Before you can begin to use any astral projection technique you first need to prepare yourself. The only physical preparation you need to make is that you are warm and comfortable and that you will not be disturbed for the duration of the astral projection exercise, but psychological preparations are a little more involved.
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To start with, you need to push past what experienced projector Robert Monroe called, ‘The Fear Barrier’. Most people are, at least to some extent, afraid of the unknown. Since the non-physical planes are unknown to most people, it follows that most people are initially a little afraid of projecting their consciousness into these planes. Such fears can in fact stop you from successfully projecting, hence the need to assess your fears and get rid of them.
The most common fear is that of ‘getting stuck’ on the non-physical planes and being unable to return to the physical body. The best way to overcome this particular fear is to remember two things:
Firstly, if most experienced practitioners are correct, everyone projects every night during sleep. This takes place without your conscious knowledge, but it still occurs, and you nevertheless wake up perfectly safe and well every morning. It can be concluded, therefore, that you have already projected thousands of times without having any problem ‘getting back in’ to your physical body.
Secondly, we will all have to leave the physical plane at some point, so why fear the inevitable? Would it not be better to face this fear head-on, explore non-physicality deliberately whilst you are alive and so know what you can expect when the inevitable happens?
Another common fear is that during projection the body may be ‘taken over’ by another consciousness. In other words, many people fear that projecting could leave them open to some kind of psychic attack or possession.
Again, the best way to get over this fear is to remind yourself that your consciousness is projected into the non-physical planes every night and that so far you haven’t been attacked or possessed, so what are the chances of this happening when you are projecting with full conscious awareness? My own opinion is that the chances of such things happening are almost nil.
What you must remember at all times is that, when you are projecting your consciousness into the non-physical planes, you are entering a world in which thoughts are manifested very quickly. This means that, if you project with thoughts of fear or danger, your thoughts could create nightmare-like scenarios which you will encounter on the non-physical plane.
You will not be physically harmed by such encounters, for just as a nightmare disappears on awakening, so negative astral encounters tend to vanish as soon as the exercise ends. However, being aware that your thoughts will have a strong influence on what you experience should encourage you to let go of fear and think more positive thoughts instead. This will help ensure that your astral trips are as beneficial as possible.
How to Project the Astral Body
Now that we have discussed the necessary preparations for astral projection, let us turn our attention to the actual techniques of projection. There are many different systems and techniques which are available, but in this series I will present the two which I feel are the easiest to follow whilst being perfectly effective.
Note that ‘easiest to follow’ does not mean that astral projection is something that can be mastered in a few hours. It simply means that the techniques herein are easy to understand and implement. Actually projecting will take practice – sometimes a lot of practice – but ask anyone who has persevered and succeeded and you will be told that the patience and effort required for success were very good investments of time that they would happily make all over again if they had to.
So now let’s take a look at the first of the two projection methods that I feel are the easiest to understand and follow…
The Black Screen Technique
This technique is to be used when you go to bed at night. The idea is to retain an element of consciousness even as your body falls asleep. Once this is achieved, usually after much patience and practice, your consciousness will actually have passed through the main doorway to the non-physical planes, and you can then begin exploring in earnest.
Begin by making yourself comfortable in bed. Make sure that you are warm and that your clothing is loose, then close your eyes. Spend a good two or three minutes concentrating on your breathing and allowing your body to relax. Before very long you will find your mind becoming quiet and at the same time you will be receiving fewer impressions from your physical body. In other words, your arms and legs and torso will begin to ‘fall asleep’ as sensation fades.
When you have achieved this state of total relaxation, turn your attention to the blackness of your mind. Imagine that there is a large black screen about six feet in front of your mind’s eye and just watch this screen. Don’t think about your daily life, or even about how you think this astral projection exercise is going – just observe the black screen and wait. Pretend for a few minutes that something is about to happen, and then patiently wait for it to take place.
In the early days, it is likely that you may fall asleep during this stage of the exercise. This is because your conscious mind is not yet used to being focused without actually thinking of anything in particular. As you continue this exercise on a regular basis, however, you will find that you can watch the screen with a quiet mind for longer and longer.
Eventually, the rest will take care of itself. You will be watching the ‘screen’ and all of a sudden you will realise that you (that is, your consciousness) is no longer confined to your physical body. This realisation can take many forms. For example, you may perceive yourself to be floating in a black void, or you may instead find yourself looking down at your physical sleeping body. You may even instantly find yourself in a dream-like world complete with its own scenery and population.
From here you may explore the non-physical plane as you wish, and suggestions on that topic, as well as the second projection technique referred to earlier, will be provided next time.