Death Makes Life Possible

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...

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...

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...

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 wanted to start first...

How can we understand our own and other’s worldviews about death? To answer this compelling question, I have conducted extensive interviews over the past decade with cultural experts and scientists, focusing on diverse worldviews concerning death and the afterlife. A content analysis was conducted on these interviews to identify thematic trends across individuals representing different cultural, spiritual and religious worldviews. From this analysis, a telecourse and web-based learning program was developed. This was organized into a six-part telecourse that was offered as a benefit to Institute of Noetic Sciences members and to others who learned of the course through diverse networks. The...

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a wonderful online interview series as one of six other featured speakers in End-of-Life University 2013. This collection of interviews explored the multi-varied aspects of aging and the end-of-life. The host of the series, Karen Wyatt, MD, kicked off the event discussing why we need an "End-of-Life University." With her extensive experience in this field, including many years as a hospice medical director, Dr. Wyatt brings both her own wisdom and the wisdom of those she has cared for to her work. In her marvelous book, What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the...

The post-production process of the Death Makes Life Possible documentary is oh-so-close to being complete. I recently had the wonderful opportunity to pay a visit to Skywalker Sound located in the hills of Marin County. My colleagues and I spent the day in awe of the beauty and professionalism of the studio, and of the resulting sound quality for our movie. It was a dream working with Erik Foreman, sound engineer at Skywalker and the man at the controls as we reviewed each scene in the film. I hope you enjoy these photos from inside the studio! [caption id="attachment_1083" align="alignleft" width="1200"]...

Our production team is excited to be moving forward on the Death Makes Life Possible film project!  In collaboration Deepak Chopra and the Chopra Foundation, Co Director, Mark Krigbaum, I am thrilled by the progress that our team has made.  Over the past few months we have received feedback and made many changes to the film. We showed rough cuts to a small group of film makers and producers, such as Steve Michelson, Founder of The Video Project and producer of many films, and Jay Wood, producer and writer of Crude Impact. We also showed it at the IONS Conference...

Wonderful Enlightenment Mountain The three thousand great thousand worlds arise in a single thought. When the great manifests within the small, another world is reached. As the breeze blows through Ukiah, fragrant flowers smile. When it rains in Talmage, moistened plants rejoice. With boundless joy and giving, bring benefit to the multitudes. With vows of kindness and compassion, alleviate suffering and bestow happiness. The constant changes of the land are speaking the great Dharma. Wonderful Enlightenment Mountain wells forth from the earth. --Composed by Venerable Master Hua on April 20, 1978 As a public speaker, I have had the opportunity to teach in many venues, from the United Nations to...

Lisa Reagan of LILIPOH Magazine interviewed Deepak  Chopra and me about the upcoming Death Makes Life Possible film for their Winter 2013 edition. Download the PDF of the full article here: Death Makes Life Possible LILIPOH Spring 2013 This article will soon appear in Mandrin. Science is very influenced by the dominant paradigm of materialism, but it is now being informed by spiritual insights. One of the extraordinary things of our times is that never before have so many ways of approaching reality come into contact.  - Marilyn Schlitz This article also appeared June 10th on the Kindred Community website, including a Soundcloud link...

What happens when we die? And how does asking this question imbue our lives with greater health, happiness, and pro-social behaviors? Thanks to the support of over 550 of you, we have been able to dig deeply into these questions and more through the 'Death Makes Life Possible' project. Here’s what we’ve been up to: Our multi-talented team of experts has been working tirelessly over the past year on 'Death Makes Life Possible.' This project includes a feature-length independent documentary that we're co-producing with The Chopra Foundation. It explores explores a subject that touches everyone and everything on the planet, and offers...