Cyndi Dale: What Happens When We Die?

Tami Simon: You’re listening to Insights at the Edge. Today my guest is Cyndi Dale. Cyndi Dale is an internationally renowned author, speaker, intuitive healer, visionary, and business consultant. Cyndi has been trained in multiple healing modalities, including shamanism, intuitive healing, Lakota medicine, and Reiki. She has written several groundbreaking books on the chakras, including Advanced Chakra Healing. With Sounds True, Cyndi has published several books, including a book called The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy and The Subtle Body Practice Manual. She also has a new book with Sounds True called The Journey After Life: What Happens When We Die, in which she presents a modern Book of the Dead full of insights into the most mystifying questions of our mortal existence.

In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Cyndi and I spoke about the similarities between birthing and dying, and how and when the soul enters and exits the body. We talked about what Cyndi calls “The 12 Planes of Light” and how these 12 Planes of Light can be experienced now, while we’re alive as well as when we die—and how these planes relate to the 12 chakras (the 12 chakras being an expanded model of the chakra system that Cyndi teaches). And finally, we talked about what the purpose might be of our soul’s evolution through lifetimes.

Here’s my conversation on what happens when we die with Cyndi Dale:

Cyndi, I’m happy to have this chance to talk with you about your new paperback book with Sounds True, The Journey After Life: What Happens When We Die. To begin with, this idea that we could know what happens when we die. To be honest with you, I think that I had come to the conclusion, if you will, that that was something that was unknowable—that no one really knows. That you can’t really get people to confirm, “Yes—this is definitively what happens when we die.” Yet here you’re offering a model and a vision of what happens when we die. Is this something that we can know?

Cyndi Dale: I believe it is, Tami. Each of us can understand death in our own way, because we are each individuals and very unique. We know about our lives in a way that’s very different than how other people know about their lives, as well. But when we really look at it—and a lot of spiritual tracks, treatises, processes, and religions suggest that life and death really aren’t so different. One is really just a reflection of the other.

In many ways—the kids will tell you this too—so many people are walking zombies. Life and death aren’t really so very different. We’ve been through each many, many, many different times. So, stored within us—stored within our souls, I believe even stored within our physical framework and makeup in our cells—are memories, Not just of other lifetimes, but also what has occurred to us in between lifetimes in that sort of stage that we call death.

We’re just so black and white, aren’t we—especially in our Western culture. We like that. I think it provides a lot of us—myself included—a sense of safety to think that, “OK, when I’m alive, here are the rules. And when I’m dead, there’s a different set of rules.” Being raised Christian, I grew up being told, “This is what you have to do while you’re alive so that when you’re dead, you can just sing happily ever after. You can be like one of those angels in the clouds.”

Upon researching the New Testament and some of the Apocrypha, or the books that didn’t make the Bible, I discovered that even the so-called master of Christianity, Jesus, was not really distinguishing between life and death. In many, many passages, he said, “Heaven is on Earth. Heaven is inside of you. It’s here. It’s right now.”

Having puzzled that for many, many years when I was a kid and in my twenties, that set me off to do as much research as I possibly could—and reflection as well, asking, “What is this thing called death? Is it really something that kind of looms tomorrow—in the tomorrow of the afterlife—or is there not much about it anyway that we can embrace, we can embody, we can learn from while we’re alive?

I really think that the veil is quite blurry—if there is veil at all. I think there’s just a veil in our perception. But if we start to pretend there isn’t a veil, we can see an awful lot about death in our very existence.

TS: OK, well let’s pretend that there isn’t a veil as our conversation continues and tell me what you see, to begin with, about the dying process—how you see the dying process [and] what you see happening for people.

CD: Well, dying is that transition that’s very similar—and I’m not the only one to say this—to the birthing process. Even in our everyday lives, we’re constantly in transition in some way, place, or state. I’m now a mom of a 15-year-old and I’ve been preparing for Gabe’s college years for about three years already. He would be the first to agree with that.

A few years ago, we were watching one of the Toy Story [movies] and it was the version in which the boy goes off to college and I just started sobbing. Gabe was only 12, [and] he looked at me and said, “Are you crying again?” I said, “Yeah, I’m crying again.” He goes, “Are you crying because I’m going to go to college?” I said, “Yeah, I’m crying because you’re going to go to college.” He says, “Mom, that’s like [in] six years.” I said, “I know, but the point is you’re still going to go.”

So, I think sometimes we lose track in our lives about how much we’re doing transition. Just the same as there’s the transition period around birth—the planning for it, the caring of the child, the changing of the life, the actual birth itself—which I can say is very painful. I know a lot of people say it’s just quite a lovely process. But I thought it was extraordinarily painful—out-of-this-world painful.

Sometimes dying can be very much the same. The typical dying process—and I’m subtracting from this overarching example people who die in accidents, in crises, or something very unexpected—typically takes about seven years, I believe, for the body itself to prepare for the death. There’s kind of a magic around the number seven. Our energy centers in the body evolve every seven years. A lot of therapists say that we seem to live in seven-year chunks. Typically, the soul—which is the part of us that goes from lifetime to lifetime—and it is implied that it is very aware in between lifetimes as well—starts to prepare for its next journey, its leaving of the body, about seven years before somebody actually dies.

When we’re born, I believe that the soul actually enters through the bottom of the body—now, we’re just a little bitty fertilized egg, but in that area that we would call the lower part of the body—and spirals in in a clockwise spiral. And when we die, the soul—actually at those moments of death—exits typically or ideally through the very top of the head. It’s ascended, even through the physical body, and then spirals out counter-clockwise to almost an anti-world versus this world, and then makes its exit into these higher planes of existence.

They’re already around us, Tami. They’re already here. We just don’t tune in to them or interact with them very much. There’s a lot of other, of course, ways that people die. I work with a lot of people, actually, in my intuitive and healing practice who have died or have just lost people. Sometimes, for instance, in a crisis, the soul will exit really quickly—as in through the wound site. So, if somebody, for instance, dies of a heart attack, the soul may exit through the heart. Or if they die from a gunshot, the soul may just burst out through that wound place.

Typically, the soul goes through a seven-year preparatory where it’s making peace, saying its good-byes, and kind of finishing up the cleaning of the nest here on Earth. Then it begins to transcend to the Other Side. I don’t know if you’ve experienced this. It’s something some people think is kind of creepy to talk about. But, every so often, I find that I can tell who might be on their way out. There’s just a look about somebody. It’s not necessarily a vacancy, but there tends to be a filminess to their energy—a bit more glow to their body or their face. A sense of distractedness. That’s typically what somebody looks like anywhere between a few months to a year or two before they actually transition.

The soul really is becoming its greater self [again]. It’s going through an enlightening experience and is spending a little bit more time on the so-called Other Side—preparing that home, preparing itself to be there.

There’s a great quote by a shaman, Holger Kalweit, who states that, “To die before we die, we don’t die when we die.” I think what he’s speaking to is this transition of the seven years. There’s a lot that we can do in our lives that enables a graceful death and enables—really, truly an enlightenment process through the dying, however long it takes. But again, he’s really saying that all our lives perhaps are a preparation to dying.

[The] one really for sure thing that we’re going to die. I think the sooner we realize that, embrace it, figure out what that means for us, and really taste the nectar of death in our lives, the more graceful our exit can be.

TS: Now, Cyndi, I have so many questions for you, but let’s just see if we can knock these off one at a time. You were comparing the death process to the birthing process. You talked about when the soul enters the body and that it enters through the bottom of the body. At what point—how many months, weeks, or days has the fetus been developing when the soul enters?

CD: I love that question. In my work in talking to other energy practitioners—there’s kind of a lot of choices. The soul can come in absolutely at any time. I typically don’t find the soul comes in until the middle trimester—until somewhere about five months. That’s most typical. The soul can visit. The soul hovers. Often the soul is interacting with the mom, or maybe even the dad or the loved ones. The soul’s guides are doing the same thing.

The earliest a soul will lodge in the body is about five months. Some souls don’t actually come in until the body is being birthed. It might be for any number of reasons. They don’t want to come in: They’re having fun outside. They’re still in some kind of a school and getting ready for this lifetime. There might not be room for them. There might be so much going on—for instance, in the mother’s life—[that] it’s not a comfortable place to be. Or there could be an illness.

But typically I would say five months. Of course, just to state the obvious, I think that’s an interesting figure for people who worry about abortion, miscarriage, or these types of events. It can really leave a lot of women with an ache no matter how she loses a baby or has to let go of a child. The soul’s typically not in the body until at least into the second [trimester].

TS: OK, then you talked about how, at the time of death, the soul exits the body. You mentioned that it can be preferable for the soul to exit through the top of the head. I’m curious why that may be preferable and if it matters where the soul exits the body.

CD: It doesn’t typically matter. I’m not going to make a really strong case to say, “Oh, it absolutely matters.” But the path of enfoldment for most human beings is for the soul to kind of transcend up the chakra ladder—the different energy bodies that are located in the spine and also, I think, outside of the body as well.

Each of these stages—represented by a chakra—represents a teaching, a learning, a reason that we’re here being human. The lower rungs on the ladder are all about how to deal with and love having a physical body, embracing emotions, dealing with thoughts and the mind. Of course, then we get to the place of love and communication and perception.

At very top of the ladder is what’s called the seventh chakra. It’s the crown energy center where the pineal gland holds host. That’s usually seen as the seat of enlightenment. The top of the head, which incidentally is open at birth, babies’ fontanel—the soft spot—is open when we’re born. The soul can still breathe the so-called heavenly energies in and out until it’s just a few months old—as can the body, to be honest.

That’s typically why the soul exits through the top—because it’s now going into so-called higher vibrations. It’s going into layers of reality that tend to—if they were measured—would be measured as more intense, as lighter than the ones we typically equate with being in the body. It’s like a dove being released upward to the stars. So that’s why we tend to think about this whole exiting through the top of the head.

It doesn’t have to matter. If the soul, say, plunges out through the hips, the heart, the elbow, or what-have-you, I think what counts more about the actual time of death or method of death—is some souls are really jarred. They’re not expecting to die. They’re shocked. They didn’t see it coming. They’re not ready.

So, if they’re suddenly jettisoned out of the body, a soul brings with it the memory of the lifetime, the memory of the body. There’s actually a layer around the soul called “the etheric” that absorbs and soaks in what life is about and our memories, our teachings, our learnings, our feelings. We don’t leave anything behind. But [with] that kind of a quick exit, we’ve got the shock-value that often also impinges on the soul and can leave a soul pushed out of the body [and] standing there a little nervous.

Sometimes souls don’t even know that they’re dead because they exit so quickly. Often those are the kind of beings that then we can call ghosts or phantoms. We use those kinds of words to talk about a soul that doesn’t necessarily transcend to some of these so-called higher vibrational plane, but stays connected in at a really dense level—if you would—to the physical plane.

TS: It’s interesting. As you were talking about the soul entering the body the birth and exiting the body at death, it’s almost like the soul seems to have a volume of some kind—to take up space. I’m curious if you could talk about that. How do you see the soul when it’s entering and leaving? Does it have a volume?

CD: It’s a great question. I remember—years ago, over the Internet, there were a few studies that were floated that bodies were weighed right before death and at death. There was a point something or other gram [difference]. And who knows if that’s really real or that’s just the measurement of the breath—that a living person breathes in and that’s how much the breath actually weighs.

I actually believe that the soul does have volume. If you call volume “space.” It doesn’t necessarily have to have weight. For instance, there’s a number of subatomic particles and weight aspects of light itself that are energy. They take up space and they travel in space and even time, but they actually don’t have weight. Some of why it’s hard to actually pinpoint what kind of volume the soul would have is that the measurement is more spiritual. It’s actually energetic or spiritual. How do we measure a soul that’s a good soul—that has served, that has learned, that has been touched by the tears of children, that has fed the hungry—versus the soul of somebody who was greedy and a bit of a maniac or was harming people rather that helping people?

I think that the volume or the way that we measure a soul is kind of like what the ancient Egyptians did. They said that a soul would actually be measured—but that, ironically, the lighter the soul, the more joyous the soul. The lighter than a feather that a soul would be on a scale, the more likely that soul would go into the Great Beyond and be able to escape what’s often called The Wheel of Time or reincarnation. They’re not going to have to keep doing this over and over again. Not that I think that there’s anything wrong with doing this life. I think that life is wonderful. But, sometimes the way to look at a soul is the lighter the soul, probably the more expanded the soul.

TS: Now Cyndi, here’s something I’m really curious to hear what you have to say about. You talked about how if we die of a natural cause—not a sudden accident—we might have a sense that we’re in this process for several years, up to seven years. Do you think that people can control the time of their death—choose the time of death? Or is the time of death something that is already written—it’s written in our astrological chart when we’re born. “We can’t control the time of our death.”

CD: That’s a great question. My short answer is that I actually think we have some preordained exit points and that most likely we don’t have just one. I’ll give you an example. About 20 years ago, I had a dream or a message that told me that at some point I was going to get cancer and I could die from it. I was going to get cancer in my 50s—cervical cancer—and I would probably exit from it. I negotiated, being stubborn—Norwegian stubborn—and I said, “Can’t we do this a little different? Can I try a different path of death than this?”

In my later 30s, I actually got pre-cervical cancer—HPV, human papillomavirus. I spent an entire year processing it, doing different kinds of treatments, both allopathic and holistic. It was a really hard year, to be honest. It was an emotional year. I dealt with a lot of inner issues, pain, childhood issues, soul questions, and I came out of it with a clean bill of health. [I] have not gotten cancer and consistently get positive tests.

That was one of my exit points. Another exit point [was] somewhere in my early 40s when I was just driving down the road and suddenly, Tami, I could feel the world freezing. Of course, the world didn’t freeze; I froze. My soul just froze in my body. I heard a voice that said, “You can leave now.”

It’s really dispassionate to hear that. You would think that I had conniptions or feelings or emotions, and I had nothing. It was almost like I turned inside of my brain and looked backwards. I saw that I had fulfilled my original soul contract. That what I came to learn and to do—even though the world might say I hadn’t done much at all. [But] when I looked backwards, I saw [that] I came [and did] what I first said I was going to do, so I can leave.

The only reason I stayed was that I could also see my two sons. I knew instantly that even though my older son would think he doesn’t still need a mom, he so still needed a mom. And of course my younger son did need a mom still. So, I just decided to stay, and it was as if I turned back into my head and continued to drive.

I actually have a sense of when my last exit point is going to be. I had it in a vision. When I was doing some shamanic work in Peru, I was actually shown that particular death time, how I would leave, what it would be like, and even who was standing around my body.

So I do believe we have these potential exit points. I also think—I’m getting to your answer in a long way—that this world is pretty chaotic and there can be true accidents. There can be times that somebody is taken from their body literally accidentally and it wasn’t their time to leave. They didn’t plan on leaving and it just happens. There’s just an odd series of events and happenstances that sets this up.

The hard part, though, about choosing the time to die—I think, when we’re actually in the circumstance when we want to choose to die, I think there’s other factors. I think that some people think, “I’m ready to die. I’m ill. I have cancer. I want to die within a few days.” And they don’t go. They last another year or two—or 10 years! I think those types of factors might be their loved ones aren’t letting them go or a part of their spirit—their immortal self—or even their soul says it’s just not quite time. There are a lot of reasons why there might be a lack of consciousness.

My dad, who died about 20 years ago, had lung cancer. Several times during six months [he was told] that they had so-called cured the cancer or gotten rid of the cancer. They told him that one day, and then within two days, the doctors would come and say, “No, we’re wrong. You still have Stage IV cancer.”

I went to visit him after we’d been going through various treatment modalities for about six months and he had been given another six months to live beyond that. I looked at him and I said, “Dad, what would you like me to pray for, to hope for, to meditate on for you?” And he looked at me and said, “I would like to be dead in a week. This is no life. Moving from the bedroom to the dining room.” He says, “I want to be gone within a week.”

And I cried and said, “I’ll just hold that for you.” He actually died eight days later—months earlier than the doctors had so-called decreed.

I’m giving you a lot of different answers. I believe there are exit points. I believe there’s chaos. I believe there are a lot of factors deciding when we are actually released from this beautiful cocoon of the body. I do believe that sometimes the soul is strong enough or is empowered enough that it gets to choose.

TS: OK, so I want to talk about what happens to the soul—now that we’re in this conversation together. The veil has thinned, so we are seeing through it the way that Cyndi sees. What happens to the soul when it leaves the body?

CD: It’s rather an exciting time for the soul. I believe that for many souls—kind of instantly—there’s just this kind of step away from the body. Some souls kind of zip out of so-called material reality right away. But let’s insert the step for the souls that don’t exit the plane of Earth immediately.

Some of them literally—it’s like they step away from the body. They tend to be very aware at that point of the beings who are typically called their guides. Some of them have been ancestors, loved ones who are helping them with this transition out of the body. Sometimes they’re guides from a different lifetime. Sometimes they’re familiar with certain religious figures. So if somebody’s a Hindu, the greater awe may appear like Krishna; for a Christian, maybe Jesus or Mary.

Oftentimes a soul just kind of hovers and it has this sense of being separate from the body—and yet is still able to see the body and perceive who and what is around it. I’ve actually had that happen myself three or four different times—where I was outside of my body looking at my body. I don’t know if you could say my body was actually dead, but it was such an out-of-body experience that I’m sure it was very similar to what a lot of souls go through.

Depending on the soul’s reaction—it’s sense of preparedness, and how well it’s able to connect with the guides—it might have a very peaceful feeling, it might want to get messages to the people who are around. Some souls—I’ve talked to people who have had near-death experiences and come back in, or have been put back into their bodies. Sometimes they freak out and they want to restore the body. They just don’t feel quite ready.

But somewhere along the line, after the soul potentially, at least, has this time period, there’s a series of planes. They’re like levels of reality or bands of reality. They could even be compared to different dimensions. Science says that we have at least 10 dimensions that we’re occupying while alive simultaneously. So, I like to compare these Planes of Light, as I call them—different vibrational levels that go from lower to higher—to different dimensions. We start to become aware of them on the soul basis once we’re not in the physical body, though we can become aware of them while we are.

The most typical one that somebody first goes to is a Plane of Rest. The way the soul, I think, determines—or the guides help it determine—which of the planes it’s going to go to—whether it’s going to go to a Plane of Rest and just have a little bit of rehab, or maybe kind of a stiff drink in some cases or a cup of tea in others—first versus any of the other planes (because it doesn’t have to go in order) is kind of a sense of what’s happened during that lifetime and cumulative lifetimes and which so-called tunnel that a—and you’ve heard of tunnels.

People usually read near-death experiences and people usually talk about [there being] these tunnels that they could go through and that would take them to different places or spaces. There are different kinds of tunnels. There are tunnels that go down. I’m not talking about Hell. They say they just go to lower vibrations. There are tunnels that are made out of a higher vibration or more intense light. Those tend to go into some of these more enlightened planes of existence or planes post-death.

So, a soul is going to naturally go toward or in and through a tunnel into a plane that it matches. It’s not much different than everyday reality. Like attracts like. At a certain place or level or vibratory level, I need to do healing work; or, you learn more truths; or, I’ve been very loving in this lifetime, so I can go right to the Plane of Love. All of the themes I’ve mentioned [that represent] different planes, that’s then where I’m going to ascend or transcend into.

Typically, a soul stays around for a while or exits one of these tunnels into one of the planes. One of the things that I think is really important, Tami, to point out about these planes is [that] nothing is quite as fixed in stone as we think. So, when we’re in life, and we take an airplane and fly to the De Gaulle Airport over to Paris, we’re in Paris. We can’t be in Germany and Paris at the same time.

However, being a soul, we can be in Paris and we might be able to visit Germany with just a thought and maybe even communicate [as if] we have these cool after-death cell phones or holographic slideshow maneuverings, where we can be on a plane—maybe a specific one—and we can visit another one. Or maybe we can show up for our living loved ones at the same time.

Time isn’t so linear. It’s not linear at all, really, in the afterlife. There are a lot of interconnections and moving around that is hard for our solid brains to understand. We tend to understand it more through a meditative trance or if we’ve had spiritual experiences. There’s a lot of interconnectivity.

I have a friend—a beautiful man whose father died a few years ago. Once his father died, my friend, Mark, started to have contact with his father. But he said, “Cyndi, my father wasn’t just my father. He wasn’t the man with the name—” I’m just going to make up a name “—Luke. He was more than Luke. He was something bigger and different. When he shows up for me, he’s with a whole community. He’s in a wholeness. He’s in this beautiful space and he’s trying to teach me how to be that here.”

One night, Mark, his wife, and another friend of mine came over. We sat in my office and it looked pretty séance-y to be honest—this little dark office.</p?

[Tami laughs.]

CD: I know. It’s kind of fun though. [We] lit a candle and we wanted to talk to Mark’s dad. All of a sudden the room just got—I can’t even use a word besides “illuminated.” It just illuminated. And I could feel the presence of all of these beings. I could feel the person that Mark would call his father, but the message that was being given with all of these beings present was that there really isn’t a veil.

We’re pretending, you and I, right now that there isn’t a veil, but the truth is, there isn’t one. And God honest, Mark held out his hand and his father, et cetera, said, “Hold out your hands, Mark.” And Mark held out his hands. Within two seconds there was a gold bowl just shimmering in Mark’s hands.

TS: OK, OK. Hold on, hold on, hold on! A gold bowl—meaning out of nowhere this materialized?

CD: Yes! Like we were gurus. Like we were these really enlightened gurus, which we’re not. [Laughs.] An honest-to-God gold bowl. Like a chalice of some sort.

TS: Was it there in the morning?

CD: No. And it was only there for maybe a minute, to be really honest. [Laughs.] So I have to work on that technique a little bit.

But, it was a gold bowl. I could see it. Mark could see it. Mark could touch it. I could reach out and touch it. Mark’s wife only saw a light. She couldn’t see the gold bowl. The other gentleman there could not see anything. So we all had a different experience, but Mark and I had the same experience of a gold bowl and this group of beings saying, “There’s no separation between where we are and you are.”

It’s fascinating. I just saw Mark over the weekend and we went over the story again, because you start to go, “Did I make that up?” But, where there are two people seeing it, we saw it.

TS: OK, now you mentioned that before the soul enters one of these tunnels and goes to one of these levels, that potentially the soul might stay around for a while. I’ve heard in some traditions there’s actually, they say, 49 days or there’s a period of time. I’m curious what your view of this is.

CD: I think a lot of it does depend on tradition. A soul is going to perceive what it’s been saturated in—what is believed to be true during that lifetime. For instance, there’s a tribe in Madagascar that keeps the dead bodies under trees for two years because they believe that this soul is an elder soul now that it is dead and has agreed to stay around for two years and guide the tribe.

And, yes, there’s usually at least two days—if not seven days, for most cultures—where the belief is that the soul is around. In some cultures, you can’t burn the body for two days or you’re supposed to burn the body right away to free the soul or it can’t get out. There are a lot of different beliefs. I think what they are all acknowledging, though, is that where there is love, the soul will tend to remain for a while to make sure that the right thing is done, that there is sharing and messages and anything that needs to be finished [is] finished.

I’ve had many experiences with souls that have just died interacting with me. One, in fact, was a woman I didn’t even know and never met. I had for years worked with a client—who I’ll call Jane—who really did not get along with her mother. I mean, she really did not get along with her mother. I knew that Jane’s mother was ailing, but I had no idea how poor off the mom was in terms of her body.

One morning I was sleeping at the end of a hallway. There’s a living room on the other side of that hallway and there’s a locked door going into my house. No kidding, at 5:00 in the morning, my front door—it’s a real door. It’s not a wimpy door. It blew open. I could feel the breeze. I could feel this cold draft coming down the hallway into my room and I heard a voice say, “Tell her that there are angels.”

Well, I didn’t know who that was. I just knew I was awakened. I wasn’t scared, but it was a very dramatic entrance for whoever this was. I went back to sleep and got up at 7:00 and listened to my voicemail. A few minutes before, my client Jane had left a message that her mother had died at 5:00 in the morning.

Her mom wanted to get a message to Jane. She probably couldn’t give it directly to my client, because my client—understandably so—was going to have grief and probably a lot of feelings as well. But because of my connection to Jane and because I’m somewhat open to these things, she could tell me what she wanted her daughter to know.

I don’t believe Jane’s mother stayed very long. I actually think she went quite immediately to a different plane. But before she went, she immediately delivered a message.

So, some stay for a while. Some leave right away and then come back even after a number of years. My dad, who died 20 years ago—he was never a man for a lot of words. Even as a soul, he’s not. But, he’s appeared to me five or six times in very, very short little periods. One time to show me something that he did to hurt me that I didn’t remember. I cried and I was fine. It was like I was well without even knowing I had been sick emotionally. A couple of times he showed up because he was in a lot of agony about his life.

The last time I actually saw him spiritually—saw his energy—he was beautiful. He was an enlightened being. And I think it’s interesting that ever since then, I’ve had a couple of other dreams that have been much more like what my dad was like in real life. One time he showed up and he said, “I have found a mate for you.” And I’m going, “I don’t know about this.”

My dad said, “There’s a man whose name starts with a ‘J.’ He’s a pilot and a coach. I want you to meet him.” My dad’s pretty precise, don’t you think, after 20 years of death, Tami?

TS: Yes.

CD: I don’t remember how I met this man, but he asked me out—this was just a year ago or so. His name started with a “J.” He had been in the Air Force and had a pilot’s license. He owned a restaurant with the very same name as my father. My dad’s name is Wally. This man owns a restaurant named Wally’s Restaurant. It couldn’t be weirder.

TS: Did you like Wally?

CD: No, I didn’t. [Laughs.] It just goes to show that as well-intentioned as the dead are, it’s not that they necessarily should be steering your life. And he was actually a coach. He was a coach at my son’s school, which I think is ironic. [Laughs.]

But the dead interact with us. [That’s] the take-away on that. I’m just not sure I want him lining me up with my forever person.

TS: I’m curious about something, Cyndi. Do you feel that we choose which of these Planes of Light we go to or is it just something that happens based on whatever level of evolution we’re at?

CD: I would tend to—of course, I can’t prove this, Tami . . .

TS:</strong Well, you can’t prove a lot of the things you’re saying, Cyndi.>

[Both laugh.]

CD: You can’t.

TS: But I still want to know what you think.

CD: I think it’s the second. I think it’s much more about some intrinsic level of learning—and, if you would, where our soul is at—that naturally matches us up to one of the planes. I would love to say that I’m ready to be elevated right to the very top. But who knows? I may be near the bottom or in the middle.

It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong if we go to one of the so-called Lower Planes rather than the higher ones. It’s just that that’s what we need. That’s a measurement of what we are and what we need. It’s actually very loving, I think, to gravitate toward or to be linked with the plane that truly matches what’s going on with us.

TS: How do the chakras relate to the Planes of Light, if they do?

CD: Well, I believe that they do. I believe that each chakra actually equates with one of the planes. I work with a 12-chakra system. Many people work with a seven-chakra system. Some people work with a 53-chakra system. Whatever works for any of us, I think that’s what we want to embrace or concentrate on. In my little, mini world, each of the chakras actually relates to one of the planes.

I think what’s beautiful about that is that we actually get to work through or embrace the teachings of that plane while we’re alive. For those of us who are oriented toward the chakras, we can do that through the chakra system. Of course we don’t have to. We don’t have to match up that particularly. But I do think that the chakras are like gateways that enable us to touch into these various planes.

And I think a lot of people have devised chakra-based systems for enlightenment. Even the study of kundalini, the life energy that the Hindu [tradition] talks about—but a lot of other cultures speak to this evolving sense of life energy, going from physical to consciousness. There are vehicles of learning. There are initiation points and the chakras are very similar, in fact, to those.

TS: So let’s unpack this a little bit. Most people are familiar with a seven-chakra system. Can you introduce us to the 12-chakra system that you’re working with?

CD: I would love to. The first seven are the same. So, some things remain constant. One through seven, we’ve got: One—physical, hips; two—emotions, abdomen; three—belief systems, mental activity, in the stomach area; four—heart, healing, and love; fifth is in the throat and has to do with communication; sixth is in that third eye area and vision; seventh is top of the head—spirituality, enlightenment.

The eighth is just a tiny bit above the head. It’s like a pinprick, but it’s the home of the shaman and the mystical aspect of us. It locks into the physical body in the thymus, so even the ones that are so-called outside of the body still relate to places in the body—glands and locations. But, the eighth is that place that takes us into the different dimensions, the zones. It’s actually the ideal entryway if we want to experience these planes meditatively or through so-called journeying or astral travel. Our eighth chakra self—our shaman self—is able to do it.

The ninth chakra is about an arm’s length above the head. That’s a place of harmony and holy power. I see it as gold. It’s beautiful.

Now, I reversed out the tenth chakra, [which] is about a foot and a half underneath the feet. Some people call this the Earth Star or the Star Chakra—what have you. That’s the one that’s very nature-based. It actually holds our connection to our heritage, to our genetics, to those who came before—our connection to this planet.

I believe the eleventh chakra is actually around our body. [It’s] way out. It’s like a film, though it’s most condensed around our hands and feet. It’s the one that really enables us to command supernatural energies, natural energies. I’ve met shamans, for instance, in other countries who really can change the weather or move things around. And I think they’re using that particular chakra.

The twelfth chakra is my name for that which is all the way around us, some affiliated with what the shamans call the Energy Egg, or one layer of it—this oval, outer bound of who we are. I believe that’s just a beautiful, translucent layer—after which we pass through. We’re really going into other realms, higher realms. There are all kinds of researchers and [esotericists] who have said there are all these layers of reality. It’s easier to get to them, of course, once we pass through that outer twelfth chakra or layer.

So, those five outside chakras, to me, are extraordinarily helpful to work with. As a healer or somebody who needs to get some focus in my life, to tap into the one that’s underneath the ground is to be grounded. It’s to be present. It’s to be in our body while we’re in our body. It’s to tap into ancestral knowledge.

I really love working with those five chakras because they get us just a little bit outside of the norm and edging towards some of this—both environmentally, interesting but also supernaturally interesting sort of arenas.

TS: Something that’s not clear to me as you’re speaking is what my relationship is to these 12 different chakras and how that might influence which of the Planes of Light I would naturally go to. You’re saying each of these chakras is connected to one of these Planes of Light, but how’s the relationship in my life—I want to be in a healthy place in all 12 chakras of course, right?

CD: Well, for the most part, I believe our soul is going to go where we need the most help after death. The planes are just a little out of order in the numbering, but let’s not worry about that.

The first plane I call the Plane of Rest. It’s the one that many, many people talk about—who have had near-death experiences. “I died and then I was just in this peaceful place. I was in this garden. I was in this place where I didn’t have to worry about anything or work on anything. I could just be.” That relates to the energy center underneath the ground.

I believe that post-death if we haven’t really enabled ourselves to have enough rest, rehabilitation, we haven’t really experienced the fullness of nature and the restorative powers of nature. This is why it’s not a punishment to go to one of the Lower Planes. That’s where we’re going to go because that’s where we need to be. That’s what’s going to most heal our soul, soothe our soul, assist us from an eternal perspective—not just from a single lifetime perspective.

If we feel like in our lives that’s an area that’s really challenging for us—we’re stuck in a concrete jungle, we don’t get outside, we’re struggling with issues of family of origin, going back. I could go on and on with the list that this tenth chakra relates to, all the way down to what they call the epigenes—a chemical soup around the genes that actually holds our ancestors’ memories.

If we feel like we’re in any way stuck or not really flowing in those kinds of areas, that might be—in life—where we want to focus. Because automatically, Tami, we’ll start to bring in the Plane of Rest. We’ll start to bring in the help, the assistance, the guidance, the higher energies that typically we don’t avail ourselves of until we’re on the other side.

My proposition is, “Wow! Look at the help that we have when we’re dead. It exists right now. What if we were to open to it right now? What if we were to help our ancestors heal us right now? What if we were to send healing to our ancestors right now?”

In essence, we then get to incorporate—and you could even say graduate from—the Plane of Rest while we’re alive. So I really encourage people to look at where they might benefit the most in terms of the match-up between the chakras and the planes and say, “Oh, I really need more healing work.” So that’s where they’re going to focus. Or, “I don’t have enough peace in my life.”

We’re going to be taken to where we need to be. And if I haven’t really achieved a sense of inner peace, I may want to work on the related chakra now. Not work on it in a hard way. Open to the help of that plane so that there can be this sense of fluid mobility and I can feel like I’m being uplifted while I’m opening to learning what peace is and how [I can] incorporate it in my body, mind, and soul.

TS: So we’re taken where we need to grow, not to the plane that we’ve mastered or the level of development that we’ve mastered.

CD: Not to where we have mastered. We tend to have mastered the plane right underneath the one that we’re taken [to]. We tend to go to the one that we’re working on, that we need to work on, that matches up with us in terms of what we’re ready to do, what we’re ready to walk into.

TS: Is your sense that these Planes of Light are places that we stay in the afterlife until we incarnate in a physical body again?

CD: I think so. Yes, I think that’s for the most part what we do. Now we can be like a piano player and go between Planes of Light, right? In between lives, we can go to two or three planes. We can have a great time even returning to one that we’ve already mastered, because there’s something really cool we want to re-experience there. But I do believe that’s we are—that’s where we stay—until we come back. Or we go to ports unknown as well.

It doesn’t mean—for instance, the fourth plane is the Plane of Knowledge. I always picture that [as] this big library—but my house looks like a library. I love books. Knowing me, if I had a choice, no matter what plane I should go work on, I would be going to the Plane of Knowledge. [Laughs.] That’s why I think this system is set up to get beyond people like me who would just keep going to the same place and probably never evolve.

I can easily access knowledge in this lifetime, so that’s what I’ve experienced. Once we’ve saturated ourselves on a plane, it’s time to come back and put that information, the learning, and the wisdom to work. That’s what the Earth Plane is about. We get to see what it means. If we’ve been working on knowledge, let’s put it to some use. Let’s go see what happens with that knowledge interactively in a physical body with people. We tend to return.

Some people, while they’re on a plane, actually turn into guides. So it’s not like there’s just these two choices: OK, we’re dead and on a plane; or, we’re alive and maybe if we know that we can, we’re working on our soul stuff. I believe on many of these planes souls actually can turn into guides for souls on that plane or other planes, or even the living.

Years and years ago, I had six months where I don’t know exactly why, but all of these parents whose children had committed suicide came to see me. I probably worked with 30 to 40 families. It was just that stage of what I was working on. From my perspective—my intuitive perspective—a few of these kids who had committed suicide went to—many of them, I think, went to the Plane of Healing, [the Plane of Rest], et cetera—but they turned around and became guides. They turned around and decided they weren’t being punished. They turned around and started to help the depressed people here—or other kids.

So I think everything on or because of the planes that we go through in life can be turned into something transformative for ourselves or others. Even on a plane, it’s not like we’re locked away. There can be many ways that we so-called master that plane or start to live it out or act it out.

TS: I’m curious, Cyndi, how literally—how concretely—you take your vision of all of this and how much you might see it as somewhat malleable or somewhat metaphorical. How do you really see it—your vision?

CD: I would say that, for me, I take it as about 80 percent I believe it. [Laughs.] I’d put a percentage on it.

TS: I love that. Are you kidding me? You’re speaking in numbers. You’re speaking my language.

CD: Yes, I like numbers. Even when I’m working with a client, every so often I’ll tune in and say, “How accurate is this? Well, it’s like 75 percent. OK, we’re getting there.”

I’d say that about 80 percent of this is accurate. Now, there’s a whole bunch more that there’s no way I probably am capable of perceiving or is going to fit into a book or that I’m supposed to be the person to teach it. This is just what I’m called to teach or share to help the people that it relates to.

I think if there’s anything certain about life or death, the rule book goes out the window—honestly, Tami—because just anything can happen.

I write these books on systems and that’s great. I write books about: here’s the chakra system, here’s the nadi system, here’s this, that, and the other thing. But, I have to tell you, when I’m working with a client, I just wipe all of that stuff from my mind. I just try to connect and say, “What is it I’m supposed to share or know or what’s supposed to happen for this person?”

My mind can go into the systems I’m aware of, the data, the knowledge, or what I know about science, herbs, or Planes of Light. But I don’t really like information to get in the way of obtaining deeper truths, either. So I would always tell somebody, “You don’t have to take this as the gospel. This is a guideline.”

It’s really written more to help people when they’re alive than anything else—to help them get some structure that could be useful for gaining this incredible knowledge that we keep thinking we’re going to get when we’re dead. Why not open to it while we’re alive? Why not literally die while we’re alive? Why not literally take in and saturate ourselves with these levels of consciousness?

TS: OK, I just have one final question for you. I’d love to know what you see as the purpose, if you will, of our soul going through lifetime after lifetime—what you understand as this model of soul evolution.

CD: I think that’s a great question, because I really believe the purpose is joy. I think that we’ve convinced ourselves on a soul level—because we bit the apple of the Tree of Knowledge and now think we have to learn the difference between good and bad, and we have to do karma—I think we’ve convinced ourselves that there have to be all of these steps between where we are and being able to be joyous.

And I don’t mean by the word “joy,” bliss or ecstasy. I don’t mean crazy, out-there joy. I mean simple gratitude, satisfaction, empathy, compassion, connection. There are many, many types of joy and any feeling can grow into some version of joy. So defined that way, I really think it’s about joy.

I think we believe that there’s an awful lot that we have to learn to be in a place of joy or contentment, so then we set about learning it. It’s really interesting to learn how the universe works and how the soul cooks itself. Ultimately, I think it’s about that sense of connected joy.

TS: I’ve been speaking with Cyndi Dale. With Sounds True, she’s released a new book called The Journey After Life: What Happens When We Die/ Also with Sounds True, a book on Energetic Boundaries: How to Stay Protected and Connected in Work, Love, and Life, [as well as] a book called The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy. Cyndi, you’re a prolific author, I might say.

CD: I think so.

TS: And another new book with Sounds True called The Subtle Body Practice Manual, as well as an online course, The Subtle Body Training Course, and an audio series called Advanced Chakra Wisdom.

Cyndi, really I have to say it’s a joy to talk with you. It’s a joy to feel your bubbliness, your excitement, your love of what you do and what you see. I’ve enjoyed it so much. Thank you.

CD: Thank you, Tami. I feel the same way.

TS: Many voices, one journey. Thanks for listening.

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