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Joyce H's NDE

Joyce Hawkes PhD was a well published cell biologist. After her near death experience, she became a spiritual healer. Really good four-minute video.



New Book: "From Soul to Cell. Spiritual Bridges to Healing" is available!

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Go to: Books and Video

Experience description:

While cleaning house, a leaded glass window encased in an oak frame (24X18" and about 20 lbs) fell off the mantel an whacked me on the head. I remember catching a glimpse of it coming toward me and the impact as it drove me to my knees. The first moment was of incredible pain and then no pain as I separated from my body.

   Now, I was a Ph.D. research biophysics and electron microscopy; fully immersed in science and research on the ultra-structure of cell pathology in organisms exposed to environmental pollutants. I had no spiritual beliefs, no belief in an afterlife, God or any religion. I had never heard of near death experiences nor had any interest in what I would have called fantasy.

     I was not thinking about any of this as I whizzed down a long dark tunnel toward a light that was drawing me to itself. I was not thinking about anything at all, nor was I afraid. I was just there with all this happening so fast.

    I remember slowing down, without my choice, at the entrance to the lighted place and amazed to discover my mother and grandmother standing to the right and greeting me with so much love. They communicated to me in some way, certainly without words or hearing, but clearly inside my mind. I was astonished to see them healthy and middle aged, happy and so full of love and recognition for me. I would take any blow on the head to have had the assurance of their consciousness. What a gift.

   I then passed into the place of light: rolling hills, grass, flowers, blue skies and  vibrant with color. What amazed me was the intensity, brilliance, and clarity of the color and that it seemed to be emitted from within each aspect of the landscape. The grass glowed green. It was so beautiful. It was so very beautiful.

   Suddenly I was in the presence of a Being of Light. I could not see the face, could communicate, but not in words or pictures even; in some connection of oneness. I experience that connection in meditation frequently, but I cannot explain it very precisely. It is beyond words and other kinds of experiences. The emotions are always enhanced. I feel joy so deep that my whole self leaps with gratitude; I feel peace; I feel awe and belonging. I did not have a specific life review, but felt everything about me and my life was known, understood and not judged. I was profoundly loved.

   It seemed that I was there forever in the Presence.

   Without discussion or warning, I was suddenly back in my body with a very sore head. A mat of dried blood was all over my hair and I was really woozy. My physician's service asked if I had lost consciousness and I said no. How dumb! So I went to bed propped up on pillows because it hurt too much to lay prone. This was Friday night.

   My Monday when I returned to the lab and work, a colleague took one look at me and hustled me off to his doctor. I had not been in Seattle all that long, as only had an ob/gyn, not a family physician. After a CT scan, neurological testing (I had no toe curl response on one side, was very wobbly) I was sent to bed and asked to not work for several weeks. The hematoma on my brain was small enough to not require surgery, the gash on my skull was sealed by now. As the doc said: "We would have stitched that for you, had you come in earlier."

   So I had the first time in my life of being by myself without some external busy-ness.  The images and feelings of the NDE kept coming back to me.

   As I recovered and was up and about, I wandered into Elliott Bay Book Store. Ray Moody's first book about near death experiences "Life After Life" seemed to hop off the shelf into my hands. I read much of the book, maybe even all of it, standing there, astonished. He described case after case of similar experiences. I could not discount what happened to me, the visions I saw. Then I was launched on an exploration of consciousness and expanded reality that continues to this day.

    After years of meditation, learning, meeting teachers and people who had similar experiences, I had a vision that called me to healing. In 1984 I turned the lab over to one of my assistants and left to pursue a life of counseling, studying spiritual traditions in shamanic cultures, and facilitating spiritual aspects of healing. Now I continue private sessions, teach, present seminars, and have published my first book to make the information I gained available to anyone.

Was the kind of experience difficult to express in words? Yes     Strong emotional tone, images of unspeakable beauty

At the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening event?          Yes     I was hit on the head with a decorative leaded glass window

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness?    From he moment of leaving my body until back in my body.

How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal every day consciousness and alertness?    More consciousness and alertness than normal

If your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience was different from your normal every day consciousness and alertness, please explain:            I could see in every direction, including behind me. I was aware but relaxed and seemed to perceive everything

Did your vision differ in any way from your normal, everyday vision (in any aspect, such as clarity, field of vision, colors, brightness, depth perception degree of solidness/transparency of objects, etc.)?  Yes     Enhanced clarity, scope of view, laser-like colors of bright, clear hues, emotional tone to colors...ecstatic

Did your hearing differ in any way from your normal, everyday hearing (in any aspect, such as clarity, ability to recognize source of sound, pitch, loudness, etc.)?
            Uncertain      I don't remember hearing...information seems to just drop into my thoughts

Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body?     Yes

What emotions did you feel during the experience?            Joy, ecstasy, peace, gratitude, meaning, fullness, absence of struggle

Did you pass into or through a tunnel or enclosure?          Yes     I passed out of my body immediately into a tunnel with a magnetic light at the end drawing me at great speed to itself

Did you see a light?           Yes     A beautiful light drew me to itself, the light still touches me with awe and tears come immediately

Did you meet or see any other beings?           Yes     my mother and grandmother greeted me at just before the entrance to the 'landscape'

Did you experience a review of past events in your life?    Yes     Sort of...not a specific or detailed life review, but a feeling that there were no secrets, all was known and I was not judged in any way.

Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later?          No      

Did you see or visit any beautiful or otherwise distinctive locations, levels or dimensions?           Yes            The landscape was beautiful, blue skies, rolling hills, flowers. All was full of light, as if lit from within itself and emitting light, not reflecting it.

Did you have any sense of altered space or time?   Yes     It seemed as if there was only a moment of time and an eternal expanse of time

Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose?     Yes            Everything is ok, all the universe is in God's hands

Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? No      

Did you become aware of future events?       No           

Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience you did not have prior to the experience?     Yes     Slowly I came to realize I returned with many gifts of vision, knowing, seeing beyond ordinary reality, and the capacity to facilitate healing, particularly at physical levels

Have you shared this experience with others?         Yes     It was several years before I shared the experience, after wandering into a Seattle IANDS meeting at the Green Lake library.

Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience?    No      

How did you view the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened:            Experience was definitely not real        I discounted the entire experience as hallucination until the emotional impact and specific events would not go away.

Were there one or several parts of the experience especially meaningful or significant to you?            Every instant of it was meaningful and deeply life changing

How do you currently view the reality of your experience:            Experience was definitely real    I view it as real, repeatable in the sense that I can return to aspects of the 'place' in meditation on occasion. That is, when I yearn for the 'place' sometimes it opens and I am in the presence of the being of Light and the rolling hills. This is not something I can control or demand, but is gifted to me once in awhile.

Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience?           Yes     Lost marriage, gained fabulous friends and teachers

Have your religious beliefs/practices changed specifically as a result of your experience?           
Yes            No longer atheist. Practice spiritually consistently

Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience?         Yes     Deep meditation can reproduce part of it. I have taken no medications, smoked or ingested any substances to promote shamanic journeys or hallucinations.

Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience?       

Did the questions asked and information you provided so far accurately and comprehensively describe your experience?         Yes     Great questions...helped me deepen the remembrance a bit more.

Are there any other questions we could ask to help you communicate your experience?      Hi Jody and Jeff...

At long last I have completed your questionnaire!  I found it to be a very emotional experience, surprisingly! Once again living the NDE brings me to a place of awe and humility, gratitude and yearning.