dreaming your death awake
an online gathering
Your course resources
Below are all the resources from the Dreaming Your Death Awake gathering.
The video has as 3 second ‘fade to black’ moments to show when we moved to breakout rooms.
Scroll down below the video for the sound files and transcripts for each of the meditations.
Basic notes and prompts
Basic Rules –what happens in the Zoom stays in the Zoom.
Belief Systems – if triggered, accept and look and let go – all of what we’re doing today is in the realm of thought experiments.
Hold space for each other, particularly in grief… we have a tendency to try to fix stuff – particularly grief. So let go of this. It’s OK to be sad and the thing about deep feeling is that it comes in waves – and they’re best allowed to roll throug
Aims – to come into a daily relationship with death that is genuinely invigorating, that inspires our life and underlines every moment. NOT in a mawkish or ghoulish way, but fully, deeply and with integrity.
Breakout Group – 16 minutes: Introduce each other and say what you want/need from today. 16 minutes total
Feedback to the room
10 minutes free writing: How close do you feel to your own mortality? (as in, how much does it help guide your days? How much are you aligned with Casteneda’s idea that death should be our teacher, always over our left shoulder?) What reminds you of your own mortality? What would be your cues through the day to help you remember that this might be the last time you make a cup of tea…or take out the rubbish, or tell a loved one how much you love them…or breathe.
Discussion of results
10 minutes free writing: Consider the exact moment of dying, if there were no constraints, if you weren’t fitting in around the medical system or friends, or convenience – Where would you want to be?
Consider 3 places, and narrow down to one – all in the natural world (say, beside an ocean, or on a hilltop, or in a forest)
Not who is there? Just the location – the feel of it, how you feel as you sit/lie/stand there
What does it look like?
What does it feel like?
What time of year is it? What time of day? What can you see, hear, smell, touch, taste around you.
[First Guided Meditation]
15 minutes free writing: What are your belief systems around life? What do you hold to be absolutely true? How much of this have you inherited and how much is your own?
What Belief systems would you like to hold? Or think you should hold? And how does that match with what you actually hold (e.g: we may want to believe that the universe is abundant and everything flows to us, but underneath, we actually believe everything is scarce and zero sum and if I don’t get stuff, someone else will).
And then – how much do the belief systems you actually hold bleed into your beliefs about death and what comes next (if anything)?
Break in which please wash hands for at least 60 seconds as if it were the last time. How do you feel about seeing your hands? How do you feel about your body as a whole? Can you learn to love it for having carried you this far?
[Breakout Rooms to discuss]
Break – in which please wash your hands with real intent as if you were already dead and were washing the body you had left behind.[Meditation 3]
Writing time and Breakout Rooms
So make sure that you are fully present in your physical body. Really focus on being in this time and this place. Feel your seat on the floor, your feet on the floor or your back if you’re lying down. Feel your seat on a chair. Feel the physicality of your connection with the earth. Through a chair, through floor, through however high up you are in your house, down into the actual physical soil, the earth beneath you, the crust of the planet.
I want you to send roots down from your seat of your sitting, from the soles of your feet of their flat on the floor. If you’re lying down, then from your heels, your hips, your shoulders, the back of your head.
Send roots down through the topsoil, through the subsoil, through the rock layers. Into the magma layers. And then into the white hot molten metal that is at the heart of the earth.
Have a sense of being grounded, of being rooted, of being anchored into the earth. Have a sense of connectedness to a living planet. We’re here to discuss the cycles of life and of death. Planets have their own cycles of life and of death. Suns and stars have their own cycles of life and death. The universe has its own cycle of life and death. And within all of that, each of us has our own cycle of this life, and its ending.
So connect yourself to the living earth. And then with that sense of your physicality, I want you to bring your awareness to the edge place where the physicality of this body meets the rest of the all that is where your skin meets the air and the air meets your skin. There’s a draft, a breeze. Feel the movement of the air. If not just feel the temperature change between your skin and the rest of your surroundings. Have a sense of the margins of your self.
And then bring your attention to that patch of skin where the base of your nose meets your upper lip. So that when you breathe in through your nose, you can feel the tiny currents of air as that breath moves in, cooler as it moves in and then warmer as you breathe out. Follow it through at least one full breath cycle all the way in and all the way out.
And then follow the next breath all the way in as it goes in. Follow the cool air till it hits at the back of your throat and then goes down into your lungs as your ribs move out and down and your diaphragm sinks. And then follow it back out as your ribs spring up and in and your diaphragm rises. And then with your body grounded and boundaried and breathing, I want you to leave it behind and bring your imagination, your imaginal self, you’re dreaming self up and out. And I want each of us to go to the place that we imagined as our ideal death place. Don’t worry about how you get there. Just take yourself to this place. Bring yourself here.
And bring yourself to shortly before the moment of your death. Time is fluid within the dream space. Bring yourself to your ideal place. And the time is now. So anchor yourself here. If your back is to a tree, feel the tree, feel the bark, feel the width of it, Feel the roots as they go down as deep into the earth as the tree goes high up into the sky. Connect your own roots to the earth if you’re near water. See the light on the water.
What time of day is it? What time of year is it? Where is the sun? Or perhaps the moon? In the stars.
What can you hear around you? Are the birds can you hear the movement of water? Can you hear the wind? Perhaps the rain.
What can you smell? Leaf mould. Old seaweed. The sharp scent of a frosty morning, the mellower scent of a summer’s evening.
And if you were to lean out and touch something, the water, a leaf, the tree, and then put your fingers to your tongue, what would you taste?
Let all of your senses be drenched with the reality of this place. And then, in the reality of this place, in your dream place, put the heel of your hand against your heart space against your sternum, just above your heart. And breathe into this place so that all your attention comes to your heart space.
What are you feeling in this moment?
How do you feel?
These are the last moments of this life in this place. What is the feeling that fills you in the same way that the sights and the sounds and the smells and the tastes have filled you?
What feeling are you going to carry over the threshold as you step west of the sunset? Let that feeling sing inside you without judgement.
Whatever it is, it is what it is. Let it sing from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet. Let it sing into the earth.
These are our last moments on this earth and this time in this place. And this feeling is what you give to the earth. Have a sense of its textures. Is it a familiar feeling or is it new?
If it’s familiar, what are its edges? How does it shape who you are? How has it shaped who you have been?
If there is a sense of identity once we step across the threshold, how will this feeling shape that sense of identity?
And as we sit or lie or stand in the last moments of life, I want you to explore from the soles of your feet to the crown of your head, is there any place where this feeling is not pressing up from the inside against your skin? Where are the gaps? Where are other feelings residing in your physical body?
Bring them to light. Shine the light of your awareness on everything that exists within you.
And let time move forward so that you see the whole of yourself. And you’re aware that the breaths that you are taking now are the last few of your life. And the feeling you feel now is the one you will carry with you.
Then, not yet stepping over the threshold, thank this place. Thank the you that has come here. Thank your dream self. Thank the intention that brought you here. Thank the place around you. Whatever you saw or heard or smelled or tasted or felt. Thank it for witnessing your being in this place. Thank the sun, as it set, or the moon as it rises, the birds in the sky. The tree or the water. The land in all its forms.
And then stepping back from the brink. We’re all going to move together through time and through space, back to the places that we left. Back to your home, to your room. To the body that you left grounded and boundaried and breathing.
And take a breath with full awareness in this body. All the way in and all the way out. Feel the edge places of your skin, the boundary where you meet the air and the air meets you. The edge place where you meet the all that is with the physicality of you in this world connects. With the rest of everything that exists. And then fully bring yourself into your physical body. Feel your seat in the chair, your feet on the floor. If you’re lying down, feel your heels, your hips, your shoulders. The back of your head. Feel the roots that we sent down at the start reconnect with them. And then in the fullness of this physicality, roll your shoulders, move your fingers, move your toes. And then very slowly, with a very soft gaze, open your eyes and look around the room to anchor yourself back in this time and this place.
So once again, feel your seat on the chair, your feet on the floor. The physicality of being in this body, in this place at this time. The flesh and the bones and the teeth of what make you physically you. Really focus in on those. Send your roots down again.
From the soles of your feet, from your seat, or if you’re lying down from your heels, your hips, your shoulders, the back of your head, whatever is in contact with the earth, send roots down from there, through the topsoil, through the subsoil, through the rock layers, through the magma layers and into the white hot molten metal at the heart of the earth.
With all of that, have a sense of connecting to the living earth, the topsoil is magnificently alive. One teaspoon of topsoil allegedly has more bacteria than all of the stars in all of the galaxies of all of the universe, which is quite a big number. But even within that, the earth moves. The earth has its own life span. And ours is shorter. And all that we are comes from the Earth. The physicality of our being, the flesh and the bones and the teeth. The atoms of our being were first atoms of the earth.
So really connect with that and have a sense of it. And then bring your awareness to the edge place where our skin meets the air and the air meets your skin. That place where the physicality of your being meets the rest of the all that is. The boundary of who you are as you move through space and time. Feel that edge place, and then bring your awareness to that tiny bit of skin where the base of your nose meets your upper lip and follow a breath all the way in and all the way out.
And then follow the next breath in as it goes cold at the back of your throat and then all the way down as your ribs move out and down and do diaphragm sinks. And follow it up and out as your robes spring up and in and your diaphragm rises.
And then with your body grounded and boundary and breathing, bring your imaginal self up and out, through time and space where it is not constrained. And bring yourself to the place where you would most like to be at the moment of death; the landscape that we’ve previously imagined.
Anchor yourself here with as many of the senses as you can manage. Start with touch. Can you feel the earth beneath you? Have you a sense if you’re leaning back against a tree of its solidity? How rough is the bark or how smooth? How high is the tree? How wide? How deep do its roots go?
If you’re near a body of water, how wide is it? How far does it stretch? Can you smell it? Can you taste it on the air?
And then look around you, what time of year is it? What time of day?
Or is it night time? Can you see the moon? What phase of the moon? Can you see the stars? What hemisphere are you in?
And then bring in sound. Can you hear the wash of the waves on the beach or the rustle leaves in a tree? Can you hear birds? Can you hear things rustling as they live and die in the area around you?
And if you touch your fingers down to whatever is next to you and lifts them to your lips, what can you taste?
And then bring yourself back to your awareness of you being in this place at the time of your death. These are your last breaths. Very soon, though, you will step across the threshold into whatever comes next.
How do you feel? What are you carrying with you? What are you carrying with you? What will be a relief to let go? Tax forms. Other forms of administration. Perhaps the whole weight of climate change, and the whole biodiversity crisis: the feeling that we have to fix it.
Is that something that weighs you down, that you would be relieved to let go?
What other things are you carrying that you can leave on the living side of the veil as you prepare to step across? And what are you glad to have left, but will let you walk lighter as you walk without it?
You can experiment with these things because some we think we ought to carry, and some we want to carry. And some are so integral to who we are, that we don’t want to let them go.
What comes to the top of your awareness without judgement? Look at it. Wait. Set it down and see how you feel.
What is there that you have left unfinished, that actually could do with a bit more time?
And it may be that some of these things are the same: the biodiversity crisis, finishing the book, finishing a project that might make a difference. That is both a weight, and unfinished business.
Or perhaps there are just things that are left unfinished. What comes to the surface of your mind now? View it without judgement and see how does it feel to know that you’re leaving this now and stepping away?
And then… you are at the threshold now. At the Vale and ready to move across. Take a long, long breath as if it were your last, and when you breathe out, imagine yourself stepping forward across an imaginary line, leaving everything behind that you don’t need to carry, or you can’t carry: your body, your blood, your teeth. The flesh and the bones of being.
Perhaps there are feelings and beliefs that belonged only in this life: tasks done and undone, burdens carried and let go, joys held and released. Terrors embraced and released, grief surging through and let go.
As you step forward, new and fresh on the other side of the veil, what is the essence of yourself that moves forward? What is it that could carry from one life to the next if these things happen? What is it that possibly came in and has been the single thread through all of your life until now. The thing that gave you the textures that made you unique?
If you were to carry this texture, this essence of self into another life within the boundaries of this time and this place on this planet in this epoch, what would be the things that would mark you out so that those who had known you before would know you again?
What would you want to carry forward? And if this essence-of-self were perhaps to join with the All That Is, with no boundaries…merging…and yet bringing the single tone, or song or colour or texture that is you – what tone or song or colour or texture do you bring to the all that is that is uniquely of you?
And if that essence of yourself, outside of time and space had a gift or a thought or a message or an idea for the you that is still alive, what comes to mind first as that gift or that thought or that message or that idea?
What would your eternal self say now? To the you who has still the flesh and the bones and the teeth of this life?
One piece of guidance. One piece of encouragement. One piece of compassion. One gift. What would it be?
And then because we are still. In the physicality of this body, bring your imaginal self back across the veil. To sit or lie or stand once again in your perfect death place, at the perfect time, on the perfect day.
And look around you at the landscape and at all the life around. And thank it for the gift of being, for the gift of holding you in this journey.
If there’s a tree, thank its roots, its trunk, its height, its majesty and its strength.
If there’s a body of water, thank it for the flow, for the ease, for the beauty. For the power.
Whatever your landscape. Thank it for being.
And then with clear intent, bring yourself back through time and space, to the time and place where your body is waiting. You’re living body, the one that we left grounded and boundaried and breathing.
Taking a breath. Follow it all the way in and all the way out. Feel the edge place where your skin meets the air and the air meets your skin, where the physicality of yourself meets the all that is.
And then feel your physical body, your feet on the floor, your seat on the chair, your back against the floor if you’re lying down.
Reconnect to the roots that we made at the beginning down into the heart of the earth.
Reconnect to the living body of the earth, so that your life and its life are united. And then roll your shoulders, move your fingers, move your toes, and very slowly, with a very soft gaze, open your eyes and look around the room to anchor yourself back in this time, and this place.
So once again, be fully present in your physical body. Feel your seat on the chair, your feet on the floor, your back on the floor if you’re lying down. Send your roots down through the topsoil, through the subsoil, through the rock layers and the magma layers to the white hot molten metal at the heart of the earth. Send your roots into that, connect with it, anchor yourself, and ground yourself in the life of the earth.
And then bring your awareness to that edge place where your skin meets the air and the air meets your skin. Where the physicality of your being meets the rest of the all that is. Find your boundaries. Find your edges. These move through time, but for this moment, they don’t move much through space. Where are the boundaries of your physical self? Where are your edges? And where do you meet and what do you meet?
And then bring your awareness to that bit of skin where the base of your nose meets your upper lip. Feel one breath in and one breath out at this place. And then follow the next breath all the way in cold at the back of your throat and down into your lungs as your ribs move out and down and your diaphragm sinks. And then follow it up and out as your ribs spring back and your diaphragm rises.
And then with your body grounded and boundaried and breathing, bring your imaginal self, one more time up and out of this time in this place. And move to your death place, to this landscape that you’ve begun to know.
Really settle into it, feel the familiarity of it. Lean back against the tree, or lie across the water or sit in the meadow.
Look around you. Is it still the same time of day? The same time of year? Has the sun sunk a bit further in the west or risen a bit higher in the east? Have the seasons changed or is it the same? Is the cherry blossom still falling from the orchard? Are the waves still racing up the shore at the same speed and with the same height?
And if not, what does it look like now, this place, the sacred place that is yours. Check out the sounds. Check out the scents, check out the textures and the colours and taste, whatever there is to be tasted so that all five senses are fully active.
And then step forward again to the veil. And just before it, as if at your last breath, I want you to turn around and look back along the timeline of your life. From the person who walked here back day by day, week by week, month by month, year by decade. My lifetime.
Look back at all that you have been. What are you proud of in all that journey? What shines to you? What sings to you?
If you were to bring moments of this life as a gift through the veil to whatever is on the other side here. This I lived. This I loved.
What would you bring?
Would there be moments of doing or would there be moments of being?
Or both. Or neither.
And if there are moments of regret, can you send love and compassion back to the self that was there then, that was doing the best that they knew how?
And what was the learning from each part of that life: the heights and the lows?
If you were to stand exactly on the veil at the moment of death, and imagine joining with that part of yourself that exists outside of time and space: that part.
If you believe this belief about death that you chose to be in this life, why did you choose this? What was the learning of this life? And did you learn it?
If you were to run back through again, go back to the beginning and start again, are there things you would do differently? Would you take different directions at different crossroads?
And if you were to stand exactly on the veil at the point of death and take yourself up high up along an axis that doesn’t exist in the three dimensions and time of our world, but exists in the between world, so that you could look exactly at all of the timeline of your life, all of the love, all of the grief, all of the fear, all of the joy, all of the despair, all of the wonder, all of the gratitude, all of the being and all of the feeling – and you could see it all from one end to the other, and you said, yes, this life I need, this life will teach me.
What would you whisper into the ear of the spirit coming in at the beginning of conception, ready to start anew?
Perhaps an old spirit. Perhaps a spirit that has been through many lifetimes. Or perhaps it’s new.
What would you whisper in? It’s here. Remember this. Remember. Remember, whatever else happens, remember this one thing?
What would it be?
And then coming back to stand just on the life side of the veil. Look around you and see who would you invite in spirit for to stand with you as you take that final step?
They can be people from your life, but they could also be people from your dreams. People from other worlds that you have known, people from fiction, people from stories heard from other people.
Who do you have – two, three, four, five at the most – standing beside you to witness as you step across the veil: who would that be – and what would they bring to make this moment the best that it could be?
And then as you step across the veil or look through the veil to the beyond, if it is the case, that those with whom we are most heart connected, blood spirits, ancestor spirits, bloodline, ancestor line or friends – come to greet us whether they’re alive or dead, because time means nothing on the other side.
Who would be there to greet you as you step forward? Who would you be most overjoyed and grateful to see, human or More-than-Human?
Who is it that waits on the other side of the veil, to welcome you to the land beyond life? And as you step forward or look forward and they are there to greet you, what would you say? What is it that you bring? What are your greatest memories? What have you learned? What was it that amazed you most of the life you had just left behind? What was hard? What was grand? What was beautiful? What was dark? What is it that you need to tell those who have come to greet you?
And then, because we have not yet crossed the veil, but those who come to greet us also may bring gifts, knowing that you’re going to step back into the lens of life. Are there any gifts brought by those who would greet you? Gifts of ideas. Gifts of care. Gifts, suggestions, gifts of support.
What would they offer, those who wait? And that part of you that is eternal, that waits outside of time and space, what gift does it send you back with?
As you step back through the veil, into the lands of life. With those who have supported your journey on either side, in the landscape, that is the perfect place to die. And this is our last visit here for now, so thank this place and everything that is of this place: the land, the sky, the trees, the sea, the water, the meadows, the birds in the air, the life on and under the ground. Thank it all for supporting your journey.
And then, with your awareness of the gifts, of the support of those who came to greet you, take your leave of this place.
We all take our leave of these places, and come back through time and through space, to the bodies that we left, grounded and boundaried, and breathing.
Take a breath all the way in, and all the way out. Feel the edge place where the physicality of your being meets the rest of the all that is; that boundary where your skin meets the air and the air meets your skin. Feel that edge. Know the containment of your own body.
And then feel the physicality of yourself: your seat on the chair, your feet on the floor, your back on the floor, and your connection through that root down into the heart of the earth. And feel the whole of the physicality of your body. Roll your shoulders. Move your fingers. Move your toes. And then open your eyes and with a very soft gaze, look around the room to anchor yourself back in this time. And this place.
STAY IN TOUCH
For a regular supply of ideas about humanity's next evolutionary step, insights into the thinking behind some of the podcasts, early updates on the guests we'll be having on the show - AND a free Water visualisation that will guide you through a deep immersion in water connection...sign up here.
(NB: This is a free newsletter - it's not joining up to the Membership! That's a nice, subtle pink button on the 'Join Us' page...)