Mary Ann Bumbera – Dying and Beyond

June 30, 2014 | By | Reply More
In Trust by Marie Mader

In Trust by Marie Mader

I was desperately seeking spiritual answers about death because of the illness of my beloved dog, Charlie. One longed-for awareness came from a shamanic workshop called Dying and Beyond, sponsored by the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. Having taken a basic class with the Foundation, I was familiar with shamanic journeying (an autonomous, spiritual seeing within) and was eager to understand death from the shamanic standpoint.

Arriving at the workshop, I settled in and eagerly opened my notepad. Our facilitator and shaman, Myron Eshowsky, began by explaining how shamans view death: “Shamans believe that when a being dies, it acquires wisdom and/or receives healing in its spirit form, and then can return in a different physical form.”

My heart was uplifted. This confirmed what I intuitively felt about Charlie. If he died of cancer, he would just be gone for a while to gather wisdom or heal, then, hopefully, be back.

The shamanic belief,” Myron continued, “is that death is not viewed as something ‘gone wrong.’ It is simply a way to heal. This means that even though the life force is no longer in the body, it continues to exist, healing and growing in the spirit realms. So let’s start with our first journey so you can gain experiential knowledge.”

Each journey in the Dying and Beyond workshop gave me deeper awareness. I was shown that a being continues to heal and grow after death. And after dying, the healing often happens at an accelerated pace.

I was also shown in journeys that when the life force leaves a physical form, it is not the end of existence but rather a transition to a new aspect of the being’s experience. Sometimes a being has a short physical life to get to other realms where it can flourish and grow. The more meaningful aspects of a being’s growth and healing experience can occur after death. So this meant that whenever Charlie died, it was because he had better things awaiting him in the spirit realm.

For one journey, we were instructed to go to a friend or family member who had died and see how they were doing. I journeyed to my best friend. During his life, he had dreamed of becoming a concert pianist. Though amazingly talented, he never accomplished this dream. In the journey, I was delighted by how vibrant and happy he was in his new ‘life’—which felt to me to be just as lifelike as the physical. He looked more or less the same, appearance-wise, only with a regal, spiritually enlightened air. He was overjoyed that I had finally come to visit him and was eager to show me his fabulous new life. He had, indeed, fulfilled his dream and become a famous composer and pianist. I understood that the reason his physical life had been short was because his greater destiny was to expand his talent as a musician in the spirit realm. He was just about to give a performance, and he dedicated the concert to me. His music was not audible but felt. It penetrated through the very core of me, conveying a love that far surpassed anything I had felt from him when he was alive. I wept tears of joy from this ecstatically blissful feeling and understood that he was still very much with me and loved me the same—maybe even more.

With these experiences, I understood what is meant by “life everlasting” and that the physical life is a minuscule part of the whole. I was relieved that I now had an idea where Charlie would go when he died. I no longer cared about the semantics of what or where Heaven, The Other Side, or The Afterlife was. Whatever one might choose to call it, I had experienced the “place,” and I knew it existed.

I gained deeper access to spiritual realms, discovering that the “realness” of any given reality is a matter of attention or focus. While visiting, I experienced these non-physical realms as more real, more like “home,” than the physical realm. But after each journey, when I returned to physical reality and regained complete awareness of the five senses, the physical world seemed, once again, to be the only “real” realm. Quite a paradox.

The difference was that I had begun to accept both realms, physical and non-physical, as equally real. It was only a matter of where attention was placed.

It was no longer just a concept that death is simply a shift. The journeys gave me a visceral understanding that at death, the spiritual essence once existing in a physical body simply leaves the physical and carries on in the everlasting, spiritual realms. Through my journeys, I learned that after the shift of death takes place, the essence of the being itself remains the same. It just no longer has the awareness of the five senses the physical body provides. I understood that this continued existence of a being’s essence is how a medium or an animal communicator can communicate with a person or animal after death.

This new perception of death gave me a better understanding of life. I realized that in looking at the grand scale of the entirety of a being’s existence, I could see both life and death as simply experiences of that being. Neither life nor death can be considered as more satisfying than or superior to the other. From the standpoint of a physical life, the beauty of life after death may appear more appealing, but it’s only a different, spiritual experience of that being. Anyone can tap into this higher awareness by placing their attention there through journeying or meditation.

After the workshop and my subsequent experiences, I was no longer afraid of death, itself, and even felt peaceful about what would happen to Charlie when he died. But would my newly-found understanding of death be enough to get me through the heartache of losing him?


Category: Knowing

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