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~  Voices in the Sea  ~

Communicating with dolphins and whales



Regarded as an authority on the subject of dolphin and whale communication, Joan Ocean developed the remarkable methodologies for this pioneering work and authored two books translated into four languages: Dolphin Connection and Dolphins into the Future.

For nearly two decades, Joan has led thousands the world over into the waters to swim and communicate with the dolphins, to discover the wondrous, often mystical world of these intelligent beings with abilities that continue to amaze and baffle us all.


Voices in the Sea
by Paula Peterson
with Joan Ocean

* Image by Eva Sullivan at www.stardolphin.com


PJP: How did your work with dolphins and whales begin?

JO: It was surprise to me! I didn’t even know how to swim when I first met the dolphins. It was back in the early eighties and people were not as aware of dolphins back then. The dolphins first came to me while I was in meditation and gave me a beautiful message of having much to share with humanity. The energy felt very good. But, I was a little embarrassed to tell anyone that I was receiving messages from dolphins. So, I kept it secret. I wondered, how could I work with dolphins and whales when I don’t even swim or go into the ocean at all?

Finally, I shared the dolphin’s message in a newsletter that circulated throughout the United States. There was a great response to it. Many people wrote in making statements like, “I felt all along that one could communicate with dolphins. Thank you for sharing the dolphin's message.”

This encouraged me to talk more openly about it and I continued to have more experiences. Then as fate would have it, I was invited on a trip to the Amazon River in Peru to meet the river dolphins. Since I already had contact with them in meditation, I agreed right away.

It was a beautiful experience. I still didn’t know how to swim. But I wore a lifejacket and the water was quite calm, so I felt okay with it. After that, I began traveling to other countries sharing stories about my experiences with the dolphins. That's how it all began.

PJP: Did you also have experiences with the whales at that time?

JO: The whales affected my vibrational frequency right in the beginning. Around this same time, I met Jean-Luc Bozzoli, an incredible dolphin and visionary artist whose art touched my heart. We began traveling together: I would tell stories about dolphins and he would show his art. As a result, we were invited all over the world to meet and swim with dolphins.

One time, we were involved with an environmental group in a month-long project off the coast of British Columbia. We lived in tents: and at night, we sat around the fire on this beautiful, uninhabited island where eagles, Orcas and whales lived. The experience was wonderful.

One day, we were standing on the shore when a California Grey Whale came in really close. He seemed to be rolling on the pebbles beneath the water, scratching his back to remove barnacles. When he came in even closer, there was eye contact. As I looked into that eye, and as he returned my gaze, I felt all this love and wisdom pouring into me in vibrational waves. I felt as though he understood and knew me. It was powerful.

There came a point where I couldn’t take any more of those waves of love: I thought I might melt or disappear! The moment I had this thought, the whale stopped sending those "love" waves. It was then that I realized that whales could communicate with us: he had received my thoughts and knew to stop sending those waves of love.

From then on, my interest has always been in communicating with dolphins and whales, and to share my experiences with others.

PJP: The Australian Aborigines and other Indigenous tribes consider dreaming of dolphins very important. Besides meeting dolphins in meditation, have you had dreams of them?

JO: Yes. Even before going to the Amazon, I had dreamed of pink dolphins, having no idea that they really existed. I remember waking up thinking. “Now wasn’t that a pleasant dream –to see dolphins that were pink.”

In the beginning I dreamed a lot more about dolphins before I met them. Now, since I spend so much time with them in the water, they’re always with me. I don’t have specific dreams of dolphins as much now. It seems that our fields of energy have merged in a way that I’ve become a part of them.

PJP: You speak of telepathic communication – or perhaps a more appropriate word is tel-empathic. What is it like to have that experience?

JO: That is a word I also use: instead of the word telepathic or empathy, I combine the two into tel-empathy. I’ve found that the dolphins respond to feelings – that’s empathy. They understand what you’re feeling when you’re swimming with them. I take many people out in boats, and some of them don’t even know how to swim. Once in the water, the dolphins will sense this right away and be more cautious by keeping their distance, and not doing anything to startle the people. The dolphins will gently approach them and wait until they feel that people are comfortable. Then they will come in closer.

Tel-empathy is a big part of contacting the dolphins and communicating. When I’m out in the boat with a group, we meditate first to contact the dolphins. I will usually send out a beam of light from my heart chakra and send another one out from my third eye. A triangulation is created as the beam from the third eye and the heart connects with each other. But the most important part I’ve found is the empathy or the feelings that go with the image. At the same time I’m sending the image, I think about swimming with the dolphins along with the feeling of joy in my heart and the love I have for them. It’s the feeling that seems to be the conduit –the bio-electric conductor –that sends my thoughts and my request for them to come and swim with us. That is the energy that somehow delivers the message and this is what they pick up. They can feel far beyond our ability to feel. And the water amplifies that ability.

PJP: Would you say, then, that communication with dolphins takes place on a feeling level more so than on a mental level?

JO: Actually, it’s both. The mental is a big part of it and thoughts are important. A person may have a thought such as, “Oh, I can’t swim that fast I wish you would slow down” – and the dolphins will slow down.

As another example, I keep records of the different dolphins and have come to know over 200 by name, based on marks on their bodies: birth marks or injuries they have had in the past. I like to know if they’re male or female, and when a new dolphin comes along, I’ll have the thought, “Are you a male or a female?” In response, they will roll over right away and show me their underside.

In many ways they can read thoughts. I’ll be with a group of dolphins and when I see that one is missing and I’ll think, “Is Ragged Fin here today?” All of a sudden, he will come up from behind and zip right up in front of me.

Another way of communicating is through cellular communication. I have found that instead of sending information directly into our brains or into our minds – which they are certainly doing – they are also sending information into all the cells of our body.

PJP: Can knowledge of cellular intelligence help us to understand more about human behavior?

JO: We are not generally aware of cellular intelligence although the dolphins seem to be aware of it. What’s interesting is the latest research involving organ transplants. Biologists are finding that the behavior and characteristics of the organ donor are sometimes showing up in the body of the recipient. It seems as though the intelligence, behavior, and feelings of the organ donor remains in the cells even though the organ is placed into a different person.

PJP: So what can this tell us about eating animals?

JO: It can definitely have the same effect. Many who live here have said that those who eat meat all the time here on the island –like the cowboys and other meat-eaters – have a more aggressive behavior pattern and more leathery skin. The way that animals get killed for meat also causes fear in the cells of the animal’s body - and people are eating that, too.

PJP: In what other ways do dolphins and whales communicate?

JO: Dolphins and whales also communicate through a tonal language which they use to contact us. When I was in the Azores with the Sperm Whales, I learned that the males can dive down more than 6000 feet and that the sounds they make are not pretty. They make clicks and static at depths where the sounds can be more easily transmitted. The dolphins and the whales also use echo-location, which is a way of producing sound.

PJP: Is that similar to their sonar?

JO: Yes. They send out sound waves and it moves toward the object they are focused on. When the echo from the object bounces back, it gives the dolphin or whale an acoustic picture of the environment – or the other whale or the other person that’s in the water with them. It’s interesting that in order to interpret the sounds, the sounds have to be loud enough for the echo to bounce back to the dolphin or whale and short enough so that the echo of one sound bounces back before the next sound is sent out. The sounds are sent out in all directions from a cavity located in front of their brain, called the melon.

As they make these sounds, they are definitely directing these toward our bodies if we are in the water swimming with them. When dolphins get really close to me, the interval between their clicks is so short, that it’s very much like a buzzing sound. Sound conveys a lot more information than light. Light is the way a human can see things, through our human eyes. But sound provides a lot more information. For example, studies have shown that when scanning a fish dolphins can distinguish whether the fish is toxic or non-toxic.

PJP: : What kind of an affect do these sounds have on our brains?

JO: Interesting studies have shown that when the left hemisphere of the human brain is sedated that person cannot speak – they can sing but they cannot speak. On the other hand, if the right hemisphere of the brain is sedated then the person can speak but cannot sing. Dolphins, with their sounds, seem to be stimulating the right hemisphere of the human brain, activating the dormant potential and higher senses –like the sixth sense.

PJP: How can a person open themselves up to telepathic communication with dolphins?

JO: The big part of that is about asking. It’s amazing how something so simple is often what people don’t do. When I communicate with dolphins, I enter a meditative state and become very relaxed. It helps to have music with dolphin or whale sounds which can be very profound. When you get into that expanded state, visualize them, think about them, and feel the dolphins and whales as best you can. Imagine yourself swimming with them. Imagine diving down, staying under water, and not worrying about having to breathe. Join them in their world by visualizing it, experiencing it, and being with them in the dreamtime in that way. Since water and the higher frequency of light are very similar you can swim in either one of them.

Once you feel you’ve made a connection with them ask if they have something to share with you. Have a pen and pad of paper ready and you can write while remaining in that expanded state of awareness with the dolphins and whales. Just write what comes without putting any judgment or criticism on it – just let it flow. Even if it seems awkward at first, you will eventually receive more information. Some people will receive messages through images, some through sound and feeling, and some through the body kinesthetically. There are also those who receive communication from the dolphins in poetry or song.

PJP: Do we need to be near dolphins or whales to have telepathic communication?

JO: We can be anywhere. As I said before, my contact with dolphins began in the living room of my house where I was sitting in meditation. When you can get into that quiet space and focus on them, they’ll be there. I like to go into the shower, the bathtub or the pool since being in the water enhances communication. Water is a conduit for sending and receiving information. Vibrational frequencies travel eight times faster in water than in the air. When you get a feeling that you want to make contact, just do it right then.

Dolphins and whales come into the dreamtime, during our sleep, and, for me, they even enter conversations I have with people. Even at times when I’m writing on the computer they will suddenly come in.

PJP: Are there other ways that dolphins and whales affect us on land?

JO: There was a wonderful story in the Los Angeles Times quite a few years ago that set a good example of the effect of whale sounds. There were peculiar circumstances with Cadillacs being driven along the Pacific Coast Highway in California. Owners of the cars were returning them to the dealers because the electric door locks and the trunk lids were strangely popping up and down as they were driving. The company recalled the cars and their investigation revealed that the electrical systems were being set off by the sounds of the whales migrating along the coastline. We can be anywhere on land and the dolphin and whale frequencies are reaching us.

PJP: : Along those lines it’s often been said that dolphins have the ability to communicate in holographic images. Can you speak to us about that?

JO: It’s true. I feel they communicate holographically as well as making “surround” sounds. Holographic communication is in image-form that includes all information in one shot, so to speak - like one burst of energy.

As an example, if I said, “the children are playing on the beach”, each person who heard this would create a different picture in their mind of how it would look: the age of the children, the clothes they are wearing, if they’re playing ball or something else. Since no one had the information previously, they had to construct a picture. When the dolphins send me information, everything I need to know comes all at once –holographically. I don't need to create an image or a thought about it.

PJP: Humans often try to get animals - and in particular dolphins - to speak human language which is difficult for them. My feeling is that we need to learn how to communicate telempathically from the heart which is closer to their level.

JO: Yes, that’s right. It’s kind of sweet –like what John Lilly did in teaching the dolphins some words. It touches my heart that the dolphins are so willing to work with us that they sort of go along with it.

Dolphins don’t have vocal cords and they’re not going to form words. They’re making sounds out of the melon-cavity in their heads. Their communication has more to do with tel-empathy and a heart connection. The information comes in on a cellular level, into your entire body. As humans swimming along side the dolphins we may wonder, “Where did that piece of information come from? How did that get in there?” I like to say that the dolphins and whales are giving us answers before we know enough to ask the question.

They are frequently communicating in ways that are beyond our understanding. It’s much like joining a foreign culture or tribe –at first you wouldn’t understand a word they were saying. Yet, the longer you live with them, the more you learn the language.

I encourage people to mimic the dolphins and make sounds as much as possible when we swim with them. It’s very powerful to do that. When we make sounds with them, we move into a state of love. We name that vibration love –a particular vibration that feels so beautiful, joyful, and peaceful. The dolphins are already in that state at all times. And if we put out a sound that mimic’s theirs, we start to resonate with that same frequency.

It’s interesting that these sounds can take us beyond time and space –beyond third dimensional reality. Going beyond constraints, we can enter unlimited time and have experiences of traveling interdimensionally, bi-locating or just expanding time right where we are; so that when we get out of the water after swimming, we look at the clock and it shows we’ve been out there swimming for an hour, but it feels, instead, as though we’ve been out there for eight hours.

PJP: What can you tell us about the dolphin’s ability to heal?

JO: I’ve seen so much healing happen when it comes to being with the dolphins. By using their sonar they can determine if we are missing any frequencies we need in order to be healthy. Then, they can make that missing sound, which is beyond our hearing, and send the sound to heal us in that way. There is a lot of interesting research being done on this now which is fascinating.

Dolphins also use their sonar to scan our bodies to find if there is a block or an imbalance. They will often find blocks in the body from previous operations or injuries and they will sonar them. This can cause a release of trapped anesthesia –which we can smell.

PJP: Is this why dolphins can have such a beneficial effect on autistic and other dis-abled children?

JO: Yes. I have taken many children with all different disabilities out to the dolphins and the results have been phenomenal. One such child was nine years old, who had undergone 150 operations on her brain and had to be carried every where. After she swam with the dolphins she was able to walk up and down stairs. In addition, every time she counted from one to twenty she would always skip the number 16 for some reason. After swimming with the dolphins, she no longer skipped the number 16. She was much more responsive to people, and was gentle and loving. I had them tape record the results so that I would always have this to remember.

At another time, a Japanese girl with autism swam with the dolphins. She had the typical autistic behavior of avoiding eye contact, being withdrawn, and lost in her own world. Once in the water with the dolphins, she began making sounds while the dolphins were making sounds. We brought her back on land and I’ll never forget this: after taking off her life-jacket, she walks into my backyard –which is right there on the ocean –goes over to a bush, picks a flower, walks over to me, looks right into my eyes and hands it to me. It was deeply touching. Her parents started crying. She had not been interacting with anyone in any way prior to this.

PJP: That is so moving. I work part-time with autistic and dis-abled children and I love hearing hopeful stories like this.

JO: I feel so fortunate to be able to experience it often. It’s not always the easiest thing to do – I have to get helpers and some big guys to lift the handi-capped. We’ve had adults in their twenties to forties who have cerebral palsy or have suddenly become paralyzed. We have to be able to lift them up into the boat since their legs don’t operate. It takes a lot of cooperation with people working together to make it happen. But it is always worth it and so meaningful for everyone.

PJP: It has been said that if we want to contact alien beings we should start with the dolphins since they are the other intelligence race that inhabits this planet. Could you comment on this?

JO: Personally, I feel that this is very true. And this is a major part of my work. I feel that the dolphins are preparing us to be in communication with cultures from other planets. They are accomplishing this in an acceptable way since people love dolphins and can relate to them. Dolphins and humans have similarities and we can communicate with each other. They’re also joyful and playful. And even though they’ve got a big mouthful of teeth, people aren’t afraid of them.

PJP: That leads me to my next question. In Dr. Michel Odents book, Water and Sexuality, he offers a fascinating hypothesis –supported by scientific studies –claiming that humans are more closely related to dolphins than to primates. He theorizes that dolphins and humans have a common ancient ancestor. What do you think of this?

JO: I feel that it’s true. I also believe that dolphins and humans can incarnate into each others forms. That might not be true of all animals, but I feel that it’s true with the dolphins. I also feel that the dolphins have remained in contact with beings from other planets as we were able to do back in the days of Atlantis and at other times as well. The general human population seems to have lost the memory of having had that contact. The dolphins, however, are still in contact.

I was personally aware of energies from Sirius before I met the dolphins. I noticed that when I met the dolphins it felt very much like the brightest star in our skies – Sirius. When I asked the dolphins about it, they said that they were not directly from Sirius but that they contain the energies of Sirius within their being.

PJP: Are there any ancient records or texts that allude to dolphins coming from another planet?

JO: There are myths. The story of the Dugong tribe in Africa is a well known account, yet is still interesting to tell. When explorers first discovered the tribe, the Dugong had never seen white men or anyone from the western world. When the explorers asked where the Dugong had come from, the tribesmen drew diagrams of a planet with twin suns –Sirius and Sirius B. Other pictures they drew in the sand and on their boats were images of dolphins. They related themselves to dolphins and Sirius.

I had an amazing experience while inside the Great Pyramids of Egypt –I noticed some hieroglyphs of dolphins. With me were two Egyptologists with double Ph.D degrees. They looked at the dolphin hieroglyphs and said, “We’ve never seen that before. Where did that come from?”

One of the most interesting pieces of information that the dolphins have given me is their reference to a window in time. They have shown me an acoustic image of our present reality as moving along a linear pathway –a horizontal plane that they carefully enter on a vertical angle, so to speak. Once here, they rewrite history or change some things that are going on here.

Universal Law states that there cannot be interference with people on other planets and their right to make choices. However, when there is a call for help from those people, then intervention is permitted. The dolphins say they have come in through a window of time to help humanity. They intercepted our time-line, so to speak, bringing with them the history of human-dolphin contact: the Roman and Greek history as well as more recent stories of dolphins and people interacting. They came into bodies in the ocean. Although, it is said that dolphins are millions of years old –and they undoubtedly are –they say, “Yes, but not on this planet.”

While doing research on this, I asked my friends –the Hawaiian Kahunas –the holy men of the Hawaii people: “Why is it that in all of your traditional chants and songs there is mention of sharks, turtles, and the other sea-life, but there is no mention of dolphins? Nothing. And yet, you are descendants of a sea-faring people.” They responded by saying that dolphins were not here.

When we talk about how old the dolphins are and where are they from – we must think in terms of multi-dimensional universes – not just this one. The dolphins say that when they make these very high frequency sounds while swimming with them, it’s taking us beyond time and space constraints. We can have a similar experience as they did when they entered our reality. They used sound to stop everything, to come in and create a reality of being with us. They also say that they’ve come here in to the physical plane to teach us about non-physical reality.

PJP: I’ve read Douglas Anderson’s wonderful book The Planet of Waters, which is a beautiful story about the planet with twin suns that was the original home of the dolphins. Do you have any thoughts to share on this?

JO: It is a beautiful story. During my seminars, I will lead people into meditation, and then read from his book. The words are so dolphin-like –it’s the tone he sets, the way he strings the words together, the visuals that come up –it’s the way dolphins communicate. It’s like poetry, and yet it has a very profound message. I have always appreciated that book.

PJP: Tribal shamans of old allowed the spirit of a dolphin or whale to enter their body and have an intimate communication which they would then share with tribal members. They could also merge with whales or dolphins and have the experience of swimming as one of them. A sensitive person like you –sometimes called a channel –can also have these experiences. Could you tell us more about this?

JO: While swimming with the dolphins for hours, I begin to merge with their essence. It’s like shape-shifting. I often feel that they, in turn, are experimenting with being in a human body and having fun with that. They become me and I become them –we merge with each other. At times, I get into such a high frequency of love, that my whole body changes its composition. I, as well as others, have had the experience of becoming invisible. It’s not really so unusual. I’ve seen this happen in meditation, where some people achieve such a high state of consciousness that a person goes in and out of physical reality –now you see them, now you don’t. The dolphins have that same affect when you spend a lot of time with them.

There have been times, while swimming with a group when the others will start looking around for me because they can’t see me. Once I feel that people are beginning to worry, it always brings me back.

PJP: What is the most important message that dolphins and whales are giving us about living here on planet earth?

JO: They are showing us the examples of living in harmony with nature by living in harmony with each other. That is so important. And of course, they are living examples of joy and gratitude. One other important message is in teaching us to go beyond our five senses. It’s interesting that they often don’t want us to touch them, or hold onto them ,or even to see them at times. We already know how to do all that. Instead, they want us to stretch beyond that, to use our other senses, and to communicate with them on that level.

They want us to understand that we are not alone in the universe, for the sake of our planet, and for our own well-being. It’s essential that we acknowledge that there are other civilizations in the universe that can be of benefit to us and who are willing to be helpful. We don’t want to approach them as the enemy. We need to approach them in the same way we approach the dolphins –with love and openness.

PJP: In closing, what else would you like us to know?

JO: People have found that when swimming with the dolphins memories from their entire life may flash before them. They may remember negative things that happened in their childhood: perhaps they were abused, neglected, mistreated, or their parents weren’t there for them when needed. When this happens, people will often be crying in their masks. The dolphin’s message encourages people to focus on the positive things that happened in their lives and make this the impetus for their choices in life rather than the negative.

The dolphins once asked me, “Why does the human race focus on the negative things that happen and base their lives on this?” They want people to rewrite their past and focus on the beautiful and good things that happened and then move forward in their lives with gratitude.

PJP: Thank you, Joan, for this wonderful, playful time that you’ve shared with us. Our love and respect for dolphins and whales can only grow as we learn more about them through dedicated pioneers like you.

©by Paula Peterson 2003

You may link to this page by using ~   http://www.paulapeterson.com/Joan_Ocean.html   ~ Thank you!



A Master of Science in Counseling Psychology, Joan Ocean is also a shaman and author of two books published in four languages: Dolphin Connection: Interdimensional Ways of Living and Dolphins Into The Future. Joan offers seminars, workshops and retreats throughout the world on dolphin and whale communication. Her organization, Dolphin Connection, explores the advancement of human consciousness, biophysics, and spirituality by producing visionary films, books, art forms, and the Ocean Seminars that encourage friendships between people and ocean-swimming dolphins and whales.

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Please visit Joan Ocean's beautiful website at:


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