Wednesday, April 27, 2016

How to Lucid Dream

There are some upcoming topics that I want to cover that use lucid dreaming as their foundation, so now seems like a pretty good time to do a "how to" post for lucid dreaming. For those of you who have not come across this term before, a lucid dream is a dream in which you become conscious of the fact that you are dreaming, and thereafter you are able to take some measure of control. This can occur from the very beginning of a dream or at some point during the dream, but once you are lucid, your actions from that point become logical and intentional.

Before we delve into techniques to reach this desired state, let's first spend a minute or two on the types of Lucid Dream induction.

  1. Dream Induced Lucid Dreams (DILD) - This is the probably the most common form of induction. It is simply the act of becoming aware that you are in the dream, whilst in the dream.

  2. Wake Induced Lucid Dream (WILD) - This method provides lucidity from the very beginning. WILDing is the act of drifting from the conscious state directly into the Lucid Dream.
  3. Mnemonic Induced Lucid Dream (MILD) - This technique was created by Steven Laberge and is based on the practice of repeating an affirmation or mantra before going to sleep that will hopefully make its way into your subconscious and spark lucidity.
Of these three, I personally found the WILD method to be the most difficult to learn, and even to this day I struggle with it and using it, I only have about a 30% success rate. That being said, there is no reason you can't employ more than one at a time and there are some highly effective practices that you can put in place to help increase your overall success rate.

Building your Dream Recall

First, it is important to have good dream recall. If you are someone who never remembers your dreams, what does it matter if you have a lucid dream? You won't remember it anyway. So what if you are one of those people who do not dream? Good news! You are not!  :)  We all sleep in cycles and every 90 minutes or so you begin another cycle.  Each of these cycles contains an REM sleep period where we dream. If you don't remember dreaming, don't fret, with some persistence and determination, dream recall is a skill that can be learned. Just follow the simple (although not always easy) steps below:
  1. Keep a dream journal! - This is incredibly important! Write down every dream you have; even if it is just the tiniest snippet of a dream or even the vaguest of impressions. Over time, those vague impressions and tiny snippets will likely turn into paragraphs and then pages.
  2. Take advantage of your first waking moments - Get in the habit of turning your very first thoughts in the morning to last night's adventure. Before you even open your eyes, think back to what you were doing just five minutes ago. 
  3. Use leading statements - If you don't remember your dream upon first awakening, prompt your subconscious with leading statements like "a moment ago I was...", or "I was just about to...", or "I was on my way to...". 
  4. Review common themes - If using leading statements doesn't do the trick, I have found that just reviewing random (but common) scenarios rapidly for a minute or two will often spark a memory. I will think about work, and driving, and then about biking, then about having a conversation, or cooking a meal, or mowing the lawn.  Each of these thoughts will be just a brief second or two unless I hit upon something that suddenly feels familiar. 
  5. Work backward - If I can only remember a very brief segment of a dream, I will try to work my way backward from that memory.  Quite often that memory is the end of the dream, so working my way backward will sometimes lead to the recollection of the entire experience.
  6. Don't wait! - (Now for the hard part) Write down your dreams when you have them. If you wake up at 2:00 AM and you remember a dream, get up and write it down. Don't wait for morning. Our brains seem to have a built-in dream eraser that is almost guaranteed to wipe out any recollection of even the most vivid dreams if they are not recorded right away.
What you journal on is up to you. It just needs to be convenient and close at hand. I personally use an Android app called Diaro. It was a couple of bucks, but well worth it. My dreams are backed up to the cloud and dropbox, exportable to PDF, and it is easy to give them a title and then tag them with keywords so they are easily searchable later.

Reality Checks

One of the best habits to get into when attempting to learn to lucid dream is that of performing reality checks. A reality check is simply a check that will tell you if you are dreaming or not. This is where daytime practice becomes critical to success. You need to start performing reality checks throughout the day. Some examples of reality checks are:

  1. Flip on and off a light switch - light switches tend to misbehave in dreams and lights will remain on or off when flipping them.
  2. Look at your hands - another strange phenomenon is that our hands almost never look normal in a dream. If you have never looked at your hands while dreaming, give it a try and you will see what I mean. They may be fat and bloated, or covered in waxy peeling skin, or they may melt right before your eyes.
  3. Breathe through a plugged nose - Obviously, we don't need to breathe in a dream, but we can, and even better, we can do it right through a plugged nose.
  4. Try to read text - Text has the habit of changing sporadically and small text, in particular, has the habit of not even being legible at all. If you are having difficulty reading text or the text in front of you is turning into hieroglyphics or jumping around on the page, there is a pretty good chance that you are dreaming.
  5. Try to use any sort of electronics - I can't say I have heard this one anywhere, but personally I have found that electronics don't work right in a dream. My phone makes regular appearances in my dreams and it never functions correctly.
  6. Jump - If all else fails, this is a great one. Jumping in a dream will often lead to floating, jumping far too high, or not being able to get your feet off the ground at all as if you now weight two tons.
Your goal now is to select a few of these reality checks (or one of your own) and practice them throughout the day. You can start by setting an alarm to go off once an hour and every time that alarm goes off, you will do your reality check. What works even better is if you associate a reality check with a common place or event that appears regularly in your dreams. This is where a searchable dream journal comes in handy.  If you dream about your phone regularly, every time you look at your phone in waking life, perform a reality check.  If your dreams regularly include trips to the bathroom, do a reality check every time you go to the bathroom. When you perform these checks, do not just do it half-heartedly and then go about your day. Stop for a moment, do the check, and think to yourself "what would be different if this were a dream? How is it that I really know I am not dreaming?". You need to build the habit during waking hours so it will happen spontaneously while you are dreaming.

Identify Dream Triggers

Dream triggers are people, places, or things that make regular appearances in your dreams and can make you question whether or not you are dreaming. To really make an effective list, you will need your dream journal to go off of. For example, there is a particular building that I dream about almost weekly. There are dozens of mentions of this building in my dream journal and yet, this is a building that I never go to in real life. Anytime I am in this particular building in my dreams, it acts as a trigger. I say to myself, I am never here in waking life. This must be a dream. I then follow that realization with a few reality checks just to make sure. A trigger could be a loved one that has passed on or an old car you used to drive in high school. It could be anything as long as it is out of place and is encountered frequently.

Mantras and Affirmations

Written or verbal affirmations as your last waking thought can go a long way in improving your chances of success. Before bed, take a piece of paper and pen and write an affirmation 20 or 30 times. Then as you lay in bed, just repeat your affirmation or mantra over and over again, keeping this as the last thought in your mind as you drift off to sleep. Some example phrases that can be used as affirmations are:

  1. Next time I sleep I will realize I am dreaming
  2. Tonight I will have a lucid dream
  3. I am dreaming.... I am dreaming... I am dreaming...
Feel free to come up with your own. Pick something that resonates with you.

Following the steps above will help you make great strides towards both the MILD and DILD methods of lucid dream induction.

Wake induced lucid dreams

I find that the WILD method takes a bit more work. I didn't actually learn to successfully employ this method until after I had learned to project using the direct method where you put your body to sleep while keeping your mind awake. When I am in the void state where my body is deeply asleep, I can let my mind start to wander. Sometimes I even give it a little help and I start imagining nonsensical scenarios or I remember previous dreams.  The less logical and abstract these thoughts are, the more effective they seem to be. This act of cycling through dream-like thoughts will kick off a slew or hypnogogic imagery. If I can follow that imagery and allow the transition into sleep to proceed very slowly, I can sometimes hang onto my rational mind as I make the transition and step directly into a dream, lucidity intact. This sensation is a lot like inducing an out of body experience without the associated physical sensations. I would be interested in hearing how others have employed this technique because as I said, even after loads of practice, my success rate is probably only around 30% using the WILD method.

Wake-Back-To-Bed (the Deferred Method)

As we talked about briefly, we sleep in cycles. REM sleep occurs at the end of each of those 90-minute cycles. What this means is that you will very rarely, unless you have had a recent nap, jump directly into a dream when you fall asleep. Due to this cyclical pattern of sleep, your chances of lucid dreaming are greatly increased after you get some good rest in; four to six hours to be precise. For the best shot at inducing a lucid dream, you will use the wake-back-to-bed or deferred method. This is the practice of setting your alarm to wake you up after four to six yours, getting up for 15 to 45 minutes, and then going back to sleep. Doing this means that you are no longer exhausted and that 15 to 45-minute break wakes you up a bit so you won't fall asleep to quickly or deeply when you lay back down. This would also be a great time to repeat your affirmations or mantras. So what should you do during that waking period? How about re-read this post? :)  Write in your dream journal. Read previous dream journal entries. etc.

Once your 15 to 45 minutes is up, don't go back to your bed.  Find a different place to lay down that is not usually associated with sleep. This will become your lucid dreaming practice space. It could be a couch, or a recliner, or a mat on the floor. This is one more way to train your mind so it will know what to expect. Subconsciously your mind will say "oh! I am laying in the chair! It must be time to practice lucid dreaming!"

Maintaining and Deepening

One of the things that you will quickly find as you start practicing lucid dreaming is that these experiences are never as long as you would like them to be. Once you gain lucidity, it is a constant effort to remain in the dream environment. This is where Maintaining and Deepening come in. Maintaining and Deepening are techniques that will anchor you in the dream state a little longer and will add clarity to your experiences and good news, they are incredibly easy to learn. Your goal is to engage your senses and don't linger too long focusing on any one thing. You should constantly be looking around scrutinizing small details of the objects around you. You should be picking things up and touching things briefly from every angle possible. Once you have engaged with some object, quickly move on and turn your attention to another object. Put food and non-food items in your mouth. Crawl on the floor and run your hands through the carpet. Sing or even just talk to yourself.

These actions need to be done almost constantly to guarantee the longest experience possible. If you feel the dream start to fade, refocus your efforts on engaging your senses until the dream becomes clear once again. You might think this will make it hard to do any real exploring if you have to spend all your time touching everything in sight. Be creative with it. When I want to travel, I will run or fly, dragging my fingers on the ground or running my hands through trees. Other things that have helped me improve my clarity are spinning quickly in circles and a technique I took from William Buhlman, simply demand "Clarity Now". It is incredible how responsive the dream environment can be to your demands.

Saturate Your Mind

One of the things that lead to more lucid dreams than anything else for me aside from regular reality checks is constantly bombarding my mind with information about lucid dreaming. Watch YouTube videos about lucid dreaming, read books about lucid dreaming, talk to your family and friends about lucid dreaming. Keep it at the forefront of your mind throughout the day and it is likely to work its way into your dreams at night.

Practice and Persistence

Don't give up on this. Even after a couple of years of practice, my lucid dreams tend to be hit and miss. They do become more frequent with effort and persistence, though, so rest assured, you will get there if you put in a little effort.

That is about all the advice I can offer based on my experience. Please let me know how this goes for you and I would love to hear if you have additional steps that you take that lead to your success that I have not covered here.

Good luck and happy dreaming!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Binaural Beats

Today we will enter the fascinating world of Binaural Beats. Let's start out with a bit of introduction for those that have never heard of this odd auditory phenomenon and the reported benefits that they provide. In a nutshell, our ears are used to hearing the same sound from a slightly different perspective. This assumption that our brain makes when listening to two distinct, slightly different, pure tones results in what is called a Binaural Beat.

What does that mean?  Let's say you put on a pair of headphones and I play a 193hz  tone in your left ear. Now in your right ear, I play a tone at 197hz. The difference between the two tones on their own is almost indistinguishable. When played together, however, something interesting begins to happen. Your brain compensates for the difference in the two tones and the result is a wavering tone that makes up the difference between the two pure tones.  So playing a tone of 193hz and a tone of 197hz, results in you hearing a modulating 4hz tone that doesn't really exist. It is actually generated by your brain. Studies have shown that listening to these modulating tones can actually help you bring your own brain wave frequency in line with the frequency you are hearing in your head. Due to this, Binaural Beats have become a tool used in meditation, astral projection, accelerated learning, intense concentration, etc.

There are five different frequency ranges to discuss that can be generated using Binaural Beats and these frequency ranges match up with the wave frequencies found in our brains.

The first is Delta. Delta waves are usually associated with deep and dreamless sleep. These are the slowest of the wave frequencies and live down in the 2hz to 3hz range.

Next up are Theta waves. Theta waves are associated with deep meditation, deep relaxation, and NREM sleep. Theta waves range from 4hz to 7hz.

Alpha waves are associated with a state of mind conducive to conscious relaxation, pre-sleep, or pre-sleep drowsiness. This is also the range that your brainwaves fall into when you are dreaming. Alpha waves range from 8hz to 13hz.

Beta waves are the frequency that is associated with concentration and cognition. They range from 14hz to 39hz.

Finally, there are Gamma waves. These are the fastest and are found in the mind when you are actively problem-solving or using intense concentration and perception.

There are countless videos on YouTube that contain Binaural Beats. I would caution you, however, I have run across several that are not true Binaural Beats; audio files where the sound really is modulating rather than relying on your brain to create that synchronization of the two tones. There are also several apps out on the Android Market that can produce these tones. My personal favorite is one called "Beat Player". It was inexpensive and offers a lot of flexibility, presets, and the ability to save your own presets for later use.

What is this "Hemi-Sync" that I have heard of?

Interesting story I was told during my week at the Monroe Institute:

Robert Monroe was a pilot and during his career, he witnessed instances where the engine on one side of the plane and the other side of the plane were slightly out of tune. The result was this modulating, wavering tone that filled the gap between these two tones. What's more, this modulating tone was a danger to pilots because it would often result in them falling asleep at the wheel. This observation of the effect sound could have on the human consciousness stuck with him and during his career in the radio business, he began experimenting with this phenomenon. His primary goal at first was to use it to induce learning while asleep. This later was to evolve and become part of Bob's method for teaching other how to reach the out of body state. Today this is known as "Hemi-Sync".

So what is the difference between Hemi-Sync and Binaural Beats? It basically comes down to production. Hemi-Sync uses Binaural Beats, but layers them, covers them with pink noise, and either adds Bob's voice as he provides guided meditations and exercises, or music where the root note lines up with the Binaural Beat's tone so the actual modulation is difficult to hear. The idea is that these various added components make it easier to listen to these tones for long periods of time, increasing the benefit that they provide.

Other Sound Technology:

Graham Nicholls, another well-known phase practitioner, has created his own variation of sound to assist in projecting. He calls his product "Infra-liminal Sound". This again starts with the use of Binaural Beats, but then it adds a phasing stereo quality and patterns that speed up and slow down over the hour of audio. His goal was to produce a sound that would help practitioners get closer to the state required for astral projection by playing audio that is reminiscent of the sound and sensations that can be experienced.

Does it Work?

I have used them all and I can tell you that all three have their strengths. First, Binaural Beats are easy to tweak to fit your desired state of mind, especially with an app like Beat Player. They are also not hidden by any pink noise, white noise, or music and I find that this leads to them being more potent. They can get me into a deep meditative state much more quickly than something like Hemi-Sync. That being said, they are difficult to listen to for hours on end, so if your goal is to listen to something all day at work, you would be better off with Hemi-Sync. The Wave CD's produced by the Monroe institute are great for guided meditations. I personally love Bob's voice. I listen to him guiding me through his exercises and always find myself wishing I could have met this remarkable man. Infra-liminal sound is probably the least well-known. The real benefit I have found with this is the stereo phasing effect that Graham uses. In my other posts, I have mentioned how powerful imagined movement can be when trying to reach the vibrational stage. I use Graham's Infra-liminal sound during the day to practice that imagined sense of movement. The stereo sound gives his audio a real sense of motion and adds to the efficacy of visualization practice.

When it actually comes to projecting, I have heard many people swear by these audio technologies. I have to say personally that I find them great for meditation and practice, but when I am projecting, my goal is to disconnect myself from all physical ties to this world and that includes my sense of hearing. Having these sounds play in my ear tends to keep me too focused on the physical. If you have trouble projecting while listening to these sounds, I would recommend using them for 15 to 30 minutes prior to your projection attempt as a meditation to get you closer to that desired state of mind. I find that this is far more effective.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Astral Projection - Is Exhaustion Beneficial?

Just like anything when it comes to Astral Projection, there doesn't seem to be just an easy "Yes, No" answer to this one. Thinking back, I believe that exhaustion can be placed into one of three categories.

Physical - Your body is worn out. Your muscles are tired. Your mind is clear, optimistic and positive, but you could easily fall asleep if you were to try. This could be after a hard workout, a long physically taxing week, or anything else that leaves you in a physically fatigued state.

Mental - When I think of mental exhaustion, I think of those long days at work where I spend eight to ten hours in a cubicle with very little if any physical engagement. This sort of exhaustion can come from a hard day of problem-solving, or something like a week of preparation, cramming, and memorization for a final exam. Everyone has experienced this at some point in their life. It is the feeling of being mentally drained.

Emotional - This sort of exhaustion for me personally comes from situations like dealing with disgruntled employees or having a fight with my wife. It could be the result of road rage, a misbehaving child, or a heated disagreement with a family member. The feelings that I associate with this state are frustration, anger, and depression.

So what role do each of these states play in your ability to project if any?

Let's start with physical since that is that is an easy one.  I can say hands down, without a doubt, physical exhaustion is beneficial to my own projection practice.  I have seen this manifest itself in my life dozens of times. This is likely for several reasons.  For me personally, exercise is an escape. It is a chance to clear my head. When we exercise, our brains release endorphins, adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine. This results in a feeling of happiness, contentment, and optimism. I have emphasized multiple times in previous posts that your mood and state of mind plays a critical role in your level of success when it comes to projecting. Aside from the general good feeling that comes with physical exertion, there is the fact, plain and simple, that if your physical body is incredibly tired, it will fall asleep more quickly.  The faster you are able to make that transition to the void state; mind awake and body asleep, the better chance you have of remaining conscious through it. During a 10 day trip to Ireland with my wife, we walked between 15 and 20 miles a day.  That physical exhaustion resulted in the easy induction of back to back projections during our final nights there. I can also say, the only success I have ever had projecting during daytime hours has come after working all night long and remaining awake for over 24 hours. Not necessarily my ideal scenario, but effective.

Mental exhaustion is a bit trickier. I have been successful projecting when mentally exhausted and I have also run into insurmountable roadblocks when mentally exhausted. The conclusion that I have come to when talking about mental exhaustion is that if I am mentally drained but able to focus, I can succeed and my mental state is not a hindrance to the process. If I am still repeating problems, scenarios, and questions that I was unable to resolve during the day, which lead to this state in the first place, that lack of focus will ruin my attempts. I need to just shut down that analytical part of my brain and say to myself, I will continue tomorrow, but for now, it is time to focus on projection. If I can redirect my focus successfully, I can usually achieve positive results.

Finally, let's talk about the arch enemy of projection. emotional exhaustion.  If physical exhaustion is one end of the spectrum and ideal for inducing the desired state, emotional exhaustion is the polar opposite. I can confidently say that I have never been successful when I am emotionally drained, upset, depressed, or angry. I think there is a combination of factors at play here. First and foremost, that positive optimism that lends itself so well to this effort is not there. Second, when I am re-playing angry conversations in my head, thinking of what I should have said, redirecting my focus to this effort is nearly impossible. Finally, the natural physical state when you are angry or upset is tension. Muscle tension in your shoulders, tension in your jaw, clenched fists, etc.  Being that relaxation is an absolute requirement, if you cannot release that tension and just let that negativity go, you will not succeed.

There you have it; my experience with exhaustion.

Physical = Good
Mental = "It depends..."
Emotional = You might as well try on another night.

So what is the takeaway here?

Get out there and exercise! Wear yourself out doing something you love and improve your chance of success at the same time.  :)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Astral Projection Experience (Still Overcoming Fear)

I lay down just as I always do and go through physical relaxation, making it to that void state that I enjoy so much.  I start engaging myself in the roller coaster technique and without too much effort, the vibrations roar in and I am ejected at high speed from my body as usual.  This is always a good method for seeing some place new until I can finally get the hang of teleportation.  

I land in a large city that looks a lot like New York.  I am standing on a sidewalk in front of a short haired Indian woman.  She is middle aged and has a good hoop piercing in her right nostril. She introduces herself.  Her name is Usha. She asks me if I remember what it is we were discussing last time we met.  I am wracking my brain and I can't remember even ever meeting her before. I respond "no".  She doesn't seem disappointed.  She just says "that's OK, we will start from here." I agree that his sounds like a good plan.  She says "Today, we are going to focus on fear."  I don't know what that means, but I agree that focusing on fear sounds fine to me.  

I follow her and she leads me into an alleyway between two skyscrapers.  There is a water spillway behind us as we sit on a cement ledge side by side.  She looks at me and says very seriously, "Stay put". I agree to stay put, waiting for more instructions, but she just looks up. I look at her looking up and then I look up to see what it is that she is looking at. She is looking at the tops of the skyscrapers. As I too, stare at the tops of these immense buildings, they begin to crumble. Large chunks of concrete and brick begin tumbling toward us. I instinctively jump up and begin running.  I call to her to run as well but make little effort to save her. (Quite the hero, right?) 

I listen to the sound of the rubble hit the ground and it is deafening.  Finally, I turn around and see smoke rising from the rubble that is now covering the spot where I was sitting moments before.  Usha is gone and I phase back to my body.

This feels like a test; a test that I apparently failed. Two years, four months, and seven days into my work with phase experiences, completely aware that I cannot be harmed, that connection to the physical still takes over and fear still wins. I need to work on this if I am going to move forward.

How to Astral Project #4 - The Indirect Method

We have spent the last few posts talking about the direct method, or techniques where there's no lapse in consciousness between the waking state and your projection. Those techniques require quite a bit of practice due to their use of the void state and the requirement of putting your body to sleep while keeping your mind awake. The indirect method is significantly easier to achieve because you can eliminate all of that pre-work. It does, however, require its own type of practice because there is still a new skill that you're going to have to develop; a new reflex you are going to have to ingrain in your subconscious mind. Overall, however, I find that they are far easier to achieve and they are a great approach to start with. 

The idea with indirect techniques is that they are performed immediately upon awakening, or ideally, during the process of awakening. The moment you begin the transition to wakefulness, the goal is to remain completely still and immediately turn your attention to your projection attempt. If you grab hold of this transition soon enough, you can actually roll right out of your body or appear at some predetermined target without any further effort. It's almost as if the door to the astral is open while we are asleep and that door closes slowly as we regain consciousness. That transition back to wakefulness is your chance to catch that door part way open and to squeeze your way through it.


The challenging part of this method is building that reflex to immediately attempt projection upon awakening, and if unsuccessful, immediately begin cycling through techniques. Ideally, this should become a habit to the point that this process is instinctually performed during the transition out of sleep. This should be your very first thought prior to moving and prior to any other thought.

This is the most difficult part of the indirect method. I personally had such a struggle ingraining this immediate plan of action into my subconscious, I ended up recording my voice, reminding me to project and then used that audio file to create an alarm that would go off periodically throughout the night. Hearing that instruction to remain still and project every time I awoke, over and over and over again eventually helped me turn that action into a reflex that will now naturally come as my first waking thought.

Second Chance

If by chance you miss that split second and the door is closed, don't fret.  You will now attempt to push it back open. This can be done by cycling through a series of techniques that you will decide upon beforehand. This list of that I provide are a somewhat modified version of the techniques originally created by Michael Raduga. I have made changes or expanded on Michael's techniques where I have found that for me, changes needed to be implemented to provide a higher level of success. I have also found personally it is beneficial to branch out and experiment with different techniques from time to time. There will be days when a technique that has never provided solid results in the past suddenly begins to bring on the phase. Select three or four of the techniques below or even come up with one of your own that resonates with you and run through them in your mind before going to sleep. One thing I would suggest is to select a technique from more than one category so you have the best chance of finding something that your unique state will respond too. If you were not able to immediately leave your body during that transition back to the waking state, begin cycling through your list of techniques. Spend three to five seconds on one, if no results occur, move to the next one, and repeat. If at any time you start to get any sort of phase related sensations, continue with the technique that brought about those sensations. Do at least four cycles even if it doesn't feel like it is working. I have often thought I was either two awake or just not in the right state of mind, only to have a later cycle produce results.

Visual Techniques

Observing Images
Immediately begin searching the backs of your closed eyelids for imagery. Perform this action for three to five seconds.  If you begin to see images or anything else of a visual, non-physical nature, continue this process.  Examples I have personally experienced are seeing remote locations as if looking through a window and more commonly, seeing through my closed eyelids and sleep mask into the room around me.

Immediately implement the target technique.  Put yourself in a location you are familiar with and start to scrutinize the objects in that room.  Take in your surroundings and try to engage all your five senses.  Alternately, you can just visualize a specific object that you are extremely familiar with.  It could be a cell phone, your car keys, or anything else that will help you engage your senses.  I like using my ring of house and car keys because it is something I handle every day and very easy to imagine.  Feel all the details of each key.  Shake them and hear the sound of the metal as it jingles.  

Movement Based Techniques

Phantom Wiggling
For three to five seconds, begin trying to move body parts without moving a physical muscle. Wiggle a finger, move a hand, reach for a wall that is much too far to physically touch. If you begin to get the sensation of movement, continue this action past the three to five-second mark.  Personally, I have found that the more intent you put into these imagined movements, the more effective they are.  Don't just halfheartedly wiggle a finger.  Direct all your effort and concentration into feeling this movement.  There have been times where I have pictured myself violently swinging my arms side to side and withing just a few moments, I was overcome by the actual physical feeling that I was performing this action. I have reached a hand down far beyond my normal range of reach and run my fingers through the carpet on the floor and even pushed my hand through the floor, into the room below.

Imagined Movement
Try to imagine the sense of movement. As I have mentioned in previous posts, for me, the feeling of going through loops on a roller coaster is very effective. Others have reported that rotation in bed is effective. Imagine yourself rotating from head to foot over and over, or use the technique I mentioned in one of my other posts and watch an imaginary dot cross the ceiling and slowly go under you, forcing your body, while in its flat board-like position to do sort of a summer salt in order to continue watching its progression around the room. Make this movement as strong and fast as you possibly can.  Feel the wind in your face, feel the asphalt under your bare feet as you run, feel the seat of the car pressing into your back as you slam on the gas.  As with phantom wiggling, this cannot be a halfhearted action. Put everything you can into this action for three to five seconds, and as with the other methods, continue after that time if you begin to get any inkling of phase related sensations.

Auditory Techniques

Intense Listening
Most of us are familiar with the ringing sound we occasionally experience in our ears. This technique can make use of that sound. Immediately upon waking, begin to listen intensely to the sound inside your head. First, hear the ringing, but then try to go deeper.  If you are like me, you will find that that ringing has multiple layers. I can almost always hear a slight ringing if I plug my ears at any point throughout the day, but something that is unique to those first moments of wakefulness is a low rumbling like an engine in my head. Unless I focus inward, this sound will almost always go unnoticed.  First, I will try to hear the layers of ringing, then the low rumble, and then I strain hard to hear the bursts of static that I am so familiar with. If I can hear those bursts of static, I will remain on this technique and through intent and continued listening in, allow them to build in speed and intensity.

Other Techniques

Straining your Brain
Immediately, for three to five seconds upon waking, begin causing intensely imagined strain in your brain. This one I have found to be very effective in quickly bringing on the vibrational state, but I will admit, it really took some time to get the hang of this technique. For weeks after reading the term "strain the brain" in Michael Raduga's writing, I was baffled as to how one would actually do this. I don't have any muscles in my brain. How on earth can I strain it? I will try to provide a detailed account to clarify what I have found works for me when employing this technique in case you read "The Phase" and found this technique as frustratingly confusing as I did. First of all, the pressure sensation that I generate is similar to that of being upside down. Do a handstand, or stand on your head, or even just hang your head between your legs for a minute or two until you can feel the pressure building in your head. You know what I am talking about? Your veins in your forehead start to bulge and your face gets all red? OK, so you have memorized that feeling. I then will try to pulsate that pressure feeling. (Keep in mind, you are not literally aiming to force blood into your head, I am just trying to provide some details on how this feels to me so when you are successful, you will recognize the feeling.)  Now upon waking up, feel the pressure and weight of your head against your pillow. Try to move that pressure up from the base of your skull from the back of your head forward. Try to expand that pressure until it is similar to what you experienced while upside down. Now for fun, try to pulsate that sensation, almost as if the inside of your head is throbbing with this pressure. As with all other techniques, it is important that you are not inducing these sensations physically. This is all non-physical. Just strobe this pressure over and over again or occasionally hold it at its peak. The interesting thing about this technique is that I can't generate this sensation during the day, but it comes fairly easily most of the time immediately upon awakening.

Straining the Muscles without Moving
This is a very similar concept to straining the brain, but instead of your brain, you are creating imagined strain all throughout your body.  I personally have a hard time getting this one to work for me.  Being that my muscles are really possible to physically strain, I tend to unintentionally tense various muscles which is counterproductive.  Straining the brain while maybe more difficult to imagine, is easier to do correctly because there are no muscles in your brain to strain even if you wanted to.

At this point, if all goes well, you are either out of body or you have reached the vibrational state.  From the vibrational state, simply continue as we have discussed in the past.  Let the vibrations build in smoothness and frequency and then roll out, stand up, float out, climb an imagined rope, etc.


Perform this method after four to six hours of sleep. I have the best results between 2:00 AM and 4:00 AM.

If cycling through your selected techniques doesn't work for you, remain positive and optimistic with an intent on repeating the process on your next awakening and just go back to sleep.

I have found that if I tell myself that every technique and cycle that I am performing is relaxing me more and bring me closer and closer to sleep that they tend to be more successful.  This helps me prevent accidental muscle tension or from coming too far out of that borderland state for any techniques to be effective.

Don't give up. Once you have built this reflex upon awakening, the phase state will be substantially easier to achieve.  In Robert Monroe's final book he commented that after decades of projecting as he was first going to sleep, he found one day that rolling out upon awakening, in comparison, was "absurdly easy". Once mastered, this will most likely be the most reliable method of reaching the phase that you can find.

Astral Projection Experience (Astral Rain and Trying to Remember)

Immediately upon returning from my visit with Usha, I began using the Indirect Method to leave my body once again, hoping that by some chance I would be allowed to repeat this test of courage that I had just failed.  I wanted to sit there by Usha and let the rubble smash me just to see where that would lead. Unfortunately, I didn't make it back to that city.  On the upside, I was able to project.  I rolled out of body and landed in my room. As I do when I am out of body, I immediately turned my focus to the next item on my list of tasks I want complete or things that I want to experience. I have mentioned before that time spent in the astral is never enough.  Experiences tend to be short and never as frequent as I would like, so it is important to me that I spend the time out of body in a productive manner.

As I was reading through my dream journal last week, it occurred to me that I have never experienced any sort of adverse weather conditions while out of body.  I thought it would be really interesting to experience rain. To that end, I left my room, ran down my hall and into my living room.  I stood at my front door and before opening it, put all my intent into making it rain behind that door.  For those of you who have projected, you can confirm that the astral is very thought responsive. This is especially the case when dealing with places that are out of your line of sight; behind closed doors, around corners, etc. I swung the front door open and it worked. I had manifested rain. It was truly remarkable. I have always been amazed at how these things that I create take on a life of their own.  I could feel the humidity of the moisture coming through the screen door. I hadn't even thought of that. It was just there because that is what happens when it rains. I walked outside and looked at the sky, marveling at how lucid, solid, and intense the feel of rain on my face and body could make a projection.  

I looked around and there was a little boy smiling as he pushed dirt around with a toy bulldozer in the front yard. I should mention, this was not my front yard. I was in a lush green neighborhood with large lots. It looked like it could have been a mountain town or some place in the south. I watched the boy play for a bit and then I noticed a bush with pine needles on it off to my right. I decided it was time for one of my favorite things. If you have read my previous posts, you can probably guess where this is going. I grabbed a handful of pine needles and shoved them in my mouth. I chewed them and tasted the pine and the rough texture as the needles ran down my throat. 

Having completed my task I decided to go look for someone to interact with. I looked at the house next door, a large blue house with a red brick pillar that held up a wooden balcony which wrapped around the house, also serving as a front porch. I took the approach to travel that I love more than anything else, I jumped into the air and soared from the road across the front lawn, landing right at the front door. I then entered without knocking.

I began searching the house for people or some form of life. On my way through the kitchen, I decided to grab something else to eat. I opened the pantry and pulled out a bag of tortilla chips. I ate a few. They were crunchy, and salty, and had some kind of lime seasoning on them. They were delicious. I continued eating chips as I made my way through the house. Reaching the back bedroom, and still not finding anyone, I decided to leave the house and continue my search for life. Just as I was approaching the front door, I heard two voices. The voice of a small girl, blonde, maybe three or four years old, talking to her mother. They walked through the front door and their conversation stopped when they saw me standing in their living room.

The mother looked similar to the little girl. Slender, round face, straight light brown hair that dropped just passed her shoulders. What happened next is exactly the opposite of what I would have expected. Rather than scream at me to leave, or ask who I am, this woman ran to me and threw her arms around my neck and said: "I am so glad you are home!".  I just stood there, arms at my sides, confused, trying to figure out who this lady is why she is saying I am "home".  She recognizes that I am not returning her embrace and she pushes away, puts her hands on my face, and looks into my eyes.  She says "Whats wrong? Don't you remember me?". She has tears in her eyes and I can see that I am upsetting this woman. Not wanting to make things worse, I respond, "oh yes! Of course, I remember you!"

I should mention now, that there are no secrets in the astral. This communication, this conversation we are having is all non-verbal.  This is a sort of telepathy where words are shared through feelings, intent, and images. She knows that I am lying. She responds by hugging me tighter and by sending a barrage of images, and scenarios, and memories into my head; trying to do everything she can to help me both her and this house. I close my eyes, trying to focus on these images, doing my best to remember. As I review these images in my mind, I phase back to my body and it is over.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Low Energy Projection

Let me start by saying that once you have projected a few times, you start to recognize the state of mind that is conducive to this sort of work.  Today was a good day. I was feeling incredibly positive and as I laid down to go to bed, I just knew that I was going to be able to project.  I could feel it. Physically I felt tired, but mentally, I felt a content, positive optimism.

I laid back and put my body to sleep.  I reached the void state and decided that I would just let the process progress on its own. After remaining in this state for what felt like 45 minutes or so, it was becoming clear that the process was not going to happen on its own tonight.  It was time to give it a little help.

I went through my usual process of riding my imagined roller coaster in backwards loops.  I almost hit the vibrational state over and over again, but just couldn't get it to start. I switched to my dot watching technique where I watch a dot move across the ceiling, down the wall, and under the bed, resulting in my doing forward somersaults.  Again, close, but I just couldn't get those dang vibrations to start.  I moved to a technique where I pulsate pressure in my head and got so incredibly close, but again, no cigar. Finally, I decided, maybe I had been wrong.  Maybe tonight was not the night after all.  I rolled over onto my side intending to go to sleep.

Almost immediately the rushes began; those little bursts of energy that shoot up through my head. I ignored them in just the right way and allowed them to continue. They sped up and built into the vibrational state as they always do, but this time, something was different. There was no accompanying noise. The vibrations were completely silent. The vibrations were rough and jagged feeling and after what seemed like far too long, they were still not building in frequency or smoothing out.  I tried through intent to help them level out and build into the familiar hum that means it is time for me to stand up, but they just remained harsh and jagged.

What felt like 10 minutes went by.  This is an incredibly long time for me to remain in the vibrational state. They started getting even more violent and I could feel the teeth in my mouth vibrating. I could see through my closed eyelids, but this time, the room wasn't lit by the familiar ambient light. Through the dark gloom, I could see my wife in the bed next to me. I just laid there, watching her sleep. Then suddenly, it was like watching a movie in fast forward and my wife grew old. Then she disappeared and she became a different young woman. That young woman grew old and became a young man.  He grew old and was replaced by another young lady. Finally, I, as I could see through my eyelids and the vibrations just didn't seem to be getting any smoother, I decided I was just going to get out.

I rolled out of bed and was surprised to find that I had no strength in my legs.  I fell to the floor and could barely keep my chest off the floor with my arms. The person in the bed next to me at that moment, whoever it was, grabbed my wrist and told me to come back to bed. That I wasn't ready yet. With help, I pulled my heavy body back onto the bed and reconnected with the physical body and was back.