In recent years I have come to understand that my first experiences in spirit walking were not in 2011 but began in 1998, just a month after my wife, Marilyn, died from cancer. One morning that October I dreamed I was with her. I put my arms around her to comfort her and she said, “I’m only here in spirit.” Memories of her death flooded my consciousness. I awoke to find I had wrapped my arms around the sheet and bedcovers. It was 5:30 AM. I got up and wept for the next hour. I was crying so much I couldn’t see to shave and was almost late for work.

This was the beginning of many periodic dreams about her. They were not about the past. In the dreams we were keeping each other company in the present. After a couple of months of having similar dreams, I decided to ask my kids, Paula and Mark, if they had any dream experiences. I asked Paula on the phone. She started crying, saying yes she had and they were so real; not about the past, but about keeping company with each other. Then I asked Mark and he said the same thing. Marilyn was keeping him company and giving him advice, just as she had when alive. The three of us shared our dreams were amazed.

In a dream I had Marilyn was wearing a nice blouse and skirt. She said, “That’s the nice thing about this place, if you don’t like what you’re wearing you just …” and with that she snapped her fingers and was wearing a beige pants suit with a matching blouse. In the dream she smiled like this was one of the best things in the world. Her love of clothing and concern about how she looked in the dream was exactly how she was in life. Paula had a dream where they were talking, having a cup of coffee. Marilyn said something and Paula responded. Marilyn got excited, “You can hear me? You can see me?” Mark had similar experiences. Among the three of us there were dozens of other examples. I didn’t write any of them down.

I noticed these dreams tended to occur around 5:00 or 5:30 AM, right before I normally woke up. As I have since found out, the theta level of brain activity is right between wakefulness and sleep. During spirit walking I use a rattle or drum to keep a rhythm at 4 to 7 beats per second – the same frequency as theta brain waves. Once my brainwave activity follows that beat I am able to step into the spirit world while remaining conscious of my physical surroundings. This experience is common with other spirit walkers I know.