Over 50 years ago, Denise endured an event that would lead to a revolutionary spiritual journey and would change her life forever. Now referred to as “America’s best-kept secret,” Denise travels to the far corners of the world speaking to audiences of thousands about the tragedy and revelations that eventually led her to become an internationally respected healer, writer, and teacher.
At 17, Denise was living free and easy as any teen would. However, life can change remarkably fast. That would be the day a car would intentionally run her off the road, and then, the man who hit her would pull out a gun, shoot her and leave her to die. (It would later be discovered this man had killed several unsuspecting women.) However, Denise didn’t die and is the only survivor of the man’s attacks.
The Revelation That Changed Everything
Denise suffered the loss of a kidney, her spleen, an adrenal gland and part of a lung, as well as damage to her small intestines, stomach, and aorta. The bullet had left a hole in her spine.
“I wondered if I was dead,” Denise explained, “I felt as if I was encased in a black bubble. Then suddenly [it] burst and I was bathed in brilliant light. It was the most peculiar experience—because I wasn’t looking at the light. I was the light. I became aware of sweet, pure music that ebbed and flowed. It was more exquisite than any symphony I’d ever heard. In that moment I was only made of light and sound,” she said.
“I had no sense of time—no past or future. Everything just was. I felt so loved and loving. There was a profound, loving presence there. It was supporting me, caring for me. Something about the place I’d traveled to felt familiar. I know I’d been there before.” She remembered screaming “Nooo!” as she was pulled back into her body.
Struggling with an NDE
This is described as a near-death experience (NDE), a foreign concept to Denise. Her parents both had scientific backgrounds and grew up being taught that the only things that were real were those that were tangible and provable by laws of science. Her parents were both atheists and Denise believed in the provable laws of science.
“I struggled to find a way to fit my NDE into my beliefs about the nature of reality. Everything I believed growing up began to slowly disintegrate. And in its place, a new understanding began to emerge. My life began to take an entirely new direction.”
As she recovered from her injuries, Denise began to hear music no one else could hear. She began to see light emanating around people, plants, and animals. And strangely, the strange sights became normal to her. Another astonishing revelation she explained was “the awareness that ‘I’ was separate from my body; ‘I’ wasn’t my body.” Until she was shot, she thought she was her body. After, she realized she had an existence outside from it.
Life or Death
Denise felt a desperate yearning to be back in the place she’d visited when the doctors assumed she had died. “I felt an ache of homesickness,” she remembered, “I was very sad to be separated from it. I felt there was a way to reach that place without committing suicide, but I didn’t know how to get there until I discovered Zen Buddhism and meditation.”
According to the practice, once enlightened you become one with all things. Citing the belief as being similar to her experience in that hospital, she moved into a Zen monastery and meditated for 4-16 hours a day for two and a half years! While she said she wasn’t enlightened, it was a valuable time in her life where she learned the power of stillness.
Starting to Heal
The last area she explored after her NDE was the realm of healing. The doctors were astounded she had survived and told her parents not to expect her to live long. However, she healed. Doctors also told her she would be unable to bear children, yet she has an amazing daughter.
“Intuitively I know it wasn’t so much a miracle as it was a shift of identity. The more you connect with your soul and release your attachment to your physical form, the easier it is to activate your natural healing forces.”
She also knew there were ways to teach other people how to reach that place and heal their bodies. So she trained in massage and shiatsu and became a healer. Her healing courses combined massage and shiatsu with meditative journeys, and she taught all around the world.
“In every instant, an individual relaxed in a meditative state, they could tap into the deeper wisdom of their soul, and thus activate the healing abilities innate within their bodies,” she explained.
“When I found myself back from the other side, I felt overwhelming gratitude for everything. Being grateful is a state of grace in which you surrender to forces greater, let go, and step into grace. To transform your life, step into gratitude!”