Out of Body Experiences: How to have them and what to expect
or, "Who wants to be an astral traveler?"
Wainwright House - June 4, 2000 10:00am-5:00pm
9:00 - 10:00 Music: "Beethoven's Last Night" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra
10:00 - 11:00 Introduction
Who am I?
- How many people here want to have out-of-body experiences? (Am I in the right place?)
- My name is Bob Peterson
- I'm just an ordinary guy who chose an extraordinary path.
- I'm not a polished speaker. This is my first-ever OBE class, so cut me some slack.
- Because I'm new to this, I'll be using class notes. I'll post them on my web site.
- I'm not a psychic. I have had a lot of psychic experiences, but I feel that these are natural
abilities everyone has, not anything special.
- I'm not a guru. I don't have all the answers. I'm learning just like everyone else.
- I'm not a member of any religion or any organization. I'm not going to tell you what to
believe. I'm going to encourage your own exploration so you can get your own answers.
- I've been studying and inducing OBEs for 20 years.
- Author of Out of Body Experiences: How to have them and what to expect.
- My second book will be published by Hampton Roads Publishing, Spring 2001?
- In the first book I tried to stay pretty objective.
- The second book focuses more on the spirituality and the lessons I've learned both in the
body and out.
- I've got a web site with additional articles: http://www.robertpeterson.org/
- Feel free to e-mail me: email@example.com (Please keep e-mail short). I'd rather get 30
e-mails of 2K each over 30 days rather than one 60K e-mail in one day.
- There is a saying: Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
- By taking this class, you may be unlocking a door that's been closed a long time, and it
might be hard to deal with. It's not easy to go back to "ordinary." It changed my life.
- There's another old saying, something like "Give a person food, and they're fed for a day,
but teach them how to farm, and they're fed for life." Likewise, I'm not here to give you
an OBE. I'm here to teach you the skills necessary to induce your own OBEs.
- Participants will learn several OBE methods/techniques plus dozens of tips, pointers, etc.
- How many of you are golfers? I just started golfing two years ago, and I'm really bad at
it. What if I told you that you could earn a million dollars by playing a game of golf?
- In 1999 Tiger Woods earned $6,616,585; more than double the previous record total for
- Now what's the difference between Tiger Woods and the rest of us? Tiger has spent
countless hours training, practicing, refining his game, studying, living, thinking and
- Now what if I told you that you could discover the secrets of the Universe, the afterlife,
and religion by inducing OBEs? My point is that OBE is a skill, just like golf. You've got
to dedicate a great deal of time and energy if you want to learn it. Now I'm not the Tiger
Woods of OBEs, but I do know a lot about OBEs and I will share what I know with you.
- Everything I say in this class is my opinion only, and not necessarily the opinions of
Wainwright House, or anyone else for that matter.
What is an Out-of-Body Experience (OBE)?
- Coined by Charles Tart who studied OBEs in the lab (Robert Monroe among others).
- An OBE is where you feel as if your entire consciousness (100%) is separated from the
body and you are fully (100%) conscious. (My definition).
- Not just some subtle experience like ESP. Remote viewing is a subtle experience.
- OBE is a convincingly real, conscious experience.
- Rule of thumb: If you have an experience and you're not sure if it was OBE, it probably
- In my opinion, Monroe "Focus Level" experiences are something different, because a part
of your consciousness remains in the body.
- Also, bilocation is different: That's where a person (usually saints, etc.) seem to be
PHYSICALLY in two places at once. That is, physically, not astrally.
- Basically normal, except for a few strange incidents I described in the book.
- I was Scientific. Materialistic. Shallow. My favorite show was Star Trek. I remember the
opening line: "Space: The Final Frontier!" I'm here to tell you...It's not true!
- Later, I became a computer nerd. I'm still working as a full-time computer professional.
- In September, 1979 I read a book called Journeys Out of the Body by Robert Monroe
- Monroe talked about flying out of his body, having all kinds of adventures.
- Because I was a skeptic, I didn't believe a word of it, but I liked Monroe's approach.
- Objective. Scientific. "Try it yourself and see". I decided to keep an open mind.
- I memorized Monroe's procedure, and later that night I tried it. It worked! I had a very
scary run-in with a precursor to an OBE. I experienced "the vibrations."
Beliefs Blown to Bits
- I was scientific, so I had to reconcile my beliefs. I had been led to believe in 3 dimensions,
matter, energy...Physics. There was no room for spirit in the equations of science.
- I was raised Catholic: I went to church on Sunday, then forgot about God.
- Catholics didn't say anything about OBEs. Heaven, Hell, Earth, that's it.
- One look at my inanimate body showed me I had a lot to learn spiritually. I was ignorant.
- I vowed to risk death and damnation to learn the truth for myself. I couldn't take
anyone's word on it any more.
Pokes and Prods
- I started practicing every night, but Monroe's method stopped working.
- I started reading and studying OBE books. Learning about altered states of consciousness
- I got strange results...Pokes and Prods
- Overcoming fear (I'll address that later)
My first OBE
- After a month of practice, on Nov. 2, 1979, I had my first and second OBE.
- They happened by accident. (I wasn't trying). I was too tired to practice that night.
- My next OBEs took another month. I guess my point is that you need to cut yourself
some slack here: Learning OBE can be a long, tedious process.
- For some reason, the first OBE is the hardest. Subsequent OBEs get easier.
- How many people have had prior OBEs? Good! Makes my job easier!
Eventually I learned how to leave my body. How?
- I got better at it...like a golfer who hits a good shot and thinks, What did I do different that time?
Why did I write the book?
- Not for the money...(I put it on the Internet 2 years prior to its publication)
- NOT for the fame...The thought of fame terrifies me.
(I was actually asked to be on the Roseanne Barr/Arnold talk show. I told them no.)
- To fill in the gaps left by the other books
- I found out there are a lot of superstitions & myths concerning OBE. For example, the
books said I shouldn't do OBE while lying on Stomach. They also said that OBE took a
lot of energy and that I should come back feeling drained. I don't feel drained, I feel
energized! I feel elated, even exhilarated! I guess I broke all the rules, which either makes
me incredibly brave or incredibly stupid.
- I also wrote the book because it changed my life, made me a more spiritual person. I
wanted to help others achieve OBEs too. I said that Robert Monroe started me on this
path, and if I can have the same effect on just one other person, it will be worth it.
- I wasn't born with any special gift.
- I had to learn OBEs the hard way, so I believe anyone can do it.
Format of the class
- Feel free to ask questions if I'm not making myself clear.
- Don't feel stupid for asking questions that seem obvious.
- You'd be surprised at how often I'm asked whether OBEs should be attempted with the
eyes open or shut. The answer is that your eyes need to be shut.
- It's better to ask a question than to do it wrong.
- We'll do exercises during the class. After lunch, the exercises will be more "hands-on."
- I may end exercises while you're in the middle of an altered state, but don't be alarmed.
I've had OBEs interrupted by the telephone, alarm clock, etc, without harm.
Break every hour - PLEASE REMIND ME.
11:00 - 11:45 - OBE Foundations
There are lots of ways to have an OBE. The first way is thru NDE, but don't recommend it!
I agree with Professor Charles Tart who wrote something to that effect in the foreword to my book.
The other OBE methods all employ one of three devices.
- Turning Lucid Dreams into OBEs.
- Subconscious training.
- Conscious induction via (a) Hypnagogic state, (b) Hypnopompic state.
I'll try to cover and teach all three in this class.
Exercise 1 - Prayer
- Part of the subconscious training?
- Help is out there, and they listen.
Before you can build a house, you've got to dig the basement, lay the foundation, etc.
Before you go out and play golf, you've got to learn the rules, the etiquette, how to hold the golf
club, what to wear and so on. So now I'd like to lay the foundation for your OBEs.
What happens during an OBE?
- Your body is asleep, your mind is awake. Therefore, it's important to know what happens
when your body sleeps.
The physiology of sleep (What happens during sleep).
- Every night, we go through a nightly sleep cycle: Hypnagogic state, deep sleep, REM sleep, hypnopompic state.
- There are five stages of sleep, and the cycle repeats 5-6 times a night.
- Each cycle is approx. 90 minutes, but they get shorter as the night progresses.
Brain Waves 101:
Brain waves measure the electrical activity at the surface of the brain. They don't tell you
anything about what's happening deeper inside the brain.
- Alpha (awake, relaxed, drowsy, often with eyes closed, synchronized, maybe daydreaming)
- Beta (alert, attentive, thinking, desynchronized)
- Delta (Deep sleep, non-dreaming)
- Theta (REM sleep, dreaming)
The stages of sleep are:
Awake - Alpha and beta brain waves
Stage 1 Sleep - The initial stage into falling asleep (2-5% of a normal night of sleep: 1-5 minutes)
- Alpha and theta brain waves.
- No consistency in alpha waves as would be seen in the waking state.
- Charles Tart found that Robert Monroe's OBEs occurred in Stage 1, into Stage 2.
Stage 2 Sleep (45-55% of a normal night of sleep: 10-15 minutes)
- Theta brain waves.
- Eye movements stop and brain waves slow down.
- Occasional rapid bursts of rhythmical brain activity called sleep spindles.
Stage 3 Sleep - Deep, dreamless "slow wave" sleep (10-25% for Stage 3 and 4: )
- Delta waves begin to appear mixed with faster, smaller wave patterns.
- Sleep spindles disappear from EEG readings.
- No eye movement or muscle activity.
- Brain activity slows dramatically as the person progresses toward Stage 4.
- Very difficult to wake the sleeper.
- If awoken during this stage person is typically groggy and disoriented for several minutes.
Stage 4 Sleep - Deeper, dreamless sleep
- Delta brain waves
- Similar to being in a coma, only we come out of it.
Stage 5 Sleep - REM (dreaming) sleep (20-25% of a normal night of sleep)
- So-called because of Rapid Eye Movements that occur during dreaming.
- Characterized by alert brain waves and high muscular tension.
- The brain is sometimes more active in REM sleep than in waking state in certain individuals.
- After REM sleep, we usually return to stage 2 sleep.
- Sleep Paralysis keeps you from acting out your dreams.
- Sometimes people wake up and become conscious while their body is still in the
grips of sleep paralysis. This is called Awareness during Sleep Paralysis, or ASP. Most people don't
understand what's happening when ASP occurs, so they struggle to regain control of their body.
- I've been able to get to the OBE state from a sleep paralysis state, but it's not easy. For me,
it's almost easier to induce OBE from a waking state than from the sleep paralysis state.
- By the way, "sleep walking" happens when sleep paralysis doesn't work properly.
The Dance of DHEA/Melatonin.
- The pineal gland was thought to be seat of consciousness in occult literature (Descartes,
1650s, thought it was a transceiver to the soul, Oliver Fox called it the astral doorway).
- It is the only part of the brain that isn't duplicated in the hemispheres.
- The pineal gland secretes a brain-chemical known as melatonin.
- Melatonin is associated with drowsiness, and as we get older, we produce less and less.
That's why babies sleep a lot, and older people have a hard time sleeping.
- Another brain chemical, DHEA, is associated with alertness and consciousness.
- When we're in our mid-twenties, we are at our peak production of DHEA.
- Maybe that's why older people aren't as alert as they were when they were younger.
- DHEA is depleted throughout the day as Melatonin increases.
- Melatonin builds up throughout the day, making us less alert, more sleepy.
- Sleep serves to reduce the melatonin and restore the DHEA.
- When we have an OBE, our mind is awake, but our body is asleep, yet when do most
people choose to practice? Right before bed. That's the worst possible time to practice.
- The best time to practice OBE is in the morning if possible, when DHEA levels are high,
and melatonin levels are still high enough to keep your body asleep.
- Try to avoid the time just before bedtime. (Common mistake).
- There are no bad days to practice
- I prefer weekends when I can sleep in.
Where to practice
- Also, don't practice from your bed if possible. Due to subconscious preprogramming,
your body is pre-conditioned to fall asleep there.
What to wear
- Loose fitting, comfortable clothes
- Make sure your surroundings are warm enough and cool enough.
Things to avoid
- Avoid drugs and alcohol before practice.
- I'm not saying that you need to be alcohol free. I have an occasional drink or two
(rarely). I'm only saying that you should avoid alcohol before OBE practice. Alcohol un-focuses your mind, and believe me, you need as much focus as possible.
- Substances like Mugwort, DHEA/Melatonin, etc, are rumored to induce OBE. I don't
know because I've never used them. These are brain chemicals, so you don't want to
mess with them. Avoid them.
- Avoid tight-fitting clothes, shoes, etc.
- Avoid practicing if tired, depressed, afraid, uncomfortable, or distracted.
- Some people say you should avoid eating meat, but I've never had a problem with it.
- Cut out distractions if possible. Unplug telephones if necessary.
- Drown out distractions if not possible (you can use headphones, pink noise, or the droning
of a fan, etc.)
- Special note about alarm clocks: Don't worry about the time it takes to do an OBE.
Worrying is detrimental to the OBE process. Practice without time restrictions.
- Lying down, on your back if possible or sitting in a comfortable chair or a recliner.
- Preferably not any position you ordinarily sleep in (I sleep on my side, not my back, so I
typically practice my OBEs while lying on my back).
- The position of your body needs to allow maximum relaxation.
- Monroe said that fear was the biggest barrier to OBE.
- Unresolved fears can cause you bad experiences or worse yet, no experience at all.
- People want to do OBE so badly, but their first encounter usually frightens them
(afterward), even if they are told what to expect.
- Resolve your fears before you start.
- No one can guarantee your safety during an OBE. However, I've been doing it for twenty
years and hundreds of OBEs, so I feel they're relatively safe.
- Common fears:
- Fear of the unknown
- Fear of death (My belief: I don't believe it's possible to die as a result of OBE)
- Possession (My belief: I don't believe it's possible for a spirit to take your body.
My friend Lisa once had a spirit try to take her body, and the spirit was unable.)
- Not able to get back inside (My belief: The problem isn't getting back in, but
rather staying out as long as possible.) Your subconscious will pull you back in.
- Getting lost (I've been lost many times. "Where the heck am I now?" There isn't
exactly a sign over the doorway that says "Astral Plane". I've been plenty of
places I didn't recognize, but I've never had a problem getting back to my body).
- Demonic attack (My belief: There are only two types of demons: Those created
out of our own fears, and spirits like you and me. They can only harm you
through intimidation and fear, so don't let them intimidate you.)
- Fears are a natural body-reaction (the instinct for survival). Realize that when you're out of
your body, you don't need that instinct because you're not in your body.
- Being fearless is the best form of protection. Bruce Moen wrote that love and fear can't
coexist. His solution is to counter fear with love.
- Most "demons" are manifestations of fear. Other entities are like people off the street,
except they don't have bodies. Most non-physicals are afraid of the powers we have, and
I'm not quite sure why.
- In my opinion, they can't harm your body because they're non-physical.
- In my opinion, they can't possess you because you still "own" that body. Your Higher Self has invested
a great deal of time and energy to produce your body for learning experiences. It's not
about to give it up easily.
- Common reaction: Hearing voices telling you to "Stop!" "Wake up!" "House is on fire!"
These are hallucinations, so ignore them. These are manifestations of subconscious fears.
- Another common reaction: "My heart stopped!" "I'm not breathing!" Ignore them. Your
heart is still beating, but you've lost awareness of it. Your body is still breathing, but
you've lost awareness of it.
Exercise 2: Resolving Fears
Background: Fears can (a) prevent you from having an OBE, (b) lead you to prematurely end the
OBE, or (c) create negative experiences.
- What are your fears?
- Why shouldn't you be afraid?
11:45 - Noon - Changing your belief system:
- I wanted to mention the importance of changing your belief system regarding OBEs.
- Are any of you familiar with the Seth material channeled by the late Jane Roberts? Seth said
"You create your own reality" based on your beliefs.
- One of Jane's students, Rick Stack, wrote an OBE book, "Out of Body Adventures."
It says a lot of things, but if I remember correctly, it primarily
focuses on changing your belief system to allow for OBE.
- So analyze your beliefs and try to figure out how they're holding you back.
- Who says you're "in" your body anyway? That's just your belief system. Your belief system
might just as well be, "Oh my God, I can slip out any time!"
- I get e-mail from people all the time. They say something like, "Every night I get this
terrifying vibration and start to slip out of my body! Every night I try to remain calm, but I
get so scared. I just know it's going to happen again! And when I lie down, it does! Can you
make it stop?" Boy, I wish I had that problem! Don't you see? They're so afraid it will
happen again that it does! Their belief is so strong that it creates their reality. My point is,
change your belief system to allow for OBEs in your life.
- Here's justification for believing you are an astral traveler: Most OBE authors agree: Every
night when we sleep, we slip outside of our body automatically to recharge. We have OBEs
every night. Right now, they are unconscious and not remembered, but that can be changed.
When we're dreaming, we are really out of the body, floating above it, watching scenes
that our own minds have created. I know because I've seen the entire process from start to finish.
Exercise 3: Altering your beliefs
Background: Your beliefs create your reality. You are an astral traveler. Believe it. Live it.
Take ownership of it. Say to yourself, "I am an astral traveler." Change your inner dialogue!
Over the lunch break, try to change your beliefs to allow for astral travel.
12:00 - 12:30 - The subconscious connection:
Next, I want to talk about the subconscious. Before I start talking about this, can someone please
remind me when it's 12:15? There's something very important I need to do at 12:15. Please; it's
- I believe there are many "parts" to a human being.
- Freud wrote about the "conscious," the "unconscious," the "ego," and the "id."
- The one we're most familiar with is the "conscious self" which I believe is only a fraction
of our total being.
- I also believe in a "Higher Self" that watches us, protects us, and drives our life's lessons.
- Between "conscious self" and "higher self" is the "subconscious."
I'll talk about the subconscious first, because you should start doing those exercises ASAP.
- The subconscious is very powerful and very literal. It has the power to take you out of the body.
- I'll let you in on a little secret I discovered: We can have anything, as long as it doesn't
interfere with our life-lessons or the life-lessons of others. That's anything, not just OBEs.
- Petition your subconscious and Higher Self for whatever you want: Make deals with it.
For example, "Dear Higher Self, I promise to learn my lessons as hard as I can, if you give
me more OBEs." Don't laugh; it works.
There are several methods of communicating with your subconscious:
- Desire - Really want it. Think about it. Be obsessive about it. Make your thoughts return to it.
- Imagination - Imagine leaving your body, Imagine scenes of flying, etc.
- Affirmations - Best if done in morning and before bed. (Easier to talk w/subconscious)
- Internal Dialogue - Use it: "I am an astral traveler" "I can do this" etc.
- Listen to songs about OBE, or that remind you of OBE. For example, "Fly Like an Eagle" by Steve
Miller Band. "Let my spirit carry me."
- Ask yourself questions - "Do I really want to leave my body?" "Yes, that's what I want."
Repeat the question three times so your subconscious knows you really mean it. The first couple
of times, your subconscious just takes note of what you're saying. The third time, it pays
- Hypnosis. I'm pretty resistant to hypnosis, but it might work for some people.
- Prayer - Your subconscious is listening, as well as your spiritual guides.
- Reading OBE books. Not just books; there's a lot of information on the Internet too.
When I read an OBE book, I often stop and think, "That's cool!" and that sends a
message to our subconscious. Lots of things slip by our conscious mind, but not our
subconscious. Our conscious mind has filtering, but our subconscious doesn't.
Someone reminded me that it was 12:15. Addressing the person who reminded me:
- I was just kidding. I don't have to do anything special at 12:15. It was an illustration.
- What caused you to remember? (Your subconscious did.)
- How did you tell your subconscious to remind you? You ordered your subconscious to
trigger your conscious self: "Hey, it's 12:15!" Your subconscious acted on your orders.
- Were people occasionally checking their watches? Awareness of the time and your need
to monitor it was "in the back of your mind."
- I used to be good at this: I'd tell myself "I've got to remember to wake up at exactly
4:07am." And I would wake up exactly at 4:07am.
- My point is this: Apply the same to OBEs: Just before bedtime, order your subconscious
to remind you have an OBE in a half hour. Then go to sleep. If you forget, scold your
subconscious for not doing its job. "Oops. I forgot I was supposed to do that. Next time
I'll do better." Don't be negative. Just tell yourself that next time you'll do better.
Most people use their subconscious sporadically, if at all. They don't pay attention to what it
says. They don't use it consciously. Start actively using your subconscious!
Exercise 4: Training your subconscious - Affirmations
Background: The subconscious can take you out of body any time. Make your desire its desire.
Close your eyes. Say to yourself, "I'm going to start having out-of-body experiences." Imagine
yourself leaving your body. See yourself peeling away from your body. Now you are floating.
Look back and you can see your body. Ask yourself, "Is that what I want?" Answer, "Yes."
Again: Imagine yourself out of your body. Ask yourself, "Is that what I want?" Answer, "Yes."
Feel your intense desire to leave the body. Do not affirm that you are in a state of lacking. Just
feel the desire. Now remind yourself: In ten minutes, I've got to remember to do this again.
Convince yourself of the importance of experiencing an OBE.
12:30 - 1:30 - Lunch Break
1:30 - 2:00 - The Lucid Dream Connection
Welcome back. Did everyone have a good lunch? At the beginning of the class, I mentioned
three ways of achieving OBE: Turning Lucid Dreams into OBEs, Subconscious training, and
Conscious induction. We talked about the subconscious. Now I want to talk about lucid dreams.
The easiest way for most people to have an OBE is through the mechanism of the lucid dream.
First I want to talk about the difference between dreams, lucid dreams and OBEs.
- Scientific fact: We all dream
- My opinion: Dreams are unconscious out-of-body experiences with a hallucinated environment.
- Lucid dreams, therefore, are conscious OBEs with a hallucinated environment.
- OBEs are conscious experiences without the hallucinated environment (seems "real").
- The trick, then, is to dispel the illusion of the hallucinated environment without waking up
your body. How do you do that? A plain and simple act of will. The thing I liked most
about William Buhlman's book "Adventures Beyond the Body" is his concept of using your will. To clarify his
consciousness, he would say, "Clarity now!" He sometimes screamed and yelled it:
"Clarity now!" He simply demanded it. So use your will to dispel the illusion of the
dream. "This isn't real. I don't want to see this anymore. I demand to see the real thing."
- Remembering your dreams helps, according to Lucid Dream expert Stephen LaBerge.
- Keeping a dream journal helps you remember your dreams.
- Write your dreams down ASAP.
- If you don't have time, write down keywords to jog your memory. Later, fill in the missing text.
- For example, if you dreamed that you walked halfway down a golden bridge, found a key and picked it up,
just write down "Bridge" and "Key." Fill in the details later.
Exercise 5: Training for Lucid Dreams
Background: You can turn lucid dreams into OBEs by dispelling the dream illusion.
Once again, employ the subconscious to help you. Ask yourself constantly, "Am I dreaming?"
Every time you look at your watch or check the time: Ask yourself, "Am I dreaming?" Don't pay
lip service to this. Do some serious reality checking. Ask yourself questions: Is this a normal
situation? All kinds of questions. Question reality. Am I seeing the real world? Can this
possibly be a dream? Entertain the idea. Test reality.
Do this affirmation: My nightmares are dreams. When faced with something scary, I swear to
God I will face it and not run away or hide from it. If you are ever in a scary situation, ask
yourself, "Could be a dream?" If it's a dream, you don't need to be afraid of it, do you? You can
face it down. Once you realize it's a dream, you can say "enough." "I'm not playing this game."
I'm hallucinating. I demand to see real thing.
Conscious OBE Induction
Now let's talk about consciously induced OBEs.
2:00 - 2:30 - Relaxation
The first important thing to know is how to relax.
- Check every muscle group, then start over and recheck.
- It may be necessary to tense a muscle and relax it again.
- You should be so relaxed that you can't feel your body.
- Learn to ignoring itches. This comes with practice.
- Proper Breathing.
- It may seem like you've stopped breathing.
- Learn to relax even when weird things happen.
- Learn how to relax quickly so even if you are distracted, you can resume quickly.
Exercise 6: Relaxation exercise
Background: Your body needs to be as relaxed as possible to consciously induce an OBE.
- You are in a protected place, and nothing can harm you.
- Learn to become impervious to outside stimulus. When I used to practice in my early
years, I used to feel poked and prodded all the time by non-physical entities. Eventually I
learned how to ignore these sensations and stay relaxed. When I learned to do this, I
discovered a wonderful side-benefit: I learned that I could use my mind to stop itches,
stop pain, stop hiccups, stop sneezes, and so on. (Q: How did you learn to do that? A: I
don't really remember because it happened so gradually.)
- Everybody close your eyes and begin to relax. As you do, I'm going to walk around the
room and tap you on your leg or foot with my pen. Try to stay focused and ignore these
sensations. Remember: Become impervious to outside stimulus.
- Avoid flinching.
- You can also ask for a non-physical helper to touch your feet while relaxed.
2:30 - 3:00 - Quiescing the mind (stopping the internal dialogue)
Once you've learned how to relax properly, the next step is something I call "quiescing the mind."
- Bringing your mind into a focused state.
- Stopping the internal dialogue: Dreams happen when your mind wanders.
- Watch for hypnagogic images, but don't get caught up in them.
The astral doorway is very tiny. Here's a picture to illustrate my point:
Your consciousness is like this brick wall. To get out of your body, you need to squeeze
through this tiny hole in the center. Your conscious mind is filled with noise. Symbolically, it
takes up about half of this brick wall. How do you get a balloon into a bottle? Deflate it.
Likewise, to induce an OBE, you need to reduce your mind to a tiny pinpoint of awareness. You
need to make your consciousness as tiny as possible so it can pass through the hole.
I like to think that's what Jesus Christ meant when he said that it was easier for a camel to
pass through the needle's eye than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Why?
Because when you're rich, you have lots of distractions. Your mind is busy. Let's do an exercise:
Exercise 7: Quiescing exercise
- I'm about to play a sound, so listen intently for it.
- Stop your internal dialog while listening. Don't think "when" or "what" just listen.
(I press some buttons on the CD player, but no sound comes out. I wait. Nothing.)
- Alright, I fooled you again. I didn't play any sound. But for a few precious seconds, your
mind wasn't doing anything. It was focused. Maybe some of you thought about what the
sound was going to be. But maybe for just a few seconds, your mind was completely
quiet. Try doing this at home. Stop your mind by pretending you are waiting for a sound.
- By the way, here's the sound: (This time I play a vibration-like sound).
3:00 - 3:30 - Keys to conscious OBE
Next topic: The keys to conscious OBE. In my book, I listed the keys to conscious OBE as:
- State of mind
State of mind:
When it comes to inducing OBEs, it's important to withdraw your attention from the outside
world and completely ignore all sensory inputs coming from your physical body. It's equally
important to turn your attention inward, accepting inputs strictly from non-physical sources.
It's important to "focus to such a degree that it all becomes real." At first glance it might sound
like self-deception. You're purposely trying to use your mind to make imaginary things seem real,
and that's supposed to magically transport you to another world. But all the visualizations and
mind games are really just mental devices to free you from your body. They are means of tricking
your mind into letting go of your body.
People have a hard time reconciling how I can talk about inducing OBEs by performing exercises
like visualizations while simultaneously "quiescing" my mind to the point of complete inactivity.
To them, it sounds as if there is a fundamental contradiction between the action (visualizing) and
the non-action (keeping the mind still). Since my swaying motion and the visualizations are set up
in my mind to be in perpetual motion, I don't have to use my conscious mind to maintain them.
After I start the swaying motion and visualizations and direct them mentally to keep running, then
my mind is free to stop all activity and become an observer. I stop all thought processes and
watch the swaying increase until the momentum literally throws me out of my body.
Ideally, you should remain receptive. You should open yourself up completely to whatever new
sensations you feel. This complete openness can leave you feeling very vulnerable, and
vulnerability can cause fear and worry, both of which will thwart your efforts to induce an OBE.
That's why it's important to conquer your fear. After you start the swaying motion, you should
wait with quiet anticipation for whatever comes.
It's important to remain passive (i.e. "not doing anything") especially the closer you get to the
OBE state. Action ("doing") implies using your physical body, whether it's your brain (the act of
thinking or feeling), or other more physical actions. During OBE practice, you might be tempted
to analyze what's happening to you, or wonder if you're doing something wrong, but by waiting to
organize data ("not-doing") until after the experience (or even until you're separated from your
body), you are much more likely to successfully induce an OBE. Of course, once you're out of
your body, you can "do" whatever you want.
I've got an article on this topic on my web site if anyone is interested.
3:30 - 5:00 - Techniques
Too many people focus on the techniques and not on the preparation. I believe the techniques are
secondary to everything else: The preparation, the frame of mind, the relaxation, etc. If you're in
the proper state of mind and focused, OBE seems like child's play. If you're not, it seems
impossible. It doesn't matter what technique you use: There are hundreds of them out there.
They're all devices (mind tools) that trick your mind into letting go of the body. What does
matter is achieving that perfect state of mind.
- It doesn't matter what you visualize or imagine, as long as you're in the proper state of mind.
- The best visualizations for OBE involve some kind of movement.
Exercise 9: Imaginary vibrations (Buzzing exercise)
Background: Legendary OBEer Sylvan Muldoon believed the soul is harmonically
attuned to the body, but at a much higher frequency.
Music example: Low "C" and middle "C" are the same note, separated by octaves.
Play both on a piano and they sound pretty good. But play "C" and "D" and there is discord.
Likewise, raise the vibrations of your soul, and it might just separate from your body. Everybody
close your eyes. Imagine that your body and soul are both vibrating like two notes on a piano:
they are in sync. Now imagine that the vibrations of your soul start to slowly increase in pitch.
Your soul starts vibrating faster and faster. The frequency gets higher and higher. Pretty soon,
the pitch becomes so high and out of sync that your soul is literally rattled free of your body.
(Everyone talk about their experiences.)
Exercise 10: Yo-yo Visualization
Background: Thoughts are projections of consciousness to a certain degree. If you think about a
friend, I believe you are sending a certain non-physical part of yourself to that friend. Close your
eyes and imagine that there is a yo-yo attached to the place where your eyebrows meet, your third
eye. Now slowly push the yo-yo out in front of you. Then retract it back again. Push it out
again. Retract it again. Do this several times. As you get more comfortable with this, increase
the speed. You should be able to push and retract (a complete cycle) in about one second.
(Everyone talk about their experiences.)
Exercise 11: Imaginary Rocking Exercises
Background: Thoughts are projections of consciousness to a certain degree.
- Moving the pinpoint of consciousness
- Head Rocking - Get used to feeling disoriented
- Rocking Chair Visualization
- A Ship's Bow
Exercise 12: Chapter 24's Method
Background: My most successful OBE method.
- Relax completely.
- Quiesce/focus your mind.
- Approach the edge of consciousness.
- Visualize any object.
- Move the object back and forth a tiny amount.
- Increase the amount of swaying.
- Imagine a gravity between you and the object.
- As the object sways, you swap opposite.
- When the swaying becomes strong enough, grab the object and let it pull you out.
- Buhlman's method: Visualize three things you know very well in your house. Move from the
simpler (e.g. telephone) to the more complex. (e.g. Grandfather clock).
- Many people have observed that it's easier to induce OBEs if you
get up 2 hours earlier than normal, do something until you're awake, then
go back to bed and try your OBE. For example, there's a guy on the Internet with the nickname Suneye.
Basis: Try for that "Stare off into space" condition.
Handling The Vibrations
- Okay, suppose you do your OBE exercise, and suppose it works. What happens?
- Suddenly, you feel like you're electrocuted. There is a deafening roar in your ears. It sounds
like your heart is pumping beyond capacity and is ready to explode. What do you do?
- It's important to know exactly what to do when the vibrations hit you.
- Stay calm, relaxed and focused. I know it's hard, like ignoring a slap in the face.
- Very important: Don't panic and/or lose your cool. Just watch what happens.
- The first time this happens, you're probably going to panic. It can be scary as hell. Try to
convince yourself it's "No big deal."
- Keep your mind as quiet as possible, and wait until the vibrations reach their peak.
- When the vibrations reach their peak, try to move your body: Roll out, etc. If you're in the
proper state, your physical body won't move. Only your astral body will. Your body should
be in the grips of sleep paralysis. If your physical body does move, you weren't deep enough.
Additional Hints and Notes:
- Differences between OBE practice and meditation:
OBE: Body: Deep trance, Mind: Alert, Meditation: Body: Light trance, Mind: Deep.
- Don't always practice OBE in the same way.
If you're not achieving OBE, then keep changing the way you practice. Change all the
variables. Change the position you are in. For example, when I'm on my side, I usually fall
asleep, but when I'm on my back, I remain awake due to conditioning. Try changing the how
close you let yourself get to sleep each time. Try changing what you focus on each time.
- Don't get discouraged, and never give up.
It's very common for a person to have a good measure of initial success at OBE, only to suffer
major setbacks later. You may recall from my book that I got really lucky with my first
encounter with the vibrations on my first OBE attempt. After that, I practiced every night for
a solid month with no OBE results. Weird sensations, yes, but not OBE results. Then after a
month of practice, I had my first full OBE, but that was BY ACCIDENT. I kept trying and
kept trying, and never lost hope, but my next OBEs were just as hard to get. At first I had
about one or two OBEs a month.
If you go into OBE practice with a negative or pessimistic attitude, you will fail. If you
remain positive, be persistent, and patient, you may succeed. I believe that everyone can do
OBE. You really shouldn't judge yourself by your OBE success or failure, because it's a
tough trap to get out of. If you do, each time you fail, it becomes a spiral of failure and
depression because you end up setting yourself up to fail. Your belief creates your reality,
especially when it comes to the astral. So try to view every practice attempt as "starting
over." Go into it with an inquisitive attitude of fun. Try going into it just to see what
happens. It might be your own expectations and/or beliefs that are causing you to fail. So
temporarily suspend your self-judgement until after you are done practicing.
- Remain calm always. Don't be spooked by vibrations, noises, or anything. Be impervious.
- That's the end of the class.
- I believe we all chose to come here for spiritual growth: to learn lessons and accomplish goals.
Obviously, if we could learn those lessons on the astral plane, we'd already be there.
Therefore, we shouldn't use OBE as an escape from reality, but rather as a reminder of our
- Life is what you make it. Life is a series of choices. You can choose to explore OBEs or you
can choose to go back to mundane life, watching television and not really caring.
- Thank you all for coming.
5:00 - 6:00 - Book Signing
Peterson, Robert: Out of Body Experiences: How to Have Them and What to Expect
Bruce, Robert: Astral Dynamics
Buhlman, William: Adventures Beyond the Body
Monroe, Robert: Journeys Out of the Body