Near Death Experiences, or NDEs, have always been with us, but in the past 30 years as resuscitation techniques have become much more effective - especially after heart attacks - reports of NDEs have become more widespread. The sheer volume of cases has given rise to significant research by eminent medical specialists and researchers such as Raymond Moody, Kenneth Ring, Michael Sabom and Bruce Greyson. Their key findings are very helpfully summarised by Pim van Lommel, M.D, in his illuminating book ‘Consciousness Beyond Life.’ Understanding the death process is of critical importance in Tibetan Buddhism, and I’m always interested to learn what well-informed researchers outside the tradition have to say on this subject.
Being born in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia), both the landscapes and animals of Africa were normal, even ordinary to me when I was growing up. We didn’t have herds of elephants wandering through the garden. But nor did we have to drive very far out of town to see them, along with the other ‘Big Five’ game animals – lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo.