Today’s guest doesn’t have faith anymore, he has a knowing.
When Peter Baldwin Panagore died on the side of a mountain, his life was forever changed. Decades later, the intense spiritual journey continues, with a story that combines the thrills of a wilderness adventure with the awe-inspiring elements of a paranormal novel.
In March of 1980, college senior Peter Panagore went ice climbing on the world-famous Lower Weeping Wall, along the Ice Fields Parkway in Alberta, Canada. His climbing partner was an experienced ice climber, but Panagore was a novice. On their descent, they became trapped on the side of the mountain. As the sun set, he was overcome by exhaustion and hypothermia.
He died on the side of that mountain. And in those minutes on the other side, he experienced hell, forgiveness, and unconditional love. Heaven was beautiful.
Panagore’s death experience changed his life and resulted in an intense spiritual journey that has continued for decades. It impelled him to pursue a master’s degree at Yale Divinity School, focusing on systematic theology and Christian mysticism.
His educational background coupled with 30 years of meditative practice and 20 years of professional work with the dying and grieving has given him unique insight, language, and perspective on heaven, God, death, life, love, beauty, and hope.
I have told my story to audiences large and small for a decade now…. My story touches people’s hearts; every time I tell it the audience is gripped and silent…. This book is about hope. It is meant to give real hope to the dying, hope to the fearful, hope to the hopeless, hope to the grieving.–from the book
Recruited to television, Peter spent fifteen years writing stories of hope and inspiration for his daily NBC-TV broadcast during the morning news across Maine and New Hampshire, reaching eighty thousand views a day as a cultural influencer and storyteller. Peter is a natural-born mystic with forty years of Centering Prayer and Kriya Yoga practice.
He now hosts Not Church: Mysticism No Doctrine No Dogma live on his YouTube Channel, where he deconstructs the Bible in Light of his near-death experiences.
Listen to more great episodes at Next Level Soul Podcast
Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 049
Alex Ferrari 0:34
I'd like to welcome to the show Peter Panagore. How're you doing Peter?
Peter Panagore 2:14
Excellent. Alex, thanks for having me here.
Alex Ferrari 2:16
Thank you so much for coming on the show my friend. I truly appreciate it. I'm excited to get into the weeds with you about about your your life's journey and, and your nd ease and all that but first and foremost, how did you how did you get to the point that you had your first NDE because i from i understand you were ice climbing? So So my first question, why ice climbing? I just started right off why ice climbing? I'm just saying.
Peter Panagore 2:51
I don't think anybody's ever asked me that question before. Am I blushing?
Alex Ferrari 2:55
I think you are we started this off.
Peter Panagore 2:59
Wait a minute. I started this crazy adventure. Um, I've been I was a boy scout from early on and we winter camped. And I and I skied since I was seven years old. And so I was on the national ski patrol. And I was I was a boy scout until I was 18. So I did the Explorer Scouts because I loved backpacking and camping. And so a lot of time in the wilderness and New England, which is where I'm from. And that particular year I spent a lot of time in the wilderness out west in the Rockies and then Montana, Wyoming. And so I kind of oriented outdoors but I'd never I'd never ice climbed. I had rock climbs we have climbing here in the East. I did some climbing in the West. But I didn't really what what the question, part of the question you're asking you probably don't realize is why didn't I go back to Boston to see my family during spring break? Because I was running away really, basically, I was not going on for very good reason. And I needed an adventure to justify my staying out west. And so I went to the outdoor club, and I found this guy, and he wanted to do an ICE climb, but I'd never done ice climbing but he had just gotten certified as a lead climber and, and he had a lot of wilderness experience in the winter. And so we decided that we would go backpacking on skis, living in snow caves for eight days and finish up with a ice climb. And so that's what we did. So we went into Alberta. We're kind of on the British Columbia pardon me the British Columbia Alberta border. We went into British Columbia to go on our snow caving. And then we came back to you obviously have been there if you're if you're gushing over it.
Alex Ferrari 4:45
No, I'm just I just I've I haven't I haven't been personally I have not but I know many friends of mine who have so I know very. I know the area. Well, it's so beautiful. It's stunning.
Peter Panagore 4:56
Totally, I want to go back. I think I'd like to do a motorcycle ride or maybe An electric bike ride from Jasper to Banff
Alex Ferrari 5:03
Sure, in the ice. No, I'm joking.
Peter Panagore 5:06
Anyway, well, the spikes on the tires, I'm still that way. Okay, I'm still sort of in advance
Alex Ferrari 5:11
How old are you by the way?
Peter Panagore 5:12
I was 21, I was 21.
Alex Ferrari 5:14
Okay, so that explains a little bit more, you're 21. Because you're younger, you're like, Yeah, you're in destructable you're indestructible at 21. So that makes a lot more sense. Okay, so you're so you're right, you're ice climbing. And what actually happens during your climb that goes awry for yourself?
Peter Panagore 5:32
Well, I make a mistake before I even begin my climb. And my mistake that I before I began, the climb was that I had only one ice axe, and you have to have two. And so instead of two ice axes, I had a hammer, and a hammer is significantly shorter, and you can't rest on it. And ice axe you can plant in the ice. And there's a Strat that you can you put around your wrist and run a bead down and you can let go. And there's the physics of it so that you can hang on this thing. But you can't do that with a hammer because the hammer doesn't have that the length of the handle and the strap is the wrong place. So to begin with, by agreement, also, and I didn't have all the gear I borrowed in rented gear, I begged her I begged her and even my sleeping bag that I was using that week, I didn't have a deep, deep, deep winter bag, I had to borrow that too. So what this meant was, is that I had to rest a lot more than every single other climber on the climb because we were one team of several. And that meant that by the time we reached even halfway up, we already knew we were in serious trouble. Because I just couldn't go fast. I had to rest and so had I had all the proper equipment it would have been a snap because I was climbing Believe it or not okay it's it's a safer sport, statistically are so it was last time I looked, then football, people, fewer people percentage wise get hurt, because you have to be careful ice climbing, you have to like super zone in on exactly what you're doing. And know and know what you're in trust your partner. You don't trust your partner. It's, it's it's you know, anxiety producing at least and deadly at worst. So, by the time we reached the top of our climb, all the other teams had descended five 600 feet and left there on the way out, the last team was on the way out when we finally sat down at the top of our climb at sunset. So we're hours and hours behind. Scary, wicked, wicked scary, like pair of terrifying and I wasn't petrified because I could still move. One of the things I learned about my partner during the week before. The reason why I trusted him is because we had some we had some serious trouble when we were out snow caving, which I don't talk a whole lot about because it's we got over it. But what I learned from that experience was to trust him and that he had a completely level head and he wouldn't freak and I didn't freak, I maintained my because I've been trained in the wilderness, you have to maintain your your, your calm, because if you don't, you can die. It's you know, the bad happens, it still happens makes the news, right? People make mistakes, and they die. And so that's why we were in that circumstance. And we're sitting up on top of this ledge with our legs dangling over and the sun goes down and the temperature drops, like that like like a curtain falls, boom. And it's 30 degrees colder than it was and so temperature wise in the climb, I was wearing a polypropylene undershirt and long sleeve and a like a net thing underneath that and a sweater, a turtleneck and a sweater and a shell. And I was I was I was just right all day. But I was also sweating and ice was falling down my neck so I was wet underneath my shell. And by the time we get to the top and the temperature dropped so immediately all this cold where we don't have any extra thermal and so we got immediate shivers not like oh I'm shivering I'm cold more like violent. Like every muscle in my body was in was an independent piston all firing at its own rate. But just like like you see in a cartoon, my job was clattering my cheeks where every every part of me was just this a shutter. And Tim was in the same situation. We know we knew we really knew an hour before what kind of deep deep trouble we were in like it became the slower we climb the more the intense the understanding of what was really going to happen to us became real
Alex Ferrari 9:39
Did you did you at any point did you say you know guys, we can't go back.
Peter Panagore 9:43
Alex Ferrari 9:44
You can't head back.
Peter Panagore 9:45
You can't go down the way you came up. So backpack and you're hiking and you're climbing a mountain you're you're like oh it's getting cold here and it's raining and I'm miserable. I'm gonna go down the trail I came up you just know that going to the trail only goes in one day. direction, you can't repel down the way you came up. That makes sense. So the it's kind of a built in, it's part of the, it's part of the magic of climbing, because in the magic is that it creates hyper focus. So it's really good for people who need to either train into hyperfocus or good at it, because you got to be right where you are.
Alex Ferrari 10:27
And it forces it also forces you to go through obstacles that you normally in real life would bail out of, but you have no choice. If you don't, then you die. And that is that the magic that is also magic because you're forced to confront obstacles and challenges and psychological challenges within yourself and break through a lot of those barriers that you would in a normal scenario just walk away from.
Peter Panagore 10:51
Because why climbers are sort of a club to themselves, because they all experience all climbers experience that other other places where that happens, but this is one of the places where that happens. So we're sitting in the top of the ledge and the temperature goes down. And we're we're hyper beginning hypothermic and the reason why I talked about being in the ski patrol because I was working at Bridger Bowl in Bozeman as a volunteer and we got retrained up about hypothermia, because, you know, come in January that year, there was 50 below on the mountain. Oh, 50 below on the mountain
Alex Ferrari 11:25
I've been in seven below and I was like, my bones hurt.
Peter Panagore 11:28
Oh, yeah. Your eyeballs can freeze your eyeballs. My eyebrows over the nighttime, my eyeballs started to freeze. Okay, this is like deep, deep, cold cold. And it feels like putting your hand in a fireplace. It's the it's like it's like you're on fire. And so a bit of that isn't where I was when I first got to the top. So we we hauled the rope up Tim Walz the rope up, his son's down, were shivering, he pulled it up too fast. So we had a series of mistakes. We hauled up there, he hauled up the rope too fast, it became a big knot. I had to take my gloves off in order to sort it. And so that began I have all my digits. But every one of them is damaged. Like every single day. I it I live in the winter in winter land. And every single day in the winter, I wear gloves, I wear a mask I was I was deep into massiveness before it was Vogue, okay, are chic because I have frostbite all over my face. So if I go outside in the wintertime, I got to cover up everything. And so I took my gloves off, I untangle this thing in the dark, sun goes down, I can feel rope. I'm good. I'm very tactile. And so I could untangle this thing without really seeing what I was doing. But we had this conversation about survivability. We knew and this is like to say this, we knew we were going to die doesn't encapsulate what the rush of emotions and realization was inside of us at 21 years old. Because it we discussed snuggling up against the face of the rock as this is still like 8000 9000 feet above us. We're not even that far up the mountain. We're just up this climb. And we realized pretty fast, we would not survive that we would we didn't have enough body heat between us to last two hours, let alone the night. So
Alex Ferrari 13:24
So you already so you are already coming to grips in your mind that this is the end for you. You have that you have having that conversation in your head at this point at one end with at 21.
Peter Panagore 13:37
Right and with Tim. I mean, it's not just in my head is like,
Alex Ferrari 13:41
You're both together. You're connected.
Peter Panagore 13:44
Yeah, it's reality. It's like so so it that alone, okay, so facing that one thing alone, a person who faces their mortality when they're young really faces it. Even if they don't die. That's still a life changing sort of thing. It makes you set you out of your peer group. Because no like I was that morning, I was invincible. But by the end of the day, when the sun set down, I was a different person.
Alex Ferrari 14:10
How did it change you just out of curiosity?
Peter Panagore 14:12
Well, I, I break it into two parts. I break it into the trauma of the night. Just the emotional trauma of of driving myself forward through darkness on ice. It trying to survive. So there's this there's this willpower that I I was able to tap into that I didn't even know that I had, which I still have. So there's a benefit to this. But there's also the there was the trauma of the fear. The fear grew all night long. The colder I got the closer I came to death death was like this far from me. It was like this far from me. And every step of the way. It got closer and closer and closer. It was this. Well, it was terrifying. So that terror that trauma, I had trauma from This, and I didn't, I didn't actually get over it till 2016 When I went back. But so, but the real after effects of this night came from dying, and not only facing my mortality, but I went, I was carried out of myself into a realm of no thingness of illuminated darkness and, and infinity. And I wasn't even a thing anymore. I don't from the moment that I came back from the moment that that happened. But once I became a human again, I, I can't ever escaped that the biggest change in my life going forward is knowing who I am and where I'm from. And I'm not from here. And you walk around saying you're not from here, two people will you know, that's the not good for your
Alex Ferrari 15:52
Good for your career. That's almost for the career. So alright, so So you're walking on the side of this mountain freezing? And what's the moment? What is the moment that you are now gone? You've left the body what happened at that moment? And where did you go?
Peter Panagore 16:14
So I was, we were on our last rappelle, the rope was stuck. I went through the final stages of hypothermia. And the very last one, the last two, and I'll talk about those two, because they relate asleep you fall asleep. But when I would fall asleep, it would be like, shut off of a light switch. And I would collapse and and hit the rock and wake up I was strapped into the mountain at this point, I was attached to the mountain. So I wouldn't fall. And so then I would stand up and I in this last time that I stood up, I got tunnel vision, which is the last the very last thing that happens. And so tunnel vision collapsed. And as it went black and I was confused. I was just like, What is this thing and everywhere I look, I see this narrowing of the field of my vision. And then when it closed, I didn't black out. It just I became I was somehow more awake. So and I didn't know what was going on. I were the mountain should have been there was an opening of infinite darkness. And instead of feeling pain, I that's what I was I'm not in pain anymore. There's no pain. And I am feel like I am separated from my body. I'm somehow still connected to it. But I'm not really. Huh, it wasn't me anymore. And so I am, I am looking out into this infinite darkness and way far, extremely far further than into the size of the universe is 13 billion light years like that far away, there's a tiny star appears. And this tiny star rushes toward me at faster than the speed of light covers this distance. And as it rushes toward me. It speaks to me but it's not in language. It's in direct non linguistic communication of information and a block. But that wasn't just a block, it was a constant flow. But all the information came in at once. And then it just kept coming. And it's and it spoke to me and it said inside of me I'm taking you I'm taking you and but it's but it came that I'm taking you came with with power I can't describe to you how powerful more powerful than anything I'd ever imagined before is so powerful that its power filled the entire space I was in and it's intelligence, its intelligence was big. It was immense. And all of this was communicated to me and I put up resistance against it. All this willpower I had carved inside myself throughout the night carved found inside of me like this genetic thing way down inside my humaneness survive, survive, survive, I put up my wall to survive. And it just reached into me and took me as if I was nothing as if all and I I was then pulled from myself and all of my resistance evaporated. And I was all these things happen in once. This is all in timelessness. And all of it's a metaphor because because it's full of paradox. So I am I am inside of this entity, but I also can see myself inside of this entity. So I'm out here somewhere but I have no form out here. I'm just like seeing this.
Alex Ferrari 19:35
Your consciousness your awareness if you will.
Peter Panagore 19:38
I my awareness if I will, is observing witnessing what's going on but I'm also simultaneously inside this thing inside which is maybe a light body it's it's it's it's not an astral body because I had I had form but I was detached. I was not I was not attached anymore. was a, I've had mystical experiences as a child. And there's always an attachment, a route back, there was no route back. And so I'm inside of this entity, the angel, the angel, I know, I know, this light being this energy intelligence, because I'd met it before in my childhood. And so I'm now in comfort, and it's speaking to me comfort and beauty and love, and welcome, and I have no agency left, I have no power of, I can't even move. But I don't want to move, I just want to be inside this. And I can see out through this, this orb of energy, that this angel of being this intelligence into this vast darkness, and I can see how fast we're going. And then we reached the end or the beginning where it came from, and it either expands into this eternal nature, or I pop into this eternal nature. But somehow these this eternal nature in this, this contained entity of energy is somehow they're similar. They communicate, this is part of that. So I'm now inside this infinite space. And in this infinite space, I can see in every direction at once, and every direction is, is infinite darkness. And I can see far into the darkness because there's some kind of luminosity to it. So it's a darkness that has light. And, and way far away from me in infinity, I can't see the beginning of it. I know that I can't see the beginning of it. I know I see more, I have better sight than I've ever had as a human. And I come to consciousness as I come to a wickedness, as I view this, and realize that this is me that I am this energy, this orb of consciousness where my seeing is my thinking is myself understanding is who I am and what I am. And I am an I've never been Peter. I lived in Peter, but that was not me. It was where I lived. And so I am this and I'm ginormous. I am so much bigger than my human body. And I'm like a big sphere of consciousness of, of divine energy. And then all these things happen at once. And I tell the story chronologically, but there's but I'm in timelessness. And it's not like just the eternal Now, if you meditate, and you drop into that place of silence, where the mind stops thinking, and you're in that place of dark peace, that's, that's beautiful. It's like that only. It's not just that kind of timelessness. It's all time that ever existed in every direction, inverted, upside down, reversed, flowing, like wave forms, it's all there. And so there's this sense of, of immediacy and eternity in combination. And so I, I'm this entity, and this, this portal, this light appears, this doorway of light, and it's, it's as big as I am, it's much bigger. And it, it calls to me, it has, it has an energy of attraction to it. And it's like I describe it in all these different ways. I describe it. Now these days, I'm talking about it as a waterfall. It's like a waterfall of light. And it's it has 10 zillion colors in it of every hue and tone, and, and all these colors, and they're all white, and they're all colored all at the same time. So it's all this is so beautiful. And I can see the surface of it. It's pearlescent like, like fish scales shining, and it's flowing. And I can see the depth of it, I can see that it has like a like it has a a substance to it. So I see the surface, I see the depth, and I see through it at the same time. And it leads into the into the infinite, it leads into the infinite. It's like another tunnel, but this tunnel leads into the infinite that was beyond my sight. And so I I am compelled, I feel this, this desire of the most beautiful thing and I reached for it with my entity with my own beingness I don't have any hands, but I have this. I have. I have some agency and I reached toward it. And as I touch it, it in fills me with all life capital a capital L creator of all life and it just isn't Earth and it just isn't our galaxy. And it wasn't just the universe. It was so much bigger than that. It was it was all life everywhere. It's the energy that pervades pent, it's the word is pantheism. Here in this world, the divine presence inside of everything, not pantheism panentheism, the divine love that secretly exudes itself inside of all matter in reality, but just our reality in our universe, but infinitely so all this love and light comes flowing into me. And as it comes into me, I hear my name called. And in the calling of my name, it's not Peter, it's the essence of the origin of my created being. I know, in that moment, it says to me, I am creator, you are creature, it says to me, and I know that I'm known, I am suddenly utterly naked, I have no hiding spots. And now I'm somehow more like Peter, and I, and I have no hiding spots inside of this Peter that I carried with me. And so I carry some of my Peter with me. And now there's this, this burning love, that's with seeing every part of me and I have this moment of I know that I can't hide anything. And everything about me is utterly known. And I go through a hell of I go through hell, but not the hell, I go through a hell, where I suffer all of the pain that I gave away in my life, as Peter, up until I was 21, from the moment of my birth, to every single person in every single incident, only I'm not viewing it, like or reading it in a book, I'm in that person, as they experience it. And I'm in myself, Peter, as I give it to them, whatever it is, and I feel the wash of emotions of and the flood of anger or hurt, or, or tears or confusion, why are you doing this? And, and I juxtaposed to that, so I'm in their experience, and juxtaposed to that I'm in my own experience of doing it to them. And, and I see myself as this big in the in the reasons were so miniscule, and the pain I caused, was huge. And so I had this, I judged myself as guilty of causing this suffering in this pain, and I was ashamed of causing it. And it wasn't like, I wasn't being judged this light, this love that was firing inside of me, causing me to experience all this pain that I had actually created. There wasn't new pain, okay, it was pain that I made. And the, the the, it was only speaking to me love, love and forgiveness and knowledge, I see you, I know you, I've always known you, you've I lived your life inside of you, I live my life in with a capital M inside of every human being. I see all I know, all I feel all I am in you. And, and I love you as you are, I have always known you, I created you, I make you, I am you, I forgive you, I forgive you, I forgive you, I forgive you. And and as I listened with the ear of my heart, to the love that was being spoken, I saw all of humanity, and I saw all of the Christians call sinful nature, the brokenness of our causing pain to other people. But it wasn't, it was like everybody had the same amount, in comparison to infinite purity. In to the Unlimited, we all had the same level of, of universal brokenness that was coded into the the way the universe functions, is, I like to say that black holes consumed star systems of innocent individuals who did nothing to deserve it. And viruses kill people, everything eats something here. And it's just the way the whole thing cycles. And so I got this communication was, I know that you caused this suffering. It's not your fault. I love you as you are. I made you I know you. And as I listened, all of the love that was given to me in my life, and all the love had given away all became the ear of my heart, through which I heard this love and forgiveness. And I turned toward it. And as I turned toward it, all of my suffering evaporated, I became immense, I expanded into I was filled with love, beauty, joy, adoration, or understanding knowledge of the universe, a universal understanding, peace, bliss, Paradise, and light and it was more and more and more and more and I just kept getting bigger and bigger as more of this infinity poured inside of me. To the point in which I felt like more of it would obliterate me, and I would fold back into the Divine Being fully, and as as so this name that I hear called, I see my see the origin of myself. I see like I'm a singular photon, that's wave and particle form. And I'm superposition so I'm, I am both I am eternal nature and I am created nature in in my consciousness. Okay so so my consciousness has a has a, like an origin of creation to it, but it's everlasting. So it's both these things. And I'm sort of in front of a universe upon universe upon universe of individual photons making up a singular entity, just ginormous, amount of love and beauty, all individuated as, as photons like a field, like a field of consciousness, of which I am made, of which I emanate from as an individuated, little tiny, photonic self. And only when I'm looking this way, it's that way. But when I see the size of my soul, I get turned, and my size of my soul is ginormous, in comparison to the individual lives I had lived, where we're living, because of timelessness, I see the length of my nature, I see that I'm created. I see the origin is a aeons old, I see the web, the breath and the length and the depth of my my consciousness, as it had has lived everlastingly I see individually, like I'm sitting at a butcher block table. And it's like, my, my, myself is the wood. And the lives I lived are the thin glued strips in between, they're miniscule in comparison to the actuality of my soul. And I get to see inside I saw inside two of my lives, and one was human. And one wasn't I don't know where I was, I had no frame of reference for this place, but it wasn't here. And, and, and I understood, I understood myself to be what beloved, loved beyond. I can't even tell you. And and then I sort of came back to myself a little bit more. And I said, Am I dead? And the voice said, yes, you're dead. And I said, I can't die now. And the voice said, why? And the voice is the entire space I'm in. And it's also right next to me, but I can't see it. And it's inside of me speaking to me, it the whole thing is one big vibrational voice. But it's very intimate. And it says to me, why can't you come, it's your time, come to us. I said, Well, my parents were suffering. My sister had run away. When I was 14, it broke my mama, my mom and my dad. And my family. It was it was it was as if she died. But there was no way to grieve. And so it really cause some really pretty serious psychological things that happened. And I said, I couldn't take another child from my parents. And in that instant, I was I was moved across Heaven, to this place where like, I don't know if you've ever heard of the Higgs boson field. That's where we're right. So it's like, I'm, I'm kind of poking out of heaven. Like my consciousness is sticking out into the kind of the Higgs boson where energy becomes matter. And, and I can see the entire universe I see all of our universe, all of it all at once. All septillion galaxies, and I am then brought down to our galaxy and brought down to our star system. And I see Earth like in this one sweep. Like this. And and then on Earth is like a hologram. And I see 7 billion people alive. So it's not like a hologram like, like in Star Wars when Leah shows up and it's not really her. These are really them. They're really them in lifetime living. Where's wars and floods and tornadoes and babies being born, everything on you on earth is going on? I see. And I see Earth is covered in this big huge foam, like, like vales, you could say but it seemed like it was foam to me. And every human being was moving through it as if the foam wasn't there, and they couldn't see what I could see. And what I could see was inside of the soul of every single human being, is this divine photonic light, gold light, the same is me sparkling like gold, they are exactly as I am. And I know because the voice then says to me, in the way that I love you now I have always loved you. And when that voice said that to me, universes upon universes upon times upon times, spill out into me of showing me the immensity of eternal nature of love. It is, it is not just our universe, it is be so far greater in size and quantity. Quality, then within I can possibly say, but as it filled into me, I have always loved you, I always will love you, you are always my beloved and everyone is my beloved in the same way, no one is lost, everyone is loved. And, and I understood that at all, I was also in healing. So I was healed in whole. And well, at the end of suffering. All these things are like aspects or facets of love, hope and joy and adoration and all those things I named. So I'm completely in healing, I'm completely in wholeness, I'm in well being. And I understand that this eternal part is who we are. And that this is our not only our origin, but it's our destination. And because it's our destination, and it's always been our destination, all the suffering and wounds that we suffer in body are temporary, and they end. And we actually live in this other place I live in this other place. This is where I this is my own that other realm. And so then I see my parents faces, and I see that they're suffering. And I see the length of their life. Without me and I see their increased suffering, I see much more brokenness, a greater amount of suffering. And then I see their lives with me. And I see less suffering, but at the end of both of them, at the end of both of those possible probabilities is that they are I see both of my parents in the well being that I am in. So I know that in the end, it ends well for them like it does for everyone. And then
Alex Ferrari 36:46
How did you come back?
Peter Panagore 36:48
Well, I understood that I said, because of all of this, because of your love. Do I have to stay? Can I go back and help them. And the voice said to me, it's your time. And I then asked, I was leaving on a theater tour, I was in a theatre company is out of a university. And we're going on this national tour. And I said, I'll get this National Theater tour thing coming up. And I made a promise. And that I would show up for it and not get hurt this trip. And the voice didn't respond. And then I said I haven't gone. I haven't gone all the way into you again yet. And the voice said no. And I said, Well, do I have to the voice said no. Why don't you do? I said, Well, if I get to kind of come back here, and the voice said yes, you can come back here. And I said, Well, then I choose to live my life and the voice said you won't live your life and shot me out. And as I went, I became denser and denser. And yet the voice was, although I was leaving heaven, I the voice the divine was with me, and speaking to me, present to me, and gave me a choice. I had a million doorways that entered back into my life. And I could see all of them, I could see all of them. And I could see in the center of all of these millions of doorways was one very large doorway of light. It was the white fullness of light itself. And I knew that the divine wanted me to do that choose, it gave me the option. But I knew that this is the option of preference. And it was so beautiful. And it was so attractive. But as I as I looked, I saw myself and I wanted to be some of me. And so I chose, I chose a door that was not in the fullness of the light, but off to the side close because it's so attractive, but not but I wanted some autonomy. And and then I got crushed down. Then I'm through the door and I see all these probabilities of my life. And then I'm crushed down smaller and smaller and smaller. Until I'm next to this. I'm outside in this. I'm like, I see that I see the barrier between heaven I'm in I'm in the barrier between heaven, this this more dense region of heaven, and earth and ice and I'm being screwed in like somebody's got me as an ice group. And they're screwing me into the into my chest. And now I'm inside this body. And I'm inside this thing and now I have no idea what's going on. I'm the first experience is just wracked with pain. I'm just full of pain. And I have no thinking about what's to where or why.
Alex Ferrari 39:34
And are you still on the side of the mountain or have you been on the side of the mountain? So you haven't no one saved you at this point. You're still there?
Peter Panagore 39:42
Still there. Yeah. And it's sometime before dawn. Okay, it's I don't know how long it is before dawn, but it's a whole night a whole winter's night near the Arctic a long night. And so I sort of my brain starts to come online. And it really gives reboots to boots in that and that's the first wash of pain. But that's just the beginning of the reboot. Now the systems are kind of coming back online again, and I start to hear, and I start to hear sound, and I start to feel motion. And, and I open my eyes, and there's Tim, bending over looking at me grabbing hold of me shaking me screaming, crying, screaming and he sees my eyes open. He's like, you're alive. You were dead, you were dead. If you died, I was gonna die. I was gonna die here. And he was just in a total, you know, after a night of holding it all together. It just all came out. Sure. And so then he gets me to stand up. And he's talking to me, and I really don't understand what's going on. I don't, I'm still not sure where I am or what I am. I'm I understand what he's saying. But I'm not getting the context. And, and I don't, but I don't know. I know that where I was before, was actually reality. And that this is not reality. This is this is lowercase r that was uppercase R That's an in somehow here, I'm in this weird place. And then I start to understand and I see me as I'm Tim and and you know, and I figure out where ice climbing and he's like pull on the rope and I pull on the rope and the rope pulls free on the first pole. And we descend and because of the location of the of the climb the tent is in the car, which is right across the Icefields Parkway. So we're we're very close to the parkway, we get the tent, we put the tent up. Because I'm trained in hypothermia recovery. We it has a chimney and event in this tent is this is like the top of the line Arctic tent that he had. So we could fire up the stove inside the tent fired up to stoves, and heated up the tent and heated up water and good and sleeping bags and sipped warm water warm, warmer, warmest, you know, heated our cores back up. And then sometime after dawn, we when I when I when I judged that we were well enough to get into the car, we get in the car and we fire up the heater and we just sat there getting hot. And and then I didn't tell you about the warden the night before and there's other stuff that happened. The warden checked on us and but he couldn't help us. You know, okay, he came to check on us in the morning wondering whether you had to get the bodies. Wow. And then on the on the ride home. We totaled the car. Hit a semi and that was after being in jail. So we got that night. We ended up in jail for a period of time. Why did you go to jail? We sped through this tiny town and
Alex Ferrari 42:58
After after going through a near death experience.
Peter Panagore 43:00
Yeah, well, I wasn't driving Tim was. So we were driving we I'm asleep and we're driving through this tiny town and we get pulled over by the Mountie. And the Mountie says, you know, here's a ticket for speeding. Oh, you're Americans, you have to pay that fine now. We're like, we're not paying that fine. Now. That's you can't make us do that. He said, Oh, yeah, actually, Americans skip out and they're fine. So I can make you do that. You're under arrest? actually didn't know. I don't think he said those words. I don't think he said You're under arrest. He said you have to come with me. I think that's what he said. So we get into his cruiser and they locked us in jail until we pony up money. And we paid them through the bars. We paid the fine cash. And they brought us back to our car. And then we're driving and and I wake up and and Tim's on the wrong side of the road, and there's headlights coming toward us. And I convince him at the last second that he's on the wrong side of the road. He swears out of the way and I'm like, Oh my God, you just you know, they killed us. And I fall asleep again. And the happens again, I wake up again. And there's another vehicle he's on the wrong side of the road. And like you're on the wrong side of the road. No, I'm not. Yes, you are. No, you're not. And this time I grabbed the wheel and I jerk it. And as I jerk it, we fly off to the right hand side. And then we go back to the left hand side. Turns out he was right and I was wrong. And that we missed the front end of the semi behind like six inches. time slowed down. I had a life review like like he's a movie. Like I see my entire life in front of me cassette text. They're flying in slow motions, and he's screaming and I'm screaming and we're like we could feel bouncing on two wheels like on two wheels and we're on two wheels. We missed the front end and around the backside and slam into the rear wheels below the car part. No, we didn't get hurt. I got I ended up with a cut on my hand. But I ended up with a stutter. And the story goes on from there.
Alex Ferrari 44:51
My God. I mean, listen, listen. I mean, yeah, I feel like I just had a life of you about it that that experience. Jeez, man. I mean, what, what can be said about that? I mean, I'm almost speechless because from the experience of on the side of the mountain, you die, you go through everything you went through, then you come back out and, and kind of like life, or the universe says, Oh, you wanted to go back in, okay, I'm going to give you go back in, you're going to go to jail that night, you're going to have another near death experience, you're almost you're going to crash into something this is all within a 24 hour period. I mean, the amount of psychological stress and trauma that that must have happened on a 21 year old mind. It broke me, I have to believe it had to because one of those things, one of one of any of those things you just said would break most people. So how did you just deal with the psycho psychological ramifications? Of everything that you went through in that 24 hour period?
Peter Panagore 46:03
Well, I dealt with it a bunch of different ways. I suffered post traumatic stress from the whole thing, right? Sure. I immediately, most immediately, I didn't deal with it. Well, I this theater troupe that I was leaving on this national tour with was in sign language. So even though I had a stutter, I didn't have to actually ever speak verbally. And I didn't get over my stutter until I was in college. I mean, until I'm sorry, till I was in. After two years later, I got some advice on how to if you ever stutter, just stop talking. This guy told me he's a stutter. I just stopped talking. And the stutter stops. And then I start up again, super easy. But I didn't know that at the time. And it was in sign language. And so I, we go on this National Theater tour. And I removed myself from all the people in the van. So I sat in the back of the pickup chair 24,000 miles with my sleeping bag and my bed by myself meditating. So I knew I had begun my meditation practice in high school. And it was called centering prayer practice out of Theravada Buddhism and mystical Christianity and heaven, I went to a Catholic school and happy to be near the monastery. And, and certain things had happened in my life. And I got exposed to it. And I became a devotee. And so I already knew about the interior world. And, and I, I was so disrupted in the exterior world, everything to me seemed to be fake. I was like living in a two dimensional cartoon with Flickr and black and white, you know, the old the old ones that nothing was, was so and I couldn't tell anybody. I didn't know where I'd done. So I found that I, I dealt with it for most of my life, through meditation and Kriya Yoga, kriya Kriya Yoga combined with hatha yoga, and centering prayer practice. And I began, I began to understand almost immediately, that I couldn't rely upon the world that I had to rely upon the divine energy that came back with me. If I relied on the world, I would, I would, I don't know what would happen to me. I was not surviving with that. And so I aimed my eye inward.
Alex Ferrari 48:21
I always use I love doing this analogy for people to kind of get an idea of, and I think this illustrates what you're feeling that we here. Imagine if you're watching the movie, and I'll use Silence of the Lambs as an example. And we all know Anthony Hopkins is Hannibal Lecter. Okay, and Jodie Foster is Clarice. And the insanity that we are in as the 7 billion people on this planet, is that we believe we are the character. We believe that we are the character and that the scene that we're in is reality. But the truth is that we're Anthony Hopkins, and Jodie Foster, and this is a set and we get to walk away and go home, home being source home being heaven, whatever you want to call it. 1000 different names, but I always love using that analogy because it really makes it crystal clear because imagine if Anthony Hopkins walked into Hannibal Lecter and forgot he was Anthony Hopkins. And all he did was think he was Hannibal Lecter and refuse to leave. And everything around him was like, no, no, no, I'm a Hannibal Lecter. I eat people. This is what I do. I'm a bad guy. And Clarice and Jodie Foster the exact same thing. Imagine if that was the reality but that is the reality that we are in day to day here. We believe that we are the characters that we're playing on this stage as, as Mr. Bill Shakespeare said, many many years ago, and I just thought when you said that this all seems fake. I'm like, Well, I'm in from the movie business. So I know what fake worlds are. That's what I did for a living. I built Fake worlds, you tell fake stories to kind of you create an environment. So I understand that from a visceral level. So when you said that it just clicked it just it connected me with that analogy that I like using, and what do you think of that, by the way?
Peter Panagore 50:14
Oh, 100% and I, that a difficulty. A difficulty is that I know that I'm acting. I know I'm an actor. And so I had to actually I, one of the coping mechanisms was masking. I learned to mask I couldn't be as I'm very eccentric, I make all sorts of decisions that other people wouldn't make based on what I know where I'm from and who I am. And in some of those are risk, risk taking things but they usually when I take risks, it's mostly other than when they're for fun, but very calculated and careful. But when I take other kinds of risks that are involved, other people, for the sake of them. And so I've made a whole series of choices in my life, which have created a lot of drama in my life. But I've saved a lot of people in my life. And so, the, the, the living out of it, the living through this lens, making makes me Well, I was lonesome for a long, long, long time. I kept it a secret for 20 years, I lived in this space every single moment of my life, and told nobody for fear of loss of career or family or relationship or, you know, or ended up at an institution. I know, I know, I see I and I can't not see, it's always inside of me. It's like, it's like, it's always on inside of me. It never shuts off. I can intensify it, I tried to run away from it. But I found out I couldn't run away from it. There's no I can't leave it. It's it is what it is. And so I found that the only way that I could the best way for me to mask was to dive ever deeper in. And the deeper I dove inside myself, the more stability I had inside my true nature, the easier it became for me to live in the world and not need to tell anybody not need to share it with people. In order to it always came out anyway, it always was leaking out all over the place. I didn't have any. Because I was making decisions that other people would make. Like I didn't go so I was going to be I was going to go into the family architecture firm, my dad was president of the AIA and Massachusetts at the time. And, and you know, the big plan was all my life was to go into the firm with my sister and build skyscrapers. I didn't do that. Like, oh, that's over. No care about that at all anymore. I'm I know, I'll go to Divinity School, and I'll study mysticism at a school where they don't really teach it, but they have high quality standards. And I'm going to create my own path of education for my graduate program. And then I'm going to figure it out as I go along. Because the orientation of my heart is what it is.
Alex Ferrari 53:06
What's it what's the biggest lesson you brought back with you?
Peter Panagore 53:09
Oh, love. Yeah, love. One word, and it's built into human beings. It's built into dogs and cats and birds and bears. It's love is this. It's the treasure of the heart. And the more you give away, the more you get to keep. And the more you keep the blood, the larger your heart grows, the larger your heart grows, the more you hear the voice of the love, above the beloved, the oneness the singleness, it's all related.
Alex Ferrari 53:40
Now, your story is obviously remarkable. But what's even more remarkable is that you had a second near death experience. Now I've yet to speak to someone who's had to actually no I have spoken to have someone that has to but what happened in your specific second time?
Peter Panagore 54:00
Well, before I say I want to say that every mystical experience extraordinary mystical experience, gives it creates a new identity. So I had a new identity when I came back the first time and I got another new identity the time I came back the second time in 2015 I had a heart attack. That's I was I was running 5k Every other day and you know cycling I was fit and family congenital thing under percent Widowmaker blockage killed my grandfather killed my sister who had run away. So lots of lots of things happened. They thought she was murdered and that has long, crazy story but would have killed my dad but they life flighted him so I had this 100% blockage in my heart. I live in a rural place. And by the time I got to the urgent care center i i had already used up my my golden hour by the time I left the urgent care center I should say I used up my golden hour survivability. And they put me in an ambulance and drove me an hour and a half to the catheterization lab. And because I live in a small town, my son showed up, my wife showed up, I knew the doctors, I knew the nurses. And they offered me more, they gave me a trickle through, they gave me some kind of injection to give me a like a de coagulant. That created, he said, maybe a 3% trickle through through the artery. And then they offered me morphine, but I refused, because it makes me sick. And because I'd had it before, and so I use meditation to control my pain. And if you've, if you've practiced meditation for a long period of time, you might have discovered that it's a powerful pain control while you're in your meditation state. And I've been doing it for 40 years, so I could, so I'm meditating to hold my pain away, my son shows up, he leans in and says, I love you, dad. And I read him. As I see him, I read him, I read his pain, his surprise, is he is disconcerting, and is suffering. And my wife is there. And I look at her and I'm like, Hey, honey, you know, I've been telling you this forever. The first chance I get, I'm going home. And I say goodbye to her. I don't tell my son that because he doesn't know that. But I tell my wife that and she's like, okay, um, and off I go,
Alex Ferrari 56:24
As wives do whatever, man. Sure. Only only married people understand this.
Peter Panagore 56:30
Alex Ferrari 56:31
Honey, if you're listening, you know, I love you!
Peter Panagore 56:37
And so I'm in the ambulance, I'm on this long ride, and I'm meditating. So I'm very aware of what's going on. I'm still I'm still, I still can hear everything and, and at some point, the paramedic calls into the, and I'd been an ambulance attendant to in my life. So I've been in the back of the ambulance as well. And so I hear her call in, we're losing him. And I open my eyes and I look at her face, and she has fear all over her face. And she drops into her game face as soon as she sees me looking at her. And I and but the pain rushes back, and as the pain rushes back, I dive inside myself again, to go back into my meditation, I get to, you know, like focus. So I go back, I close my eyes. And when I close my eyes, I'm not in my body anymore. I'm outside of my body, I'm sort of like at the the entry place above my body, and it's all darkness. I'm not I'm not hovering in the ambulance, I can't see the ambulance, I'm inside of a darkness, the same darkness. And, and I'm but I'm just outside of my body, this time, I'm not still in it. And as I'm outside of it, the angel comes back. And in it comes it comes very rapidly in it. And it's the same entity in it says, we only this time it's speaking in the wee, wee wee, it's your time to come home to us. We are awaiting for you. It's with all all sorts of love like that. And, and I'm ready to go. So it comes to me and it collects me and now we're sort of leaving side by side. It doesn't really it doesn't Envelop me. It's kind of like I'm going up with it. And then I think, Okay, wait a minute, I should tell you before I so as I'm lying in the grass, having this heart attack. I'm thinking to myself, Oh my God, it's my day. I've been waiting for this for
Alex Ferrari 58:19
You're like happy.
Unknown Speaker 58:21
I'm totally cool. I'm like, I kind of giggle to myself. It's today. I've been praying for 40 years, every day to die to go back again.
Alex Ferrari 58:31
I understand I understand that perspective, I get it.
Peter Panagore 58:34
And so I'm going but I'm like, Hey, wait a minute, I know what's going on. I need to check on them first. So it turned back and I look inside myself inside my life. And I see my son, and I see his eyes and I read his pain. And then I think of my daughter, who had just just had a baby and just left an abusive marriage to a man who has suffered moral trauma and Afghanistan, bad bad things. And so she's just escaped that marriage. And now who's going in? Who's going to care for the for them who's going to take care of who's gonna be the father for the granddaughter who is not even a year old. She's like six months old. And and so I realize I they're not really ready for me to go and now I realize I'm gonna go some time. So I turned back around and I go back up into the darkness and the angel entity being of light, who had receded comes rushing down toward me, and I communicate. I'm staying. Is that okay? And I turn away and I go back inside. And the next day after I get I get a stent I've still have a stent and I went through the surgery, by the way without any morphine because it doesn't hurt. So it's kind of weird feeling. One of those fun things for me Like, Oh, that sounds fun, I guess I'll do that. The next day I wake up and my room is filled with people, my wife, my kids, my, you know, friends, because it's I'm in the city, and I worked in the city. So I know a lot of people. And I tell them I died. And my son says to me, You know, the doctor told me to say goodbye to you. He said, You were gonna die on the way to a better suit, goodbye. And my wife says to me, I was fine, you're still alive, I thought for sure you would go, I was already sort of thinking about what I was going to do in making.
Alex Ferrari 1:00:48
But now I got to deal with your monkey. And you gotta go, you gotta came back. Now I got to deal with you. I was already in Bermuda. gotta deal with you. Good Lord.
Peter Panagore 1:01:00
We're still married, by the way. We're good. Um, so I, I was in television at the time, it was working in TV. And my show got canceled after 15 years. And my whole life got into this turmoil all at the same time my book came out. I had to be in New York to, to talk morning show. And nine weeks after the heart attack, which I went to. And then I might show closed down and I didn't know what I was going to do. But I was a new person I I've been I've been holding back. I came out as a new death experience are like 2002 ish, something like that. Maybe, yeah, something like that. Because the circumstances. And then I got talked into writing this book by a bunch of people whose work or TV people I was working with in New York, and who produced my they produced my book trailer three years before the book was published, that was your bribe, will produce your book trailer. Like, okay, so I came back a different person again. I mean, I'm deeper, more deeply, more truly, my higher self. And I'm Freer now to just be me.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:21
How do you any advice you can give people that want to connect to their higher self, they want to connect to that inner light that's inside of them?
Peter Panagore 1:02:30
Well, there's a bunch of different ways. One of them is loving other people. That's the most common, easiest way to do that. But it's not just any kind of love. It's a caring, love. It's a kindness, love, it's a compassionate love. So you can you can build this in the exterior world through action. You can build this in the interior world through meditative practice, I practice certain forms, if you have a form that works for you. The idea is the idea of contemplation is the elimination of the self. It's the integration of the two selves, but it's the it's the elimination of the identity of the actor, you now you it's learning that you're not the that you are an actor. That's, that's what and to do, that you, you learn to stop thinking. And so silence, the end of the thought patterns of the mind. The tell us who we are moment to moment, describing a rule to us, when we learn to stop that flow of thinking and fall inside the space of peace that is inside you, waiting for you, in the temple of your heart, everybody. Then one begins to carve away, carve away and carve away it's it's a long path, but it works. There's psychedelics. John Hopkins University has been doing a major study to prove that this is true. And you can read about that the transcendence study and and there is divine grace. There's this there's this power of the of the presence of the Divine, that comes to people say for instance, you're you're married, and God forbid, your spouse dies, and and you love your spouse with all she's like, or he's like the, the your soul mate person, and now you're bereft and you're in grief and in darkness, and then they come to you in a dream or an awakened state and they communicate to you directly, sometimes in language but 99% of the time, I don't that's not what I hear from people is that it's this direct communication of wellness of being that is a data download to your soul of healing and wholeness and wellness and forgiveness maybe or whatever form of love that you need, and now you know, going forward forevermore, that your loved one is not dead, and that transforms you and that leaves a wisdom inside of you. And those kinds of mystical experiences are extraordinarily common. and maybe 50% of the population, not my number, a recent number that came out through the International Association for near death studies study. And so what I'm trying to say here is that this is a reality for everybody. This temple of your heart is where you reside. And if you look there, you will find it there. And if you love people on the exterior, you'll find it there. And if you if you're sitting in front of the most beautiful sunset, you'll find it there. It's everywhere and everything. And if you choose to aim yourself, not at any particular intention, like my intention for today is to see a butterfly. But if you aim your intention at the oneness of being at the singleness, then it will happen as as Jesus promised. Only place it has this translation is the King James Version, where he says, if you make your eyes single, your body will be filled with light. And this is the truth of all mystics, everywhere in every culture, whether they're Sufi dancers, or our Qi Gong masters, it's all or rabbis at the west wall. It's all about the interior world. If you want this thing, pursue it, it pursues you.
Alex Ferrari 1:06:26
Now, you you mentioned Kriya Yoga, which I'm I'm a fan of an of course. Yogananda and Lahiri Mahasaya and Baba Ji and all of the that lineage of Yogi's that brought Kriya Yoga back. Can you explain to the audience what Kriya Yoga is?
Peter Panagore 1:06:45
I can tell you what I know of it. I am not an initiate in the schools. I studied the the Yoga Sutras Pantai Julie, and I read Yogananda and I need to tell you a story so that you understand, please. When I came back to my university I was at I was at Bozeman, Montana as an exchange student. And I went back to University of Massachusetts, and I was I in this theater company. I was a mime, I had been studying theater and part of my theater training was mine. As a minor, I guess you could say and so I ended up with a teacher who was in the School of Marcel Marceau and Marcel Marceau taught yoga. And so we began every class with yoga with with hatha yoga. And so one day in class, he said, God who's still a friend of mine, God said, I want to see the experiment here. Today, we're going to get into particular posture. So this posture was left leg extended foot up, right foot, tucked into your groin with your toes pointed up, right hand, excuse me, right hand, just below your navel, left hand above your head, with your palm facing, it's a blade palm, and it's facing to my left. And my lower hand is cup like this. And now what I want you to do, he said, I want you to breathe into your lower palm. And I want you to raise up the energy you find there and put it in your upper palm. And I'm like, oh, there's a ball of energy in my hand, is a ball of energy in my hand, and I could breathe it up through my chakras, which I was a Catholic or Greek Orthodox Roman Catholic good. I had never heard a shock was still this year, when I was started studying all sorts of crazy stuff around the world, not crazy, mystical stuff. So they rise up to my, to my upper hand. And, and I feel this energetic connection. And then he says, Okay, who here felt that? I say I do. No one else does. He brings me to the front of the class as we kneel down in front of him, close my eyes, put my palms up. And he says to me, what do you feel I say, I feel pinwheels in opposite directions on my palms. I say, I feel pinwheels in the same direction on my palms. And he's, he's doing this, this far from my palms is an inch, two inches from my palms, and he's waving his hands in front of them. And and he said, How did you learn how to do that? I said, duh, I don't know. I think there's a gonna tell him what happened to me. And but I was reading the sutras at the time and reading Autobiography of a Yogi at the time. And I put two and two together, and I thought, ah, Yogananda says that this is real. And if I practice this science, because I feel these already, I'm already there's no there's no Yogananda there's no fellowship, where I live, where I'm at school, and but I think I can do it on my own. So I dedicate the rest of my life to it. So for me, what would how the kriya practice that I developed inside my Hatha Yoga was to begin using my slow yoga, very slow yoga, to feel my muscular structure where I am tense and where I'm relaxed begin to feel my physical body, muscle by muscle by muscle, bone by bone, and then would be able to feel my subtle energetic body, which is what happened to me. Because then I discovered that in this in, in yoga, I call it I call it warrior five, but I don't know if it has a name it you know, the warrior postures. Alright, so so so so your two is like this, right? So this one, you turn and you face over your thigh, with your shoulders square to what to where your hips would be, but of course, they're twisted, and your hands are over your, by your shoulders over your thigh. And then you lean down over your thigh and put your chest to your thought. And you take your energy from the ball of the back of your right foot or your left foot. And you because there's a ball of energy in the bottom of your foot, and you run that up your spine. And you push it into your hands, and you create that Qi ball, that prana ball that whatever you language, you want the energy between, and you force it in there with your breath and your mind, using instead of chanting, when I do this kind of energy movement inside myself, I'm not chanting a chant, I'm using my body as the mental focus place. So I'm replacing my thoughts with my physicality. And so with my breath, and I match my breath with my physicality, and I move this into my palms, and I charge up my palms. And so once I learned to charge up my palms, that they became this because I'm this energy that's in my palms is myself. I knew when I came back, that my physical self wasn't me. And that I felt my I felt myself outside of me, I feel outside of me. And I found that if I, if I move my energy into my chakras without imagination, I don't think of what color they are, I don't think about what they're supposed to do, or what sound they're supposed to make, I just put my mind in those spaces without thought, because these things have no thoughts, these things every every word we use descriptively, for anything that spiritual is, is an explanation and a help for understanding. But it's also a confinement of it. Because we put it in this language forms that they don't have. And so if they're real, and that's what I decided, if they're real, I can find these things. And so I used my breath in my energy body, to move my energy through me to become empty through my meditative practice, and to become radiant through my kriya yoga practice. And so I integrated My, my, I started with Hatha, but I ended up with 50 different types of forms I practiced over all the years, you know, it goes, but always, always, it's the interior practice of the energy movement of breath form, up and down. So I do breath forms up and down, I run breath forms through through different chakra roots, I ruined breath forms through other chakra roots. If I'm in a yoga form, I find that I find the places in my in my, in my spiritual body, where the chakra is aligned with the Mulas. And I run those lines with my breath. And I and I don't try to use it, I don't try to manipulate with it, I just tried to let it be itself. And, and by letting it be itself, it becomes an expansion. But also I'm not I filter it less through me, I, I as a human being I know I have emotions in psychology, but I know that the Divine Being doesn't, and that that I am a filter for this thing in the world. And I find that instead of trying to manifest things in my life, that if I am at the singularity of the oneness, and I and I recognize that I am of the same substance in my subtle body, which is much larger than my physical body, that my life becomes magical. I am I am in the right place at the right time. I can't tell you how many times we've seen you know, or this door opens or that door opens or, or these doors don't open. I tried to find a way of trying to force these doors down. They don't open it again, bounce off and then you know, of course like everybody else. There's this wonderful thing over here, but it's like somehow magical.
Alex Ferrari 1:14:22
That's a good word to use magical.
Peter Panagore 1:14:25
I don't know if that's
Alex Ferrari 1:14:27
No, that's a great definition of Korea. It's a fantastic definition of it. I just wanted people who might have not understood they might have heard the name but I wanted to kind of give them a little bit of a reference point. So if they want to do a deeper dive into it, they can I want to ask you, as you've mentioned meditation so much what part meditation plays in your life and in what in your whole spiritual journey and I can tell you what it's done for me. I've been I've been meditating probably six years now. And heavily you know, actually to two hours a day, sometimes longer. And for me, it is definitely physically done a lot. Because I've checked my blood work. Yeah, I've checked my blood work. It's like doctors, like you meditate, don't you have like, Yes, I do. So that but and it's hard for me to explain to people when you start when you start meditating heavily, and obviously, you've been meditating for decades now, when you go to that place where time ceases to exist, when you are in a place where you will feel connected, there is a warmth, there is a love there. That is, is so intoxicating that and sometimes it's hard for me to even come out. It's hard for me to leave because like I don't want to go, I'm I'm good here, it's a high and to the point where when I do finally come out, I am walking around in this blissful state for probably 510 minutes while I am rebooting. And that's love that term when you came back into your body after your first NDE, that your body reboots. It's not as extreme as that rebooting, but it is definitely a reboot, because you're walking around almost in a haze of, of love and blissful and it's not. And I keep, I always try to tell people like it's not that you're happy. It's blissful. It's almost like you are I've never had taken drugs in my life. So I don't know what high feels like. But I have a feeling that that's what they chase with drugs is to have this kind of a high that you feel absolutely at Bliss. And then it dissipates a little bit. And I always find it funny that my daughters will walk up to me and they'll go, you just meditated weren't you, daddy, because they'll they just sense there's something I'm just different than I am normally in life. And then then it comes, you know, then you go back into your normal, everyday real dense reality that we live in. But that's what it's done for me. And the more I do it, the more I want to do it, the more longer like I pray for the day that I could go in eight or 10 hour stretch of meditating straight, like, like a Tibetan monk somewhere. And I was like, what if I could do this in two hours? What could I do in eight? Like, where would I go? It's almost like taking LSD. But but in a very, very natural way, if you will.
Peter Panagore 1:17:31
Yeah, well, it is it changes you interiorly it rewires your brain your brain. It lowers your all these biological impacts lowers your blood pressure and but it gives you the sense of peace that's lasting and I get it I want to ask is, Does the peace even though that blissed out space I have that? That same experience blissed out space for a while not supposed to. Not a good idea to talk right after? Give yourself a little space to come back? Yeah. It's it's, it can be hard on relationships, if they don't know that about you. And you and they walk in on you and you're just kind of
Alex Ferrari 1:18:07
What man I feel like, what's that guy named from Red runs a Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Sean Penn's character Capozzoli. Order the pizza, like, like really like that place for a few minutes, at least.
Peter Panagore 1:18:25
Right! And then you kind of integrate back but I want to ask you, does it leave you with a lasting mindfulness, a peacefulness in your for the rest of your day. Because it sets your tone.
Alex Ferrari 1:18:34
It is changed my entire life where I once was very angry. I've spoken about this on the show, on all my shows, often that I was very angry and bitter. Creative, because I was not able to get in my mind to the heights of the greatest masters in the film industry, which most creatives do that they're like, you know, you always aim towards the top, if you're going to do something, you want to do it right, and so on and so forth. But so I was very angry. And the opportunities never showed up the way they should have showed up and I have talent, why can't I get these upper? Mind you not not acknowledging the blessings that I had had and that I was a working director and doing other things as a working filmmaker and all these other stuff. But I was a very angry and bitter person. Because of that kind of story. I kept telling myself in my head, when I started to meditate, that started to desert dissipate a lot. It just started to go away. We're now I am in a much more blissful place. For me, it's always about being pulled back in. Like I'm being pulled. As we're speaking right now. I'm like, I should be meditating, like not nothing against our conversation. But it's like something's pulling me back into like, you need to go back to that space. So it's a very interesting thing and I noticed that as I get longer and longer into it, I'm I'm asking to be more and more in that space, because I discover things but the bliss, the happiness throughout the day, that's a given. That's not even an option anymore. Like it's just a normal state of it. And sometimes I'll do 45 minutes, sometimes I'll do two hours, it all depends on how much monkey brain is in is going on and how much chatter is going on. But generally speaking, yeah, I feel meant, and a lot of people like Why meditate 10 minutes a day, I'm like, that's great, too. Good start. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. But you're not going to get the true benefits, in my opinion of meditation, unless you're getting in there. Unless you're doing the work and you're spending more and more time in there. 30 minutes, 40 minutes an hour. You know, if you can go past an hour, even more, and people are like, I can't do it for five minutes. And I was the same way it took me years, to be able to break through the monkey brain to break through that. That space where the ego is telling you this is ridiculous. Why are you doing this, and the ego doesn't want you to go, the ego doesn't want you to connect to source. The ego is just fine keeping you right here in the physical plane and controlling you and, and guiding and telling you what to do. The second you start to connect to the source through meditation, I found that the ego starts to pull back because it can't. It can't compete with that. And the more you meditate, the longer you meditate, the ego just starts to recede itself. Don't get me wrong, we all got one. We all got to deal with one while we're down here. But there's different variations of it. And now I catch myself with the ego. Where I have a feeling come up. I'm like, Oh, it's you. Okay, go back, Occitan. In the backseat, there you sit in the backseat. Do I get you in? You know, all that kind of stuff. But yes, to a long answer to your question. Yes, I do feel for the rest of the day. But it has transformed my personal life. So I always try to bring up on the show when someone else has had such an experience with meditation, how has changed their lives, and I hope that helps others listening to to try the practice.
Peter Panagore 1:22:21
It's life changing. That's what people practice it for their whole lives. Because once you once you understand its power. Why not do it? So yeah, it's free. Yeah, it's free. And you can carry it with you wherever you go.
Alex Ferrari 1:22:34
Everywhere you go. I mean, and you can just anywhere you at you can on plane trips. Yep, I put my headphones on. I sit down and I just met, I go out. It's just a two hour trip on a plane. I'm like, I'm meditating for two hours until I hear that thing. I'm like, Oh, I guess it's time to get out of this. But it's. So for me, I'm like, it doesn't bother me to stay in this. So maybe next time I go to Australia, which I've never been, it's a nice 12 hour flight. Maybe I'll do it. That's nice.
Peter Panagore 1:23:02
Well, my longest time was when I had a heart attack. I meditated from the, from the moment my heart attack started, since whenever I wasn't talking to the doctors, and right through the night, because I couldn't take any morphine. They kept offering me morphine after the surgery, and I ICU. And after like eight or nine hours of practice of just constant, you know, keeping my pain at bay, I couldn't take it anymore. And I asked him for something other than morphine, which they gave to me, which I didn't realize that they would have given to me seven hours before if I'd asked them for something other than morphine, but they so but it works you can, the power of the brain is powerful, it's very powerful.
Alex Ferrari 1:23:43
And when you connect to that other place that you really can't explain when you're in a meditative space. That's so much more powerful than the brain. So many ways. It's now ready. Now I'm going to ask you a couple questions, my friend that asked all my guests, what is your mission in this life?
Peter Panagore 1:24:01
And to help people find the light inside themselves.
Alex Ferrari 1:24:05
And why are we all here?
Peter Panagore 1:24:09
Oh, we're like little tiny fingertips of the Divine, experiencing the world.
Alex Ferrari 1:24:16
And where can people find out more about you and your book? We have your book right here. Heaven is beautiful. And all your other work and the work that you're doing?
Peter Panagore 1:24:25
Peterpanagore.love. That's my website. I run a YouTube channel on Sundays live channel called not church under my name. It's mysticism, deconstruction, and storytelling and Shakti pot or energy transference and meditation, and I do counseling, I help I help. I guess the biggest part of my work has always been interpersonal. I help people who are need to integrate their spiritually transformative experiences, their mystical experiences, their near death experiences. They need someone to talk to I'm that guy.
Alex Ferrari 1:25:00
Peter, I appreciate you man for sharing your story. I absolutely had a ball talking to you. It's been an I feel like I've gone through my, like I said, my own life review just having this conversation with you because it's been. It's been a wonderful conversation. So thank you so much for the work that you do. I appreciate you my friend. Thanks again.
Peter Panagore 1:25:18
You're welcome. Thank you for having me here. Alex. I'd much appreciate it.
Links and Resources
- Heaven Is Beautiful: How Dying Taught Me That Death Is Just the Beginning
- Peter Panagore – YouTube
- Peter Panagore – Official Site
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