Problem 5: I Can't Get The Vibrations
by Bob Peterson
This is part 5 in a series of articles I wrote to help you solve problems inducing the out-of-body state. Here are links to the previous four articles in the series:
- Problem 1: Nothing Happens
- Problem 2: I Just Fall Asleep
- Problem 3: The Vibrations Just Fade
- Problem 4: I Get Scared and Chicken Out
In this article I'd like to focus on another common problem: You can't seem to get the vibrations no matter how hard you try.
First of all, let me just say the vibrations are different for everyone, and they can even vary from instance to instance. To some people they feel like touching a live electric wire: disrupting, electrical and almost painful. Other people feel them as a loud, roaring, rushing or hissing noise. Some even find them stimulating, soothing, arousing or even orgasmic. The important thing is: some people don't feel them at all; they are completely undetectable. That means you may experience the vibrations and not even know it.
The flip side of that coin is: the vibrations may not even be needed to leave your body. Many people leave their body without getting the vibrations at all, or at least they haven't noticed them.
When I first started having OBEs in the early 1980s, the vibrations felt rough and electrical, but as time went on they got smoother, almost nonexistent. Still, after all these years I get the full-intensity vibrations every once in a while (like every couple years) and it surprises me.
So if you can't get the vibrations, don't sweat it. It means very little.
I suspect maybe the vibrations are a physical-body phenomenon, similar to a mild seizure, or maybe the brain's interpretation of when it's flooded with sleep paralysis hormones. And maybe we only notice it if we have full-body awareness when we exit the body rather than becoming conscious after we exit.
At any rate, here are some ideas to help you get the vibrations:
Some astral projection teachers use energy exercises to induce or "call" the vibrations. The idea is: instead of performing out-of-body exit techniques, you relax and simply perform energy exercises. Robert Bruce and other authors recommend the microcosmic orbit used in Tai Chi and Qi Gong, where you visualize non-physical energy flowing like a river through your body in a circle, starting at the Dan Tien (belly button chakra) downward to the root chakra, back up the spine to the crown chakra, then back down to your Dan Tien again.
Other teachers recommend "Velo" (Voluntary Energetic Longitudinal Oscillation) and similar techniques where you try to develop a harmonic resonance with a disc of non-physical energy sweeping your entire body from your feet up to your head, and back down. Nanci Trivellato's book Vibrational State and Energy Resonance is 494 pages devoted to this technique and how to do it properly. If done properly, it can bring you the vibrations.
Another popular energy exercise is Kundalini, in which you visualize a stream of energy flowing from the Earth up to your root chakra, up your spine, exiting out through the crown chakra. I've never practiced kundalini yoga, but I've read stern warnings not to do it without proper guidance of a competent guru. You've been warned.
One of the most important contributions from Michael Raduga is the concept of OBE "technique cycling." Technique cycling is where you lie down, fully relaxed, and try for a few seconds (like maybe ten seconds) to use one OBE exit technique. For example, let's just say imagined rocking. If you've made no progress after ten seconds, switch to a different exit technique (say, phantom wiggling) and try that for another ten seconds. If there's still no progress, switch to a third exit technique (say, imagined floating.) If none of these three exit techniques induce the vibrations, start over with your original technique (imagined rocking). It's best to cycle through a small number of pre-selected techniques. If you try to think of different exit techniques to try, or select too many techniques your brain will engage too much. You should try to keep your mind as silent as possible, and keep it as simple and possible. Raduga suggests three.
On rare occasions I have gotten the vibrations while meditating to music with my headphones on. It has always been when the music elicits a state of connection; it brings me into the zone. It's almost like the concept of a Koan in Zen Buddhism, a concept designed to jar your consciousness out of its normal pattern and bring you to a state of grace (like the sound of one hand clapping). In my case I've gotten the vibrations while listening to these songs:
- Close to the Edge by Yes
- Awaken by Yes
- Ritual by Yes
- And You and I by Yes (Is there a theme here?)
- Cygnus X-1 by Rush
- Echoes by Pink Floyd
- Ashes Are Burning by Renaissance
In 2019 I wrote a blog article titled Harnessing Unfamiliarity. It is about how you should break your routines and try new things for your OBE practice: new locations, new beds, new directions. It can help.
Use Wake-Back-To-Bed (WBTB)
It may be easier to induce the vibrations if you use the Wake-Back-To-Bed (WBTB) technique. Again, this is one of the key concepts of Michael Raduga. For more detailed instructions, read this article from my blog:
The idea here is to interrupt your sleep after 6 hours (typically) with an alarm. Once your sleep is interrupted, stay awake for a brief period of time, then go back to bed and perform out-of-body exit techniques: the technique cycling I mentioned earlier. Many people find they can induce the vibrations easier when they practice after interrupted sleep.
Harness Your Fear
In 2017 I wrote an article for this blog about Turning the Tables On Fear. Part of the article was about how to use your fear to induce out-of-body experiences.
A couple years later I had a nightmare in which I was being attacked by a horrifying demonic monster, and I woke up with a start. In a way, this was a form of WBTB because the nightmare startled me awake.
Realizing it had just been a dream, I lay back down in bed and did an experiment. I visualized the monster's face, and as I did, a cold shiver ran through my body. As I focused on the monster, the shiver quickly developed into a mild form of the vibrations. I knew I could easily drop into an out-of-body state, but I hesitated: What if the monster was real and waiting for me on the other side? So I pulled myself back to full-body awareness and the vibrations faded away.
Just for fun, I visualized the monster's face again, and the vibrations came back. Now it became a challenge and a game! I spent about 10 minutes just pulling myself out of the vibrations and back in, just by visualizing the monster's face. I must have done it 10 times in a row. Eventually I got tired, gave up, and went back to a normal sleep with no more nightmares.
Hopefully this article gave you ideas to get you to the vibrational state, and from there fully to the out-of-body experience. If you have more techniques to call the vibrations, send me an email and I'll do a follow-up article.
24 January 2022
If you have ideas for blog articles related to astral projection and out-of-body experiences, send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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