I’ve been having intentional out of body experiences (OBEs) for about a year and a half. Ever since I had my first experience by accident, I had become obsessed with trying to recreate the experience learn all about it. I read everything I could get my hands on. I watched countless tutorials and tried all sorts of different techniques. It took me several weeks of daily practice to finally have one intentionally. It was amazing, exhilarating, and totally mind-blowing. I didn’t know such a thing was possible!
Read about one of my craziest experiences or listen to my interview on the Glimpse of Brilliance podcast.
TL;DR – If you want the skinny without reading this massive wall of text, try this: Set your alarm for 4 hours after you go to bed. Busy yourself for 15 minutes and go back to bed. Try to stay aware as you drift off to sleep. When your body starts buzzing with energy, stay still, let go and relax. Let your “self” fall through the bed or float up. You are now out of body! If it doesn’t happen, do it again the next night. And the next. It takes practice!
Read on for more explanation:
So what is an out of body experience?
Whether it’s called astral projection, OBEs, or lucid dreaming, it’s one of those things that you don’t really know if it’s true until you experience it for yourself. You may hear someone claim they had an OBE or read about people having an NDE (near death experience). The stories range from “I suddenly found myself floating above my body in bed” to “I flew through the universe, spoke to God, and got all the answers to life’s biggest questions.”
It’s all about consciousness. Is there one reality that everyone experiences? Or does each person experience their own reality inside their heads? Where do we go when we dream? Why does it feel real until we wake up? What is reality anyway?
Some people are skeptical if OBEs are real or are a just a “trick of the mind.” You can debate about this all day but the point is to try to experience it for yourself and come up with your own answers. Whether it’s “real” or not doesn’t matter. What matters is that you definitely experience something completely extraordinary. It will leave you questioning everything you thought was possible.
Why would you WANT to have an out of body experience?
I didn’t realize I wanted to have an OBE until after I already had one. Once I experienced it, I knew it was something I wanted to keep exploring. But what’s the point? Why keep exploring? What am I ultimately after? To put it simply, to have direct experience of spiritual and metaphysical concepts. Instead of reading, trusting, or having faith in what you’ve been told by religions, science, or gurus about the nature of reality, you can experience it for yourself. Instead of endlessly seeking answers in books or belief systems, you can use dreams, astral travel, or OBEs as a learning tool or playground of consciousness.
Instead of looking “out there” for answers about spirituality, metaphysics, God, Heaven, angels, demons, aliens, ETs, faeries, spirits, ghosts, psychic powers, telepathy, remote viewing, or any of that stuff, you can experience non-physical reality for yourself. Now, depending on your belief system or current worldview, results may certainly vary! But the potential is infinite.
You may have heard the phrase, “we are spiritual beings having a physical experience.” This is just one way, albeit a very dramatic way, of experiencing this for yourself.
How do you have an OBE?
I’m going to cut to the chase and tell you the method that works well for me. I call it my “fuck it” method. The reason I call it that is because I tried lots of other techniques and when they didn’t work, I said “fuck it” and rolled over and went to sleep. Then after I stopped caring or trying, I ended up having one. So there you go!
The Wake Back to Bed method
This method was adapted from the popular WBTB method. This was the one that helped me the most!
Let me first say something really important. It’s not necessarily the technique, it’s more about your mindset and effort. To have an OBE you must first have an open mind. Be open to the possibility of their being more to reality than what you experience with your five senses. The second thing is effort and practice. If you put in time every single day to thinking about, learning about, and practicing, you’ll be more likely to experience something. Many people try haphazardly and give up and say it doesn’t work. Some people try for weeks and months and years off and on and still never had one. I can’t explain why it comes easy to some people and harder to others.
Get rid of any judgements, stereotypes, or misconceptions. If you believe you can do it, you are more likely to do it. If you believe you can’t or it’s not real, then you’ll likely have a harder time. Just allow for the possiblity to exist in your mind. What have you got to lose? Don’t get attached to any outcome or expectation. And finally, don’t take MY word for it, I’m just sharing what I know. I certainly don’t have all the answers! Try this out for yourself. Put in the time and do your own research.
On with the Method:
Note, I know this is a wall of text. Let me repeat the TL;DR from above: Set your alarm for 4 hours after you go to bed. Busy yourself for 15 minutes and go back to bed. Try to stay aware as you drift off to sleep. When your body starts buzzing with energy, stay still, let go and relax. Let your “self” fall through the bed or float up. You are now out of body! Read on for more explanation:
- Set your alarm for 4 hours after you go to bed. Yup, you’ll be getting up in the middle of the night to do this. For most of you, this is probably around 3 or 4 AM. The reason for this is to get some REM sleep and dream cycles in. You are more likely to have an OBE or lucid dream after you’ve already been sleeping for a few hours. You will be more relaxed and more “ready” so to speak.
- Keep yourself occupied for 10-20 minutes. You’re staying awake long enough to not fall immediately back to sleep. What worked for me in the beginning was to read about OBEs or lucid dreams. It also helps if you read or think about this a lot during the day. I also think meditating (or sitting in silence) for 5-10 minutes relax the mind and body and get you in a state of mindfulness. Mindfulness helps you stay aware as you drift off to sleep.
- Go back to bed, but NOT in your normal bed. Try the couch or a spare bedroom that you don’t normally sleep in. The slight difference in familiarity will keep your mind more “alert” so you don’t fall asleep as easily. Remember, we’re trying to delicately stay aware while our body drifts off to sleep. This is easier said than done, but it IS possible with practice.
- Lie still for at least 30 minutes. I know, this sounds hard, but this is important. Try lying on your back in a relaxed position. If you want, listen to a guided meditation or OBE instruction. I listened to Robert Monroe’s Hemi-Sync audios. Especially the explorer series because it guided you along. They are expensive, but you might be able to find them for free online to try it out. Look up Hemi-Sync or binaural beat meditations on YouTube. Here’s an example. Another alternative is William Bulhman’s How to Have an Out of Body Experience audio instruction. He’s talks about a “target technique” where you picture a location that you know well and hold your focus on that location for as long as possible. If successful, as you fall asleep your consciousness will project into that location. I don’t use that technique, but I heard it helps.
- If nothing happens, just go to sleep. I would lie in bed listening to these guided meditations and binaural beats for sometimes up to an hour, with no luck. I couldn’t get relaxed enough to fall asleep, my mind was too alert. If this happens to you, which is likely, just say fuck it and roll over and go to sleep. Forget about having an OBE tonight, try again the next night. Loosely pay attention to any hypnogogic imagery (imaginations, visuals, colors, etc). Don’t have any attachment or expectation. You already did your practice, so good work.
- Notice the Vibrational State when it happens. If you notice a shift or change in your body where it’s now vibrating or buzzing with energy, this is the magical state you need to be in! This is a huge milestone, even if you aren’t able to actually project out just yet. For more info on the vibrational state, I wrote about it after these steps.
- Project out by rolling, standing up, or simply floating down. There are various ways to project out when in the vibrational state. If you read online, you might find info on the rope technique, target technique, etc. These are all just what worked for that particular person and not right or wrong. I found surrendering and letting go to be what worked for me. If I noticed myself in the vibrational state, I would simply stop resisting, stay still, relax and keep letting go. Just relax and relax and notice yourself floating down or up. I will float down through my bed and out of my body that way.
- Think, demand, or declare “clarity now!” When you have begun to feel the separation, if you aren’t automatically “out” yet, you can use your conscious intention or thoughts to say “clarity now!” or “doorway now!” This is somewhat an intermediate step, though. My first time having an intentional OBE I didn’t know these tricks. I just tried to physically get out and I noticed I was standing outside my body in my living room. I was able to walk around and act as if it were “real” life. I later learned that sometimes the environment gets fuzzy or you start to phase back to physical reality. And if that happens, you can rub your hands together (for immediate tactile sensations) or demand clarity and you’ll notice that your reality gets clearer, more vibrant, and more real!
- Leave the house, fly, or do something! Once you get out of body and things seem stable, do something! I typically leave the house through my front door (by habit). I know that I could walk through the walls or even think myself to a new location, but I’m not that advanced yet. While I’m out, I just notice how things look. Often they are slightly different than the “real world” I just came from. Sometimes I talk to people that I see (are they other astral travelers, dream characters, dead people, or what?). I sometimes look at my hands or what I’m wearing. I look in the bathroom mirror for weird results! This is up to you. There’s an infinite amount of things you can do in this state, and once you get here, your only limit is your imagination!
There is a certain moment when you know you’ll be able to go out of body. This is what is commonly called the “vibrational state.” In other words, it’s the moment between sleeping and waking where your body falls asleep, but your conscious mind is still awake. This is also called sleep paralysis.
A note on sleep paralysis
You may have felt this in the past and often associate it with fear or scary hallucinations. In fact, I used to have night terrors as a kid and have learned that night terrors are indeed related to OBEs, astral projection, and lucid dreams. It’s all related to the subtle phase between sleeping and waking.
Many people refuse to attempt to enter sleep paralysis consciously because they have had scary experiences during it. But it was actually my night terrors that opened the door for positive out of body exploration. I simply became aware of my night terror about to happen and when I didn’t resist and stayed mindful, that’s when the fear went away immediately and I floated out of my body. That was my first OBE and it changed everything!
Entering sleep consciously
Most of the time when you lie down to go to sleep at night, your mind is thinking a lot. It’s cycling through what happened earlier that day, what needs done tomorrow, etc. There’s lots of self-talk and daydreaming happening here. What happens for most people is they begin to fall asleep and they aren’t aware or mindful enough to notice it happening. They enter their first sleep stage unconsciously. The trick is to enter sleep consciously.
We keep hearing about mindfulness these days. It’s about awareness. Expanding your awareness and learning how to focus it. What are you paying attention to? Are you walking around sleepwalking through life or centered, present, and aware? The more mindful you are, the more equipped you will be to have an out of body experience. Practice meditation daily and use lucid dream reality checks throughout the day. Constantly ask yourself “am I awake?” or “am I dreaming right now?” My favorite reality check is to try to push my finger through my other hand. If it comes out the other side, I’m dreaming/OBE.
How do you know when you’re in the vibrational state?
Your body will fall asleep (sleep paralysis) and you’ll feel a variety of sensations during this process. The sensations range from a full body “buzzing” feeling, to feeling “tingly” all over, to intense energy resonating throughout your body. This is often accompanied by sounds such as buzzing in the ears or what sounds like radio static or even voices! It can be scary if it’s your first time experiencing this. Try to be mindful and open rather than fearful or resistant. It can be weird at first, but eventually you get comfortable!
Experiment, Don’t Try too Hard
It’s a paradox I know. You have to put in effort, but you can’t try too hard otherwise you won’t be able to relax. Imagine meditating “really hard” so you can have a mind-blowing out of body experience. It’s not gonna happen (I tried!). The trick is to keep letting go and relaxing. This is why getting up in the middle of the night is so helpful, it’s easier to relax.
If you find a technique that works for you, keep going with it. Don’t hold on to any particular method. Don’t try to be perfect or get all upset if you can’t do it. It takes time, patience, practice, and dedication. But also openess, allowing, detachment, and letting go.
Good luck with your practice! Below you’ll find some of my favorite resources for astral project, lucid dreaming, and out of body experiences. Feel free to share your own tips or experiences in the comments! Dive in!
Tips and Resources for Astral Projection and Out of Body Experiences
Robert Monroe! I have to recommend Robert’s trilogy of books. The first book is called Journeys Out of the Body. It’s old, but it’s a must read. He documents his discoveries after having a totally random OBE one night. He thought he was crazy, but what unfolded after was extraordinary! He went on to found the Monroe Institute which has been huge in research and education of consciousness. He’s no longer alive today, but his teachings live on!
William Bulhman is an incredible writer and speaker about OBEs. He explains clearly that out of body travel (or astral travel) is key to obtaining your own answers to life’s biggest questions. You know, who are we, why are we here, what’s our purpose? He is a proponent of direct experience in spiritual or esoteric subject matter. Move past intellectualizing about non-physical reality and experience it for yourself as a path to personal growth. His books Adventures Beyond the Body, Adventures in the Afterlife, Secret of the Soul were all fantastic. I also recommend his audiobook How to Have an Out of Body Experience. He’s done some some really great interviews on YouTube if you look him up. Here’s one below I really think you’ll like:
The Path Documentaries are brilliant. They are well produced documentaries interviewing many of the luminaries in the out of body exploration arena. They have so far released two films in their trilogy: Afterlife and Beyond the Physical. The makers of these films have created a new podcast too which is worth listening to.
Charlie Morley is another wonderful writer and teacher from the lucid dreaming school of thought. His book Dreams of Awakening blends mindfulness and Buddhist teachings with lucid dreams. He doesn’t get into out of body or astral travel much, but I think it’s a brilliant perspective to keep in mind. He’s also a breakdancer like myself, so he’s a man after my own heart.
World of Lucid Dreaming – I can’t leave out the work of Rebecca Turner. I haven’t explored much of her work, but she seems to put out great content all the time on the subjects. She’s a great writer and teacher and shares so much. I think she’s great.
Robert Waggoner wrote one of my favorite books simply titled Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self. It was hugely relevant for me as someone who enjoys personal growth and discovery. He covered all sorts of topics related to consciousness and the metaphysical and provided some explanations and examples. It inspired me to look at my out of body experiences as opportunities to explore my deeper self.
Stephen LaBerge is probably one of the most well known writers and educators in the lucid dreaming field. He’s got to be credited with making lucid dreaming mainstream. His knowledge, teachings, and techniques are helpful to anyone looking to explore consciousness. His book Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming is widely considered a must-read. I admit, I only got halfway through because to be honest his book was kind of boring to me.
Multidimensional Man – I remember watching videos of this guy and feeling inspired. I admit I haven’t explored his entire body of work, but he seems to have produced a ton of great content about consciousness, awareness, metaphysics, out of body and astral travel and all that. Good stuff!
Teal Swan has been a big inspiration for me. She talks about a TON of interesting topics realted to spirituality, consciousness, and the human experience. She’s done videos about astral travel and out of body experiences that I think are worth checking out.
Robert Bruce – A kind Redditor /u/Atmic pointed out I was missing material from Robert Bruce. According to Atmic: “He’s my favorite AP researcher/author — very pragmatic, non dogmatic approach based on empirical evidence. I’ve even paid to work with him during a weekend seminar. He has a lot of great work, but the seminal piece in my opinion is Astral Dynamics. That’s a link to the 10-year revised/updated version, but the original is just fine if you run across it. You can get a taste of his style with ‘Treatise on Astral Projection’, an early online work from 1994.
More Helpful Links
Dream Views forum
Reddit Communities: Lucid Dreaming, Astral Projection, Psychonaut, Meditation
Movies like Waking Life, Inception, What Dreams May Come, Interstellar
How to Astral Project from Shift.is