It's a very common experience for those new to Astral Projection to spend hours upon hours trying to achieve with no apparent results. Often one will get the feeling that they are very close to achieving it, but then draw back at the last second out of fear. Even when fear is not the barrier, the lack of an effective technique may be preventing the experience from occurring. I understand all of this very well because I went through it myself when I began trying to astral project about 25 years ago. Like many breakthroughs, mine ultimately came by accident. I feel that this method eliminates the superstitious elements that are often found in more traditional works on the subject.
My Astral Projection Breakthrough
It was after a few weeks of practicing relaxation, meditation, breathing and visualization exercises in an attempt to achieve astral projection, I still had not experienced any success. I had some interesting sensations, but the so-called "Out of Body Experience" (OOBE) continued to elude me. I had all but given up out of frustration.
Then one evening, feeling a bit of extra nervous energy from the day, I decided to use some of the techniques I had been practicing as a way of calming myself down a bit. If nothing else, the practices I had been doing were very relaxing! I was absolutely not expecting to experience an Astral Projection.
What I Did
In my bedroom, with the lights on, I laid down on my bed and began a progressive relaxation exercise. Essentially this involves systematically relaxing each part of the body, starting at the toes and working your way up to the top of the head.In other words, spend a moment relaxing your toes, feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, etc...
With that exercise complete, I felt quite relaxed and spontaneously decided to practice my visualization skills. To this end, I imagined myself standing in my bedroom and walking around exploring things. I tried to engage each of my senses. For example, I tried to imagine what the ground felt like on the bottom of my feet as I visualized myself walking around the room. I imagined what it would be like to taste some chocolate that I had sitting on my desk. I tried to imagine what everything would look like from the eyes of my imagined self, as opposed to visualizing a birds eye view or something other external viewpoint. I clapped my imagined hands and imagined what it would sound like and feel like. I smelled the little bottle of cologne I kept in my dresser. I really immersed myself in this visualization, making it as detailed and complete as possible.
Suddenly and without warning, I found myself actually standing there in my room where I had imagined myself. I didn't get up from the bed. I was simply standing there all of a sudden. It was quite disorientating! Quickly I realized that I was in some sort of astral state, for lack of a better term. I looked over at the bed, where my body presumably still was, but I didn't see myself there. I walked over and pressed on the bed to see if I could feel my body there but again nothing. Just blankets and pillows. I looked around and noticed that things weren't exactly the same as when I was in a normal waking state. There were subtle differences here and there.
This state felt exactly like the Lucid Dreaming state [i.e. a dream in which you know you are dreaming and can exert some conscious control over], which I was very familar with by that point in my life. I was even able to utilize the same techniques that I used in lucid dreams to prevent myself from waking up prematurely and to navigate the dream realm. When I was ready, I allowed myself to return to awareness of my physical body, which of course was still in the bed.
After subsequent experimentation, study and contemplation, I have come up with an analysis of what happened and tips on how to replicate the experience. First of all, I didn't have any expectation of having an Astral Projection. I think this helped remove the fear that is sometimes experienced when attempting astral projection. In addition, with no expectation of astral projection, I wasn't using any visualizations to try and exit my body. I wasn't thinking of my physical body at all, which I think is the key here. The deep relaxation and remaining still dramatically reduces any data coming in from the physical sense organs. The intense visualizations created a competing set of sensory data. They say that the body (including the brain) reacts the same to strongly visualized experiences as it would to actual physical experiences. At some point the brain decided that the visualized experience was the much stronger "signal" and latched onto that, discarding the diminished data coming in from the physical sense organs. This is the point at which you switch over into the astral plane.
With this in mind, the following technique can be used to replicate the experience yourself.
1 - Create a subdued environment by dimming the lights, eliminating sources of sound (turn your phone on silent, etc...) and ensuring the room temperature is moderate. Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing.
2 - Deeply relax your body using a method such as Progressive Relaxation.
3 - Visualize yourself interacting with an environment as fully as possible. Make sure that all of your visualizations are from the perspective of yourself experiencing these things. It can be tempting to visualize the scene from a point outside the imagined self. If you find yourself doing this, just bring your attention back to yourself experiencing it, rather than watching yourself doing it.
4 - Lose yourself a bit in the experience, but not completely. This is a bit difficult to describe, but the idea is to continue to focus on the experience itself and not to think about it's meaning or on what you are trying to accomplish. Perhaps thinking of it as a visualization skills practice is best.
5 - At some point during the visualization, you should "pop" into it fully. The experience is unmistakeable. It will feel as if you were actually there, to the point it may blow your mind at how real it feels. At some point during this experience, the environment will fade and you will return to normal waking consciousness. You don't have to try. It will just happen. In fact, you will probably return to your body quicker than you would like!
If step 5 doesn't happen, don't be discouraged. Consider it a successful practice of improving your visualization skills. You can, and should, try again another day. Eventually it will happen, and from that point onwards, it will be a little easier to achieve again.
If you have been practicing this for a really long time and still don't get results, consider learning to Lucid Dream. It is, in my opinion, the same state, just entered into using a different route.
One book that I have found to be invaluable is Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Dr. Stephen LaBerge. This book contains several methods of achieving Lucid Dreaming, including at least one that would be considered Astral Projection by traditional occultists. This method is referred to as a WILD or "Wake Induced Lucid Dream," meaning a Lucid Dream entered into directly from a waking state (in other words, an Astral Projection.)
Too Long? Didn't Read?
You can watch this video I created to go along with this post. It contains a lot of the same information for your convenience.
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