Tag Archives: Zen

Marine Biologist Ingrid Honkala Tells The Story Of Her Near Death Experience And Subsequent Life Guided By Spiritual Beings Of Light


Review by: KEN KORCZAK

This is a book about love and agony — love and agony, love and agony – love discovered, and love lost – love rediscovered, only to slip away once again – until finally an ultimate answer is found hiding in plain sight amid the thorny, tangled thickets of this elusive game we call life.

It’s the story of a unique life, but at the same time, not so terribly unlike billions of other people. That’s a central paradox that rings throughout this narrative – everyone is “special” – but if everyone is “special” then no one is “special” — because if everyone is “special” then that would be the norm!

Well, the reality is that everyone IS special — while at the same time — everyone is one and the same because we are all part of the totality of All That Is. Each of us manifests our individual nature while we remain an integral part of a cosmic whole – and the fundamental quality that makes up this Cosmic Wholeness is Love – with a capital “L.”

Ingrid Honkala, Ph.D.

Colombian-born INGRID HONKALA grapples with these vexing philosophical concepts as she relates to us the story of her life which was shattered when, at the age of three, she fell into a giant tank of water and drowned.

She experienced an NDE – Near Death Experience – during which all sense of time and distance vanished. She felt herself “become a part of everything” and as if “the Wholeness and I were one.”

Needless to say, she was rescued from the frigid water and resuscitated, but about a year later, she began to sense the presence of intelligent entities which she describes as “star-like figures of pure shining light.” They were of many different colors. They seemed interested in her and cared about her. She soon understood these light-form entities were concerned about her life. They were willing to speak with her and offer her guidance.

Thus, at age 4, began the journey of Ingrid Honkala, an odyssey of being guided by spiritual Beings of Light who were clearly there to help – but as she would also learn — to never interfere.

She still had to make all her own decisions, make her own mistakes and be responsible for whatever good or ill she created. She still was required to struggle through adversity – often with great pain — when the pitfalls of life came calling time and again.

The author is an expert on mangrove ecosystems.

If all this sounds a tad Airy-Fairy-New-Agey to you, consider that Ms. Honkala – that is, Dr. Honkala – is a Ph.D. scientist who earned her doctorate in marine biology. She has worked for NASA, is a world expert on mangrove ecosystems and spent three harrowing years doing research while dodging bullets in the war zone of Tumaco, Colombia, during that country’s grinding war against the FARC rebellion.

When it comes to hard sciences like biology, math, chemistry and oceanography, this woman takes a backseat to no rational-material scientist. Her husband is a former United States Navy Special Forces dude.

Dr. Honkala’s résumé gives her a certain grounded aura of authenticity – in any case, this is almost besides the point. That’s  because I think the way she tells her story in these pages comes across with a hard-to-miss sense of credibility, honesty and no-nonsense truth. If this woman says she has maintained a life-long relationship with intelligent guides manifesting as points of light – I think we can believe her – and give pause to contemplate the inspiring message she feels compelled to share.

So, I give A BRIGHTLY GUIDED LIFE my best recommendation. It’s a heartfelt rendering of one’s person’s life story that is unflinching and honest – dealing out the good with the bad – and ending with a message of hope for all.

NOTE: PLEASE SEE MORE BOOK REVIEWS ON THIS SITE BY KEN ON THE NDE TOPIC:

APPLICATION OF IMPOSSIBLE THINGS by Natalie Sudman

NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES by P.H.H. Atwater

DEAD OR ALIVE by Erika Hayasaki

THE BOY WHO DIED AND CAME BACK TO LIFE by Robert Moss

WOLF’S MESSAGE By Suzanne Giesemann



Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS

All NEW: KEN’S BOOK REVIEW SITE ON FACEBOOK: REMOTE BOOK REVIEWING

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British author Martyn Wilson’s “Enlightenment: The Keys to Consciousness” is a worthy addition to an ancient topic

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Review by: KEN KORCZAK

One of my favorite sayings from the Zen tradition is: “To talk about Zen is to not know Zen.”

I think it’s also true, then, to say that, “To write about Zen is not to know Zen either.”

Furthermore, reading a book about Zen is no way to get to really know or understand Zen.

We can substitute the word “Enlightenment” for Zen in all of the above statements. To talk about Enlightenment, to write about it, to read books it is no way to truly understand Enlightenment.

I suspect the author of this book, a down-to-earth, working-class British man by the name of MARTYN WILSON, would agree.

No one else can describe for you or explain Enlightenment. No one else can give it to you. You can only find it for yourself. And once you find it for yourself, you’ll never in a million years be able to fully explain to someone else just exactly what it is that you have found.

Why, then, did Martyn Wilson write this book? Indeed, why have whole forests been cleared by gurus, shamans, yogis, monks, teachers, etc. — all writing books about Enlightenment? For something that can never be truly explained, people sure like to blather on about it endlessly.

Mr. Wilson explains his motivation for writing his book this way:

“I believe that I have been given a gift that has completely changed my life. I also believe that it would be a waste of this gift not to share what I have learned and experienced, not because I am on some spiritual mission to convert the entire population of earth, but to point out that there is another way of living, another choice.”

He also says:

“Whatever you think Enlightenment is, it is not … Enlightenment cannot be thought no matter how many books you read, how many seminars you attend, how many meditation workshops you take part in or how spiritual you think you are. Enlightenment can only be experienced and this is why it is so difficult to explain to others.”

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Martyn Wilson

It can’t be explained, can’t be done … but Mr. Wilson certainly makes a heroic effort in this slim volume. And you know what? He comes as close as anyone or book I have read to giving the reader an inkling of what Enlightenment might be, and how to at least start your journey toward getting it for yourself.

(Yikes! I’m already in trouble! If you think that you need to go on a “journey” to find Enlightenment, then you will never find it. There is no journey to take, and nothing to find!)

But let me struggle on.

Keep in mind that when writing about Enlightenment, both authors and guys like me who review their books are grappling within a situation pitted with paradoxes. You’re always saying something seemingly contradictory, such as , “You must seek something that can never be found.” Or, “There is no journey because you are always already there,” Or, “You can never arrive because there is nowhere to go.”

So if I say that Martyn Wilson has written an excellent book and that these pages are a good place to start on your search for Enlightenment, I am already veering off track and headed for the ditch.

If you think you have to “start a journey to Enlightenment” then you are already lost. Also, if it is anything that is “out there” — such as a book, seminar or some guru, then that is something that is “outside yourself” and will do you no good.

At the same time, I will dare to say: This is as good a book to read as any if you want to seek Enlightenment.

After all, Mr. Wilson’s started somewhere, albeit someplace unusual — an all-out effort to prove that there really is no such thing as Enlightenment!

It was his wife who was really into all this stuff. She was one of those people who was deeply involved in reading books on the subject, going to seminars, practicing meditations, and so on.

Wilson thought his wife’s pursuit was 100% preposterous. Thus, he became determined to do everything he could to prove that all this stuff was just a bunch of baloney — a loony pile of eastern-religious-mystical nonsense for modern-day hippies and delusional New Age flakes.

He did tons of research on the Internet, read books, and then started testing methods, such as meditation and other “techniques” to show that they did nothing for anyone. Indeed, he found meditation to be worthless in his own case.

But then Mr. Wilson stumbled upon a certain method that seemed so simple and ludicrous, he called it “laughable” — and yet he tried it anyway, and (laughable or not) kept at it for weeks and months on end.

And guess what? Martyn Wilson was stunned one day to find that he had become Enlightened!

I’m going to say no more because I don’t want to give too much away. I would encourage all readers to buy, discover and encounter this fine and delightful book for yourselves.

Just a couple of last points. Wilson drops a couple of delicious bombshells in these pages:

1. His comments on the subject of forgiveness may cause some people to have a brain aneurysm!

2. His opinion on the subject of non-duality is unique, bold and matter of fact!

Not to be missed! I like it when an author of a book about Enlightenment manages to break new ground. Martyn Wilson does it. This is one of the best books on the topic since the sublime LAZY MAN’S GUIDE TO ENLIGHTENMENT by THADDEUS GOLAS. If it’s not as profound as Shunryu Suzuki‘s masterpiece ZEN MIND, BEGINNER’S MIND, it packs a similar punch in a more “common-working-man” sort of way.

Go ahead, get the book, have a read — just don’t expect this to be your road map to Enlightenment. There is no road map.


Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS

All NEW: KEN’S BOOK REVIEW SITE ON FACEBOOK: REMOTE BOOK REVIEWING

Follow @KenKorczak