Dying While Living – The Shamanic Perspective

death-as-advisor-shamanicHi Dear Lujan

I have a question that’s not related to your teachings. I hope it’s ok with you.

I was just wondering if you are familiar with the feeling or knowing – ‘dying while living’. Right now it’s the closest explanation that I can find to describe what I have been feeling for the past 2 years.

It is a strange sensation, there is no ‘fear’ and of course it would seems more appropriate to a ‘metaphorical sense’ however it does feels real, like I am grieving my own ‘death and lost’ … i know it sounds weird.

Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated, and if not – Thank you anyway.


What you have written is such a personal affair. For you have said everything because you understand what you are going through. But when what you have written is read by another, it doesn’t pinpoint what you are actually experiencing in terms of the big picture.

The only way to make words have meaning is to give them a context so the reader can travel upon them. It is all the small things that paint the mosaic of one’s life.

There is nothing much more I can say to this, apart from the concept of using your death as an adviser. This experience can be a good thing but the question is – what are you really grieving and why has it lingered so long?

Focusing on death can be an indulgence in terms of what is feeding the emotion you are experiencing. Or it could be liberation via killing anything habitual that binds to the edifice of the current times in terms of the eddy that is carrying most of humanity in its social form.

When you listen to what you can’t hear and look at what you can’t see- (a technique described in Whisperings of the Dragon) –  you then will be delivered to inner silence via the fact that the mind becomes void of itself. This can also be considered using one’s death as an adviser because you have slain your worst enemy; the inner dialogue.

It is when we see that there is nothing to be acquired and everything to be gained through being empty within that we find what can’t be discovered. Within this reservoir of emptiness, magic appears.

I hope that you reveal more of what is happening with you under this blog post so that we can more understand the nuances of your current reality.

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  1. Ara,

    As Lujan says, this is a deeply personal experience for each of us.

    Context gives a vehicle for true knowing that comes from experience to be communicated, rather than fancy spiritual reckonings and knowledge relayed with little heart energy to make any connections.

    When words give our hearts a voice, truth and power then rings like a bell, so each person who reads it finds what needs to be heard within the message and is subtly awakened to it. It is communal conductivity coming alive for our mutual enhancement. This is a very valuable tool for it is how I travel upon the words of others to help me grow: subtle heart fibers connect that grow my knowing when appropriate.

    I will relay this so that you may see what travels within words as communal conductivity. To be honest, using death as an adviser I have read about and none of what I have read has made much sense until I had an experience to bring it to life. In fact, it’s only the experience that has any real meaning to me at all.

    The first time I visited Lujan to learn Lo Ban Pai, I was confronted by my mortality and in-finiteness at the same time. The energetic work allowed me to, for the first time, truly experienced myself outside my mind because. An experience arrived that allowed to live a contradiction that made so much sense it dismantled reason and opened my eyes and my heart. I was awakened to seeing with my body through feeling (this I am still growing), and I was alerted to my life’s purpose.

    My husband and I were walking along a very busy street in a small and tourist type island in the Phillipines after a session of Dragon’s Tears. The street was narrow but it was packed with late afternoon movement and motorbike taxis throttling along in peak hour traffic. The busy noise was confronting yet suddenly it became very quiet. Throngs of people moved yet they moved in a strange and magical harmony. We stood in line outside a store, and as I begun to observe life in all its vitality, an energy wave hit me into my skin and my bones.

    A frequency, like a bell, rang within me and hit me with an incredible force. I suddenly knew I was reliving the moment of my death. I was in time and outside of it, observing this moment yet knowing this moment was long past. ‘As I live I am reliving the moment of my death’ hit me and I knew it with every fiber of my body.

    The universe presented to me the feeling of what it’s like to relive life as I am dying. The purpose of this is many fold and continues to unravel for me to this day. At the time, it helped me to see outside of what I thought I knew to be ‘seeing’ and it continues to teach me things.

    That bell will echo for the rest of my life, for how do I know that right now I am not simply recounting to myself my life upon my deathbed? Oh, the power of that is quite strong. It will not let me yield to not go towards what I need to move towards come what may, for maybe my time has already run out, and there is no way to know but to continue the journey.

    How freaking clever! Nothing I may do truly matters for all is already done, yet it matters the most because each moment of life is then a moment of grace granted to me to complete what I am here to do.

    Each moment is to be lived as if I am gifted the grace to finish what I may not have already done so: to love, to forgive, to find my heart and my voice come what may, to humbly accept what comes before with the same grace it has been gifted to me with. There are experiential treasures to still unravel in the recounting and to be lived through, even as I die recounting them.

    How is that for a boot up the experiential butt, uh? :-))

    • “That bell will echo for the rest of my life, for how do I know that right now I am not simply recounting to myself my life upon my deathbed? Oh, the power of that is quite strong. It will not let me yield to not go towards what I need to move towards come what may, for maybe my time has already run out, and there is no way to know but to continue the journey.

      How freaking clever! Nothing I may do truly matters for all is already done, yet it matters the most because each moment of life is then a moment of grace granted to me to complete what I am here to do.”

      Beautiful Luma! :)

      I would say the feeling of ‘that’ realisation is exactly as you’ve described in your post, even though how we get there can be completely different. One time I had just gone to bed, a little pissed off at something I don’t even remember now, and as my head came to a rest on my pillow I saw don Juan’s face looking at me from the darkness and said “How can you be angry? You are already dead. You’re already dead.” and then I realised I was simply recounting what had already passed and was done with.

      • Thanks, Lyra.

        The attachment to the social self, self-importance, is what takes away from enabling that recognition of what is pertinent to be observed and recounted. It’s like I’m sitting in some other place in time reminding myself to let go of the attachment to the social so that I can truly see what I came here for, and that this letting go IS also what I came here for.

        A few weeks ago, while I was driving, this became very real as I knew that I have been dying all my life for the sole purpose to learn how to live this life with a Path with Heart.

  2. This is wonderful!

    Thank you luma, Lyra and Ara for these postings.
    Absolutely wonderful.

  3. Thank you Lujan,

    I am aware that personal journey to self-discovery is personal. But thank you for the kind words.

    The feeling of ‘dying’ came from within in such a subtle way that I’ve missed the exact moment and situation that lead me to it.

    Part of it was facing the ‘illusions’ … like a bubble which were ready to burst, the walls were thinning, leaving me vulnerable and too open, no fear just an acknowledgment of ‘inevitable’, and a little resistance by re-living and letting go all of the previous teachings, practices, believes, views and limited perception of myself and the Universe and suddenly looking around with different pair of eyes at the world that i no longer recognize nor could relate too (well my mind at least can’t) Like floating in the deep water, the feeling is fascinating, weightless, no direct point of destination, sense of peace, but also it’s very disoriented of where you are and what should you do with it.

    Another part of it was that I have touched something within that I was not ready to touch at all … like electrical zap and the light went off so it would need to be left alone and later rebut it back and get acquainted with ‘it’ some time later

    Maybe this is somehow relevant, prier to this: I had a vision/dream: when i’ve met death face to face looking at each other eyes (which looked like me except the eyes – which at first glance were glowing however at closer look resemble ‘space’ deep and pulling) it was surreal feeling, but then ‘death’ turn and disappear … and at that moment I have strangest thought: ‘can one chase death away’ and what does it mean.

    Then the whole ’embrace by the death feeling’ came in “metaphorically speaking”- and it “ruffle” my world and the feeling is still present. So i am still walking in the dark … ;)) … which kind of making me learn how to use my other senses … but not very steady on my feet.

  4. Ara, have you used the exercises in Awakening The Third Eye?

    • Not specifically this one Luma,
      There are some similar methods and practices that helped me, my first small realization that the world is an ‘illusion’ came with mirror gazing when at some point your reflection is gone and you’re looking at the ‘void’, also candle gazing, in nature with the water is horizon gazing, white wall, colors. Some amazing experiences came with that: seeing the sun within, different colors in the dark, seeing the outlined objects in the room with eyes closed – which all of that took some years of dedication with more questions. And to be honest I am reluctant to add anything more right now, my personal experience will not let me to experience anything new, which kind of ironic, it took so many years to get those experiences, and now they are interfering if it make any sense.

      Why did you ask?

  5. The Awakening the Third Eye book has some very, very powerful exercises to begin to discover and dismantle the social self (self importance). These must be done in order.

    There are certain loops that belong to the internal dialogue and social self that keep popping up in your posts. This is one:”my personal experience will not let me to experience anything new.” This is simply not possible. We are experience. That is all that we are. What we choose to do with what presents in front of us is what makes our path and gives meaning to what we experience. Right now you are experiencing the outcome of experiences, yet not in the way you expected. This in itself can be a very useful point for growth if observed within the heart rather than the mind.

    As Lujan pointed out, focusing on anything can become an indulgence, and ever so subtly feed the facade of the social self- even with very worthy ideas. This creates a stagnation, as indecision becomes an end in itself and the social self (self importance) fills us with ‘reasons’ to not move forward.

    That slippery little sucker! There could be a tome written about the many ways that self importance keeps us trapped in immature desires and expectations that waylay us from our true potential. Samsara.

    Lujan’s techniques are like probiotics for the energy self.

    • Lord! Self-importance would surely enjoy reading a tome about itself, over and over again.:-))

    • i would say that letting go is one of the interesting experiences, as people do hold on to them, which helps with ‘self-importance’ …
      going through the layer of self to the core – you know like cabbage … however i am aware otherwise i would not talk about it … which is the first step.
      Thank you Luma ;)) good summery overall … it’s interesting how others see you without seeing you, from objective point of view, simply based on ‘comments and words’.

  6. I have followed the suggestion to take another look at “Awakening the Third Eye”, the most interesting thing happen when I open the book on this specific page 130: (I’ve printed the book just for me)

    A. Death is a point in time that reveals that our moments have ended. Here we are confronted with our life’s visual imagery. Before we journey beyond this point, we journey back into what we were and how we have applied ourselves…

    Q. How do I know whether my death is confronting me?

    A. You will be humbled by your station in life. You will never take anything for granted. You will wait patiently for your moments to arrive and then apply yourself appropriately in comparison to the circumstances confronting you.

    I don’t know maybe it was just a coincidence ;)

  7. when we journey back into what we were amd how we have applied ourselves at death what are the consequences of misapplying ourselves and the consequences of properly applying ourselves?

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