Choosing a time : First of all, consider practicing astral projection early in the morning. This time of the day holds several key advantages to inducing an OOBE: you are already relaxed from a good night of sleep, there are less distractions and most importantly, the chemistry of the brain at this time of the day is naturally conducive to astral projection.
Basically, early in the morning (around 5 am), melatonin levels in the brain are relatively high. This helps you stay very relaxed. At the same time, cortisol levels begin to build up in anticipation of the day to come. This creates a stimulating energy that may be used to remain alert through the process of projecting the consciousness out of the body.
If you’re not a morning person, any other time than late at night should be advantageous. Most people try to astral project at night but only end up falling asleep because they are already too tired. If you are serious about astral projection, get into the habit of going to bed early so you can wake up early.
A good setup : Next, create an environment that you are fond of and in which you feel comfortable. The bedroom is perfect for this type of activity. It already is a room dedicated to sleeping, resting, intimacy and dreaming. Unplug the phone and other devices susceptible to create distractions, obviously.
Mental and emotional hygiene : It is important that your mind be as carefree as possible. A busy and worrying mind will be too focused on external matters to let go and allow out of body experiences to occur. Staying up to date with daily tasks, clearing up misunderstandings with others and living according to one’s means, for example, will all contribute to create good mental and emotional conditions to relax and focus on astral projection when you want to. Stress diminishes your chances of consciously astral projecting.
I also find it is easier to experience astral travel and lucid dreaming during periods where I am relatively less socially involved, don’t read the news and don’t watch tv (I got rid of it actually). This does not mean you have to become a recluse, I’m just pointing out that less involvement with the outer world can facilitate the process.
Be clear about your desires and motivations. Astral projection is an amazing state to find yourself into but without a firm desire to consciously experience it, you may not get very far. Desire is a great source of energy – concentrate on it everyday to speed up the manifestation process. Read books about it, daydream about it, talk about it – make sure it floods your awareness. It does make a big difference.
Equally important is the determination to go through any fear you hold regarding the exploration of consciousness and out of body experiences. It is not so much that you should have no fear at all when you start but rather be willing to continue on your adventure in spite of it. The sensations out of body experiences produce can be quite startling at first but don’t let that discourage or stop you!
If you are practicing astral travel early in the morning as you come out of sleep, then you should already be in a fairly tranquil state. However, you will still need to further relax so the body can fall asleep again while your mind stays awake. This is called the hypnagogic state.
Relaxation and brainwaves : Relaxation may be better understood by taking a look at the various categories of brainwaves that manifest during our various activities (see tables below).
Gamma (38-90 Hz) : High awareness, strong perceptions, lucid dreaming
Beta (12-38 Hz) : Usual problem-solving, waking, everyday state
Alpha (8-12 Hz) : Slower brainwaves, relaxed and creative state, light meditation
Theta (4-8 Hz) : Deep relaxation and meditation, dreaming, out of body experiences
Delta (0.5-4 Hz) : Very slow brain activity, deep sleep, regenerative state
Lambda/Epsilon (less than 0.5 Hz and higher than 100 Hz) : Multidimensional awareness, mystical consciousness.
Most people spend the majority of their waking hours in a beta (12-38 Hz) state of mind. To experience astral projection consciously, you need to lower the speed of brainwave frequencies to theta (4-8 Hz). You may achieve this by deeply relaxing your body and mind.
As you lay down and prepare to astral project, breathe slowly but effortlessly. Make your intention clear in your mind: you are there to experience astral projection. Accept that the process will take whatever time it will – otherwise it will create tensions in your being. It may happen quickly, it may not – and it shouldn’t matter. Astral projection is not so much something you control as something you allow to happen (at least at first!)
Brainwave entrainment to the rescue : One important tool that will help beginners to consciously manifest theta frequencies in the brain is brainwave entrainment. These are audio recordings of tones and pulses playing at various frequencies. By listening to these recordings, the brainwaves synchronize themselves with the frequencies of the sounds. This effectively brings about altered states of consciousness. A brainwave entrainment recording designed for astral projection will play theta sound frequencies.
The process of deep relaxation is simplified and quickened with brainwave entrainment. You only need to listen to the recording at the beginning of your astral projection practice to go into the required altered state of consciousness. It is a simple process of allowing the sounds to do their job. Scientific research has shown that brainwave entrainment brings about frequency changes in less than ten minutes.
Without using brainwave entrainment, some people, with practice, will naturally reach the theta state in about 30-45 minutes. Using brainwave entrainment will directly bring the brain into this state and remove any confusion concerning what needs to be done to get there.
Using visualisations and affirmations in this part of the process may be helpful to keep the mind from wandering. You may also pay attention to your sensations all the while and focus on this aspect of the process as it unfolds.
Going Theta: Two Different Types Of Brainwave Entrainment
Binaural Beats / They are the most well known and most popular form of brainwave entrainment. They consist of audio recordings that synchronizes your brainwaves with specific frequencies. They work by sending two different sound frequencies to each ears (through headphones). This influences the brain to generate a third frequency that matches the difference between the two sound signals.
If you have a 200 Hz signal sent to one ear and a 205 Hz signal sent to the other, the brain will begin to produce 5 Hz frequencies. An astral projection binaural beats recording will have your brain generate theta frequencies (4-8 Hz). This effortlessly puts the listener into an altered state of consciousness very conducive to out of body experiences. These sounds basically take care of everything until you are ready to perform the exit technique and leave the body.
Isochronic Tones / They are a more advanced form of brainwave entrainment than binaural beats and do not require headphones as they produce a single tone that is relayed to the brain through the ears.
Sleep paralysis : As your state of relaxation deepens, you will reach the hypnagogic state. This means your body is literally asleep while your mind is still awake. On your way to this state, your body should gradually feel heavier until the sensation of it will begin to disappear. You may experience sleep paralysis. This is a natural function of the body that prevents it from acting out dream activity while you sleep every night. It is safe and necessary to allow the paralysis to take hold.
Your senses will go equally numb and loose clarity. Hearing and vision will dim, touch will becomes less sharp. Imagery akin to dreaming may occur in your mind’s eyes – allow it to happen but try not to get involved with it as you may enter the dream state (which is not the same thing as the out of body state).
Reducing your magnetic pull : As you reach this part of the process, you should be thinking as little as possible. Too much mental energy will keep you tied to the body. You know how thinking can keep you awake when you try to go to sleep at night? It has the same effect here. We’re trying to remain lucid and conscious but not awake in the conventional sense of the term. The body needs to be sleeping.
Buzzing noises : As they get close to the point where separation occurs, many people (if not most) report buzzing sounds. This is completely normal and should not be interpreted as something negative. The buzzing can get quite intense, according to some, but I have never experienced buzzing to that extent. This may be because the transition out of the body usually occurs too quickly for the buzzing to intensify in my case.
When you no longer feel your physical body and your sensation of yourself seems to be more energetic than physical, it is time to project the consciousness outside of the body.
A word about exit techniques : There are countless exit techniques that can be used. Personally, I feel this aspect to be of lesser importance. When I reach this point, it just seems obvious what I need to do. After a few times, we learn how to manipulate energy and initiate inner actions that project us away from the physical body intuitively. It may well take a few times to learn this through trial and error but it’s all part of the process.
Exit techniques, if felt necessary, could be simply trying to roll out of your body, pulling yourself up on a rope or any other action that would have you move away from the body. This needs to be done when your awareness of your energetic body is strong, otherwise you will just end up moving your physical body and break your trance state.
There really is nothing more to it than that. What is more challenging is getting to this point where you feel your energetic body more so than your physical one and remaining in the out of body state once you initially project.
The moment of separation : …is typically quite amazing! It may feel like your whole self shivers or vibrates intensely. It is startling and beginners often react by disengaging themselves from the process. Then we need to try again… but hey, we learn from it and no harm is done. For me, when I project, it often feels like a vacuum is sucking me out of my body. It is a rather exciting sensation. Then I find myself floating around and ready to explore.
The astral dimension is a plane interweaved with the physical one. In fact, pretty much all mystical knowledge along with quantum physics say that there is no real separation in all of reality. The separation is only due to an existential state of being we find ourselves into and this conditions our perceptions. It is our perceptions that create our experience of reality.
Manifesting thoughts : Once out of body, you should perceive more and/or different phenomena than what the 5 senses are usually able to identify. It is a state where your beliefs are highly potent to manifest whatever you hold within yourself. This is because you are now interacting with an environment much less dense and more immediately responsive than the physical one. There is much wonder and mystery to this state and the discoveries you can make are indeed limitless.
A tip from Carlos Castaneda : The big challenge as soon as you find yourself out of the body is to focus and stabilize your presence in this state. It takes practice to be able to maneuver yourself around with precision. Carlso Casteneda used this technique to stabilize himself: he would get into the habit of immediately raising his out of body hands and look at them until they came into perfect focus. This action allowed his consciousness to stabilize itself in the astral state by narrowing his focus. This kind of technique can be used whenever you feel your focus to be diminishing or drifting.
Unpleasant encounters? Not all encounters may be pleasant, but simply remember that you are safe, that you have power and that your energy will hold its integrity if faced with questionable phenomena. This being said, I have never experienced anything seriously dangerous during out of body experiences or other non-physical states. The balance has been overwhelmingly positive. Simply call upon beneficial energy if you feel threatened. In any case, when something frightening occurs, you are most likely to instantly come back to your body and wake up.
Do not spend a second worrying about not being able to come back to your body. This happens naturally and automatically. It will be much more challenging to remain out of the body than to come back to it. The bond between your physical body and your consciousness is extremely strong.
Enjoying the mystery : I make no claim to be able to dissect the astral plane and tell you exactly what it is and all that it involves. What I can tell you is that I revel in bathing in it and every time I come back from it I feel invigorated and my sense of purpose is replenished. I don’t care very much about all the pseudo gurus who claim to have a map of the astral world. Even if it were true, I am still much more motivated to investigate things for myself.
In closing, I feel it appropriate to quote Joseph Campbell, the mythology scholar, who said that “Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved” and this, I feel, applies itself very well to astral projection.
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