THE BLOG
10/21/2013 10:34 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Five Keys to Having a Near Death Experience (Without the Near Death Part)

There is a path within us to a wonder full world of expansive love. Meditators of all traditions have found this inner sanctuary. We don't have to fall off a cliff, suffer a major heart attack, or have our internal organs shut down to have a near death experience. The experience of finding a realm of vast love that is completely accepting, peaceful, and joyful beyond words is available. There are five common keys found by many who have these other worldly experiences. These keys have value beyond measure as we take them, open, and make the pilgrimage to the heart of the sacred within us.

Retreat:People who have a near death experience find themselves one minute fighting for physical life and then suddenly they discover themselves in another world. They have a common experience of leaving darker realms and going to the light. Every time we make a retreat we are leaving the relatively darker, noisy outer world of our daily challenges and going within ourselves to find inner peace, our light. We are unplugging from our complicated lives, our mental busyness and connecting to our heart, simple joys and being in the moment. Instead of the sudden jolt from one reality to another common in near death experiences, every time we make a retreat we are building our awareness of this internal realm of pure being and harmony. With practice, our retreat self of no self, strengthens our awareness, free of worldly details, full of our innocent essence, the essence of our heart. The process of making retreat can be a jolt from our worldly entanglements to the simple beauty of life. But this is a good jolt. Making retreats is a good practice if we want to know the part of ourselves that is eternal.

Silence: The second key is to spend time in silence. This is not so much about not talking but listening, being, feeling life without the noisy traffic of life. Silence loosens the roots of worry and desire inside of us as it carries us to our own inner stillness. To spend time in silence is an opportunity to receive peace and quiet. There is a peace and quiet of the heart that offers us an other worldly peace and quiet. Here there is the sound of the divine. Gardens of light are growing. There are wings of angels that people with near death experiences report. Silence in this world brings us to a profound inner world where things are understood without words, where there is knowing beyond our intellectual ability. The outer silence touches a place inside of us of endless space, an emptiness that is vastly full, a presence of great heart essence.

Heartfulness Meditation: In the silence of retreat there is the opportunity of receiving deep realms of the heart. In normal worldly life these realms are rarely touched. Now as the mind calms in retreat and the heart gently opens in silence, there is the natural beauty of awareness, our home within. This heart inside of the heart is where people who have had near death experiences find a welcoming acceptance, a life changing sweetness, a purity we see in children but have mostly lost within ourselves. Beginning with mindfulness, we bring are awareness to the moment. Then with hearfulness, we bring our awareness deeply in our heart. Heartfulness meditation is receiving an inner realm, the presence of everything that is good in the temple sanctuary within us. As the retreat and silence empties our awareness of our worldly self, heartfulness finds us absorbing a rich goldenness inside. This richness is what people with near death experiences bring back with them when they share treasures beyond any riches this world can offer.

Humility, Devotion, Service: This is the key to lead us in daily life. As we live with less self importance, we are closer to the humility that keeps us close to the presence of love which is always with us. Devotion in what we do, in what we receive and give keeps us near the special quality of being people with near death experiences are filled with in their profound journey. In offering ourselves to others, simple acts of service, we are mirroring the great outpouring of love people who have had near death experiences witness. We offer our heart essence and discover an inner and outer path to joy, light.

Grace is the fifth key. Grace is moments of love that are given regardless of anything we do or don't do to make it happen. Grace is covering our world all the time. People who have had near death experiences talk about this grace that is all pervasive. If we only knew they say, how much grace is always with us. In normal life, grace is a practice, an openness of receiving. Practicing an awareness of grace in our lives opens us to the infinite, the Divine holding, carrying our awareness. Our mind does not have to constantly be busy. Grace is life and life is grace. Grace is our every moment contact with eternity.

The distance between Heaven and Earth does not need to be so great. If the accounts of people with near death experiences are correct, it only makes sense to know this realm we must have a spirituality of great heart as our intention. The keys to dissolve the distance between Heaven and Earth, invite us to know the difference between mental activity and an awareness of our heart. Living a life of great heart celebrates our humanness, unmasks our divine nature, taking away the filter of our thoughts to joy's intimate reality. People who share their near death experiences are giving us a special gift. What they have seen and felt invites all of us to open the eyes of our heart and feel the universe held in arms beyond our mental grasp but not beyond our the grasp of something greater that is within each of us.

We invite you to join us in retreat, silence, and hearfulness meditation at Silent Stay Retreat Home & Hermitage near Napa, Califoirnia and Assisi, Italy.

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