Remembering and activating the power of prayer

I was visiting a woman on our hospice at an adult family home one day. One of the women living in the home asked me if I was the “prayer giver.” I was pleasantly surprised by what I thought she’d said. After double-checking that I had heard her correctly, I responded that yes, indeed, I was the prayer giver.

Reflecting on what this stranger asked me left me pondering my role of spiritual counselor. Perhaps the most important thing I do with the people I visit is to remind them of their own spiritual power. I help them to connect or reconnect to Spirit.

At the end of almost every visit, I ask the person or people I’ve been speaking with if they’d like to close with a prayer. The response is almost always positive. Once in a while, a person will tell me that they’d rather not pray with me, usually because they feel it’s a very private matter. However, rarely have my hospice families turned me down when I offer to keep them in my prayers.

Prayer is our finest and most direct way to be in touch with the Divine. I highly recommend that you make this connection regularly. It is such a simple thing to do, too: Just open your heart and share your thoughts and feelings with the Divine, however you are comfortable doing so. Then, I encourage you to keep your heart open, and listen and pay attention to what the Divine might have to share with you.

Growing up as a missionary kid, I learned to pray as a wee little one. And I always sensed that there was a kind of special power in prayer. However, it wasn’t until I started doing hospice work and began to learn about the metaphysical that I began to discover the Laws of the Universe. It turns out that it is one of the Laws of the Universe that spirit cannot intercede in our lives without our permission. So, if you do not ask for the help of the spiritual realm, their hands are tied. They cannot help you unless they receive your permission. Or I suppose that permission can come from someone else? A friend or family member, for example.

If you would like an anonymous person to call and pray with you, I invite you to call Silent Unity at (816) 969-2000, or (800) NOW-PRAY (669-7729). They are connected to the Unity Church headquarters in Unity Village, Missouri, where they have a 24-hour hotline that anyone can call any time.

After a gentle soul prays with you over the phone, Unity also keeps praying with you for the next 30 days. I have used them on occasion, when I needed someone to join me in prayer about something close to my heart. I have never been disappointed. If you are not comfortable calling them, please contact a local church, synagogue, mosque, temple, shrine, or religious organization that you do feel comfortable calling. Or feel free to contact me about your prayer concerns! I’m happy to pray with or for someone, always. It is good that you are connected to others when you pray, and your prayers will be more powerful, too.

I will be offering her classes at Brilliant Moon again in March (Joyful Transitions) and April (Essential Oils and Transitions). Please call Brilliant Moon to register: 868-2190. I also do some powerful Auric Clearings as part of her energy work repertoire. Contact me for more information on this “Clearing out the Old” work. It will help you Welcome in the New in your life!

 


Sometimes suicide happens – what do you do during this difficult time?

This week, someone in my circle of life committed suicide. She was someone who had moved to our community last fall, alone. She was a fragile, young woman.

Nevertheless, it came as a tremendous shock to all concerned, especially because her life was turning around, seemingly in a positive way. Everyone involved was mystified and wondering what in heaven’s name had caused this to happen – particularly at this time.

It seems like a lot of our psychic energy has been spent on trying to understand what exactly happened to cause this tragedy. This is something that happens after most suicides take place. We wonder and reflect on what exactly could have happened, and how this sad event could have been avoided. One life has been sadly, “snuffed out,” it seems unnecessarily!

I wrote some words in my first book, The Last Adventure of Life, about Unresolved Deaths including Suicide. I will share what I wrote here, because I believe it holds true:

Sometimes, things cannot be resolved in this lifetime, and people die under very challenging circumstances. At times, families and loved ones have to deal with suicidal deaths. Such moments are some of the most difficult ot live with afterward. Author and medium James Van Praagh suggests in his book, Talking to Heaven: A Medium’s Message of Life after Death (1997) that our thoughts and prayers are the best way to get through to such spirits.

First of all, we can send thoughts to those who have committed suicide to remind them to “stop wasting their energy by trying to get back into the physical world. They must realize that they have passed out of the physical body.” (p. 103) Our thoughts are the only way we can communicate with those who have left the earth, and apparently in some cases of suicide, as sometimes in other sudden deaths, the victim does not realize that they have actually died and left their physical vehicle behind. Secondly, we can send them thoughts of love, peace, joy, forgiveness, and light. We can help to bring comfort to their spirits and allow them to become more aware of their new situation.

I have learned that visualizing the violet flame encompassing all things purifies them. You might imagine sending or placing the purifying violet flame around the soul of your loved one. (If you are not familiar with the Violet Flame, you can find out more here.) Or you could visualize any negativity, either your own or your loved one’s, in the violet flame, allowing the negativity to purify and dissolve into pure white light. You could also envision taking your loved one to a beautiful place, like a magnificent garden, or beautiful healing waters where they can bathe, or someplace where you know they will find peace and comfort. You can then imagine them in this peaceful spot whenever you think of them, knowing and trusting that they, too, can and will find deep peace over time.

Most of all, it is important that the surviving loved ones do not blame themselves for what happened, or keep pondering the ‘what if” scenarios, or second-guessing why the death occurred in the way that it did. Even though guilt is almost unavoidable after a suicide, it is a crippling emotion, and it robs people of their confidence. So by all means, find creative ways to release any guilt you might be carrying around because of the suicide of a loved one. What has happened cannot be changed, and it is not your fault. (They had their own life and they chose to do what they chose to do – it was part of their free will) Let go of the past, and move forward into the future with abiding confidence and love. This is what your loved one would want for you, too.

I hope that these words may help you, as you ponder things unresolved in your life as well. As the all-encompassing   Melchizedek Prayer reads, “May there be Love, Truth, Beauty, Trust, Harmony and Peace for all living things everywhere! 

And if you desire some support in this area, please feel free to contact me, to talk, do energy work for release, etc.  

                                                                                                                          


Could the entire world be on hospice?

The brilliance of the Heart

We are at a very interesting time in human history. The New Thought people call this the time of the Shift of the Ages. Many long-term time cycles – to the tune of 26,000 years, are merging together and a great deal of love and light frequency is coming onto the planet. This is why the entire world – and what we’re used to – seems to be “going crazy,” especially when you watch the news.

I’ve coming to see this phenomenon as though the whole world is “on hospice.” We must die to the old so that the new may come in and take shape on the planet. And many so-called “Light-workers” are here, holding the possibility for this. Many religions tell of a time of Great Peace and Healing that’s coming. There is great change at this time, but it is for a good purpose. We are moving toward a much higher and vibrant way of living. In time, Love and Peace will rule the earth, as has been prophesied by the prophets.

Because we are moving through this time of deep change and transformation, we have much to learn from the dying. They have the secrets to help us move through change in a good way. And I outline some of these secrets in my book, The Most Important Day of Your Life: Are You Ready? I will highlight a few of these points here.

I believe that the most important piece here is letting go of judgment: Many people before they die must do some kind of forgiveness work. It’s time to let go of old grudges and resentments.

Since the person is getting ready to leave the planet, if they want to connect with those they love, they must “clear the slate” in some fashion, letting go of old judgments that no longer serve. After all, when we continue to hold these judgments, we’re the ones who hurt, we lose out. And why wait, until we’re on our deathbed to do this? Why not clear the slate whenever we can – whenever we think of it?

The best way to do this is to move from the heady “critical eye” down to the open heart. When we move to the heart, we can let people off the hook, give them the benefit of the doubt. I believe that now is a good time to do that. Rather than carrying around many judgments and grudges, making others out to be the “bad ones,” we can come into the heart and love and honor everyone.

Give them the benefit of the doubt, especially in these times of great change. What if we could see that everyone is actually doing “the best that they can?” And when we send out love in their direction, this is the best Medicine we can send them.

The next important piece to me is there is so much more than meets the eye. This is something I learned through working with hospice. So many mystical things happened to those around me, those who were preparing for death and those who were on the receiving end of it, those who were grieving. I was privy to hearing so many stories that I came to understand that what we can see, feel, and touch, taste and smell on this earth is just the tip of the iceberg.

We truly do not know a lot of what is going on or who is around us, and so it’s best to humble ourselves, realize that we can’t analyze or explain it all, and simply “go with the flow” as much as possible. Life is an adventure, a miracle, really! And the more we see and bless it as that, the more it will bless us.

The third and last point I’d like to make here is the interconnectedness of everything. This relates to the piece I just mentioned, but there is no question in my mind now that on some powerful level, we are connected and there’s a magic that flows through our lives when we can let go and let the magic happen.

I’ve learned that at the Higher Self level – we all have a Higher Self that we are guided by – we are all connected. That’s why, when we pray for someone, they can feel it on some level. I remember how my sister once told me that as she was coming out of her surgery, she sensed and even saw, our dad and myself praying for her.

Do not underestimate the value of praying for someone, or simply holding them with good thoughts in your heart. This is what our pets do for us all the time, I believe.

I will be teaching a class this evening on Joyful Transitions and one on the essential oils and transitions in early February at the Brilliant Moon in Shelton. Please contact them for details: (360) 868-2190.

For those of you feeling “stuck” in your life in any way, I would highly recommend that you look into my energy work – and Auric Clearing in particular – if you’d like to clear out some of that negative energy that’s living in your field. One Auric Clearing could be life transformative! Plus, it’s wonderful preventative health care, too! See details here.

This conversation is to be continued, and we welcome your stories, questions and comments around these topics.

 


What exactly is “nearing death awareness”?

The Last Adventure of Life

This is Maria Dancing Heart’s First Book

While growing up in Japan I used to hear the phrase omukae ga kuru, which means “your Welcome,” or “Welcome Wagon” comes.” This reference is to the spirit or spirits, typically those who are known and loved by the dying person, who come to the dying one, usually just some days or even hours before the person is ready to make the journey to the other side.

Doing the work of helping people make their final transition here in the United States, I learned that this Welcome is not just a Japanese or Buddhist experience, but universal one. Often, dying people are greeted and welcomed by those they love who have already made their transition to the other side. And as you can imagine, it is typically a very comforting, healing, and even energizing experience. I now know that this is known as the “nearing death awareness” phenomenon here in the United States.

Once, on our hospice unit, we were caring for a man who had taken very good care of his mother at the end of her life, some years ago. Now, it was his turn to be making the passage across to the other side. Just a few days before making his transition, he began to experience his mother coming to him from the next realm to say “hello.” Altogether he had three visitations from her before he died. He shared these incidents with the hospice team, and we were all grateful to know he was comforted and guided in this way through his last adventure of life.

The following is a story around this “Being in the presence of someone not alive” theme that I found in a beautiful spiritual book by two hospice nurses. In this book, Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley share many mystical things encounters that happened to them while doing hospice work. Final Gifts (1992), is a “must read” for all those who do hospice work.

Martha

Martha was in her early sixties, dying of uterine cancer which had spread throughout her pelvis. A widow, she’d lived for many years with her daughter and family.

Martha’s experience with unseen people was not very dramatic, but her reaction was typical. She wasn’t at all surprised or upset by it, and was even able to express her pleasure at seeing what no one else could see.

Several weeks before she died, Martha said to me, “Do you know who the little girl is?”

“Which little girl?” I asked.

“You know, the one who comes to see me,” she said. “The one the others can’t see.”

Martha described several visitors unseen by others. She knew most of them—her parents and sisters, all of whom were dead—but couldn’t identify a child who appeared with them. That didn’t bother her.

“Don’t worry,” she told me, “I’ll figure it out before I go, or I’ll find out when I get there. Have you seen them?”

“No, I haven’t,” I said. “But I believe that you do. Are they here now?”

“They left a little while ago,” Martha said. “They don’t stay all the time; they just come and go.”

“What is it like when they’re here?” I asked.

“Well, sometimes we talk, but usually I just know that they’re here,” Martha said. “I know that they love me, and that they’ll be here with me when it’s time.”

“When it’s time…?”

“When I die,” Martha said matter-of-factly.

This story can be found on p. 87-88 of Final Gifts. Another magnificent story tells about a dying daughter who was waiting for a  “necessary reconciliation” to happen with her father before her transition. You can read the true story about Theresa on pp. 142 – 143 in Final Gifts. I was given permission to share these stories in my book, The Last Adventure of Life, too, by the authors. I highly recommend both books – and all the stories and reflections shared in them – especially for people caring for their beloved Loved Ones who are aging or near their end of life.

I would very much like this Column to be relevant for you readers. And this “conversation” is to continue, so please share with us your stories, questions and comments around these topics.


Death nothing to fear

We live in a culture where it has been rubbed into us in every conceivable way that to die is a terrible thing. And that is a tremendous disease from which our culture in particular suffers.”

– Alan Watts

If you think that death is final and you do not go on, do we have a message for you.

Death is not what most of us have been told it is. There is actually nothing to fear about death itself. It is simply the process that all of us will one day go through – to leave our body and return to our true home, the spiritual realm. It is actually a “home-going,” as the African American tradition has always said. And it is Graduation Time! – a time when the individual has accomplished what he or she came to do on earth, so they get to graduate; we can be very happy for those who are about to move into the spiritual realm.

Did you know that Plato once said that “Death is the greatest of all human blessings”? And Mother Teresa once wrote that “death … is only the easiest and quickest means to go back to God. … We come from God and we have to go back to (God)!” After all, especially those of us who have some kind of faith and spiritual background, have a “knowing” that there is something beyond what we can see, hear, touch, smell, and feel here on earth.

One of the things many years of hospice experience has powerfully taught me is: “There’s so much more than meets the eye!” In the Christian tradition we are taught through Jesus that we can be assured that there is life beyond this earth: in other words, eternal life.

I sometimes even wonder if we’ve been sold “a bill of goods” around death. After all, between our modern medicine and medical system that strives to fix everyone, at all costs!, and our cultural religion that rarely speaks openly about death – it’s usually only around Lent or Holy Week when ministers speak mostly about Jesus’s death. Rabbi Schacter-Shalomi, one of the Fathers of the Jewish Renewal Movement and an expert in conscious aging said that it’s only during the last 100 years that we’ve become awkward around death because we’ve taken it to the hospital.

This rings very true for me. I would invite you to watch the beautiful film City of Angels to see how angry physicians – in this case Meg Ryan – can get when their patient dies on their shift, or their operating table.

One of the most uplifting accounts of a death that I’ve heard about came through my Aunt Gladys. Gladys was my uncle’s mother, a highly intuitive woman who sometimes saw spirits. She was a great teacher to me when I was just starting hospice work. She knew a young woman whose mother had died. This woman was deeply spiritual, the kind who would make friends with the cashiers at Safeway, for example. Just before her death, this woman sat up in bed and was heard saying, “I see hundreds of angels!” My question is: If death is such an amazingly loving and mystical experience, why do we continue to have so much fear around it? Why are we afraid to speak of it? And prepare for it? After all, it’s the adventure of a lifetime.

Then there’s Betty Eadie’s story. She is a woman who had one of the most thorough near death experiences on record. And she’s written about it in a beautiful little book called Embraced by the Light. Betty is a Mormon woman of Native American descent. After a surgery she had in the hospital, she lost a lot of blood. In her hospital room, she has just heard a rushing sound and finds her “new spiritual body” moving with an enormous energy. She is carried by this mysterious energy through a dark tunnel in which she senses other people, as well as animals, traveling with her.

As she travels through the tunnel, Betty sees a pinpoint of light toward the end of the tunnel. She felt herself traveling through this tunnel-like space with a great speed, “rushing toward the light.” She was attracted toward it and began to notice a figure of a man standing in this light that became brilliant – so brilliant, even more than the sun – such that she knew that no human eyes could look upon the light “without being destroyed.” Only “spiritual eyes” could appreciate it. (For more see Betty J. Eadie‘s book, Embraced by the Light)

This being of light turned out to be Betty’s savior and friend, Jesus Christ, who she now knew had always loved her, even when she had thought he hated her.

So let us acknowledge that death is a natural, normal part of the Cycle of Life. It’s not the ‘enemy’ or boogeyman in the closet. We can all speak openly about death, in fact we need to, to normalize it and embrace it, as part of life. After all, as Clarissa Pinkola Estes shares in one of her beautiful stories, death has been perched on our shoulder since our birth. So we need to make friends with it. Sometimes, I say, the dying are dying to talk about death, when the entire family is tiptoeing around a very important topic! This even happens when people are on hospice, believe it or not.

Let me share a little bit from the Buddhist perspective. The Buddhist view is that life here on earth is “an illusion” – kind of like “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream… Life is but a dream!” Perhaps it would be useful to take all of life, including death, a little bit less seriously?

The channeled being Abraham says that instead of using the word death, or dead, we need to use the word “croak,” or “croaked.” And I’m reminded of a beautiful volunteer, Buddhist firefighter I met on Whidbey Island when my first book, The Last Adventure of Life, had just been published. The two of us got into a conversation about my new book in a small natural goods shop on the Island, and this kind young man said to me: “In Buddhism, Maria, birth is the hard part. Death is easy, because we have the whole rest of our lives to prepare for it.”

Wow, what a concept – I’d love to get this idea out to the whole of our country – and world even.

This conversation is to be continued, and we welcome your stories, questions and comments around these topics.

Published in Mason County Journal: 9/24/15