Hameau de l'Etoile, St Martin de Londres, Languedoc
All night long, one of the moody winds of the Midi played with me, rattling all the doors and windows in my room, stirring the drawers in the cabinets, like an ardent lover who would not allow me to sleep. I felt happy and regenerated as I watched the light rise above the mountains from the balcony of the Pigionnier, my room at the top of a stone farmhouse.
On my way to coffee and baguettes in the restaurant below, I met a sweest black labrador on the cobbled path, an excellent sign for the day, since one of my personal superstitions is that a friendly black dog is a good omen. The black lab sat at my feet, invited me to pet, and as I scratched his ears I reflected that in many traditions the black dog is a guide of souls, and a guardian of the gates to the afterlife.
As we gathered in the Bergerie, the restored farm building that was our workshop space, a double rainbow made a complete arch over the mountains. It was in plain few through the great rounded windows opposite my own place in our circle of forty dreamers who had come from near and far - from Arizona and Hanover, from Bucharest and Hanover - to practice death in one of my favorite workshops, Making Death Your Ally.
"Three times makes the charm," I recalled. I felt we had all received a triple blessing, from the animate and amorous wind, the friendly black dog, the double rainbow. This proved to be simple truth. We shared a rich and remarkable long day's journey to Death.
We practiced crossing to the Other Side - for our own eventual journeys, and for passages we might guide for others. In our initial round of dream sharing, a lovely man whose wife was in hospital, considered to be terminal, shared a dream from the previous night. He had asked to see how he could companion his wife on her tremendous journey into the afterlife. In his dream, he found himself at the edge of a river. To cross it, he was required to wade deep into the water, until he submerged himself, and to keep walking until he reached a pleasant house on the far shore where a couple were waiting for him. There was a quality of light and beauty and agelessness about that couple, unknown to him in ordinary reality. He felt they were the owners of a safe house where he and his wife could be welcomed on the Other Side, and where they could meet when one or both took up residence there. He wondered if the beautiful couple could be himself and his wife as they might be when they leave sickness and the weight of years behind, in life after life. This powerful and moving dream prompted me to make a crossing by water the map for the first group journey to practice the transition to the next world.
Later we made another group journey with a modern script. I instructed the group to journey to an airport. This might at first resemble an airport that was familiar to them, Charles de Gaulle or JFK or Heathrow. But it would soon prove to be a nonordinary location. They would become vividly aware of that when they noticed what happened to their luggage. Instead of being carried on board the plane, their bags - which might represent their physical bodies after death - would be destroyed. They would choose their own airlines, and they would find that the choice was very different from Air France or United or Lufthansa. Some of these airlines operated according to collective belief systems and flew to destinations promised by different religions. Thus Shambhala Air, or Paradise, or Valhalla. Some flew into a realm where travelers learn to construct their own afterlife environments, according to their imagination, their knowledge and their passions.
Both these group journeys were wonderfully successful. I suggested to our voyagers that they would want to check out various locations on the Other Side, such as a welcoming center, a place of higher education, a place of life review, or a communications center where the deceased come to try to get through to the living. The detailed travelers' reports that were shared grew our geography of the afterlife. While drumming for the group, I was able to tour the many options for communication between the departed and people on Earth offered by an Interworld Cafe. I was able to audit a class in Reality Creation in a college where students are taught how to work with subtle stuff known as "ideoplastics" to build whole environments.
As the light fell, late in the afternoon session, we prepared for the close-up encounter with Death. This was an indelible experience, in which the members of circle were required - as they rose from their shrouds after submitting to a soul-wrenching interrogarion by a personal Death - to write the terms of a contract for a life extension, and have these contracts formally witnessed by others. This was a new twist I was inspired to make in this workshop, long one of my favorites. Acting as his agent, I felt that Death was very satisfied with the contracts he extracted.
For more on Making Death Your Ally, please read Dreamgates: Exploring the Worlds of Soul, Imagination and Life Beyond Death. For opportunities to take this depth training in North America and other locations, please visit my website.
View from the window of our workshop space on December 4, 2012. Photo by R.M.