The "After Life"

Hello. I’m new here, so apologise straight away if this is not an appropriate topic. I’ve just decided to get it out before my more “sensible” side vetoes it. I’m perhaps closer to final days that many of you, being in my 70s, and this is something that concerns me.

I fear I haven’t done a very good job of this life and hope there will be more time to improve myself. I used to LD etc., spontaneously, without fully appreciating what this gift was, but the last 15 years I have been unwell, etc., and it’s all gone away mostly. Have had some small results from effort but still need to keep on forging on.

What I want to know is, will I have a chance to take a break after death, or will I just have to come right back and start again? I feel so tired and find that idea quite chilling, frankly. I’m just being honest. The only way to defeat some aspects of ego is to expose the stupid thing to the light of day. Some groups, such as The Monroe Institute, offer endless courses in OBE etc., so you can “find out” answers to these sorts of questions. I did one course in the UK when we were there and frankly got nowhere, and was generally unimpressed with the whole thing, and now feel that OBE stuff is not an end in itself anyway, even thought part of me would love to have some cosmic fun :smiley:

I 'm sorry I can’t ask these sorts of questions in a group setting, I live in New Zealand and the time difference is too great to join in stuff, sadly.

Part of me really needs some answers so I can get a better perspective, and I hope someone has some helpful words or directions for me. Many thanks indeed in advance.


Jane, I can relate to some of what you are expressing here. I’m in my 70s with several ailments characteristic of old age, former military service and a lifetime of klutz-ology. I’ve only recently focused on Dharma and like you, am thinking about what Andrew Holececk refers to as (Tibetan phrase) “The Dream at the End of Time”—death. I’ve taken a few Bardo retreats with him, and others, and it seems that it is possible to have some determination about the conditions of voluntary rebirth, versus involuntary rebirth, something I’d also like to bypass. Here’s a link to one of his courses. They have really helped to to alter my perspective for the here and now, making whatever comes next not a burden at all, but rather another passage. Yes, it’s a big passage but I am working to get ready!

I find Dream Yoga to be a struggle at my age, though some others who have been practicing meditation and working with Dharma seem to be better at dreaming and remember dreams than those of us without much preparation. It just means that I’ll have to work harder to get back into lucidity at night. We’re all on a path, so it’s good to look from side to side and see fellow travelers.


Thank you with all my heart, Barry. That’s really all I needed to know. I’ll check out the link. Onwards and upwards :smiley:


There is another thing I’d like to share. Unanswered questions are bottled up in me to explosion point in many ways. My parents were always telling me not to ask stupid questions to which there were no answers. I know they were not stupid questions, actually. Hmmph!

When we were both about 24, my dearest girl friend took her own life.

After a few months of feeling really upset, I dream I have found her. In the dream, which I would now describe as semi-lucid, I run up some stairs and there she is in bed in an attic bedroom, with an open window with roses growing around and sun shining in. It’s a lovely place. She is sad, pale, cold and wrapped in a big fur coat. She looks as unhappy as I recall her being before the end. I dash up to her and say, “Thank Goodness I’ve found you! Come on, let’s get out of here! I’ll look after you!” She replies in a sad and definite way, “No, I can’t come with you Jane. I can’t go where you’re going.”

I’ve never entirely understood what she was saying and can only hope that understanding will arrive some day, as this dream still resonates with me. I awoke, 5o years ago, understanding again that she was dead, and the grinding, debilitating grief of her loss was lifted to a large extent. I guess I knew she was being cared for. I still wonder 50 years later where this place I’m supposed to be going might be if she couldn’t go there, or did she merely mean “back into life”? I hope I’ll understand one day. No answer I’ve got from anyone I’ve told has yet satisfied me.

Strange how these intense dreams never leave you, and are as fresh as when just dreamed in recall, and when most of the details of one’s life are forgotten.


Sounds to me as if she knows she is gone and cannot rejoin you in this life, at least not as the same person.

It’s the out-of-the-ordinary things that usually stay with us. That’s what makes them memorable. My best dream recollection is from 1972, where I was awakened from sleep by a voice that warned me of impending danger. It’s as real now as it was then.


I am probably the last person here who should be answering this question…but as an older guy as well, I have considered it and I have looked for answers as well.

Rupert Spira, when asked a very similar question, had a wonderful metaphor that really resonates with me. He said that primordial Consciousness is like a river and our consciously aware existence is like a whirlpool in that river. When the whirlpool that is us finally dissipates, some of what made up the energy of it flows off and becomes a part of another whirlpool downstream.

I truly believe that you will get that break but that some of you will come back into the river as another coalesced being. I think that we get many chances and that our baggage is stored…deeper than mere memory.

This perspective, in my opinion, is deeper than dreaming and deeper than OBE’s.

Be at ease in this time of your life. Know that you have done what you can and just try to let the light that is there within you shine.


Thank you, Steve. That’s a lovely message and brought to mind another dream I had back in the 90s.

I’m on a beach, it’s a very hot day and I’m tired. I lie down on the sand and as I do so an enormous green and fragrant wave rushes towards me, rising high in the air, and crashes down on me, washing me away. I no longer exist in any physical sense, but all I am, all my memories and experiences still exist in this disembodied state. I’m fully alive.

I remember being so happy after that dream. I try sometimes to recall how it felt, but it’s not easy. Right now, I’m struggling with my physical health, and it seems an analogue of my spiritual needs also. It’s nice being here and being able to talk to such understanding folk. Thank you so much again <3 <3


@Sujata Many thanks indeed. I’ll certainly do that.


@Sujata : Ah! Again, many thanks for guiding me around the mysteries of the site. Much appreciated


Hello Jane,
Thank you. I appreciate your share from the heart. :heart:

I would offer a thought that perhaps the unique, mysterious and precious nature of your existence will never be understood in a framework that cannot identify all of the causes and conditions that inform your life, your experiences–your being; just like these same concepts about your dearest friend’s actions, words and meanings can’t be understood by you–even to this day. Both powered by love.

If one takes the view that clear light mind often informs one’s dreams, perhaps the sense of partial relief that was felt 50 years ago had something to do you ‘waking to an understanding’ regarding non-physical connection (illusion of separation) drawn from your own wisdom (clear light mind) that is inconceivable, inexpressible and indescribable (as the Buddhists say) in our dualistic framework of existence?

BTW: I loved your green wave dream! I believe it points in the direction of this notion of non-duality. May you be happy, well and at ease. Namaste. C


@jaspercl06: I have to agree with this, Carol. It feels right and beautiful too. My impertinent inquiring bit wants to know everything and can’t, not here.

Many thanks indeed for this diamond-like koan of a response :smiley:



Hi @cloudragon. Please forgive me for being dumb, but could you please explain what you mean in plain language? I feel I’m missing quite a lot from your responses by not actually understanding what you’re saying to me. Same with the discussion about dakini. I’m a Westerner educated in that culture. I’m just beginning to learn a little about Buddhism, and I’m feeling very much at home. But I lack your depth of understanding and need you to talk in my kind of words if you would, so I can more appreciate what you’re telling me.

Grateful thanks and sincere love :heart_decoration:


Sorry, I’m none the wiser. I have no idea what you’re trying to tell me. It feels like advice, but unless you can clearly explain, I’ll have to give up trying to understand your messages all together. I don’t want to be awkward at all, but I think you’re making far too many assumptions about me.

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Donald Hoffman speaks of space/time, in which the physical body exists as a data compression mechanism. His thinking is that the amount of information that exists in pure Consciousness is so vast that there is no way we can process it so we have been conditioned to only process that which is important to our survival.

He compares that concept to trying to take in all of the information on the Twittersphere…we never could. So we compress that data to our own needs.

Sometimes we find ourselves stepping beyond that compressed data and if we are not prepared for the flood of information it can overwhelm us. These various yogas that we are learning and practicing can help to prepare us for those glimpses of uncompressed (or unfiltered) “information” that we sometimes get in the dream or in those liminal (bardo) moments between these dreams…be they the dreams of the night or the dream that is this waking life.

Hope that helps a little @Jane72


Nicely pictured. Now I understand . . .


That helps a great deal. Thank you very much indeed, @Steve_Gleason. It also enables me to file, as it were, some experiences which have been significant and that I could not place “anywhere” :pray:

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Let me also say, right here and now, how much I value these interactions, and what a precious and wonderful place this is. You are all special to me now, good dharma friends. I hope to be able to find the dosh to become an Emerald, a jewel I adore, before too horribly long :heartpulse: