Welcome to
The Afterlife Advocate
 A Conversation  about Conscious Dying, Conscious Grieving
and the Journey of the Soul
Issue # 24 - December 2016

Published by The Afterlife Education Foundation,
producer of the Original Afterlife Conference  
Events we

Sebastopol, CA
Sunday, Dec.18
with Terri Daniel


Portland, OR 
Sunday, January 1

with Dr. Eunice Schroeder 
Click here to learn more about labyrinth walks.


Byron Bay, Australia
January 12-17
with Dr. Linda Backman 


January 27-29
San Juan Island, WA

January 19, 2017
with Danielle MacKinnon 

Online /On-going
with Lisa Garr
and special guests 
This live summit was broadcast in November, but the archives are available for purchase. 

through Dec. 31
E arlybird prices extended
for the 2017
Register now to save $50 on general admission  

It's a Multi-Cultural Afterlife
One thing I've learned from years of studying comparative religion is that our mystical experiences are influenced by our cultural references. Afterlife experiences and beliefs are vastly different across cultures, and the "new age" theology that many of us embrace has latched on to a particular view of the afterlife that is unique to our own cultural influences.
Consider these diverse concepts:  
1. In one Zulu community it is believed that we can reincarnate as animals, but only a chief can reincarnate as a lion.
2.  Zoroastrians believe that bad people go to a temporary "hell," but instead of heat and flames, it is intensely cold there. Fire is sacred in their culture, so punishment would include a life without fire (by the way, do you know that the idea of eternal, everlasting punishment only exists in Christianity?).
3. Some native tribes believe that placing the bones of an animal you've killed in the spot where it died will enable it to reincarnate. *
One hundred percent of the information we have about the afterlife is based on reports from near-death experiences, channeled messages from mystics, or the out-of-body journeys of shamans, saints and sages throughout history. What they bring back from these visions and journeys is subjective, and reflects their unique personal perspectives and cultural references. It is highly unlikely that a white, Protestant-raised American would envision a cold hell or a political leader incarnated as a lion. Equally unlikely is a South American shaman journeying to a place where he meets St. Peter at the pearly gates of heaven.  

The point is this... we really can't say what happens in the afterlife, because it is different for everybody. I asked one of our resident afterlife experts, 
William Buhlman to comment on this, and he said,  " Since the afterlife is highly thought-responsive, it is shaped by the collective thoughts and beliefs of the local inhabitants. This is why we must be very discriminating in what we accept and believe as a valid reality. There is no escaping our own mindset when we die. We are completely responsible for the nonphysical reality we enter and experience at death."

Rev. Terri Daniel, MA, CT
Founder, The Afterlife Conference
Interfaith Chaplaincy, Bereavement Support

* Thanks to Dr. Mark Mirabello and his excellent book,  
A Traveler's Guide to the Afterlife for this information.

Music at the Deathbed

We recently came across this excellent article in the New York times that addresses an important topic for those of us involved with end-of-life care.  
While music can certainly be soothing to a dying person (and while it's a great idea to choose, in advance, the music you'd like to accompany you on your own transition), we must be very careful about the music we choose for others.

Far too often in hospice and hospital settings, well-meaning volunteers, staff or family members put music on in a patient's room that they assume the patient will enjoy. If the patient is non-responsive and can't speak for him/herself about what they'd like to hear, then making assumptions about music is a very bad idea.

Just because a person is 85 years old doesn't mean he likes music from the big band era. If a patient's chart indicates that she is a Christian, that doesn't mean she wants to hear hymns as she's dying. Don't assume that people like a certain type of music because of their age, gender, nationality or culture.  If you don't have any reliable information on their preferences, then no music at all is a far better option. 

If there is going to be music, please monitor it carefully. Many times the same CD of harp music has been playing over and over for HOURS in a patient's room (how do we know the patient even likes harp music?). Hearing is the last sense to fade away as we die, and even when patients appear to be "unconscious," they are acutely aware of the sounds around them. In reference to the article, even if you've created your own playlist and given copies of it to your friends, family and caregivers, please make sure they know to turn it off once in a while so that you'll have a chance to experience some peaceful quiet (and listen to the music of the spheres).  

Important Announcements
From the Afterlife Conference

Earlybird discount extended!
We've extended the earlybird discount until midnight on Dec. 31, so be sure to register for the conference before then for $50 off general admission.

Saturday keynote update
We are big fans of Bishop John Shelby Spong, who spoke at our conference in 2016 and was slated to return in 2017. Sadly, he had a stroke a few months ago, and although he is stable and recovering, he's cancelled all his travel plans for the foreseeable future.  In his place, we booked animal communicator Danielle MacKinnon, who comes highly recommended and has an outstanding reputation.

Here is what our Friday and Saturday keynote lineup now looks like: 
Deathbed Visions
 in Hospice Patients

Dr. Kerr is chief medical officer for Buffalo, New York's Center for Hospice and Palliative Care, and has recently entered the public forum by way of his extraordinary 2015  TED talk and media interviews on his research into the dreams and visions of the dying. Click HERE for more info.
Saturday, June 3
 Acclaimed Animal Communicator
Danielle MacKinnon
How Animals Teach Us
From the Other Side

Danielle has worked with animals in more than 50 countries, and has been featured in national media worldwide. She will share information about what our animal companions on The Other Side have to teach us, and will also present a workshop on how to communicate with animals on both sides of the veil.   

Portland, OR., June 1-4, 2017 

The earlybird discount for our 2017 conference
has been extended until December 31.
Register now to save $50 on general admission!

  Death is a Moment  
by Mark La   occa-Pitts BCC PhD

Death is a moment that bridges one state of b
eing to another. This moment exists outside of time, and though it is experienced subjectively as only a moment, it shares in eternity. Of all moments, death is the most feared.

We fear death not only because we don't know what happens but also because it could mean the cessation of being, including death of the soul... following the soul's vector - the spiritual intent of one's soul - the spirit carries one through the moment of death to the next state of being. 


  Help Support the Work of
in Afterlife Research   

Raymond Moody, MD, known as "the  father
of near-death experience research."  
Melvin Morse MD, with Afterlife Conference founder Terri Daniel at the 2012 conference.

F ilmmaker David Hinshaw, who recently produced  Conversations Beyond Proof of Heaven  with the legendary Dr. Raymond Moody and best-selling author Dr. Eben Alexander, is working on a new film of great importance to the field of afterlife studies. The film features Dr. Moody in conversation with Dr. Melvin Morse, author of the NY Times best selling Closer To The Light, which chronicles the near-death experiences of young children.

Dr. Morse, after 40 years as pediatrician, was recently released from prison on a 
misdemeanor, and now shares his story of spiritual awakening based on experiences in meditation with fellow inmates. In the film, he and Dr. Moody will discuss the data and wisdom gained from their decades of NDE research.

To learn more about this project, click HERE.  To be part of this exciting production and to contribute to its success, please consider donating to the fundraising effort at www.gofundme.com/raymondmoody


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