It wasn't until September 9, 1979 that the subject of out-of- body experiences came up again. My brother Joe knew my dad was interested in the occult, so for Father's Day, Joe gave him the book Journeys Out of the Body by Robert A. Monroe. I remembered searching the card catalog as a child, so after my dad had finished reading it, I asked him if I could borrow it, and he said yes.
Monroe explained his OBEs in such a logical, scientific manner that I read the book faster than I'd ever read before. I didn't really believe Monroe's claims, but I liked his approach. His book urged me not to take his word for it, but to try it myself.
I decided to take Monroe up on his offer, and follow his techniques to see for myself if these experiences were real or just hype, fantasy or dreams. That night, before I went to bed, I attempted astral projection for the first time. I had memorized Monroe's method earlier and I decided to close my eyes and try it.
The first step was to relax. I spent a long time relaxing completely. The next step, which was quite a bit harder, was to drift between waking and sleeping consciousness. I found myself drifting into sleep once or twice, and I yanked myself back to full consciousness each time, being careful not to move my fully relaxed body. It took quite a while before I felt comfortable enough to go on to the next step: clearing my mind of all thoughts.
This was harder yet. Every time I heard a noise I would be distracted and my mind would start to wander. Then my body started itching in the most distracting way. As soon as I'd scratch an itch, another new itch would take its place. Even after I conquered most of my itches (and ignored the rest) it was hard to keep my mind from wandering.
At one point, I found I could hold my mind blank for several minutes, and I decided that would be long enough to go on to the next step: using imaginary lines of force to call "the vibrations." I followed Monroe's method to the letter, carefully pausing between each step in the process. I was just about to give up when I felt a heavy "TWANG" in my head. If felt as if the lines of force had somehow become real and had touched a 110-volt power line. I thought, "Oops. Maybe this isn't such a good idea." I tried to pull myself back to normal consciousness by retracting my imaginary lines of force. I quickly pulled the lines of force back toward me, but much to my surprise, the "electricity" I felt at the end of those lines was also being pulled toward me. It was like I had been fishing and I felt a sharp bite at the end of my fishing pole: I quickly tried to pull my fishing line out of the water, but I only managed to set the hook, and pull in a fish. And it was quite a fish: A kind of electrical "vibration" violently swept into my body, filling my body with an electric-like shock and a terrible roaring noise. I thought I was being electrocuted and my first reaction was sheer panic. I could hear my heart beating wildly in mad fear, but I was powerless to control it.
Somehow I could see through my closed eyelids. I looked up and I saw a blue ring of electrical fire flying right toward my head. It was about a foot in diameter, with the energy sparks about an inch-and-a-half thick, and it was bright blue. I instinctively tried to raise my arms to protect myself from the impact, but I found myself paralyzed and unable to move my arms. The ring of blue energy started to slip over my forehead and I looked away, afraid to see what would happen next. I started fighting wildly to regain control of my body and the "vibrations" slowly smoothed down and died out. When the vibrations faded completely, I could move my body again.
I shook my arms and legs, and rejoiced that I hadn't lost the ability to move them, happy that I was completely in my body. "My God," I thought to myself, "It worked! Monroe wasn't lying! There ARE other worlds!"
One of the key factors in leaving the body is relaxation. The body should be relaxed as completely as possible. If the physical body isn't completely relaxed, it may be very difficult to turn your focus away from the body.
Some laboratory experiments suggest that the physical body may be even more relaxed during an OBE than it is during a normal sleep state. Learning to relax your body to such a degree (without falling asleep) can be difficult, but it has its rewards. Learning to physically relax can lower blood pressure and counteract stress. You'll feel better and live longer by practicing relaxation regularly.
For this exercise, you should learn to relax your body at will, completely and quickly. You should learn to relax every fiber and tissue of your body. One common method of relaxation is to get into a comfortable position, and slowly go through every limb from the feet up, tensing and relaxing every muscle in that limb.
Special care should taken to completely relax the muscles in your face, including your eyelids, forehead, and jaw muscles. It's all right to open your mouth for maximum relaxation.
After finishing this first relaxation, go back and slowly check every muscle again, making sure it's relaxed. If there is tension in any muscle, repeat the procedure and check every muscle again.
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