Linda P's Experience
It was a cloudy and rainy day and I was hoping to realize one of my dreams from the time I was a tiny girl of 5. I was auditioning for a world famous music school. It was a school that I heard about from my father who was a graduate, and also in particular from one of my very early piano teachers who was also a graduate of that school. Also, two uncles and an aunt graduated from this school. The pressure was so tremendous for me, and I didn't know how I would face everyone if I was not accepted, not to mention how I would face myself!
So as I said it was a rainy and gloomy day the day of the audition. I spoke to my grandmother before leaving for the audition and she said rain was good luck. I thought it was bad luck, but since my grandmother said it was good luck I believed her. I am so glad she said that because I felt better. So I left for the audition, and when I finally arrived at the school there were many students waiting to audition! To say that I was nervous doesn't even begin to describe it! My father instructed me not to listen to students warming up before auditions in the practice rooms. He said they might sound very good but one never knows what the judges will think. I remember when it was time for me to go to warm up before my audition (I am a pianist) on the way to the practice room I did hear a girl who was playing very well, but I remembered what my father said and I put it out of my mind. Then I went into the practice room and started warming up. It was going well, but I came to a place where I was getting stuck. I became worried, but I continued practicing. The pressure was unlike anything I had ever experienced in my life. And then I heard the knock on the door which meant my practice time was up and it was time to go down to audition. I felt that knock was coming from someone who was taking me to my execution. I can still hear the knock now all these years later. And then we went downstairs and I was told that I should sit on the bench outside the room and wait! I thought, oh no, I have to wait again. The waiting was torture!
Someone was inside the room finishing her audition. I knew it was a she because when her audition was over she came out of the room crying. Please believe me when I say that it was not very comforting for me to see someone coming out crying! And then the door which looked huge to me closed and I was waiting again for what seemed like an eternity! Then the door was opened and I was told to enter. Now here is the first hint of what was to come. I felt as though I left part of me on the bench outside, and another part of me was walking in the door. It was as though I was split in two. And when I walked in that door I was facing a world renowned pianist who I admired for my entire life. I remember seeing him when I didn't expect to once when I was twelve and my jaw was just hanging down. He was smiling at me and he didn't know me at the time, but my jaw was still hanging down. And now I was about to play for this great man! So I walked over to the piano, and I was asked to play the Bach. That went very well, and then I was asked to play the first movement of the Beethoven Sonata I prepared. That also went well, but it was also a turning point in the audition. At one point in that piece I played a chord that was wrong, and it shocked me. I said to myself, "Oh no, you are not going to ruin this audition. So I remember digging myself into the piano bench, and at that point I became very determined. The experience didn't happen yet, and there was one more surprise. Fortunately the surprise wasn't another wrong note but instead I was asked to play the Chopin Nocturne I prepared. But my teacher who was present at the audition (she is a faculty member) said that they probably would not hear the Nocturne. I was asked to play that piece by another very famous pianist who was there. And I just looked at him and said to myself I can't believe he is asking for the Nocturne. Of course I knew it very well but because of what my teacher said, I didn't practice it as much as the other pieces. So I turned around to the piano and started playing the Nocturne and that is when the Out Of Body experience happened.
It was as though I was looking down on myself, and I was watching myself play. And I never played that well in my life. In fact, I had no idea who was playing because it felt like someone else was playing. And I felt as though I was an observer just like the musicians who were holding the audition. I was listening along with them!! And I knew something very weird was happening when a place that worried me towards the end of that piece was never easier. I felt especially high above my body when I was playing that place. It was as though I was a passive observer from above. And yet I was playing with more expression than ever, and I know it sounded anything but passive! At the beginning I mentioned that it was a cloudy day in order to highlight what seemed to me like a bright spotlight on the wall right below the ceiling. It was a very grey cloudy day and yet there was this bright light. I still don't know what to think about that, and that might not be worth mentioning because it could have been from a light in the room. But I want to emphasize that right before I was out of my body, I was attracted to that spotlight right under the ceiling. I am sure the ceilings are about eleven feet. And it almost seems that the light spurred this experience on. But I will never really be sure about that. I am sure that I didn't see that light at the beginning or even during the middle of the audition. I just saw it before the OBE.
That audition was one of the greatest experiences, and maybe I should correct that and say the greatest experience of my life. Two days before the audition I have been discussing here I auditioned for another very famous music school. That audition went very well, but nothing anywhere near the experience that I described here. I am glad because that proves to me that something that was unique happened at the most important audition. And I was accepted!! I was accepted to the school I dreamed about during my entire childhood!! Many students were listening to my audition and after the audition one of them said to me, "you're in", he continued to say, "you have an innate sense of rhythm". And I said to myself, "you don't know the half of it"! And at that moment I said to myself, "I don't even care if they take me in", "and if they don't they are crazy". I don't mean to sound egotistical, but the point I am trying to make is that the experience itself at that moment was more important than anything that had happened up to that point in my not very long life. And when I said to myself they are crazy if they don't take me it is because I had never heard this person who just played even though it was me! Since this experience I had other experiences while playing but they were not as extended. They were brief but also important. And whenever it happens again I always say to myself, "it's happening again"! One of these experiences happened during an audition for graduate school. Again a very famous school. During that audition the mirror in the room was important for some reason. It seemed to be part of that experience. Almost as though the image in the mirror was making the separation. When I looked at the mirror I said to myself "it is happening again". I was also accepted this graduate school. During the first audition with with the extended experience my teacher who was there later said, "I heard you play those pieces many times, but it was as though I was hearing you play those pieces for the first time". She then said "It was as though I was hearing you for the first time". I believed it, because it was as though I heard myself for the first time!
Any associated medications or substances with the potential to affect the experience? No
Was the kind of experience difficult to express in words? Yes It was an out of body experience and when it happened it was spontaneous, and I really didn't understand what was happening. I was auditioning for a world famous music school, and it happened when I played a Chopin Nocturne. All of a sudden I seemed to be watching myself play, and my playing far exceeded anything I had ever heard from myself. It was like a perfect dream, and I had complete control. I said to myself, "I don't know what is happening but I am not going to interfere. It had the feeling of looking at something in slow motion, but I wasn't playing slower. The tempo was perfect. It is as though I was listening to someone else play. I never played better in my life up to that time.
At the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening event? Yes I answered yes to this question because I felt that it was a matter of life and death to get admitted to this very famous music school. The pressure was tremendous for me since my father and three other members of my family were graduates of this school.
What was your level of consciousness and alertness during the experience? I was extremely alert.
Was the experience dream like in any way? The experience was definitely dreamlike especially at the point when I was looking down on myself as though those hands I was watching play from very high above belonged to someone else. It was dreamlike because it looked like a movie when they show a scene in slow motion.
Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body? Yes Absolutely! It was as though my body was a marionette and something from above was controlling it. And the control was the most outstanding feature of this experience. It was as though I couldn't possibly go wrong. I was totally amazed the entire time it was happening.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Mostly fear which is very possibly what brought this experience on in the first place.
Did you hear any unusual sounds or noises? No except for the sound of my own playing.
Did you recognize any familiar locations or any locations from familiar religious teachings or encounter any locations inhabited by incredible or amazing creatures? No This doesn't apply to my experience.
Did you see a light? Yes I saw what looked liked a large spotlight right under the ceiling. I would say it was 2 1/2 to 3 feet wide.
Did you meet or see any other beings? No No
Did you experiment while out of the body or in another, altered state? No No.
Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later? Yes Yes. More than one person noticed that something special happened, and this was a verification for me.
Did you notice how your 5 senses were working, and if so, how were they different? Yes Yes. I was more controlled than usual. Every sense was under control.
Did you have any sense of altered space or time? Yes Yes. It felt like slow motion.
Did you have a sense of knowing, special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? Yes Yes, because I knew that something far greater than little me was at work. I remember that our family (my father, mother, and sister) went out to dinner after the audition and I still was a part of the audition experience and I felt detached from what was going on around me at dinner. I wasn't out of my body but I also wasn't completely there and present with my family. I am not known to be speechless, but at that dinner table I was speechless. I was just sitting there trying to make sense of what happened, but I couldn't make sense of it. I was always very communicative with my family, and there was never a loss of words for any of us. Especially me! And yet, I wasn't saying a word!
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? No No
Did you become aware of future events? No No.
Were you involved in or aware of a decision regarding your return to the body? No No
Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience that you did not have prior to the experience? No No. Although I have had quite a few unusual experiences, and at least three times I knew when someone was going to pass away.
Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience? No No
How has the experience affected your relationships? Daily life? Religious practices? Career choices? It was a profound experience. I am an Episcopalian, and one of the characteristics of that denomination is that they don't dictate how you think as much as some other denominations. In many ways I think like a Christian Scientist and the experience described here could have made it possible for me to think that way.
Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes I realize they we are so much more than we think. It says in the Bible, "a very present help in trouble". And that's just it. It is that presence. I can always look back on that experience and know with conviction that God, Source, or whatever you want to call it is always present.
Have you shared this experience with others? Yes I told two musicians. One of them said "I am vey interested in these things", but that was the end of the conversation. The other musician didn't say anything, but when I said "did you ever have an experience like that", he opened his eyes wide and nodded his head up and down in the affirmative. It was obvious that he had many experiences like that. And this conversation was very recent. I told about three other people who were not musicians and they looked bewildered, and they also looked very uncomfortable.
What was the best and worst part of your experience? The best part was when I was looking down on myself and I felt like I was watching myself in slow motion. The worst part was before the experience happened and I played that wrong chord.
Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience? Just that it was the high point of my life.
Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Certainly not medication or substances, but it happened during other performances which brought on a similar experience. Those experiences were not as intense however.
Did the questions asked and information you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Yes Yes, and I think the questions are excellent.