This is from my book and in a way, my editor toned it down but it conveys much of what happened.
Up until this time, I had been very left-brained when it came to playing music - I could only play music by reading sheet music or playing from memory. I felt empathy with each composer and could interpret music with great feeling but I was frustrated because I lacked the ability just to jam with other players and create my own music. Then, it all happened. While sitting by a stream with my small harp beside me in the redwood forest, I experienced the most amazing event in my life. It is far too personal to put down on paper, for no words will ever describe the magnitude of this spiritually transforming experience (STE). I can only write that I have seen the Source, the Light, God, the Creator, the other side. I have experienced the awe, the total LOVE, the JOY, the BLISS - so much so, that I just wanted to continue with it forever and ever.
Because of this experience, I have never again been the same. Sitting by a stream in the Redwood forest in Philo, California, I was lifted above the place I was sitting so that I was looking down upon the bushes around me. I realized someone was crouched in the bushes. I started to rise higher and could see that there were soldiers in the bushes. As I went further away, I could see that I was in a war zone and eventually looked down upon Central America and saw that I was hovering over Nicaragua. From there I kept going further and further away into the void of darkness watching the earth become smaller and smaller in front of me.
Then, all of a sudden when I was in the total darkness, a petal of a White Rose came down from the upper right and wrapped around me. It was warm, loving and so very light. Then a petal came down from the left and surrounded me in an even lighter experience. This continued on and on until I thought I was going to explode in the lightness of being enveloped in the LIGHT of the petals of a White Rose, with each petal surrounding me, until it became brighter and brighter and lighter and lighter, to the point of an all-encompassing explosion into the Light. The translucent petals held me in their fragrance and carried me to higher heights. There is a void here of words - in other words, there are none for what I then saw. I turned to look up to the left and literally feel that I was looking into the light of the creator - of God - of whatever you want to call it. All I could feel at the moment was that I wanted to go into that light even more. It was joyous, all-encompassing love. At one point, I realized that I had two little boys at home and was immediately pulled back to where I was sitting. I was dumbfounded - as I really was willing to give everything up to go into that Light. Is this what it is like when we leave the earth plane? If so, then I am ready to go! All Knowing was contained in this suspension of time, this moment of being I AM - and then the 'I' falling off to the pure state of being - AM. Yes, there is no fear of death. There is a Knowing that we live forever and just go to other realms. In my experience, it is indeed so!
From the moment this experience happened in 1987, music began to flow through my fingers. It began with that experience when I picked up the harp, sitting by that stream in Philo and my fingers began playing with no music and my thinking part of my brain got out of the way. That day, my first piece, White Rose was born. And it has not stopped. All of the compositions on the Illuminations CD have been divinely given. All of the improvisations and the compositions for patients in hospitals and hospices come from the same place. For many years, I had heard the phrase, 'just let go and it will happen' - but for me, the question was, 'How do you let go?' Well, by some kind of grace, it did happen. I let go with the music and it flowed.
My life has been completely changed from that experience. I work with people in hospice and sometimes I am the last person they have contact with before they leave their earthly bodies. I see and hear them reach out to their loved ones who have gone on before. I have witnessed many profound experiences in the last twenty years being by the bedside and teaching others how to provide music for these sacred situations.
About ten years later, I had surgery where the doctor and nurses were unable to bring me back. They finally went to call upon my friend in the waiting room to bring me up. My only recollection at that time was that there was someone beckoning me to come - neither male nor female nor anyone that I recognized. All I remember is that I wanted to go with that person.
I am not unhappy with my life although I must say there was a period of about twelve years where I got rid of everything in my life and wanted to go to the other side. Then I had a visitation from my four grandparents - they were as real as if they were on this earth plane. They simply said. 'It took you this long to figure out what you are supposed to do, so now you need to do it for a while.' After that, I re-entered into living with more of a purpose.
Our school is in its seventeenth year now (2011). We train musicians throughout the world in many continents to try to understand the process of dying and delve into NDE studies, to develop their musical skills and to realize that they are really just creating a Cradle of Sound for a person to float upon when those final tender moments come.
Date NDE Occurred: 1987
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? No The first was after flying x-country and having jet-lag. Other The first was a life-changing out of body experience. The second time I was in the hospital and had a hysterectomy and they had a problem resuscitating me - the experience then was brief - only to see some kind of a person reaching out but not as intense
The second time, I would say yes when they actually had to bring in a friend to help resuscitate me.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
I clearly left my body and existed outside it
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Time? Not sure of your question. Probably the total amount of time that the experience took was fifteen to twenty minutes but I lingered there for hours after trying to make sense of what had happened.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
It seemed like a very long time that I was in this space.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I've never seen anything like the Light that I saw - no matter how light the sun gets or the lightest light - what I saw was a combination of Light - seeing it but feeling it and it was combined with emotion - love and joyfulness.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I could hear things I couldn't before and since then, I have had some kind of ability to interpret these sounds into music on the harp.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes On my second experience.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes Amazing.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I hovered in the Light which felt like and appeared to be HOME
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Love and Joy - LOVE and JOY.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? incredible joy
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal Unitarian when I am active - but prefer to do my own meditation now.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I'm much more independent of my own spirituality and find the greatest solace in websites such as this - or in my relationships by the bedside in hospice. I haven't been to church in a very long time but I am open to all beliefs and feel that a person has their own true path that takes them to the place that I was led to. I guess if anything is my religion it would be nature and that the White Rose fits very well into that area.
What is your religion now? Liberal
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I'm much more independent of my own spirituality and find the greatest solace in websites such as this - or in my relationships by the bedside in hospice. I haven't been to church in a very long time but I am open to all beliefs and feel that a person has their own true path that takes them to the place that I was led to. I guess if anything is my religion it would be nature and that the White Rose fits very well into that area.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes Absolutely, my life changed after. There is not a day that goes by that I do not remember the experience - I wash with Rose, I honor the symbol that was given to me to see what life is all about.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Mentioned above.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Many - from creating music which I never had to creating programs that others would think twice before putting themselves on the line to risk financially. They have all been fruitful with no losses. I know and trust what it is I am supposed to be doing.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The LIGHT.
The never turning backward.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I was in a group of people where I could confide in one person and she was fairly open about it. My husband never understood and we separated shortly after the experience. I now openly share my experience with my students but my editor in my book wanted me to be careful of the wording lest people wouldn't take our program seriously!
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No Everything opened up from that day forth - for instance, I walked into a shop in Santa Rosa, California and saw a painting that related to the experience. After seeing the painting that it was a Waldorf Steiner painting, I was led to the Steiner school where I went for training to become a Steiner teacher. That type of thing was the unfolding from the experience.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I think I have said it all.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? The questionnaire is very good. Now, it's late and time to close. Thank you. I've enjoyed your website.