About

Spiritual Awakenings International

"Bringing us Together"

Raising Awareness • Networking • Sharing

Spiritual Awakenings International’s mission is to spread awareness globally of Spiritually Transformative Experiences.

Aims and Ideals

Spiritual Awakenings International (SAI) is a non-profit worldwide network of individuals and groups who are interested in collaborating to raise awareness, network, and share personal experience relating to diverse types of Spiritually Transformative Experiences, to raise global spiritual awareness. 

The phrase “Spiritually Transformative Experiences” (STEs) was first coined by Dr. Yvonne Kason MD in 1994, in her ground-breaking book, A Farther Shore, and she expanded upon STEs in her later books, Farther Shores (2000), and Touched by the Light: Exploring Spiritually Transformative Experiences  (2019).

STEs  include: Near-Death Experiences (NDEs); mystical experiences; psychic/intuitive experiences of many types; spiritual energy/kundalini awakenings; inspired creativity; other death-related STEs such as deathbed experiences/end-of-life expereiences, death-watch/shared-death experiences, After-Death Communications; and more.  STEs are sometimes referred to as “extraordinary experiences”, “exceptional human experiences”, “spiritual emergence syndrome”, samadhis, siddhis, ascension experiences, and other terms.  

All types of STEs tend to transform experiencers’ values in a more spiritual direction and propel an increased desire to be loving, ethical, and of service to others.

Spiritual Awakenings International recognizes the interconnectedness of diverse types of STEs. An experiencer might have one type of STE as their initial “spiritual awakening” experience, and later find their consciousness more open to other types of STEs. For example a near-death experiencer or kundalini awakening experiencer may later have more psychic/intuitive experiences and mystical experiences.

STE experiencers often feel isolated, misunderstood, might feel they are mentally unstable, and fear being labelled as “crazy” by others.  SAI is striving to build a safe, supportive, and informed community amongst STE experiencers and spiritual seekers, and to increase understanding of STEs worldwide.

Spiritual Awakenings International is multi-faith, multi-cultural, non-aligned, and is open to anyone peacefully seeking a higher understanding.  We promote respectful and supportive dialogue of diverse views and perspectives on STEs.  SAI was previously known as iSee, the International Society for Extraordinary Experiences.

Goals

To raise awareness of STES of all types and our true spiritual nature, and the fact that STEs are a normal and healthy occurrence in human consciousness which often occur as part of a spiritual awakening process.

To facilitate networking globally, building bridges and community between diverse groups and individuals who share an interest in raising awareness of STEs through: regional group meetings; a newsletter calendar of affiliated groups’ events; and by listing affiliated groups websites on the SAI website.

To provide a sharing forum where STE experiencers, counselors, friends, and researchers can share experiences and information in a safe, supportive environment: at local affiliated group meetings; through online events; and at SAI conferences internationally.

writing in the sand
photo by Robert Bare

About the Founders

Yvonne Kason
Yvonne Kason MD​
President
Book cover

Dr. Yvonne Kason MD, MEd, CCFP, FCFP,  is the President and Co-Founder of Spiritual Awakenings International. She is a family physician and transpersonal MD psychotherapist [retired], previously on faculty at the University of Toronto. She is an internationally renowned medical expert on Near-Death Experiences (NDEs) and other Spiritually Transformative Experiences (STEs).  Dr. Kason is the person who first coined the phrase “Spiritually Transformative Experiences”(STE) in 1994, in her book, A Farther Shore.  She has over 40 years experience counseling and researching persons with NDEs and other STEs.

Propelled by a powerful kundalini awakening in 1976, and a mystical white-light Near-Death Experience in a 1979 medevac plane crash, she began to research NDEs and other spiritual experiences. She was greatly influenced by the writings of Gopi Krishna, who she met in India in 1977, and since the 1980s by the writings and yogic teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda.  In 1990 she became the first Canadian medical doctor to specialize her medical practice in the research and counseling of patients with diverse types of STEs.  She has had five Near-Death Experiences herself, two in her childhood and three in her adult life, as well as multiple STEs.

Dr. Yvonne Kason is the Past-President of IANDS, the International Association for Near-Death Studies (2019-2020) and a former IANDS Board member. She is the Co-Leader and Co-Founder (2019) of Toronto Awakenings Sharing Group, and is a member of ACISTE, the American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences.

Dr. Kason has been a pioneer in the field of Spiritually Transformative Experiences for over 40 years. In 1990 Dr. Kason was a Co-Founder and later a long time Board member of the Kundalini Research Network (KRN). She was the Chair of the KRN Questionnaire Project,  with groundbreaking study results published in 2020 in Explore. She was also the Canadian Coordinator of the Spiritual Emergence Network, and in 1992 the Founder of the Spiritual Emergence Research and Referral Clinic in Toronto. In 2000 she Co-Founded the Spirituality in Health-Care Network, and in 2002 she was Chair of the University of Toronto’s first ever conference on Spirituality and Health-Care.

Dr. Yvonne Kason has five published books, her most recent, Touched by the Light: Exploring Spiritually Transformative Experiences, (2019). Dr. Kason has extensive media and public speaking experience worldwide. She has been a keynote speaker at conferences internationally, and has made over 100 professional presentations. Recently, she was the Keynote speaker at the 2018 Chicago conference of the American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences, ACISTE, and an IANDS Keynote speaker at the Vancouver conference in 1999, and a featured plenary speaker at IANDS Philadelphia conference 2019.

Dr. Kason has been an invited guest on many TV talk shows including: The Dr Oz Show (2020), and radio shows including Coast to Coast (2020). Her 1979 plane crash Near-Death Experience was re-enacted on Sightings and in two documentaries.  Dr. Kason gives frequent podcast interviews internationally, and is regularly invited to speak to medical audiences, and to groups and networks interested in STEs around the world.

Dr. Kason retired from the practice of medicine in 2006 for health reasons, a November 2003 Traumatic Brain Injury.   After being disabled from the TBI for over twelve years, she had a “miracle”, a dramatic brain healing experience while deeply meditating on February  24, 2016, a “miracle of brain neuroplasticity and the Grace of God”. Dr. Kason has now resumed writing, public speaking, volunteer work on boards, and giving media interviews about NDEs and STEs.

Dr. Yvonne Kason lives in Toronto, Canada, and enjoys “snowbirding” during the winter months, in Encinitas, California.  She enjoys being a mother and a grandmother.  Dr. Kason has been honored for her groundbreaking and pioneering STE work as an honoree on the Spiritual Awakenings International Circle of Honor

 

 

 

Robert Bare MPA
Vice President
young uniformed Robert Bare
Robert Bare in 1972

Robert Bare MPA is the Vice President and Co-Founder of Spiritual Awakenings International. He attended West Valley College, San Jose State University, the University of California Santa Cruz and The University of San Francisco where he graduated with Bachelor and Masters degrees in Public Administration as well as obtaining two teaching credentials.

His former employment included working for the Santa Cruz Police Department and then joining the California Highway Patrol from 1970 to 1992. His work assignments prior to retirement included South Los Angeles (Watts), East Los Angeles, San Francisco/Oakland (twice) and Santa Cruz (twice). After retiring from law enforcement, he worked a variety of positions: an Adjunct Professor, a General Manager/City Administrator for three communities, the Executive Director of a Community Resource Center, the Tribal Administrator of a Native American Nation and a Staff Executive/Consultant for an International Consulting Company. Additionally, he is still continuing his work career as a grant and technical writer.

He has always volunteered for several community programs. He coached Little League baseball and girls softball, Pony League Baseball, Pop Warner football and American Legion Baseball. Additionally, he coached a women’s fast pitch traveling tournament team for 18 and under girls and was also President for a Pony League in the Santa Cruz area. He attended Professional Umpire School in Florida and umpired baseball at all levels.

He was active in the communities he resided in by serving on the City Planning Commission, a County Drug Free Coalition, and the Commission on Children and Families. He also served on the California Special Districts Board of Directors and the California Special Districts Workers Compensation Board. He received recognition when selected as “Peace Officer of the Year 1976”, and nominated as “Special Districts General Manager of the Year 1997”

Robert is an almost-textbook case of someone whose life and values were forever changed by his NDE. You have to have a tough mentality to be a police officer, and Robert spent more than two decades as a California Highway Patrolman. Robert admits that “I saw lots of death, and I became callous,” he says. Spirituality or religion played little role in his life.

Robert’s near-death experiences shook him to his core. They occurred shortly after he boarded a plane in March, 2009. He had a massive heart attack and was deceased for approximately 45 minutes. His second NDE was for approximately 10 minutes. His NDEs were profiled in the TV show, I SurvivedBeyond and Back, and he was a featured case study by author Debra Diamond in her book,”Life After Near Death”. Robert has also interviewed for an upcoming episode on William Shattner’s show “Unexplained” on the History Channel.

In regards to his NDEs, Robert has said, “Accompanied by loving beings, I gravitated toward a beautiful bright Light,” He recalls. “I saw some colors I had never seen before. I remember being in the presence of a “Higher Power” who talked to me. I had a “life review” and saw everything that I had experienced in my life. He calls the review “the reckoning of my life a humbling experience.” He further emphasized, “I could see everything in my life, but I was also in it, and I could read everyone’s mind. I realized that I could have done better, and I did not want to judge or hurt anyone anymore.”

After taken to a hospital, he had a second NDE this time, floating above the operating room, observing what was transpiring below. This NDE included a pivotal moment: he could hear medical staff talking about him while he was unconscious. Later, the doctors verified that he had indeed heard their conversation. “I’m a different person now,” Robert says after his NDE experiences. “Now I only want to do good in my life.”

Robert currently lives in a home on the beach in Oregon, where he has been a past Commissioner on his Community Planning Commission for 9 years and past President of a local Humane Society. He was nominated as the “Citizen of the Year” twice in different communities and received other community recognition as well. Robert is the past Vice-President of IANDS and also a former IANDS Board member.

Recent Talks

Meet Our Board Members

Linda Truax
Linda Truax
Board Secretary - Treasurer Facilitator Veterans Military and First Responders Program
Linda Truax riding a horse

Linda Truax (height 5 feet), refers to herself as a tall Texan who got cheated but has always driven herself to do just a little more than just be.  She was born a rebel, but raised a Yankee in Massachusetts then educated a redneck at the University of California, Davis.  Military service in the U.S. Army followed allowing her to travel around the United States and one tour in Europe, and she reached the rank of Major. After retirement in 1996 Linda engaged in a childhood dream of having a horse farm in Texas where she had a special Appaloosa mare which earned 2 national titles. 

After dealing with a significant emotional event Linda chose to sell the farm and move elsewhere.  During these trying times she discovered the wealth of comfort shared by the Edgar Cayce Foundation and read many books describing near-death experiences.  After meeting many of the near-death experiencers Linda began seeking deeper understanding of these extraordinary events, and became actively involved in expanding educational programs to expand awareness of all types of spiritually transformative experiences.

Linda returned to Texas, and is currently the go-to person for the local members of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV),   Linda has continued to serve at her local DAV Chapter as Service Officer, Junior Vice Commander, and Commander.  Her service to others also included many years assisting another nonprofit organization in marketing, governance, and education outreach.  On the side, Linda also supports and participates with an equestrian drill team of a local Sheriff’s Posse. 

Why I am excited about SAI? I  see great opportunity in joining SAI to further expand the unified effort to share the reality that each of us are instruments of divinity, here to serve and help others remember we are all one.

diane willis
Diane Willis MM
Past President of iSee
Diane Willis playing a flute

Diane Willis MM,  was born and raised in St. Louis, MO.   It has recently come to light that Diane was most-likely a Near-Death Experiencer before and/or during birth.  As a child, she was always very close to God and church.  She thought churches were little patches of heaven on earth and people went to church every week to get a shot of that special, unconditional Love from the Other Side.  She was aware of seeing and talking to her Guides daily until she was about six years old.  And every night, one of her Guides was with her until she was an adolescent.

She attended Lutheran High School Central in St. Louis.  At age 18, she was one of six girls who won a week-long trip to New York City as a member of Seventeen Magazine’s National Fashion Council.  She then went on to Northwestern University where she received her BM and MM degrees in Music (Flute Performance).  She married and moved to Wilmington, DE, for 10 years, where she raised two sons and had a large class of flute students.  In 1980, she moved back to Evanston, IL, married Tribune Music Critic Thomas Willis, had a daughter and continued teaching flute.

With a group of Chicago area flutists, Diane was on the steering committee, which laid down the foundation for what became The Chicago Flute Club.  Then as the Secretary of the first Board of Directors, she also became Program Chairman and spent several years organizing and presenting the early series of flute presentations by that organization. That gave her the knowledge and experience she needed to be able to subsequently become founder and President of one of the largest IANDS’ organizations in the world:   Chicago International Association for Near-Death Studies (Chicago IANDS), in May 1998. She also served as an IANDS’ Board member in 2003-4.

Her major Spiritually Transformative Experience, which occurred In Spring of 1995, sent her through the tunnel to the Other Side, where she and God had an extended conversation, changing her life 180 degrees, and reconnecting her to her Spirit Guides who started her on an intense spiritual journey which led to her starting Chicago IANDS and much more.   Her Guides have continued to choose speakers and direct the organization (and Diane), with loving care.

In July, 2013, Diane’s  Guides encouraged her to start the International Society for Extraordinary Experiences (iSee).   The organization was formed and incorporated, and although she knew that the primary intention was to include all kinds of spiritual experiences that would help people lose their fear of death, Diane was told only that it wasn’t yet time and she was  given no further information as to how to achieve its purpose until it recently became clear that iSee could be relaunched as Spiritual Awakenings International with almost the same goals.

Diane’s CD, Improvisations From the Other Side, Music for Meditation and Relaxation,  with John Fish, piano, was published in 2003.  It can be listened to on YouTube.com.  Diane Willis has been honored for her groundbreaking STE work as an honoree on the Spiritual Awakenings International Circle of Honor.

Nicole Gruel
Nicole Gruel Ph.D.
Advisory Board Member
woman in bamboo forest

Dr. Nicole Gruel PhD, comes from a long line of samurai and is on a mission to support people in creating optimum wellbeing on all levels—body, mind, spirit, relationships, planet—so they can become the Agents of Awesome they were born to be. Nicole’s books have been featured in leading Australian wellbeing magazines and she’s been published in peer-reviewed academic journals. Her newest book, a finalist in the prestigious INDIES Award, is The Power of NOTEs: How Non-Ordinary Transcendent Experiences Transform The Way We Live, Love, and Lead.

Nicole has a PhD in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology, is a past Board Member of IANDS (International Association for Near Death Studies), Co-Founder of IANDS Sharing Groups Online, Mentor for Life Coaches at ACISTE (American Centre for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences), Gifts Compass™ Advisor and Training Facilitator, past NSW/ACT President of the Australian Association of Psychological Type (AusAPT), certified Counsellor, and certified Life Coach with Strategic Intervention and ACISTE. She has also trained in various healing, movement, and energy psychology modalities. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

Why I’m excited about SAI. It’s an incredible time to be alive on this planet. Never before have more people been reporting awakening experiences of all varieties. Never before has there been such urgency to put one’s gifts into action to co-create a more just, wholesome, sustainable, and connected planet. Never before have we had so much technology and ways to share and implement wisdom. Our spiritually transformative experiences are the secret sauce to our greatest potential — they’re the life-force driving creativity, innovation, love, healing, inspiration, grace and magic. And so, I’m excited to see a greater collective awakening take root in my lifetime. Together we are capable of phenomenal things that we haven’t even skimmed the surface of. To assist people step powerfully on their path towards this end gives me endless joy. Onward we go!

Bonnie Greenwell Ph.D.
Advisory Board Member
Greenwell book cover_6111-1

Dr. Bonnie Greenwell Ph.D. is a transpersonal psychotherapist and non-dual teacher in the lineage of Adyashanti. She has been licensed as a counselor since 1980 in California and later in Oregon, and is a past executive director of the counseling center at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. After 6 years of Jungian analysis, and 15 years of meditation in both yogic and Zen traditions, she awakened kundalini energy while doing breathwork. Her experience was primarily ecstatic, but also encouraged her to continue clearing old patterns through learning several body therapies, Jin Shin Jo, Ashtanga and Kundalini yoga. She fell into more intense meditation practice and chose to research kundalini experiences for her doctoral dissertation. Along the way she traveled to India, and has sat with over a dozen gurus, and matriculated for a summer at the C.G. Jung Institute in Switzerland.

In 1990 Bonnie published her first book: Energies of Transformation: A Guide to the Kundalini Process, and became a founder and director of the Kundalini Research Network (KRN). Since then she has offered lectures and trainings in the US, Australia and Europe, has been interviewed numerous times on you-tube, and published 3 more books about spiritual awakening – The Kundalini Guide, The Awakening Guide and When Spirit Leaps: Navigating the Process of Spiritual Awakening

She met Adyashanti in 2003 and after a deep realization during one of his retreats offered to put together his transcribed talks, and edit them into the book Emptiness Dancing for his sangha.  At that time he invited her to teach and support awakening, which she has done for the past 16 years. In 2010 she established Shanti River Center in Ashland, Oregon to provide non-dual satsang and retreats, but has moved her services more recently to the internet.

Bonnie is married to a retired aerospace executive and has 3 adult children and 8 grandchildren. She currently does kundalini and awakening assessments with those who find her through her websites, and is publishing the Awakened Life newsletter, a compilation of her many writings, guidance on awakening, book reviews, and information about conferences or programs of interest to the awakening community.

You can read more about her work through www.kundaliniguide.com and www.awakeningguide.com and by putting her name in you-tube search, where she has done many interviews.   Her blog is at www.shantiriver.wordpress.com

Why I’m excited about SAI. I am excited to be part of SAI in an advisory capacity after my long association with Dr. Yvonne Kason in KRN. My work has been primarily to support and encourage people in an awakening process, and to promote an understanding of the phenomena that arise, and the evolutionary potential inherent in all us, through the awakening of kundalini and consciousness experienced by spiritual seekers. I have found that most medical professionals, meditation and yoga teachers, and many others in a position to advise people who are awakening, understand little about the process until it happens to them. It is not a paradigm supported in any medical or therapeutic trainings, and so practitioners are unable to recognize the experience, leading to confusion and distress for many experiencers.

Those who know this experience have been working for over 30 years to spread knowledge of this process, and I am hoping SAI will bring it to the forefront of understanding, offering comfort to many who have life-changing, transformative awakenings in their lives.

Judith Miller Ph.D.
Advisory Board Member
Judith Miller group breathwoek photo
Judith with Breathwork Group

Dr. Judith Miller Ph.D.  is a professor of clinical and developmental psychology at Columbia University for twenty years, past instructor at Union Theological Seminary in NYC, and has spent her life and career bridging the two worlds of mainstream psychology and spirituality. The courses she teach emphasize psycho-spiritual development, the commonalities of all spiritual traditions, the stages of traveling a spiritual path, and understanding and working with spiritual emergencies.

Dr. Miller has taken her work to all corners of the world – into fundamentally different countries and cultures – and has closely interacted with many individuals from different religious and spiritual traditions. Her focus is how all people can make a direct connection with the higher power, the God force – without the mediation of institutions and external authorities.

In addition to her teaching, she is a licensed psychologist and works as a psychotherapist and spiritual teacher. She supports and guides people individually through their psycho-spiritual processes, and for the past thirty years, she facilitates Holotropic Breathwork retreats, workshops, and certified Breathwork training programs for groups in the US, China, S. Korea, Europe, and the Middle East.

For approximately fifteen years, she worked in Germany with adult children and grandchildren of Nazis and Jews, who continue to suffer guilt, shame, and anger some seventy years after the Holocaust of WW 2. That work focused on collective generational trauma, and emphasized spiritual evolution. In the book “Barefoot on Holy Ground: Twelve Lessons in Spiritual Craftmanship” (2001), author Gloria Karpinski, named Judith Miller as one of twelve modern-day disciples who exemplify the ripening of spiritual inquiry in the 21st century for her work with German and Jews.

Dr. Miller is a popular speaker who has given hundreds of presentations and lectures to lay and professional audiences around the world, and has published many articles on spiritual psychology in both peer-reviewed and popular magazines and journals. She is the author of “Direct Connection: Transformation of Consciousness, which was the winner of the 2001 Independent Publishers Book Award (Rutledge Books, 2000), also published in Germany in 2007; and author of “Healing the Western Soul“ (Paragon House, 2015), also published in Germany and Italy in 2017.

Dr. Miller is listed in Who’s Who in the World; has been a long-time professional member of Spiritual Emergence Network; is the first American to be certified as a Transpersonal Psychotherapist by the European Transpersonal Association (Eurotas) in Barcelona, Spain in 2007; was a founding director and faculty member of the International Institute for Exploration of Consciousness and Psychotherapy in Wittnau, Germany (2014-2019); a past Advisory Board member Of the American Center for Spiritually Transformative Experiences (ACISTE); a past Board member of Kundalini Research Network (KRN), past president of Delaware Valley Chapter of International Association of Near-Death Studies (IANDS}; past Board member of national (IANDS); past Board member of Gheel Mental Health Center; past Board member of Transitional Residential Treatment Center, and past Board Member of Guidance Center of NJ.  Dr. Miller’s website is: www.drjudithmiller.com

Why I’m Excited about SAI?

I am honored to have been invited to be on the Advisory Board of Spiritual Awakenings International.  I believe SAI is an organization like no other – and that it is needed today more than ever. The consciousness of the world is exploding in unprecedented ways – particularly in the last year. People around the world are yearning for meaning during times of chaos, division, and meaninglessness.  I believe that the founders and active subscribers of SAI are serious life-long seekers and very strong (yet humble) spiritual leaders who have come together solely to make our world a more loving, compassionate, and caring place – today, and in the years to come.  In a short six months after the launching of SAI, its subscribers exploded to 1000 people from 45 different countries. Clearly, this is a rare occurrence. For me, this demonstrates that a divine energy is leading the way.

Tamara Caulder Richardson
Advisory Board Member
SAI seeking_heaven_zoom_promo_banner

Tamara Caulder Richardson is a 6X Near-Death Experiencer and Multiple Spiritually Transformative Experiencer, Christ Channeler, Christian Minister, Mystic Seer, and an International Evidential Medium, known as; The Southern Belle Medium®.  Tamara earned a B.A. in Communication Arts and Marketing from East Carolina. For 27-years she owned and operated her advertising agency, Caulder Design Communications in Charlotte, NC. As the creative director of her agency, Tamara and her staff offered creative marketing strategies to regional and Fortune 500 clients. Tamara is a trained visual designer, copywriter, branding expert and marketing strategist.

Tamara’s Six NDEs and Aftereffects: Tamara  was born in the foothills of Hickory, North Carolina. She is of Cherokee and German-Swedish  descent and was born with the gift of “sight”. Tamara believes that her NDEs have enhanced her ability to see into hidden realms. At three years old, she had a nail go into her head and saw beings of light, as her angel “Uriel”, the Fire of God, healed her head. She saw and communicated with spirit people from that point on. At age four she had an NDE from a car crash where she experienced traveling through a dark tunnel and saw Jesus who told her she had to return. Upon coming back she saw between dimensions and was bi-locational. After that NDE, she could go out-of-body and remote view at will. Then at five years old, “the big one”, Tamara was DOA for 15-minutes. She remembers going to Heaven with Christ where she spent three days with him, while her body lay in an induced coma and a breathing tent. When she awoke, Christ still talked to her and taught her many spiritual things – and still does.

 As a young teen, Tamara would go to the school library and read about Edgar Cayce’s gifts, which made her feel “normal.” She kept quiet most of her life that she could see angels, demons, ghosts, and, loving spirit people, in fear of what others may think of her.  In 2018, Tamara was excited to be invited to be a Keynote Speaker for the Edgar Cayce Center, for a “Day of Evidential Mediumship” at the 2018 Psychic Conference, where she taught mediumship and then gave a medium demonstration that included an example of Tamara speaking unknown foreign languages, that the sitter understood. Tamara still has a special love for Edgar Cayce.

Tamara is currently writing about her NDEs and her life in her first book, “Love from Heaven – My Six Near-Death Experiences, the Gifts I Received and the Wisdom I Learned.”

Later as an adult, Tamara decided to use her spiritual gifts and mediumship to let others know Heaven is real and help with loving messages. Tamara trained for eight years in the British Style of Evidential Mediumship with International mediums and authors; John Holland, Janet Nohavec, Tony Stockwell and certified as an Advanced Psychic Medium by Lisa Williams. Tamara currently does medium stage shows for women’s expos, like the Southern Women’s Shows, at city convention centers before large audiences.  Tamara spoke at the IANDS 2015 Conference with Robert Scott Bell, a syndicated radio host. Since then, Tamara has participated in many IANDS conferences. In 2017, Tamara started the Charlotte Chapter of IANDS. She is also a founding member, marketer (website, brochures), and facilitator for IANDS ISGO, online sharing groups.

Today, Tamara is the host of the popular YouTube Channel,  Seeking Heaven: The Near-Death Experience and Other Phenomena,  a spiritual talk show that was created “by and for” other NDErs and STErs, and truth seekers, to create a loving soul community. Tamara also has a YouTube Christ Channeled site:  Academy of Love: Jesus Speaks .

As a spiritual teacher, Tamara understands the transition from life to death. We ARE a spirit, and we ARE the Soul that lives a life in a body and then moves on to the teaching and learnings on the other side. Tamara is directed by God and Christ. As a daily routine, she prays to God with thankfulness. Tamara is also an ordained Christian minister and a devoted follower of Jesus Christ.  Tamara lives in Charlotte, North Carolina (USA) with her loving and devoted husband Clay of 33 years. They are parents of two Shih Tzu furry babies; “Abbey, and Tucker.”

Tamara Caulder Richardson’s sites: www.southernbellemedium.comwww.christacademyoflove.com . www.seekingheavenshow.com
Tamara’s Near-Death Experience Story (videos):
https://www.southernbellemedium.com/my-near-death-story

Why I am excited about SAI:

When I interviewed Dr. Yvonne Kason this year as a guest on my YouTube channel, “Seeking Heaven: The Near-Death Experience and Other Phenomena,” we both discovered that our mission was almost identical… to offer a safe platform “by and for” NDErs and STErs, and to build and loving soul community. We also agreed that so many near-death experiencer’s voices get lost among other organizations that are not experiencers. Also, we both felt the topic of spirituality and spiritual awakenings are much more vast a subject than just the phenomena of NDEs.

I am excited about bringing my spiritual gifts, passion and drive, creativity, organizational skills, marketing communications, branding, entrepreneurship, and event expertise, to the SAI team.  I am happy to have found my soul family and looking forward to us growing and learning together on this spiritual journey called – life.

John Sphar
Advisory Board Member
SAI John Sphar photo-for-yvonne-bailey-biketrailer

John Sphar was born in San Jose and lived there until late 2020 when he and his wife of forty years moved to Littleton, Colorado. John retired in 2017 after more than three decades operating a local/wide area networking business. Prior to that John was a microwave engineer at a company that was eventually bought by Hewlett Packard in Santa Clara. John and Mieke have three married children and three grandchildren and currently enjoy exploring the Southwestern United States.

In school John was active in a few sports, but baseball (behind the plate) and Greco-Roman wrestling (often supine) were his favorite. John spent 4 years in the US Air Force specializing in the integrated avionics systems of fighter aircraft at the USAF Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB, California. Outside of that work, he formed a civilian sport parachute club on the base and while he was there, trained dozens of people how to skydive. He continued jumping as a civilian and by the time he discontinued the sport he had compiled several hundred jumps.

John served as a state-licensed long-term care ombudsman for many years. He advocated for nursing home residents who had no family and who were on public assistance. It was a rewarding job as he saved many residents from getting discharged to the streets against their will.

Like many others interested in Spiritually Transformative Experiences, John learned about the Near-Death Experience by reading Life After Life. He saw how the book helped his mother through her difficult end-of-life issues and became focused on the possibility of the existence of an afterlife. He read everything he could get his hands on regarding the afterlife. Years later he formed South Bay IANDS, a 501(c)(3) organization, affiliated with the International Association for Near-Death Studies. His personal mission became trying to alleviate the fear of death in as many people as possible. The contacts he has made since forming the group have transformed John, who is not a transformative experiencer of any type.  He cannot consciously hear his spirit guides or the Universe, but he thinks he knows what they are telling him. He has transformed the old-fashioned way.

Why I am excited about SAI:

While learning about the Near-Death Experience, I noticed several other phenomena, qualitatively different than the NDE, that seemed to show evidence of a place with intelligence and consciousness poking through into our domain. Some people would see ghosts. Others would hear disembodied voices. What was going on? Eventually I had to assume that because all of these exciting phenomena have a similar character, they must be a part of the same mega phenomenon. After many years of exposure to gifted folks, I discovered that my hunch was correct. The mega phenomenon of an afterlife and of nonlocal consciousness is indeed the fuel on which the Universe operates. Today, research is being conducted under that foundational assumption.

Spiritual Awakenings International (SAI) brings STE Experiencers, experts, and their knowledge together in one place so that the seeker can come to their own understanding much more quickly. For those undergoing the awakening process (discovering true self), and for those who have been students of STEs for a while, SAI provides a place for even higher elevation of consciousness. SAI attracts experts from the various fields of the study of non-local consciousness so that they can contribute to the wealth of knowledge in our shared area of interest. It is a forum without any essential predefined doctrines except courtesy and decorum. It is a place of unlimited possibilities.

 

History of SAI

Dr. Yvonne Kason MD— Why I Co-Founded Spiritual Awakenings International

For many years I thought it important that an international organization be created to raise awareness about the whole range of Spiritually Transformative Experiences (STEs) that are happening to people today.  I saw that many organizations today focus exclusively or primarily on only one type of STE. 

But my observation of STE Experiencers I counseled over the years and in my own spiritual awakening process is that following the awakening STE,  the Experiencer usually goes on with time to start having multiple types of STEs repeatedly, most commonly diverse types of psychic or intuitive experiences.  I therefore came to think that diverse STEs are somehow interconnected, and we needed to look at all STEs together and examine their relationship. 

As a multiple STE experiencer myself, I am also acutely aware of how difficult it is to find a safe place to share the stories of one’s own STEs.  Too often doctors, friends, family, or counselors may incorrectly label STEs as “imagination”, a hallucination, or a sign of mental illness. 

For over 30 years now I have been advocating for STE Experiencers, and loudly stating “STEs are real!  They are not a sign of mental illness.”    Then, in the last few years I felt strongly called by Spirit to provide a “safe space” for STE Experiencers, to share what I have learned about STEs with the global community, as well as to bring diverse groups together for dialogue to deepen our understanding.  Now, the launch of Spiritual Awakenings International is a beautiful realization of this vision.  I am delighted and grateful to play my part in the birth of SAI!

Robert Bare — Why I Co-Founded Spiritual Awakenings International

As someone who on March 22, 2009 has been deceased and revived, my life forever changed. As an “NDE Experiencer”, I had difficulty understanding what really happened to me when I was deceased, and all the emotional upheaval that as a result affected me in everyday living. I had no idea if I was normal, and if anyone else had ever experienced what I did.

At first, I could not discuss my 2009 NDE with anyone, including family and friends. Usually, someone had to engage me in the conversation regarding my NDE, and even then I was very guarded in what I discussed or said. Years later, after being interviewed for the TV show “I Survived Beyond and Back“, I met with the show producer and asked her what others like me had told her. It was nice to hear her tell me that what I experienced was not unusual.  Then I just dropped the topic and tried to not think about it, which was not possible.

After the TV show aired, I started to get invitations to speak to different groups about my NDE. After speaking to an Arizona IANDS group, a person queried me about my corporate skill set. One thing led to another and he asked me if I wanted to become an IANDS Board member. After thinking about it, I agreed, and later was selected as a Board Director in February 2019. My corporate skillset was something that I felt I could contribute to IANDS and I did my best to work hard to help the organization.

It didn’t take too long for me to think about the direction of the Board, its mission, and objectives. In July, 2019, I had a long conversation with fellow IANDS Board member, Dr. Yvonne Kason.  Yvonne had been nominated to run for the IANDS President, and she had called to ask me if I would want to run as a “slate” with her as the Vice President nominee. We discovered we were like-minded, and I knew my corporate skillset was needed for the organization.  I accepted her invitation. We started to talk about our values and visions, and we both expressed an interest in possibly starting another non-profit group, that would bring everyone together, and addressed both NDE and STE experiencers concerns.  I subsequently had several discussions with Yvonne about our multiple NDE and STE experiences. One of the items we repeatedly toyed with was the concept of starting another nonprofit that could be a global organization, and would address the needs of diverse STE “experiencers”. In one conversation with her in August 2019, she coined the name “Spiritual Awakenings International – SAI” and I immediately thought that this was possible.

Yvonne and I were subsequently elected as President and Vice President of IANDS and Linda Truax was the Secretary. We became Executive Committee colleagues and worked hard in our positions on the IANDS Board. Occasionally, I would bring up “SAI” to Yvonne and we would leave it for a future project if it were to materialize. Then came my 72nd birthday on March 21st and the 11th anniversary of my NDE on March 22nd. At this stage in my life, I don’t think about putting things off and the more I thought of “SAI”, the more I wanted to do it.

On March 27th, 2020, I submitted my resignation as Vice President of the IANDS Board and that same day secured the Corporate Registry name of “Spiritual Awakenings International” and the domain of “www.spiritualawakeningsinternational.org” intending on starting this new nonprofit. I decided to devote all my skillset to create something new that would become global. Yvonne Kason had decided to resign from the IANDS Board that same day. Linda Truax’s term on the IANDS board had finished end of February.  The succession of events culminated with the former Executive Committee of IANDS (President, Vice President, and Secretary) all assuming the same leadership roles in Spiritual Awakenings International: Yvonne Kason as President; Linda Truax as Secretary; and myself as Vice President.

I have felt strongly called to start this organization with these trusted colleagues. Additionally, Diane Willis of Chicago IANDS and Nicole Gruel of “Agents of Awesome” from Sydney, Australia are now involved. Nicole and Diane are also former Board members of IANDS.

Spiritual Awakenings International is being created to raise awareness about the whole range of Spiritually Transformative Experiences and not just one type of STE. We are creating this organization to bring diverse groups together for dialogue to deepen our understanding of all these types of experiences. As of this writing, SAI is expanding rapidly worldwide, with several groups and individuals in all parts of the world affiliating with SAI.

The launching of “Spiritual Awakenings International “-“SAI” is the realization of a vision created by its founders.  We are grateful for the opportunity to bring the organization into reality to benefit all who desire and need its resources and networking. I hope you will join us and share with us in this worldwide endeavor.

Diane WIllis - Why I founded iSee and came to Spiritual Awakenings International

In April, 1995, I had an intense STE (Spiritually Transformative Experience).   It was very much like a NDE, but I didn’t die.  At first, I had no idea what had happened to me.   It was before the internet was available for research, so I scoured the Library, looking for answers.   The closest I could come to an answer was information about the Kundalini Awakening. 

After my STE, my Guides became active in my life.  During my STE, I was told that my mission in life was to help people lose their fear of death.   I wasn’t told how I would do it, but I was definitely told that was what I was to do. 
 
Six months later, my guides sent me to Cairo, Egypt, on three days notice.  While in Egypt, I met the leader of Seattle IANDS, Kimberly Clark Sharp, and learned about IANDS.  Upon returning home, I began to be guided to start Chicago IANDS, and unlike the national IANDS’ organization, which focused only on those who had physically “died”, I was guided to include others who could help people understand that death was nothing to fear. 
 
They gave me all the information I needed to start Chicago IANDS in May 1998.   I had everything so completely in place for the first meeting, that today, 22 years later, we are still doing things in much the same successful way.
 
After about eight years, my guides began to introduce me to the idea of another organization.  They talked about how this new organization would include all kinds of experiences which would help people expand their knowledge to help understand Spirit from a larger perspective. It would be called The International Society for Extraordinary Experiences. (iSee)
 
Being the obedient girl that I am, I immediately started putting iSee together.  It was incorporated in Illinois as a Not-for-Profit Corporation in July, 2013.   But unlike Chicago IANDS, my guides didn’t tell me what to do with it.   When I asked, I was told that it wasn’t time yet.   So it sat there until recently, when Yvonne Kason, MD, came to speak at Chicago IANDS in December 2019.
 
While she was here, we began discussing how it would be good to have an organization which would include all types of experiences, and she began to tell me her thoughts about Spiritual Awakenings International…and I told her my thoughts about iSee.  It seemed a natural pairing.   So we got together with Chicago IANDS’ lawyer, Frank VanderPloeg, and changed the name of iSee, and agreed that we could profitably join forces to create a new organization, Spiritual Awakenings International, Inc.
 
We are hoping that this exciting new venture will lead the way to helping people not only lose their fear of death, but also help them to understand the importance of loving communication between all people of the world, and to bring new insights and understanding about life on earth and beyond.