Death & Rebirth, Interview, Philosophy, Society, Spirituality

Episode 31: Near-Death & New Life Experience — Interview with Artisha Bolding


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I am always amazed by near-death experiences, because they are so prominent throughout all cultures and they really show what it means to be a human being on this plane. We all have different notions about what happens after death, and it is our right to explore this realm, because this is a fate that is inevitable for all of us. Here is what I have found, so far, about near-death experiences and experiences leading up to death:

  • The cultural background one is born into factors heavily in the experience; if somebody was raised a Christian, she is more likely to meet Jesus or see relatives in a “heaven” landscape. If the experiencer is from India, she may see Krishna or interpret the light as Brahman. This is also the case for many psychadelics/entheogens. The experiencer, dependent on her own individual make-up, will tend to have a trip to suit whatever makes up their mind’s experiences.
  • On a similar note, friends and family are often found to appear. The onlooker, a nurse or even living family members in the room with the dying person, are likely to pass these off as “hallucinations”, yet they are more-real-than-real to the dying. Strange sounds and frequencies, sights, and smells that are not normally sensed are presented to the dying — as are changes in behaviour that might seem strange to those familiar with the dying person.
  • Preparations for death are quite natural and normal. For example, The Tibetan Book of the Dead is a manual specifically laid out for a smooth journey to the other side so one is not bewildered and afraid of the death experience. The book even outlines the specific “hallucinations” and changes in behaviour, breath, body, speech, and actions of the dying so relatives and friends can ease them into the next and pretty foreign realm!

Along with these, the experiencer normally comes back with a new take on life and what they have been avoiding or not paying enough attention to. These can pull the person back on the right path and give them a whole new set of lungs! This is what happened to Artisha — I explain it as her spirit being reinvigorated and recharged to the illumination of the important while she is still in this physical body. And it’s really a blessing that she is still in this physical body, because she has used her near-death experience to make changes in her work life that spread into the world through media/broadcasting.

Meet Artisha at www.tboldmedia.com and feel free to contact her with your thoughts.

Anthony Chene Productions’ channel on Youtube is also an outstanding place to hear some amazing near-death experiences, presented in a clean and clear way.

Interview, Psychedelics, Plant Medicines, Entheogens, Society, Spirituality

Episode 30: Ayahuasca & San Pedro In Peru — Interview with Lane Belone


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Like many of us who are awakening, we are taking our inner power back and harnessing it for ourselves so that we may be of service to others. Included in this way of unpacking our power, some of us are called to witness and to be supporters/sitters in entheogenic sessions. Lane Belone is but one of those people — he recently visited Peru as a guide in both ayahuasca and san pedro ceremonies as a helping hand to assist in unlocking other beings’ consciousnesses. In this episode, we touch on what these plant medicines are and Lane’s knowledge of what it takes to be a personal asset in these ceremonies.

I ask Lane, “Do you think we all have the power to do this, or do you have to have special training or have a gift to be a guide?”

Well, that depends. If one claims to be a Shaman, then they must have serious knowledge, training, and awareness of the historical/ancestral roots of the practice and the spiritual energies they are invoking. Anybody may call themself a Shaman, but that does not mean they have been taught properly or assimilated the practice properly. The role of a Shaman goes deeper than light energy work, such as massage or reiki.

If you want to be a guide or sitter, like Lane, then it is much more accessible. I suggest this is due to three critical factors: you have to be both aware and present in the process; have a depth of connection with the people you are guiding, whether that be because of personal history or a trust that develops upon meeting; and have a vital awareness of the effects of the engeogenic plants or previous experience with them to be able to intuit what to do inside the situation. I know, because I have been present at multiple Bufo Alvarius experiences (the most potent God-inducing substance on the planet) — never having taken this myself but with enough entheogenic experience, personal connection, and presence to be a calm force in the unfolding process. With both intuition and knowledge, one can smoothly either experience or guide in the entheogenic ceremony.

Listen to our episode to find out more about Ayahuasca and San Pedro.

If you are on the receiving end of the spectrum and want to get in touch with Lane regarding his ceremonies or simply want to expand your potential, then he can help guide you at www.increasefreedom.com.

Namaste!

Buddhism, Hinduism / Sanatana Dharma, Interview, Philosophy, Society, Spirituality

Episode 29: What is Advaita Vedanta? — Interview with Swamini Brahmaprajnananda


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As Swamini’s guru most eloquently put it: ‘In psychology there is no solution to the human problem. In Vedanta, there is no problem.’

Swamini was classically trained as a modern psychologist and moved her consciousness forward, based on the limits she saw within this framework. Thus, she trained under her Advaita Vedanta guru and master, H.H. Sri Swami Dayananda Saraswati ji — renowned as the best teacher of his time until his death in 2015.

Advaita Vedanta is an ancient body of wisdom which has two functions: to realise God/Brahman fully and to live day-to-day life well. Advaita aims to realise non-duality and also relies on the Vedic Upanishads as core guides to truth and realisation. Thus, we see these two functions in action: direct recognition of God and also living a wise life.

As a follower of Advaita Zen (also called neo-Advaita), I have gained a deep intellectual understanding of non-duality, the formless, emptiness, and being. However, the experience or manifestation of these has been few and far between, leading me on a more gradual approach to enlightenment via the Buddhist path — because I found that I was still suffering, or experiencing dukkha (dissatisfaction) in my everyday life.

As a seer of this, Swamini points out to us what neo-Advaita lacks in terms of longevity for the awakener, which my direct experience has also taught me. She elaborates on these points in our episode with ease and grace:

1. Neo-Advaita lacks lineage, gurus, and disciples
2. Simple reliance upon the Netti-Netti method (Not-this, Not-this)
3. Based on the individual human being only, without a larger context
4. De-emphasis on the importance of a guru, prepatory practices, and maturity of the student/seeker
5. No scriptural basis, as scriptures point out ‘what cannot be figured out by my own perception or logic alone’

We also go over Hinduism in relation to Advaita and whether Buddhism and Advaita share the exact meaning in the face of spiritual awakening, where I believe that they do and Swamini believes they do not… unless we interpret the Buddhist Dharma in the correct way

Listen, enjoy, and send your questions to me at curiousbodhi@zoho.com and find Swamini at www.discoveratma.com and on The River of Wisdom Podcast.

 

Buddhism, Interview, Society, Spirituality

Episode 28: Music & Buddhism — Interview with Bill Protzmann


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Welcome Bill Protzmann to the show!

Bill has a wealth of experience with Buddhism, spanning back 30 years; along his spiritual path, he has come to view making music and specifically playing the piano, as embodying Buddhism and being in the moment.

There is a Zen proverb that says that the best way to enlightenment is through laughter… because you’re thinking about nothing! The second best way to enlightenment is through music… because you can’t guess the next note or how you will feel when in the middle of a composition.

Music has a way of being right there with us, and this feeds into the performer even when he’s practicing. We do mess up, we do feel fear, and we do feel all the emotions connected with our audience and what we’ve written — our “private world” is shattered when we play with and for others. Music connects ourselves to ourselves and each other to each other.

Though he has done a plethora of interviews, our episode must be unique, as Bill lets his personality flower as we connect as two musicians on the Buddhist path and even touch on a bit of quantum physics, issues in the United States, entrepreneuriship, and tips on music and podcasting.

As a beginner of piano at the age of three, Bill has come to be now involved in music care, which is a therapeutic approach to using music as a tool to aid in mental and physical wellbeing.

He runs both www.practicalheartskills.com and www.billprotzmann.com where you can find out more about music care in San Diego, California.

Buddhism, Philosophy, Society, Spirituality

Episode 27: Realisations Lately…


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In this episode, I go over briefly which insights I’ve had recently; they tumbled out and snowballed into one after another after another. In hopes that it provokes something in you — when you’re most yourself, most relaxed, or even during intense activities, you can catch the ways in which life hands you what you need to be shown without the cloudiness of the everyday mind.

I distinguish “insights” from “thoughts and feelings”, because “thoughts and feelings” come and go — even the sense of “self” thinking a thought or performing an action. There are often times when we are daydreaming about a beautiful image — or even a horrible situation — and we’re lost. Gone.

Insights are like flashes of things we haven’t seen or experienced before. Yet, they come and go also. They are gone just as the “thoughts and feelings” but have a positive impact upon future perceptions, judgments, and actions.

Listen above! May all beings be happy, free, and peaceful.