To experience something beyond just the physical, human, finite existence. Something that expands us – past practicality – into the unknown. Expansive experiences, one might say.
Near death experiences take you to that place – to the unknown. You experience self apart from the body. You recognize the scope of greatness beyond your tiny human life. In the realm of spirit – where consciousness presides outside of the body – answers to the greatest mysteries of life can be found.
Could it be possible to experience these expansive, life changing NDE states without a brush with death? There are many roads one might travel to find themselves meeting with a greater essence, a bigger picture, the great beyond. Could we possibly quiet the mind and body enough to connect fully with God, Life Source, The Great All while also remaining on this side of the threshold?
The answer is a resounding, “Yes”!
“Meditation-Induced Near-Death Experiences: a 3-Year Longitudinal Study” which appeared in the magazine Mindfulness, authors Van Gordon, Shonon and Dunn report that NDE’s can be experienced in “non-life-threatening situations such as during grief and anxiety, epilepsy, syncope and Cotard’s syndrome.” Among many accounts of NDEs throughout the ages, Ancient Bhuddist texts record specific meditations practiced to achieve a chosen, self induced near death experience.
Through specific meditations the practitioner releases attachment to the body and connects to the realms beyond the threshold. Fully transferring consciousness outside of the human form. In this study, 12 advanced Bhuddist meditation practitioners from all around the world reported their experiences, effects and outcomes of Meditation-Induced NDE’s (MI-NDE) over the course of three years.
Professor & Psychiatrist Bruce Greyson developed a scale to measure the depth of an individual’s near-death experience. This scale was used to identify that the 12 participants were indeed having the same experiences as reported in non-meditation-induced NDE’s. Including, “(i) an out-of-body experience (OBE), (ii) seeing or moving through a tunnel, (iii) communicating with a being of light, (iv) observing a celestial landscape, (v) meeting with deceased persons, (vi) a life review, (vii) loss of sense of time and space and/or (viii) a conscious return to the body (Schwaninger et al. 2002; van Lommel 2011).”
The transformational benefits of this practice include “enhanced intuitive sensibility; changes in life insight; greater understanding of self; and changes in spiritual and/or religious beliefs (Khanna and Greyson 2014; Schwaninger et al. 2002).” The Dalai Lama (2006) stated that “experienced meditators can deliberately induce this state during meditation such that when it naturally occurs at death, they can recognise and sustain it.”
A MI-NDE revealed one primary difference in comparison to traditionally reported NDEs. The practitioner is able to maintain full awareness of their physical body while they are experiencing all of the same supraconscious realms. Typically, NDE’s brought about by life threatening encounters are remembered after the event occurs – when their consciousness returns to the body.
My personal journey does not include an NDE story. Long before discovering scientific journals about NDE’s and meditation, I accessed NDE states through self guided meditations. It was years after I began this intuitive meditation practice, that I recognized the similarity to detailed reports of people’s near death experiences.
You see, I was seeking the answer to an aching question within my soul – “Why am I here on this planet, what is my purpose?” Thinking and searching for the answer wasn’t cutting it. So, I sat in a forest and meditated. Focusing on connecting with what I call Life Source – what you might call God or Goddess – The Origin of life. Consciousness is energy, energy is light. So, I imagined sending light up my spine, through the top of my head to connect into the cosmos with the intention, the prayer, the focus of connecting with Source. I felt my consciousness rise from my body, I experienced completely turning into light and being guided by two beings of light to “remember” why I am here.
That was just the beginning of my otherworldly journeying. I learned so much from what I saw in the realm beyond, it was as if I stared into the heart of God. Truly understanding the omnipotence, the integral connection, the very essence of peace.
Since then, I have practiced maintaining connection to the great beyond, even during my everyday tasks of life. Recognizing that transcendental experiences are deep and powerful teachers, I made it my practice to experience the realm of God – and breathe it back into every molecule of my body. In questioning the limits and connecting with the Source of Life, we must be brave enough to explore the questions that lead us to answers beyond the logical mind.
May this inspire you to remember that the Great Beyond is always there, ready to receive you, give you the answers you seek, provide you with insight into the deepest mysteries of life.
- Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., Dunn, T.J. et al. Meditation-Induced Near-Death Experiences: a 3-Year Longitudinal Study. Mindfulness 9, 1794–1806 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-018-0922-3
- Dalai Lama. (2006). The universe in a single atom: the convergence of science and spirituality. New York: Broadway Books.
- Schwaninger, J., Eisenberg, R. E., Schechtman, K. B., & Weiss, A. N. (2002). A prospective analysis of near-death experiences in cardiac arrest patients. Journal of Near-Death Studies, 20, 215–232.
- van Lommel, P. (2011). Near-death experiences: the experience of the self as real and not as an illusion. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1234, 19–28.
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