Super Soul Sunday
Sundays at 11 a.m. ET/PT
Posted: Wed 01/16/2013 08:00 AM
This weekend, Oprah is talking to Dr. Eben Alexander about his near-death experience and what it taught him about life and faith. Dr. Alexander has outlined his journey from a man of science to a man of faith in his best-selling book, Proof of Heaven. Read the prologue below, where Dr. Alexander outlines a close call he had while skydiving. Then, tune in Sunday at 11 a.m. ET/PT!
A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be. —Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
When I was a kid, I would often dream of flying.
Most of the time I’d be standing out in my yard at night, looking up at the stars, when out of the blue I'd start floating upward. The first few inches happened automatically. But soon I'd notice that the higher I got, the more my progress depended on me—on what I did. If I got too excited, too swept away by the experience, I would plummet back to the ground... hard. But if I played it cool, took it all in stride, then off I would go, faster and faster, up into the starry sky.
Maybe those dreams were part of the reason why, as I got older, I fell in love with airplanes and rockets—with anything that might get me back up there in the world above this one. When our family flew, my face was pressed flat to the window from takeoff to landing. In the summer of 1968 when I was fourteen, I spent all the money I'd earned mowing lawns on a set of sailplane lessons with a guy named Gus Street at Strawberry Hill, a little grass strip "airport" just west of Winston-Salem, the town where I grew up. I still remember the feeling of my heart pounding as I pulled the big cherry red knob that unhooked the rope connecting me to the tow-plane and banked my sailplane toward the field. It was the first time I had ever felt truly alone and free. Most of my friends got that feeling in cars, but for my money being a thousand feet up in a sailplane beat that thrill a thousand times over.
In college in the 1970's I joined the University of North Carolina Sport Parachuting (or Skydiving) Team. It felt like a secret brotherhood—a group of people who knew about something special and magical. My first jump was terrifying, and the second even more so. But by my twelfth jump, when I stepped out the door and had to fall for more than a thousand feet before opening my parachute (my first "10 second delay"), I knew I was home. I made 365 parachute jumps in college and logged over three and a half hours in freefall, mainly in formations with up to 25 fellow jumpers. Although I stopped jumping in 1976, I continued to enjoy vivid dreams about skydiving, which were always pleasant.
The best jumps were often late in the afternoon, when the sun was starting to sink beneath the horizon. It's hard to describe the feeling I would get on those jumps: a feeling of getting close to something that I could never quite name but that I knew I had to have more of. It wasn't solitude exactly, because the way we dived there actually wasn't all that much of that. We'd jump five, six, sometimes ten or twelve people at a time, building freefall formations. The bigger and the more challenging, the better.
Posted: Mon 01/14/2013 12:00 AM
Oprah sits down with neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander, whose remarkable near-death experience radically shifted his faith. The author of The New York Times best-selling book Proof of Heaven shares the extraordinary details of his journey into the afterlife. Watch a preview today; then, tune in Sunday for the complete conversation.
Posted: Sun 01/13/2013 02:00 PM
Jean Houston is known as a scholar, philosopher and visionary. A prolific writer who has transversed the globe lecturing, teaching and consulting with world leaders along the way, Jean's life has been devoted to pushing the boundaries of human potential. She possesses a true passion for what is possible.
In their first conversation, Oprah and Jean sit down to discuss her new book, The Wizard of Us. In it, Jean uses The Wizard of Oz to discuss how life's biggest lessons are often found in the most popular stories in our culture. At the heart of many stories, she says, is the idea of the hero's journey. Watch the clips below to find out more about her own spiritual path and how we all have the potential to be the hero of our own lives.
Jean describes herself as an evocateur of the possible and a midwife of souls—and says her spiritual evolution started at age 6. After getting in trouble with the nuns at her Catholic school, Jean locked herself in a closet to cry and pray for a miracle. (She even promised to give up candy.) After she stepped out of that closet, she says the whole world shifted. Watch as she tells the story of her spiritual awakening to Oprah:
Joseph Campbell was a great American writer and mythologist who wrote about what he calls the hero's journey. From Homer's Odyssey to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, he recognized a theme that applies to humanity—we are the heroes of our own lives. Jean was a friend and colleague of Campbell's and also believes in the hero's journey. Watch as she discusses the first step in becoming the hero of your own life and realizing the power of your own possibility—the call to adventure:
During their conversation, Jean shares the steps of every hero's journey. Find out what they are. Then, watch as Oprah reveals the milestones of her own:
Posted: Fri 01/11/2013 08:00 AM
Philosopher Jean Houston is one of the original spiritual thought leaders who believes each person has the ability to lead a life of greatness and purpose. Click here to get her thoughts on realizing the true power of your own possibility.
More on Jean
Posted: Thu 01/10/2013 08:00 AM
They've been friends for more than 30 years and he wrote the forward for her new book, The Wizard of Us. Plus, they just happened to tape "Super Soul Sunday" on the very same day! During some downtime in filming, Jean Houston and Deepak Chopra sat down with our backstage crew to discuss their longtime friendship.
What are the greatest lessons these thought leaders have learned from one another? Watch to find out:
While reminiscing about some of their favorite stories, Jean shares a moment from Deepak's childhood that always stuck with her. Hear the story:
Finally, Deepak says there's one very good reason everyone should tune in for Jean and Oprah's conversation this Sunday. He reveals it here:
Friends of Super Soul Sunday