Revelations Bring Together Heaven, Earth

Published in Woonsocket Call on July 17, 2016

Approaching their twilight years, aging baby boomers might occasionally think about their impending mortality, even contemplating what happens after their last breath is taken, wondering what lies beyond the veil. But a growing number of people who have reported Near Death Experiences (NDE) may just shed some light to this age old question.

Although some people, diagnosed clinically dead, come back to life after being revived with no conscious memory of this experience, others experiencing a NDE report vivid, personal memories of their out-of-body trip across the veil. During this spiritual experience the person may meet dead family, friends and even their spiritual teacher, see a white light or travel through a tunnel.

Critics of NDE may try to explain away this experience as being the result of psychological and physiological causes, but those who come back with their direct knowledge of the afterlife don’t buy these explanations.

Dozens of books have been published, many being listed on the New York Times best sellers list, detailing the author’s clinical death and NDE, they strongly believe as evidence of an afterlife.

One book, published by Rodale Books in 2015, details what Tommy Rosa, a Bronx-born plumber learned in 1999 about health and healing during his NDE and coming back to life. Rosa’s chance meeting at a conference with Dr. Stephen Sinatra, an integrative cardiologist and psychotherapist, seen on “Dr. Oz” and “The Doctors,” would lead to the publishing of a 247 page book, Health Revelations from Heaven and Earth.

One such book, published by Rodale Books in 2015, details what Tommy Rosa, a Bronx-born plumber learned in 1999 about health and healing during his NDE and coming back to life. Rosa’s chance meeting at a conference with Dr. Stephen Sinatra, an integrative cardiologist and psychotherapist, seen on “Dr. Oz” and “The Doctors,” would lead to the publishing of a 247 page book, Health Revelations from Heaven and Earth.

A reading of this book reveals two very different approaches at looking at health, one gleaned from a spiritual experience and the other by scientific training, but both lead to the same set of conclusions. The tome offers eight health revelations (being connected with others, faithfulness, your vital force, grounding, being positive, self-love, seeing your body as a temple, and life’s purpose) geared to helping you live your best, healthiest life, revitalize yourself and embrace a new found sense of purpose and spiritual balance — gleaned from Rosa’s experience and fully corroborated by four decades of medical expertise and other scientific evidence by Dr. Sinatra, who practices in St. Petersburg, Florida, Manchester, Connecticut.

Rosa believes experiences described in his book are different from other NDE books published. His eight revelations can be applicable in the reader’s daily life.

To date, Rosa has promoted his book and his heavenly revelations in newspapers, radio and television. Over 20,000 copies of his book have been sold.

Peeking Over the Veil

Eighteen years ago, Rosa was walking across the street to a local convenience store to buy bread and he was hit by a car and became clinically dead for several minutes. Right after he was hit, Rosa felt a tug whisking him off into a tunnel of light [a common NDE]. The 58-year-old was rushed to the hospital and resuscitated, but left in a coma for weeks. During his NDE Rosa found himself in “Heaven,” where he met a spiritual Teacher and was taught the fundamentals about health and healing.

Ultimately, Rosa remembers that he would emerge from his coma not only grateful to be alive, but with a new found sense of intuition, increased empathy and more awareness of the connection to Heaven and Earth.

Rosa, a founder of the Stuart, Florida-based Unicorn Foundation whose mission is to bring spiritual awareness and education to everyday people, says that the most important revelation of his NDE was that all living things are connected. “No one’s actions are isolated to that specific person, but that every action has a ripple effect throughout the energy of our fellow,” he says. In this book. Dr. Sinatra confirms the importance of this revelation, noting how the need for human connection lies at the very heart of human existence. He describes how the practitioner’s ability to empathize with his patients is what truly facilitates the healing process, and also touches upon how one’s emotions can influence their health and overall well being.

His perspective of religion and living life has changed, too. Although he was raised a strict Catholic, the diversity of beliefs serves “Heaven” leading a person to a higher divine plane of consciousness. “I know now that everything is a dream and that you don’t sweat the small stuff,” he says.

Synchronicity Births a Book

At the time of Rosa’s NDE, Dr. Stephen Sinatra was dismantling the prevailing ideas of preventive pharmacology with his holistic approach to treatment. When Rosa met the Florida-based cardiologist, he got an intuitive feeling that the physician had an infection in his hip. This insight confirmed Dr. Sinatra’s own similar thoughts of infection, and he was later diagnosed with a staph infection. When Rosa shared with Dr. Sinatra the divine revelations of healing that he had learned in his celestial travels, the cardiologist was shocked–the keys to solving the imbalance of energy that he had identified as the cause of most chronic illness were the same as those Tommy was relating. Until this point, Dr. Sinatra hadn’t thought about how they were all connected and now it all made sense.

A dinner conversation would propel Rosa and Dr. Sinatra to write Health Revelations from Heaven and Earth, a book covering spiritual revelations from Rosa’s NDE and putting a medical slant to it. “I was prepped for this incredible conversation as I had many NDEs in my own cardiac practice,” remembers Dr. Sinatra. Once Rosa had discussed how he learned not only the importance of “grounding,” during his NDE but other health topics Dr. Sinatra was espousing in his medical practice and at lectures, it was clear to both that a book project must begin. And it did.

Millions Experience NDE

Over the years, Jeffrey Long, M.D., a leading NDE researcher, has documented over 3,000 NDEs, posted on the http://www.nderf.org website. The practicing radiation oncologist says that this data base is by far the largest collection of NDEs, available in 22 languages, that is publicly accessible. Readers from over 100 different foreign countries access Dr. Long’s web site monthly. Over 300,000 pages are read from this website every month.

Meanwhile, Dr. Long’s website, notes that although most people who come near death do not remember anything, around 18% [like Rosa] later report that “something happened.” That “something” is often a near-death experience NDE, says Long. He notes a 1993 Gallop Poll estimated that 12 to 15 million Americans personally experienced a NDE. As of 2001, almost 600 adults per day across the nation experience an NDE.

In this book Rosa pokes a hole in the veil between the living and dead. He tells it like it is. Because of his NDE he does not fear death. “Death is only a new beginning,” he says

During his 40 years in medical practice Dr. Sinatra had been at the bedside of many of his dying patients. “Some I saved. Some I lost,” he said, acknowledging that being with his dying patients often frightened him.” Rosa’s spiritual journey and the lessons learned have brought peace to Dr. Sinatra, his co-author. “In a heartbeat he literally saved me from my own fear of death,” he says.

To purchase a copy of Health Revelations from Heaven and Earth, go to http://www.healthrevelationsbook.com.

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Polls Say that America Gives Big Thumbs Up to Pope Francis

Published in Pawtucket Times on September 29, 2015

On a whirlwind trip to Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia over five days, from Sept. 22 to Sept. 27, Pope Francis, 78, has a jam packed public schedule for his first visit to the states.  While the media has released dozens of political polls over the last few months giving statistical predictions readers as to who is the GOP presidential frontrunner, last week they published poll results about the popularity of Pope Francis as he toured this country.

America Loves Pope Francis

With the Pope Francis’ arrival to Washington, D.C., to address Congress, a CNN/ORC Poll finds the Catholic pontiff has a high approval rating across the country and most Catholics approve of his comments even those considered controversial.

The pollsters say that almost 50 percent of Americans and 78 percent of Catholics note they are looking forward to the Pope’s first trip to U.S. soil.  While the Pope’s positive views have decreased slightly since December 13, 9 months into his papacy, three-quarters of Catholics still view him in a positive light.

The telephone poll, conducted from Sept. 4-8 among a random national sample of 1,012 adults), finds that the Catholic Church itself is viewed positively by 60% of the respondents, while 63% view Pope Francis favorably. Among Catholics, the church (88% favorable) outperforms the Pope (74% favorable).  The researchers note that this percentage difference may be due to Catholics who say they’re not sure about Francis rather than from negative impressions.

Comparing a worldwide snap shot of the Pope’s popularity to this country, the CNN/ORC poll findings indicate that non-Catholics (61%) say they have a positive view of Pope, the first Jesuit priest and Latin American church leader, and just over half of these individuals are looking forward to his American visit. Even those with a negative view of the Pope (17%) say they are looking forward to this month’s visit.

A recently published New York Times/CBS News poll also supports the CNN/ORC poll findings, that American Catholics like their Pope.  Eight out of 10 of his United States followers give thumbs up to the direction the church is taking under the Pope’s leadership, including a majority who approve strongly.

The telephone poll, conducted from Sept. 8 and 14 with Catholics on both telephone and land lines, also found that more than six in 10 Catholics worldwide view him favorably compared to just 3 percent who just don’t like him.  Pollsters say that his positive job approval ratings might be tied to his position on same-sex marriage, abortion, woman issues, immigration and distribution of wealth.

Another national poll, commissioned by Fox News, before Pope Francis’ arrival to this country, also found that the religious leader’s visit is viewed positively across the country and with Catholics, too.

Sixty-eight percent of Catholics view Pope Francis favorably.  That increases to a 73 percent favorable among Catholics who attend Mass almost every week, say the findings.  Among all voters, 55 percent have a positive opinion of the pope.

The telephone poll of 1,013 registered voters found the Pope is more popular among Catholic women (74 percent) than Catholic men (62 percent). The poll findings indicate that his comments on political issues, such as climate change and income equity, did impact on how Republicans and Democrats perceived him.

According to the Fox News’ poll, 38 percent of those who identified themselves as “very” conservative had a positive view of Pope Francis while only 35 percent of those respondents affiliated with the Tea Party movement viewed him favorably. However, among Democrats respondents, nearly two-thirds had a positive opinion of the pope (65 percent), while just over 50% of these voters  feel that way about the Catholic Church (52 percent favorable).

About half of all voters polled (51 percent) and three-quarters of Catholic (75 percent) have a favorable view of the Catholic Church in general.  Those attending Mass frequently (83 percent), view the religious institution favorably.

50-Plus Americans Favor Woman Catholic Priests

Finally, AARP, the nation’s largest aging advocacy group recognized for gather opinions of 50-plus Americans on health, finances and later life issues, puts Pope Francis on its polling list because his trip to the United State is considered to be “one of the most topical issues of the day.”

In this national telephone AARP poll, older Americans were asked their thoughts about the head of the Rhode Catholic Church’s leadership.  When asked “Do you think Pope Francis is leading the Catholic Church in the right direction?” seventy six percent of the respondents agreed. Thirty five percent of these respondents indicated to the pollster that they were Catholic or had at one point been a practicing Catholic.

Additionally, the AARP poll sought the respondent views about women becoming ordained as priests in the Catholic Church, a controversial and heated issue to many practitioners.  Of those surveyed, 66 percent of the older 50-plus respondents favored the change.  For this poll question, 37% indicated they were Catholic or had at one point considered themselves.  Of these respondents, 70% said the Pope should consider women priests.

Finally, the AARP telephone poll tossed in a question about the afterlife, asking the older respondents whether they believe in heaven and hell. Of those survey, 72 percent said they did.

With Pope Francis concluding his trip and heading back to Rome, last week poll findings indicate that the Pontiff is well liked by the American public and his flock, and that he’s leading his Church in the right direction. With the voters angry about continued political gridlock inside the Washington, D.C. beltway, presidential and congressional candidates can only pray to get Pope Francis’ off the chart polling numbers.

Children Can Bring Message of Life after Death

Published in Pawtucket Times, December 20, 2014

The tragic, untimely death of a child, will bring emotional pain and suffering to the parents. But, amazingly through horrific experiences like this slowly comes a greater appreciation, understanding and love of life.

Sixty-five year old Dave Kane and his wife, Joanne, know this so well. The fourth largest Nightclub fire in the nation’s history, killing their son Nicky O’Neill, would propel the semi-retired radio talk show host (he’s on the air at WARL1320 in Attleboro from 8 am to 10 am on Saturdays), comedian, performance artist and author, with his wife on a journey of personal healing that would lead to their bringing comfort to others who grieve for lost loved ones.

Kane’s eighteen-year-old son, Nicky O’Neill, was the youngest victim of the Station nightclub fire in which 100 people lost their lives over a decade ago, over 230 people were injured. After this tragic event, Kane became a very visible proponent of fire safety and the enforcement of strict laws to ensure safety in public buildings. Three years later, he would publish his first book, 41 Signs of Hope. In this book, Kane shares personal stories of synchronistic, and at times, seemingly spirit communication, around the number 41, which Kane and his family contend are contact from the spirit of his deceased young son, Nicky.

The Number 41

Kane, views the number 41 as an “incredible sign” from his deceased son that he still exists. Throughout the young man’s life he always liked this number, he says, noting the Nicky noticed that number everywhere and he would let those around him know it.

“When he passed away Nicky was 18 years-old and 23 days, that totals 41,” notes Kane, a Johnston resident, who can reel off dozens of examples of the number 41 showing up around him. A video tape of Nicky as a baby discovered one year after his death shows him as a baby wearing a baseball uniform, wearing a base-ball cap embroidered with the number 41.

At that time no one could figure out the significance. For over a decade that followed Nicky’s death, the number continued to appear. Although Kane and his family initially viewed the sightings as coincidences, they now see it as a sign of spirit contact. The book, 41 Signs of Hope, followed by an hour and fifty minute documentary released in 2005 (just called 41), by Rhode Island filmmakers, Christian de Rezendes and Christian O’Neill, is jam-packed with examples of the sightings of this number 41.

The First Contact

Detailed in Kane’s book, 41 Signs of Hope, shares how medium Cindy Gilman gave him a message from Nicky, his son, who had died at the Station nightclub fire. A day before the deadly fire that occurred on Feb. 20, 2003, Gilman smelled smoke as she walked through her office. The medium knew that a tragic event would happen close by and that she could not do anything to stop it.

The day after the tragic fire, while sitting in her kitchen drinking tea, a figure of a young man appeared to Gilman, with long blond hair, a glittery shirt and a leather jacket, begging her to “call his father.” Startled by this vision she did not know who to call. A moment later the spirit reappeared showing her his charred body, then transformed back to his original form.

Gilman knew that the apparition wanted the East Greenwich medium to give his father a message, that he had “crossed over and was not in pain.” Picking up her personal phone book, she turned to “K” and immediately saw the name of a professional acquaintance, Dave Kane (the only name under that letter).

Kane recalls that she called his beeper. He returned her call and the medium offered to come on his radio show to identify the young spirit. The grieving father told her, “we had lost Nicky in a fire,” with Gilman responding, “Oh, I should have said something.” A very distraught Kane immediately hung up on her, thinking that he had a medium telling him she knew something that she really did not know.

Ultimately, he would call Gilman back and she would describe the spirit vividly to him. It was the splitting image of his son, he said. He confirmed to Gilman that this was his son, especially detailing how he had dressed the night he died.

Looking back, losing his son was the most horrible experience of Kane and his wife had experienced in their life, he says. The morning after the deadly West Warwick fire, he stood in front of his bathroom mirror and cried, screaming “Okay big shot, now what do you think.” Thirty years as a talk show host gave him all the answers to any topic. But he had no answers to why his son died tragically and so young.

But, the Number 41 would give Kane and his wife comfort that their son was reaching out, telling them that life does not end with death. Loved ones who have passed on never leave us, they are still with us, loving, supporting, guiding and sending us signs each and every day, he says.
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Rhode Island medium Gilman’s confirmation of Nicky’s definite proof of life after death was validated by a reading given to Kane and his wife by Robert Brown, an internationally acclaimed medium. The medium confirmed where Nicky had stood before he died and that he helped a young woman during the fire, all confirmed months later.

Brown pointed at him at the end of the 45 minute reading and said “your son wants me to tell you one more thing, the show must go on.” What Brown and nobody else knew was these words were spoken by Nicky to his father before he died at the Station nightclub, says Kane,

Just a couple of days before the tragic fire Kane found out that his son was not getting paid much money to play in opening act for the headlining band, Jack Russell’s Great White. “You should not sell God’s talent so short, said Kane jokingly. Nicky just hugged his father and kissed him, saying “the show must go on.”

Those last words, repeated by British medium, confirmed the existence of spirit. Each and every day Kane and his family continue to receive signs from Nicky to continually validate this.

Spreading the Word

For over 30 years Kane educated tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders on state and national topics on his radio show, “Kane and Company.” Now he’s traveling a new path in his later years, bringing the public awareness to more ethereal topics, like life after death.

With several of his own family members being cared for by Home and Hospice Care of Rhode Island, Kane wanted “to give back” and offered to share his 41 Signs of Hope presentation to our bereaved families, says Deanna Upchurch, Grief Counseling Department Manager at Home and Hospice Care of Rhode Island. After reviewing his “incredible” presentation, he was invited to share it to HHCRI’s Loss of Parent, Loss of Spouse and Loss of Adult child groups.

For over one hour, Kane gives dozens of examples of how deceased loved ones can send you messages in many forms, to validate their existence. Nicky shows up at Disney Land, at Chili’s restaurant even a family Thanksgiving dinner, when Kane was driving his car reminding them he is still around as the number 41 pops up everywhere.

“It is up to us to acknowledge and know that they are here. We are so busy grieving and busy we just don’t see our loved ones,” he says.

Those attending HHCRI’s grief counseling groups, felt comfort in Kane’s stories, notes Upchurch. “Grieving people often talk about ways they feel their loved ones are still connected with them after death, says Upchurch. “Whether it’s a faint smell of a loved ones cigar or the sight of a cardinal, or butterfly which they feel represents their loved one, people frequently share their experiences of sharing signs from their loved ones.”

Upchurch says that Kane’s presentation validates the experiences of the grieving. It helps them continue to feel connected to their loved ones and even keeps them open-minded for future signs from them.

After listening to Kane’s passionate stories, it only reinforced my belief that “death is nothing at all,” Kane’s concluding words.

For more information about 41 Signs of Hope, go to http://www.davekane.net/41-the-book.html. Or call 401- 965-0467.

Herb Weiss, LRI ’12, is a Pawtucket-based writer who covers aging, health care and medical issues. He can be reached at hweissri@aol.com,

The World According to a Rhode Island Medium

Published in Pawtucket Times, September 27, 2013

Cindy Gilman knew something was wrong but just could not put her finger on it. Three weeks before Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, when four coordinated terrorist attacks launched by Al-Qaeda upon the Twin Towers in New York City and the Pentagon in the Washington, D.C. area, killing over 3,000 people, the well-known Rhode Island medium felt shaky and weak. The fifty-five year old medium had a metallic taste in her mouth, she even began to experience unidentifiable fear. Every time Gilman went into a meditative state to “spiritually lift herself up” her discomfort became even stronger. A series of blood tests just one week before the national tragedy, performed at her primary care physician’s office, found no medical irregularities.

When the huge passenger planes dove into there iconic targets, Gilman, like others across the country, learned about the Islamic terrorist attacks. Only then did she realize that her symptoms where what New York residents were now feeling, even down to the foul-tasting smoke and ash they breathed in, from the falling, burnt debris.

One day before the mass shootings inside the Beltway, on Sept. 16, 2013, Gilman began to violently shake, even having an unidentifiable sense of fear, like she experienced twelve years earlier before 9/18. The medium knew intuitively something was going to happen. The next day on local radio, confirmed by CNN, validated her uneasiness. That something was going to happen. It did. A lone gunman fatally shot twelve people, injuring three others in Southeast Washington, D.C., at the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command at the Washington Navy Yard.

Having the Gift

The petite, blond-haired medium, whose 37-year-old son, Danny, resides in the Boston area, with wife and one-year old child, consciously began her spiritual journey in the early 1950s.

One of her first major spiritual experiences that she can recall, as a second grader, the young student went up to her teacher and said, “I have to go home because my mother needs me, my grandfather just passed away.” The teacher let the youngster walk home where her mother validated this death in fact did occur before her arrival.

At age seven, over sixty years ago, Gilman became aware of her spiritual gifts as she sang to a roomful of Holocaust survivors at a memorial service held in Boston. Standing on a milk crate to reach the microphone, the child singer brought tears to the eyes of many in the room, as she nervously sang lullaby songs they remembered being sung by their mothers while they were in captivity in German concentration camps. As the horrific, repressed memories came to the surface of the audience as she continued singing, a nervous Gilman remembered, not seeing them as they were dressed that day but seeing them as emaciated, with shaved heads and wearing stripped pajamas like they did in the camps. “I just closed my eyes and saw my maternal grandfather standing before me with my spiritual eye,” said Gilman, seeing him as “young and healthy,” not a man whose body was once ravaged with cancer, who passed on months earlier. “My deceased grandfather nodded his head and at that moment I knew that there was something more to life, more than just a person’s physical body,” added Gilman.

For a long-time the young child told nobody of this experience, but eventually brought it up with her paternal grandmother. “She started to cry and rubbed her hands on my face,” she said, telling her that “God is with you.”

Later at a family gathering Gilman would walk up to an uncle and warn him of an impending heart attack. This happened. Her mother quickly told her not to say things like this. “I was told to sit on the couch and not put my intuitive foot in my mouth,” she said. As to her spiritual verbal slips, Gilman now knows that “some things come through my higher intuitive self or through spirit guide.

Looking back at her childhood, the seasoned medium thought “everyone had the abilities of being intuitive, it was a part of human nature,” but life would teach her that this was not the case.

From Singer to Intuitive Pioneer

At age 17, Gilman would seek formal educational training to enhance her musical career by attending Emerson College where she once danced with Henry Winkler, “the Fonz” in a college production. “We remained in touch long after our college days,” she says.

Ultimately, the college student transferred to New England Conservatory of Music, where she graduated. Now, residing in New York City, the young college graduate honed her musical abilities by professionally performing in Miami, Florida, New York City and the Catskill Mountains in Upper State New York, and the Bahamas. At this time, before she became a professional medium, she would sometimes pick up things from the audience as she performed her repertoire of songs from the stage. In her late twenties she returned to Boston to begin to work as a professional intuitive spiritual medium.

“I really was a pioneer doing this type of work. People started calling asking me for readings,” Gilman remembers. Both print and electronic media also began calling asking her for interviews on spiritual understanding.

For over 23 years, Gilman has brought comfort and insight to thousands of listeners, as a radio talk show host at WHDH – AM, Boston, (1972-1993), later moving to WHJJ-AM, Providence, (1984-1996), and, using her intuitive and healing abilities, understanding of hypnosis and meditation skills to assist in the healing process. She is a certified Hypnosis Counselor and Meditation Instructor. As an intuitive, her ESP expertise has been called upon to work with psycho kinetic children in cooperation with Dr. J. B. Rhine (who coined the phrase “ESP” in the early 1970s and 1980s. Besides giving readings that bridge the physical world with spirit, Gilman has also lectured at colleges on spiritual topics, also teaching psychic development classes and working with intuitively gifted children.

Gilman has even assisted Police Departments to solve crimes. In one instance, She traveled to Miami, Florida, to assist the chief of detectives in locating a murder. Quickly looking at photographs of five suspects, Gilman intuitively described where the police could find the murderer, at a cottage she described in detail, including a printed sofa inside with three garbage cans in the back. The suspect was later captured at that location. However, she has retired her services working with law enforcement because “it is just too painful to do.”

Successful Hits

While Gilman will tell you that no intuitive can be 100 percent accurate in their psychic predictions, she gives a few examples of intuitively zeroing in on major New England events. The medium gave a feature writer at the Boston Herald a prediction when he asked for one, that is a big blizzard would happen in February 1978. “I clairvoyantly saw a newspaper headline that read, “This Is the Blizzard that Paralyzed Boston.” Meanwhile, an image of Valentine cards on a shelf would date the event around February 14th, she noted.

Meanwhile, detailed in Dave Kane’s book, 41 Signs of Hope, the former radio talk show host, comedian, performance artist, and author, shares how Gilman gave him a message from Nicky, his son, who had died at the Station Nightclub Fire. A day before the fourth-deadliest nightclub fire in United States history that occurred on Feb. 20, killing 100 people, injuring 230 in West Warwick, Gilman smelled smoke as she walked through her office. The medium knew that a tragic event would happen close by and that she could not do anything to stop it.

The day after the tragic fire, a figure of a young man appeared to Gilman, with long blond hair, a glittery shirt and a leather jacket, this spirit had just died at the Station Nightclub Fire, begging her to “call his father.” Startled she did not know who to call. A moment later the spirit reappeared showing her his charred body, then transformed back to his original form.

The young man wanted her to tell his grieving father that he had “crossed over, was ok and not in pain,” says Gilman. Picking up her personal phone book, she turned to “K” and immediately saw the name of a professional acquaintance, Dave Kane. She ly called his beeper. That evening Kane returned the call, the medium offering him to help those who lost family members and friends in the fire. Kane told her “we had lost Nicky in a fire,” Gilman remembered, “I knew it, I should have said something.” Kane hung up but he ultimately called back the next morning and she described the spirit to him. It was the splitting image of his son, he said. He confirmed to Gilman that this was his son, especially detailing how he had dressed the night he died.

A Few Thoughts and Observations

Gilman concludes my interview at the Kitchen Bar Restaurant on Hope Street, noting that there is definitely a spiritual, financial and social shift happening across the world. Although horrific events, like earth changes even terrorist attacks, like the recent shooting at the Washington Naval Yard, will still occur, but she stresses that people will become more spiritually-inclined, too.

“Finding ways to become more grounded and focused will become more important,” says Gilman, recommending meditation.

For more information or to book an appointment call Gilman at (401) 885-4115.

Herb Weiss, LRI ’12, is a Pawtucket-based writer who covers aging, health care and medical issues. He can be reached at hweissri@aol.com

Conquering Cancer Through Living Fearlessly

Published in Pawtucket Times, November 9, 2012 

             We’ve heard it before – “don’t sweat the small stuff”,  “do not fear death…only the unlived life”, “live your life to the fullest”.  Anita Moorjani, 50, only knows the truth behind these familiar sayings all too well because of a Near Death Experience (NDE) she had in 2006.

             In Moorjani’s book, Dying to be Me: My Journey From Cancer To Near Death, To True Healing, published in 2012 by Hay Houses, USA, the Hong Kong-resident recounts stories of her childhood, being raised Hindu while residing in a largely Chinese and British society in Hong Kong.   Throughout her adult life, she faced challenges to find a  profession, eventually found her one true love,  husband Danny, and eventually fought her devastating cancer, which lead to her death, but ultimately came back to life and became healed, an outcome that today baffles the medical world.

             The 191 page inspirational tome tells how Moorjani fought against Stage IV lymphoma for almost four years, ultimately a terminal disease that spread from the base of her skull, which traveled over her neck and down to her abdomen.  Her body was riddled with malignant tumors, “some the size of lemons”, she recalls.            

            As a result of her near death experience, and the publicity generated by her book, Moorjani now speaks at conferences and events around the world to share her insights gained from her Near Death Experience.  She is also a frequent guest at The University of Hong Kong’s department of behavioral sciences speaking on topics such as dealing with terminal illness, facing death, and the psychology of spiritual beliefs. 

 Crossing Over

             By the morning of February 2, 2006, Moorjani was wheel-chair bound, on oxygen and receiving full-time care at home.  She was sliding in and out of consciousness while experiencing breathing difficulties due to fluid in her lungs.  Her body was swollen with open skin lesions and she was soon admitted to the local hospital in a coma.  Her outcome was grim, and the attending physician informed her husband that he did not expect her to survive for another 36 hours.

              Now in the ICU and having been in a coma for nearly 20 hours, the forty-four year old woman’s vital organs began to fail. In fact, she was ultimately pronounced dead.  Moorjani recalls entering into a “NDE”, having a spiritual epiphany while on the other side of death’s veil.  She came to understand the ultimate cause of her devastating medical condition, which she reports as  “being fearful of life”.  When she chose to return to her physical body, Moorjani knew that she indeed had the power to heal her body of the spreading cancer,  knowing with certainty that this medical miracle would occur.

             Over a six month period after her NDE, Moorjani was given chemotherapy,  even though every medical test revealed no trace of cancer.  A lymph node biopsy also revealed no cancer in any of her lymph nodes.

.            Like millions of others who have reported NDE, Moorjani had experienced many of its classic traits.  She recalls having “an extreme sense of peace and well-being, an intense feeling of unconditional love”, and became reunited with deceased family and friends and spiritual guides.

             Her book noted that even in a coma in this very deep NDE, she was acutely aware of her surroundings.  She heard a physician tell her husband, outside her room in the corridor, that her organs were failing and she would not last the night.  In her NDE she knew that her brother was on a plane coming to say his goodbyes, too.

             On the other side, Moorjani recounts in this book how she received profound knowledge about her life, mission and purpose of life with an understanding of the nature of the universe as well.  When the terminally ill woman approached the boundary of no return, she remembers she had a decision to make, to stay and sever ties with her sickly body, or come back to heal and accomplish her life’s mission.   Choosing to voluntarily return to her disease-ridden body, upon regaining consciousness, she knew that her body would be quickly healed of cancerous tumors. She was released from the hospital within weeks, without a trace of cancer in her body.

             With an increased belief in the God-force within, no longer would Moorjani fear death, and this experience fueled her desire to confront life fearlessly.

 NDE Is a Common Occurrence

            Over the years, Jeffrey Long, M.D., a leading NDE researcher, has documented over 3,000 NDEs, posted on the www.nderf.org website. The practicing radiation oncologist says that this data base is by far the largest collection of NDEs, available in 22 languages, that is publicly accessible.  Readers from over 100 different foreign countries access Dr. Long’s web site monthly.  Over 300,000 pages are read from this website every month.

            Meanwhile, Dr. Long’s website, notes that although most people who come near death do not remember anything, around 18% later report that “something happened.”  That “something” is often a near-death experience NDE, says Long.  He notes a 1993 Gallop Poll estimated that 12 to 15 million Americans personally experienced a NDE.  As of 2001, almost 600 adults per day across the nation experience an NDE.

            According to Dr. Long, who penned the New York Times bestseller, Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences, Moorjani’s, NDE is “one of the most profound NDEs ever reported.  The insights that she received during her NDE are profound, yet corroborated by the insights of many other NDErs.”

            Dr. Long noted, “I have carefully reviewed Anita Moorjani’s incredible recovery and NDE.  It is medically inexplicable.  Doctor’s don’t like to use the term ‘miracle’, but that is the best word to describe her experience.”

            While he did not review her original medical records, one physician did. In an email and a press release, promoting a workshop to discuss Moorjani’s  rapid remission from an advanced stage of cancer, Dr. Peter Ko, an oncologist who reviewed her medical records did not attribute her dramatic recovery to her chemotherapy.  “Based on what we have learned about cancer cell behaviors, I speculate that something (non-physical…”information”?) either switched off the mutated genes from expressing, or signaled them to a programmed cell death.  The exact mechanism is unknown to us, but not likely to be the result of cytotoxic drugs.” 

Lessons Learned from Beyond the Veil

            Moorjani now believes that her cancer manifested in her physical body due to the fear of being herself, displeasing others, not measuring up to their expectations andthe fear of living life to the fullest.  In fact, it was being “fearful of everything,” said the internationally recognized writer, that blocked her greater essence from healing the physical body.  

            “Only when I realized my own magnificence, my own perfection, my own self worth as a beautiful child of the universe, was I able to let go of fear and embrace life with all its uncertainties, ambiguities, joys, sorrows, and challenges. Seeing myself as perfection, as an exquisite manifestation of life, led to my healing,” she said. 

            Moreover, a prevalent part of her experience was the realization that we are all interconnected and when she was not in her body she was able to clearly see this. 

            Finally, “laughter and a good sense of humor can be your best medicine” – Moorjani recommends not to take your life too seriously, just “Learn to lighten up and laugh. Don’t be afraid of just being yourself.”

            For more information about Moorjani’s NDE and her philosophies of living life fearlessly, or to purchase her book, go to  www.anitamoorjani.com,

            Herb Weiss, LRI ’12, is a Pawtucket-based freelance writer who covers aging, health care and medical issues.  He be contacted at hweissri@aol.com

Changing the World One Person at a Time

Published September 21, 2012, Pawtucket Times

            You do not have to be in political office, a government official or own and operate a business, or run a nonprofit, to make Rhode Island a better place to live or work.   Individually, we can work daily by performing good deeds to those who cross our paths that ultimately contribute to the greater good of your community.     

            Catherine Ryan Hyde’s novel, Pay It Forward, published in 1999, was adapted into a Warner Brothers film (with the same moniker) one year later, bringing the “Pay It Forward” concept to millions of Americans. In the PG film, young Trevor McKinney learns that positive community change can occur just by doing three good deeds.  He sees the positive impact of “Pay it Forward” and learns that the practice of helping one another can “spread geometrically through society at a ration of three to one, creating a social movement to making the world a better place.”

            We are drawn to the tormented 12 year old Treavor McKinney, who is living with an alcoholic mother and conflicted by fears of his abusive, but mostly absent father.  The young boy takes on a school assignment given to his class by the new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet.  The assignment is to “create something to change the world” and put it into action. For his project, Treavor embellishes on an idea where instead of repaying a favor or good deed back to someone  – the recipient would ‘Pay It Forward’ by doing a good deed to three new people.  Ultimately, McKinney sees the impact of this school assignment, like a rock thrown skipping in a pond, making ever-wide traveling ripples in the water.

            This “Pay It Forward” concept is not a new one.  According to Wikipedia, in a letter to Benjamin Webb dated April 15, 1784, Benjamin Franklin clearly penned his support of the concept in that correspondence.

            The founding father wrote: “I do not pretend to give such a Sum; I only lend it to you. When you […] meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro’ many hands, before it meets with a Knave that will stop its Progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money.”

           Like Franklin, University student Christopher Lo took this concept to heart.  He was inspired by the unexpected return of a lost video camera, leading him to create the web site http://www.thekarmaseed.org in 2010.  The equipment was misplaced after he accidentally left it outside the University’s library.  Although it did not immediately turn up at the school’s “lost and found” website, a stranger finally turned it in.  Amazingly,  that simple act of kindness of returning a lost video camera led to the creation of a web site to track all the good deeds “passed forward,” to illustrate the positive impact of the concept.

            Lo created a “Karma Seed,” a small plastic card with a unique identification number, detailing the website location.  If you perform a favor for someone, you just give them the plastic card and request that the person register the plastic card at the website.  This person then “pays the good deed forward” requesting that the new recipient of kindness to go online and register the card after they became the recipient of a good deed.  Any recipient or giver of a Karma Seed card can go back to the website and see a detailed history of the good deeds that followed the original act of kindness.

           Lo’s Karma Seed organization contributes 50 percent of the profits to The Karma Seed Foundation to support social projects in communities surrounding WashingtonUniversity in St. Louis.

          One year later, a Louisiana affiliate of ABC NEWS, did a story on The Newton Project, a 501(c)(3) outreach organizations established to show that even with the world facing big problems, each person can make a unique, individual difference simply by taking the time to show love, appreciation and kindness to those around them. Like Lo, the founder, Michael Phillips, based the mission of his organization on the classic “Pay It Forward” concept, but demonstrates the impact of each act on the world by tracking each wristband with a unique identification number and quantifying the lives each has touched. The Newton Project’s attempt to determine the benefits of a Pay It Forward type system can be viewed by the general public at http://www.thenewtonproject.com.

           Meanwhile, the “Pay it Forward” movement got a jump start with businessman Charley Johnson taking the helm of the Pay It Forward Foundation (www.pifexperience.org) in 2012.  He walked away from Corporate America to change the world one person at a time.  The former owner of a manufacturing company had an idea for encouraging kindness acts by creating a Pay it Forward Bracelet that could be worn as a reminder of the importance of doing good deeds to strangers who cross your path.  Today, over a 1.5 million Pay it Forward bracelets have been distributed in over 112 countries sparking some amazing acts of kindness. Few bracelets remain with their original recipients, however, as they circulate in the spirit of the reciprocal or generalized altruism.

            Singing his praises, Pay It Forward author Catherine Ryan Hyde, who also founded the Pay it Forward Foundation in 2000, “Charley says he’s going to make this ‘the biggest thing the world has ever seen. If anybody else said that, I might not believe it.  But nothing is out of the question when Charley goes after it.” 

          Start today with making a difference in your neighborhood, office and throughout your daily travels, with a simple act of kindness to a stranger.  Doing this and requesting the beneficiary of your action to just “Pay It Forward” may have major positive implications for your neighborhood, City or town, the OceanState and even the World.  Amazing.

        Herb Weiss is a freelance writer covering aging, health care and medical issues.  He can be reached at hweissri@aol.com.

 

 

Cultual Icons, Celebrities Give Us Cause to Reflect on Our Lives

Published September 7, 2012, Pawtucket Times 

             The death of those celebrities and cultural icons who were familiar to us growing up give us cause to reflect on their lives – and our own, as well as ones’ contributions to society.

             Astronaut Neil Armstrong traveled 250,000 miles from earth to the lunar surface and was the first man to walk on the moon.  At the age of 82, he died last month in Cincinnati, Ohio from complications resulted from cardiovascular procedures.

            With his death on August 25, 2012, hundreds of tributes would come in from all over the world, from world leaders, former astronauts and his family, calling him modest and humble, a “reluctant American hero,” an explorer –  an exceptional test pilot, recognized as a war veteran who flew 78 combat missions during the Korean conflict.

            Not unexpectedly, even President Barack Obama, American’s Commander-in-Chief, recognized Armstrong’s impact on the cultural fabric of the nation.  “When he and his fellow crew members lifted off aboard Apollo 11 in 1969, they carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation,” said Obama in a written statement released by the White House. “They set out to show the world that the American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable – that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible. And when Neil stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the first time, he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten.”

 Man on the Moon

          In July 1969, one month after my 15th birthday, as a young man, I was riveted to our television as my family watched the CBS news with Walter Cronkite, as he told a captivated nation that American astronaut Neil Armstrong and  lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin, along with command module pilot Mike Collins, had reached the moon four days after being launched from Kennedy Space Center. Cronkite, America’s most trusted newscaster, detailed the landing, noting how the lunar module “Eagle” separated from the command module, making its descent to the moon surface.

           When making that lunar contact, the 38-year-old Armstrong would say, “Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed.”  No aging baby boomer would ever forget the memorable quote of the young commander of Apollo 11 as he climbed down Eagle’s ladder and stepped on to the lunar soil on July 20, 1969 at 10:56 p.m…  “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

         According to NASA, Armstrong would prance around on the lunar surface for two hours and 32 minutes, while Aldrin, who followed him, spent about 15 minutes less than that.

         For years, a small framed replica of the front page of the Dallas Morning News featuring Armstrong’s voyage sat on my old dresser, which served as an inspirational reminder – a  piece of history I witnessed,  now recorded into the nation’s history books.

 Long-time Comedienne Passes Away

          Phyllis Diller, a high-profile stand-up Comedienne who during a 50 year career served as a role model to younger females (including Roseanne Barr, Ellen De Generes, Whoopi Goldberg, and Joan Rivers among others) trying to make a career out of telling jokes, died on August 20, 2012 at the age of 95.    She was one of the first women to break into this male-dominated standup comedian profession, even giving them a run for their money.

       Over her long career, she made dozens of movies, appeared in specials, situational comedy shows on television, recorded comedy LP records and even performed on Broadway, as well as breathing life into animated characters on films and television shows with voice-overs.   

       Keeping my mother company on the couch by watching Johnny Carson after the late night news, as a young child I would lay my head on her lap, watching The Tonight Show “Starring Johnny Carson” in the early 1960s.  Diller appeared on this show, as well as variety shows, hosted by Jack Benny, Dean Martin, Red Skeleton, and Ed Sullivan.  She captivated the nation with her quirky sense of humor and signature laugh.

       As I grew up watching Diller on television I can remember the self-deprecating professional jokester wearing an unkempt wig, wrist-length gloves, and cloth-covered ankle boots, carrying a long fake jeweled cigarette holder (even though she never smoked) and taking lob sharp barbs at her fictional husband, Fang, and her home life during her routines.  She was confident and proud of her place in the world, despite the trials and tribulations of “family life”.

       At age 37, Diller, a mother and homemaker, got her first break in 1955, playing San Francisco’s Purple Onion nightclub.  The two week engagement ultimately ended a year and half later.

       Diller, a longtime resident of the Brentwood area of Los Angeles, California, appeared regularly as a special guest on many television programs throughout her career, including What’s My Line? mystery guests.  She also made cameo appearances bringing her unique humor to Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, Love Boat, Chips, Love American Style, the Drew Carey Show and even appeared on ABC’s Boston Legal.

       Diller, who underwent 15 different plastic surgeries during her life (this noted in her 2005 autobiography), surprisingly was also recognized as an accomplished pianist as well as a painter.

       Archie Bunkers chair went to the Smithsonian.  So did Diller’s jokes, so to speak.  Even the Albert H. Small Documents Gallery at the National Museum of American History, from August 12 to October 28, 2011, displayed Diller’s gag file, a steel cabinet consisting of 48 file drawers holding over 50,000 jokes penned on index cards and costumes that became part of her “comedic persona.”

 The Passing of Cultural Icons and Celebrities

        When we are young, we feel invulnerable and that we will live forever. Unrealistically, we see death as no match for us. In our later year’s as aging baby boomers, we begin to see death close up, through the passing of our older parents, siblings, co-workers, friends and sometimes even our children.  Health conditions continually remind us of our impending mortality. 

        As we look at the passing of Neil Armstrong and Phyllis Diller, their impressive life stories should give us confirmation of their major impact on our culture. Their passing become “mortality markers” subtly giving us the gentle message that “generations come and go” and that we, like them, will not live forever.  Time becomes the most valuable commodity that we carry throughout our lives.

          If we use time wisely, we can better use our remaining days to make a positive difference in our community, whether it be through the professions we chose or simply our outlook on life to those around us.    Armstrong, to take mankind to where it has never has been –  Diller to make us laugh to forget the pains of life.

         Herb Weiss is a Pawtucket-based freelance writer who covers aging, health care and medical issues.  He can be reached at hweissri@aol.com.
Additional information about Armstrong is available on the Web at: