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Encountering the Essence of Compassion

Last year, October, I was sitting in the kitchen on a chair looking at the garden. At the other side of the kitchen table is a window. Suddenly I had a pain in my chest and the strong conviction I was about to die.

The next thing I remember, I am falling and I have a warm sensation. I think that I am falling towards the radiator below the window at the other side of the table and that I am dying, and at the same time I am surprised that I feel no hate and no anger towards my parents. I can accept that this is the end of my life.

Next I pass through two doorways and know instictively that they are the doorway of justice and the doorway of love. I am in an empty space, no senses apply, no hearing, no vision, etc. I have no sense of time and space and feel that these categories do not apply here. I encounter an essence of compassion that is ultimate; even a mass murderer will be accepted. I feel drawn to this essence of compassion but sense that there is a barrier.

I understand that there is nothing to be gained, nothing can be achived. Everything is perfect as it is. I see the garden and the lawn - as if the room would have no walls, and understand that both - the point of this world and the other reality - overlap.

At this point I realize that I am still sitting on the chair at the table. Actually it is impossible - even standing - to see the lawn from this position; I checked this afterwards several times. It is unlikely that I walked around the table to the window to look out and forgot about it because I reemerged from the expierience in the same spot and position, sitting on the chair, as I started.

Later only, days or weeks later, the "essence of compassion" becomes associated with a sphere of silvery light in my mind, something like a bright light in a void, but at the beginning I would not have been able to descibe it.

I had a feeling of absolute joy and transcending happiness and the conviction that (a) fear of death is an error, (b) that there is an "essence of compassion" - some people may call it God, (c) that all I was taught as a Buddhist was "true" but that at the same time also other religions, e.g., Islam, contain "truth" as well.

Actually, I have started visiting a Muslim center in our neighborhood and realized that some of their members as well as people from my own Buddhist congregation (Korean Zen) encounter similar NDE expieriences. Both meditation and Sufi Muslim meditative prayer bring (partially) back the peacefull happiness I encountered. Possibly similar to the theory that light is both particle and wave, our Buddhist way and the way Muslims, Christians and Jewish people view the "essence" either as a wave (beyond form and pantheistic) or as a personalized god (particle) are mutually compatible and describe the same phenomenon.

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