Copy of original post that went astray
Note: Interested readers can download my final OBE essay from the File Library!
Would-be projectors often make the mistake of thinking OBE technique starts with meditation. It really doesn’t. OBE prep work requires much more than lying down, meditating, and doing a few “techniques.” If that were all it took to OBE, we’d all be flying all over the place. And obviously, we’re not.
Due to popular demand, I’ve decided to write this essay on what has worked for me in the past. I am by no means an “expert” projector; but I do succeed every now and then, which is about as much as the majority of us can ever hope for.
I came upon OBE phenomena seemingly by accident. I say “seemingly,” because I believe there are no accidents, and on some level I must have been aware of what I was doing when I had my first conscious OBE several years ago. My first OBEs were involuntary and terrifying. Once I found Astraldynamics and AstralPulse.com, it all made sense and I felt much better.
The first thing I read about OBE was Mr. Robert Bruce's Treatise on OBE ( http://www.astralpulse.com/guides/oobe/Treatise.PDF
) I’ve also read Mr. Bruce’s Astraldynamics and Monroe’s series of books on AP/OBE. I didn’t look to them for technique as much as I did for validation; i.e., “Yes! That’s how I feel when it happens to me! Thank god I’m normal!” But he does provide a lot of technique that you may find useful. It was also wonderful to read about where others have taken their lives as a result of OBE/AP phenomena. At any rate, the so-called “techniques” I post here are my own, and not copied from any book or website. I hope you find them useful.
This essay is written from the perspective of a middle-aged woman who lives in the U.S.A . . . I can’t help that! You may tailor any of my suggestions to suit your gender, ethnicity or lifestyle, and they’ll probably still work. I’ve cut-and-pasted my many posts on this subject into this one essay, so some of it might be familiar to you!
PS: I’ve put action items in red.
This is where it all begins: Your life.
I. HOW BADLY DO YOU WANT TO LEAVE YOUR BODY, REALLY?
Many of you are new to this Forum so don't know that as of 2002, I was having pretty regular spontaneous OBEs into the Real Time Zone (RTZ), which is a little different than Astral Projection (AP). I didn't fully understand my experiences until I found AstralPulse, and I am so grateful to Robert Bruce for this forum.
Anyway, as of August 2002 I'd been feeling pretty frustrated with my spiritual development , as I'd received guidance from a psychic that 2002 was going to be my Big Year, magically speaking. Well, I became aware of my OBE abilities in 2002 but that was about it (I think I'd actually been hoping for thunder and lightning, a crown, a Big Title, and a pony .)
Then it hit me: I hadn't done the work the psychic told me to do . She said I was supposed to work on my house. She didn't specify whether she meant my real house or my spiritual house, but since one can be a metaphor for the other . . . anyway, when I finally GOT IT, I decided to take a year's sabbatical from conscious OBEs, in order to work on my house. Well, the house gave me plenty to work on: Shortly after my decision not to OBE for a year, my roof leaked and my ceiling came crashing down . It's been a year's odyssey of new roof, new insulation, new ceiling, new paint, new carpet, a reinforced foundation, reinforced subfloor, laminate flooring . . . new drapes . . . a 401K loan and a refinanced mortgage . . . need I go on?
So by August, which wrapped up my one-year sabbatical, I was ready to consciously OBE again. But could I? I seemed to have been able to turn it off simply by willing it. That's my magical gift/curse, by the way: My formidable WILL (friends and family call it stubborn). So, in theory, I should have been able to turn it back on again.
Here is my theory: The key is WILL. I suspect that MOST people are not aware of their projections because deep down, they don't WANT to be aware of them. Because the reality would be too much to bear, for many, many reasons. Bringing that level of Awareness back down to the day-to-day requires you to be . . . shall we say, responsible, or faithful to that level of Awareness? "Whew," we think, "too much work." Our souls travel at night, but we black it out by morning.
And most people don't have the WILL to consciously OBE/AP. Most of us gave up meditating after 30 minutes of twiddling thumbs, right? Maybe it lasted a week, and we didn't OBE, so we gave up. Be honest everyone . . . how many of us have kept up our OBE practices faithfully for . . . say . . . even one year? Faithfully and regularly, I mean. Hardly any, I bet, because mundane life simply takes over. But remember, WE WILLED THAT YOUR MUNDANE LIFE WOULD TAKE OVER. We meant it. We're not aware that we meant it, but we meant it!
Ask yourself something. How badly do you want to OBE, really? It's OK to be fascinated by the phenomenon, but not want to make the effort. Really it is OK! Look around you: what does your lifestyle say about what you really want? It's your persistent, long-term efforts at OBE are what show you're really serious about OBE/AP. Your serious efforts at doing OTHER things means you're serious about doing something else.
If after thinking about this you still want to make a go at it, read on.
Total relaxation is key to the OBE experience. Meditation can help us achieve relaxation, but to be honest, we’d probably need to meditate 12 or more hours a day before we got to the mental state we should be in to OBE, given the stresses of modern society. Most people can hardly squeeze in a few minutes per week, which is better than nothing, but not good enough if we really want to OBE. So we need to do more than just meditate.
It’s very important that we lead peaceful, gentle, relaxed lives if we are to make a practice of deliberately leaving our bodies on a regular basis. Given this basic truth, then, what are the sources of stress in YOUR life?
Lack of money?
Make a list, because you are going to need to take care of all of them if you are going to OBE. And by take care of them I don’t necessarily mean “fix the problem.” Some problems can’t be fixed. But you can change your APPROACH to your so-called “problems.” You might have to do any or all of these things before you can truly relax:
Forgive your parents.
Forgive your siblings.
Forgive everyone who ever hurt your feelings.
Finish school to have more free time.
Quit your crappy job and get a more meaningful or less stressful one, even if it means making less money.
Set boundaries with your spouse and/or children.
Move to a more peaceful, affordable place.
Learn to love (or at least accept) those things that annoy you.
Quit some outer activities (clubs, etc.), in order to do more inner work.
Spend less time on the computer: posting messages on Astralpulse, playing video games, instant-messaging, etc.
Face the problems you’ve been avoiding.
Less time partying, more time in quiet contemplation.
Change your diet.
See a doctor about that thing.
Get 8 hours of sleep per night.
Swallow your pride and go get some therapy.
Turn off the TV.
When you make your list of stressors and are faced with the awesome realization that THIS IS A LOT OF WORK, refer to section I titled, How Badly Do You Want to Leave Your Body, Really? I tell you it’s worth it. I don’t need to meditate much anymore (in the sit-down sense) because I’ve cleared my mind of anxieties and resentments and superficial fluff over a period of many, many years. My life still has its normal stresses, but in general I lead a peaceful, gentle life. I’m mostly a solitary person, with the exception of my daughter, who I have part time, and my four cats, who don’t ask for much.
I still recommend meditation and yoga anyway, even if you never plan to OBE!!!!!!!!!!! They are great for your health and your overall sense of well-being. They can make you feel very relaxed. Also, you might want to try:
Keeping a journal
New Energy Ways (NEW, from Astraldynamics)
Loving your pet(s)
Playing with your kids, not just “taking care of” them
Making crazy art (the point is to express yourselves, not to be good at it)
Walking around the block
Calling a friend who makes you happy
Sex with someone you love
Anything that helps you relieve stress, as long as it’s legal and harms none
III. A LIFE OF GENTEEL POVERTY
Have you ever noticed that the most spiritual people in the world have very little money? This is no mistake. Meditate on this! How much do you really need to be happy, really? I’m not asking you to throw on sackcloth and sell flowers on a street corner or join a commune. I’m not suggesting that life in a sweatshop ought to be fulfilling, because I know it’s not. Rather, I am advocating a life of quiet gentility. Get a good education so you may find decent, meaningful work, a small home, a sensible car (or public transport), a steady, modest inflow of cash to pay the bills and save for retirement, and health insurance. Simplify your life, my friends! If you can’t afford a simple life where you live now, MOVE to a place where you can afford one. Join forces with like-minded people to save money. Be creative!
Being poor does not mean living in a slum, scrubbing other people’s toilets, or standing at the bottom of a shabby staircase screaming STELLA! at the top of your lungs in your undershirt. By saying “no” to overconsumption and shallowness, choosing instead an affordable lifestyle and saving money for that inevitable rainy day, you will find peace and – ta da! - RELAXATION. Forget “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” buy (or better yet, sign out from your public library) The Complete Tightwad Gazette: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle, by Amy Dacyczyn.
Notice that my suggested stress-relieving activities in Chapter II are free, or at the very least, cheap. For instance, nothing brings me more pleasure than a good nap, a cup of tea in my grandmother’s china teacup, and a good book on a quiet Sunday afternoon. You will choose your own free-or-inexpensive pleasures.
IV. AMPLE AMOUNTS OF FREE TIME
You need free time to deliberately OBE. Sure, stress and sleep deprivation might bring on an involuntary OBE now and then, but these are disturbing experiences that you can’t control. So take it slow and deliberate, in your free time when you are well rested. That way, your body won’t fall asleep on you when you practice!
We all have only 24 hours in an earth-time day. People say “I don’t have the time!” but for the most part that’s a load of crap, even if you’re a single parent. Almost everyone wastes loads of time without realizing it. In America, families watch hours and hours of TV a day and say they “don’t have time” to do things. Please!
Since you’ll never get more than 24 hours per day, we make our free time by rearranging our lives and saying “no” sometimes.
Here are a few ways you can rearrange your life:
Give your unneeded possessions to charity. Find efficient storage for the things you decide to keep. No more rummaging around!
Find a job close to home, and reduce your travel.
Shop in bulk, so as to make fewer trips.
Delegate household tasks to family members.
End unproductive or abusive relationships.
If in school, set your class schedule in order to maximize your free time, and minimize time spent commuting or running around.
Here are a few things to say no to:
Indulgence in hate, anger, annoyance, offense, and depression, including complaining, pointless arguments, plotting revenge, and flame emails.
Junk mail. Just throw it out unread.
Spending time with people who anger, annoy or depress you, even if it’s a Friday night and you’ve got no one else to go out with.
Mindless eating and puttering around
Chaos in your home (a massive time waster!)
Too much television
Too much time on the computer
Unsolicited sales calls.
Constantly rearranging your “stuff.” Get rid of stuff.
Any compulsive activities (spending, cleaning, drinking, smoking, etc.)
By now some of you are probably thinking, what the heck does all this have to do with OBE? I’ll tell you. There are a few VERY GOOD reasons why I've written these first few chapters that describe the REAL groundwork that is the foundation for a peaceful, controlled, out-of-body experience:
First, a conscious, deliberate OBE comes from a state of total relaxation. Some people are “naturals” at OBE and therefore do not need to “work” on relaxation so much. But this essay is meant for beginners, for those of you who are not “naturals” and for those of you who have unpredictable or involuntary OBE experiences. Meaning, MOST people out there!
People with freaked-out lives, festering resentments, screwed-up finances, and poor health find it difficult to relax. It’s as simple as that. Selling your soul to a stressful career, or multiple jobs, in order to feed your greed (not to mention a mountain of debt from buying junk you don’t need) is not going to relax you, and it’s not going to leave you with enough time to practice OBE. A half hour of meditation every now and then is not going to fix your life. You need to CHANGE your lives so that you may relax and find peace, so that you may OBE peacefully.
Some people project when they’re sleep-deprived or ill. These experiences tend to be miserable and exhausting, and near impossible to control. Wouldn’t you rather be well-rested and relaxed the day it happens for you!
Most importantly, OBE practice can lead to lucid dreaming and/or Astral experiences. When you find yourself lucid in these dreamspaces, what you think and believe will shape your experiences. Festering resentments and fears will send you straight to the Lower Astral, where you’ll face demons, spiders, mean dragons, assorted negs and such. It’s enough to make one vow never to go back! Therefore, it is best to develop a clear mind and a peaceful soul.
V. NOW IT’S TIME
If you’ve actually made it to this chapter without giving up in disgust or annoyance, you show both patience and promise. If you’re actually in the process of completing the action items highlighted in red, you’re REALLY ready!
Things move along for me very well when I spend a lot of time alone, in silence, in “inbetween” states. Neither here-nor-there, but always aware. Liminal, it is called. It means “at the threshold.” Many people call this state of mind "Trance." I meditate on fog, for instance, as it is inbetween rain and not-rain. Those moments just before, or just after, thunderstorms. Doorways, bridges, the forest’s edge . . . . think of your own liminal places and meditate on them. When you are in a liminal state, sharpen your awareness of the fact that you are now "inbetween."
Celtic harp music enhances my mood. I also use theta-wave tapes and the Gateway series. I also burn incense when I do my work; it sends a signal to my brain that I’m working on OBE.
I want to recommend to everyone to practice OBE in a slightly sitting state; for instance, in a reclining chair. Laying on a bed is a sure way to fall asleep. However, I must confess that ALL of my OBEs have occurred while in bed, either laying down or propped up on my pillows, so even I don’t practice what I preach in this regard. So, since this essay is about what WORKS for me, I’ll tell you what I usually do:
A. I lay on my back, with a pillow under my knees to relieve back pressure. I squirm around to crack my back vertebrae. In fact, come to think of it, I crack every knuckle I have! I wiggle my fingers and toes, relax, and settle in.
B. I fall asleep on my back. If I roll over in my sleep, that’s OK.
C. At some point in the evening . . . perhaps one REM cycle . . . I sort of wake up. I am half awake, half asleep. At the threshold! (remember “liminal places!”). I may get up to use the bathroom and then attempt a projection, or, I might just roll over and sink into a “vibration state,” right then and there. Whatever I do, however, I keep that inbetween-state, rather than "wake up."
I will now go into specific detail about my pre-OBE states.
VI. THE PRE-VIBRATIONAL STATE
How to bring on the vibrations? You could try willing them, but only if you are the liminal space between sleep and awake. Willing it while you’re just lying there won’t work! It helps if you’ve felt the vibrations before, so if you haven’t, perhaps it’s better just to wait for them to come on their own. They WILL come. The trick is staying awake for them!!!!!!
The reason many of us botch our OBE attempts at the point of exit (presuming we initially have the deep relaxation thing down) it that we're getting all excited over the shifting of our energy bodies - - because it does feel pretty cool - - - thinking, "Is this a vibration? Oh boy! Is it finally going to happen? That very excitement causes us to lose the deep relaxation needed for the OBE exit.
Work often on trance states . . . go as deep as you can, as often as you can, at times when you are well rested. It can be an ongoing struggle staying AWARE during trance. Your awareness is key. When you sleep, your consciousness will leave your body on its own . . . unfortunately, you are unconscious and miss the whole thing! By working on CONSTANT AWARENESS you can be "asleep and awake" at the same time.
As for me, I still struggle with staying aware during induced trance states. Most of the time I drift off in a fog and nothing happens. But then one day, SHAZAM, there I am, awake in my head . . . but I'm leaving my body behind.
I've tried a different technique with my deliberate OBE attempts: I meditate/trance with the intention of feeling my energy body shift and wobble, WITHOUT trying to push myself into an OBE. I get SO used to the shifty feeling that it absolutely BORES me to death and it ceases to cause an excited or expectant reaction. Also, it takes the pressure off. If I have an OBE, great! If I don't, well, I wasn't trying to have one in the first place.
So here's what it feels like to me BEFORE the vibrations happen:
A. I'm sleeping or resting. I'm in that in-between state of sleep/awake. I trance very easily (it's both a blessing and a curse, no one wants to ride in my car when I'm driving!), so I rarely have to work at getting in the right space. Suffice it to say I assume the position for an OBE; i.e., flat on my back.
B. I feel my energy-body start to shift. Imagine what it must feel like to be a hard boiled egg when someone is peeling off your shell . . . something feels as though it is separating. Sometimes it feels like a little wobble or a flutter. Wobbly is a good word. Most of the wobbling/shifting is in my UPPER body, from my upper chest up to the top of my head. Since I'm laying absolutely still it makes no sense that I feel as though I'm moving . . . it really does FEEL as though I have separated from my body just a LITTLE bit. Sometimes I even get a little sick to my stomach! When this happens I try to lay absolutely still and act really, really bored by the phenomenon. "Ho hum, here I go . . ."
Please note that I often botch it at this point. Moving the body, or even THINKING about one's physical body will end the experience. Even thoughts such as "I'd better not think about my body!" will ruin it. Turn around negative thoughts such as "I'd better not" into positive ones, such as "OK I'm moving along, whatever . . . my mind is relaxed . . . ho hum, here I go . . . I'm waiting . . . whatever . . . I'm waiting, I'm waiting . . . my mind is relaxed, things just moving along . . . ." Positive thoughts will keep your mind off what you shouldn't be doing.
C. If you are in an uncomfortable position when you start to feel wobbly/shifty, LIE STILL, JUST PUT UP WITH IT, you can ask your friends to massage your sore body parts tomorrow. Believe it or not, the wobbly feeling doesn't last very long, just a few seconds for me when I go off spontaneously. If I move a muscle, I've blown it!
D. Now, here is the truly tricky part. I'm of two minds here (I believe in the OBE world, this counts as a pun). Because I know what brings on a vibration for me if I'm calm and deliberate: When I want to bring on the vibrations faster, I imagine sinking, and that seems to bring them on. I feel myself going through my mattress. It's always prolonged my vibration experience, but my success at OBE using this technique has been spotty, probably because these efforts cause some sort of tension in my body. So if you find yourself "wobbly" or "fluttery" or "shifty" and the vibrations don't happen after 15 seconds or so, you might want to try FEELING (not visualizing) yourself sinking deep into your bed or your chair as though someone were pressing down upon you, and pressing down HARD, without letting up. Sometimes I think, "DOWN . . . . DOWN . . . . DOWN . . . . . DOWN .. . . . DOWWWNNNN . .. . . . . . . DOWWWWNNN . . ."
E. Then AGAIN (and here is my second opinion on the subject), you might want to do NOTHING. NADA. ZIPPO. I call this the NON TECHNIQUE TECHNIQUE because trying to do something might break your relaxation and ruin the experience. "Letting" an OBE happen, in a zen kind of way, seems to work so much better. Of course that is little consolation to folks who've been trying for years. Of course, if you've been trying and trying with doing nothing and nothing doesn't work, try sinking.
VII. THE VIBRATIONS
The vibrations are the point of no return, in my opinion, so you do not have to "do" much at this point besides relax and take everything you feel/hear in stride, knowing that you are SAFE AND SOUND and that you are going to be all right no matter what!!!!!!
If you’ve never had an OBE before, the vibrations will probably feel like nothing you’ve ever felt before. In fact, if you feel tingling in your body and wonder if it's vibrations, I'm sorry, but it's not. If you are new to this, and you are feeling "mild" paralysis, you are most likely not ready for an OBE exit . . . although you ARE getting closer by meditating and working with trance. Keep it up!
REAL exit sensations are not "mild," in fact they can be downright alarming. During your first OBE’s the vibrations will probably feel jarring to you, even upsetting. The trick is in not letting the sensations freak you out.
What do vibrations feel like? I feel sinking and vibrations, and hear roaring/buzzing, all at the same time. Sometimes I feel a lot of pressure on my chest, as though I am being pushed down onto the bed. I liken the vibrational state to lying on top of an unbalanced washing machine during the spin cycle. Or, perhaps an old 1800’s Ford jalopy with a bad muffler. The experience is very noisy for me. And I am completely paralyzed. I cannot move.
According to Mr. Bruce, early projections seem to cause more of a ruckus than later ones. Once you've had several deliberate/successful OBEs, the exits quiet down. Come to think of it, over time, my vibrations HAVE become less intense for me. Right now I'd say they feel/sound more like a large buzzing plane flying low overhead. But that's after three years of spin-cycle intensity. As I became more proficient at OBE the vibrations calmed down a bit, and now it feels like a buzz, like I’m on a motorcycle ready to zip off somewhere.
My advice to newcomers to the OBE world: Expect a ruckus at first. That way you are less likely to freak out! Those with slight and controllable buzzing for vibrations should consider themselves LUCKY (or really, really advanced, my hat is raised to them!). The day I can feel a slight buzz in my spine and WOOOP! out I go . . . ah, that will be the day!
VIII. THE EXIT
My early OBEs were spontaneous and MOST unwelcome, until one day I thought, oh, what the heck, surrendered to the experience, and actually downloaded some good memories from a bonafide OBE.
These days, I have a problem with my excitement and my expectations ruining projection attempts. Even experienced OBE-ers have spotty success with deliberate OBE attempts. Toss your frustration aside and know you are in good company. But the first time I tried this “surrender technique,” I’d failed at OBE many times. But once I figured it out, I projected FOUR TIMES in one night! Now my memories of them are sketchy and I have some ponderings about whether or not I experienced the same OBE more than one time (if that makes any sense), but . . . it worked!
(By the way, I also like to call my surrender technique "flopping." I flop like a rag doll - - - rag dolls have no bones or muscles, after all! The few times I've managed to flop entirely, I've had an OBE.)
SURRENDER TECHNIQUE: When you feel yourself going "down" or having projection vibrations, lose all tension in your body. Flop like a rag doll and send out a little prayer. It doesn't really matter to "whom" - - - you send out the prayer to the Being out there willing and waiting to help. It could be Jesus or God. It could be your higher self. It could be a spirit guide. Don't get too attached . . . keep an open mind. There is SOMEONE out there. Ask for help. Completely SURRENDER to the experience. Meaning, no expectations or desires allowed . . . just ask for help, and completely surrender to anything (and I mean anything) that might come from that help.
If you get this maneuver right, you may feel yourself floating upwards. You might even feel yourself yanked out of your body a little too abruptly - - but at least you’ll be out!
The first time I was consciously “out,” I was amazed at how absolutely REAL it was. I was myself! In my ghostly body! But I quickly remembered that Mr. Bruce had advised that novice projectors jump back in their bodies right quick, so as to remember the experience, so that’s what I did.
In this peaceful reverie after the paralysis passes, my usually dark bedroom seems lit with flickering lights, almost as if someone sneaked into my bedroom and lit a bunch of tea candles and hid them around my room. In fact, the first time it happened, I thought I'd left candles lit and I rummaged about my room looking for them, getting REALLY confused . . . even more confused than I had been originally for just having an OBE without knowing it.
After a minute or two, the candelight effect goes away, and it all feels REAL over with.
Sometimes I have a cold head after re-entry. Sometimes I wrap my head in a blanket afterwards. But I almost always sleep well, and wake up refreshed.
Happy travels! Remember . . . find your inbetween state, stay aware at all times, work on it every day (or at least several times a week) and LET it happen. Once you know what it "feels" like, it is easier to engage in a variety of techniques to bring on that feeling. But you have to know what it feels like first! Getting to this point takes a LOT of patience, but in the end, it is all worth it.