One of the quite fun surprises I found through this is that chanting “OM” (or better, A—U—M, where A is voiced in the heart, U is voiced in the abdomen, and M is voiced in the head, plus visualizing the ૐ symbol) seems to immediately take my body out of crisis. Although I’ve chanted OM a bit over the years, I’ve never applied this particular sound vibration to attempting to heal my body. I’m excited to see if this new healing phenomenon plays a part in my body’s rebirth. (For those of you unaware of OM—it is the sound vibration used in yoga, and many Eastern spiritualities that is believed to resonate with the divine manifestation and core of the universe(s). In neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander’s recent book about his near death experience, Proof of Heaven, he saw “God” and heard the OM throughout the universe. In fact, for some time after he awoke from his NDE, he referred to “God” as “the OMness.” He’s coming to Seattle in June if you’re interested—check at East West Bookshop for tickets. But I digress…)
A couple of weeks before this physical crisis of mine, I had another quite fun new thing: I had my first self-initiated out-of-body experience (OBE). I’ve had one OBE in which I was pulled out of my body by a spiritual being (see My Karma and Confessions for that story) and one trans-body experience where I began to expand and contain everything around me (see Confessions for that story), but up until last month, I had never had a self-initiated experience. After several nights of following William Buhlman’s instructions in his book, Adventures Beyond the Body, on how to do a self-initiated OBE, I became aware one night in late February that I was seeing “through my eyelids” during a brief lucid moment while sleeping. This is a phenomenon that happens to me quite frequently and according to Buhlman is a sign that your astral (or energy) body and physical body might be able to separate more easily.
So I instantly tried some of his techniques. I told myself, Float upward toward the ceiling.
Then, Roll out of my body.
Then I remembered that he had reported that some people had success by just sitting up. So I sat up. Well, actually, I had been lying on my left side so I more-or-less leaned up as if propped up by an elbow and voila!—my “upper torso” was above my physical body and I was looking down at my body as well as all around it. So strictly speaking, it was just a “half out-of-body” experience.
Then I felt the “vibrational state” as Buhlman refers to the energy sensations that happen upon separation from the physical body. Significant and loud electrical surging/serging* was happening in my upper chest (in my physical body but I could still sense it in my energy chest) but nowhere else—perhaps because that was the only part that had separated. I’ve experienced various “vibrational states” during different types of healings over the years, so it didn’t scare me, but this was particularly intense (and did I mention loud?). Since Buhlman had explained this phenomenon in great detail just as I was experiencing it, I just went with it but I did notice that the surging/serging felt a bit disharmonious and I’ve been concerned that my physical body might not be well enough for OBE exploration yet. Because I wasn’t sure whether that’s what the disharmonious vibrations might have meant, I decided not to go further and separate my energy body fully from my physical body.
I did, however, want to see if I could experience my husband’s body, lying right in front of me, as holographic. So I put my energy hand up to his arm and though his arm didn’t look solid, I experienced it feeling kind of like glass. In other words, my hand didn’t go through it. But I thought maybe if I had insisted it would have, or perhaps because I was only half out-of-body I might not have the full experience of a holographic world. Either way, I decided it was enough “new” for my first time and so laid back down into my physical body.
When I did, the surging/serging continued, so I tried some techniques Buhlman recommends to re-synch the energy body and physical body. I stretched my hands and fingers. Nope. Then I put my hands over my heart and the vibrational state stopped instantly, and I fell back asleep remembering everything vividly when I woke up later.
This has caused me to consider again the resurrection. In non-heretical Christianity the resurrection of Jesus is affirmed as bodily—not just spirit: he could eat and be touched. In my own thoughts, even if it was a bodily resurrection, Jesus “body” was still fundamentally different than how we experience our bodies, as he could appear and disappear with it at will. Based on my own limited understanding, I would surmise that he had an energy body that could manifest physically. Regardless, one of the significances of holding onto a belief in a bodily resurrection in whatever form that body comes from, is that it embraces the body, not eschews it as less than spirit. With my recent travails and surprises with the body and the out-of-body, I appreciate that both states of being are blessed, both are divine and human, both are gifts that I am truly grateful for.
And wouldn’t you know? Googling for pictures of a phoenix, I discovered that in early Christianity, the mythological phoenix was a symbol of the risen Christ.
Happy Rebirth and Resurrection to us all!
*I refer to it as surging/serging because that’s what it reminds me of—the surging of electrical waves as well as the serging of a garment. If you’ve ever watched a garment being serged, it sounds a lot like the vibrational state to me.