or anyone – can ask.” He further stated, “I believe it is better to learn what is probable about important matters than to be certain about trivial ones.”

Research into human survival of bodily death has involved approaches such as near-death and out-of-body experiences, mediumistic investigations, children who report previous lives, evidence of global consciousness, and apparently nonlocal manifestations of consciousness such as telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis and precognition.

In this presentation, physician Larry Dossey will explore the possibility of survival by examining the inadequacy of a materialist approach to consciousness, which forbids the possibility of survival of mind. He will show that a nonlocal model of consciousness implies infinitude in space (omnipresence) and time (eternality and immortality) for some aspect of who we are; and that, if unbounded in space and time, consciousness must in some sense be unitary and collective – the ancient vision of the Universal or One Mind.

An omnipresent, eternal, and unitary aspect of consciousness resembles the concept of the soul in many spiritual traditions throughout human history. Generally considered a religious and faith- based idea, it is ironic that empirical science is producing evidence that is favorable toward such a view. Thus, the concept of soul is decidedly not obsolete, but may be more grounded than ever. Dr. Dossey will also discuss the ethical implications of a unitary, collective aspect of consciousness for the many global challenges that currently confront humanity.

Dr. Larry Dossey
is an internal medicine physician, former Chief of Staff of Medical City Dallas Hospital, and former co-chairman of the Panel on Mind/Body Interventions, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health. He is executive editor of the peer-previewed journal Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing. He is the author of twelve books on the role of consciousness and spirituality in health, which have been translated into languages around the world. His most recent book is ONE MIND: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters. He lectures around the world.

What Happens to Awareness after Death?

A discussion exploring Awareness after death and the notion of Karma. 

Doug Lain – Can Human Beings Live Forever?

Published on Feb 22, 2017

Douglas Lain discusses Advocate for an Indefinite Human Lifespan, a new Zero Books title exploring the life extension techniques and technologies of Aubrey de Grey and the SENS Research Foundation.

Human beings are perhaps unique among Earth’s sentient beings in that, from a relatively young age, we know that we are going to die. Despite this knowledge, and the fact that life and death are but two facets of the great cycle of creation and destruction, as a species we live in dread and denial of death, which remains one of the last great taboos. Some say we need to set death aside in order to live, while others claim that only acceptance of death allows us to truly come alive. Whatever the case, most of us are consciously or subconsciously terrified by the thought of our own annihilation. The religious cling to the hope held out by the promise of an afterlife, while the secular place their faith in a life well lived, free from comforting delusions.

Medical and material advances have extended human life expectancy well beyond what it was in centuries gone by, but de Grey’s radical vision is of humans living longer – much longer – and in good health. Beyond the contested limits of sometimes controversial medical interventions, de Grey’s plans have already drawn many moral and ethical objections: What would we do with a thousand year life? How would it affect love, family, work, and culture? And what of population and natural resources on an already groaning planet? Technology, we are assured, offers answers to all such doubts, and if the transhumanist wing of the life extension lobby have their way, a millennium of existence may one day seem like the blink of an eye. Augmented, upgraded, downloaded – for the man machine of the future, death may be but a distant dream. But are we becoming God or merely playing God?

http://douglaslain.net/
http://www.sens.org/

Short Inspiring Story on Dealing with Death and Cancer – Adyashanti on Sri Ramakrishna

Published on Feb 20, 2017

Spiritual Teacher with a Zen Buddhism background Adyashanti tells a beautiful story of how Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa dealt graciously with cancer and death.

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Elisabeth Kübler-Ross You Cannot Die Alone

by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross:

There are three reasons why no one can die alone. Besides an absence of pain and the experience of physical wholeness in a simulated, perfect body,which we may call the ethereal body, people will also be aware that it is impossible to die alone. This also includes someone who dies of thirst in a desert hundreds of miles from the next human being, or an astronaut missing the target and circling around in the universe until he dies of lack of oxygen.

Patients slowly prepare themselves for death, as is often the case with children who have cancer. Prior to death, they begin to be aware that they have the ability to leave their physical bodies– they have what we call an out-of-body experience. All of us have these out–of-body experiences during certain states of sleep, although very few of us are consciously aware of it.

Dying children, who are much more tuned in, become much more spiritual than healthy children of the same age. They become aware of these short trips out of their bodies, which help them in transitioning and to become familiar with where they are in the process of going.

During those out-of-body trips, dying patients become aware of the presence of beings surrounding them who guide and help them. This is the first reason you cannot die alone. Young children often refer to them as “their playmates.” The churches have called them guardian angels. Most researchers would call them “guides.” It is not important what label we give them. It is important that we know that from the moment of birth, beginning with the taking of the first breath, until the moment when we make the transition and end this physical existence, we are in the presence of these guides or guardian angels. They will wait for us and help us in the transition from life to life after death.

The second reason why we cannot die alone is that we will always be met by those who preceded us in death and whom we have loved. This could be a child we lost, perhaps decades earlier, or a grandmother, a father, a mother or another person who has been significant in our lives.

The third reason why we cannot die alone is that when we shed our physical bodies, even temporarily prior to death, we are in an existence where there is no time and no space. In this existence, we can be anywhere we choose to be at the speed of our thought. A young man who dies in Viet Nam and thinks of his mother in Chicago will be in Chicago with the speed of his thought. If you die in the Rocky Mountains in an avalanche and your family lives in Virginia Beach, you will be in Virginia Beach at the speed of your thought.
Source: Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Death Is A Part of Awakening


By Dr. Nikki Starr Noce, MD: Death is a part of life. It can be beautiful and the greatest gift of all.

Much of our culture fears death–death of any kind–death after living a full life, death of a job that is boring, death of a partnership that is no longer serving, death of living in one city, etc. What have you been resisting the death of?

Though in this moment it may be challenging to see, death is a beautiful part of this human experience. It allows the space to welcome in something even better. Death of what is no longer for our highest good creates the space for what is best suited for our ever growing, ever changing hearts.

Death is a natural part of the life cycle. With death comes rebirth. When one door closes another opens. Small deaths are always happening, just as we are constantly being reborn. As we change, old parts of us die away creating space for the new.

Death happens every moment in Nature too. Flowers crumble so that new ones can blossoms. For the butterfly to birth, the caterpillar must die. Clouds of gas must collapse for a star to be born. To experience the full breath of life some parts of us must die too.

Death of identity, death of the ego, death of ideas and beliefs about who we think we are and what this life is supposed to be are essential for our awakening. Layers of ourselves are constantly being peeled away so that we can open to the more of all that is.

On this perfect journey of life I have collapsed and crumbled many times. The details don’t really matter because our stories are all so similar and yet wildly different. We all share the essence of the human experience… the triumphs, the failures, the shifts and the changes. All beautiful. All perfect.

Sometimes it’s painful, other times bittersweet, others times relieving. The most painful deaths have awakened shinier parts of me, providing the heart-opening lessons and guidance I needed to continue on. It’s ok to grieve. The process teaches us greater acceptance and surrender.

Finding peace in every moment and trusting in the perfection of it all has become a spiritual practice–the greatest test of all.

Now when I see death approaching, I say, “Ah, there you are. Now it is time for change.” Each time is easier than before. We begin to see the gift in the death much sooner as we realize all of the incredible, unknown possibilities waiting to be birthed and experienced. Far better things are ahead.

Welcome in death to welcome in change. Allow death to be the spark for all the life enhancement to come. Remember it is all necessary, all instrumental in the birthing of a star–the birthing of who we truly are. What will you let die today?
Source: AWAKEN

What If This Is Heaven?: How Our Cultural Myths Prevent Us from Experiencing Heaven on Earth by Anita Moorjani (Author)

Following her near-death experience as shared in the New York Times bestseller Dying to Be Me, Anita Moorjani knows well the truths that exist beyond common knowledge and acceptance. The clarity she has gained has led her to further understand who she was born to be.

Part of that truth has involved contemplating the cultural myths infused into our everyday lives. Passed down from generation to generation, these myths are pervasive and influential. From the belief we reap what we sow to the idea we must always be positive, cultural myths are often accepted as truths without questioning. Moorjani asserts it is now time for questioning in order to help us reach our fully informed, authentic selves.

Moorjani explores these common myths in their real-world existence while presenting examples from her own life that reveal the falsehoods beneath the surface. By freeing ourselves from these ubiquitous expectations, we can break open an honest pathway to life as it was meant to be lived.
Anita Moorjani is the New York Times best-selling author of Dying to Be Me (published by Hay House in 2012), an account of her nearly four-year battle with cancer that culminated in a fascinating and moving near-death experience in 2006, which vastly changed her perspective on life. The book, which reached the bestseller list within two weeks of its release and remained there for nine weeks, has since been translated into more than 45 languages and sold more than one million copies worldwide. In February 2015, Scott Free Productions (owned by internationally acclaimed Hollywood producer Ridley Scott) optioned the rights to make Dying To Be Me into a full-length feature film.

Now completely cancer-free, Anita travels the globe, giving talks and workshops as well as speaking at conferences and special events to share the profound insights she gained while in the other realm. She’s regularly interviewed on various prime-time television shows around the world, having appeared on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, Fox News, The Jeff Probst Show, the National Geographic Channel, and the Today show in the U.S., as well as The Pearl Report in Hong Kong, Headstart with Karen Davila in the Philippines, and many others.
Anita was born in Singapore of Indian parents. When she was two years old, her family moved to Hong Kong, where Anita grew up. Because of her background in British education, she is multilingual and has spoken English, Cantonese, and an Indian dialect simultaneously from an early age, later learning French. Before becoming an author and international speaker, Anita worked in the corporate world for many years. Anita and her husband Danny recently moved from Hong Kong to the U.S. Website:www.anitamoorjani.com

Anita Moorjani – What If This Is Heaven? | London, 27/02/2016

Published on Jan 19, 2016

Book tickets here: http://www.hayhouse.co.uk/what-if-thi…

Join Anita Moorjani for this enlightening workshop and discover how you can experience Heaven on Earth!

It can be challenging to truly be ourselves, but leading an authentic life is the key to experiencing Heaven on Earth. During this transformational workshop Anita Moorjani will highlight the cultural ideas that keep us locked in a life of fear, guilt and shame and will explain how to replace these debilitating beliefs with concepts, ideas and behaviours that will empower you with new-found strength, ability and authenticity.

Anita will share:

* Incredible insights from her near-death experience that provide a new way of looking at the world

* How learning to love and accept herself unconditionally brought her back from the brink of death

* Practical tools, tips and exercises to put into practice in order to feel truly empowered

* Strength-building processes to help you overcome fear, guilt and anxiety and develop your ability to live an authentic life

Join Anita for this transformational day and discover how to truly be yourself!

Seeking Jordan: How I Learned the Truth about Death and the Invisible Universe by Matthew McKay Ph.D. (Author), Ralph Metzner PhD (Foreword)

If you have lost someone you deeply love, or have become strongly aware of your mortality, it’s hard to avoid wondering about life after death, the existence of God, notions of heaven and hell, and why we are here in the first place. The murder of Matthew McKay’s son, Jordan, sent him on a journey in search of ways to communicate with his son despite fears and uncertainty. Here he recounts his efforts — including past-life and between-lives hypnotic regressions, a technique called induced after-death communication, channeled writing, and more.

McKay, a psychologist and researcher, ultimately learned how to reach his son. In this book he provides extraordinary revelations — direct from Jordan — about the soul’s life after death, how karma works, why we incarnate, why there is so much pain in the world, the single force that connects us, and our future as souls. Unlike many books about after-death communication, near-death experiences, and past-life memories, this is a book for those who do not believe yet yearn to know what happens after death. In addition to being riveting reading, Seeking Jordan is a unique heart-, soul-, and mind-stirring reflection on the issues each of us will ultimately face.

Matthew McKay is a clinical psychologist and a professor at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He cofounded Haight Ashbury Psychological Services in San Francisco in 1979 and served as its clinical director for twenty-five years. Currently he serves as the director of the Berkeley Cognitive Behavior Therapy Clinic. Books he has coauthored on professional and self-help psychology have sold more than 3 million copies.

LOOK INSIDE

Why are We Here? – Matthew McKay, PhD author of SEEKING JORDAN

Published on Mar 7, 2016

SEEKING JORDAN author Matthew McKay, PhD shares powerful insights he gained about the purpose of life through channeled writing sessions with his son Jordan who was murdered in San Francisco in 2008. For more info visit http://www.seekingjordan.com.

Death, the Last God: A Modern Book of the Dead by Anne Geraghty (Author)

Anne Geraghty was a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist when her son, Tim Guest, author of My Life in Orange died suddenly.

Her old life ended. She went on a search for her lost son.

* Where was he? What was he?
* Did he live on in some other realm?
* Or had he fallen into the darkness of oblivion?

Her search for Tim became an exploration into the nature of death itself. We die as we have lived. Our lives are not like those of a C12th Tibetan, a C15th Cardinal or a Zen monk; we cannot, therefore, simply turn to old maps and myths of what happens when we die. We need a new narrative of death that embraces our modern understandings of our humanity and the workings of the universe.

This book is the story of a grieving mother looking for her dead son, an investigation into death in our modern world, and an exploration of our struggles to live well in the ever-present shadow of death. It is not a book with answers; it is an invitation to look at death differently. This book offers fresh and original ideas about death and dying. And it will radically change your understanding of what death is.

Anne worked as a Clinical Psychologist and worked with RD Laing. She went to the first Women’s Liberation conference in Oxford in 1970 and wrote for the original Spare Rib. Many adventures later she began to look beyond the personal and the political for more spiritual understanding and travelled to India. There she met Osho and became his disciple.

She ran workshops and courses all over the world on love, relationships and family dynamics and was director of Medina Rajneesh Healing Centre. She then set up and was director of the Amap Centre in London where, with a team of therapists, she ran Diploma Courses in Counselling, Group Dynamics and Psychodrama. She has written several books on love and the psycho-spiritual journey. All seemed fine and then her son, Tim Guest died suddenly in 2009. He was the author of several best sellers including a memoir of his childhood – My Life In Orange. Her old life died. She now lives with her husband and spiritual comrade of 35 years on a market garden with their bees, hens and dogs and runs courses on love and death.

LOOK INSIDE

Anne Geraghty – ‘Death; The Last God’ – Interview by Iain McNay

Author of ‘In The Dark And Still Moving’. Anne talks about the sudden death of her son Tim Guest and how that started her journey to find out what death means for her
http://www.conscious.tv

BEYOND KNOWING Mysteries and Messages of Death and Life from a Forensic Pathologist ~ Dr. Janis Amatuzio

Working as a medical examiner, Dr. Janis Amatuzio has found that by listening and talking to loved ones of the deceased, she can offer them a sense of closure. In doing so, she has heard — and here retells — extraordinary stories of spiritual and otherworldly events surrounding the transition between life and death.

As in her first book, Forever Ours, Dr. Amatuzio presents the amazing, heartfelt accounts told to her by grieving family members, patients, doctors, nurses, clergy, and police officers. Along with these stories, she shares her own story — reflecting on the course of her career, the bonds she has formed over the years, the lessons she has learned, and her conclusion that “Everything truly is all right.”

This powerful book honors the mystery of life and death, exploring the realms of visions, synchronicities, and communications on death’s threshold. Told in the voice of a compassionate scientist who sees death every day, these stories eloquently convey the patterns of truth Dr. Amatuzio has found in what she sees and hears. Beyond Knowing explores the wisdom the living might find in these accounts and shows how that wisdom changes lives.

Janis Amatuzio, M.D. trained at the University of Minnesota, the Hennepin County Medical Center, and the Medical Examiner’s Office in Minneapolis, Minnesota before founding Midwest Forensic Pathology P.A. Board certified in anatomic, forensic, and clinical pathology, she is a recognized authority in forensic medicine and has developed many courses in topics such as death investigation, forensic nursing, and forensic medicine in mortuary science.

Dr. Amatuzio serves as Coroner and a regional resource for multiple counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Often called the compassionate coroner, she is an exemplar for the compassionate practice of forensic medicine. As someone whose life’s work has been speaking for the deceased, she has now also provided a voice for family and friends by allowing their stories to be heard in her book, Forever Ours.


Known as the “compassionate coroner,” Dr. Amatuzio writes and speaks about her personal experiences and insights regarding life after death and how to apply those lessons to live a richer, more rewarding life. She is a board-certified forensic pathologist and Chief Medical Examiner of Minnesota’s Anoka County system. Midwest Forensic Pathology, the company she founded, provides private autopsy services to numerous counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Her books, Forever Ours and Beyond Knowing, feature heartfelt stories of otherworldly experiences from patients transitioning between life and death, their grieving loved ones, police, clergy, and others.

Let’s Talk About Death: Asking the Questions that Profoundly Change the Way We Live and Die by Steve Gordon (Author), Irene Kacandes (Author)

Experts in end-of-life care tell us that we should talk about death and dying with relatives and friends, but how do we get such conversations off the ground in a society that historically has avoided the topic? This book provides one example of such a conversation. The coauthors take up challenging questions about pain, caregiving, grief, and what comes after death. Their unlikely collaboration is itself connected to death: the murders of two of Irene’s closest friends and Steve’s support in perpetuating memories of those friends’ lives and not just their violent ends.

The authors share the results of a no-holds-barred discussion they conducted for several years over email. Readers can consider a range of views on complicated issues to which there are no right answers. Letting ourselves pose certain questions has the potential to profoundly change the way we think about death, how we choose to die, and, just as importantly, the way we live.

Steve Gordon is a massage therapist and the founder, executive director, and primary massage therapist for a nonprofit program called The Hand to Heart Project (launched in 2007), which provides free in-home massage and compassionate touch to people with advanced cancer, including people in treatment as well as people nearing the end of life. Previous to becoming a massage therapist, he was a newspaper writer and editor, working for the Keene Sentinel (Keene, NH) and the Valley News (Lebanon, NH).

Irene Kacandes is the Dartmouth Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature at Dartmouth College, where she is also involved in the Medical Humanities Initiative. President of the German Studies Association, Kacandes also chairs the Division of Autobiography, Biography, and Life Writing of the Modern Language Association. She’s authored two previous books and numerous scholarly articles, as well as edited anthologies, journals, and other books.

Honest, probing, sensitive, and even humorous at times, the completely open discussions in this book will help readers deal with a topic that most of us try to avoid but that everyone will face eventually.

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