The Shared Crossing Project
William Peters, MFt, M.Ed.
The Current Challenge
Until 1900 most Americans passed away in the familiar surroundings of their home, usually surrounded by multiple generations of family members. By 1950, the scene had changed. Half of all deaths were occurring in hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutions. That number increased to 80 percent by 1990. The comfortable, familiar surroundings of a home had been replaced by sterile walls, forests of medical equipment, and bevies of medical staff displacing all but the closest of family members.
The lack of information about what is possible at the end of a life has led to the disempowerment and emotional isolation of the dying. This has resulted in a greater fear of death among loved ones and those “left behind,” as they are missing out on a rich, transformative deathbed experience for all.
The Shared Crossing Projects’ Mission
The Shared Crossing Project’s mission is to raise awareness and educate people about the profound and healing experiences available to the dying and their loved ones, at any stage of life. The organization’s vision is to create a personal and collective understanding that consciousness doesn’t die. This knowledge alleviates the fear and anxiety surrounding death and facilitates a shift in consciousness that allows people to live more fully, with joy, meaning, compassion, and love.
While death and dying often bring up feelings of pain and fear, the Shared Crossing Project helps the dying and their loved ones understand what happens to consciousness as the body dies. Understanding reduces anxiety and enables the dying and their loved ones to be at peace. The Shared Crossing Project also teaches practices for facilitating a Shared Death Experience in which survivors share in early stages of the afterlife with their departing loved one, via the Shared Crossing Pathway.
Through safe and supportive experiential groups and individual and family counseling, participants in the Shared Crossing Project deepen their relationships with loved ones as they prepare for a more conscious death-and-dying experience. This preparation also helps individuals at any stage of life be ready for “a good death,” because none of us truly know how much time we have left. By understanding and preparing for death, we free ourselves to live our lives fully and without regret.
Spiritually Transformative Experiences During the Crossing
A person’s crossing is a milestone in his or her life, and in the family’s lives. Sharing in the wonder, mystery, and sacredness of the rebirth from the earth into the next stage of life is uplifting for family members as well as well as the person making the crossing. When a person makes the crossing in a conscious, connected, and loving end-of-life experience, the experience becomes a prototype for others to follow. Sharing crossings also offer life-changing perspectives by awakening people to what matters most in life. These firsthand accounts often lead to significant personal transformations in the lives of listeners. They change the people sharing the crossing.
Description of the Shared Crossing Project
Shared Crossing Case Study: Barbara W.
“Being invited into your group felt like being thrown a life raft and sharing those thoughts and fears with a group of men and women facing similar life experiences felt like entering a hallowed place. I emerged from the group with new hope, but more than that, a sense of joy. Thank you so much for creating a place to talk about a subject that is too much in the dark.”
~ Katie K.”I have a better understanding of reincarnation (and many new questions). Most importantly for me is the impact this group has directly for people and their families, because with more of an understanding and acceptance of death, dying, and afterlife, they can start to have conversations they otherwise wouldn’t have with their families. In so doing perhaps they can experience death and dying as the beautiful rite of passage it is and be a part of mindful, peaceful passings with their loved ones.”
~ Jill W.“I was very moved and inspired by the experience. I particularly appreciated the varied points of view in the group and liked each and every one of them. Perhaps one of the most interesting things for me was how so many different facets of my life right now seem to dovetail. Most important of all, how it has helped me rethink my relationship with those I care about most, particularly my aging parents and my two kids.”
~ Mimi D.
“I have had many lasting effects from my experience in the [Shared Crossing] program- an overall greater appreciation for my current, ongoing life as well as a better understanding of my future passing from this life. But in particular I came to a deeper understanding and acceptance of the part I played (and should have played) in my mother’s passing from cancer when I was eighteen. It was something I carried around in me like a stone and I can honestly say that ever since I went through the program, that stone has seemed to have evaporated.”
– Bill S.
“Throughout my life, I have contemplated the human transition from our physical, earthly experience (death) to the possibilities that exist beyond. “Life After Death” and “The Sequel,” offered by William Peters, MFT, have given me the opportunities to learn, explore and experience this subject in a safe and supportive gathering of like-minded individuals. Participating in these groups has been comforting, uplifting, and transformative.”
~ Pamela B.
“The Life Beyond Death class offered the dialogue I have been seeking for a lifetime. It helped in making a shift into what I already knew deep within, but could not confirm alone. Having worked in Hospice and clinical settings, as a nurse and psychotherapist, where I witnessed the polar opposites in dealing with death, I was also drawn to attend the class after being with my mother at her passing. One of the book’s assigned, David Kessler’s “Visions, Trips and Crowded Rooms” affirmed her “Death Bed Experience” for which I was present and which was extremely poignant for me. William’s gracious facilitation of the group created a safe haven for those either experiencing grief, working through existential angst or simply exploring the inevitable of what is so clearly avoided in our culture; that death IS a part of life and a transition, not an ending. I look forward to the sequel and beyond.”
~ Sonja L.
“How precious has it been for me to feel and heal in a safe, loving and compassionate environment. The journaling I have done has been more valuable to me than any other journaling because it has brought me to a place of peace and acceptance of my life. This class has allowed me to open up my heart more fully as I let go of all that unfinished business that has constricted my heart.”
~ Trudy B.
Shared Crossing’s Ongoing Activities
The Santa Barbara center offers the following programs that will be expanded and brought to other cities:
The Shared Crossing Pathway is a workshop crafted to prepare participants for a conscious, connected and loving end-of-life experience. The Pathway provides information, hands-on practice, and the Shared Crossing Protocols© to help facilitate the Shared Death Experience. This course may be taken with a loved one or close friend nearing the end of life, or on your own. Offered either as a weekend intensive, a Tuesday-Friday retreat, or a 5-week series. Read more…
The Life Beyond Death group is a sequential 9-week course that explores what actually occurs at the end of a human life, as well as questions of the afterlife. It also provides the opportunity for an in-depth exploration of one’s own beliefs and expectations about death and the afterlife. Read more…
The Shared Crossing Community Group consists of participants from our other groups who feel inspired to continue exploring themes of end-of-life and afterlife as we build our supportive community. We meet once per month in 4-month sessions, enjoying a potluck feast at the end. Read more…
The Shared Crossing Research Initiative is a nonprofit collaboration organized to validate the effectiveness of practices designed to reduce death anxiety and promote a more conscious, connected, and loving end-of-life experience. The UCSB research study also intends to show whether Shared-Death Experiences can be intentionally facilitated. Read more…
The Shared Crossing Project’s Funding needs
More information about the Shared Crossing Project at this link: Shared Crossings Project