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The Death Makes Life Possible team recently traveled to Nevada City for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival. A sold out audience attended the screening of the film, and afterwards engaged in some passionate and moving dialogue with the filmmakers. Wild & Scenic featured Marilyn Schlitz, Executive Producer/Writer,  on their radio interview series during the event, and also produced a short video interview. Please enjoy these media and some other photos from the festival below!   Marilyn Schlitz, Death Makes Life Possible at Wild & Scenic   KVMR Radio Broadcast from Wild & Scenic Film Festival Media Reception [audio mp3="http://deathmakeslifepossible.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/WSFF_Media_Reception_on_KVMR_MSchlitz.mp3"][/audio]   Photos             ...

With Part 1 of this series, I introduced Terror Management Theory and discussed the implications for society when the idea of death is approached with anxiety and fear. Transforming the way we think about death and dying into a process of joy and inspired living may in turn transform the way we interact with others and lead to a more peaceful world. But where and how does this transformation begin? In this blog I share the words of an individual on this path of transformation. Yassir Chadly, a Sufi man I interviewed for the Death Makes Life Possible book and movie, holds a worldview that embraces religious and...

[caption id="attachment_1796" align="alignleft" width="300"] Paris, France. Thousands come together in solidarity for peace after the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris.[/caption] How can we use our own awareness around mortality to help overcome our aggressions and promote peace? Some social theorists assert that much of the violence and strife in our world is fundamentally the result of a shared cultural fear of death. As we look at the recent incidents in France, as well as other ethnic conflict around the world, we begin to see the application of this theory. The existence of alternative worldviews can cause us to question our own convictions and...

As we approach the holiday season it's a time for us to reflect and examine our own beliefs and worldviews. In this post we explore a powerful transformative tool: the labyrinth. The following is an excerpt from my book Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life.   For Episcopal priest Lauren Artress, the ancient symbol of the labyrinth is a portal to the sacred. She quoted William Blake to us, "To the imagination, the sacred is self-evident" and then continued: The self-evidence of sacredness to the imagination is something we want to nurture. The labyrinth is a great place to do...

According to a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, almost two thirds of Americans with a 'great deal' of stress feel they have no control over it. Although we may be aware of how stressed we are on an every day basis, we may be less aware of simple practices that can help reduce stress and its debilitating effects. The book I co-authored, Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life,  includes a number of practices that can help in reducing and managing our stressful lives. One of these practices was inspired by an interview with Swami Veda Bharati, a teacher and spiritual...

In the United States we celebrate our veterans, and the patriotism, the courage, and the sacrifice that they embody in service to the country. It is especially important to remember and honor those who gave their life in such service. Today, Veteran's Day, I want to share with you a scene from the documentary film Death Makes Life Possible, in which I interview veterans about their experience of life and loss. I have also included a sneak-peek excerpt from my upcoming book of the same name. In this excerpt veteran’s speak about their experience in war and how these experiences shaped their perspective on...

Every year, immediately after Halloween a unique cultural event occurs. It's an event that celebrates our mortality by honoring the lives of those who are no longer physically with us. This day is called Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. This holiday originates in Mexico, but is now becoming more and more popular in the United States as well. From city parades, to children's movies, how we approach death and dying in our culture seems to be shifting. Below is a sneak peak of a clip from the Death Makes Life Possible movie, and also an excerpt from my upcoming book of the same name (to be published in...

In June 2014, I had the privilege of leading a two-day Worldview Explorations train-the-trainers workshop at Zi-Zhu-Lin Purple Bamboo Monastery in Southern Taiwan. Worldview Explorations is a research-based experiential program I helped create (in collaboration with the Institute of Noetic Sciences) for middle school, high-school, and college students. The program's mission is to develop and increase access to curricula and tools that help youth and lifelong learners contemplate and understand the fundamental role that worldview plays in the perceptions and behaviors of themselves and others. At the gathering an interpreter translated for me as I shared with an attentive and enthusiastic group of 120...

I found myself at the end of my whirlwind tour of the globe in June 2014 when I took a flight from Taiwan to Sweden. Here I gave a presentation at Mindful Life 2014, a conference organized by Mindhouse Park. The organizers described the event as a place to "encounter a number of people and situations that offer us the opportunity to explore our consciousness in various circumstances and settings." The program ultimately asked the question, "How are you affected in your daily life by an altered consciousness, ie. by becoming more aware of yourself and your surroundings?" You can view my...

In previous blogs in this series I began tracing my journey across the world, from one transformative community to another. From the East Coast to Asia, the transformation tour continued when I went to an event at the College of Hakka Studies in Jhongli City. This was sponsored by the Luminary Research Institute, Gaya Foundation, Luminary International Buddhist Society. The topics weaved themes related to Transformation and Embracing Challenges, and my own talk on “Emerging Worldviews,” focused on the process of individual and social transformation. Other fascinating talks included: “Cultivating a Precious Mind: A Case Study of ‘The Elementary School Mind Training Program’” by...

The September issue of Spirituality in Clinical Practice published an article I authored titled, "Gaining perspective on death: Training program and language use outcomes assessment." With co-authors, Jonathan Schooler, Alan Pierce, Angela Murphy, and Arnaud Delorme, this paper examined how structured, supportive discourse on death, dying and what may happen after can have positive, therapeutic outcomes, especially in clinical contexts for both patients and caregivers. We used journaling data from a telecourse I taught called, "Death Makes Life Possible: Mapping Worldviews of the Afterlife," to specifically highlight the various ways the course material may have shifted participants' relationship with death, dying, and their own mortality. These...

                 Consciousness Transformation in Asia [caption id="attachment_1564" align="alignleft" width="225"] Conference participants Priscilla and Lily Yea with our Buddhist escorts in front of Asia University.[/caption] The call for transformation is echoing throughout Asia. Over the past few years I have visited Hong Kong and China. In June, 2014, this call brought me to Taiwan, where I met with scholars, scientists and spiritual teachers to participate in a series of global exchanges. I began at the International Symposium for Transdisciplinarity at Asia University. The private university in Taichung County was founded early in the 21st century. The focus...

Sukie Miller, Ph.D. was a force of nature. She brought gusto to every moment of every day. Her insights about culture, the after death realms, and depth psychology were spell-binding. Her enthusiasm for life was contagious. Her friendship was deep and true. As she approached the end of her embodiment, she was open to the next adventure  with characteristic panache. After a protracted illness that she would not let defeat her, she died on December 18, 2013. Sukie was a psychotherapist who dedicated her life to understanding human nature in all its complexities. Her seminal book, After Death, Mapping the Journey,...

Positive transformation is afoot in the world. From various corners of the earth people are coming together to talk about the powers and potentials within us to affect life-affirming changes in ourselves and the world. This summer I engaged in a worldwide tour. I found myself moved by the remarkable people and the extraordinary work that is underway on every continent. This included the kinds of people and the types of activities that are often not featured in the prime time news. And yet, as I learned time and again, it involves groundbreaking initiatives to improve our collective wellbeing that are...