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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...

For many years I have been studying the nature of worldview transformations. How do we change our minds? What actions do we need to take to make fundamental shifts in how we experience ourselves and the world? How can we shift our view of death in order to live life more fully? Over the past two decades I had the privilege to work with a team of researchers through the Institute of Noetic Sciences to study the nature of individual and social transformation. We published our results in Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life (Schlitz, Vieten,...

In honor of Mother's Day and mothers everywhere, below is a historical reflection that speaks to the heritage of this special day. Mother's Day first began after the Civil War, its emergence a protest by women who had lost their sons to the carnage brought by the many years of war. Here is the original Mother's Day Proclamation from 1870: Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, Whether our baptism be that of water or of fears! Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking...

It is an exciting time in the journey to bring the Death Makes Life Possible film to a wider audience. Our world tour will begin in May with our world premiere at the Illuminate Film Festival in Sedona, Arizona May 29-June 1! Responses to our initial screenings have been uniformly positive. Viewers are profoundly affected and it has stimulated deep and dynamic conversations. It’s clear this is a film that moves people to speak about their personal stories, explore their own beliefs and those of others, and think in transformative terms about death and dying. Below is a list of private screenings we've done prior...

This blog series is a transcript of a recent interview I did as a speaker for Dr. Karen Wyatt’s End-of-Life University. In our conversation we shared our own personal stories about death, transformation and the end of life. We also talked about our work in this realm, including my backstory on the documentary film Death Makes Life Possible, which will be world premiering at the Illuminate Film Festival in late May and also screened at the Afterlife Conference in early June. The beautiful web site for the movie will be launched very soon as well! Karen Wyatt: Is there anything else, Marilyn, that you would like...

This blog series is a transcript of a recent interview I did as a speaker for Dr. Karen Wyatt’s End-of-Life University. In our conversation we shared our own personal stories about death, transformation and the end of life. We also talked about our work in this realm, including my backstory on the documentary film Death Makes Life Possible, which will be world premiering at the Illuminate Film Festival in late May and also screened at the Afterlife Conference in early June. The beautiful web site for the movie will be launched very soon as well! Karen Wyatt: I definitely feel that the timing is right, and...

This blog series is a transcript of a recent interview I did as a speaker for Dr. Karen Wyatt's End-of-Life University. In our conversation we shared our own personal stories about death, transformation and the end of life. We also talked about our work in this realm, including my backstory on the documentary film Death Makes Life Possible, which will be world premiering at the Illuminate Film Festival in late May and also screened at the Afterlife Conference in early June. The beautiful web site for the movie will be launched very soon as well! Marilyn Schlitz: I’ve been reading Ernest Becker and The Denial of...

This blog series is a transcript of a recent interview I did as a speaker for Dr. Karen Wyatt's End-of-Life University. In our conversation we shared our own personal stories about death, transformation and the end of life. We also talked about our work in this realm, including my backstory on the documentary film Death Makes Life Possible, which will be world premiering at the Illuminate Film Festival in late May and also screened at the Afterlife Conference in early June. The beautiful web site for the movie will be launched very soon as well! Karen Wyatt: One question that I had for you that I...