By Adam Eason
There are times when our experience of life can seem unreal or surreal. I went through a traumatic experience when I was younger. During that experience, I found myself at times feeling removed from reality also. Sometimes, when we are surrounded by lots of new stimulus and when we have a great deal of unusual, new and different things occurring within us, our perception of how and who we are can be removed.
Out-of-body experiences are commonplace among trauma victims - it is thought of by many as a form of protection from the pain of the trauma, or in relation to shock.
The point I want to illustrate here is that these out-of-body experiences and altered perceptions of our own reality are naturally occurring. Much research has been done on these experiences and we are all aware of the often told experience of people on operating theatre tables seeing themselves and similar types of experiences. Now, some people believe that it is simply our perception that is being altered and I do not want to get bogged down with what is scientifically actually occurring with these experiences.
I decided to investigate this. I believe that over the years, I have stretched the boundaries with what can be done with self-hypnosis and with the use of our minds and our altered perceptions. Out-of-body experiences (OBE's) are one of the more fascinating and so I thought I would share with you a real easy and simple technique for using self-hypnosis to have an OBE. Exciting stuff, eh?
So here are some simple steps to begin to get you more aware of yourself and begin to develop a basic skill: the ability to imagine your mind and body existing in two separate places. This exercise can psychologically prepare you for an OBE; ultimately it can also help you induce the experience at will.
Step One: Begin by being in a comfortable, quiet place where you are not going to be disturbed. Ideally, take yourself into self-hypnosis (go read my self-hypnosis book and learn how to use this life-changing skill).
Alternatively, tune into your breathing and your body's rhythm, engage in the moment and notice all you can with each sense about what creates reality for you in that moment. Relax your body, soften your muscles and be deeply still, yet keeping your mind totally alert. Maybe imagine a relaxing colour or warming currents moving through your body relaxing each individual muscle. Take the necessary period of time to do this - to get fully relaxed yet staying very alert.
Many people refer to this kind of trance state as focused relaxation. Many forms of mindful meditation get you in the same state - use whatever technique you find best to achieve a nice receptive state in your mind with your body nice and relaxed and still. As I have said in many previous editions of Adam Up, best not to do this lying on your bed because your unconscious mind associates lying on your bed with sleeping and you may subsequently keep drifting off to sleep every time you attempt this. You want to be acutely alert throughout this entire technique.
Once you have achieved a deeply relaxed yet alert physical and mental state, notice how it feels to be "inside" your body. Remember the last time that you looked into the mirror, recall exactly what you looked like from the outside and notice that your entire awareness is now inside that image. Notice the differences between being inside yourself and noticing yourself from the outside.
Step Two: In this nice receptive state, allow yourself to discover how it feels to "look" through your closed eyelids and how you can focus your attention on the world around you from "inside" your physical form.
Let me explain that a bit more - with your eyes closed, imagine the environment that you are in and imagine looking around it and exploring it from inside your mind. This is like oiling your mind, stretching it and beginning to get your perception to differentiate even further from being inside yourself and relating to what you have previously perceived outside of yourself.
Step Three: Really bring your awareness back inside yourself now, tune into your body and just imagine yourself gradually becoming smaller within your body.
Imagine that your body stays right in that beautifully comfortable position and you are getting smaller inside of it. With each of these steps, take the adequate and necessary amount of time to do this and really notice the differences in your perception and in your sensations. Be acutely aware at all time of what your experience truly is in each moment.
Step Four: Then, once again imagine your consciousness expanding out to fill the entire room.
Connect with the room or place around you, explore it and imagine pushing your awareness right out to fill every nook and cranny of the place. Become aware of the full expanse of the place you are in with your eyes remaining closed.
Step Five: When you have spent enough time doing that and really exploring pushing your consciousness out into the room, imagine yourself returning to your usual size, safely inside your body and take a deep breath. Quietly pay attention to the sounds and sensations that you associate with breathing. Connect with how you are.
Step Six: Now stay perfectly still and, as you exhale, imagine how it would feel to be a few centimetres above your physical form: imagine how it feels to be a tiny distance above your body. Imagine that you are simultaneously floating above your body and also looking up at your floating image from within your body. Allow yourself time to fully create these images in your mind. Then gradually begin moving your attention back and forth between the inside of your body and the point you envision a few centimetres above you.
Continue practicing until you're able to imagine floating above yourself for several minutes without straining. As with any physical and mental exercise, this takes patience, practice and time to get good at. Be persistent and stretch your brain and your imagination until you can do this for lengthier periods of time without having to strain too much.
Step Seven: Once you've accomplished this, then imagine your disembodied face looking back at your physical face, below. Practice focusing as little attention as possible on your body and as much as possible on the image of yourself floating above. Create as complete an image as possible until.-perhaps for only a moment at a time-detailed visual, sensory, and auditory impressions from this slightly altered perspective, so that the more you do it, the more it becomes vivid enough to seem real.
The sensation of looking back at your physical body from an independent location directly above it is one of the most basic and commonly reported forms of the out-of-body experience. Once you have achieved this perception, I recommend that you gradually shift your awareness back to the familiar sensations that you associate with your body. Tune in to your body in the position where it is. Wiggle your fingers and toes, go do something active and rigorous, have a snack and really get yourself grounded in reality - even consider going and doing something really mundane to tune into how it feels to be seated in reality!
Step Eight: After practicing this exercise, take a break for at least an hour. Then repeat the entire session from the beginning. But this time, maintain the image of floating for ten or fifteen minutes. Later, as you're lying in bed at the end of your day, imagine floating above your body as you fall asleep.
I also want to give you some additional steps when you are feeling advanced, only follow these steps when you have really become good, fluent and practiced with the previous steps for a few days and practiced a few evenings prior to sleeping:
Step Nine: For this exercise, use the same comfortable location you used for the first 7 steps and make sure you are going to be undisturbed. Lie down and induce a state of self-hypnosis, trance, meditative relaxation or whatever works best for you. As soon as you feel deeply relaxed, concentrate on the sounds and internal sensations that you associate with breathing, and once more tune in to the external world from "within" your body.
Step Ten: This time, instead of imagining that you're floating directly above your body, focus your attention on a specific location across the room. Imagine your awareness moving away from your body toward that slightly distant part of your environment.
Now imagine that you're a point of consciousness floating on the other side of the room, and that you're looking back at your body from this new and more remote perspective. Take time to allow this perception to form in your imagination, create and construct it patiently. Your mind may not be used to this kind of thing, so some of the mental cogs may be a bit rusty with this kind of exercise. Focus on this imagined experience in your mind's eye, do your best to capture the details with input from all five of your senses - notice the images, sounds, feelings, tastes and smells.
Step Eleven: After a few minutes of doing this, shift your focus to a completely different part of your immediate environment. Allow the details of this new location to fully form in your imagination as the impressions associated with the earlier location slowly dissolve. Maintain this new focus for several minutes before gradually shifting your attention back to your body.
So basically, you are now pin pointing locations in your immediate environment with your eyes closed, using your imagination and creating images of yourself being there. Then you are moving between the two positions and altering the perception and stretching your awareness and perception. The more you do it, the more you tune in to the sensations of what it is like to really be in that place and the more likely it is to be an out-of-body experience.
As you perform this exercise, take the time to create images that are as vivid as possible. The more detailed your images, the more likely you will be to have an OBE.
After practicing this exercise, break for thirty minutes or more. Then, if you feel like it, repeat this exercise and continue to focus your perceptions at increasingly greater distances from your body. You may repeat this procedure up to three successive times. Remember, no matter how many times you repeat this exercise, patiently take all the necessary time, the results are diminished when you rush. Have some fun, practice this real beginners technique to having out-of-body experiences.
Have a go at really getting metaphysical and see how your perception of the world and of yourself can really be altered when you separate your mind and body in this way.
Adam is a best selling author, consultant and speaker please visit his website for a vast range of personal development resources and to receive your free, instantly downloadable hypnosis session and amazing ebook: http://www.adam-eason.com
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
By Adam Eason