This weeks Spine & Wine Topic: Overcoming the Fear of Death
by Kelvin H. Chin, Life After Life Expert
What is Death?
Death is inevitable. But what is death? Is it the end, the beginning, or a transition? How we understand and view death directly affects how we respond to the death of a loved one and how we think about our own death. Helping people overcome their fear of death involves increasing that understanding and can, in some cases, also involve opening one’s awareness and receptivity to one’s past memories that may go back many years, even lifetimes.
Beliefs about Death
It doesn’t matter what your beliefs are about death. Everybody can overcome their fear of death. Whether you’re like my father was — “…stick me in the ground when I die, I’m gone! No body, no mind!”, or whether you believe that your mind will continue to be alive after your body dies, and even if you believe that not only will your mind stay alive, but it can also choose to come back in another lifetime in another body — whichever of the many different beliefs you hold, you can overcome your fear of death.
Why care about the Fear of Death?
Fear is not helpful if you want to lead an effective, productive, happy life. Fear contracts our experience and thinking — it limits us. And the fear of death is “the big one” that most people have — it is only rivaled (according to studies) by the fear of public speaking! The fear of death is like the proverbial “elephant in the room” — no one wants to acknowledge it’s there, and though it is huge and obviously there, we fool ourselves into thinking that if we don’t look at it, maybe it will disappear and go away. Similarly, we don’t want to think about death. We fool ourselves into thinking if we don’t think about how we feel about death, it too will go away and leave us alone. But in reality, the subtle (and in some people not so subtle) fear of death is there lingering in the background just beyond our conscious awareness. And if it hasn’t made itself known to us beforehand, it will very likely rear its head and make itself very painfully known at or near our death. Plus, while it’s there lingering in the background even if it’s just beyond our conscious awareness, it is eating up valuable energy — mental, emotional, psychic and physical energy — that we could be using for other much better purposes — like loving ourselves and our loved ones, performing better at our jobs, creating the next new invention, and being the world’s next most successful diplomat. So, there are some very practical reasons for overcoming the fear of death, sooner rather than later.
Each individual’s beliefs and experiences are fundamental to their perspective on death – I respect those beliefs and adjust our discussions accordingly to each audience I address or individual who consults with me. Because my own memories reach back thousands of years, and include many different traditional approaches to death, I can more easily assist others when they are dealing with death head on, and help them to develop within themselves a broader understanding so they can lessen their fears about death now – and then continue on their own until they overcome all those fears. So, as I said, it doesn’t matter what one’s belief is about death.
I have been involved in self-exploration for many years, and have been lecturing, conducting trainings, and leading workshops for more than 40 years to over 2,000 audiences worldwide. Topic areas span a wide range – personal development and relationships, legal services, negotiations, mediation, and meditation. Recently I was asked by some old friends to rekindle and expand a similar project on death and dying that I began in the 1980s, so now I’ve returned to helping people overcome the fear of death, whether it be a loved one’s or their own. This project on overcoming the fear of death was also discussed as part of a presentation in November 2014 in Alexandria, VA (see www.30thNovember.com for more details). I learned to meditate at age 19 and have continued to teach meditation and other methods of “turning within” to thousands globally over the past 40 years in living rooms, corporations, schools, and on the Internet, both in person and on the phone. I’m a graduate of Dartmouth, Yale, and Boston College Law School, live in Austin, Texas, and have lectured throughout the United States and in 6 other countries.
For my lecture dates and locations, see the nonprofit charity, Overcoming the Fear of Death Foundation atwww.OvercomingtheFearofDeath.org. My lectures and courses are made available to the public by the Foundation without charge. Contact me with your personal questions or to share your stories and insights with me. I look forward to our next conversation.