Rev. Peter Panagore, M.Div (Yale) has had two near-death experiences, the first while ice climbing in 1980 and the second in 2015 due to a heart attack. He recounts these in his book Heaven Is Beautiful: How Dying Taught Me That Death Is Just the Beginning, an Audible Best Seller available globally in nine editions. His best-selling second book, Two Minutes for God: Quick Fixes for the Spirit, is a collection of original inspirational devotional stories, many of which he told for 15 years on a daily TV show reaching 30 million viewers annually in Maine and New Hampshire. Previously, he served as a United Church of Christ minister and pastor in Maine and Connecticut. He published 150 sermons and many prayers in Homiletics, a leading clergy journal. He now runs a global spiritual counseling service for “closet mystics” and travels nationally as a public and inspirational speaker and teacher. He has been practicing Zazen/Centering Prayer and Kundalini/KriyaYoga for forty years.
Ishtar (Thomas Howell) is a meditation teacher, Ishaya monk, gardener, writer, and intuitive astrologer. A sense of himself as Presence was a pronounced feature of his life until about age 7. At age 13, he was in a car accident that took his mother’s life, and initiated an NDE that brought about a profound experience of Samadhi that in the subsequent months he experienced right along with an intense process of grieving. After the Presence faded, he longed to return, resulting in an energetic spiritual search. At 17 he began a regimen of meditation practices and ascetic disciplines that included waking to cold showers at 3 AM, fasting, and 6 hours of daily meditation practice. Longing to find his path, he encountered a practice known as the Ishayas’ Ascension, an effortless and deeply pleasurable form of meditation, which he quickly recognized as the path for which he’d been searching. Several months after learning Ascension, he found himself living on the Oregon coast in a monastic environment dedicated to the practice.
The ashram life brought about a rapid acceleration of growth, leading to ever more consistent experiences of Silence, in closed eyed meditation practice, while cooking in the community’s café, doing service work, and planting gardens. After going through a 6-month intensive Teacher Training program, that involved 12-16 hours of closed eyed meditation a day, he began teaching classes around the world, and living in various regional meditation centers around the world. Seeming, miracles, wild manifestations, witness consciousness, and celestial perception were frequent occurrences, as Awareness slowly but surely saturated more and more of life.
In 2008, he left his monastic organization and then took an extended break from meditation teaching. The years lived outside the semi cloistered environment of the ashram were often challenging, but ultimately led to a more deeply anchored Presence. Subtle barriers fell, opening to the experience of the world as the Self. This process continues to unfold and expand.
Since 2014, he has again been teaching Ascension and working as a spiritual guide, giving people a reliable practice with which to cultivate Awareness and assisting people in relaxing into Presence as a constantly lived experience. Since 2015 he has also been working as an intuitive Astrologer, with a primary focus on helping people align more completely with their soul’s purpose. More information can be found at these websites: ascension-meditation.com and awakenedlightastrology.com.
One night in 1997 Richard Schoeller thought he was dying because he found himself surrounded by both sets of deceased grandparents. They reassured him that it wasn’t his time to join them in the afterlife and that their visit was to help him understand that he could now “see them.” Who could ignore a visit like that? Richard had to learn more about what had just happened, so he began taking classes and researching the ability to communicate with those who have passed into spirit.
Richard is now an ordained Spiritualist minister, Certified Medium, Commissioned Spiritualist Healer.
Aside from being a member of the Lily Dale Assembly, he served on the Board of the National Spiritualist Association of Churches (NSAC) for six years, and he is currently the Vice President of the International Spiritualist Federation and a Director and Teacher with the Inner Spiritual Center in Wayne, New Jersey.
Richard has taught classes and demonstrated mediumship in England, Holland, Scotland, Austria, Switzerland and Germany as well as served a number of Spiritualist churches and centers throughout the United States.
It gives him great pleasure to be of service and to provide information to his clients that help them to come to and understanding that life and love continue after the change known as death.
Natalie Sudman is an author, artist and psychic intuitive. Natalie worked as an archeologist in the Great Basin states for 16 years before accepting a position managing construction contracts in Iraq. In 2007 Natalie was injured by a roadside bomb. During this incident she had a near-death experience that she details in her book Application of Impossible Things. After recovering from her injuries, Natalie retired from government service to concentrate on art and writing, both long-time passions. Raised in Minnesota, Natalie has lived most of her adult life in eastern Oregon, Montana, and South Dakota. She now lives in southern Arizona.