Out of Body Experiences (OBE's)
I recently came across an organization, Out of Body Research Foundation (OBERF), where people who've experienced OBE's can share their experiences. I took a course taught by Luis Minero on how to induce OBE's, and within two weeks I had my first experience. In the spirit of OBERF, I'll share my experiences here.
The first OBE came during a lucid dream. In Luis' book, Demystifying the Out-of-Body Experience, he mentions that you can achieve an OBE during a lucid dream by saying, "I want to be aware."
So, during my next lucid dream, I did. I felt my soul/essence/energy/consciousness/um, something, get plunged out of my chest and sucked out the top of my head. I shot up what felt like 60 miles in less than a second. I was afraid to look down at my body, because I knew I'd freak out and go back in body. I think it wouldn't have mattered as I was in a white void--very peaceful, very calm. I was a little disappointed that I wasn't traveling the universe like others have done, but I was content to enjoy the placid feeling of my consciousness being out of my body. I began to see tiny analog television sets emerging in the white void, and faint images began to appear on them. I then shot back into my body before I could make out what was on the screens. Frustrating.
The second OBE came when I adopted Luis' technique of sending vibrational waves up and down the body. I'd woken up by mistake around 3 am, the optimal time to induce OBE's, and took advantage of the timing to try the vibrational wave technique. I achieved a body asleep-mind awake state, and the vibrational waves eventually kicked my consciousness out my body. The same plunging feeling happened in my chest, and I heard loud static as my consciousness got sucked out of my head. Even though I knew what to expect, I felt panicky about losing my consciousness from my body, which seemed to delay the exit of my consciousness. When I popped out of my body, it was as if the anxiety I was feeling did not exist. It was like a placid mountain lake with a mirrored surface. The contrast between in-body vs. out-of-body anxiety states suggested to me that anxiety is a mind/body phenomenon rather than a non-physical consciousness one. I also discovered that my consciousness was bilocated. I was aware of my body and aware of hovering maybe 20 feet above it simultaneously. I wanted to astral travel and meet my spiritual team, so I gave a number of commands I'd read about from William Buhlman here, like "Clarity now. Door now. Spirit guides now. Jupiter now." None worked. I remained hovering in the void, then returned to my body.
The third OBE occurred during another lucid dream. I said I wanted to be aware, and my consciousness popped out of my head. This time the experience got incorporated in the dream. I was soaring like a plane in the dream where I saw tiny ships in an ocean 30,000 feet below. I knew what I was seeing was a dream, and yet I knew the out of body experience was real. I then woke up.
I've experienced other OBE-like events as well. During a dream, I felt my consciousness spontaneously leaving my body. I freaked out--it can be scary to the body to lose its consciousness--and I woke up before I could have the OBE. This annoyed me. I'd heard that our consciousness leaves our bodies when we sleep, and I really wanted to find out where my soul goes at night. A medium told me that I'm a frequent flyer in the astral plane at night, and I wish I could have perhaps gone sightseeing around the universe or met the other souls I hang out with at night. On three or four other occasions, I've tried to induce OBE's using the vibrational wave method while lying on the floor. My astral body would leave my body, but my consciousness would still be tethered to my brain. I wasn't aware of being partially out of body until my astral body dropped into my physical body like a sack of potatoes dropped from the ceiling. There would be an audible thump on the floor, and I would get startled into realizing that I was partially out of body.
The main thing I got out of the OBE's is the experiential knowledge that the non-physical is real. I know my consciousness left my body. I know it wasn't a hallucination. It is as self-evident as having arms and legs. I wish I could experience other things than the white void, but I'm a newbie. Perhaps in the future. :)