I'm Spiritual, Dammit

Are there any "spiritual" meeting groups in Chicago?

An email from a reader:

Dear Jen-

I was raised in Catholic schools and I'm not practicing Catholicism anymore because I feel there is too much judgment.  I spent my childhood around mean nuns and bitter priests that should never have been around kids to begin with.  As a baby boomer, I'm trying to find a group that will be welcoming to my evolving beliefs.  I don't want something that is "Christ" based- or really steeped in any religion at all.  I am just looking for a group that talks about the 'after life' with an open mind.  Any ideas? 

From- A "Recovering Catholic"

Dear "Recovering Catholic",

I'm married to one of you, so I feel your pain!  I am always trying to keep my eyes and ears open for a tolerant group that welcomes all spiritual views.  One that's worth checking out is called IANDS.  This stands for the International Association for Near Death Studies.  They have a group in Chicago that meets the second Saturday of every month at Evanston Hospital.

They have a variety of speakers there- many of them are best selling authors.  Before the featured speaker does their thing, they pass the microphone around the room and let those who feel like sharing an experience have the floor.  Some feel like talking- and some don't.  Most of the topics discussed are about near death experiences.

One thing I didn't realize is that one in ten people in the U.S. has had a near death experience... ONE IN TEN!  I went to one of their meetings last November.  A massage therapist named Deana Chase-Moore talked about how she died twice during standard operations and came back.  Since her "return"- she's had a heightened sense of awareness and the ability to see people's "past lives.." (Wouldn't that be fun for parties?)

Once a man got up when they were passing around the microphone.  He was a Navy guy who had died in battle, but came back.  He looked uncomfortable to be in the room, but wanted to talk.

"Since the accident, I can hear what people think.  I can predict what they are going to say.  My family thinks I'm crazy.  I don't know who I can talk to anymore...and then I heard about this group."

This Saturday- my friend John St. Augustine will be the featured speaker.  Not only is he an author, radio host and was Dr. Oz's producer at "Oprah and Friends"- but he has died TWICE.  (Once he was electrocuted, and another time, he was in a terrible car wreck.  They literally zipped up the body bag....but then discovered he was breathing.  Dang!)  

So go and listen to some cool stories- and make some new friends at IANDS.  Everyone I have met there inspires me in some unique way.  Nobody will judge you.  And there is no homework.  I guarantee that you will leave there knowing that there's more to this life than meets the eye.  

Let me know what you think-



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1 Comment

Eantonucci said:

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Hey Jen, Thanks for sharing! After my near death experience and my trip to the light and back it is cool to hear about these kinds of groups. I am thankful to come from a very aware and enlightened family, but it is still nice to know there are people out there who understand and have been there. My parents and family understand but they haven't really been there. I will try and check out one of this group sometime! Thanks again for sharing! :-)

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