On Labor Day weekend, Eben Alexander and I were pleased to be a part of the annual IANDS conference, this year taking place in Bellevue, Washington, just east of Seattle. This year's conference theme was Aftereffects and Gifts of Near-Death Experiences.
Many near death experiencers talk about the amazing force of unconditional love that is encountered during their sojourns in the spiritual realm. People report being awash in this comforting love and describe it is different from the love we feel here in the earthly realm.
I have touched a similar powerful loving energy during expanded states of awareness, and when interacting with others, and often wonder if the love I've felt is the same as what NDErs experience. For me, the love is generated within my heart by feeling a sense of gratitude. This is different than thinking about gratitude, actually feeling it is a different quality. From there, the feeling expands around my entire body, like a bubble of love.
As we planned which recording to play during our workshop at IANDS, it seemed most appropriate to select Love Body since many NDErs have a reference point of unconditional love. First, I guided listeners to generate a feeling of gratitude for a person or animal they have loved. Later, we invited a beam of love to enter into the top of the head, direct from source, to join in the heart.
Afterwards, a participant who had been lying down in the front of the room as the music played, described seeing in her mind's eye a light swirling around above her body. Meanwhile, a camera man who filmed the event revealed that he had witnessed a similar light above our heads, that appeared as the music played and disappeared when it was over. He took several photos of this light, pictured above.
This was a rather interesting synchronicity and intrigued us all. As I reviewed the photos and video after the event, it was definitely a strange anomaly. The light appeared and faded out in time with the music we played - the video captured the fade out perfectly and the camera man witnessed it fade in. It stayed in relatively the same location so we wondered if it could have been a reflection.
The lights in the room stayed exactly the same when the music played, due to the filming of the event, so there was nothing obvious that might have caused the reflection. In the end, we can't be certain that the light is definitely caused by the visualizations of the exercise and experiences of the participants, but it is certainly a curious consecutive event.
Along with our workshop, we enjoyed reconnecting with old friends and meeting new friends. The IANDS conference always serves to bring like-minded people together and we look forward to future events.
Back Row: Eben Alexander, MD; Monica Williams; William Peters; Mary Neal, MD; Jeff Olsen. Front Row: Karen Newell, Jeff O'Driscoll, MD; Pim van Lommell, MD; Bruce Greyson, MD.
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Knowing how to maintain a core sense of presence and balance creates a foundation of strength to move from empathy to compassion, and at your finest, altruism, when you take action to help another without concern for yourself.