Relaxation Techniques for OBEs
To induce an out-of-body experience, you need to turn your focus completely inward, away from the physical senses, and you can't do that if there's any tension in your physical body. So quick and deep relaxation is of paramount importance. Many books ignore or under-emphasize this important step. In this article I will share some relaxation techniques you can use while inducing OBEs.
Progressive Relaxation Technique
Almost all technique-oriented OBE books recommend that you use “progressive relaxation.” It's almost cliche'. With this technique, you systematically work (or progress) from your feet to your head and relax the muscles of each body part, one at a time. Many books recommend that as you focus on each body part, you briefly tense the muscles then let them go. In other words, (optionally tense and) relax your feet, then forget about them. Then (optionally tense and) relax your calves, then forget about them. Then move to your hamstrings, etc. Eventually make your way up your torso, systematically relaxing each body part. Many books spend extra time relaxing the individual muscles in your head and face because we hold so much tension there: separately relax your neck muscles, jaw muscles, cheeks, forehead, and so on. Then go back to the start and verify they're all still relaxed.
It's effective, especially for beginners, but it has a down side: it's slow and it turns your focus, at least temporarily, to the physical body you're trying to exit. I tend to use other methods like these:
I think of this as "pseudo-VELO" because it reminds me of the IAC's "VELO" energy movement technique. "VELO" is an acronym that stands for "Voluntary Energetic Longitudinal Oscillation." It's a technique in which you imagine a "plane" (almost like a round cutting board made of psychic energy) or "slice" of soothing, pulsing energy sweeping up and down your body repeatedly. Or imagine your body is enclosed inside a big tube with energy pulsing up and down the entire length, slicing through your body. Eventually you try to build a kind of harmonic resonance with the sweeping energy wave. (Author Nanci Trivellato wrote a nearly 500 page book that devotes a lot of time explaining the technique, so I can't possibly explain all its subtleties here; sorry.)
My "pseudo-VELO" relaxation is similar to VELO, but instead of energy, you imagine a "plane" of soothing relaxation traveling up and down the tube. As the plane slices through your body, it relaxes all the muscles it touches.
Hospital Blankets Technique
If you've ever had surgery, you know the operating rooms are kept cold to prevent bacteria and disease from growing. To keep patients warm, though, the assistants drape them with a comfortable but very warm (or even hot) blanket.
This relaxation technique is similar. I just lie down and imagine a nice warm soothing hospital blanket is being draped over my body, filling it with relaxation. I imagine the blanket pervades and melts into my entire body, like sugar in coffee. As soon as the blanket melts into my body, another blanket is draped on me, followed by another, so I have a continual supply of nice warm blankets of relaxation. This has become my favorite relaxation technique lately. It's fast and effective.
Optimizing Practice Time
The easiest way to achieve complete relaxation is simply to perform your OBE exit techniques when you first wake up, before you move any muscles. At that time you're already completely relaxed and don't need to do anything. This takes advantage of your body's natural state. You can do it when you first wake up in the morning, or take a short nap, then practice when you awaken. It can be difficult to remember not to move your muscles right away, but you can learn it with a little practice.
Although it's uncommon in the literature, another trick--at least if you're a man--is masturbation. Orgasm can cause an instant feeling of relaxation. Author Salvatore Caesar Scordato recommends this in his book You Can Fly. Michael Raduga also gives a "Sex Technique" in his book The Phase that leverages this fact. Although I've never studied it, I suspect that the ancient Indian Kama Sutra also hinges on this fact.
The Importance of "Speedy" Relaxation
The "speed" at which you relax may also be important. In his book Practical Techniques of Astral Projection, Dr. Douglas M. Baker writes that relaxation:
"...must be done rapidly; as rapidly as you might have done at the end of that long drive in your automobile! It is just as if your body is a sack of corn that is suddenly thrown on the floor."In their book How Enlightenment Changes Your Brain, neuroscientists Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman emphasize that many mystical experiences and "enlightenment experiences" are associated with a rapid drop in neural activity to the brain's prefrontal cortex, and quick relaxation is also associated with it. This need for quick relaxation is also mentioned by Darryl Berry in his book Travel Far in which he gives a technique where you change body positions, or "asanas" (yogic body positions) frequently. With his "Relax-Move" technique you relax then switch positions, then relax again, and repeat. This trains you how to relax as quickly as possible.
Another note about rapid relaxation: Michael Raduga also says you shouldn't waste a lot of time relaxing: the more time you spend on relaxation, the less you can devote to doing the actual OBE exit techniques.
So go out and practice quick and thorough relaxation, and then you'll be ready to perform your preferred OBE exit techniques.
18 Feb 2020