Mystical Experiencer: Female in late fifties
Current location: U.S.A.
Age at time of experience: 38
I was hiking in Alamo Canyon to a significant cultural landmark in Bandelier National Monument. A friend and I left the canyon when the sun was rising, so it was still cool. Being July in NM, it would get scorching hot mid-afternoon.
We each brought 3 liters of water and set out for Stone Lions, which was 13 miles from the cultural center of Bandelier. We walked up and down the canyons along scenic trails that were breathtaking. The sky was cobalt blue and clear.
We stopped for lunch about 5 hours into the hike and then sat and took in the surroundings. We were, at that point in the hike, tired and had talked ourselves out over the past few hours. We continued on the hike and it was 2 pm when we got to our destination. At that point, we each only had 1 bottle of water left.
I decided we needed to turn right around and go back because it was going to be dark on the last leg if we weren’t quicker on the walk back. As I understand it now, most people camp when they get to the Stone Lions; we had only planned to walk there and back.
At the 4-hour mark on the way back, I ran out of water and it was at the hottest part of the day. I remember being at a point where nothing hurt anymore. In fact, everything felt really good. Like I was injected with painkillers. And I was looking at the oak shrubs and liking the shapes of the leaves that we passed.
And as we made our way up a small hill, I looked up into the trees and marveled at how green they were. Then, the next moment, I noticed not only were they green, but they were also an amazing color of green. The leaves seemed to disintegrate on a molecular level, and I followed the molecules into the sky.
The world around me was that green color and I seemed to float up above our walking bodies and I watched us continue in our physical form, as I was in great pain. But I suddenly understood my place in the universe. I understood what everything meant and that all that I’d been looking for was that we are all connected. That’s all that mattered – our connection.
I felt my breath was going into the universe as my friend was breathing in my air. I saw the molecules of everything around me and how the molecules all around me mixed with mine. I was one with the world and the stars around the planet. This feeling lasted for another 6 months. It was how I shaped my world view after that.
It eventually faltered and left, but I still remember the experience. I’ve been chasing the feeling ever since. I had it once more during a meditation retreat later on. The experience made me understand what my place was in the universe is and what the ultimate reality is. I experienced the infinite and what the life force that holds everything together is.