On Life After Death & Connecting with God in the Fullness of Love

On Life After Death & Connecting with God in the Fullness of Love January 22, 2023

On life After Death & Connecting with God in the Fullness of Love.
On life After Death & Connecting with God in the Fullness of Love. Photo: Contemplation, Hampstead Heath by Jim Osley, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

I caught a glimpse of life after death when my mom transitioned from this life. I don’t know why a mere mortal like me was afforded such an awesome life-affirming experience, but it happened. It was documented by my mother’s medical team and a globally recognized near-death research organization, IANDS, helped me to understand what really happened that day.

But to be clear, I didn’t die. My mom did. I experienced her transition from this life to the next. In scientific terms, it was called a “shared death experience,” or a SDE. No, I didn’t have an out of body experience or a “vision.” Was it surreal? Yes. Was it difficult to explain in human terms and with words we understand? Yes. Did I feel eternity wrapped in love and peace -unimaginable love and peace – and a primordial non-human presence? Umm, yes.

I deep dive into the occurrence in my debut book from Wipf & Stock publishers, “The Fullness of Love – From Mere Churchianity to an Awakened Life,” and I highly recommend you take a poke at it. Full stop. Yes, pick up a copy right here. But today’s adventure is about how you and I and everyone on this planet may have a similar experience connecting with God right now, but ya know. . .without the near-death trip.

Connecting with God In & Beyond Space & Time

Aspects of the “contemplative tradition” have been around since antiquity and evolved in the Christian era by the early desert fathers. The Eastern Church, medieval mystics and to some extent, the Quakers all practiced contemplation in some form. In modern times, Merton, Keating and Rohr are a few of the big “C” contemplatives who’ve pioneered new inroads across faith traditions, including evangelicals searching for deeper meaning.

Today, we can “repent,” or literally “go beyond the mind,” to connect with God in contemplation. Let’s say it goes beyond tradition. It goes beyond scripture. It lands somewhere in between – experientially – at the heart of where you and God become One.

And it’s as simple as breathing. There is no magic sauce – no fear-forward salvation metanarrative to cling to – and no need for your own personal Jesus – unless you like Depeche Mode. You don’t need a church or a priest or a pastor or a pope to guide you. The only requirement is – you – to be open to meet God in the holy present “now” which to be truthful, is all you’ve got. The future does not exist nor does the past. There is only the ever present, “right now.”  You don’t need to understand the meaning of life to experience it fully. There is peace in the unknowing mysteries of God.

 Jesus Taught Silent Prayer

To put your mind at ease, especially if this is all new to you, Jesus absolutely taught prayer beyond words: “praying in secret” (Matthew 6:5-6), ‘not babbling on” (Matthew 6:7), “because your Father knows what you need before you ask” (Matthew 6:8). These all speak to a deep contemplation, an inner place in space/time where eternity is present, and Oneness with God occurs in prayer without words. In the silence, we find fullness in the emptiness.

How to Connect with God

Get comfy and clear some time. Let’s say 20 minutes, if that’s all you can spare. No guilt. We’re all busy. And to be clear, this is only a primer, there are no hard and fast rules. The practice can be accomplished privately or corporately, in a green space or a blue space, on a plane, sitting at home or even on a walk in nature – literally anywhere. I’d recommend complete quiet or press play integrating ambient worship music, which is quite transcendent. Dig in deeper here.

Just Breathe

Start to breathe intentionally – let’s say “inhale 2, 3, 4 – hold 2, 3 – exhale 2, 3, 4 – hold 2, 3.” Try this in reps of 7.

Now, focus on the name of God with the following understanding from my book, noted above:

“In Exodus 3:14, Moses, while on Mount Horeb asked God to reveal God’s name, to which the burning bush replied, ‘I AM THAT I AM.’  Father Richard Rohr, in his book, ‘The Naked Now’ posits a beautiful theory that according to Jewish law, Jews are not allowed to utter the name of God. However, the name ascribed that shall not be uttered, ‘YHWH,’ could not be uttered as it is intentionally not a name, but our very process of breathing. Thus, any attempt to speak it is ‘in vain.’  You cannot utter the name of the Nameless. We all simply breathe in YH, breathe out WH. The sound thereof mimics human breath. Thus, in every breath we take, humanity is praising God for breathing life into our world and our humanity. In our very first and very last breath, all humanity praises God.”

As you breathe, and continue to be mindful of YHWY, by whisper or thought, repeat a mantra similar to one associated with the Eastern Orthodox Church: “Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, Thank You for Your Mercy.” “Mercy” means forgiveness and the gift of grace. Repeat this until you land in a place of ONENESS with God, or what I call “InfiUnity,” the architecture of connection between you and God – in and beyond space and time.

In this presence, you can simply, “be still and know” you and God are one and rest in Christ. You might not be able to express it, but that’s OK, just experience it. Here’s the trick: try to live in that transcendent space of love and peace all the time. . .especially in a traffic jam.

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