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Rhonda D's Experience

Experience description:   

Well, if you've read this far - thank you. Because I didn't 'die' my experience is usually passed over, but this experience has stuck with me and I believe something happened. What it was - or where I went - I can't say.  

One fall night, I went to sleep like every other night, but I had recently begun meditating because I was so depressed. I was told it could alleviate stress and help me relax. Sometime during sleep, I became conscience. I woke in a dark or gray room with no sound. In front of me were three silver tables that looked like operating tables. One lady was to my left and she was waiting. A second lady was to my right and she was already lying on the third table. I stood in front of the middle table. I knew I had been there before and was not distressed but I was a bit confused. I was as if coming awake suddenly and having to determine what was going on. I felt dazed and a bit foggy. As I took in the room, I realized I could not see the walls or the edges of the room. It was shrouded in a sort of haze and the further back the room went, the darker it was. Further to my right, a third lady waited for me. I knew her. I did not know her name, but I was familiar with her and she with me. She worked there. That was the impression I got. I walked to her and turned my back to her. I lifted my long hair off the nape of my neck and touched me with her fingers near the largest bone on my spinal cord closest to my neck. I could not see what she was doing and felt nothing other than her fingers which were light and soft - warm and dry. When she finished, I knew I was supposed to go and lie on the table like the other two ladies. And I noticed that the first lady was now laying down. I took my place on the table and I can say that I felt a bit hesitant in this room or unsure of exactly what was going to happen although the entire time I kept reminding myself that I had been there before. I knew I didn't belong there - not like the lady who had adjusted something on the back of my neck.  

When I got up onto the table, it was nearly instantaneous. I popped out of my body through the back of my head. I hovered above this table now and stared down at the thing on the silver 'cart'. I didn't recognize it. It looked deflated - like a balloon that had been blown up but lost all its air - or like a tube of toothpaste that had been squeezed from the bottom up. It looked empty. I just was fascinated with this thing upon the table. It had clothes I noticed and socks. I began recognizing the image on the table and realized it was me. And it was at that instant that I became completely aware and all the fog cleared. I began wondering well, if I am here but my body is down there then what am I and what do I look like now? I slowly moved my right hand up to eye level and observed my hand.  

It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. I cannot do it justice with the words in our language. I glowed as brilliant as the sun, but soft because it didn't hurt my eyes. Inside my hand, because it was transparent, were millions of glitter or sparkles. And with that realization I became elated. It was the most wonderful feeling I have ever felt in my life. I kept thinking to myself, ‘I am so beautiful. Oh my, how beautiful I am.’ And then, this warm feeling of joy and ecstasy just consumed me. It was so strange now when I remember it but at the time it was incredible. I had no knowledge of my children, my husband, my life, my problems, my depression...nothing. I have tried to recreate that sensation in my waking life, and you just can't. It's nearly impossible - even during mediation - to completely forget everything that  is a part of you in this life but in that moment I had no knowledge or connection to anything beyond that place. I just can't describe the utter love, total acceptance of oneself, joy, completely free of any doubt, negativity, concern. And being a mother - I am always worrying about something - my kids, my weight, the cat, my husband. But not in that moment in that place. It was utter joy and love. And this all happened so fast - and as I was admiring myself and bathing in the joy I thought or maybe someone said in my head or whatever it was that I had, and it was not said in a mean way it was said in a humorous way as if this person or myself was so pleased with my joy but yet had to remind me why I was there - ‘All right, stop admiring yourself. You have a job to do.’ And with that I began moving.  

I was like a golden bit of smoke or see-through scarf that flew as fast as a thought. I began moving towards the person I was there for. I came to help a woman. Below me were filing cabinets but I could only see the tops so it was all tan squares with some drawers pulled out. Women were sitting in chairs that rolled and swiveled. They were talking on the phone or hunching over their desks working on paper. There was lots of activity but no one noticed me. The sound was sort of all run together and I could hear them talking but it was garbled together like geese all honking. They were not my focus. And as I thought of the person I was there to help I zoomed in on her.  

She was older than me and older than most of the women in this office. I would say she was in her late 70's. I found her on a stairwell. She was climbing stairs very slowly. And as I approached her I felt her - I felt her fear and her trepidation. It didn't affect me - her mood didn't make me afraid but yet, I still felt her and I could empathize with her. The fear she had was just so sad. I wanted to wrap her in my arms and tell her it would be all right. But she could not hear or see me. I flew beside her as she crept up each step - her arms were so frail looking. Her legs shook as she lifted them to place her feet on the next step. I was there for her and I could not leave her. This was why I was here. I knew it. And it was what I did. It was my job. And I think all the women who were at desks belonged there too. But I knew I didn't belong there I was just a person that came and went. I was not to stay there. The lady that 'unzipped' me belonged there. But the other women on the tables were like me - they were visitors, I guess.  

Anyways, the lady had white hair in a bun. She looked small to me. Thin and a bit bony. I did not recognize her as a relative. Tears were running down her cheeks and she did not want to reach the top of the stairs. I thought, keep going it will be fine. But I could not make a sound. I couldn't speak or make myself known. But what I thought she felt. And so I was to stay with her and encourage her up the steps. Soon, we were nearing the top and at the top of the steps, which looked like typical office steps, concrete with a black railing, I saw this light. It was very bright and white but not painful.  

She stepped off the last step and into this new area that was cloud-like. All around us was this beautiful white light. A small arced bridge was before us - it reminded me of the kind you might find in a Japanese garden. She did not want to go any further and a new set concern filled her. I hovered above her left side and kept thinking, go on it will be fine. The entire area was white and almost like we were walking on top of the clouds. She made her way onto the bridge and once across I could no longer see her. She just vanished into the clouds. I knew when I saw the bridge that I was not meant or allowed to cross the bridge. It was not for me but I was to get her across the bridge. And once she crossed it I was sucked backwards like through a straw and woke up - in my bed.  

It took a moment to re-orient myself and when I realized I was in bed and not in the white area and no longer golden I was devastated. I felt so heavy and sluggish and cold. I wanted to go back so badly. I wanted to be light again and feel the joy that just consumes you - it fills every cell and every part of your being. There's no room for anything else. But I couldn't return and I don't think I ever have or at least I have not been conscience of it. But since then, my fear of death is significantly minimized. I began praying more and meditated and tried to learn how to have out of body experiences just so I could go back. I was never able to have an OBE during meditation. I had many other encounters but never was I able to reach that place or become golden again. If heaven is even a fraction of what I experienced, we are all so very lucky and fortunate. It is only a transition - a different level of being. And to me, this place seemed like the more difficult of the two.

At the time of your experience was there an associated life-threatening event?   Uncertain  I'm not sure. I may have had sleep apnea and I was clinically depressed at the time of the event. I had a very hard time with my daughter's birth and became depressed after she was born. I began having experiences after she came into this world.

Was the experience difficult to express in words?  Yes     There is no word that can encompass the joy that is felt and the beauty. The lightness and then the return to the body. It's so funny because we dread dying but if I was dead or in that realm THIS is the world that is difficult. The other is bliss. This is the world that we must trudge through albeit being here gives us a different type of experience. There is home. Here is not quite. That's how I felt, I felt at home in the other world.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness?    Right after I left my body.

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 had been depressed and would forget things, misplace things, contemplate death and suicide. But in this place, you know things and your mind is not burdened by all this clutter - all the things in our lives here that slow us down. You entire being is light - airy - Mere thoughts move you to your destination. What people feel and think you know without words. It's hard to explain.

Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience.   Colors are crisper and more vivid than here on earth. The gold I saw I don't see here on earth. The closest thing is the sun but I can't paint it. I've tried. And I think I was on the threshold of heaven but never entered it.

Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience.   I didn't hear much when I was out of body. I FELT things more than I heard them. Again, I don't think I entered heaven but I was at the gates.

Did you see or hear any earthly events that were occurring during a time that your consciousness / awareness was apart from your physical / earthly body?   No  

What emotions did you feel during the experience?   Before I left my body, I was the same as on earth and a bit uncertain as to what was happening and where I was. After I left my body, euphoria, love, complete self-acceptance, no worries, no cares, no attachment to the earth AT ALL. That was the strangest thing and you just try to reproduce that feeling by imagining it. You can't! Not in this form. I've tried.  

Did you pass into or through a tunnel?   No   I did not go to heaven but was at its gates perhaps.

Did you see an unearthly light?   Yes   The light at the top of the stairs was not God - I am certain of that but it had a different feel to it than light here, on earth. It was very bright and yet soft. You could look right into it and it had no affect on your eyes. But it did not have an identity.

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
The third lady in the gray room was not of earth. She was peaceful but not angelic. She was like me but she belonged there. The voice inside my head - I was not able to identify. It seemed to have no gender or maybe none that I could detect, but it was filled with complete love, peace, acceptance and humor. the voice was amused by me and delighted by my joy. I felt total acceptance by its gentle reminder.

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  

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings?   Uncertain   I do not know if the woman climbing the stairs was alive or dead. I am guessing she had recently died and was on her way to heaven or to God. I believe the two other women in the gray room were both alive = like me. They were temporary visitors. I do not know if the woman who 'unzipped' me was dead or alive. Since she belonged there, I am guessing she was a spirit...whether she lived before or not, I don't know.

Did you become aware of past events in your life during your experience?   No  

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world?   A clearly mystical or unearthly realm
Where ever I went, it was not earth. The ability to move at the speed of thought, the ability to experience emotions that others were feeling and then also to experience a state of problem-free bliss was undeniably unearthly. The cloud-like world was a place before heaven. It was not heaven itself. It was like a gateway, I suppose. I was not permitted beyond this bridge as I was not dead. But in my out-of-body state I was able to assist this woman into heaven.

Did time seem to speed up or slow down?   Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Time had no meaning. It's so hard to explain. I felt as if I'd been asleep all night. It appeared so much happened in such a short amount of time. But when I woke it was still nighttime. Moving was at the speed of thought. Thinking was fast too and seemed happen all at once. Feelings came at you all at once enabling me to feel and simultaneously understand the other person.

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything?   No

Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure?   Yes
The bridge! I was not permitted to cross the bridge. I knew it and didn't question it. I was allowed only so far. And what's strange is I didn't seem to mind. I didn't even try to go further. I just knew this was not meant for me.

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
I came to the bridge and once my 'job' was finished and the elderly woman crossed the bridge, I was snapped back to my body and back to life. It was not pleasant to return. The weight and heaviness of my body was awful.

Did scenes from the future come to you?  No 

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness suggesting that there either is (or is not) continued existence after earthly life (“life after death”)?   Yes   It was a knowing. It was understood that the bridge is a pathway to 'home'. I was not allowed to go home yet. And no matter what I did I am quite certain I would not have been able to cross the bridge. But the glimpse I was given of our or my 'spirit' is unforgettable. The emotions I felt while in this spirit realm were indescribable and unfathomable...

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness that God or a supreme being either does (or does not) exist?   Uncertain   I did not see God but whatever 'talked' to me, was the most gentle, loving, accepting, peaceful being I've ever encountered. There is no judgment, no worry, no concern - just complete total love and warmth. The joy and love that fills you when here are simply indescribable.

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness that you either did (or did not) exist prior to this lifetime?   No  

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness that a mystical universal connection or unity/oneness either does (or does not) exist?   Uncertain  

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness regarding earthly life’s meaning or purpose?   No   I know only what I felt. That this world is the challenge and that once we die, the burdens we feel now will be forgotten. Any connection to this world and the emotional ties we have are severed. It doesn't mean we forget those we love but we are more objective because we love all. And I got the sense that some people are so terrified to die that they get lost and have to be helped. I was a helper of sorts. I never made it to the promised land but I knew it was beyond the bridge.

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness regarding earthly life’s difficulties, challenges, or hardships?   Uncertain   I know only what I felt. That this world is the challenge and that once we die, the burdens we feel now will be forgotten. Any connection to this world and the emotional ties we have are severed. It doesn't mean we forget those we love but we are more objective because we love all. And I got the sense that some people are so terrified to die that they get lost and have to be helped. I was a helper of sorts. I never made it to the promised land but I knew it was beyond the bridge.

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness regarding love?   Uncertain   That's all you feel while there. It's love. It's love of yourself, the universe, the world, and all that is in existence. It's so hard to explain the complete lack of worry that you have. If you worried about being unemployed, losing your house, your sick child, your own health...all of that is as if it never happened when you enter this realm beyond. It's almost like this world becomes the dream.

During your experience, did you encounter any other specific information / awareness that you have not shared in other questions that is relevant to living our earthly lives?   Uncertain  

Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge or purpose?   No  

What occurred during your experience included:   Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience   I always thought that we'd be like busy-bodies when we died and want to sneak a peek at everything going on on the earth. But while out of body, I had no inclination to visit earth or see what was going on. It felt as if the curtain once drawn remains drawn. It's a separation between the two.

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 have no idea what was going on that year, but this experience is clearer than the birth of my daughter, or son. They were wonderful events but also filled with turmoil. It left a deep emotional scar and eased my fear of death. I don't want to die because I love my family and there are things I want to do and see here, but I am no longer terrified of it. I also remember this event better and clearer than I remember yesterday. It's never left me.

Discuss any changes that might have occurred in your life after your experience:   I became very interested in meditation after my 'dream experience'. I also began praying and became easier on myself. I was very very hard on myself before this experience.

My experience directly resulted in:  
Moderate changes in my life

Did you have any changes in your values or beliefs after the experience that occurred as a result of the experience?  
Yes   My belief about death and dying changed. I used to be unsure if we just died and everything went black - like before we were born. Or I thought maybe we went to heaven or hell. Now, I don't believe in hell and I don't believe in the traditional heaven either. God is also a concept we cannot conceive.

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you?   Yes, the feeling of love, acceptance, and joy were so indescribable. And also the self-acceptance I had in the golden form was unbelievable. The same love I felt from this voice I felt for myself. I was beautiful - all the way through. We all are beautiful all the way through and we all try to do our best. Even when it seems like someone may not be trying, they are doing the best they can with what they have. We all are.

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience?   Yes   After this experience, I did become ... receptive. I found myself having more dreams that were remembered after this event. I also found during meditation that I went very deep and encountered my loved ones during one meditation where they all encircled me and sent me loving waves that made me weep because it was so humbling to know how much you are loved even being so flawed. You are loved - I am loved. I also had contact with a dead girl who was murdered. This occurred through a friend who was searching for her. But I would 'see' her during certain meditation sessions. She was recently found - dead in Kentucky.

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you?    
Yes, the feeling of love, acceptance, and joy were so indescribable. And also the self-acceptance I had in the golden form was unbelievable. The same love I felt from this voice I felt for myself. I was beautiful - all the way through. We all are beautiful all the way through and we all try to do our best. Even when it seems like someone may not be trying, they are doing the best they can with what they have. We all are.

Have you ever shared this experience with others?  
Yes  but it has been only my closest relatives. Well, it was less than a month when I told my father because he has had mystical experiences as a child and so he was so pleased. My mother, it took longer to tell her and she was reserved and I am not sure she believes it. My husband, it took longer and I have always talked about it with him as if it were more of a dream - he is an atheist and he thinks it was all a dream. My son is amazed and has his own unconventional ways of viewing death ever since he was about 3 or 4. I have written about it cathartically because it has haunted me. For a long time, I wanted to go back.

Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience?   Yes   but I knew only of the bright light and tunnel and meeting relatives. I had no idea about most of what I experienced.

What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened:   Experience was definitely real   When I woke up, I was so confused. It took a moment to realize where I was and that I was in my body - on earth. It was just so sad - I cried in bed. I didn't want to be here. I wanted to stay golden. I wanted to feel that complete acceptance and joy and knew on this earth that I was never going to be able to reproduce that feeling. I mean, the detail, the sensations, the ability to question myself in that state and then to rationalize in that state is something I have done only once AFTER having this dream.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience at the current time:   Experience was probably real   It's harder now because for me - I didn't die. I slept. And I dreamt. But when I woke, I was certain I'd been somewhere. And like any memory, they all blur with time but this one has such emotion attached to it. It's like any big event in one's life - a birth - a death - a marriage - they all mark us. But most dreams don't mark us. We might wake from them and remember them but after a month or more they fade away. There are very few dreams I recall with this clarity. And those that I do recall happened AFTER this event.

Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience?   No  

Have your religious beliefs/spiritual practices changed specifically as a result of your experience?   Yes   Immediately after, I meditated more often. I became nearly obsessed with our energy and did experiments at home to test my body's energy. I researched and practiced a form of healing using energy from God. I read books about God's grace. I read about out of body experiences and purchased all of the books by one author who claimed he had gone out of body. I used to think that God judged us but after this I just don't think so. Not in the way of the Bible. I don't think God was ever a jealous God. I think God loves us all and accepts us. I don't think us being on Earth is for Him - it's for us.

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience?   Yes   The closest I came was during meditation when I asked my relatives who had passed on to show me what they thought of me because I was still having issues with self-acceptance. It was during a deep meditation that I had a vision of them - they were not clear forms but white light in a body shape. And I sensed more than saw who circled me. The love they sent me was astounding. But I have never been able to duplicate the utterly carefree way of being that I experienced in that state. Not even during meditation.

Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience?   I know I didn't die. But I went some where and after hearing and reading NDEs theirs is the closest experience to what I had. I don't know what it was or where I went. But it was a beautiful place and I think what awaits us is far greater than we can imagine. The plan or world is beyond our imagination and ability to comprehend in this form.

Did the questions asked and information that you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience?   Uncertain   Words don't work. It's like trying to make you feel how much I love my children. No matter how much I write it or say it you can never feel it. And this experience was as much emotional as it was physical. I can barely describe the color red to you and you know what that color looks like. But to try and describe the golden color and the sparkles within me and the beautiful white light and clouds...I just can't do it justice. I can't paint it and I've tried. Please offer any suggestions that you may have to improve this questionnaire.  Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience?  

What could a national organization with an interest in near death experience (NDE) do that would be of interest to you?        I am not sure. I think providing more experiences to read about, or research that might one day be able to peek into this realm...but it is something that has to be experienced. It's like falling in love or having a child. Someone can tell you about these things but when it happens to you, it makes a world of difference.

Please offer any suggestions that you may have to improve this questionnaire.  Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience?                    Thank you