The First Annual Afterlife Awareness Conference was held in Phoenix April 29 through May 1 and I can barely wait for the second one. As many conferences I've attended, both as a writer and a researcher in most things metaphysical, this one will always be remembered as unique, not only because of the subject but because of the warmth and positive energy of the organizers, the attendees and the staff of the Embassy Suites hotel. Talk about a love fest!
Due to my personal experiences with after death communication, I attended not realizing that, in spite of the name of the conference, (Duh!) workshops would extend beyond ADCs to include near death experiences, mediumship, the impact of grief on our lives, and beyond. Attendees included members of Compassionate Friends, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, the International Association for Near Death Studies and others the names of which I've forgotten. For many of us it meant a great deal to be a part of a group in which we could speak freely about what was happening in our lives. That in itself was worth the cost of registration. We came together as strangers and left with new friends, all of them keepers.
Bill Guggenheim, co-author of Hello from Heaven, was to be the keynote speaker on opening night but had to cancel due to a death in the family. Regardless, we could feel his energetic support and we sent ours to him in what has to be a difficult time. With speakers like Ann Puryear, PMH Atwater, Herb Puryear, Mark Ireland, Terri Daniel, Louis LaGrand, Rochelle Wright, Craig Hogan, Mitch Carmody, Boyce Batey, Carla Blowey, Julie Beischel, Mark Nelson, the biggest problem for most attendees was deciding which workshops to attend, since two and sometimes three were scheduled at the same time. Here's the list:
ADCs, Science and Sacred Writings
Working in Partnership with Guides, Loved Ones and Others on the Other Side
There Is No Death: The Other Side and Beyond
Practical Uses of the Extraordinary Experiences of the Bereaved
Suicide and the Afterlife – Why do our loved ones kill themselves?
Faces of Grief, Whispers of Love: Surviving the Loss of a Loved One
Beyond the Veil: Evidence for Life After Death
Dream Visits: Close Encounters of the Spiritual Kind
A Challenge from Near-Death Studies
Afterlife Research: Ghosts, Mediums, and Other Data from the Death
We Are Never Alone
Centering Corporation handled the sales of books, a guarantee that we left with luggage threatening to cost everyone for the extra weight.
Terri Daniel's Facebook page about the conference will give you a better idea of what a great event it was, especially remarkable since it was the first. Terri and her volunteers pulled it off, in spades. I took pictures but as a photographer I stink, big time, so you'll have to rely on those Terri and others have posted on Facebook.
Fair warning: registration for the conference closed in a very short time, the limit for the number of attendees reached far sooner than was anticipated. Expect the same next year. If you plan to attend, don't wait!