A Near Death Experience Tunnel Speaks


Mystical experiences are to living what lucid dreaming is to the dream state: a waking up into a broader, inclusive, transcending perspective that has the potential to heal, balance, and transform your life. Perhaps the most common type of mystical experience is the near death experience with somewhere between five and eighteen percent of the population having experienced one. The most frequently reported elements of NDEs are overwhelming love, telepathy, life review, divine being(s), ecstasy, unlimited knowledge, experiencing of afterlife levels, and being told one is not ready to die, with over 45% of respondents reporting these events. (Atwater) A tunnel, the NDE element that is addressed in the following IDL Dream Yoga interview, is reported by some 42% of respondents, as it is by Barbara Whitfield in her report of her NDE. For her second NDE, which does not contain the interviewed tunnel, but is important and beautiful, as well as to learn more about Barbara’s experiences, see www.barbarawhitfield.com and Barbara_Whitfield.blogspot.com

People in white came rushing in. It was a dramatic scene, just like those you see in hospital dramas on television. I had no idea what was going on because I hadn’t become a respiratory therapist yet. It seemed like everybody was pushing carts and machinery, throwing things back and forth over me. They hooked me up to all kinds of machinery, tubes, monitors and bags. Overwhelmed emotionally, I lost consciousness and later that night woke up in the hall outside my room. I floated back into the room and saw my body. I felt peaceful, more peaceful than I had ever been in this lifetime. Then I went into a tunnel where I was greeted and held by my grandmother who had been dead for 14 years. Before this I had never once thought about her surviving her death. I didn’t believe in that. But now I knew I was with her. Her love enveloped me and together we relived all our memories of each other. I could see and feel all this through her eyes and her feelings of each moment too. And I know she experienced how her actions and her love had comforted me in my childhood.

Suddenly I was back in my body, back in the circle bed. Two nurses were opening my drapes. The sunlight was startling. It hurt my eyes. I asked them to close the drapes. I tried to tell my nurses and then several doctors that I had left the bed. They told me that it was impossible and that I had been hallucinating.

Go to www.barbarawhitfield.com and Barbara_Whitfield.blogspot.com to contact Barbara regarding her experiences or about NDEs in general.


What happens when you interview an element in a near death experience using IDL Dream Yoga? How are NDEs similar to or differ from other mystical experiences that are interviewed?  How are the results similar or different from interviews of dream characters or the personifications of life issues? What can we learn about near death experiences from such interviews?  What sort of  contribution to the field of NDE research can IDL Dream Yoga make? Can it help those who have experienced NDEs to continue to learn and grow from their experiences even years after they have had them? What are the implications for those who have not had NDEs?

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?

1 Make my new book into a movie.

2 One of my books was just rejected by a publisher. I have to accept that.

3 My granddaughter is starting nursery school – letting go.

If one character had something especially important to tell you, what would it be?

Black Tunnel

Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor?  It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are the shape that took form from your color and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind.  If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say!

Black Tunnel, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?

I am the peace that Barbara comes to. She started coming to me when she was a little girl and was abused. She is coming to me and I’m holding her. I’m her place to be where she’s totally peaceful.

What do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

I’m eternal, very loving and I contain all that is. I can handle as many souls as want peace. I’m ever-expanding. My love just keeps expanding.

What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses?  What are they?

People teach me things about myself. I am learning about myself all the time from the souls that come into me. It’s really not my business to be wise. I just help them see the bigger picture, what it’s really all about – learning that we’re all me, what I’m capable of when my energies go into a human body and become the consciousness of a human being.

Black Tunnel, you are in Barbara’s life experience, correct?  Did she create you?

She may think that but that would be her ego.

What aspect of Barbara do you represent or most closely personify?

I am like a hologram. I’m eternal and she is eternal. She can be all of me too.

Black Tunnel, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

I want to be the observer watching humans becoming all that they can be and that they are me. I can be anything anyone wants me to be. She saw the light coming out of me. Some people think the light is God. But the light is coming out of the darkness, that is also God.

What do you think, Tunnel?

I think it’s all perfect!

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)

Black Tunnel, how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities: confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing?  Why?

Confidence: 10 Because I just am. I was there when she needed me as a child, then when she was dying. I’m there now for her and for everyone. I’m pure love! It’s unconditional love that has no opposite.

Compassion: 10

Wisdom: ? I’m more of a mirror for people’s wisdom. I have no identity if I have no souls coming into me. Then I am a void. I grow in wisdom as I experience what the souls that come into me know.

Acceptance: 10 Reality just is. It’s a school. Everything that’s going on is the way it’s supposed to be going on.

Inner Peace: 9.99 I’m almost total peace but there are times when someone is hurting so bad that it makes a ripple in my inner peace.

Witnessing:   9.99 – for the same reasons!

A tear…why, Black Tunnel?

She hurts for people sometimes. She prays for them and hopes that they will pray for themselves. That’s Barbara’s humanness.

How would Barbara’s life be different if she naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?

Would she be a Christ figure? I don’t know what that would look like. Few people accomplish that.

If you could live Barbara’s life for how would you live it differently?

We would live her life just the same but she wouldn’t have the little stress in her mind that she carries around.

Why not?

That’s left over from a lot of abuse in her childhood. There’s still a little bit left. If I came in we would just pop it!

What would that look like?

On the outside it would look the same. On the inside it would be all those qualities.

If you could liveBarbara’s’s waking life for her today, would you handle her three life issues differently?  If so, how?

1 Make my new book into a movie.

I would handle it the same way but without worry. She feels compelled to tell the story of this woman who has died. I support her in this project but not in all the worrying she is doing about it.

2 One of my books was just rejected by a publisher. I have to accept that.

I would laugh about it! She’s gotten all upset because of the corruption in the system. It’s just the way it is. That system will self-destruct in time.


3 My granddaughter is starting nursery school – letting go.

I would keep reminding her that she’s done a wonderful job and they will both be happier when they have more space.

What three life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of Barbara’slife?

1. We would be in bliss! She has created a wonderful life for herself – from a living hell to a life where she is helping others, and she is in a loving partnership where they teach each other and they share wonderful children and grandchildren.

2. Inner peace! Bad things happen; that’s life. But we can still feel at peace within ourselves.

3. I would help her to continue to do everything healthy for an energized life until the day we leave the material world.

In what life situations would it be most beneficial for Barbara to imagine that she is you and act as you would?

When she’s in meditation. Being out in nature. Whenever she takes a deep sigh. Prayer and gratitude.  That’s when we’re together. Staring into darkness!

She could score herself 0-10 in her ability to become you while doing those activities. Would that be helpful, Tunnel?


Black Tunnel, do you do drama?  If not, why not?

Humans do drama!  It’s the human condition! It’s not me! I watch and learn and try to absorb the drama so people can heal. Drama to me is a lack of love.

What is your secret for staying out of drama?

I am not capable of drama! I don’t have an ego!

When Barbara starts getting into drama what do you recommend she do?

She is already doing it – she isolates herself and talks it out with me.

Why do you think that you are in Barbara’s life?

I didn’t come into her life. I’m always there. She came to me from childhood abuse, lots of trauma. She would come to me to be safe. Then she forgot about me until she had her NDE.  I’m always there.

Black Tunnel, you sound complete, except for growing in wisdom!

Those who come to me without an ego don’t bounce back!  They stay! But you can’t interview the ones that stay! Laugh out loud!

So why do people have light or beings in NDEs if you are everything?

It’s beyond the scope of the English language to explain. There are all kinds of levels, possibilities and projections people make. It turns into a sort of kaleidoscope. The idea of a void is true. I’m love, God, her grandmother, everything. People get what they need from me and come back.

How is Barbara most likely to ignore what you are saying to her?

Barbara is taking it in on a cellular level. What you are bringing out are a lot of lessons that she has been getting lately.

Thank you, Tunnel!

Barbara, what have you heard yourself say?

What I just learned is that I really can carry that love of the tunnel in me all the time! I just have to let that little bit of stress in me go. I don’t need it.  I heard myself say, “I might become arrogant if I let go of that stress!”  That’s why I hold on to it! But what I believe I am hearing is as long as I have humility I’ll be OK. The tunnel can be me!

If this experience were a wake-up call from the most central part of yourself, what do you think it would be saying to you?



I realized last evening, after the interview, that the little bit of stress I was still carrying around seemed gone.And there’s no arrogance as my ego would have me believe — only gratitude and peaceful joy.

And then at bedtime, I relaxed in the darkness and explored to see if I could find it– the stress. It is gone! And I know that if I get it back I can go into the darkness and ask the tunnel to merge with me again. I am finally in peace!

You know how on our computer we can hit the “refresh” button — It seems that is what has happened with my NDE. It has been refreshed!!

This tunnel, an element from a recalled NDE, answered questions just as do dream characters and personifications of life issues in other types of IDL Dream Yoga interviews. What this tells us is that it is not the type of experience that is important; that IDL Dream Yoga interviews can be used meaningfully and with significant effect with any type of experience, including mystical experiences.  What matters is how well and how deeply the subject is able to identify with and become the interviewed character and to stay with that perspective throughout the interview. Barbara did an excellent job of speaking as Tunnel throughout the interview.

In general, we can find this Tunnel sharing many characteristics other, previously interviewed self-aspects that personify potential,including the six core qualities, that we are in the process of accessing, recognizing, and growing into. However, while such self-aspects generally score themselves highly for wisdom, the Tunnel reported that it has no inherent wisdom and that the wisdom that it gains depends on that which souls bring to it. Therefore, its level of wisdom is dependent upon the degree of wisdom possessed by evolving individuals. Since we do not have an absolute scale to measure such wisdom, the amount possessed by Tunnel remains in question. It could be a ten in relationship to us but a six or a three on some other scale of development.

In our continuing research into NDEs and the usefulness of IDL Dream Yoga to maintain the salience and potency of these events for transformational personal growth years afterward, we invite those who have had NDEs to contact us to arrange a pro bono SKYPE interview.

I asked Barbara for feedback on her experience several weeks afterward:


Yes. A big difference because I can easily access the “black tunnel” or “dark tunnel” which I would have never thought of as a character with it’s own traits and integrity before our session. I just think of It and we are One. I feel much closer to Spirit now — not just in prayer or meditation — and have a deeper inner peace.
I had all that before but in spurts. Now it seems continuous and when I think of It which is often, it renews itself. I think what you are doing is profound. Of course, as a psychotherapist and author, I am always working on my inner life but this seems to have brought it all together.

Thanks again.


I have been doing the very things you suggest in your email…

When I meditate, some time during it I remember to “be in” and “Be” the tunnel.

Then I automatically take a really deep sigh and float for a time.That’s not hard for me to do because

I did it as a child. It’s a kind of a “going Home.”

I did read over the interview a couple of times, once just a few days ago. I am always struck by the Black Tunnel’s wisdom and humility. I love that the Black Tunnel says it doesn’t have wisdom of it’s own. I don’t think “I” would have answered that way at all. I believe that the Black Tunnel is telling us that It loves us unconditionally and is our home but we are the ones bringing wisdom to It. It is learning through our experiences what we (the part of us that is It) are capable of. So in this way together we are defining God and our God Self.

As far as how this is effecting me. I’ve been pondering that a lot. I am peaceful to the point of wondering if I’m “Blah.” I’ve been asking myself this many times and then with the weather breaking into sunny and 70 after an unusually hard winter here in Atlanta — I am now feeling the joy of rebirth. The windows are open and we are taking walks in the clean spring air.

I realize that peace is a relatively new mood for me — maybe in the last 5 years (Since my husband and I wrote The Power of Humility:” Choosing peace over conflict in relationships.)

Since I have communed with the Black Tunnel — this peace has deepened and it is a touching stone that is there anytime I want it. So the change in weather has shown me that the peace I am feeling is the background foundation of my consciousness and life will bring its ups and downs.

Thanks for writing. If you want to put this up on your IDL-Dream Yoga site — please do,

Do you think your IDL interview helped you to “wake up” in some way to the usefulness or relevance of your NDE for you in your current life circumstances?


Yes. On a “mundane” level. It woke me up once again to how I can “feel” it working every day in even the most “mundane” actions.


Was becoming an aspect of your NDE useful? If so, in what way?

Very Helpful. I felt a great deal of comfort as a child when I would “hang out” in the tunnel. It was a place to go that was peaceful. Now this aspect feels as though it is with me here instead of me going over there.


Did you feel like you were in touch with the divine in any way or at any time during your interview? If so, in what way(s)?


I felt like the divine was speaking through me.


Have you experimented since the interview at becoming your interviewed character and attempting to live your life from its perspective and out of its energy? If so, have you noticed any results? If so, what?


Yes. I connect when I meditate which is at least once, sometimes twice a day. And I just think about It occasionally as one would think of a loved one and I feel It in my heart. We now have an intimate relationship.


Now that some time has passed, do you think that the recommendations your character had for your waking life were appropriate, relevant, and useful? If so, how?


Yes. But I knew all that already. What is relevant is that I now know that this aspect is part of me here and that brings me great peace.


Sometimes we can get swamped with recommendations during interviews and sometimes the press of daily events swamps our ability to apply the recommendations we do receive.  Has either been the case for you?


Not any more. I’m pretty good at sorting out what I need and what I don’t need.


Did you learn anything new about your NDE from your interview? Did it change your attitude about it in any way?


Yes. I learned that the tunnel has intelligence and is the Divine Presence too. I always wondered about watching Light coming out of the darkness and that was cleared up in this IDL experience.


How about NDEs in general? Did your interview change your attitude about NDEs in any way? If so, how?


No. I’m just grateful now that I had mine.


Has your character continued to be present? Have you had any success at becoming it? Or has its significance faded with time?


My tunnel is in me as me. And when I meditate I am in it. It feels like an intimate divine relationship.


Do you think reading over your IDL interview would help someone who has not had an NDE to benefit from them all the same?


I don’t know.


Do you think an IDL interview could help people who have not had an NDE to get in touch with the divine?


I don’t know.


Do you think this interviewing process could help NDEers avoid doing a “spiritual bypass?” (thinking they were totally healed and not addressing their psychological issues.)


Yes. I trust that the Divine won’t let us off the hook for what we need to process here in this reality.


Do you think that sharing your interview with family and friends could help them come to grips with the transformation that is still occurring in your life as a result of your NDE?


My children who are in their 40s now don’t want to know. They are just beginning to be interested in my books and are now proud of me but were estranged from my NDEs for many years because of my subsequent divorce from their father — nine years after the NDEs happened. He still believes that I didn’t have an NDE — but says he believes that I “Believe” I had one! My husband now was very interested because we share a psychotherapy practice and I do believe I am a better therapist because of it.


Do you think that an IDL interview on a NDE theme could help terminally ill patients and their families?

I have used guided imagery NDEs with dying patients and they usually love it. I also have guided terminally patients through Life Reviews and that helps them too. I don’t see why an IDL interview wouldn’t work after a guided NDE. The dying patients I have worked with are becoming more and more spiritual energy as they lose their physical energy. So they are more easy to guide with their imagination — especially the ones who have already had visitations from the other side.

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