I have some memories which hold a fascination for my mind, like a riddle I interpreted and reinterpreted them. In many ways it is this fascination which, as a young person and now an adult, has led me on a journey of self discovery. They are my keys, so to speak, to seeing the world as it truly is; multidimensional (perhaps infinitely so) and incomprehensible through only the body-mind. We are life weaving itself into an immensely intricate tapestry and each expression, each person, is gifted with a unique set of experiences with the potential to reawaken their spiritual nature. Because the experiences i had where initially traumatic for me, I turned away from them for many years. I only began looking at them again with a renewed interest and understanding having reached a cross roads in my journey. I feel blessed at having received the right guidance at this time. Ultimately these experiences, which to this day stay vivid in my mind, have pushed me to look deeper at the apparent world we live in and, more importantly, from where it is all seen. Maybe by sharing them here it may help someone, somewhere.
I used to have 'night terrors' starting at around age 6 until age 9 or 10, always after some sort of feverish state. I would go to sleep and soon awaken to the feeling of my body expanding and vibrating beyond it's apparent physical limitations, this would be accompanied by a rumbling sound, gradually growing loader in my head. It was like the engines of a jumbo jet starting up until eventually it would drop into a continuous high pitch tone which would finally fizzle. I remember it was a bit like when you experience a ringing sound in your ears but this would be exaggerated 10 x. My body would feel like it were being blown up gradually like a balloon and become weightless like a feather. Smell, light, sound, touch, would be extremely heightened. Towards the end of these episodes my physical body would be shaking violently, sweating and I would be vomiting, my parents unable to console me. I would be screaming 'its coming' and feel a paralysing grip seize my body. Perhaps this was brought on by a fear of what was happening, I'm not sure, I remember there were occasions where I was unable to even scream, my jaws were clenched tightly shut and I could not raise my torso to sit up.
So with the high pitch tone in my ears, my body would be expanding. This felt fine for a time. It would then begin merging with the clean, smooth white bed linen and this would become my view. I would feel the soft sheets on my physical body and at the same time BE the sheets, travel over them like a landscape, feel their changing form, stitches, smell, hear them as they moved, but...gradually this would change and it was like the anticipation of this shift spoilt the whole experience each time and made it NOT OK. At this point my expanding body would slowly start contracting. It would become extremely heavy and dense and I felt as if I were falling down at a great speed. I would contract right down into my bones and skeleton and become incredibly small. I seem to remember becoming ball like. The sheets would begin creasing, wrinkling and cracking and the harsh sound and rough texture was horrible and EXTREMELY heavy and loud. Everything was heavy, my body, skeleton and sheets, and everything was seen and felt in high contrast. The experience would becoming extremely unpleasant. At this point I would open my eyes to wake up, but instead of things stopping I would be seeing and experiencing two scenarios simultaneously, it was like tuning in and out of two perspectives. I could not fully shake myself awake, though I wanted to so much. So whilst the expansion and contraction was happening I would see and experience my room from my physical body which 'wasn't quite right'. There would be shadowy streaks moving around it (a bit like micro organisms in water) and an awful sense of something horrible.. when I felt it nearing, I would think I was about to die, this would raise all the hairs on my body and I would start shaking violently. Even if I closed my physical eyes, these shadowy streaks would be there. I could hardly move or scream and when I could, I would be shaking and vomiting with fright and praying for these shadows to leave.. nothing soothed me as I felt death nearing me. At this point I would suddenly be swarmed by these shadows, forming this thick layer of black 'scribbles' over my vision. I can't quite recall how it would finally end, either I fainted or they would subside I think.
In other experiences I recall travelling to outer space and being suspended in a warm black star filled sky. In front of me would be this huge planet face. It would be smooth and round and bright and soft (i would feel this as well as see it), it was neither male nor female and it had a sympathetic loving look about it, like the Mona Lisa or an effigy of the Buddha. I would again start feeling the contractive sensation and plead to this face to stop whatever it was that was causing this. But again it would unfold in the same way it always did and the contrast of the image would change as it contracted, transforming even this soft, gentle face and turning it into a hard, skeletal face. I remember that at some point in the process it would transform into a monkey's face (like the one from disney's Aladin). This happened on various occasions. There were other visions/experiences always starting out in the same expansive way; soft and smooth and gentle, then shifting into heavy, harsh and dense.
In the hours following these 'night terrors', I clearly remember feeling identified with a sense of myself that was totally indifferent to what had just happened. It was as though I would fall deeper inside myself and look out at my room from an extremely peaceful place, untouched by all the trauma that had just happend. Often I remember feeling deeply disappointed at not having gone flying and willing myself to exit my body. In these moments the furthest I could get to would be the cupboard where I would come very close to its surface but remain firmly in my position in bed. There were other times in my childhood where I would actually exit and float, slightly clumsily down the stairs, but these moments were not connected to the night terrors.
During the days after these episodes, I would slowly feel a sense of the trauma creep in and a sense that something bad had happened 'to me'. It would make me feel extremely vulnerable and anxious and when recalling the memory in my minds eye I would instantly relive it and have goose bumps, shake and my eyes would sting with tears. They were very REAL situations and I felt my life threatened. Nobody could quite grasp the reality they held for me. Sometimes however, this deeper sense of 'I' would return and there would be moments where I would look at my hands as if for the first time, thinking 'wow, this is part of 'me' this is 'Maya' (ironically this is my name). I remember also moments where I would be amazed at the idea of time and its apparent linear aspect, I would think to myself 'this is the furthest moment...and now this is..and now this...' and so on, feeling a sense of presence very strongly. I also remember having moments of warped vision, in the same way someone recently described in their experience, where it was as if looking at the world with a telescope the wrong way round. I remember having a morbid curiosity as a child and teenager, always wanting to see road kill for instance, wanting to see the spark gone from the eyes, being fascinated and not at all shocked or afraid of death in all its expressions. I do not feel any fear towards death or dying.
Even though I was told about astral travel etc, I still couldn't connect it
to my experience. As a girl, the closest reference I could find to these states
was from films like 'the exorcist'... obviously totally unhelpful, just making
me feel ashamed (I never went green at least!!!). Recently I've learnt that
'night terrors' are in fact the 'vibrational state' when the astral body leaves
the physical. These vibrations where so intense for me as a child that I grew
fearful of them. In my experience, I was getting caught in this dark curtain of
gargoyles and during the sleep paralysis which ensued in this semi conscious
state, I was confronted with what felt to me like death. I now realize how those
'gargoyles' fed off of my fear and attacked that sense of self which was formed
with ego, the projected idea of myself, still fresh and in the making. I knew
then, and I confirmed with many experiences later in life, that this was only
the intimidation of an illusory sense of myself which is vulnerable and
perishable. I often hear people speak of the mind as being an enemy, but perhaps
it is an assistant in our tuning in with a truer/deeper sense of self. The
monkey mind is on our backs always ready to pounce at our deluded ideas of who
we are. The experience ultimately taught me to look inwards, to look deeper and
ask 'who am I?' I feel blessed to have had three very important teachers in my
life since who have guided me in this realization and helped me understand what
that planet face was probably showing me all along. It's wonderful, I love this
journey of life.
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 is hard to describe in words the totality of the experiences. There is like a 360 degree 'vision' from all basic 5 senses. As a child I could only express the REALNESS of the experience, which for the adults around me made no logical sense. As an adult now the memories I recall have this enhanced, crystalline nature. For many years after these experiences I would have goose bumps just thinking about them and recounting the terror I felt, stung my eyes with tears.
At the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening event? No Response
What was your level of consciousness and alertness during the experience? Semi sleep and then a half waking state from which I was unable to come out of at will. Even Opening my eyes didn't help.
Was the experience dream like in any way? It would start off dreamlike but then become ever more real
Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body? Yes I would be at once aware of my physical body, its shape, sensations/limitations and as this expanding 'body' that would ultimately become the surroundings, encompassing all aspects both physical and experiential. I would then contract inwards, reversing the effect of the process, going to the extreme opposite
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Calm, nice, beauty, pleasure, quickly spoilt but a looming sense of finality and death being an end. Afterwards a sense of calm serenity and peace, also disappointment
Did you hear any unusual sounds or noises? An immense rumbling and ringing in the ears that would finally fizzle out. It was like when one has a ringing in the ears but this would be 10 x greater.
LOCATION DESCRIPTION: Did you recognize any familiar locations or any locations from familiar religious teachings or encounter any locations inhabited by incredible or amazing creatures? Uncertain During these experiences I would be in space and meet a huge round face (like a planet with a face).
Did you see a light? No
Did you meet or see any other beings? Yes I met with this loving face that had a very peaceful expression. As my experience changed, I would plead to it to stop what I felt was happening to me.
Did you experiment while out of the body or in another, altered state? No
Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later? No
Did you notice how your 5 senses were working, and if so, how were they different? Yes The best way I can describe my 5 senses was that it felt as if they were 360 degrees. I was in all the elements of the experience and at the same time experiencing it all at once.
Did you have any sense of altered space or time? Yes Yes I had no sense of the duration of these episodes and I had a multi layered vision/perception of things going on in and around me. I felt in my stomach that I was falling at high speed downwards into my bone structure/ my body into my bed
Did you have a sense of knowing, special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? Uncertain I could clearly see I was unending. Like a Russian doll. And the frightening sense of finality only existed on one layer, like a boundary leading to the next.
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes There was a definite boundary felt where one sense of myself ended and another began. When the experience expanded and contracted it was a very highly contrasted sensation, and the tipping point between the two felt like a limit or boundary of some sort - like when you reach the top of a roller coaster track, you sense an imminent drop coming.
Did you become aware of future events? No
Were you involved in or aware of a decision regarding your return to the body? No
Did you have any psychic, paranormal or
other special gifts following the experience that you did not have prior to the
Because these things happened when I was only 6. I don't know before. I
can say that I dream vividly with visitations and future events, i have lucid
dreams where I walk in and out of dream states, often with a guide showing me
something after I go to sleep with a question, or myself guiding someone. I read
peoples feelings and thoughts - for many years I thought I was paranoid but I
have come to learn that these are very accurate. I met all my children through
my dreams before they were born, I predicted their character and energy very
accurately whilst they were in my belly...many things like this. I don't see
myself as special just in tune with other layers of perception. I have had many
spiritually motivating experiences of oneness, and more recently immensely
profound experience of non duality and deep love
Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience? Yes I do not see death as final. Consciousness only transforms at this moment whether on the physical or psychological or any other plain. It is only a doorway to a more refined state.
How has the experience affected your relationships? Daily life? Religious practices? Career choices? It has ultimately guided my life's journey and my search within, to understand or be closer with high states of consciousness. It has prepared me for the role of motherhood.
Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes I have come to realize my whole life has been lived from a perspective which very few share, naturally. For a long time I thought this is how everybody experiences life.
Have you shared this experience with others? Yes Very few get what I am speaking about. My parents who went through it with me felt helpless, ultimately they were frightened and confused by it. My teachers (important figures in my life) speak of these things very clearly and understand them experientially.
What emotions did you experience following your experience? Huge peace and calm.
What was the best and worst part of your experience? Best expanding worst contracting
Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience? This is what I remember from my experience. If I were a child again I would probably convey it more purely, with less interpretation. But this is how it has come to be understood. Ultimately I want to lay it down. I feel no need to dwell on it any longer or entertain my mind with it
Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I took various substances as a teenager. Ketamine, I remember would remind me of a lot of the sensations (not frightening in any way) the sense of seeing the world through the top end of a telescope.
Did the questions asked and information you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Yes Yes, it took me a long time to form this into a cohesive report of the experiences.
Please offer any suggestions you may have to improve this questionnaire. No I think its all fine. thank you for creating this space to share these memories.