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Book: "The Gifts of Near-Death Experiences"

    • 957 posts
    April 7, 2016 2:46 PM MDT

    The Gifts of Near-Death Experiences: You Don't Have to Die to Experience Your True Home
    By Sheila Fabricant Linn, Dennis Linn, Matthew Linn

    Amazon Book Description:

    Near-death experiences (NDEs) are common, well-documented, and similar across cultures throughout the world. Current estimates are that between 4 and 15 percent of the world's population have had an NDE. Some of the fascination with NDEs comes from the fact that they often result in great leaps in personal growth. These leaps are characterized by the loss of the fear of death, the healing of deep hurts, an increase in self-esteem and compassion for others, a sense of union with all things, and a clearer sense of how to fulfill one's purpose in life.

    This is a book that teaches readers how to reap the benefits of NDEs without having to experience trauma. In the course of their many workshops around the world, the authors have discovered that when one immerses oneself in accounts of NDEs, one can experience love, hope, healing, and a sense of purpose.

    This is the only book that systematically encourages the reader to create a spiritual and psychological healing practice based on NDEs. Each chapter includes an account of a fascinating NDE, followed by a series of questions, meditations, exercises, and video links. The reader is encouraged to contemplate these stories and their own lives. It is truly a profound guide to both living and dying.




    "An extraordinary accomplishment! Yes, The Gifts of Near-Death Experiences is filled with gripping stories, verified research, and more than enough supportive material to stop you in your tracks. Yet there's more. Much more. The authors, Sheila Fabricant Linn, Dennis Linn, and Matthew Linn, all three experienced, globe-trotting teachers and counselors, have put together thoughts, suggestions, and how-tos at the end of each chapter to enable YOU the reader to feel what is revealed and then take it into your own life, be one with it, live it NOW (not next week). In fact, everything in this book, no matter the subject, is available, usable. I love the "now-ness" of this, the alive-ness. You don't have to die to experience the truth about yourself, where you're from or where you're going once you leave this life behind. Surprise. . .this is not a book about near-death, not really, it is a book about YOU, the real YOU."

    -- P. M. H. Atwater, L.H.D., researcher of near-death states, author of such books as Near-Death Experiences: The Rest of the Story, Future Memory, Dying to Know You: Proof of God in the Near-Death Experience, and Children of the Fifth World


    "… a fresh and exciting perspective to understanding near-death experiences. Everyone can benefit from learning the wisdom so clearly and eloquently expressed in this book. With each turn of the page you will find a treasure trove of insights, inspiration, and practical pointers that will really work in your life. This outstanding book is expertly written, remarkably easy to read, and enthusiastically recommended."

    -- Jeffrey Long, M.D., author of the New York Times bestselling Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences


    “The Linns have written a book that is both inspirational and practical. They provide wise and gentle wisdom that lead readers into a place of growth and healing.”

    -- Richard Rohr O.F.M, author of Falling Upward



    "Two of the most common changes following an NDE are increases in a sense of social justice and in the desire to help others."

    -- Page 3, Quoting NDE Researcher Dr. Pim van Lommel, Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience


    "People who have had NDEs tend to be especially sensitive to their physical environment after they return. They are less able to tolerate anything that is inconsistent with the intensely vital, life-giving energy of the other realm. Thus, they have more adverse reactions to pharmaceuticals, other drugs, and alcohol than previously. Many avoid foods that contain chemicals or artificial sweeteners and prefer organic foods instead. Some become vegetarians. They seek out nature and fresh air. This sensitivity extends to sounds. Many NDEs include music, and NDErs typically feel drawn to music that resonates with their experience. They prefer natural, gentle, melodious sounds and take more pleasure than before in classical or soothing music. They dislike loud, jarring noise."

    -- Page 47


    "Of the three thousand plus experiencers I have spoken with, I have only met one who could tolerate rock music after undergoing the near-death phenomenon. . . . The rest can't stand the stuff anymore, even if they were aficionados previously. I can't begin to emphasize how tonal people become afterward, and how emotionally affected they are by sounds. To say that music preferences change is an understatement."

    -- Page 47, Quoting P.M.H. Atwater, Beyond The Light


    "When NDErs return, they tend to gravitate toward whatever is most consistent with physical wholeness, and they usually treat their bodies with greater love and care. For example, they are attracted to alternative medicine, perhaps because it tries to help the body remember its innate wisdom and balance by working with the body's energy systems, rather than by manipulating the body with drugs. Perhaps this shift is a reflection of a change in the energetic frequency of the NDEr, who has returned from an immersion in the highest frequencies of the universe. The person will then be drawn toward what matches that higher frequency. Alternative medicine may be a better match because it emphasizes energetic (or frequency-based) methods of healing... Thus, when NDErs try to avoid chemicals in the form of pharmaceuticals, perhaps they are simply seeking out what best matches them and avoiding what does not.

    "Similarly, non-organic food has usually been treated with chemicals that are alien to and unrecognizable by the body. These chemicals degrade the food's natural energy, whereas whole organic foods retain more of the energy of life. Since we are made of energy in the form of light, our bodies know the difference. NDErs may be more consciously aware of and sensitive to the energy in substances such as food, since they are likely more aware of the energy in the form of light that constitutes themselves and all things. Thus, NDErs may change their diet. They may also make other changes, such as giving up smoking or drinking, exercising more, and living as close to the earth as possible."

    -- Pages 161-162


    “After eight years, people with an NDE scored significantly higher in the following areas: showing emotions; less interest in the opinion of others; accepting others; compassion for others; involvement in family; less appreciation of money and possessions; increase in the importance of nature and environment; less interest in a higher standard of living; appreciation of ordinary things; sense of social justice; inner meaning of life; decline in church attendance; increased interest in spirituality; less fear of death; less fear of dying; and increase in belief in life after death. These different levels of change are a consequence of the NDE and not of surviving a cardiac arrest.”

    -- Page 197, Quoting NDE Researcher Dr. Pim van Lommel, Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience


    "In an NDE, the intensity of love and compassion that the NDEr receives is so intense that... many years of healing can take place in a few minutes. The NDEr is overflowing with love for everyone and everything. Moreover, because the life review often gives NDErs the extra advantage of seeing their life from their own perspective and from everyone else's at the same time, NDErs typically arrive at a considerable depth of empathy and compassion for those who have hurt them."

    -- Page 101


    "Consider the story of a former Nazi who hurt people in big ways, by killing them in concentration camps. He had an NDE while he was in a coma. The coma lasted forty-eight hours, but it seemed to him that it lasted a lifetime. He was in a dark cave with Nazi and Roman soldiers who had been responsible for mass killings. After a while, he saw a different part of the place where light was shining, and there were the people he had killed. He wanted to ask their forgiveness. He heard that he had already been forgiven, and that now he only needed to forgive himself. He felt unable do this, and so he was allowed to feel the pain and suffering he had caused each of his victims. Afterward, all these people comforted him. “He was bathed in unconditional love; it permeated his entire being.” Then he awoke from his coma.

    "Whether we have hurt others in small ways... or in horrific ways... our actions do have consequences, and at some point we will be asked to face whatever pain we have caused. Yet, accounts of NDEs consistently indicate that this has nothing to do with judgment or punishment. The life review takes place in an environment of infinite, unconditional love. The NDEr can ask that the life review stop temporarily if it becomes overwhelming, and she or he can rest for a while in unconditional love before going on. The reason for facing the harm we have done to others is so that we learn from our mistakes and grow in love and compassion, including compassion for ourselves.

    "The life review encourages us to realize that everything we do affects all other creatures."

    -- Pages 105-106


    "The thesis of this book is that simply immersing ourselves in NDEs, by listening to accounts of them, reading about them, and so forth, can bring about some of the same changes in ourselves as those described in NDErs in the previous chapters. This has been our experience."

    -- 169


    "Our experience is that when we pay attention each day to seemingly insignificant moments, they will often form a pattern of what brings us gratitude. This pattern becomes significant, because as we do more of what leads to gratitude, we will be taking another step in carrying out the purpose of our life."

    -- Page 136-137


    "The message of the NDE is that we are love and whenever we recall a moment of knowing this, we open ourselves to living in the Light."

    -- Page 13


    "During my research with child experiencers of near-death states, I was continually surprised by the number of kids who saw the actual prayers being said for them, while they were out of their bodies witnessing what their loved ones were doing. They described how the power of those prayers turned into beams of radiant golden or rainbow light... They showed me with gestures how that beam of light arced over from the one saying the prayer, no matter how many miles away, to where they themselves were hovering... Once a prayer beam reached them, some said it felt like a splash of love. Others said it felt warm and tickly. Because they saw prayer as real energy that did real things and had a real effect, these youngsters went on to pray easily and often."

    -- Page 166, Quoting P.M.H. Atwater, We Live Forever: The Real Truth About Death


    “All three of us are introverts, and parties or other social gatherings can be an ordeal for us. Our usual strategy is to find at least one person we know well and stay near that person. Since we began writing this book, we have found ourselves walking into a room full of people and discovering that we could have a meaningful conversation with anyone there. As soon as someone asks us what we are doing currently, and we tell them we are reading and writing about near-death experiences, their eyes widen, their attention seems to focus, and they start asking questions. Almost always, they know someone who has had an NDE, and surprisingly often they have had one themselves. Even skeptics seem fascinated.”

    — Page 185


    “We live in a community in which many people have different political opinions, values, religious beliefs, and lifestyles than ourselves… In our experience, NDEs have the power to unite us as no other topic can, and to help us form immediate heart and soul connections with people to whom we might otherwise struggle to relate.”

    -- Page 186



    Excerpt from "Chapter 14: The Examen: A Daily Life Review and a Way to Find Our Purpose"

    The Gifts of Near-Death Experiences: 
    You Don't Have to Die to Experience Your True Home
    By Sheila Fabricant Linn, Dennis Linn, Matthew Linn

    For many years, we have done a process every evening that is a daily version of the life review and also the best way we know (short of having it revealed to us during an NDE) of finding the purpose of our life.

    The Examen

    This morning, I (Sheila) was worrying about how to handle a situation involving a friend who is having a very difficult time emotionally and appears to be acting out this difficulty in his relationships with others. I have felt unsure whether to intervene or wait for him to seek help on his own. I decided to wait, because in this way I can better protect myself and my family. I said to Denny, “I'm trying to imagine myself reliving this situation during my life review after I die. I wonder if what I am doing will seem the most loving choice to me then?”

    Since the three of us have begun to catch the benign virus of the NDE, we often find ourselves asking this kind of question. We know from our studies of NDEs that nothing will be lost, and we'd rather get it right while we are still here than have to face our failures of love later. For example, while I was staying with Sheila and Denny, I (Matt) had to decide whether to go to my nephew John's lacrosse game. As the team's goalie, he has a lot of responsibility, and he appreciates all the support he can get. The game was three hours away, which meant that if I went I would be giving up a whole day and spending it out in the cold (the forecast was twenty-eight degrees Fahrenheit with a twenty mile per hour wind). If I did not go, I could get a lot of work done in my warm, cozy room. It seemed like a no-brainer. I would stay.

    But, since I was trying to make decisions in light of the NDE life review, I decided to see if that would change anything. First I imagined myself watching my life review if I stayed home and then if I went. I imagined myself in John's shoes, feeling how much it meant to him to have me come and how we would get closer afterwards as we shared the game's highlights. Going to the game would be more loving than staying in my room and doing the work I could do another day. Again, it seemed like a no-brainer, but this time with the opposite outcome. I went to the game. John's team won 15– 4, and I was there to celebrate with him. That is one of the moments I most look forward to reliving in my life review.

    The Examen Can Guide Us

    We believe a process we call “the examen” can help us live now in a way we'll be proud of later. For many years, we have used this process to reflect on each day's experience. We now realize that it is a kind of daily life review.

    As we have used the examen ourselves and taught it to others as the final presentation at all our retreats, it is based on two questions:

    What am I most grateful for today?

    What am I least grateful for today?

    Since we assume that our nature is love and that our deepest desire is to contribute to the well-being of others, we are not surprised that normally at the end of a day we are most grateful for moments when we lived as the love that we are and extended that to others. Conversely, our moments of least gratitude are normally those moments when we were furthest from ourselves and behaved in an unloving way toward ourselves or others.

    One benefit of doing the examen on a daily basis is that we begin to see patterns over time, including aspects of ourselves that need growth and healing. Then our examen can focus on these patterns. For example, if a recurring issue in our examen is dealing with a person we find intimidating, we might ask ourselves, “When today was I able to speak to that person I'm so afraid of without compromising my self-respect?” Or, if a recurring issue is losing patience with our child, we might ask ourselves, “When today, as I kept passing by my daughter's messy room, did I feel best about how I handled my feelings?”

    Thus, the examen seems to us to be something of a practice or dry-run for the life review . . . and, hopefully, a way to spare ourselves some regret later. Consider the following example of a couple who are thinking along the same lines as they look forward to being in the “movie” of their life review:

    "Learning about the life review has definitely improved my husband's demeanor! Now, whenever he begins to lose his temper, he wants me to head him off with the words, “Remember, movie time!” He is dreading the day when he will find out what it's like to be me, listening to his rantings and lectures on various topics. I remind him that both of our “movies” will include joyful scenes as well as sad ones. These days he is trying very hard to insure the second half of his movie will be applause-worthy!"

    -- From Kenneth Ring's book, Lessons from The Light

    The examen can be done alone, but usually we do it together. Note that in the example above, the husband is concerned about what it is like for his wife to listen to him. He knows that in his life review, he will experience this from within her. When the examen is done with another, we can participate in this aspect of the life review here and now, as well. This is true because sometimes what for one of us is the moment of most gratitude is the moment of least gratitude for another, and sharing the examen gives us a chance to enter into another's heart.

    For example, our favorite country is Guatemala, and my (Denny's) favorite recreation there is bartering in artisan markets, where everything is made by hand with beautiful, rainbow colors. One evening, during a trip to Guatemala, I shared with Sheila and Matt that I was most grateful for being able to buy six hand-woven shirts. Because I had bartered the price per shirt down from $ 12 to $ 4, I had bought one for myself and five for my friends. That same evening Sheila reported my bartering as her moment of least gratitude. Sheila makes things by hand (she knitted sweaters for everyone in our family), and she knew that each shirt would take about five days to make. So when the seller said, “$ 12,” rather than me offering $ 4, Sheila wanted me to say “$ 24.”

    We returned to Guatemala again two years later. This time, before I bartered in the market, I bartered with Sheila about what would be a fair price. She understood my delight in buying beautiful, handmade shirts for myself and my friends, and I understood her concern that native craftspeople be treated fairly and appreciated. At the end of that day, when we did the examen, we all agreed that our moment of most gratitude was the shirt purchase we made, in which both the seller and ourselves felt like winners. Thus, the examen had allowed us to develop the empathy and compassion that is a fundamental lesson of the life review.

    We might also think of the examen as a way of reflecting each day on how fully we lived as the Light that we are and followed its guidance, which is always available to us. Many years after her NDE, one woman reflected on how her experience had changed her life:

    "Over time, as I engaged in spiritual practices to examine and transform the dark sides within myself, I developed an increased consciousness that a greater spirit was operating in my life, as opposed to viewing life as a series of random, meaningless events. . . . This required attunement to the existence of spirit at work in every aspect of my life, seeing people, places, and things as teachers and as channels by which the Light was trying to communicate with me, offer guidance, and teach me what I needed to learn."

    -- My Son, My Light via IANDS

    Healing Process

    Near-death experiences suggest that when we die, every moment we lived will be part of our life review. That includes today; sometime in the future, we'll each be looking at today in the presence of the Light. In this process, we invite you to do the examen now as if you had just died.

    1. Close your eyes and put your feet flat on the floor. Breathe slowly and deeply. Place your hand on your heart and imagine that you are breathing in and out through your heart.

    2. Imagine yourself in the presence of the Light and doing your life review.

    3. Ask yourself the following questions:

    When today did I live in a way that I would be really happy to relive after I die?

    When today did I live in a way that I would not want to relive after I die?

    How might I live this moment differently if I am in a similar situation again?


  • April 7, 2016 3:06 PM MDT
    This is fantastic. I look forward to it's release...apparently May 1, 2016. Thanks for sharing it, David.
    • 957 posts
    April 7, 2016 3:14 PM MDT

    The print addition is available now. The Kindle edition is available May 1st. :) 

  • April 7, 2016 3:26 PM MDT
    Cool. Thanks. :)