One day, when I was six years old and playing in the backyard of a neighbor's house, I suddenly had the experience of what I later came to understand was called 'the diamond body' or 'body of bliss' - a luminous, scintillating body of light, my non-physical body that seemed to contain my physical body, which vibrated around me and through me, from above my head to below my feet. The light was dancing and alive, and felt electrical in nature. Waves of happiness and peace pulsed through me, as well as a sense of Oneness with all the elements around me. Like there was no separation between me and the trees, or air I was breathing, or the lilies that were planted at the edge of the grass, or even the swing set I was on. This experience was to happen almost daily for about 3 months. This event would be the start of a lifetime of spiritual phenomena that have continued to this day. I quickly, found myself walking in two worlds: what I would today describe as, on the one hand, "conventional, everyday, consensus reality," and, on the other hand, the "extraordinary, light-filled, loving, shining world of light and spirit."
The spiritual and psychic phenomena I experienced included dozens of spontaneous out of the body experiences, precognitions, sensing spirits/energy, clairsentience, mystical journeys in prayer states, sixth sense sight, and healings. But perhaps what stood out the most was the "spiritual sight": seeing/sensing bodies of light, seeing auras around people, being given healing images to pass on to others, receiving teachings in dreams, meditations and waking states.
In 1987, while living in Minnesota, I was drawn to experience Native American ceremonies, particularly the sweat lodge,
pipe ceremonies, and the medicine wheel.
I studied with Ojibwe and Lakota teachers, and immersed myself in a study of Native American spirituality. The spirit world and human world seemed to share an open door for the Lakota and Ojibwe people I met and shared ceremonies with. How different from the closed-door Western European mindset that glorified rational, five-sense-only ways of experiencing reality. Mitak'oyasin, "We, relatives all" united the many "nations" of life so teeming in the Minnesota landscape: mineral, vegetal, animal, human, the birds of the air, the ancestors who had passed over to the spirit world,
and the spirit world itself. My experiences of the spirit world continued to grow and become more established as I met guides and elders and totems that lived in spirit, yet who easily communed with the "two-leggeds" in the physical dimension. There was nothing "strange" about this inter-communion, it was the way things happened, a seamless "circle of life."
It was also during this time that I would experience the classical awakening of the kundalini energy known in the yogic
tradition, as shaktipat. And it was from this experience that the Self would reassert Itself in such a prominent way in my
The music of the spheres, mantras and tones given during meditation and dreams, visitations by gurus and gods, visits to extraordinary inner landscapes during meditations, activations of hand chakras and healing energies.
My desire to experience meditation and to study the ancient texts led me to a six-year stay in a yoga ashram. Studying the texts about the nature of the Self, the subtle anatomy, awakening the Heart, realization, and meditation were a dream come true. And the experiences continued. Chanting and toning the sound body of God were powerful means to further dissolve the walls that kept rigid boundaries between the physical, human reality and the higher experiences of light.
In 1996, I was driving in the Catskills of southern NY state when my car hit some black ice, rolled over several times, and was "totaled" in the process. Time stopped and Death came calling . . . literally. Lord Yama, the Lord of Death as depicted in the Upanishads, was sitting in the passenger seat. I remember him being an unbelievably intense concentration of consciousness. Completely neutral, yet compassionate. Objective. I looked over and stated, more than asked, "It's time." Lord Yama slowly nodded an affirmation. "Will my family be okay?" I asked. Again, just a nod of affirmation and I knew everything would be fine. "Okay, then." I drew in a deep breath, and took my hands off the steering wheel to cover my face from the glass that was exploding out of the twisted windshield. I fully believed with every ounce of me that the next time I opened my eyes, I wouldn't be on planet Earth.
At that very moment, large golden arms encircled me protectively, and I felt and saw thick, golden pillows cradle my head and
body while the car spun out of control and rolled over several times. The arms and pillows cushioned me. Then the mayhem stopped.
And a deafening silence. The car had landed upright in the middle of the road, facing a farmer's field. The only door that worked
was the driver's door. I checked to make sure I was in one piece, then opened the door and stepped out into the road.
A paramedic was running up the road toward the car, her face white as snow, like she'd seen a ghost. She said she'd never seen someone live after a roll-over like that, let alone walk out of the car with only a scratch on one knuckle.
Even though I had no physical injuries, for the next 18 months, I felt like a newborn baby learning how to readjust to this
world. Something had definitely changed. The veil between waking consciousness/this world had once again been drawn back to reveal
another reality so close. Once again, I'd experienced loving spirit beings who sought our highest good, watched out for our welfare,
whose energy and light were pure. Kind beings. Was this car incident a dramatic way to remind me that "we're h-e-e-e-re!"?
I wish I could say I finally figured out why I was kept alive, but I haven't. I wish I could say I've received a clear call or purpose to do something specific - like so many people do after an experience like this - but I haven't. I may never know, and that's become okay with me. At the very least, it was one more experience of the wider, greater community of life and beings that make up this experience called Life.
How little we humans know! How little we allow ourselves to experience. How programmed we are to think that only human life is real. Well, I'm here to tell you that meeting Lord Yama in the front seat of your car changes things. As does having the golden arms of an Indian saint (who died 35 years earlier) wrap around and protect you while your car is doing a series of roll-overs on an icy stretch in the Catskill Mountains. Have you ever had an out of body experience (OBE) where you watched your body walk across the street talking with friends while "you" were 20 feet up, hanging around a traffic light at the corner of 5th Ave. & 48th St. in Manhattan? But that's another story.
What I've come to realize is that the my conscious death episode was a wake-up call. A wake-up call to simply tell others what I've seen, what I've experienced, not just what I experienced on those icy roads in the Catskills back on February 16, 1996 - but what I've experienced during my several decades of life. And that's what I'm about from now on: telling others of the wonders that await them as they open to the Self, and experience sitting on the doorsill between worlds.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you;
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want;
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.
-Rumi (13th c.)
This is love: to fly toward a secret sky,
to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.
First to let go of life.
Finally, to take a step without feet.
Pat lives in Miami, FL where she is a freelance writer, offers intuitive readings, distance healing, a spiritual attunement process called The Reconnection, and has a few earthly business interests, as well. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org