Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hallows Eve

Tonight is Hallows Eve, the night when the veil between this world and the Otherworld is at its thinnest, and the ability to communicate between the two worlds is at is greatest. 

By some estimates, upwards of 80% of the United States believe in some form of afterlife. Personally, I'm not sure. I've had some pretty dramatic psychic experiences that make me wonder though, including a series of events that led me to precisely where I am right now. I believe it was a path prepared for me by the spirit of my dead father.

Roger Sherwood Nolan, Sr., who was born The Ides of March, 1921, died on February 10, 1990. At the moment of his death, I was in or near Atlanta, Georgia, where I was fulfilling a contractual obligation as the spokesman for a chain of regional grocery stores. My dad was in a hospital in Irvine, California, in the final stages of colo-rectal cancer.

I had been conflicted about traveling so far away from him. When I asked dad if I should go he adamantly answered in the affirmative. He was always a "make hay while the sun shines" kind of guy. My older sister, Gloria, was there keeping vigil, and he was in good hands. So I traveled to Atlanta, trading in my First Class airline ticket for two Coach seats so that my wife, Judy, could go with me, along with our then-infant son, Zach (Judy was born and raised just outside of Atlanta).

Judy and Zach were staying at her mother's house, while I was being billeted at a hotel near the studio where we were shooting the commercials. To save money, I was using a small pickup truck that had belonged to Judy's father, who had passed away a few years before.  

At the end of the first day's shooting, I was returning to my mother-in-law's house, and looking forward to a home cooked Southern dinner. While waiting at a traffic light, I felt what I can only describe as a cold wind blowing through me. It was a definite "presence" that I immediately sensed as being Otherworldly. 

My first thought was that I was being visited by Judy's dead father. The human mind wants to make sense of these kinds of things, and it seemed logical since I was driving his truck. I may have even said something like, "Ed, is that you?" The feeling passed, the light turned green, and I continued on, logging the experience in my memory to tell Judy when I got home.

I'm not sure if I mentioned the event the first thing upon arriving, but within a few minutes a phone call came for me. It was Gloria. "Dad's gone," was all she said. I knew in that moment that the feeling I had in the truck was the movement of his spirit in some way. "I know," I replied. "I felt it." As powerful as this experience was, however, it could not compare to what would come next. 

A month or so later I found myself back in Atlanta shooting more commercials for the grocery store. Judy and I were using the opportunity to visit some friends of ours who lived on a wooded, and at that time at least, secluded river. 

One evening, after everyone else had gone back up to the house to fix dinner, I stayed behind to meditate, sitting on a large boulder in the middle of the river. My thoughts turned to my father, and I called out to him silently. Within seconds, I felt like I was surrounded by some kind of perceptible energy field. It was like being in the middle of a swarm of butterflies, their thousands of wings beating lightly against me from head to toe.

Then I heard my dad's voice. It was very clear. How long we "spoke" together I do not know. As far as I remember, I never opened my eyes, so there was no physical presence, only an internal dialogue. In answer to my questions, he assured me that he was fine, that the death experience was pretty much as advertised, complete with the bright light and his mother there to help him through. He told me that he was now omnipotent, and that he was enjoying the experience because now he could really be of help to other people. 

To that end, he informed me that he was preparing the way for me and my future. I did not ask him the specifics of this plan, but assumed it meant that I would have a successful and lucrative career as an actor, my main pursuit at the time. He assured me that he was available whenever I needed him, for a while at least, and he signed off by saying "as amazing as all this is, love is what makes life worth living."

Then he was gone. The beating of the butterfly wings subsided, and I finally opened my eyes. It was now quite dark. I got up and walked slowly, and very thoughtfully, up the hill to the house. Everyone was already sitting down to dinner when I appeared. I sat down without a word as every eye in the room stared at me. "What happened to you?" someone finally asked. "You look so different!" 

And I was.

That experience led me seeking out a psychic in Los Angeles who had a sweatlodge in her back yard where I started attending sweats once a month. Where I met another attendee who practiced yoga. Which got me back into the practice I had neglected for some years. Which led to my quitting acting to become a yoga teacher. Which led me to vipassana meditation. Which led me to Spirit Rock Meditation Center and Jack Kornfield, Phillip Moffitt, and other teachers. Which led me to leading a meditation group in Los Angeles. Which led me to returning to school to become a psychotherapist. Which led me to leading mindfulness-based groups. Which led me to Kathy. Which led me to writing this blog. Which led me to this exact moment.

Thanks, dad. You prepared the way very well indeed. 

Happy Hallows Eve,




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