September 2, 2014 by Joseph Dillard
Here is a short summary of my near death experience
In the fall of 1969 I fell from a balcony three stories and landed on my head on the sidewalk. I was 19 years old. My skull and jaw were fractured in many places and I underwent a six hour operation to repair the damage.
During this time I had a near-death experience of going into another dimension and encountering a Transcendent Being, a Presence. Ultimate love was present. Radiance was all encompassing. The qualities of this being were extraordinary. I had an experience of profound intimate embrace. This embrace was of my total being. No lack at all, nothing left out. I do not recall seeing a form to the Presence.
For me, my experience was one of profound reality, very present and real.
The Presence knew me intimately, knew of and in fact was present for every experience, thought and deed of my life. I would say this Presence was omniscient, at least all-knowing about my own life, maybe all-knowing about everything outside my life as well.
I also had a life review, knowing all events of my life all at once. Every event was there, but not mapped to linear time. Perhaps I was somehow experiencing the events of my life through the awareness of the transcendent Presence.
I was told that it wasn’t my time to go, that I needed to return to earth.
I accepted this and next awoke in intensive care at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston.
What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?
1 Using my experience to help others in the mental health field.
2 Maintain my health and enhance and heal some of it
3 Connecting more with the Dharma.
Which issue brings up the strongest feelings for you?
Connecting with the dharma. Tibetan Buddhism is the foundation of my life. My connection with the Dharma is like the connection with that Being in my near death experience. It was about total liberation, being totally free of attachment, omniscient.
If those feelings had a color (or colors), what would it be?
A beautiful, lustrous, engaging, very rich and numinous Coral Red!
Imagine that color filling the space in front of you so that it has depth, height, width, and aliveness.
Now watch that color swirl, congeal, and condense into a shape. Don’t make it take a shape, just watch it and say the first thing that you see or that comes to your mind: An animal? Object? Plant? What?
The female Buddha Vajrayogini!
Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor? It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are the shape that took form from your color and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind. If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say!
Vajrayogini, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?
I am sitting in a chair, fully present, showing up in different positions sometimes! Showing up right in front and simultaneously in a chair! I’m sitting and interacting with you!
What do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?
I’m here to remain in an enlightened state of profound bliss and wisdom and to help all beings without exception. My strengths are to know where each person is at and be there for them, to offer insight into becoming free.
What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses? What are they?
Vajrayogini, what aspect of Bob do you represent or most closely personify?
I represent his absolute nature and the parts of him that he’s working on purifying to attain my state.
Vajrayogini, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change? If so, how?
I would stay the way I am!
(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)
Vajrayogini, how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities: confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing? Why?
Confidence: 10; I’m enlightened; I see all of it as it as the play of sensory nature; it’s all dependent arising appearances. I’m free of all disturbances.
Inner Peace: 10
How would Bob’s life be different if he naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?
He would have an optimum representation of my energy and my enlightened nature. He wouldn’t get hung up on situations. He would see how to be most effective. He would be able to perform actions that would be best suited in the life he has to help people in mental health and people who are suffering in so many ways.
There are many people who have been diagnosed as schizophrenic or bipolar who have had spiritual experiences. He would be able to help them and the system to get in touch with the spiritual nature of these experiences, to teach the providers that they need to pay attention to the people they are serving and there is great value in the non-ordinary disorders that are diagnosed as psychotic or pathological.
If you could live Bob’s life for him, how would you live it differently?
I would focus with more concentration and let go of drama and being affected by external events and his thoughts and feelings..to put into practice what my essential nature is and what I’ve been taught!
If you could liveBob’s waking life for him today, would you handle Bob’s three life issues differently? If so, how?
1 Using my experience to help others in the mental health field:
I think he’s handling it the best he’s able. He needs to follow through on his own ideas. He’s doing all right! He should cultivate more focus and attention; keep the priorities straight. Spend more time with his priorities…More effort…Make the choices that produce the results. Spend more time writing, focusing on practice while writing, studying the dharma that is related to the work he is doing. Don’t be afraid it’s too much to go straight into the practice itself with more depth and focus.
2 Maintain my health and enhance and heal some of it:
Pretty much the same! He’s doing what he can! You never know who is going to show up to help, so make an effort to find more views or connections. His health challenges and physical condition is what it is. He’s been told that he’s doing pretty well by different doctors, given the situation.
3 Connecting more with the Dharma:
The same way that he’s working now but even more; staying present with the practice. Getting to the practice without delay so much; spending a little more time and more focus on the important qualities of what he’s working with.
What three life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of Bob’slife?
The same ones. There is a lifelong process of grounding from the experiences that he has had (the NDE, the cancer, his mystical experiences, etc.) His main focus is about living in the world and dealing with ordinary life issues; the importance of that. That’s his grounding process. Dealing with them more slowly, with joy and acceptance of whatever difficulties that show up.
In what life situations would it be most beneficial for Bob to imagine that he is you and act as you would?
He’s on the path…every moment! Sit in a more relaxed way with what is and to make decisions with wisdom and compassion. Train in those things and recognize that his whole life is his practice in process of realizing his essential nature, which is ME!
Vajrayogini, do you do drama? If not, why not?
Yes! But in a free way so it is the drama of the play, the dreamlike nature, unfolding circumstances and karmas! The essential nature of it is pure, actually. It is just a drama that has no substantial basis – but it does make a big difference to the people involved. Birth, life adventures, then death!
What is your secret for staying out of drama?
I am free of the dramas. I don’t get hooked that way. I realize the essential nature of all the dramas, that they are the play of bliss and void!
Why do you think that you are in Bob’s life?
I have shown up for Bob today because he seeks to realize my essential nature.
How is Bob most likely to ignore what you are saying to him?
He spaces out and sort of forgets, loses awareness…The remaining attachments and negative emotions that show up…
What would you recommend that he do about that?
Keep doing my practice! Do it with more focus, not forced, enjoy the process, be relaxed, be very present with it!
What can Bob do to benefit and grow today from his near death experience?
It’s what showed up in his life for him. Karmas ripened in his life and also from other lifetimes. To take advantage of these opportunities – the NDE, the cancer, all sorts of adventures, some very disturbing. The experiences themselves are over; to learn from them and know what people go through and know it is a blessing because much of it has been transformed. There is still grasping after appearances and some fears of people that remains. He was feeling overwhelmed and not connected, alone when he had his NDE. I was there then, but he couldn’t see me until he had his experience!
Vajrayogini, do you grasp after appearances at all?
How would you recommend that Bob deal with appearances so that he does not grasp after them?
Focus on my practices and know that these events are dreamlike and not to be grasped.
Vajrayogini, how would you deal with his occasional fears of some people?
As his karmas unravel the fears that appear are seen to be empty and the result of his own misperception. There is nothing in others that can hurt his essential nature at all. People act in difficult ways because of their limitations and not out of their essential nature. Stay present with me and stay with that. He is working with that; it is a process that evolves over time.
Bob, what have you heard yourself say?
Continue these practices, things are going pretty well, keep on doing what you’re doing. Enhance some of these processes
If this experience were a wake-up call from the most central part of yourself, what do you think it would be saying to you?
You’re doing pretty good! Keep on going! Don’t lose faith! I sometimes have difficulty. January was difficult with various situations – health, the weather, and various other obstructions. But I am happier than I have ever been in my life! I am very happy to be here. I have a wonderful family and wonderful opportunities in my job and my life. I have the practices that I was looking for all my life. It’s up to me to continue and do it well.
This interview provides Bob with beautiful inner confirmation that he is on his path. There is nothing more calming, reassuring, or important than to experience deep inner knowing that we are in the right place at the right time and that our efforts are bearing the right sort of fruit. Clearly, Yogini has some recommendations – we always have room for improvement! However, Bob has received validation that the beauty, goodness, and wisdom that he received years ago from his near death experience is still actively alive and guiding his life today.