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.