When I was fifteen years old, Bob Monroe gave me the best birthday present I’ve ever received. Bob, my mother Nancy, and I sat in our den with only a single candle for light and as a focal point—I on our old sofa and they on chairs facing me.
Bob counted me down into deep relaxation. Then he took me back through my life from the present to my birth. During the birth re-experience I began having trouble breathing. Bob quietly asked my mother if there had been problems during my delivery. She confirmed that, yes, I’d almost died! Bob moved me quickly through that segment.
I found myself in a very dark, pleasant, and formless place for a period of time. The formlessness then shifted to a paradise-like setting with rolling hills, emerald green grass, the sun sparkling on the lake before me, and beautiful bird song. I wandered about, observing and enjoying the beauty of it all. Then, another shift occurred and suddenly I experienced myself as one with everything. I became, beyond doubt, connected to and part of the All That Is. I was the lake. I was the birds. I was the trees, the meadow, and the sunlight ...
A bright white light came toward me. As it approached I felt feelings I never had before and can’t describe. It was a crescendo of cosmic-divine-creator energies. I was raised in the Methodist church, so I interpreted this light and energy to be Christ. Tears of joy and bliss rolled down the cheeks of my physical body while in the other place I was beyond self. I felt joined with this creative Divine being. Words fall so short of capturing what that was like. Eventually Bob counted me out. I could not contain my gratitude and walked around for days in an altered state of bliss.
Can you imagine what that meant to a young teenager just beginning to walk her path of self-discovery? Bob was my mentor and friend, then my stepfather. He inspired me, challenged me to stretch beyond conventional limits, and helped me open the doors of perception.
As with most close family members, Bob and I shared victories and setbacks, love and frustration. Now it is an honor to be in a position to help evolve his vision.
In a very real sense, The Monroe Institute is to the world as Bob was to me—a mentor-friend and sometimes parent—for each person who has awakened to his or her expanded self through our programs and technology. TMI tells us we are okay, that we're not crazy, that things like OBEs and communication across realities are legitimate human experiences. Exceptional human experiences, yes, but definitely human. TMI encourages us to find the truth for ourselves, to “turn beliefs into Knowns,” as Bob said. We feel nourished and inspired and deeply connected in a shared mission to further the exploration of consciousness, expanded awareness, and discovery of self.
Along the way, through this process, we bond with one another. People the world over whom we have never met in the physical become our brothers and sisters, our aunts, uncles, and cousins. Along the way we realize we are a part of something big and wonderful. We are Family.