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Astral travel is, often, a clearer and more intense experience than meditation and lucid dreaming. Some call astral travel OBE or out-of-body experience. Most people who have experienced it- myself included- can testify to it's intensity. Often astral travel is experienced as clearly as daily (or "real") life, and sometimes even more clearly. Senses are heightened and everything around you can seem more real.
What Is It?
When astral travelling, we are aware that we are "dreaming" and our physical bodies are "asleep." Through astral projection (consciously passing from the physical plane to the astral plane), we are able to become aware of the process of allowing our body to fall asleep, and then become aware of passing from one plane to another. The astral plane is an unseen dimension, divided into seven levels, or planes,( this we look into later) that then include many sub planes. It flows from the real-time zone but it's usually best to consider it as being completely separate from the physical plane.
Astral travel is a difficult concept for some to grasp. It sounds like a load of nonsense to many. But it is very real if we allow ourselves to learn a technique and realize our astral bodies do exist and can travel without the aid of our physical bodies. When we astral travel, we can fly through the air, some say it's more like "floating," we can glide over oceans and across the earth. We can contact spiritual entities that can guide us along our spiritual paths, and there is knowledge to be found that cannot be obtained through books or other people in this plane.
No, you cannot become "stuck" in the astral plane and unable to find your body. You cannot die and be eternally separated from your physical body. It's a myth that this can happen. Actually, staying in the astral plane is the difficult part, not returning to the physical plane. We go to the astral plane when we sleep. When your body awakes, your astral body is united with your physical body. Astral travel is not lucid dreaming. It includes lucid dreaming, but also includes a conscious projection of your astral body into the astral plane, and being self-aware in the astral plane.
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After the physical body has fallen asleep, the astral body always projects into the physical world. Once the energy body has expanded, the astral body floats free and hovers just above the physical body, but within the expanded energy body's field of influence. Within this field, known as cord activity range, the astral body is held close to the physical world as it is within a field of etheric matter.
During a conscious astral projection it may appear as if you are projecting straight into an astral plane. But there is always an intermediary phase at the beginning, when you are existing as an astral form close to the physical dimension. This, real time part of any projection, may be missed if you black out at the moment of projection. The area around the body, within cord activity range, is flooded with etheric matter and within this field the astral body is held in real time close to the physical dimension.
Etheric matter is the actual life force substance generated by all living things by simply being alive. It is a substance in-between physical matter and astral matter, part physical and part astral. This etheric matter has actual weight. It is a very refined substance in between matter and energy and is similar to its coarser cousin, ectoplasm.
The silver or as some see it golden Cord does more than just tie the two bodies together. It is a true umbilical cord, transmitting information and energy between the physical and subtle bodies. It is seen by some projectors and not seen by others. Sometimes it is seen emanating from the navel, sometimes from the forehead. The area the cord is seen emanating from may depend on chakra activity. Whichever chakra is the strongest, most active, could have control of energy flow to the subtle bodies. There is also the belief system of the projector to consider and the creative power of the subconscious mind. The cord will usually appear to be wherever you believe it will be, courtesy of the subconscious. Once the astral body enters the astral dimension it must have a good supply of astral energy from the chakras in order to interact strongly with that dimension. Clear astral memory depends greatly on the amount of energy available. As the astral dimension is the natural domain of the astral body, it will not fade out of it due to a lack of energy. As in the real world, if a person hasn't eaten or slept for a few days they don't dissolve into another dimension. They just get weak and listless and don't interact strongly with the physical world.
What it boils down to is this: The astral mind must have enough energy to give it strong, vivid memories. These astral memories must be strong enough to make a good sized wrinkle in the physical brain, so the physical mind can recall them when it wakes up.
For example, if you haven't slept for a few days you will be tired, listless and your interaction with reality will be weak and vague. If you see a movie in this tired state you will retain little memory of it. Afterwards, you may only remember fragments of it and your memory of it will be a vague blur. If, however, you see a movie when you are well rested, fresh and full of energy, it is different. You take in everything about the movie and enjoy it. Your memory of it will be crystal clear.
This is similar to what happens after a low powered astral journey. The astral body lacks energy and so does not have clear enough impressions of its journey. This causes it to fail making its memories the dominant ones when it returns return to the physical body. As I stated earlier, there must be strong, vivid memories if a wrinkle is to be made in the physical brain and the experience remembered.
To trigger the projection of the Astral body, while fully conscious, there are four major requirements:
Relaxing your body 100% while staying awake.
Concentrating 100% on what you are doing.
Having enough energy available.
Pressuring the astral body to separate.
Together, these four things will trigger an OOBE.
Below are exercises that will teach how to relax the body, concentrate, clear the mind, raise energy, stimulate the chakras and enter the trance state.
Calming The Mind
You must learn and master, a full body relaxation exercise. If you know one already it can be adapted to suit. Here is a very simple one:
Sit, or lie down, and relax. Starting with the feet, tense and relax them. Continue this with calves, thighs, hips, stomach, chest, arms, neck and face until your whole body is deeply relaxed. Go over this a few times, making sure your muscles stay relaxed.
Note: Deep physical relaxation is the key to bringing on the trance state, i.e., deep relaxation CAUSES the trance state. Once you are in the trance state, projection on the astral body is relatively easy.
When you begin meditation, you will be plagued with thoughts from your surface mind, which acts like a huge Memo pad. It carries messages, reminders, pressing thoughts, problems to solve, unresolved issues etc. It is constantly busy, it NEVER rests, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, one after the other, all clamouring for attention.
Before you attempt to clear your mind, with the breath awareness exercise below, it is wise to deal with these surface thoughts by the act of contemplating them. Sit comfortably, do the relaxation exercise and think, nothing more, just think. Search out the strongest thoughts in your mind and examine them, try to resolve and understand them.
Note the word: THINKING. Contemplation does not involve clearing the mind, or visualisation. It requires you to THINK, deeply and thoroughly, about something, to gain a deeper understanding of its nature and how it relates to you, an insight.
Breath Awareness Meditation
This is a simple form of meditation. It will clear your mind and focus your awareness.
Sit or lie down, close your eyes, do the relaxation exercise and clear your mind. Breathe deeply and slowly and focus on the breath entering and leaving your body. Feel it coming in and feel it going out. Focus your whole attention on your lungs and the breathing process. This simple action is enough to occupy your surface mind. Firmly push intruding thoughts away, as they begin, before they can gather strength and distract you.
Breath awareness occupies the surface mind and allows you to think on a much deeper level.
Sounds are very distracting, they generate surface thoughts. A car horn will generate: "Who's that, what's happening?" A door opening will generate: "Who's coming in or going out?" The surface mind is always very curious about what is happening around you. It wants to know all, and it wants to inform you of every little thing going on around you. It will pressure you to open your eyes, get up and go find out what's happening.
Don't allow this to happen. USE these annoying, attention getting thoughts as a training aide. By learning to quash and ignore them, your powers of concentration will grow.
Stop these annoying little thoughts as they begin, before they can take root and grow into something stronger.
You must be able to concentrate and focus completely on what you are doing. Lack of concentration is the single, biggest cause of projection failure. It affects every aspect of projection, from the relaxation exercise, to the trance state and actual projection.
To test your ability to concentrate: Sit and relax. Close your eyes and clear your mind of ALL thought. Breath slowly and deeply and count each breath, at the end of each exhale. Hold it totally BLANK, apart from the counting, for as long as you can. See how long you can hold it like this. Be honest with yourself, every time a thought intrudes start counting from the beginning again.
The Trance State
When you have attained a deep level of relaxation and mental calmness, you will feel your body begin to get very, very heavy. This heaviness is the main symptom of your brain waves changing from the Beta to the Alpha level as you enter a trance. The trance state is caused by deep physical and mental relaxation. There is nothing weird or supernatural about it. It simply means your body has entered the sleep state while your conscious mind is fully awake.
Energy Body Expansion
At some point after entering the trance state, you will feel a mild paralysis come over you. This will soon be accompanied by a deepening vibration and a buzzing feeling all over. You may also feel like you are huge and swollen. The paralysis, vibrations and the huge feeling are symptoms of the energy body expanding and the astral body loosening. This is part of the normal sleep process. The energy body expands and opens in order to accumulate and store energy. During this, the astral body drifts free, slightly out phase with the physical body.
ULTRA Short OOBE:
One of the most important things to do after a successful exit, especially the first few times, is to keep the projection ultra short. Ten seconds out and then get straight back into the physical body. Please trust me on this. Ten seconds of REAL out of body experience with a fully conscious exit and reentry, are worth a thousand all nighters that are forgotten! An ultra short oobe is, in most cases, the 'major' contributing factor to a successful first time conscious exit projection
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