The Discovery of Technique #1
There are many different methods and systems for getting out-of-body. Many of them, however, are either ambiguous or over-complicated. The techniques I am going to describe are the simplest and easiest ways I know of to start inducing out-of-body experiences. My favorite technique is one that i stumbled on accidently in the early seventies. At that time I was experimenting with altered sleep patterns. I was sleeping fewer hours at night and taking a nap in the afternoon. One day, I deliberately woke up at 4:00 a.m., after four hours' sleep, got out of bed, and started reading a book. After about twenty minutes, I found I was having trouble keeping my eyes open. I was feeling extremely relaxed. It occurred to me that I was close to the sleep state and that this might be an excellent time to try getting out-of-body. So I stretched out in a comfortable easy chair and started to give myself the folling suggestion: "I am going to have an out-of-body experience. I am going to let myself dop off to sleep, but I am going to bring this waking consciousness with me wherever I go." I repeated this suggestion over and over for a minute or so. I then had the out-of-body experience described in the introduction to this book (get the book). This marked the first time I was consciously out of my body while still in physical reality. It was also the first time I was able to will myself back to my physical body and see my bedroom through my eyelids. When I first started using Technique #1, I was unfamiliar with the OOBE literature. Years later, while perusing some OOBE books, I found that others had successfully used similar methods.
Technique #1 consists of the following combinations of factors:
The Practitioner has recently been asleep.
The duration of the sleep period has been relatively short (somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 1/2 to 4 hours).
The practitioner deliberately stays awake for a short period of time before making the OOBE attempt (see explanation below).
The Practitioner takes advantage of this auspicious moment by giving himself or herself simple, concise suggestions designed to initiate an OOBE.
I believe this unique combination of factors works well for several reasons. The period of sleep immediately prior to the OOBE attempt produces an energized yet relaxed state. Your body has already been considerably refreshed an dso has your consciousness. In addition, since you have recently been asleep, your consciousness seems to still be 'close' to the sleep state. It seems that the flow between inner and outer consciousness continues until you fully wake up. Since the immediately preceding sleep period is delierately keptshort, you are less groggy than you would be after sleeping for long periods of sleep; muscle relaxation generally is an important element in any OOBE attempt. Staying awake for a short period just before the attempt seems to stimulate the normal waking consciousness without allowing it to fully wake up and fixate on physical reality. This prepares you for bringing your normally physically focused awareness "across," into other dimensions of experience. Seth, my former teacher, claimed that the period just prior to dawn is a "high-energy" time of day. In my own experience, I have found this to be true. This does not mean that the above technique will not work at other times of the day, for it will. The predawn period is not an essential element, but it does seem to be a particularly favorable time for movement between the inner and outer worlds. So if you want to have everything possible working in your favor, this is something that can help. You can do your out-of-bodies anywhere you are comfortable enough to sleep and have peace and quiet. I started doing my OOBEs stretched out in a comfortable chair. Everyone will have his or her individual preferences here. I found the chair helpful because it established a sort of ritual. Whenever I stretched out in that chair, I expected to go out-of-body. Some people may prefer a completely horizontal position, as in bed; others may find a slightly inclined body position helpful.
Technique #1: Combining Suggestions with Favorable Conditions With technique #1, your OOBE generally will be preceded by a temporary loss of consciousness as you drop off to sleep.
1. Plan to sleep about 3 1/2 to 4 hours (no longer) and to wake up approximately an hour before dawn. Set your alarm accordingly.
2. When you wake up, get out of bed, stretch a little, and stay up for a short while. For some people it may work better to stay up just a few minutes; for others a half hour may be right. Experiment with staying up between five minutes and a half hour until you discover what works best for you.
3. You may want to do something while you are awake, but remember: The idea is to stay in a nice, relaxed mood. You may want to read a book, listen to some music, or do something else that will keep you relaxed. (By the way, if you do read for a while, read something that will help inspire you in your OOBE attempt. Obviously it would not be helpful to read, say, a scary novel or horror story.)
4. After staying up for five to thirty minutes, get comfortable and prepare to go back to sleep- but this time expect to have an OOBE.
5. As soon as you get yourself settled, give yourself the following suggestions:
I am going to have an out-of-body experience. I am going to let myself go to sleep, but I am going to bring this waking consciousness with me wherever I go. I am going to leave my body with full awareness.
Repeat these suggestions, or your own version of them, several times. Then just let your mind drift as you go to sleep. Sometimes you will almost be asleep but then abruptly wake up. Repeat the suggestions each time this occurs.
If things go according to plan, you will temporarily lost consciousness as you fall asleep and then find yourself awake and outside of your body either in physical reality or inner reality. Another possibility, however, is that you may find yourself still in the body but in the hypnagogic state. The hypnagogic state occurs just prior to sleep. In this state, although your body is no longer fully awake, you are not yet fully asleep. You are in between waking and sleeping. Once you learn to recognize this state, you can use it to float right out of your body as described in Technique #2.
Be playful! Have fun! Don't take this too seriously. Just relax and enjoy. You may want to set your alarm clock for thirty to forty-five minutes in case you fall into a normal sleep state. The alarm clock will wake you up, and you can try again if you so desire. Don't allow yourself to get discouraged. You may have to try this technique many times before getting the results you want. Record your experiences immediately after having them. Technique #1 may require some discipline and commitment if you are used to sleeping seven or eight hours. It is a particularly potent method, however, and is well worth the effort. On evenings when you don't feel like dragging yourself out of bed after just a few hours of sleep, you can still try for an OOBE using one of the following abbreviated variations. Once you get the ball rolling, any of these variations might work for you. Until you do succeed in having a few OOBEs, however, I recommend that you focus your attention on the complete version of this technique as given above.
1. Set your alarm for an hour before you would normally wake up. When you wake up, stay in bed, reset your alarm, and then lie back and give yourself the OOBE suggestions mentioned above. Then let yourself go back to sleep.
2. When you wake up spontaneously from a dream in the middle of the night, record the dream and then give yourself the OOBE induction suggestions before going back to sleep. If you do not remember your dream, simply stay awake for a minute and give yourself the OOBE suggestions. Try to energize your resolve to have an OOBE.
3. Simply give yourself OOBE suggestions just prior to going to sleep at night or before a nap.
Technique #2: Floating Out from the Hypnagogic State
Technique #2 focuses exclusively on using the hypnagogic state. the hypnagogic state is an ideal launching pad for OOBEs. In Technique #1, you utilize suggestion and then allow yourself to lose consciousness as you drop off to sleep. In Technique #2, you never really let your consciousness go to sleep - just your physical body. You can go into the hypnagogic state and then lift right out of your body in your bedroom without ever losing consciousness of what is going on. The body itself seems to go into a more or less normal sleep state. You can use Technique #2 anytime before going to sleep. (You can also use it in conjunction with Technique #1. To do this, simply follow the first four steps of Technique #1 and then proceed with Technique #2.)
1. After you are settled and ready to go to sleep, tell yourself that you are going to catch yourself in the act of going to sleep and then lift out of your physical body. Just be clear about your intent. You are going to let your body go to sleep, but you will remain alert throughout the entire procedure. Tell yourself that you will retain consciousness even while your body is going into the "trance" of sleep. Now, watching yourself go to sleep is kind of like watching a pot of water boil. Trying to stay too alert may interfere with your efforts. Therefore, a gentle sort of alertness is what is required. Just let yourself relax into sleep and observe the process. The idea is to learn to recognize the rather strange but distinctive sensations you feel as your body moves into the sleep state and stay aware as this unfolds. At a certain point you will realize that you are in the hypnagogic state, the state between waking and sleeping. A slight variation on this theme is to give yourself the suggestion that you are going to become aware in the middle of the transition to sleep. Instead of "watching yourself," suggest that you will pay attention as soon as you feel your body starting to get numb, and then just let your mind drift. Your suggestions might go something like this:
I am going to have an out-of-body experience. I am going to become alrt and aware as soon as I start to fall asleep (or as soon as my body feels numb).
I am going to become alert and aware in the middle of falling asleep, and then will lift out of my body.
2. Once you succeed in catching yourself in the act of moving through the early stages of sleep, you will be in the hypnagogic state. You will still be in your body, but definitely not in the normal state of consciousness. You may very well feel as though you're paralyzed since you may no longer have control over your physical muscles. There are other, "inner" muscles, however, awaiting your direction. You may feel strange, tingling sensations and hear weird sounds. Your body may feel numb. After a few times, though, these feelings will become famililar and clue you in to what is going on. You may be able to see right through your eyelids. Just relax and simply will yourself to lift out. This is not difficult to do. You will feel a definite sensation of detaching. Just go with it and move out fast and easy. If you want, you can imagine you are as light as a helium ballon as you will yourself to lift out.
Inducing lucid dreams and OOBEs from the dream state As mentioned earlier, I believe that in most lucid dreams your consciousness is already outside of your body. The realization at this point that you are out-of-body seems to shift your consciousness to a state more or less the same as the one you achieve with a lift-out technique, such as Technique #2. You may indeed find yourself in a dreamscape with many imaginary-like elements, but once you realize you are out of your body you can transform the dreamscape and project yourself anywhere you wish. Then again, you may not wish to transform the dreamscape because you may already be in a dimension of experience worth investigating. Whenever you find yourself in a lucid dream, you can convert it to a consciously experienced OOBE by realizing that your physical body is asleep in bed and you are somewhere else. Simply tell yourself that you are out of your body. Repeat it several times, and hold onto this awareness as you proceed. The ability to induce lucid dreams or OOBEs form the dream state is a function of many factors, including the creation of a conducive climate of belief, the attention that you pay to your dreams, and your desire and persistence. Once you get going, you will begin to expect to have out-of-body experiences from the sleep state. Thus, you can begin developing a habit of having OOBEs. during periods when you are working on inducing OOBEs, you may find yourself having them spontaneously from the dream state even if you failed during an "official" attempt. In fact, sometimes you can try to hard and interfere with uourself. So it's a good idea to stay light and playful about the whole thing. One obvious method for inducing lucid dreams is to give yourself a suggestion before you go to sleep. Simply tell yourself that you are going to wake up within a dream and realize that you are dreaming. Remember that you can "convert" lucid dreams into OOBEs.
Technique #3: Strange to the Strange
Probably one of the most common ways people become alert to the fact they are in the dream state is by noticing that something very strange is going on. For example, you find yourself at work, but your desk is on the roof. Or you are in your apartment, but the walls are a different color. There are infinite variations along these lines. The goal is to try to create a mental set in which you clearly intend to recognize these oddities when they occur. When you are already in bed and about to go to sleep, tell yourself you are going to recognize something strange in your dream and realize that you are dreaming. Then proceed to visualize a sample scenario. For example, see yourself walking around in your home. Suddenly you notice the furniture is completely different. Imagine yourself then realizing that you are in a dream. Then imagine saying to yourself out land in the dream, "I'm dreaming! I'm in a dream! I'm outside of my physical body!" Say it several times. Imagine that as you say this to yourself your awareness becomes crystal clear... Then allow yourself to go to sleep.
Technique #4: The Joy of Flight
I believe that in most flying dreams you are already out of your body although you may not even realize you are dreaming. Lucid dreamers often report that flying dreams clued them into the fact that they were in the dream state. The induction of flying dreams is really a variation of Technique #3. Flying with no visible means of support apparently is strange enough to jar many people into inner wakefulness. Before you go to sleep, tell yourself that you are going to fly in a dream and realize that you are out-of-body. Then visualize a scenario. Imagine yourself joyfully soaring over mountains and lush valleys or anywhere that suits your fancy. Imagine that as you are flying it suddenly dawns on you that you must be dreaming. This awareness enhances your clarity and your ability to fly. You now have even greater control than before. Imagine yourself flying effortlessly as you tell yourself out loud that you are out of your body! Then let yourself drop off to sleep, and expect to have some fun. Another variation on the theme of recognizing strange situations is doing so during a false awakening. In a false awakening, you dream that you have awakenened even though you are really still asleep. You may even dream that you get out of bed and start writing down your dreams. These experiences may start happening spontaneously as you work with your dreams. Since the scene of the false awakening (your home) is familiar to you, it's an opportune time to notice the strange objects or situations that often show up and thus realize that you must dreaming. Then, "upgrade" your state of consciousness by telling yourself that you are out-of-body. Once you realize you are out-of-body and in some "dream" dimension, it's time to have some fun. One place you can travel is back to your physical body in order to experience a lift-out. Deliberately returning from the inner worlds to your physical body and then floating right out of your body in your bedroom can really knock your socks off! This technique is good practice and exciting, but only one of your options. You may not wish to go back to the physical world just yet but prefer to explore inner reality. Technique #5: From the Inner to the Outer
Technique #5 itself is as simple as can be. Once you have upgraded a lucid dream by realizing you are out-of-body, proceed to tell yourself that you are out-of-body several times in order to intensify the focus and avoid falling back into a lucid or normal dream state. Then tell yourself that you are going to return to your physical body without waking up. Simply give yourself this suggestion, and will yourself back to the physical. If you want, you can visualize your physical body as you give yourself the suggestion. Once you succeed in getting back to your body without awakening, you should be in a situation somewhat similar to the hypnagogic state mentioned earlier. For all practical purposes, though, your body has been asleep for a while, so this state is probably not identical to the in-between state. Although you may be back in the vicinity of the body, you may feel that you're still not connected or in phase with the physical. You may feel as if you're just kind of floating around inside your own body. If you want to wake up, you can use suggestion to will yourself to do so. If you want to lift out, however, this is a particularly conducive moment. Simply will yourself to float right out in the room. Controlling your movement is something you get the knack of as you practice. There is a feel to it as you learn to use inner muscles, and its not hard.