Out of Body Experience
How to have an out of body experience
There are many guides out there to have Out of Body Experiences and many people come up with all kinds of different ways to achieve this goal. The main difference between this guide and other peoples guides is that I take a practical approach to induce the experience which I use myself. I treat my process as a practice, which means that it takes time, errors, and learning from those errors to become proficient at it. Persistence is key to any practice and the willingness to make mistakes and learn from them.
Some days I am more successful at having an Out of Body Experience than others, but I don’t pretend to have a 100% success rate. Each person’s experience is personal and that requires each person to do their own work and understand themselves in order to have success in this area. My guide is practical in the sense that its generalized enough that each key point in here helps improve the success rate of each person. These tools are based on many peoples trials and errors as well as research conducted in the field of neuroscience and sleep. There are additional steps that you won’t find in this guide that may help you improve your chances of having an Out of Body Experience, but those are specific to each person and change over time.
Why Have an Out of Body Experience?
I was recently asked the question from a family member of why would you want to have an Out of Body Experience? I answered back by talking about any type of travel to a new location, and how that visit to a new country or new town had changed them. People who travel know that when they go someplace it changes them, they want to discuss it, they want to learn the culture and try the foods, they want to explore. The same is true with an Out of Body Experience.
Out of Body Experiences allow for us to look inside ourselves, inside of everything that we know and understand and then see something more. Its an exploration of the soul and mind at the same time. Its a connection to the unknown. This I believe is the highest level of exploration, and a true adventure for each of us to have. It is also no wonder why we would want to continue to go back and explore these realms in our mind and soul more.
The important concept to think about before you start on your practice is to answer that question for yourself. Why do you truly want to have an Out of Body Experience? What drove you in this direction? The more truthful with yourself you are, the easier it will be to start to practice and the more likely you will have success. Being honest with yourself in this process will allow you to also have more pleasurable experiences during your Out of Body Experiences.
When I had my first Out of Body Experience nearly 15 years ago, my first thought was, what was that?
I had had many lucid dreams before my first Out of Body Experience and the experience of an Out of Body Experience totally changes my life. When it first happened I didn’t even know that Out of Body Experiences were possible and were pretty confused about what I had just experienced. The main questions that I asked myself at the time were:
- What was the experience I just had?
- Was the experience real?
- How do I have that experience again?
- How can I control the experience?
What we are going to focus on in this guide is how to have the experience again and again with as a success rate being as high as possible. We use an easy to understand 6 step process with these elements in mind:
- Setting a strong intention.
- Getting good rest.
- Waking up and going back to bed.
- Strengthing the intention again.
- The exit.
Step One: Intention
The largest thing you can possibly do in order to have any type of experience, let it be lucid dreaming or having an Out of Body Experience, is setting the intention. The intention to have an Out of Body ExperienceE when you go to sleep is key to training your mind to notice the effects of an Out of Body Experience and letting you remember as well as knowing that this is an important aspect of your life that you want to experience. Additionally focusing on the concepts that dreams are important allows the brain to see reality in another light.
Reading over some of the Tibetan dream yoga techniques we can find a key element to their abilities to have Out of Body Experiences focused on the concept that reality and thoughts are also dreamed in our minds. Everything that we do, think, and feel is truly a hallucination in our brains as the brain takes outside information into its complex system and creates a virtual world of those experiences inside our heads. Thoughts are especially dreamlike, as they are produced from our minds alone without any real substances of reality. Thinking about this makes us see that dreams are more closely related to reality than we initially may have thought, and puts additional importance on the dreams, or fewer importances on the foundation of reality.
Set a Strong Intention
Set your intention to be strong. Think that tonight you will have an Out of Body Experience and that tonight you will remember it. Think about why you want to have an Out of Body Experience and what one specific thing you would like to do with the Out of Body Experience. Make it this one thing easy to remember, maybe just a word to represent it, so that when you are there you can easily recall what it was you wanted to do. At this point, it’s important to really believe that you will have an Out of Body Experience, that doubt itself doesn’t exist, and that it will happen. This belief may be all you need to take the next step!
Step Two: Sleep
This next step is easy. Go to sleep. That’s right, it’s as easy as that. Getting 5-6 hours of good rest seems to not only increase your ability to have Out of Body Experiences, but it also seems like this is key to having any type of success at all. If the body and brain are not well rested, then you will have troubles staying awake, staying aware, and just being fully present when the time comes to experience the Out of Body Experience.
There are of course chemical and scientific reasons for this as well. For instance getting a good nights rest allows our brains to produce much-needed chemicals throughout the night that is important to wakefulness during the day. When these chemicals are produced we have the ability to be more aware after a good nights rest, rather than if we sleep only a few hours. When our brains are asleep we specifically are focusing on the increase of GABA (a neurotransmitter in the brain) which reduces memory formation. It also does many different things but is the reason behind why we can’t easily remember our dreams. Having our brains use GABA seems to increase wakefulness, attention, and memory after its use, which is key to what we are trying to do. We are after all trying to be more aware, have better attention and control over our dreams, and remember them. With that, getting an as much good sleep before trying an Out of Body Experience is key.
Step Three: Wake Back to Bed
After sleeping for 5-6 hours of sleep it is time to wake up. Set an alarm (preferably a vibrational alarm so it’s not so devastating to your sleep) and wake up. At this point, you should be pretty groggy and may take some time to fully become aware enough to get out of bed. There are many guides at this point that recommend people get up between 5-30 min of time, but I am going to suggest that you get up for no less than 45 min. The reason behind this is that it wakes your brain up to the point that it thinks that its time to be active and that the day has started. As you become more awake and aware, you also have a higher chance to remember and have conscious control as you trick your brain into going back to sleep.
The chemicals that I discussed before are now flowing the wakefulness chemicals called glutamate and reducing GABA which makes it not only so we can be aware and awake, but also remember. Glutamate as I have discussed many times before is important to conscious thought and allows for us to focus.
During this time I would suggest doing something that requires your focus and isn’t something that would put you back to sleep. I often take this time to write some emails, to read something (but in a well-lit room) or do some workouts that get the heart beating and require some coordination. The more active I am, the better my results.
Step Four: Strengthing Intention
As we did before in step one, in this step we reaffirm your intentions of what your plan is when you go to sleep. The plan is to have an Out of Body Experience, so think about that, what it may feel like, and maybe what you expect to see. Keep your mind open though and keep the thoughts easy and clear.
Go Back to Sleep
Lay down at this point and relax. It may be hard to go back to sleep at this point due to all the activity that you have been doing. That is perfectly normal and what we wanted as we want to make sure that our brains are as active as possible. This active mind will allow for active memories. Do not get frustrated with your inability to fall asleep. If you are able to lay in one spot, not move for a period of time, and focus on not having internal dialog you should start to see hypnogogic images, or dreamlike images of people, places, etc. This means that your brain is doing its job and you are almost asleep. If you are able to focus long enough you should encounter vibrations, ringing in your ears, or other sensations like falling or floating which means you are on track. Do not focus on these sensations too much as they are just distractions, keep relaxing. If you do not experience these effects and simply fall asleep, that is fine too.
Step Five: The Out of Body Experience Exit
Now that you are asleep you may find yourself in a number of odd states if you are aware at this point. The key is to be aware, so if you are at any point during sleep then you are very close to having an Out of Body Experience. Sometimes this can be tricky as our brains are great at making us feel like we are awake and that we have failed in our process as we get out of bed, but in fact, we are having what is called a false awaking and we are in an Out of Body Experience state already. Many times this has happened to me and noticing the experience is key to taking control over the Out of Body Experience and exiting the body.
Additionally, other sensations are being locked into the body or having a shadow figure or presence in the room with us. Though this can be scary, this is perfectly normal and what many people refer to as sleep paralysis. Additionally, the concept of a shadow figure or being pushed down or held down into your bed is often an effect of the brain being confused about what is occurring, that your body and your astral body is being separated. You can simply ignore these feelings and allow yourself to relax and think about floating a distance away from your body. This should result in that sensation going away and allowing you to continue on with your exploration.
Use Voice Commands
When you are able to move away from your body, recall the intention you had when you started. Use that word or thought as a command to call yourself into the experience. I often use a simple word and after use has a feeling of movement to where I experience the effects of that word. These experiences are very personal and unique for each person, and it’s important to not focus on what others experience so that you have your own experiences. If you focus on what others see or feel, you will often find confusion.
There are countless additional effects that people can experience during this phase of the process. The important key things to remember in this step is:
- Do not fear, no matter how strange or scary the experience can be
- Try to relax and let things naturally play out
- Try to move away from your body either by floating or using thought
- Use voice commands
Step Six: Reflection on the Out of Body Experience
Now that you have had the experience you can wake up and reflect on what happened. If you were unsuccessful during the night, do not worry as you always have another day to try to archive your goals. Often I will find that a few nights will go by and I will not have anything happen as I continue to learn to relax more and learn from my last night’s experiences. Sometimes things are going on in my life that is naturally stressing me out, and it’s not the right time to have an Out of Body Experience as I am too busy with real life stuff to think about my practice. It’s good to take care of daily problems before you start working on your practice.
As with any practice, it’s important to remember that failure is only one step closer to success, and there is really no such thing as failing at something. There is only learning. You can practice throughout the day by imagining yourself waking up for a dream and remembering what it would be like, or thinking about your daily intentions or having the mindset that your thoughts and daily life is also dreamlike. Doing this over and over again will only result in better lucidity during the night and allow you to continue to have progressed over time.
Though this guide will surely help you to have your first Out of Body Experience or improving your ability to have more over time, it’s not the only way to improve your changes. There are many more techniques that can be used in order to improve your chances. These techniques can be unique to each person and often take someone who has gone through the trials and errors to understand the right technique for the right situation. Looking for a guide or speaking with trained and experienced Out of Body Experience coach is a great way to get to the next step. You can also check out our lucid dreaming pills guide which can provide you with some extra help.
Here is a video on creating your own dream practice which has a lot of great information about having an Out of Body Experience as well.
Lee Adams is a Ph.D. candidate in Jungian Psychology and Archetypal Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute and host of Cosmic Echo, a lucid dreaming podcast, and creator of taileaters.com, an online community of lucid dreamers and psychonauts. Lee has been actively researching, practicing, and teaching lucid dreaming for over twenty years.
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