by Julia Jablonski
First I want to again recommend Bob Peterson's book. He recommends different exercises with each chapter, and obviously his own exercises are not copied here.
There are four main types of exercises I use when trying to induce an obe. They are:
In addition to these I also use prayer at the beginning of my practice. Below I describe a typical practice session.
I begin by laying down on my bed with the door closed, a pillow under my knees (as my chiropractor recommends!) and a comforter over me. Most authorities on astral travel recommend that you find a place where you will be undisturbed, but as I usually practice during my toddler's naptime while my son is at school I do not turn off the phone and of course I must be available for the baby. I tell myself that if my children need me I will return immediately to my body, and if I get interrupted (as I often do) at an inopportune moment I can pick up my practice at a later time. (There are many years of solitude ahead of me, and very few when my children are small, after all. :)
I take a few moments to ground myself *in* my body, to relax into myself at the moment at this particular place and time. I then usually say a prayer that goes something like this:
"Dear God/dess, Creator, Angels and Guides from the Light: [I figure that about covers it!] I pray that I may leave my body in order to (fill in the blank...perhaps meet a spirit teacher, meet a departed loved one, travel to see someone else on the earth plane, etc...). Please help me and protect me in this endeavor!"
I then visualize myself surrounded with white light, and as I focus in on this light I become absorbed in the beauty of this energy and often have some wondrous visions and feelings of peace.
RELAXATION: I then begin to focus on my feet, and in a typical relaxation exercise I move through my body from toe to head stretching, clenching and then relaxing each body part. I visualize energy swirling through each part of my body releasing tension.
ENERGY BALANCING: I then cleanse, balance and charge my chakras. (See Chakra Cleansing).
MIND CONTROL: I then use a technique I adapted years ago from the Silva Mind Control teachings to put my body to sleep. In my mind I say: "I'm going to count down from 3 to 1, visualizing each number on a white orb suspended in the air above my head, and when I reach the third and final "1" my body will be asleep and I will have no awareness of physical sensations. I will not perceive any physical discomfort, and my consciousness will be focused on my astral body."
I then visualize a white orb suspended in the air above my head. When I am mentally well-focused on the orb I visualize a number "3" on the face of the orb. The numbers can be any color I choose. At one time I began with the color blue, then yellow, then red, for each of the numbers, but now I use black. The important thing is to create a pattern, for I am training my brain to react the way I desire whenever I perform this sequence. This is the heart of the power of ritual!
I visualize the 3 three times: three number "3's" on the orb. "My body is completely relaxed, becoming numb. I am losing awareness of physical sensation."
I then repeat the visualization with three number "2's." "My body is asleep now. I feel no sensations, no discomfort. I will now visualize the "1's." When I am finished, I will have no awareness of physical sensations. My consciousness will be in my astral body."
I then visualize the "1's" three times. "My body is now completely asleep. I have no awareness of physcial sensations. My consciousness is in my astral body."
The benefit of training my mind this way is that I can greatly accelerate the process of transferring my awareness away from the physical body. Each time I practice this the programming becomes a little bit stronger, and now I can visualize the numbers and have my body asleep in two or three minutes (usually!).
FOCUS: Once I'm in this state I try to clear my mind by focusing on my breath, or the tip of my tongue, or any one thing. The key is to remain conscious while my body is asleep. Naturally, all sorts of thoughts pull me from the focus, but I return as soon as I notice I've strayed to my concentration on one thing. My obe's have occurred after a period of focus when my mind has drifted and has been on the verge of sleep. This is when I have awakened to find myself either out of the body or when the "surges" have come on. I often doze off when beginning practice, but take it up again when I wake by focusing my attention and trying to remain conscious while my body sleeps.
We encourage you to visit Julia Jablonski's website, MuseNet.