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Natural Awakenings Lehigh Valley

Near-Death Experience Conference to Explore Mysteries of Life and Death

Suzanne Giesemann, MPA & Eben Alexander, M.D.

The International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) invites the public to attend its annual event, this year titled Revolutionary Experiences: The Power of Love & Consciousness. The conference, described by past attendees as eye-opening, will be held August 29 through September 1 at Crowne Plaza Philadelphia, in King of Prussia.

What makes IANDS’ conferences so interesting is the focus on an inescapable fact of life for everyone: death. As difficult as death is to face, professionals that study near-death experience (NDE) and near-death experiencers (NDErs), themselves, are shedding light on the existence of death as not a finality, but a simple transition from this life to the next. They strive to answer humanity’s most pressing questions, such as “Why are we here?”; “What’s our purpose” and “How did we come into being?”

Near-death and spiritually transformative experiencers come from all religious and socio-economic backgrounds, and while individual experiences may be wrapped in one’s religious symbolism, the parallels between experiences cannot be denied. IANDS is accepting of all people, and in fact seeks diversity in all forms to obtain the most well-rounded picture of life and death.

A recent European study indicates that one out of 10 persons has had a near-death experience—they “died,” had a spiritual experience and lived to tell about it (article at The first serious investigation of NDEs is documented in Dr. Raymond Mood’s 1975 book, Life After Life. He highlights commonalities of NDEs, including out-of-body experience, traveling down a tunnel toward a beckoning light, being greeted by deceased loved ones or religious figures, having a life review, judging one’s self and often being told they must return to Earth on a mission.

Since Moody’s groundbreaker, NDE studies have steadily increased. New commonalities have come to light, including rapid healing, freedom from addiction and past lives, to name a few, and quantum physics has produced evidence pointing to an underlying intelligence that is foundational to everything physical.

IANDS conference-goers will hear the latest NDE findings first-hand from experiencers, credentialed researchers, scientists and medical professionals. Over 70 speakers will present lectures, panels and workshops. For the first time ever, a Keynote Panel will present. The panel includes Bruce Greyson, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia, and co-author of Irreducible Mind; Suzanne Giesemann, MPA, retired Navy commander who flew with Air Force One and is now an evidential medium; and Eben Alexander, M.D., author of The New York Times bestseller Proof of Heaven. A Harvard-educated neurosurgeon, Alexander did not believe in NDEs until he had an extensive one himself. The Keynote Panelists will also speak individually. Other noted speakers are highlighted in the IANDS Conference advertisement in this issue of Natural Awakenings

Another first includes the addition of Franklin Rose Publishing ( as an IANDS Bookstore sponsor. NDErs can take home information provided by Franklin Rose if interested in self-publishing their NDE story. Books by speakers and other experiencers will be available at the bookstore, and one book will be given away daily via a raffle. One winner will receive an extended bundle of books. Noted speakers will sign books at the bookstore after their lectures. Gold/Welcome Bag sponsor Complete H2O Minerals ( will also be in the bookstore providing information on their product which delivers minerals and vitamins to the body at the cellular level.

Thursday night’s opening lecture, “Overcoming the Fear of Death,” presented by Kelvin Chin, is free to the public, as are brief musical interludes by Steinway Artist and Composer Kevin Kern. Kern, a child prodigy and legally blind since birth, plays music that NDErs say transports them back to their experiences. Kern will perform a ticketed, open-to-the-public concert Friday night, August 30.

IANDS’ Veterans Discussion Group session is free for all vets. Information on scholarships for vets and educational opportunities for nurses and other medical personnel can be obtained by contacting [email protected].

IANDS Early-Bird Registration closed June 30, having surpassed expected goals, but Hurry-Up Registration is available through early August, offering a $60 savings. The public is encouraged to register quickly, as spots are filling up.


Cost: Varies. Kern concert: $25. Location: 260 Mall Blvd., King of Prussia. To register and view attendance options, as well as the full conference schedule, visit



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