Super Soul Sunday
Sundays at 11 a.m. ET/PT
Posted: Wed 12/05/2012 08:00 AM
June 16, 2011
"It's your heart," says the gastroenterologist after performing an endoscopy on me.
I am surprised: "Not my stomach?"
For some time now, acid reflux has been one of my nightmares. My longtime general practitioner also feels it has contributed to the various health problems that have afflicted me for the past several years.
My wife, Marion, and I have just returned from Jerusalem, where, every year, we spend the holiday of Shavuot with close friends. In keeping with the tradition to which I have remained faithful, friends and I spent the night in a yeshiva in the Old City studying biblical and Talmudic laws and commentaries dating from the Middle Ages.
This time, in Jerusalem, it had all gone well. No terrorist attacks. No border incidents. Even my cursed migraines seemed to respect the sanctity of this night, of this city unlike any other. But now, back in New York, suddenly my body revolts. The new piercing pain in my shoulders rises all the way to my jaw. I swallow a double dose of Nexium, the medicine I take for acid reflux. This time without success.
"No, neither the stomach nor the esophagus," replies the doctor after a moment of silence. "It's certainly the heart." Ominous words, inducing fear and the promise of more pain. Or worse.
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Posted: Tue 12/04/2012 08:00 AM
Oprah says sitting down with Nobel Prize winner and human rights activist Elie Wiesel was a "privilege of a lifetime." This Sunday, Elie opens up to Oprah about his emergency heart surgery. "We get an opportunity to talk about those moments of him being on the operating table and his thoughts about who he was and all the things he had left to do, which was really surprising to know that at 82 years old he still felt like he had so much undone," Oprah says.
Watch as Oprah reflects on the moments from the interview that most resonated with her. Then, tune in Sunday at 11 a.m. ET/PT to watch their complete conversation on OWN or online.
Posted: Mon 12/03/2012 12:00 AM
This Sunday, Oprah Winfrey sits down with Nobel laureate and New York Times best-selling author Elie Wiesel. As the voice of the internationally acclaimed Holocaust memoir Night, Elie was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.
During his conversation with Oprah, he shares his thoughts on love, regret and abiding faith as he faced his own mortality when he had open-heart surgery at age 82. Detailing these experiences in his latest memoir, Open Heart, Elie opens up about his fears during this lifesaving operation and how going through it allowed him to re-examine his career and deepen his devotion to his family. Plus, find out what Elie hopes will be the destiny of his life's work.
Tune in Sunday, December 9, at 11 a.m. ET/PT. Watch on OWN or join our worldwide simulcast on Oprah.com or Facebook.com/supersoulsunday.
Posted: Thu 11/29/2012 11:15 AM
By Eben Alexander III, MD
December was a magical month for me as a boy—first came my birthday, followed two weeks later by Christmas! Many people get caught up in the Christmas spirit and all of the giving and loving of others that it engenders. This is so even if they do not fully believe in God and the divine linkage of humanity through the life of Jesus Christ. It is hard to avoid that magical feeling if one is at all open to the loving nature of the human spirit.
Looking back, I believe the joy I felt during the holiday season, focused on the miraculous event of Jesus' birth, had always depended, to some degree, on the extent to which I believed in the spiritual realm—in a divine, loving God. There was thus a lull in that lustrous magic, for I spent many years as an adult not enjoying such belief.
That all changed, dramatically and forever, after I returned from a week-long coma due to severe bacterial meningitis, from which I was not expected to recover. In the four years since my return, I have come to know that all-loving God as I never had before. Much of that awakening occurred immediately after I returned, for I was astonished by the power of my memories, much like others who have had similar near-death experiences. The real jolt came months later, though, as I was trying to explain how that realm (that was too real to be real) might have occurred in my brain. I finally concluded, based on all that we know about neuroscience, brain and mind, that it did not—and that it seemed that real because it was!
Such a radical shift in my worldview has changed my entire life, year-round. My every breath is so much richer for that experience, and for that knowing. Life has so much more purpose and meaning, for me and for those near and dear to me.
Overwhelming gratitude has dominated my mind ever since I returned from my coma. That gratitude comes into full bloom every holiday season through giving and love for others, when it is shared with so many who, at least for the holidays, can open more to the possibility of belief—in the Divine.
Posted: Wed 11/28/2012 04:45 PM
Clinging to life, neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander says he had a brush with death, went to heaven and met God. Once a skeptic, this man of science is now a believer. On Sunday, he opens up to Oprah about the near-death experience that changed his mind. Watch the first minute of this week's show.
Tune in Sunday at 11 a.m. ET/PT to watch the complete conversation on OWN.
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