Tuesday, February 13, 2018

"I Can't Seem to Focus My Mind"

"I Can't Seem to Focus My Mind"

By Bob Peterson
(Image by Victorgrigas - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28921827)

I hear this a lot: "I can't seem to focus my mind. Do you have any suggestions?"

In order to self-induce an out-of-body experience from a conscious state (as opposed to transitioning from lucid dreaming, etc.), you need to focus your mind down into a tiny pinpoint of awareness. It's like the old Zen Buddhist saying: "We cannot see our reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see." So you need to learn how to turn off all the noisy thoughts in your head.

In my first book, I called it "quiescing" the mind. It starts with eliminating all the monkey-chatter inside your head and ends in crystal clear focus. But how do you do that? It's similar to concentration, but with concentration, you're directing your mind to a specific task: It's what neuro-scientists call "goal-directed task" thinking. What I mean by "focus" is not as goal-directed. Sure, your goal is to achieve an OBE, but it's more like shutting down and eliminating all thoughts and feelings until you become just an observer, and nothing more. Someone like Eckhart Tolle might call it "Being" instead of "Doing."

I often describe it this way: Ordinarily, your mind--or conscious awareness--is like a balloon, but instead of air, it's filled with thoughts and feelings. Trying to achieve an OBE is like trying to get that balloon to the other side of a huge impenetrable brick wall that's missing one brick: The only way to get to the other side is to deflate the balloon (reduce the number of thoughts and feelings) so it can fit through the hole. At the same time, it's also important not to let your mind wander (lose focus), or you'll simply fall asleep.

Here are two techniques I often use to clear and focus my mind into the proper state:

"A Sound is About to Play" Technique

This is the primary focusing technique I've taught in OBE classes (don't get your hopes up: I've only taught a few in the last 25 years). The idea is to pretend that an important sound is about to play, and so you listen for it intently. For example, if there is a flash of lightning, you might expect to hear the rumble of thunder within the next minute. 

Sometimes in my classes, I would dramatically turn on a sound system (like a boom box, PA system / Tannoy, etc.), point to the music app on my phone (or other device) and say, "I'm about to play a sound for you, so close your eyes and listen." But then I wouldn't play anything. I'd just let them sit there for about a minute until they got suspicious.

The point is: When you listen intently, you tend to focus your mind and shut out most of the stray thoughts. So just pretend to listen for a sound, with no expectations. That's non-goal-directed focus.

The Thick Line-to-Dot Technique

AKA The "Television Turn Off" Technique

Lately, I've been using a new technique to focus my mind. I call it the Thick Line to Dot technique. What I do is this:
  1. Try to focus my mind entirely to visualize a thick white line on a black background. It doesn't matter if the line is vertical or horizontal. The line is maybe a foot and a half (half meter) long, and an inch (2cm) wide. (Note that this is a two-dimensional object because it has length and width). The line is just sitting out in front of you a couple of yards/meters.
  2. Hold that visualization stable for about 20 seconds.
  3. Pretend that the line narrows until it's very thin.
  4. Hold that visualization stable for about 20 seconds.
  5. Pretend that the line shrinks in length until it is only a single dot. (Note: You can think of this as a no-dimensional object, since it has neither width nor length.)
  6. Hold that visualization stable for about 20 seconds.
  7. Pretend that the dot slowly shrinks into nothingness and finally disappears until it's absolutely nothing, so you're left with a blank visualization, staring into nothingness.
I also call this the "Television Turn Off" technique because to me, this is like a much slower and longer version of this video of an old fashioned television turn-off effect.

Moving Through The Wall Without Trying

There's one more important key to this puzzle. At this point, you might be asking yourself, "How am I supposed to get my balloon (of awareness) through the hole in the brick wall if my mind is completely quiesced and not goal-directed?" That's where your subconscious enters into the equation.

Before you perform these mind focusing exercises, take about fifteen seconds to do these two things:

Step 1: Relax your body completely and try to just forget about it

Step 2: Pretend your non-physical body is floating weightlessly

Pretend your non-physical body is floating weightlessly inside your physical body, like gentle waves on a lake that never stop, or like a bottle half-filled with water that is rocking back and forth, causing the water inside to slosh around.

Step 3: Pretend and affirm that this floating will continue forever

Tell yourself that this gentle weightless floating will continue always, no matter what; even if you fall asleep.

Step 4: Perform one of the focusing techniques above.

What should happen is that your awareness should shrink to a tiny size, and the affirmed gentle rocking/sloshing should give you momentum to leave the body. What often happens to me is that as my mind shrinks, the rocking tends to increase automatically until I'm in propelled into the out-of-body state.

Bob Peterson
13 February 2018

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Bob I am going to try this. I have been "stuck" and unable to "get out" for about 6 months. I used to obe at least once or twice a weak and now not at all. Here's what happens is i get relaxed either for an afternoon nap or a wkts and as soon as i get vibrations and i know i will be transitioning out everything just stops. As fast as a light switch turns off. No vibrations. And if I lay still just as i had been doing to get to this point it never comes back. I'm not sure what has changed but old methods dont work. So i am glad your here and i have read a lot of your writings and enjoy them as im sure most people do. Thank you. Please keep it up!