Experiencing Heaven on Earth

By Anita Moorjani on Monday March 11th, 2019

Image: Angello Pro

Lessons from My Deathbed

When I was born into this world
The only things I knew were to love, laugh, and shine my light brightly.
Then as I grew, people told me to stop laughing.
“Take life seriously,” they said,
“If you want to get ahead in this world.”
So I stopped laughing.
People told me, “Be careful who you love
If you don’t want your heart broken.”
So I stopped loving.
They said, “Don’t shine your light so bright
As it draws too much attention onto you.”
So I stopped shining
And became small
And withered
And died
Only to learn upon death
That all that matters in life
Is to love, laugh, and shine our light brightly!
—Anita Moorjani

What if you were suddenly to realize that this is heaven (or nirvana)—this physical life we are living right now? I know it sounds crazy, and I can sense some of you thinking, “If this is heaven, then why does it feel like hell to me?” And I hear you. It sure felt like that to me when I was being bullied as a child; taunted and discriminated against for the color of my skin and my family origin—things I had no control over. And it certainly felt like hell again when I was going through cancer, being in constant pain and fear for all those years. But play along with me for a bit.

What if the reason my life felt like hell all that time was because I didn’t know how powerful I was, or what I was capable of doing? After all, no one ever taught me how life worked, and we aren’t born with an instruction manual. Life truly was a struggle for me, and I lived in immense fear well into adulthood. I believed that life happens to us and that I was a victim, so I was always reacting to my life circumstances instead of creating them. Who would create a childhood of bullying and discrimination that would leave her with such horrible low self-esteem? Who would choose to be born as a woman into a culture that still believes women are inferior to men? Who would create cancer in her own body—cancer that would nearly kill her? Of course, I was a victim of my circumstances, or so I thought—until I died.

Finding heaven on EarthLife should feel like heaven on Earth, not hell. Image: Lily Banse

The Day I Died

Much of my life story and my near death experience is chronicled in my first book, Dying to Be Me. One of the most striking insights my near-death-experience (NDE) gave me was that this life—the life we are all living now on Earth—could become a heaven for us if we simply understood how it worked and what we needed to do to create that heaven as our reality. A major reason why I chose to return to this life during my NDE was because I understood that heaven is a state and not a place, and I wanted to experience, firsthand, the heaven that this life could actually be. I wanted to live out the amazing truth of this reality and transform the life of fear and dread and heartache that I had previously experienced. I wanted to live in heaven, here and now. When I was in the NDE state, this all seemed so clear, so easy. But as I tried to integrate my newly realized insights and apply them to my life after my NDE, I kept running into roadblocks, particularly when I tried to connect or interact with other people. The response to my book was overwhelming, but no matter how many people I spoke to, how many letters I answered, it was never enough. There were always more that I couldn’t respond to. I was feeling both people’s suffering and, at the same time, my own pain for not being able to help them all.

I always felt that answers came to me whenever I was in nature, whether those answers came through the whispers of the wind, the sound of the water, or the rustle of the tree branches and leaves. So as I sat there on the sand one day, looking out toward the sea and the sky, I spoke silently to the universe.

“I came back from death,” I said. “Now what? This is heartbreaking for me. How am I supposed to be of help to all these people—and to myself—from the perspective of my puny physical being? If I had stayed in the NDE realm, maybe I could have helped a greater number of people. But all I feel is heartache for every person I can’t help!”

Listen to the voice within youI went into nature and spoke silently to the universe. And she answered. Image: Allef Vinicius

Tears streamed down my face as I surrendered to the universe, questioning why I had come back. Why was I having to endure this heartache? And why was our world filled with so much of that pain? Then, out of nowhere, I heard a whisper—not a real voice, but one that seemed to come from the sound of the waves in the sea, a sound that resonated in my heart.

“What was the main message you learned from your near-death experience,” the whisper asked, “the message you wrote about in your first book?”

“To love myself unconditionally,” I answered. “And to be as much myself as I can be. To shine my light as brightly as I can.”

“And that is all you need to do or be. Nothing more. Just love yourself unconditionally, always, and be who you are.”

“But we live in a world that does not support thinking or feeling this way. It’s as though this world is much more a hell than a heaven,” I challenged the invisible voice as I watched the waves crashing against the rocks at the far end of the beach. “People all around me are facing so many challenges every day, and I don’t know how I can help them by loving myself!”

“When you love yourself and know your true worth, there is nothing you cannot do or heal. You yourself learned this when you defied all medical knowledge and healed end-stage cancer. The cancer healed when you became aware of your worth.”

This was absolutely true. Until I got lymphoma, I had lived a life filled with fear, but learning to love myself saved my life. It sounded so simple, yet why was it so difficult to convey this to others who were struggling? And why had it been so easy for me to lose this understanding once I attained it?

Love yourself unconditionally“Just love yourself unconditionally, always, and be who you are.” Image: Adrian Fernández

“Remember, your only work is to love yourself, value yourself, and embody this truth of self-worth and self-love so that you can be love in action. That is true service, to yourself and to those who surround you. Realizing how loved and valued you are is what healed your cancer. This same knowledge is what will help you to create a life of heaven here on Earth. You are serving no one when you get lost in the problems of the world. So the only question you need to ask yourself when you are feeling defeated or lost is, Where am I not loving myself? How can I value myself more?

Returning to the Truth

Although this was exactly what I had learned in my NDE, and it was indeed what had healed me, it seemed that I had forgotten. I had lost myself in everyone else’s pain, and now I was dumbstruck by the intensity of what had just happened. This experience clearly revealed how easy it is for us to lose focus on our true purpose and to get caught up in the web of dramas we weave, in order to justify our existence. I now understood that this is what happens to us once we immerse ourselves in the dominant beliefs of our surrounding culture.

I believe we are born knowing the truth of who we are. But we reject this knowledge as we grow up and try to fit in and conform to society, conditioning ourselves to its norms. We learn to look outside ourselves for guidance, and in doing so, we take on other people’s expectations for us. Then when we can’t live up to all these external expectations, we feel inadequate and flawed.

This means that as we navigate through life, the beliefs making up the very foundation that our personal values are based on are all untrue! So no matter how many self-development workshops we take or how many self-help books we read, we still keep going outside ourselves for answers. Not only does this not serve us, it also actually holds us back! Nothing can change these destructive patterns until we break open the myths and reveal the lies that have been informing our thoughts and beliefs. There are ten common myths and most of us have accepted these as truths. We need instead to consider a more universal truth.

Live your truth and no one else'sWe take on other people’s expectations which makes us feel unhappy and inadequate. Image: Pablo Hermosa

Myth 1: You Get What You Deserve

Consider these truths instead: No matter what people think or say about each other, we are all worthy of being loved unconditionally, just for being who we are. We don’t have to earn love—it is our birthright. In the other realm, each of us is recognized as a beautiful, magnificent, and powerful creation of the universe—unique, special, and valued in every way.

Myth 2: Loving Yourself is Selfish

Consider these truths instead: Because we cannot give what we do not have, loving ourselves is absolutely necessary before we can truly love anyone else. (For example, we cannot love our neighbor as ourselves if we do not first love ourselves.)

The more we love ourselves, the more love we will have to give others because love grows exponentially (we can’t use up the love we feel). If we are all expressions of God/Universal Energy/Creation, then not loving ourselves would be the same as saying that God/Universal Energy/Creation is not worth loving.

Myth 3: Real Love Means Anything Goes

Consider these truths instead: You can’t love another unconditionally until you love yourself unconditionally, and when you truly do achieve that, you will never allow anyone to use you or abuse you. A relationship that does not involve pure acceptance for both people, by both people, cannot benefit either person. Authentic unconditional love means wanting for another what that person wants for themselves and allowing that person to be who they truly are—even if it requires setting them free—instead of expecting them to change to fit our ideas of who we want them to be. Relationships based on unconditional love are freeing because those couples choose to be together, rather than stay together because they feel trapped by fear, obligation, or manipulation.

Myth 4: I’m Not Okay, You’re Not Okay

Consider these truths instead: We are born perfect in every way. We are already everything that we are trying to become. Although we may have temporarily forgotten who we are, we are not broken in any way! The challenges in our lives are not an indication that there’s anything wrong with us; instead, they’re merely part of the journey back to ourselves.

We are all born perfectWe are all born perfect. Image: Filip Mroz

Myth 5: Health Care Cares for Our Health

Doctors and other health-care professionals can give us information about our physical condition and what our options are, but we are responsible for accessing our guidance and deciding on the best course of action. Poor health is not only a medical issue; the causes can also be rooted in our mental, emotional, or spiritual state—as well as in our environment. We are not victims of illness because illness and disease do not happen in a vacuum; we can do much to improve our health on many levels. Illness is a teacher—and often a wake-up call—that shows us a better path. It’s not an evil that must be destroyed, the consequence of bad karma, or the result of negative thinking. Even death itself is not our enemy. Choosing to see the gifts or messages in illness, instead of viewing illness as a curse, empowers us (and may very well improve the outcome of an illness).

Myth 6: It’s Just a Coincidence

Consider these possible truths instead: We are part of one big, cosmic whole, intricately connected in ways we can’t see and can’t even imagine in the physical realms. If we are all connected, then whatever harms another also harms us, and whatever helps another also helps us. If we could see this physical world from that connected state of non-duality, we would see that everything that happens is perfect just as it is, even if it doesn’t seem that way from our more limited earthly perspective.

Myth 7: We Pay for Our Sins at Death

Consider these possible truths instead: In the other realm, only unconditional love and compassion for each of us exists, with no judgment or punishment for what we did or didn’t do on Earth. (This includes those who have committed what are considered in the world of duality to be egregious acts, including suicide or even murder.) Our infinite selves—who we are on the other side—are completely devoid of any part of our physical-world identity (such as our race, gender, culture, or religion). We do not take those elements with us, nor would we want to! When we are in the other realm, we feel no pain, anger, guilt, fear, or judgment. We feel only total understanding, complete acceptance, unconditional love, and the joyous ecstasy of union with the divine nature of all that is.

We are all connectedWe’re all connected. Whatever harms or helps another, also harms or helps us. Image: Ryoji Iwata

Myth 8: Spiritual People Don’t Have Egos

Consider these possible truths: The ego is not our enemy, and we don’t need to overcome it; the ego is necessary for survival in the physical world. We choose to come into the physical realm to experience separation and duality with all the rich, contrasting qualities that make up reality here; without the ego, this experience would be impossible. We are born predisposed to have both a healthy ego and a healthy sense of conscious awareness. Loving ourselves is not being egotistical; it’s absolutely vital to our optimal health and happiness. The more we love ourselves and embrace our ego, the easier it becomes for us to see ourselves beyond our ego and to become aware of our infinite selves.

Myth 9: Women are the Weaker Sex

Consider these possible truths: Neither gender is superior to or inferior to the other—each has important qualities that are needed to make a complete and balanced whole. That whole is not only much greater than the sum of its individual parts but much grander than we can possibly comprehend. In the spirit realm, we have no physical bodies and so gender does not exist. We are all equal, and we are all equally powerful.

Myth 10: We Must Always be Positive

Consider these possible truths: We can’t control having negative thoughts, so trying to push them away doesn’t make them disappear; at most, this just buries them temporarily. It’s okay to feel pain, anger, sadness, frustration, fear, and so on. They’re a natural part of who we are as human beings. Experiencing so-called negative emotions does not mean that we have failed or that we are not spiritual enough. Embracing pain gives us an opportunity to see its gifts (which can only appear once we arrive on the other side of the pain). Negative thoughts don’t make us sick; not loving ourselves for who we truly are has a much greater effect on our health.

One day, we will all transcend this physical plane into the infinite realm of the afterlife, and while many fear what lies beyond, crossing over is actually the easy part. Let me assure you that there is nothing to fear beyond the veil. Our true challenge is in trying to live a life of expansion, liberation, love, and joy here on the physical plane.

This article is an edited excerpt from Anita Moorjani’s book, What If This Is Heaven? published by Hay House, reprinted here with permission.

How do you feel about this article? Join the conversation.

Words By Anita Moorjani

Speaker, Author and Spiritual Teacher



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50 Responses to Experiencing Heaven on Earth

  1. The title of this article caught my attention as it reminded me of something my son said to me one morning as he woke. He said he had a strange dream that seemed very real. He was shown different scenes on earth such as mountains, oceans and forests. They were all beautiful visions and a voice spoke to him and said “Look for heaven on earth”. He was only about 10 years old at the time and has since grown to be a very special teacher and medical science researcher, not to mention one of the finest fathers and husbands I have ever seen. I just felt compelled to comment.

  2. I love this Website. I’m trying to sign up but can’t. could you get back with me? Send me e-mails if you can

    • Thank you William, we’re so glad to hear that. Sorry it took us a while to get back to you (we are a very small team!), did you manage to sign up? Let me know if not and I’ll look into it 🙂

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  3. This is beautiful. And empowering. And realistic. This is so awesome. Such a great perspective to view the world and ourselves in.

  4. Thank you what an amazing story. I loved it ❤️ I had lost the post and it has taken me all day to recover it.

  5. I have read both of Anita’s brilliant books they really spoke to me. The day Anita”died” was the exact day Feb 2nd 2006 that my only brother died of Cancer and I felt an immediate connection with Anita. I remember her saying we are all connected in one way or another and I know she has a job that God wants her to do here on earth. She is communicating this message to so many. There is no fear in death. How liberating is that. Thankyou Anita God bless you always x

    • Wow, how beautiful Jeanne! Thank you for sharing your resonance with Anita. Her story is amazing and comforting, I agree.

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  7. such a amazing story thanks for sharing with us. Your article is very interesting to read. you are doing a great job. Thanks for the information.
    I just want to say that your article is so amazing. I love the useful information you provide for your articles.

  8. Thank you. Once in a while, in a blue sky, there is a white cloud of such gentle depth that the absorbing light tinges it pink, and we stare in gratitude. You are such a one. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Have read both her books, recommended by a spiritual, astute friend. I work on her 2nd book. It so right and good,in every way. Wonderful insights. I too have recovered from lymphoma cancer and have needed such a great mentor as Anita. Thanks for putting this out.Patrice.

  10. Anita Moorjani
    This is one of the most important posts I have ever seen. I am at full stop, inhaling, consuming, and receiving the message. It is not new, but perhaps it is timely, and well-written, and the essence about which we all need to hear most intimately. I bow.

  11. Well done. I have followed many works of NDE/LDE including Raymond Moody. Being spiritual is hard to remember to keep it in our faces. Meditation has been my key. I learned I develop an ego for the first 21 years of life then spend the next 60 trying to get rid of it. I endeavor to always love, remember experiences like yours and just love myself and others. That seems to be the easiest and yet the hardest to do while “living a life.” Thank you for sharing.

  12. i dont get it… love myself??? i [first] love myself[second] are there two of me??? the i is one and myself is the second me ??? …. also my[something i possess self] ….. who is loving the myself ???… the myself is being loved ?????

    • Just as we have different levels of consciousness within us – two of which are the conscious and the subconscious – the self continues to engage without full awareness of those things in the early past of childhood that influence our choices including how we really feel about ourselves. For instance, when we are awake we are considered conscious, but when we sleep or dream our consciousness changes and we don’t have a conscious memory during that time except for sometimes when we recall a dream but often the dream doesn’t make sense to us once awake. Our task if you will, is to become more aware of those things in our life that don’t serve us well. To take responsibility about how we respond and feel about those things. Listening to how your body feels is a good first step. I find my stomach is a good indicator of where I need to be more aware that something going on that isn’t serving me well. If I continue to involve myself in the exact same way to those situations, I’m not being loving to myself.

  13. To Rose
    I am 78. I don’t believe age is an issue, really. I don’t love myself unconditionally yet, but I’m learning to forgive and to bring the same compassion to myself that I give to others. Don’t give up on yourself.

  14. Thank you for your insightful article. I understand the process intellectual however, how do I even begin to love myself at age 70 when I have never loved myself. I have no foundation on which to build.

    • One day at a time.. Everyday start small and say something kind to yourself and after a couple of days add something new and look in the mirror and tell yourself those things. You are worthy, you are loved, you have purpose 🙂

  15. Thank you so much for sharing your story Anita.

    I have also experienced, years ago, what I can best describe as a close encounter with the Divine (Universal Love/Creative Energy/God).

    It took me by complete surprise, but at that moment, just like you, my soul “understood” everything.

    Having just read your piece about Experiencing Heaven on Earth, it is evident that the Universal Truth is shining through you.

    I have never shared my story, for fear of ridicule, as too many people are not receptive to such accounts.

    However, you share your story with eloquence and truth, and also offer us guidance by shattering the myths that hold our true selves back.

    Thank you so much, you are pure and enlightened Anita, and the world needs your light.

    I take the words you share as great encouragement to help me in my daily struggles to shine as well.

    sincere blessings,

  16. The poem at the beginning is very beautiful and inspiring. It is really amazing how much of an impact words can have on somebody. I truly appreciate this article and the the wisdom to be found within it. I am currently at the end of my time in high school (i.e. 6th form for the brits and aussies) and am considering what i want to do as a career. I have always had a knack for writing and held it close to my heart. That is definitely an option, even if its part time freelance writing. I can really use my words to inspire others as has this article and poem have for me. I am very thankful for the opportunity to read these words today.

    Peace and Love to ALL and have a beautiful blessed day, to all my kin ‘n’ bros ‘n’ half strangers

  17. We are all but a spark a ray of light emanating from the central sun,
    the greater you shine the greater the experience for all!
    Love is all, love is the flowering of the soul and the jewel of the universe.

  18. Thank you so much for this beautiful,inspiring excerpt, Anita, confirming everything I know to be true <3 <3 <3
    Some time ago I came to the realisation (with the help of other authors) that everything I need to know is within me. This has proven to be true time and again. I still need regular reminders, though, especially when facing challenges. Reading this article has not only been a reminder but also deepened my knowledge and made my soul smile.

    Much love,


  19. I have read both Anita’s books and I am so grateful for the gaps they have helped to fill in my ‘knowing’. Thank you so much, Anita, for taking the time to write and share them ❤. This latest summary of her second book resonates completely with where I’m at in my ‘knowing’. I agree, too, that it can sometimes be a struggle to integrate this into everyday life. That’s why it’s so important for me to set aside time for myself every day to ‘remember’. On another note, Anita’s gentle, gentle soul comes across so much in the way she writes – ‘Consider these truths/possible truths instead.’ rather than some dogmatic statements. I only hope she reads this so that she knows what a difference she has made to my life ?.

  20. Not sure,but only found a lot of answers in age., and thought patterns which we are able to realise and act apon,bringing a happier outcome with a certain peace of mind,helping to face and overcome the many of the ups and downs life presents us with.

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