Learn How to Project at Will
authored by Julia Jablonski, 1998
Over the years, I've been surprised by the amount of mail I receive [at my website, MuseNet] with questions about astral projection. I've learned a lot from my own experiments and from corresponding with others about what works and what challenges arise. One of the greatest things I've learned is that this is not like driving a car; there is not one set of rules for the road that applies to everyone.
It's important to experiment and to forge one's own path when exploring spiritual phenomena. One person may swear by a certain technique that others find very frustrating and ineffective. With this in mind, I'm going to focus primarily on the basics that most techniques have in common. For more refined exercises, there are many interesting books on the topic of out of body experiences. I recommend Bob Peterson's book, Out of Body Experiences: How to Have them and What to Expect. Visit Bob's site
The most common question I'm asked about astral projection is if I'm scared to do it, and if not, why not? This assumes that there is something to be afraid of. It is my belief that there is nothing to be afraid of, and my experiences have born this out. There is no need to surround yourself with white light (for there's nothing that can harm you anyway). Simply set your intention on a positive, enlightening and joyful experience, and if this is your focus, this is what you'll attract. Astral life is much more immediately responsive to our thoughts and feelings. So long as you are not afraid, there is nothing to fear. (Concurrently, if you are afraid, it's wise to channel your energies into other experiences that you expect to enjoy). If you're afraid and you want to learn to project, my recommendation is to develop a regular meditation practice for a few months before trying. Such a practice should have a dramatic effect on resolving such fear.
In undertaking any new challenge, it's wise to commit oneself to trying to achieve the goal until success is attained, or at least for a certain period of time. Many people seem to give up on trying to project very quickly. It was relatively very easy for me to get out of the body purposely the first time, and it took me three weeks of daily practice. (That's at least an hour a day, seven days a week). Remember also that simply practicing to try to get out can have a dramatic and positive impact on your life. The quiet meditative state that one works with in trying to astral project leads to an expansion of consciousness and often the development of psychic abilities, as well as greater serenity and ease in one's life.
Before you begin, set your intention. It may even help to write your intention out on paper. It may look something like this: "I intend to develop the ability to consciously leave my body at will. I know that this will be a life-enhancing and wonderful experience, and that as others have learned to do this, so can I! I aim to develop better understanding of the nature of life and consciousness, and to develop a greater knowledge of myself and "God" or the Universe. I know that all I do comes back to me, and so I always strive to act with love and integrity."
* Quiet place to practice
One of the most important ingredients to successfully getting out of the body is a quiet place where you can practice without fear of interruptions. A bedroom is often a good choice, and it's wise to try to create a time when children or others are not likely to be knocking on the door. Turn off the phone and turn down the answering machine. Lock the door. If you're home alone, it's even better. It's important that you feel free to go exploring, otherwise you'll tend to want to stay close to or in your body.
* Wakeful mind/sleeping body
Another essential ingredient to successful astral projection is the cultivation of an alert state of consciousness while the body is asleep. This may sound easy, but it's a very unusual state to be in. It requires great effort to keep one's mind awake while the body goes beyond deep relaxation into the full paralysis of sleep. It's because this state is so rare that out of body experiences aren't common every day occurrences. Of course, I believe we do leave our bodies frequently, it's just rare that we're conscious of doing it!
While one is alert, it's also important to be in a very objective state of mind. Meditation also helps one to develop this impartial observer within. Judgments by the mind tend to snap one out of alpha (meditative) brain wave patterns and back into beta (waking) patterns. "Wow, I think it's happening!" is such a judgment, and even "This is cool!" can break the flow. It's almost like trying not to think of the color yellow when someone says, "Don't think of the color yellow!" When you develop the ability to simply observe the process, it tends to unfold more easily.
I believe that the main difference between people who achieve the ability to astral project and those who don't is discipline. It takes discipline to keep practicing every day, especially when one is getting frustrated. It takes discipline to not move one's body to scratch an itch once the body is deeply relaxed. It takes discipline to remain awake when sleep wants to steal over the mind like a cozy blanket.
A deeply relaxed body is the foundation of an out of body experience. Go to that quiet place where you won't be interrupted. Make sure to use the bathroom before beginning (as mother advises before every journey!) and make sure you're not hungry or thirsty. The physical needs of the body must be taken care of before you begin.
Read your intention to yourself again. Visualize a successful and exhilarating experience. You might even imagine yourself writing me here at the magazine saying "I did it! It worked!" Lay down so that your spine is straight. It's often helpful to lie on the floor without a pillow. If there's no carpeting, lay on a mat or blanket. Lying on the floor is less likely to lead to sleep. You might put a pillow under the knees if this is more comfortable for the lower back. Cover yourself with a light blanket if necessary.
Take a moment to re-center yourself in your body. Feel the whole of your body, your weight on the floor, from the tips of your toes to the tips of your fingers. Become aware of your breath as you inhale and exhale. Awaken to the moment of your time/space reality. At this point it's wise to remember your intention, and to remind yourself of where you want to go or what kind of experience you want to have. Often, once one is out of the body, it's hard to remember any plans that might have been made before getting out. (I've spent several out of body experiences just jumping up and down, touching my bedroom ceiling, which I was perfectly content to do endlessly while out of the body, but which I kicked myself for later). Decide that you will remember when you get out of the body what your plans are.
Beginning with your toes and working up, flex and then release each part of your body. The more time and energy you put into this exercise, the more deeply relaxed you are likely to be when you complete it. Flex, relax, and imagine energy swirling through like a whirlpool, washing away all tension, leaving a very deep and filling sensation of peace. When the entire body has been relaxed, then imagine your body growing lighter with each and every inhale. At this point it's wise to begin ignoring all itches and desires to move. Sometimes there is a compulsion to move a part of the body. If you can transcend this, it often leads immediately into interesting experiences. As you imagine yourself growing lighter with each breath, you're likely to begin to lose awareness of the physical body. This is perfect. You may even at this point begin to leave your body.
Through mind control techniques (or neurolinguistic programming) we can lay a "track" in the mind that will expedite processes we want to be able to repeat with ease. In this way, we can create a short sequence that will take us from awake and alert into this deep relaxation state very quickly. Using the method described above, this whole relaxation process might take a half an hour or more. Using a technique such as Silva Mind Control or neurolinguistic programming, we can shorten this period to a few minutes. For more information on how to apply this specifically to astral projection, check out the exercise [at my website, MuseNet] under Astral Projection.
Now that you're deeply physically relaxed, it's important to remain conscious. The more objective and clear you can get your mind, the faster or more likely you are to leave your body. Try at this time focusing on your breath rising and falling, or on the sensations at the tip of your tongue. It may also help to simply envision whiteness. A blank mind is the goal. You may find yourself drifting in and out of consciousness, on the verge of sleep. This state at the edge of sleep is precisely what you're aiming for. If you can hang out in this state long enough, you'll begin to feel "vibrations" or surges of energy. These may begin at any point in your body. For some people they sweep down from the top of the head. For others, they sweep up from the feet and then back down. The first few times you experiences this, you may be so amazed by this ecstatic energy feeling that you pop your mind right back up to full waking consciousness. This will stop the waves of energy from continuing. If you can remain relaxed and clear your mind again, you will probably be able to go right back to the vibrations.
These waves of energy will wash over you, and then you may feel a swelling feeling and lift out of the body, or you may "pop" out in any number of ways. Many people say they leave through the top of the head, others say they leave through the third chakra. For me, I just lifted straight out; there was no definite point of departure. You may hear loud noises, which may be like loud music or static. You may hear or sense a loud "pop" when you leave the body, or you may just "puff" out. It is likely that at some point in your practices, you will "feel" something interacting with your astral body. Many times as I've meditated or practiced I've felt someone or something seemingly "working on" my aura or astral body, usually around my head. Try to just observe this.
When the waves or vibrations do come on, try visualizing yourself up at the ceiling. Imagine what it would be like to touch the ceiling. This will often cause one to lift out at this point.
Experiment with variations on this basic exercise. If you're still having trouble getting out after several weeks of practice, try programming yourself to "wake up" while out of the body in the night. Tell yourself before you go to bed that when you are out of the body that night, you will wake and become fully conscious of what is going on, and will remember all of this in the morning.
You might also try asking Spirit or loving guides for assistance in getting out of the body. Here it's important to set your intention as follows:
"Spirit of love and light! Teachers and guides, positive entities in the non-physical. It is my aim to achieve conscious inducement of an out of body experience. I pray for your help in this matter!" I've had reports of some very interesting experiences using this request, all positive.
There are lots of interesting resources for more information on astral projection on the net. My own personal experiences [can be found at my site] under Astral Projection. Again, I recommend Bob Peterson's book. You can try searching the net for "astral projection," "out of body experience" or "OOBE." If you undertake this exercise, send me a letter and share your experiences!
Contact the Author
We encourage you to visit Julia Jablonski's website, MuseNet.