The NDE happened when I was on the hospital's operating table in Lower Manhattan. I remember being put under and asked to count backwards from 100. I know that I counted down to 96 and that the world for me went black.
The next thing I remember is being very happy and very safe. I was in a place that I loved with all of my heart. I was in my spirit in the Polish countryside and I could almost see the fields during the summer just waiting to be harvested. It was a warm summer day, not hot and humid the way that New York City can be, but warm, sunny and dry. I was above the fields and I admired them but could not focus my eyes completely on them. I wanted to see what kind of crops were growing, but again my eyes could not focus that well. I saw the little mound of brown earth and then behind it I saw a field of wheat.
I saw green individual plants in another field, but I could not make out what kind of plant it was, but I did notice that the earth was very rich and could give birth to many good crops. The little green plants seemed to be happy growing in the rich earth, warmed in the sun. There was sunshine that one finds in Northern Europe during the summer. The light is less direct because it is in the north, and it is more at an angle than the sunshine in New York during the summer. The sun therefore is less harsh and much more warming, than heating.
I imagined that I was one of the little green plants and that I was also planted in the earth of my country and warmed in its northern sunshine. I tried to see through the fields if there were houses, but all I saw was a shack that was falling down. There were no modern houses, so I decided to sit in the shade of the shack for a few minutes. Then I rose above the shack and saw the golden light from the wheat being reflected back to sun.
This time, I could see the individual wheat plants in detail and at a distance of three feet. I could not believe that such wonderful colors could be found in a wheat plant and to have that golden yellow reflect the sun was just beautiful to see. I was above the shack and I looked at the wheat field all golden in the sun. One could see for kilometers and all there was were the blue skies of a summer day. At a distance I saw the blue cloudless sky with birds flying around and chasing each other, I was jealous that the birds could stay home in Poland and enjoy flying around in the sunshine. I saw some trees that must have been the border of the property. The trees were tall and they were full of dark green leaves. Each of them formed a kind of leafy egg shaped green on top of a stem and some were closer to each other. I noticed, in particular, one tree that was away from the others. It was a mature tree, with large green leaves. I looked at that tree and I said to myself how lucky this tree really is, because it got to stay home and never was forced to leave Poland. The tree was never uprooted, and I wondered what it was like to be a human being that was never uprooted.
I rose further up above the field and saw that the trees were going away from me. I knew that it was time and that something had to stop this experience, I just panicked because I had to go back to where I really was. After being back in my body, I heard the doctors screaming 'she has stopped breathing' and something like 'we are losing her.' There was general panic in the operating room and I could feel the stress of the nurses and doctors. They were shaking me and calling my name to wake me up. I did come back fully then and I was back on the operating table in my body in the hospital in New York.
I was devastated because when I was outside of my body and in the Polish countryside, I was perfectly centered and I knew who I was and what I was capable of doing in life. Nothing could have stopped me from being the kind of human being that I was meant to be, because I was that human being already within myself flying over the July fields of Poland. Important note: I have now lived for the past six years on the edge of a Polish village, 45 km west of Warsaw and I get to see the countryside during all the seasons. But during the summer it is the most beautiful. I walk on a dirt road along the fields with my dogs and I sometimes stop to admire the views of the crops that run from end to end of each field.
Date NDE Occurred: July 1991
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related. While under general anesthesia Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
I was given an overdose of anesthetic while I was having eye surgery. My right eye needed to be repaired because I had been shot in that eye with a BB gun.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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 During the experience I was very centered and very alerted, to the point that I could feel my whole soul, and my talents, my goodness, my compassion. I could feel all of my intellectual abilities, and my power as a human coming from one point. The way I saw it was that there was a tiny powerful point that released its electricity into a dark circle. The point spun out continuously and it continually released its energy. The point could never run out of energy because it was me. The energy spun out looking like small but powerful lighting rods.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was at my highest level of consciousness at all times during this experience.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
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. Vision was about the same although sometimes, I lost focus during the experience.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Hearing was the same.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes I saw birds flying in the sky and a grasshopper.
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I was completely happy and completely centered in myself
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt no longer in conflict with nature
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about myself or others I was completely centered in my being.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
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 At one point I knew that something happened and I had to return. I had no power to stop this and I was pulled out of my experience of being above the fields and in the blue cloudless sky. I panicked because I had no power and my vision had to be taken from me and, in a way destroyed. I was devastated. Something sped up and I seem to have traveled a great distance in a brown color to again find myself on the operating table in New York.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Moderately important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Agnostic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I became a Hindu and was guided to the religion of my father.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Hindu
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I was driven toward Indian religions that led me through Buddhism and finally I stopped at Hinduism, the religion of my father.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists No
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life I became an animal activist and with time I was driven more and more towards Indian religions, until I finally started to attend a Hindu temple in Dutchess County, NY. I have been ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since that experience. The physical damage to my body after being nearly killed on the operating table was considerable. I have been ill for almost 22 years. Moderate changes in my life
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I can feel the presence of my father: my voice teacher. I had one visit from the spirit of my mother after she died. I am sometimes able to mentally communicate with animals.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I loved the feeling of being centered and powerful within myself. I did not want power over others, but I felt that all talents were within my reach and that I could develop into what I wanted to be in life, because I knew that I had all that I wanted to be, already within me.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes A few months later and the person was fearful of the death part on the operating table.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I saw a program about NDE on American TV, but what I saw were people going towards a light and a tunnel. No, what I heard about NDE did not affect my experience at all.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I thought that I was just full of anesthetic and that my brain brought me back to Poland to make me feel safe during a serious operation.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I know now that I was out of my body and in the Polish countryside as a wandering spirit that was very, very happy.
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 want to go back there! I was centered and happy there!