In my work with dying and death coupled with my own personal growth practices I have experienced some insights around what I know death to be and how I understand karma – both are linked by the theme “There Is NO way out”.
Over the years, meaning the last 28 of them, I have taken on many sacred spiritual practices such as meditation, yoga, enlightenment intensives, emotional trauma release, somatic release, and several sacred shamanic rituals like sweat lodges and spirit medicine ceremonies. This body of work coupled with my intense desire to learn, grow, and serve have combined to provide me with amazing insights, learnings, and understandings of life and death.
I am still integrating what I learned and experienced two weeks ago and writing about it is one of my favorite ways to do so. I will do my best to put words to the un-word-able and describe to you what I understand as “There IS NO Way Out”.
I begin each sacred ceremony with a personal prayer to Grandmother, my word for God. It goes something like this;
“Dear Grandmother I surrender to you my mind, my body, my emotions, and my spirit. I am your willing and humble servant, please show me the way. Teach me what I need to learning to be an even better servant of humanity, and help me let go of that which I no longer need.”
I repeat this prayer many times before, during and after the ritual.
This time Grandmother replied, “Honey are you sure?” to which I immediately replied “Absolutely”. “Alright then.” Grandmother responded and off we went into the wild blue yonder!
In all my growth processes there always seems to be this point of no return, an instant where I can still bail out and avoid the crisis in my growth. This time was no different. The learning was right there in front of me as was the totality of everything and nothing all at the same time. It often feels like I have to absorb both the totality of everything and nothing to get the lesson. The intensity of that instant is both totally crushing to the ego and absolutely freeing to the spirit, and there I sat on that choice point of surrender versus bailing.
In the midst of this incredible Everything and my total resistance to the death of me as I knew myself I chose to breathe and let go into the Everything I felt consumed by. Then and only then was the Universe’s Magic to reveal Itself to me.
THERE IS NO WAY OUT!
I AM ALWAYS ME!
As the timeless yet momentary experience unraveled over the next hours and days, it became clear to me that something profound had happened. You see when I die, when someone dies, they don’t really go anywhere aside from letting go of the body they have been living in. The one I am or the one others are still remains, just not in the physical. I recall the expression “Where ever you go there you are.” As it pertains to personal growth, you and all your baggage are always where you are.
Well isn’t that applicable to death too?
Who I am, what I am, what it is I carry emotionally, spiritually, and mentally does not change nor go away just because I have left my body. Me, all of me but my body, simply now exists outside the physical realm. I am still the same one with all my baggage and incompletions and mistaken self-beliefs. This is the way karma passes from lifetime to lifetime – I take it with me!
So there is no way out of my life or myself, there is only a way through. What this means is dealing with what is real in my very life, no less than that. What I complete fully in this life I will not take with me into my next incarnation. There is no Peter at the Pearly Gates of Heaven deciding whether or not I am worthy of entering. That is my job! I decide on the do over.
So from my experience there is no way out but to get fully in first and then work through all the issues and incompletions we carry in this life as fully as we can before we die. The Tibetan Buddhists have nailed it! Read the book The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.
Taking good care to complete life’s challenges with those we ‘bump’ with will ensure a much more graceful passage with little or no drama. Living well, living fully, living authentically will make dying even more graceful.
Get it handled in the here and now as there is no way out.