Techniques for Achieving an OBEJune 2nd, 2007 by John Wolfe
This entry is designed to provide simple tips and techniques for helping anyone who’s interested in achieving an out of body experience (OBE). If you are unaware of what astral projection is or what occurs during the process, you may want to read my “Experiences Out of the Body” Part 1 & Part 2 posts. While much has been written about this very subject matter- I want to share the specific techniques that have helped me to continually project my consciousness away from the physical body
Many people find that achieving an OBE is easiest during the first few moments after, or immediately prior to falling asleep at night. These circumstances place you in a perfectly relaxed state that is conducive to projecting your consciousness. Meditation is another option which provides a gateway to astral projection. When you reach deep levels within your meditation you are achieving a similar state of relaxation that occurs prior to sleep. I have had success with both of these methods and a few others, but for the purpose of this article I want to focus on meditation and the initial moments before drifting off to sleep.
The key is to reach the point in which your body is essentially asleep and your mind’s awake, but still. The body will be frozen solid while the mind feels slightly numb, yet aware. This is the moment in which you are deactivating the physical experience from your focal point and allowing your consciousness to shift into a different state of awareness.
Many people refer to this moment as the twilight zone or as the still point, though it’s not usually a fleeting instance like the second name implies. The still point can last for quite some time as you weave in and out of its trance like feel. It’s unmistakable when you achieve it, but it can escape you if you become overly relaxed (fully falling asleep) or tense up (allowing fear to come into your mind).
Let’s go through a few techniques that will give you an opportunity to practice reaching this state. As you continue to go there you will become more adept at using it to launch into a full projection of your consciousness.
The first strategy is to utilize meditation to acclimate yourself with reaching the desired still point. While you don’t have to meditate to achieve an OBE (most people actually find meditation to be one of the more difficult routes), meditation will help you to better understand the whole mind awake, body asleep sensation. Once you become fully aware of this sensation you will be better equipped to recognize it as you fall asleep at night.
Everyone has had an experience with the twilight zone state, but most do not understand what can occur if you hold slightly to your awareness and not allow it to fully enter the sleep state with the physical body. Most people have not “trained” themselves to override the impulse to doze off when they enter the still point, or when they enter the Twilight Zone- “You’re traveling through another dimension- a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind! do do do do , do do do do”
- Sorry I couldn’t resist getting a little Rod Serling on you. OK, back to our meditation techniques:
A) Meditation should be as relaxing and as free as possible. You don’t have to sit upright with your legs crossed or in some other funky position. You want to position yourself in a manner that feels natural and comfortable for you. I prefer lying in my bed, on my back, but you can just as easily use a reclining chair. If you do want to try more of a yoga style, then go for it. The bottom line is to approach it in a manner that will allow you to fully relax.
B) Rid your environment of any interruptions. Turn the ringer off on the phone and make sure no one will disturb your session. It’s pretty difficult to become familiar with the twilight zone when someone is blasting the radio or TV in another part of the house.
C) Wear loose clothing. The tighter your clothes, the more distracted you may be. Tight clothes can keep you constantly aware of your physical body. Remember, you want to take as much focus off of your physical environment (including your body) as possible. If it’s winter time then be sure to have a blanket handy to keep you warm. As you continue to relax, your body temperature will drop.
D) Once you get into position, begin breathing through your nose and out your mouth- really focus on using your diaphragm to power your breathing- avoid short choppy breaths. The key initially, is to stay somewhat consistent with your breathing style to facilitate your relaxation. As you relax, your breathing may become more shallow- which is fine. You also may resort to mouth breathing or strictly breathing through your nose as you reach even deeper levels of relaxation- this too is ok.
E) Many people become overly concerned with eradicating any stray thoughts from their mind during meditation. The more you focus on the attempt to control your thoughts, the more attentive you stay to them- again defeating the purpose of releasing focus from your physical body and from your physical environment.
Relax about any stray thoughts that enter your mind. Continue to focus on your breathing and just allow your thoughts to come and go without any emotional attachment to them. In doing this, you will be propelled into deeper and deeper states of relaxation. Once there, your thoughts will automatically take on less and less importance and will eventually cease to flow almost entirely. The key is to resist the temptation to exert control over the experience. Meditation and astral projection are about getting out of the way, so your consciousness can be what it truly is.
F) Do not concern yourself with setting any time limit on your meditation. For our purposes it’s important to again flow with the experience. If at first you are only able to sit still for five minutes- then do that. The more you practice and allow, the longer your meditative states will last. Remember you’re not necessarily meditating to have an OBE, if it happens during your meditation- that’s fantastic!
The goal here is to reach altered levels of awareness that are similar to the still point I described above. The more you familiarize yourself with this still point or twilight zone, the more you will recognize its occurrence as you are falling asleep at bedtime (which again is usually the easiest time for most people to project).
The reason most people do not achieve astral projection during meditation is because they are not as relaxed as when they enter the sleep state. But I think it’s important to familiarize yourself with reaching as close to the still point as possible during meditation, so you will not sleep through it when it happens at bedtime.
After practicing with meditation for several days to weeks, your awareness will be so much more in tune with the outer edges of the twilight zone that you will actually recognize it (while you are drifting off to sleep) and can retain/regain awareness as you travel through it.
Now, let’s talk a little about recognizing the still point and some tips for using this point as a way to launch into an out of body experience. The techniques in the remainder of this article can be used during meditation or when you are falling asleep.
While you reach for awareness you may slightly disturb the still point. But if you are careful in your approach, you can still remain in the moment without destroying the continuity of the experience. It’s similar to feeling your way around an unfamiliar, unlit room late at night. You’re cruising along and all of a sudden you stub your toe on a piece of furniture that you didn’t realize was there. Do your best to find yourself and your way around without stubbing your toe!
Once you have done this, you are in prime territory for working on having a conscious OBE, since your physical body is essentially asleep. Robert Peterson, the author of Out of Body Experiences, described this point as analogous to a fishing cork floating on the water. As you start to drift off and your cork goes below the surface, you want to be careful not to jerk the line too hard or you’ll miss the fish. When you reach this stage you have accomplished the goal of mind awake/body asleep.
It’s around this time that I will also try and locate a way in which to slightly move my eyes (with my eyelids still closed). I say try, because depending on how deep into the still point I am, this can be fairly impossible to accomplish. When I can locate a means for doing this I usually roll them somewhat cross-eyed and up, as if I’m trying to point them at mid-eyebrow level. I know this sounds really strange, but this too creates an inner feeling of motion for me.
Many people believe this action stimulates the third eye location- which is a chakra point found in eastern cultures. I’m not sure if it’s causing stimulation to this region, but it does create a sense of inner motion that’s important for achieving full detachment from the physical. I usually will repeat the eye roll a few times as I continue feeling the sensations of my roller coaster ride.
There are many other techniques that other people use, such as: the roll out, and the wire. I believe the roll out was started by Robert Monroe, who is the author of the Journeys trilogy: Journeys Out of the Body, Far Journeys, and Ultimate Journey.
It essentially utilizes a rolling motion that can be used when you are in the still point. You’re not literally rolling of course; you are just mimicking the sensation. The method I call the wire (which is probably not its original name) is credited to Robert Peterson. It involves the visualization of a wire or string that’s attached to a point somewhere near your forehead (possibly the third eye point again), which pulls you from your body. Both of these methods are used to create that same inner sense of motion that my techniques create. The feeling of motion (most of the time) is vital to engaging a conscious projection. Try some of your own visualization methods that feel right for you and that create a sense of motion.
In fact, these sensations can even happen prior to your visualization. In the world of astral projection there are similarities amongst every experience, but none are usually exactly identical. It’s important that you allow these symptoms to play out. They are fleeting and are indicators that you have basically initiated the countdown sequence to a full astral projection.
You’re probably wondering, “What is causing all of those things?” That’s a good question. To explore it fully could be an entire article in and of itself. Basically, you are tapping into a flow of energy that’s not your typical way of being or operating during everyday physical moments. You are connecting with a pure energy flow that has amazing potential. This flow is not usually brought into being (for most people) while they are physically focused.
Now, it may sound contradictory to be in a state of mind awake/body asleep, yet I’m telling you that your physical body feels these sensations. I know it sounds weird, but that’s exactly how it happens. When you reach the still point, your limbs are completely frozen and you cannot move them, yet you can still feel cold blasts of air at key points. I wouldn’t believe it myself if this hadn’t happened to me many times.
After a short period of time, these sensations will dissipate and you will begin to perceive an even further shift in your consciousness. At times you may even experience a fading away of your conscious self; very similar to what I described in Experiences Out of the Body Part 1 & Part 2
You may also find yourself experiencing incredible sensations of falling and expanding from some point of consciousness that has very little in common with your physical body. You’ll notice that these sensations are far beyond anything you have ever felt through your physical awareness. If you can release your fear and continue to allow the experience to develop, you will become aware that you have an instinctive way of perceiving your new environment.
It’s different than seeing with your eyes. It’s more about awareness and a sensing than it is visually seeing. Your new environment is typically an energetic blueprint of the very room you are having the out of body experience in. This environment is extremely sensitive to your thoughts. In fact, I believe that it’s this environment in which all things originate, prior to making themselves known in our physical plane.
From here, the sky is truly the limit and the world’s your oyster, quite literally. I have not been as successful as many out of body travelers when it comes to visiting other locations, besides my house (on the astral plane). However I’ve had some amazing experiences in deeper environments, into the astral, that I plan on sharing in future blog posts. I also will be blogging about some validation experiences I have had, which point to the fact that OBEs are more than just fantasy and dreams.
In my next out of body experience entry I will be discussing ways to release your fear (if you have any) about astral projection and further tips for traveling the astral plane and reaching out to environments besides your home. I hope you try some of the techniques I’ve covered in this article. If they work for you or if you have any further questions, then feel free to contact me and share your experiences.
If this post has been helpful to you, please consider sharing it with others and/or making a donation. Thank you for supporting Wind of the Soul.
Podcast #2: Astral Projection
Releasing Fear of Astral Projection
My Astral Experience With A Tribal Shaman
Q & A: Out of Body Noises & Sensations
Q & A: Out of Body Experiences & Dream Symbols
Experiences Out of the Body – Part 1
Experiences Out of the Body – Part 2
Altered States of Consciousness & Aspects of Awareness