You’ve heard of a Near Death Experience. You may not be as familiar with a Shared Death Experience. A Shared Death Experience is when a healthy person shares in the crossing over of someone transitioning into the next world. Surprisingly, this phenomenon can be induced with the proper training and intention.
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Finding the Pathway Home: An Introduction to the Methods that Enable a Shared Crossing
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- MANIFEST a conscious, connected and loving end-of-life experience.
- ENABLE a shared death experience and other shared crossings.
- REALIZE that our bonds with loved ones continue beyond human death.
You’ve heard of a Near Death Experience. You may not be as familiar with a Shared Death Experience. A Shared Death Experience is when a healthy person shares in the crossing over of someone transitioning into the next world. Surprisingly, this phenomenon can be induced with the proper training and intention.
William Peters is the founder of the Shared Crossing Project and director of its Research Initiative, a nonprofit that raises awareness and educates people about the profound healing experiences possible for the dying and their loved ones. William is a global leader in shared death studies and end-of-life phenomena. He conducts workshops and presents internationally. William is a psychotherapist specializing in grief and bereavement and served as a hospice worker with the Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco. He has had two NDEs and a variety of shared crossings that inform his perspective on death, dying, and the afterlife.
William’s work has appeared in the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Omega – Journal of Death and Dying, and CNN News.
His bestselling book, At Heaven’s Door: What Shared Journeys to the Afterlife Teach about Dying Well and Living Better, was recently published by Simon & Schuster.
Brian Smith 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine
what are the things in life, the causes the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be. We feel like we’ve been buried, but what if like a seed we’ve been planted and having been planted, who grow to become a mighty tree. Now, open your eyes, open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true, infinite, eternal nature. This is grief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith. Everybody this is Brian back with another episode of grief to growth. And today I’ve got with me William Peters. I’ve known William for about four years now I’ve been following his work. But this is the first time he and I have actually talked face to face. But he’s the founder of the share crossing project and he’s director of its research initiative. And what it is it’s a nonprofit that works to raise awareness and educate people about the profound healing profound and healing experiences that are possible for the dying and their loved ones. He’s a global leader in shared death studies and end of life phenomena. He conducts workshops and presents internationally. He’s a psychotherapist specializing in grief and bereavement, and started with hospice as a hospice worker with the Zen hospice project in San Francisco. He’s had two nd ease and a variety of share crossings that inform his perspective on death, dying and the afterlife. Williams work has appeared in The American Journal of hospice and palliative medicine, Omega Journal of death and dying. And CNN news. His best selling book is called at heaven’s door with shared journeys to the afterlife teach about dying and living better. And that was recently published by Simon and Schuster. We’ll be talking about his book today. The website will be up. I’ll say this again later. But I’ll just say now, while we’re here, it’s shared crossing.com. So with that, I want to welcome to grief to growth. William Peters.
William Peters 2:03
Thanks for having me, Brian. Pleasure to be here.
Brian Smith 2:06
Yeah, it’s it’s really, I’m really looking forward to this conversation. As I was saying, I don’t know that you knew it. But I’ve been following your work for a while. And we happen to run each other at a conference couple of weeks ago. And I was like, I gotta get this guy on, because everybody needs to know about the shared death experience, but I don’t think a lot of people do. So let’s start with what is a shared death experience?
William Peters 2:27
Yes, so a shared death experience occurs when somebody dies, and a loved one caregiver. Or bystanders, even often a health care worker will report that they shared in the journey from this human life into the afterlife, of course, that’s going with the dying person. And this is experienced in a number of different ways. Sometimes it’s just sensing. And they feel like they’ve just had the sense that a person’s dying and they feel the journey, if you will. And then but the most common way we have is that they actually witness and observe what we call death related phenomena, which is seeing deceased relatives or participating in a life review of sorts are, or seeing the light, oftentimes in the most common experience is
the shared death experience or sees the dying progressing along this journey. Now, there are a couple of features that are important in the STE The first one is that the dominant motif is journey. There, there has to be this sense of movement, that the experiencer is sensing and feeling observing are in some cases actually accompany the dying along this, this pathway.
it was all love, and I understood everything. So we say it’s love and understanding. And the phenomena are identical. If you know most we we say identical because we haven’t seen any phenomena and the STD that don’t appear in an ND E. So very similar font phenomenon.
Brian Smith 4:41
Yeah, I think, again, most people are familiar with the N D E. And we’ve heard of dream visitations, and sometimes even apparitions are something they’ll happen when someone’s crossing over. But I don’t know that a lot of people are familiar with it with a shared death experience. I really appreciate you getting that message out there and I appreciate you explaining in such detail. What it is this idea of almost going along with the person as they’re crossing over?
William Peters 5:04
Yes, exactly. And that’s why the bond is between the experiencer. And the person dying is really important. And that we see as kind of the substrate of the relationship. Now, we do have healthcare workers, hospice workers, in particular, who will have Ste was with their patients. And some people will say, Well, why didn’t the brother partner or loved one, have the STE with the person dying rather than the hospice worker? Well, what we often find in these cases is the hospice worker will say something like, I was really close to so and so when he or she was dying. And there’s often this experience as well. And her family was resistant to her die. And so at that moment of death, there seems to be the dying may reach out to somebody who’s really affirming and there for them around the transition itself. So we don’t have a lot of those cases, but sometimes that you scratch your head and say, Wait a minute, the family was around the bed, but the hospice nurse was there too. And she had the experience. Now you can have a multi person SDE as well, more than one person can have it. But we only see that in about 12% of our cases. And that would be a low number. The reason why is when you when you do more, we’re doing research to actually validate and document a multiperson SDE. It takes those family members who have had it to share the experience. And funny thing that we found is oftentimes, family members are divided about whether they want to share it or not. And so that that dampens down our data as to how many times shared SDE might occur.
Brian Smith 7:03
Yeah, I would imagine some people might think it’s a personal thing, but some people also might feel like people are gonna think I’m crazy.
William Peters 7:12
Both you right, Brian, we get both of those.
Brian Smith 7:15
So I’m curious. How did you get into this field? Because you’re the only person I know that’s doing this work?
William Peters 7:22
Yeah, so I mean, I had a near death experience when I was 17 years old, a high speed skiing accident. And it was a classic near death experience. I on impact I catapulted out of my body, I saw my body on the ski slopes, I was moving away rapidly. At some point, I had a satellite view of my body on the ski slopes. And all the time this was I was moving away, I was having a life review. So I got to see every detail of my life played out for me. Then I saw the light out in the distance, I was just a beautiful galaxy. But the light got my attention. And I realized, Oh, I’m dying. Wow, I’m dying. And I don’t want to die. Unlike so many near death experiences, I actually pled with God to come back and have more of my life. So I did. But before I came back, while I was in the light, just as I say God was pushing me back to Earth, I heard make something of your life. And that was quite profound. So I would have another near death experience by a decade later in an ICU, where I had a blood imbalance. And in that situation, I just found myself in the middle of the night hovering above that wall at the top of the ICU just below the ceiling. And it was quite beautiful experience. I had no pain. I was a free floating consciousness. I was there for a long time listening to conversations of nurses and janitors and other health care staff. And I didn’t even know I had a body down below until the doctor tapped on my hand. And I was I was asleep. So it looked, I was unconscious in that ICU bed. But when he tapped on me and called out my name, I said, Oh, I’ll look over I got you know, not much going on in the ICU at four o’clock in the morning. So I moved over there and looked like oh my gosh, that’s me. That’s me down below there. And then I had this question about whether I would answer him because you say Mr. Peters, Mr. Peters, I want to would you wake up you know, and and I said, Okay, I’ll answer him and as I did answer him, I filled in my body, and the view of the doctor changed from seeing him From above, looking at his crown to now looking through my eyes right into his spectacles. And that was an interesting, rapid shift of perspective. So those are my two nd ease. But I also worked in San Francisco during the AIDS epidemic. And this would be the late 80s. This happened before between my two STDs. And when I was working with these communities, primarily of gay men who were dying of the HIV virus, I provided social services, I’ve provided counseling services, grief and bereavement. And I befriended a lot of the people in the community because this was a hard time and I was somebody who was very receptive. Just to provide services. I mean, that’s was my job, but I really enjoyed providing the services and having conversations that that gave me insight into what these communities were going through and how I can help. So I made friends with one gentleman, whose name is Brad, but I changed them thinking of his real name. And in the book, I changed his name, just so you know, so.
And Brad was kind of a death doula before his time, or might when we might want to call as a psychopomp. In the sense that he helped soul spirits in human bodies crossover into the afterlife. Wow. And, and so he would share stories with me. And one day he came in and shared this story that just really opened my heart and, and you’ll see why when I share it with you why it resonated with me. He talked about his, he called him his brother all and they lived and they were homeless. And they lived in encampments, and in burnt and burned out building and South of Market in San Francisco. And so, and he shared that, as his brother was dying, Randy, the community of a satellite, about an eight to 10 people were gathered around his bed. And then they saw him rise out of his body up a cylinder of light. And as he got to the top of what sounded like the top of the room, he looked down and everybody did Randy, he was healthy. He was happy. He was at peace. And he kind of bowed to everybody saying thank you, thank you, thank you for caring me for caring for me. I love you. And I’ll see you again later. And then he just bolted away. And so that experience had happened not more than a few hours before Randy came into my office and he was quite emotionally moved by he was weeping as he shared the story. And when I heard it, I immediately remembered my own first near death experience about how I had risen out of my body and how I’d seen that light and how I moved ascended upwards. And so it just, and he looked at me, and he says, you know, do you believe me? And I looked at him, and I said, believe you. And it just struck me as so strange. It’s like, of course, I believe you. And it was such a natural response. Like it made me think I mean, people don’t believe these experiences. So you know, I was only at that time, 2526 27 years old in that time period. And so I always had a sense for an afterlife, I grew up Catholic. Now, the afterlife that I learned about in the, in the nd ease was radically different. But still, I just found that interesting that that, and I would learn that in in my research, Brian, this is what we see is that people who have the STE, are very scared of sharing it. They they’ll often be in a hospital with someone die, and they’ll have the experience. And sometimes, you know, many years later, they’ll come and see me. And they’ll and I’ll say, Well, have you shared this with anybody? And they’ll say, Well, I shared it with my partner or my best friend and and I’ll say, Well, how was that? Uh, well, you know, they heard me but it’s, you know, it wasn’t like they were like, Tell me more. It was kind of like, you know, and you started out our interview saying this very well. I think the well we know the SDE is just now coming into public awareness. And people are talking about this and the mere fact of your generosity to invite me onto Hear your show here today suggests that there is increasing interest. So but people are afraid to share these experiences. Not all the time, but can be, we certainly find that in our interviews about 39% of our interviewees will say that they feel some apprehension about either being dismissed, discounted or ridiculed.
Brian Smith 15:25
Yeah. Well, you know, we talked about I think, before we started recording, you know, Raymond Moody kind of opened the door in the late 1970s. For the near death experience, even though people have been having them for 1000s of years. The MSDE I can only think of one other person, I’ve had her on my program. Her name is Lisa Jones, I can say because she’s been on the program a couple of times. And I heard her tell her story, I can remember this before I met you or after and I’m like, I’ve never heard of anything like this. And for people that don’t know, she accompanied her, her husband who was passing up to a certain point and saw, like the whole family, they’re waiting and being announced and the whole and I’m getting goosebumps, as I say this in the whole going home, and got to witness that. And I didn’t even know that was a thing.
William Peters 16:12
Yeah. And Lisa says, experience is lovely, because she also talks about the greeting party that you mentioned, with the valley, the deceased relatives there. But she also talks about a palace. A really huge, and a party that’s bringing prepared those a lot. She doesn’t see the party, but she sees people scurrying about to get ready for the arrival of her husband of her husband, her husband’s untimely death. So yes, you are I’m I agree. I mean, I think, you know, well, I can say this, that the interest in Ste and in people’s reaching out to me, since my book came out in which it only happened in January of this year, has been overwhelming. I mean, I, I am thankful that people are genuinely interested and lots of interviews, lots of podcasts, lots of good people like you who are in the know about, hey, what’s of interest right now what’s trending in a positive way. And I feel like that is what’s happening for the shared death experience
Brian Smith 17:29
currently, well, I want to promote anything that promotes hope to people. So the s d s, t as a spiritual transformative experiences, out of body experiences, near death experiences, they all point to the same thing, that we are consciousness living in a body temporarily when the body dies, we go home, we know. But the thing about the shared death experience that is, I think, kind of different from some of the other ones may be is the thing I love about your institute, I’m going to talk about this as people can plan to try to facilitate a shared death experience, which I learned when I heard you speak four years ago at the AR AI conference. So So talk about that, because it’s great to have these experiences near death experiences. You don’t want to have this I always tell people, people say I’d like to have a near death experience. Everybody I’ve talked to says you don’t want to have one shared death experience might be different.
William Peters 18:24
Well, yeah, you know, and there’s a key difference. Obviously, a near death experience is typically some sort of significant physiological stress. Doesn’t have to be a brush with death, but most of them are. And a shared death experience is experienced by, like I said, a caregiver, a loved one, healthy mind and body, in two thirds of the cases that we have found, and now you know, over 250 plus cases we’ve deeply analyzed, two thirds of them are remote. So you’re just doing your life and all of a sudden, you know, whoa, I’m thinking of Aunt Betty. And I’m seeing my grandmother and a lot of family members, and why am I seeing scenes of my life together with Aunt Betty. So this is like, this is people just cooking and all of a sudden, that pops into their mind. So so they’re clearly not harmful at all to anyone’s health, and they’re available to everyone, to everyone. And that means because everyone we know is going to die. And we are too. So. So yeah, and I think you asked another question, Brian. I don’t know if I answered it.
Brian Smith 19:41
Well, we’re talking about the fact that people don’t really know about this, but what I what I so we’re trying to do, I’m trying to do three things with this program. One is to raise awareness on that, but also let people know how you can facilitate this how you might be able to have it happening. If you’ve got a loved one that’s that you you know some sometimes people go suddenly we get nothing We can do better. But if you have a loved one that you know, is, is slipping away? Is there something that we can do to maybe increase our chances of having one of these?
William Peters 20:09
Yeah, so I’m going to give say a couple things. First is the most basic thing you can do if you happen to be a bedside, is when somebody is die. attune deeply to them, close your eyes, breathe with them, gently place your hand somewhere, I like to put it on a polls, because it really puts you in touch with how their internal organs are functioning. And you’ll feel it slow down, or you’ll feel it, you know, do all sorts of changes towards an ego. Yeah, so all sorts of that’s just a deep connection to that theme. And, and like I said, clicking on not so much clear your mind but do really meditative breathing, and allow yourself to go with whatever images appear to you or thoughts that appear to you. And that’s it. And that’s, that’s the most basic way. And do we know how many that yields? No, because I know that I that’s the most simple way to do it. Now, there are far more in depth trainings, and we offer them I have a whole program that I’ve done for over a decade called the shared crossing pathway seminar. And it does three things. It first raises people’s awareness and educates them about a variety of shared processing experiences a variety of spiritual end of life experiences, the pinnacle experiences the STE for sure, but there’s also predict dreams and visions. There’s also terminal lucidity, there’s post death visions and visitations there are synchronicities throughout. So I do a good deal of, of kind of training and education about that on on the first day of the seminar. And it’s just really an evening, it’s like a few hours in the evening. And then on day two, I do what I call death prep. And that is we review our lives, we look for regrets, we look for the unfinished business of our lives. And then we work with ourselves to bring in compassion and forgiveness. And we make amends is where we can. And then when we then when we find ourselves naturally moving towards this gratitude. And and then when that kind of that kind of Prime’s the pump for psycho emotional spiritual clearing. Because what we know is when someone’s dying, if they haven’t finished business, it tends to be a weight or hook, that makes the transition a little bit more difficult. So if you can get clear psycho emotionally, spiritually, with yourself and with people, that helps, and then we set people up with this. I’ll even tell you the exercise, it’s quite lovely. We have people sit across from each other, especially if they know each other, you can do this inside your interest psychically like in your on your mind’s eye. Or if you come with somebody to the workshop, you can sit across from them and do this exercise we call Thank you, I love you goodbye. And what that means is you thank the person for the life you’ve shared together. You tell them, I love you. And then you say something like goodbye. But goodbye is more of a bit of a statement that has some texture in it like we’ve spent such a lovely life together, I just want to thank you and acknowledge that one of us will be dying from the other. So I want to say goodbye. Now, I want to honor that death will come to one of us at some point. And these are profound exercises. And then we go into the last third part of the program is teaching the shared crossing protocols which I like to say that I developed but the truth of the matter is, they were like dropped into my mind like my I want to call it a psychic download. When I was when I first heard about the shared experience from Raymond Moody. I was so excited. I ran up to him and I said, Raymond, I’ve had these experiences, I think I actually know how to make them happen. And he laughed. He says, you know, we don’t know anything about how these experiences. Oh, no. I think I know how to make them happen. He goes, Well Do tell. And then later on at a conference we talk but that that day, they dropped into my mind about some key.
The landscape, which is not a typically a visual landscape, it’s more of an energetic landscape, but it’s really trainable. And so I do guided visualizations with people and I teach people how to call back to their surviving loved ones. So there’s all these steps that we do in this workshop and by The way I do it both in person and online. So, online, you know, has been the impetus of the pandemic Before, we used to always gather up in different places around the country. And do it. So yeah, that’s a long winded way of answering it. But the real point being is, we find that that we can train people and having certainly different types of shared crossings, because about 80 to 90% of our participants will get back to us within six months to a year and say, I had this I had that. And it’s anecdotal. But we’ll do a deeper, we’re gonna do a deeper dig on it coming up here, we’re putting that questionnaire together. But, but the STE itself, the, you know, that kind of Queen of experiences, if you will, that 25% to 50%. And, and I think that’s, I think we can do better with that. Especially as there’s more cultural fluency with the concept. Right become Yeah, once we get it gets more into our cultural DNA, so to speak.
Brian Smith 26:08
So when you’re training people, are you training them from the perspective of being the witness or being the person crossing or both?
William Peters 26:16
Both? Okay, yeah, we go back and forth. And that’s why we work in dyads. And as, as we know, you never know who’s going to die first or second relationships. So we may think we know. But we do it both ways. There’s a fair amount of what I call entrainment. So the more we do these guided visualizations and practices, the more a groove gets laid down. In our think it’s just our kind of neuro psychology, if you will. But here’s another statistic that’s very interesting. We found that 41% of our now you know, 250, plus cases 41%, will have more than one SDE. So that tells you this is, is something that can be trained and acquired. And we run with that, because that’s the best news that we’ve heard. Because once people started having these, they will they really want to be around death. And they want to help people they want to, you know, they want to go into the afterlife with their, with their loved ones. And who could blame them, because it’s really a beautiful, lovely, blissful, you know, all inspiring experience.
Brian Smith 27:45
You know, and as you’re saying this, I’m just getting goosebumps, I’m just really energized, I guess as black for lack of a better word. Because we see death as dark as something to be feared. We see it as as the end. And my whole mission is to, to break that right. And if you like when I think about Lisa’s story, and looking at her husband going off to this great adventure, and you’re talking about this journey, and his traveling, it’s not it’s not the end for our loved one. It’s like a whole new beginning that we’re all going to go through. And that’s what I love about what you’re doing is just changing that perspective. Yes, it’s
William Peters 28:27
birth into another dimension, which From all reports that we’ve had, and others who study in this field tell us is far more desirable than being in the earth plane, the earth plane in the human realm is a pretty tough round. It’s, you know, there’s a good deal of pain and suffering. I don’t need to tell you that Ryan are well aware of that.
Brian Smith 28:54
Yeah, like I said, I think that I want to do anything I can to to raise awareness of this because when I heard you speak a few years ago, I’m like, this is something that people don’t know and that and when I heard your training on it, because that was a part of the surprise me is that we can learn to have this and and there’s kind of a hierarchy as you said, there’s I was just talking with a neighbor the other day, her brother passed away very, very recently. And she was telling about three experiences she had one was like, she thought she kind of saw him out of the corner of her eye. And the other was a couple of signs where something in her house, you know, kind of strange happened. But you know, she told me because I’m out there. People think I don’t know if people think I’m crazy or not whatever they think but I’m out there. You know, I, I tell I share my experiences I bring on people that share their experiences, and it gives people permission to share their experiences. So be really interesting to see once the s shared death experience becomes more known. If we see there’s not more people having them that might that we might think.
William Peters 29:54
I think you’re right, that they are far more ubiquitous than We know, one of the most common experiences I have is I go to a conference, or give a talk. And afterwards, a few dozen people will come up to me and say, I mean, even walking down the hall at the last conference, we were at, you know, in Arizona there, Ryan, you know, I was a big conference. And, and I’m telling you, I couldn’t go down the hall for the rest of the conference, after I gave my talk, someone would just run into me, and just say, Oh, hey, I wanted to talk to you. I had this, this, this and this. And, and I just so appreciate that. Because people when they’re saying it to me, they’re not saying it with a sense of, hey, is this real or not, you know, if they’ve heard me speak, and I’ve done little research themselves on it, they’ll realize that their experience is indeed validated, they are affirm, and they want to share it, and I love hearing it. So but before hearing a talk of mine, typically, they didn’t know they had one. So, so I’m sure they’re lurking in much higher numbers. I mean, if we look at the literature in near death experiences, they say it’s about 4%. So you know, in the United States, that’s going to be something like, you know, 12 to 14 million people and, and, but just think that takes a near death experience, but people are dying all the time. And if that veil opens, if you will, similarly at the nd as an Ste, then there’s a lot of opportunities to have an Ste for people. So I’m, you know, I’m not making any predictions about how, what percentage of the American population it is, but it would certainly be higher than the nd population.
Brian Smith 31:50
Yeah, that’s really interesting, because even with NDAs, we’re finding out the percentages are higher than we thought the more that we do research into them. And when you think about the numbers, there’s like 300 Some million three 50 million people in United States. That’s a lot of MBAs that have been had and I hear some people say, Oh, it’s just anecdotal or they’re small numbers and they try to explain it away. But there’s a lot of people having them you know, there’s there’s a lot of people on earth and there’s 1000s or millions of people that have had these experiences. Yeah, yeah. And in your research what have you found how does the STE shared death experience I would be careful I don’t say Ste. But how does Ste? How does it impact people’s grief?
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William Peters 33:37
a beautiful question and one that I am keenly focused on as a grief and bereavement psychotherapist, this is what was so moving to me is that when I have clients who come to see me for grief and bereavement, and they have an SD E. What, what they tend to express is something like this. Well, I know my loved one, I feel the loss of my loved one. And it’s it’s heartbreaking. But I also know that my loved one is alive and well somewhere and they will be reunited again. And they’re not going to say that my grief isn’t so bad, but me as a clinician who knows what grief looks like at different levels and how people are processing it. I say that, that Ste experiencers have grief processes that are contextualized with a cushion of of Ste a sense of yes, you miss your loved one, but you also know your loved ones live and well. And you also know that death is not an end because that’s another one of the after effects with the SDE is that they report it they don’t fear death anymore. They don’t have anxiety about death anymore. They realize death is a transition. We’re all going to do it. And in some cases, they’re excited about it. Most cases, they’re just like, Oh, I’ll wait till my time comes. Yeah. So yeah, so grief and bereavement processes with SD experiences are, you know, significantly less painful in a certain way. Yeah.
Brian Smith 35:24
I love the way you put that I’ve never heard that by contextualise with a cushion. Yes, I look at as grief as having two components. Well, it’s got many. But from this perspective, two components, I’m grieving for myself for my loss. And I’m grieving for my loved ones loss of life. And no matter how old they are, if they’re at 90 100 years old, we still grieve their loss, what we perceive as their loss of life, their loss of opportunity, especially I think, the younger they are with my daughter being 15, you know, we see perceive a bigger loss. But the thing that this does, it takes away half of that, it doesn’t mean that you don’t grieve, but now you’re grieving for yourself as opposed to grieving for your loved one. And that’s a blessing that I’ve I’ve had, I’ve never grieved for my daughter, I proved her loss, but I haven’t grieved what she lost.
William Peters 36:17
That’s, that’s make sense to me. I think I know from the research, when we, you know, engage our participants in, you know, their type of grief as it relates to the loss of life for their loved one. What they often say is almost flippantly Oh, I know he or she is alive and well and fine. I, it’s my loss I’m dealing with I know she’s okay. You know, and that’s a rather strong statement, but it comes out so natural for the experiencers.
Brian Smith 36:56
You know, I’ve been immersed in this. So long now it’s been about six years I’ve been with helping parents heal. And that’s pretty much added. I can’t say everybody in the organization has 20,000 people. But that’s the attitude of the organization. It’s kind of like our loved ones are okay, happy, healthy. Their whole I’ve been hanging around with people like you and you know, Suzanne Keyspan, and all these different people. And that’s that’s a very freeing perspective that I think sometimes we might take for granted that other people don’t have that. They’re like, I’ve that person has lost something. And we grieve because of them. And again, I think that’s what’s so so important about this. And removal of the fear of death, which is another side effect of the N D E. Same thing as with the STE people that have had shared death experience. And then the ease or like, I don’t don’t fear death. I just said some people aren’t rushing towards it. I’ve heard people say, I still feel the fear the process, but being dead. I’m cool with that.
William Peters 37:52
Yeah. Well, dying is different than death. Dying is it can be a painful process. But death itself, pretty natural. So
Brian Smith 38:07
you tell me about one because you’ve had a couple of STDs? Right? Yeah, numerous? Circuits. Can you tell me about one of them?
William Peters 38:16
Yeah, you know, I’ll, I’ll share one that I had with my father. And this is just two years ago. And you know, he was dying. So during COVID. So you imagine us in PPE, around his bed in his memory care facility. And I’m on one side, close to his, you know, shoulders up near his head, and my mother is on the other side, because my mother was in bed with him. And my sister is there as well on the other side more towards his feet. And I’m doing what I tend to do, which is I have my hand on the on his pulse around his wrist. And I’m breathing with him. And you know, as people get close to death, they often get altered breathing patterns. And so I would just match you My breath is and then I’m closing my eyes to sense and feel him in a certain way. Because you know, he’s unresponsive. So I’m just feeling into his energetics, if you will. And as I do that, I see popping up to my left. It’s not so much that popped up. It’s like it just kind of came into view now slowly and then wow, there’s my grandmother, and my aunt, both pre deceased. And then there’s this gentleman who’s in a suit, who I recognize as my grandfather, but I never seen him in my life. He died before I was born. And he runs over to my runs over it’s kind of interesting, but he moves over from the foot of the bed. Add over to my mother. And I say to my mother, Hey, grandpa bill is moving over to communicate something to you. And he’s telling you, thank you for having been such a wonderful wife to my son for 64 years. And I’m just getting old. Now this is, you know, you know, this is not words that I hear audibly. And we find that this is either called what’s often referred to in the research community as thought transference. Or are telepathic communication, but I’m getting it loud and clear what’s going on. And then I go back to my grandmother and aunt who I knew in from my life. And I noticed that there is a white light, like a stairway coming down from where they are, about a quarter away to where he is, and I just, I’m here with them, you know, asking them questions in my mind and and at one point, I go, why aren’t you taking him because he’s ready to go. And he’s, you know, and they look at me, my aunt and grandma, and they take they look almost look at me in a certain way that they take my attention. And with their eyes, they avert my attention and move it over to the center of the bed of just over the the abdomen of my father, but elevated a bit. And at that point, I lock my energy with a being a presence, I can’t see it. But I feel it. And I start weeping. I’m like, Oh, my gosh, this is, this is a bean that I have labeled the conductor. This is that force in the shared death experience. It’s not just in the show experience. But in the show death experience, you get it, you get a glimpse at it, or at least the experience of it. This bean is in charge of moving human spirits, souls consciousness from the human body into the afterlife. And I felt this conductor. And as I felt it, I thought, Ah, now I should say that I’ve been fascinated with the conductor for a number of years. And I didn’t think that in my father’s death, I would even have an SDE, although I’m glad I did for sure. But the fact that I was kind of gifted, this experience of the conductor was spectacular. And then, you know, sometime later, my father transition, the conductor was just basically giving me a sense that we’re getting there. And don’t worry about it, but the conductor is like, kind of business like, you know, it’s not not there for me. Scenery managing a lot. And waiting for the right time. Yeah, that’s an STD. Yeah, yeah.
Brian Smith 43:07
And there is there is a process to death. I don’t know I if you caught Julie Ryan’s presentation that the helping parents heal conference. It was really interesting her talking about this, this process that goes on and how the these beings gather. And I think everyone’s a little bit different. But there’s also it’s orderly. It’s not like it’s not like there and there seems to be a time. And there’s a time for people to go. So I think people might be surprised to find out that there’s preparations on the other side. And yeah, beings that move us over and helpers and stuff like that. It’s, it’s a really fascinating process, the more we study it,
William Peters 43:48
yes, it is. It is Brian. And you know, the STE is one glimpse into the mechanics of it, both the mechanics and the pathway. And, you know, one of the things I will mention about SDS that I find fascinating, is that light is presented in various different ways. Oftentimes, it’s a light way in the distance a pinprick or manhole of light. Sometimes it’s a cylinder of light. Sometimes it’s like an escalator of light. It’s almost always leading upwards. And that’s a big theme in the STE is ascension journey with ascension heading upwards. So, yeah, yeah. And I’ve had a number of other ones. I’ve had some basic STDs where I’m just sitting with somebody I just had when three weeks ago when a family member died. And we you know, she was on memory. She was in memory care. We knew she was going and I just just moments after she died, I was there. And by the way, that tells you that 70 A 7% of our SD is happening right at the moment of, you know, medically determined death, cessation of brainwaves and Heart, heart, stopping. But we also have about 9%. That happened a few moments hours before, and also about 14%. out after. So in this case, I was there. And with this family member, and as I was there, maybe 2025 minutes after she died, I was just there, and I just close my eyes. And I just said, which I do often. And I said this earlier, but I’ll say it again a bit, close your eyes, close my eyes, and say, I wish you well. I thank you for having shared your life with me. I love you. Be well. Godspeed. Be well. And if I can help in any way, if you want to send me a message, my heart and mind are open to you. And boom, just in doing that. A few moments later. She She didn’t so much appeared to me, as some of her family members did, which is my family members. But I should say family members distantly she was elderly. So these are people her grant her her parents, which should be quite old. I’d never met them, but I’d heard of them. So when they appeared, I knew who they were. And that’s one of the things when people appear, you tend to know who they are, even if you’ve met them or not. If you’ve never met them, you just get a sense for who they are. So, so yeah, that’s just another one. But you know, there are a depths with this. And I said that 41% will have more than one and I’ve had probably a couple dozen. I don’t know people who have had more than me. But I but I know they’re I think they’re I’ll tell you who has, you know, more indigenous cultures where they have, you know, shamans and such who I have had some conversations where they were I asked him about the SDE, and they kind of look at me and say, Yeah, of course I’ll do. Okay. I’m just a little a Western guy who’s kind of way behind the times. I know, the ancient wisdom hasn’t changed for those who haven’t lost it. So. So yeah, I hope that helps give some texture this.
Brian Smith 47:28
Yeah, absolutely. It does. I’m curious as a as a rational kind of person. I’m a chemical engineer. And, you know, MDS are awesome. I love studying in the ears. What’s really cool is the vertical and these were there’s some evidence of someone’s witnessed something. Are there any vertical SDS, where people can say that they saw something that someone else can verify? Or they know the moment of death who someone who was remote or something like that?
William Peters 47:53
Well, we do have a number of vertical around the time of death. Somebody will say, you know, I had this when they say it’s a dream, but it’s it that’s that’s just what they call it. Because if they’re sleeping and they have the STE, they’ll say, Well, I was dreaming and but they had the Ste. And they when they corroborate the time later, they realize, oh my god, that was just the time that so and so died, they got up, they looked at their clock radio, and boom, they were recorded, remember it? So, so yeah, we do have some of those. We also have some very interesting verticals. In terms of like, here’s a great one. This is from someone who’s in my book as well, Sonia, you’ll remember her. Because if your listeners want to do get a chance to go to the books, Sonia has a couple of really beautiful St E’s. But in one she talks about. She’s in Massachusetts, and her good friend is die in Santa Barbara. And she feels like she’s put to sleep at around, you know, seven o’clock or so in the evening. And she finds out that just the TOT later she finds out that’s just the time that her friend Danny was die in Santa Barbara. Oh, wow. But then interesting about this is the vision cc’s of Danny the dress. See, she sees Danny in later that month, she is looking at a catalog and she sees this dress and it just grabs her. And she says that’s the dress Danny has on it. I’ve never seen that dress before. And so for her it was evidential that this was a, you know, a foretelling if you will. About that she would get confirmation later for the experience. So So yes, we do have some verticals. But verticals with SDS are a little bit harder. All right. So
Brian Smith 49:54
yeah, yeah, that makes perfect sense. I was I was curious about that. Because I think again, skeptics there are there gonna be there? I believe that I believe all this stuff. Yeah, it’s, it’s not you know, and people try to explain why. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking maybe it’s solution nations, you know, stuff like that. So those, even those few kind of can help to say, Okay, well, we can’t verify all of them, but we can verify some of them. Yeah, yeah. So tell me more about the research that you guys do, because I saw your talk at ions. And for anybody that does happen to have the access to the recordings, I do recommend you go listen to Williams talks, it was fascinating. Watching the interview some of the people that had shared experiences. So tell me about the research institute.
William Peters 50:43
So sharecropping Research Institute, you know, our mission is to collect and document the STE, we are the first research institute to create a typology, and I did this, you know, a number of years ago, even before we started doing the research, it was done clinically, I started seeing patterns. And then we did our first research starting in 20. Well, we did a research project in 2013 1415. Testing the methods, originally, the methods we use to facilitate the Ste. And we found, well, one of the problems is people don’t die. So it’s hard to test to get valid data. So we have to wait for people to die. But we’ve like I said, I already shared that already about 25 to 50%, we are pretty sure having SDE after they’ve done our methods, our courses. So there’s that but then, you know, then what’s happened is we’ve really identified the different types of STDs that occur. And, you know, there’s more detail in my book about that, but you know, they’re at bedside, they’re remote, their time space continuum is different. It doesn’t make you know, you know, 75%, at the time of death, roughly 77% and 23%, before a little bit for after multiperson STDs. We know those happen with 12%, I have statistics for, you know, all the different features that we found. And, but really what what the research did was document, this experience in its myriad of forms, you’ll find that the STE can happen in all sorts of relationships, a very common one is and it’s sad, is a mother and a son. As we know, you know, adolescent to young adult boys die at a higher frequency than the general population. And and we have a lot of mothers primarily through the organization that Brian you and I are both I’m a you’re actually very involved with them. And I am to is a guest speaker and presenter of sorts, but helping parents heal. So a lot of mothers in particular have shared their experiences with us. But the research really points out, not just the features of it. Because there’s some spectacular features when you think of people accompany their loved ones into the afterlife and seeing deceased relatives and seeing elevated spirit beings and going to the light and coming up against the boundary and sharing and past life reviews. All of this is spectacular phenomena that we’ve documented. But what is most important in the research, is the therapeutic benefits. The fact that people who haven’t SDE will say, we know that our loved ones are alive and well. We know we’ll see them again, I no longer fear death, and that their grief and bereavement is better. As we’ve said, it’s it has a comfort as a excuse me, it has a cushion to it as certain as one person says, my grief was lightened by my sd light, which is interesting word. And then people come back with some sort of psychic abilities and a renewed purpose for their life. You see all sorts of people changing their their relationships in a good way, like maybe not changing them but strengthening them or, or doubling down on what matters most for them. And so these are positive, transformational gifts. I think if there’s anything you can say about the STE it’s a transformational experience, when it can be honored and the way that it gets honored is through sharing it with people and you know, if you want to go see a skilled, you know, therapists are just a grief and bereavement. Anybody who can really help you walk through it and affirm it, that does so much for grounding the experience in you and then when you take an Ste like any spiritual experience, and you work with it, it will invite you to do certain things. It will invite you to live often with a bit more awareness, mindfulness consciousness Maybe with more integrity. You know, those types of things are what is very heartening to me as an Ste researcher and clinician, that I see how these experiences make people’s lives better.
Brian Smith 55:13
I love their I love your, where you are me being a researcher, but also being a psychotherapist and seeing the, you know, it’s just fascinating to study from a scientific point of view, but it’s really important to the therapeutic benefit it has, I think that’s awesome. So I was surprised to find out that you were able to get some of your research public and published in medical journals, because it’s only been very recently they’ve even paid any attention to nd ease. So how do you feel like the medical community is coming along with this?
William Peters 55:45
Thanks, Brian. It was quite an accomplishment. And I’m humbled by that, but also proud to say that when the American Journal of hospice and palliative medicine, published the first article on the SDE, and of course, you know, my team is the authors of that. And we publish under shared crossing Research Initiative rather than individual names, because we have a a group of researchers that do it myself as a mental health provider, Dr. Monica Williams, as a emergency room physician, and Dr. Michael can sell as a religious studies and cognitive science, doctoral doctorate. And so we take this at a really, we look at it at different angles. And I think, the research reviewers, the reviewer says publications, really appreciate how we do try to cover all the angles when you look at this medical psychotherapeutic spiritual, religious. And because of that, the reviews were stunningly positive, like, thank you for doing this research, as one reviewer said, we all know these experiences happen. But we’ve never seen a research study that’s passed the scholarly rigor to be published. And ours did. I mean, ours was, you know, it took us three years, and we had 164 cases. You know, and we, and I applied my typology to all of it. So they really got to see what an Ste is. And the pattern now is well recognized. How is it being received in medical sciences? And you said this quite well, earlier, Brian, that the uptake with the anything new in medical sciences, especially something like an Ste, or nd E, the challenges the medical sciences view of consciousness in relationship to the brain. As you know, we know they the medical sciences assert that the brain produces consciousness, both the nd E and the Ste. cannot live in that paradigm. Right? So we have an idea of, you know, non local consciousness. And so, so that’s a hiccup, a big hiccup that I think keeps a lot of a lot of medical doctors from publicly stating their affirmation for our work. Privately, I can tell you at conferences and such health care providers of all kinds are like, thank you so much. Now I can, you know, go to our our rounds and our staff meetings and say, Here’s the article, we need to include this in our treatment protocols. And no longer are we going to say things like, you’ve had a death hallucination, or you’re just under a lot of stress. And no, I think increasingly, those days are gone. Awesome. And but it’s a slow road. And it depends on the region, you are in the country. So and that’s why I say, you know, they’ll say to your viewers, you know, if you can, in any way, talk about this experience, even if you haven’t had it, talk about it with your friends, and family. And you’ll find that people will say, Oh, I think I might have had that. So and you know, get the word out?
Brian Smith 59:21
Well, I want to say, congratulations on the medical journal, and congratulations on the book published by Simon and Schuster. That’s another big accomplishment. So I want to give the name of the book. We’re running short on time. But I want to give you time to talk about your book. So and the title I want to get into the show. It’s at heaven’s door with shared journeys to the afterlife, teach about dying well, and living better. So tell me about your book.
William Peters 59:45
So the book really covers 28 shared death experiences from our research, and we have a lot we have a large library of these cases. And I really tried to tell the story is, from a real human perspective, I stay away from the whoo weeks, I don’t believe the gift of the STE is the spectacular phenomena, it is spectacular, it is awe inspiring. But the real power and value is in the connection that endures through death and beyond. It’s that ongoing relationship, and that sense that my loved one is still alive, and there still is relationship. And then it becomes the work of the individual Griever to decide how they want to shape and proceed and and negotiate that relationship. So I, you know, and I do, I do use a variety of different relationships, there’s mothers and sons, there’s spouses, there’s best friends, there’s health care workers, you know, all sorts of different relationships that are all flavored differently. And at the end, my hope is that people come away with a sense of, wow, death is a lot more than I thought it was. And there’s a lot more going on here. And there’s a lot of beauty and love and understanding that comes when I can welcome death into my life and into my family. And I can allow myself to be transformed by these experiences.
Brian Smith 1:01:37
Yeah, yeah. Wow. Those are, as you said, that welcomed death into our families. It’s like, people are like, No, we don’t want death. I want to keep death away. You know, that’s, that’s a bad thing. But you know, I have aging parents, I was telling you before, I think we started recording my wife’s, you know, we’ve gone through this with her parents. And when you you mentioned the memory unit. So I go there. And I see people losing who they are, because their brains are failing them not losing who they are. Because we’re always hold on the other side. But physically, that attachment is kind of wearing away. And there becomes a there’s a time for all of us to go. And it’s it’s really great when you look at it as not a bad thing when you can look at it as a as a next step in a journey. Yeah, so thank you for doing what you’re doing. It’s really awesome.
William Peters 1:02:26
Well, Brian, thank you for honoring and acknowledging my work, because it’s the first decade of this was largely in obscurity and fighting perceptions of who we are. And this is not Whoo, we this is 100%. Human, we’re all able to have this experience.
Brian Smith 1:02:49
Yeah, I can only imagine how hard that must have been. So again, I appreciate your persistence. And I know you kind of touched on it earlier, but you do some training in this. So tell people what the training opportunities are.
William Peters 1:03:00
Yeah, thanks. I did mention the pathway training earlier. And it’s if you go to shear crossing.com, and just go to see the programs or discover, you’ll see that we offer this pathway program online and in person. You know, before the pandemic different groups or retreat centers would host me and I would they would, you know, sponsor me. And so if you have people that want me to come out and do this, it usually takes a dozen or so people that make it worthwhile. But But yeah, this is the training that basically gives people the capacity through practices to enable a shared death experience and other shared crossings. Can we guarantee the SDS is going to happen? No. I’ve already said about a quarter to 50% of our people report having them. And, and I think the training itself, with a seminar is so moving for people, because it’s rare that you get to be with people who are talking so openly about their views of death and dying, what they want of it, what’s possible, reviewing their lives together, talking about their death experiences, talking about their fears, and quite frankly, choreographing the death they want with their loved ones. And including a shared death experience or other shared crosses.
Brian Smith 1:04:30
Yeah, I could see the training being worthwhile. Whether you have shot having a short crossing would be awesome, of course. But just that training, is just like, you know, I’ve talked to people, and they’ve asked me about my perspective on death. And I was talking to someone just the other day and this guy actually has OBE is often he goes out of the body and he helps people cross and we were talking, I said, I don’t have a fear of death anymore. He said, Well, why is that have you had out of body experience? I said, No. So if you had a near death experience, I said no, but I’ve been studying near death experiences for about 30 yours. And there is a people and can relate to this research. People that study near death experiences can have some of the same benefits. And I’m sure the same is true with a shared death experience. And just talking about these things, and it just changes your mind, it changes your brain about the way you look at it.
William Peters 1:05:17
It does Brian and you brought up 10 Ring, who did was dedicated to educating people about the nd E for its therapeutic benefits. And the term that that Ken and others coined was the benign virus. Yeah, I love that. And, and the Ste is the same. One of the things, experiences I love is at the end of a pathway training, we gather up for a picture and you know, we hug and say goodbye and everything. But I you know, as we’re doing that, I just say, how do you guys feel about death and dying now? And they all they’re all wiped up and say, I am excited? I’m ready? No, I don’t want to die now. No, no, my loved ones to know. But when it comes, I’m ready. I am ready. And and that just makes me feel so happy because so many people are surprised by death. And we really shouldn’t be I mean, sudden deaths. Yes. But you know, so many of us have deaths are kind of predictable in a certain way. I mean, the vast majority of people go into disease processes of one or the other. And you know, they’re heading towards the exit. And we’re all doing a dance as if you know, there’s going to be a cure, or we can prolong this or medical interventions are going to save this person. And it’s really a rather traumatic exercises that’s unnecessary. Yeah.
Brian Smith 1:06:52
It’s very sad. And I say to people, it’s the only thing we know with 100% certainty is that when you’re born, that you’re going to die. And that’s but it’s not a bad thing. That’s that, you know, I know there’s some people that sounds really horrible, fatalistic, but it’s just, it’s true. And we might as well embrace it, and there’s so much good, you know, it’s so I get I thank you for being here. We’re a little bit over on time. But William, it’s been really enjoyable getting to know you, it’s been fascinating, I hope, I hope, more and more people come to share crossing and find out what this is all about.
William Peters 1:07:26
Thank you. And I have one thing if your viewers have read my book are going to buy the book at some point, write a review, because so many people come to Amazon or you know, Barnes and Nobles or wherever you go. And I’ve learned from my publisher that 40% of the people that show up there will actually not know what book they’re going to buy. And this is a type of book that if people see the good reviews on it, because they’re saying afterlife sharing, shared crossing or you know, Ste, and they see a good review. It helps them if they see lots of review. So it’s just a request for those of you who want us to kind of support this advocacy for more knowledge about SDS.
Brian Smith 1:08:09
Yeah, and I will echo echo that as an author. And it’s almost impossible to get reviews, people will tell you how great your book is, but they don’t want review it. So I’m going to say to anybody listening to this, please go to Amazon and review the book, read the book, review the book. I want just
William Peters 1:08:24
one line. Even one line, Brian is you know, it’s just like it doesn’t have to be a big long thing just to five stars or four stars or whatever. And yeah, and that just gets the word out in a good way.
Brian Smith 1:08:35
Yeah, well, again, thanks. Thanks for being here. Enjoy the rest of your of your afternoon and the rest of your weekend.
William Peters 1:08:41
Thank you, Brian. Thank you for having me.
Brian Smith 1:08:45
Don’t forget to like hit that big red subscribe button and click the notify Bell. Thanks for being here.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai