How to Focus Your Mind For OBEs
by Bob Peterson
Someone recently asked me, "What's the right frame of mind to induce OBEs? What kind of mindset should I have?" It's an excellent question and one that requires a lot of attention. It's kind of hard to explain. I wrote three different chapters of my second book, Lessons Out of the Body, on the subject. They were:
- Chapter 22. "How OBE is Like Tightrope Walking"
- Chapter 26. "Keys for Inducing an OBE", and
- Chapter 28. "State of Mind Required to Induce an OBE"
Of the three, only chapter 26 is available on my website (see link above). But since Lessons is out of print and hard to find, I thought I'd draw on those chapters for this article.
Focus versus concentration
Inducing an OBE requires focus, and lots of it. It's like walking a tightrope. You need to stay focused on the goal and getting there. That's different from "concentration." A tightrope walker doesn't "concentrate" on getting to the other side. He or she does has the intense focus required to balance and keep moving forward to achieve the goal. He or she doesn't look down. He or she doesn't worry or even think about falling. They have a focus free of distractions, single-minded, goal-oriented and pointed in one direction. That's what you want for an OBE.
Shut out distractions
To attain an OBE you cannot be nervous, anxious, afraid, or sleepy. You cannot be distracted by bodily needs or cravings like hunger, thirst, and itches. You can't anticipate the future or dwell on the past. You cannot distracted by alerts on your phone, text messages, emails, excessive noises or other attention-grabbers. In fact, it's probably best if you put your phone in "Do not disturb" or airplane mode when you practice. Your attention needs to be completely focused inward, in the present moment. You need to shut out the external world and focus completely on internal events.
Reduced thoughts and feelings
You can't be distracted by your own thoughts, like "Am I doing this right?" "How long should I do this before I give up?" "What should I eat for dinner?" "If I'm successful, what could happen?" You need to let all that go, relax your mind (and body) and focus on doing one thing: pointing your mind in that single direction.
You shouldn't be emotional, either positive or negative. Frank Herbert, author of the Dune books famously wrote, "Fear is the mind killer." Fear is also the OBE-killer. You should not be sad or happy, anxious or elated, fearful or brave. In fact, you should aim to just "stare off into space" with a blank mind. You should strive to be "the dispassionate watcher" instead of a "doer": Just watch and see what happens next. That's what many authors describe as a "trance."
Don't aim to "do" an OBE technique as much as to "watch" what unfolds when you slow down and focus your mind inward.
Absorption is the ability to shut out external influences to remain focused. For example, you can be "absorbed" in a book, like when you become so engrossed in reading that you don't even notice someone talking to you. Try to become so absorbed in your OBE technique that you don't notice external stimuli like noises.
Watch and own hypnagogic images
One of my favorite techniques is to approach the edge of sleep and wait for hypnagogic images (hallucinations)
to start drifting past your mind's eye. This will happen even if you're terrible at visualization: you just need to remain conscious long enough to see it. Watch those hypnagogic images dispassionately, but never lose focus on them. Never
play "what if" with them or you'll get sucked down into sleep.
to assume ownership of the images. If you see a baseball bat, tell
yourself "It's my baseball bat." If you see a bowl of soup, tell
yourself, "It's my bowl of soup." If you see an Imperial Battle cruiser, tell yourself, "It's my battle cruiser." Try to examine the object closely for as many details as you can and, if possible, imagine touching it and feeling its texture. Do this for any hypnagogic image until it
disappears, disintegrates or fades away, then wait for the next one to appear. The longer you do this, the more solid and real the images will seem.
RealismTry to develop this sense of realism. In other words, try to convince yourself that the things you see in your mind's eye (whether they're imaginary or hypnagogic hallucinations) are real. Tell yourself they're real, even though you know for sure they're not. The more
"real" you make the hypnagogic image seem, the more your brain turns its
attention away from your body's five senses, and that is the key to
getting out-of-body: You need to trick your mind into letting go of its
stubborn "in-the-body story of experience."
Once your mind lets go of the "in-the-body story of experience" you will either pop right into the out-of-body state or the vibrations will sweep into your body.
One you're fully out-of-body, you will experience the OBE state in real time. You then stop all pretending, stop all visualizations, stop all hypnagogic hallucinations, stop all use of your imagination. Often the images will stop automatically and you'll be "zapped" into a hyper-aware state of focused consciousness.
From that point, simply sit up, stand up, or otherwise try to leave the bed (or chair) the same way you would physically. If you're in the right state, your physical body should be in sleep paralysis and not move at all. Your non-physical (or "astral") body will be the focus of your experience. From there, simply go out there and explore the out-of-body state.
11 January 2022
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, where you'll find lots of other free OBE advice and links.
Very good article Bob! A great summary and strait to the pointReplyDelete
Great guidelines. Regarding the imagery I never make the distinction of not being real. Everything that is information exists and can be thought as real. As there is a differentiation between a dark spot and a light spot with eyes opened, there is a differentiation with eyes closed. Bits are bits. Information is fundamental.ReplyDelete