Sound and music are two different qualities of expression, and both have always been equally important to me as an extension of my artistic nature. I didn't choose either as a career or vocational path. I focused, instead, on graphics arts because I needed a dependable paycheck. Over the past three decades, I became so involved in my design career that I was not even remotely aware of my body's needs; and I routinely spent 10-12 hours per day on computers, creating designs for clients. I have always loved this work, but it was destroying my arms and hands. This explains how things got so bad without me noticing. My workaholic-ism had blinded me from the truth. Much of the nerve function in my arms and hands had become badly damaged, and in some cases, could not be restored. There were procedures that could help, but since I had progressively lost the use of my thumbs, index fingers, hands, arms, and range of motion in my neck, these procedures would need to happen in stages. Four surgeries over the course of 2 years helped me somewhat, but didn't correct all the pain-causing conditions, and never would entirely. I eventually regained some function; but even today, I live with a constant reminder of the damages done; but I am able to control pain and enhance the quality of my life, thanks, in part, to sound healing techniques I practice each day. To some, this mid-life change of course would seem like a tragedy; I thought so for a long while, too. When my hands ceased to work and pain was a constant companion, I felt my life was over. Certainly my career was over and I had no other options. I was devoted to graphic design work. Looking back, I see what a blessing in disguise my difficulties turned out to be. I opted for a fifth surgery, the one that might be the silver bullet.
This would be a very long surgery, and a longer-acting anesthetic was ordered. During that procedure something went horribly wrong. First, it was injected. It is thought that the injection was made into my main artery instead of using it as a nerve block into the nerve. The second phase of the problem was that I had an allergic reaction to the mix of anesthetic. The Anesthesiologist was talking to someone else while she administered the injection, and I remember feeling uncomfortable with that. Expecting that I would be out soon, I closed my eyes and waited. Then I remember my body reacting. I could feel a burning sensation overall; my legs and arms started to flail. I felt myself yelling out loud that, 'Something is wrong!' I felt the presence of an enormous compression in my chest and head. I could not seem to get anyone's attention as I screamed. I learned later that I never made any external sound. The sound of my voice was happening in my mind, and that explains why no one was paying attention to me.
Soon, all feeling ceased, but I realized I was floating around the room looking down at my body. I had an opportunity to look closely into the face of each person working on me. By this time, there was intense panic in the operating room, but yet, I felt peaceful. I seemed to have a heart connection to each person there, especially with the anesthesiologist. She was terrified and working hard to bring me back into my body. I didn't want to get back into my body. I hovered over the left shoulder of my surgeon and remained there until something pulled me completely away from the operating room. I felt an intense squeezing sensation in my head and felt a huge pain as I heard a shrill loud sound. It lasted a few seconds and then I felt complete peace. What I experienced was like being sucked out of the operating room through a tiny pin-dot of light. As my 'eyes' adjusted to the space, I seemed to see tiny pin-dots of light everywhere in front of me. I realized I was sitting in a comfortable chair moving toward those pin dots and they were getting larger. Eventually, one of them grew into a huge beacon of brilliant white light, glowing at me as I moved closer and closer. I felt myself watching with amusement as I was pulled inside the light in an easy chair.
I realized someone was with me. It seemed like it was a man, but I never really knew. The Being was communicating with me through thoughts; no talking and no need to use words. It happened so fast! Now I was inside another awareness. My memories are as vivid today as they were at the time. I knew I was dead to the earth, but I was just fine with that possibility. I actually felt very comfortable, with no longing or panic to return. I had no questions, only complete acceptance. It was peaceful, comfortable, and I felt very safe. I learned many things. I saw and heard many things. I felt as if there was a vast storage of information that filled me with each glance in any direction. Today, I understand what a beautiful phenomenon I experienced. Being outside of my body, traveling outside the limits of our reality's space and time was a cherished opportunity to know more about the fabric of our universe.
While I was gone, the being that was with me, showed me many things. My memories of those things is still vivid and alive; everything from love, to creation, to math, to humanity, to music. I then realized all the other details had stopped coming and I was fully engaged in the most astounding musical consciousness I had ever experienced. Music was not only something to hear, but to feel, to taste, to smell and to see. Thinking about it later, I realized 'I' didn't 'hear' any of the music through my ears; and yet, there was an impression of music filling my hearing senses and it included a whole body sensation. Although, in this reality, I did not have a body; so what I experienced was the sensation of music filling EVERYTHING without the limits of my individual perspective. The indescribable music caused me to experience visual riots of color, like no colors I had ever perceived in ordinary reality. I still cannot describe either phenomenon adequately to others. I felt the presence of knowledge and wisdom about the music and the colors, but never actually perceived being taught anything specifically.
During the OBE, I was at peace on the other side, and only thought about my kids for a second, knowing they would be okay. I was prepared to stay. But soon, a male voice told me I had to go back. It wasn't words I heard, just an understanding that I HAD TO GO BACK. I remember not wanting to leave. What for? So I could work more? Live in more pain? I was divorced, kids were grown, and felt I could easily be finished on Earth. But it was not my time, or so I was being told. After a while, I felt the sensation of intense squeezing again. It had a sound, too. It was higher-pitched than the exit sounds, and seemed to exert even greater pressure on all sides of my head like a vice fitted with loud speakers blasting sound into my mind with some kind of crushing on my skull. That sensation brought about the end of the celestial vocalizations and the space travel; and I quickly became aware that someone was shouting my name over and over. I felt my eyes pop open and I was face-to-face with a panic-stricken anesthesiologist a few inches from my nose yelling at me, trying to coax me back into my body.
I was back in my body but then quickly 'put under' again. I don't know why. Later I woke up in a recovery room, and the surgery had not been performed. I never saw angels, heard God speak, or felt any glorification of any sort throughout the experience. But I heard voices and music. I never saw loved ones or experienced past, present or future. I had never been religious. I had no preconceived notion of God or angels. I had never even considered what Heaven might be like. Maybe that's why I didn't have a religious experience. But I did experience music in a different way. It was dear to me. Apparently, when I died, I experienced the musician's version of satori; light, sound, and color.
My surgeon visited me that evening in the recovery room. He asked me if I wanted an attorney. He was curious to know what I had experienced. He mentioned that he felt me hovering over his left shoulder. That was an amazing confirmation. I had been there for a while. He admitted there had been a procedural mistake and it had caused my heart and breathing to cease for 2 minutes and 17 seconds. There was also my adverse reaction to the chemicals injected.
The eventual surgery 6 weeks later, didn't fix my body; and my future looked unbearable to me because I was now permanently disabled and experiencing severe pain all day, every day. I meditated and studied, looking for some way to heal. I sold my house and that freed me up to travel. I met many people who had experienced NDEs and OBEs and it helped me to understand all the information that I had acquired. I had an intense longing for the music I had heard on the other side while I was dead. This desire drove me searching all over the USA and parts of the world for someone who could help me understand the sounds that intoxicated me with love and bliss. Academic studies only addressed part of the phenomenon of sound healing. I studied music therapy as well as music in general. But for sound healing, I had to learn from those who actually practice the craft all over the world. Even with years of musical education and research, I still did not hear the sounds I heard when I was out-of-body; and none of my mentors or teachers could even imagine what I might have heard. In spite of all the help I was receiving from sound healers and shamans, I still suffered debilitating pain every day. It has been 13 years since my Near Death Experience.
Six years ago, I moved to a little cottage on a creek in a redwood forest and began a different kind of healing journey that sharpened my senses, my hearing, and my greater understanding of the true healing properties of sound and nature. I also felt a constant flow of information that came from the experience while I was out of body. I realized it would be the natural world that would heal me. Over the course of time I spent alone, I was still using my own voice to soothe my body pain, sharpen my brain functions, and bring clarity to my future. But at the same time, I was listening to the sounds of the birds, the wind, the ocean, the creek. I was talking to trees and animals and listening for their information to enter my consciousness. Soon, I realized my pain had diminished dramatically. I was finally healing! One day, as I was deep in a sonic meditation, singing to my body, I heard the sound of the music I had heard on the other side. THAT ECSTATIC SOUND WAS INSIDE ME! I was hearing myself sing in languages I didn't know, and make sounds I had never heard before. It was my body and my voice, but consciousness was far away, as if it had taken a spiral path upward and was quite distant from my physical body. I could hear the sound as it traveled up a spiral and straight into my heart. It became amplified but not through volume. It was amplified in richness and tone. This was entirely beyond my understanding. I had never heard that sound come out of me like that before. My death was a blessing. My rebirth is still unfolding.
Date NDE Occurred: March 2003
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
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? Yes The facts have been checked out. I saw and heard all the medical staff in the operating room talking and working on my body. I heard my surgeon directing all the life-saving practices. I watched nurses put some kind of elastic leggings on my legs and hook me up to monitors. I saw and felt all the emotions in the room. I flew around and looked directly at each person and learned what they were thinking while they worked on me. I still remember all of that vividly. I have verified with the help of the surgeon, who later became a friend, that my knowledge of each person was accurate, and he confirmed that I was correct about what he was doing and thinking and saying.
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 I was conscious and alert with truth, knowledge, love, creation. In my normal consciousness, my thoughts are tempered by emotions, feeling, or mind tricks.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? As I traveled from body to a vast 'void' I was flooded with information and I was alert and receptive.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Taking into consideration that I was only out of my body for 2+ minutes, I think it is miraculous to note everything I learned, thought, felt, experienced before I returned. It must have been happening all at once.
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. My vision is tricky at times. My eyesight didn't change, but the way I see everything changed dramatically. Someone explained it as 'synesthesia.' I have read about that condition, but what I see is so much less cerebral than synesthesia. It is more like feeling the life essence of everything I see, including individual words, colors, sounds.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. During the experience, I heard music, but I also heard wisdom, information, compassion, laughter, and the buzz of life. I have since experienced acute hearing in normal life and I hear things most people can't hear. But I don't hear the way I heard on the other side.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain It was a light beam of some kind, but I felt more a sense of being enveloped by light rather than passing through a tunnel.
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Unearthly 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 The quality of the light was brilliant, but made of so many colors all blended together. I saw those colors. But they also translated into a white that I don't see on earth. Luminous is a word that comes to mind.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm It was too vast and without words to describe the lack of limits. No walls, no regions, no ownership of space, no ownership of knowledge, no end to anything.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Complete peace, trust, and curiosity
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
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? No There was no boundary, but I was stopped by someone telling me I had to go back. That is when my awareness of everything shifted. Then I felt panic at the thought of going back. I didn't want to return.
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 importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Other or several faiths Eclectic mix of eastern and earth-based spirituality
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I stopped trusting doctors and what their actual purpose is. I stopped believing we need other humans to be authorities. I stopped believing in fear. This means, I am not cynical about anything, but I also don't have any respect for politicians, wealthy and powerful players in the world, or celebrities. I also don't give credence to priests or teachers who simply use a book or manual to limit information to the masses.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Moderately important to me
What is your religion now? Other or several faiths Eclectic mix of eastern and earth-based spirituality
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I had no beliefs about life or death. Even though I had thought a little about reincarnation before, I didn't experience anything about that. Everything was not consistent with any ideas about heaven, hell, nirvana, rewards, judgement day, etc. All of that stuff is a hoax. That is the only inconsistency.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I stopped trusting doctors and what their actual purpose is. I stopped believing we need other humans to be authorities. I stopped believing in fear. This means, I am not cynical about anything, but I also don't have any respect for politicians, wealthy and powerful players in the world, or celebrities. I also don't give credence to priests or teachers who simply use a book or manual to limit information to the masses.
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 I had a companion who guided me to look, feel, and learn. He felt kind and loving toward me.
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? Yes I felt I was connecting to all the lifetimes and all the knowledge of every being who ever lived or would ever live. I also felt I was a continuation of the knowledge of my ancestors.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? Unknown
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes Teach and share sound.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are 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? I was uncertain if an afterlife exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Uncertain I didn't recognize there being a confirmation of such, but I adopted that knowledge and use it in my everyday life without any reason to believe otherwise.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately 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 meaningful and significant
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are not meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? Yes We use far too much energy trying to live our earthly lives in a way we believe constitutes happiness; but it is such an illusion. I experienced the ease of living without money, status, time, etc. I learned, after the NDE, that I have a choice all the time as to how I want to structure my experience, and I can follow any path I want. It doesn't matter once we cross over to the other side. It simply does not count for ANYTHING.... ever. So why choose a harsh life experience? We don't have too
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? Yes Love is such a shallow word. The experience is so vast to me, that I can barely speak of love in colloquial terms. When I am forced to do do, I feel I am talking about a kindergarten definition of love. What most people call love, on the other side to be was a sense of complete safety, acceptance, happiness, peacefulness, ease.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life. I believed in some kind of spirituality before the event. After, I believe that all is spirit, and there is no doctrine that contains all the essence of the spirit that comprises our lives. There is no meaning for me in studying religion because, I know for certain, it is a human construction. I still long, for a stronger connection to the vastness of the spirit of all things. Therefore, I tend to keep to myself more so that I have the space to mind-travel. Large changes in my life. I believed in some kind of spirituality before the event. After, I believe that all is spirit, and there is no doctrine that contains all the essence of the spirit that comprises our lives. There is no meaning for me in studying religion because, I know for certain, it is a human construction. I still long, for a stronger connection to the vastness of the spirit of all things. Therefore, I tend to keep to myself more so that I have the space to mind-travel.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes People say I was 'ruined' by this experience. I was a care-free silly person, ‘life of the party’ type. After, I became more thoughtful, deep, loner, and thinker. I am still happy, and friendly, but not the silly-type anymore. Some of that may be age-related. I am 65.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I still feel like I have to 'dumb'-down my choice of words and ideas because people look at me as if I am alien OR I AM A LIAR, which is the hardest. I feel such sweetness about my experience and I don't want to desecrate the gift, so I don't mention it too often. When I do talk about it, I find myself pausing and reflecting, trying to find the right words that can represent what I experienced. Often I apologize and say, 'I really don't have words for what I experienced.'
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 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 Psychic abilities, highly intuitive, talk to spirits, hear animal spirits
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The sound and colors seem to have made the biggest impact.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes People don't 'get' me. When I get all dreamy-eyed and soft-voiced about my experiences with sound and color, they often say something like, 'you did too much acid when you were young.' I realized that most people cannot even imagine a world that exists outside their realm of knowledge. So it is useless to talk with them about these broader subjects. It is too much to expect limited minds to imagine something greater. But I am all about the broader view: with no one who can share it with me.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had heard of a few books, Life after Life was one of them. I remember being bored and never finishing the book. It didn't mean anything to me.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was probably not real I doubted myself and my experience. I kept thinking it was just a dream.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Too much has happened for me to believe otherwise.
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? The most beautiful (again, a vastly inadequate word) experience I could ever imagine.