Death of anything is not a topic most people want to acknowledge, much less discuss. Yet it is the one thing we absolutely all have in common. But ancient cultures and traditions have long believed that conscious death is possible, that we can come to the end of a life with grace and full of light. It is death with dignity.
For the shaman, understanding death and allowing it to become like a dialog with a lover, allows us to be fully alive. The Shaman’s mandate is to dream the world into being, so we must first clear those places where we are stalked by death – to be fully present and awake. We must clear the “death” that is part of our genetic makeup, part of our karmic story and let go of the old stories and uncompleted business.
At the Four Winds Society, our course, Living and Dying Consciously, is dedicated to helping people do just that – die consciously, thus entering death with dignity. It is designed for everyone involved in the dying process: the individual, family members, and friends. Living and Dying Consciously teaches us how to bring dignity and peace back to the dying process with easy-to-follow steps.
In the West, the thought of “death with dignity” is not usually practiced. We typically shuttle the dying off to hospitals where death is considered a ‘disease’ and extraordinary measures are taken to prolong life at all costs. Families do not know how to come to closure with the passing of a loved one. Many people die in fear, with unresolved issues, not having said the “I love yous” and “I forgive yous” that would be so healing for themselves and their families. We have tried to make death invisible, thinking that if we ignore it long enough, it will go away.
In contrast, in many indigenous cultures the Shaman helped midwife the dying into the afterlife by performing death rites. These Great Death Rites were ancient maps that held the secret of conscious death. Today, in communities all across our planet, Four Winds trained students render spiritual assistance and healing to both the loved one who is passing and to his or her family. And it all begins with enrollment in our course, Living and Dying Consciously. See dates and registration details for our upcoming courses here …
“When a dying person retains his awareness after death, he enters the light easily. My mentor compared this light to the dawn breaking on a cloudless morning, a state of primordial purity – immense and vast, defying description.”