In the coveted experience of Lucid Dreaming, one can experience many things including Astral Travel. One can connect with others, the Higher Self of others, Soul Mates, Twin Flames, and it is even said that one can connect with Spiritual Guides and those who have passed on. In this article, you will learn what Lucid Dreaming and Astral Projection (Travel) are, and how to teach yourself the skill.
Lucid Dreaming - A lucid dream is any dream in which one is aware that one is dreaming. In relation to this phenomenon, Greek philosopher Aristotle observed: "often when one is asleep, there is something in consciousness which declares that what then presents itself is but a dream". One of the earliest references to personal experiences with lucid dreaming was by Marie-Jean-Léon, Marquis d'Hervey de Saint Denys.
The person most widely acknowledged as having coined the term is Dutch psychiatrist and writer Frederik (Willem) van Eeden (1860–1932). In a lucid dream, the dreamer has greater chances to exert some degree of control over their participation within the dream or be able to manipulate their imaginary experiences in the dream environment. Lucid dreams can be realistic and vivid. It is shown that there are higher amounts of beta-1 frequency band (13–19 Hz) brain wave activity experienced by lucid dreamers, hence there is an increased amount of activity in the parietal lobes making lucid dreaming a conscious process.
Skeptics of the phenomenon suggest that it is not a state of sleep, but of brief wakefulness. Others point out that there is no way to prove the truth of lucid dreaming other than to ask the dreamer. Lucid dreaming has been researched scientifically, with participants performing predetermined physical responses while experiencing a lucid dream. Perception of time
In 1985, Stephen LaBerge performed a pilot study that showed that time perception while counting during a lucid dream is about the same as during waking life. Lucid dreamers counted out ten seconds while dreaming, signaling the start and the end of the count with a pre-arranged eye signal measured with electrooculogram recording. LaBerge's results were confirmed by German researchers in 2004. The German study, by D. Erlacher and M. Schredl, also studied motor activity and found deep knee bends took 44% longer to perform while lucid dreaming.
In a false awakening, one dreams of having awoken. The room the dreamer falsely awakens in is often similar to the room he/she fell asleep in. If the person was lucid, they often believe that they are no longer dreaming and begin their morning routine. The dreamer remains naive to the dream either until they realize they haven't actually woken up or until they wake up again (whether false or real).
During sleep the body paralyzes itself as a protection mechanism to prevent the movements that occur in the dream from causing the physical body to move. However, this mechanism can be triggered before, during, or after normal sleep while the brain awakens. This can lead to a state where the awakened sleeper feels paralyzed. Hypnagogic hallucination may occur in this state, especially auditory ones. Effects of sleep paralysis include heaviness or inability to move the muscles, rushing or pulsating noises, and brief hypnogogic or hypnopompic imagery.
An out-of-body experience (OBE or sometimes OOBE) is an experience that typically involves a sensation of floating outside of one's body and, in some cases, perceiving one's physical body from a place outside one's body (autoscopy). About one in ten people claim to have had an out-of-body experience at some time in their lives. Scientists are learning about the phenomenon. Some work by neurologists suggests that such experiences are generated by the same brain mechanisms that cause lucid dreams.
Despite some similarities in their phenomenology and induction methods, EEG studies do not suggest an equivalence between OBEs and lucid dreams. Lucidity is strongly associated with stage 1 REM sleep but OBEs are far less consistent, producing EEG traces that can variously resemble stage 3 sleep, a waking, eyes-closed state or other uncategorized states. However, while this may suggest that perceived OBEs are a type of lucid dream which takes place in a dream environment that mimics the actual environment of the dreamer, this falls short of supporting the idea that some conscious form of the dreamer actually leaves the body and perceives their external environment while still in a sleeping state.
THE MOST COMMON REASON FOR LUCID DREAMING: ASTRAL PROJECTION
Astral projection (or astral travel) is an interpretation of an out-of-body experience (OBE) that assumes the existence of an "astral body" separate from the physical body and capable of travelling outside it. Astral projection or travel denotes the astral body leaving the physical body to travel in an astral plane. The idea of astral travel is rooted in common worldwide religious accounts of the afterlife in which the consciousness' or soul's journey or "ascent" is described in such terms as "an... out-of body experience, wherein the spiritual traveller leaves the physical body and travels in his/her subtle body (or dreambody or astral body) into ‘higher’ realms."It is frequently reported in association with dreams, and forms of meditation.
Patients have reported feelings similar to the descriptions of astral projection induced through various hallucinogenic and hypnotic (including self-hypnotic) means. There is no scientific evidence that there is any measurable manifestation of a consciousness or soul which is separate from neural activity, and there is no scientific evidence for the contention that one can consciously leave the body and make observations. Attempts to verify that such has occurred have consistently failed in spite of the variety of pseudoscientific claims to the contrary.
HOW TO: PRACTICE ASTRAL
PROJECTION PREPARE YOURSELF
1 Start in the morning. Rather than practicing astral projection at night, right before you go to sleep, start in the early morning hours when you're still fudging drowsy. Some say that it's easier to reach the necessary state of relaxation and heightened awareness around dawn.
2 Create the right atmosphere. Astral projection requires a state of deep relaxation, so it should be performed in a part of your home where you're completely comfortable. Lie on your bed or sofa and relax your mind and body.
-- It's easier to perform astral projection alone than it is with someone else in the room. If you usually sleep with a partner, choose a room other than the bedroom to practice astral projection.
-- Draw the shades or curtains and rid the room of distracting noises. Any type of interruption could disrupt the state of relaxation you need to achieve.
3 Lie down and relax. Position yourself on your back in your chosen room. Close your eyes and try to clear your mind of distracting thoughts. Concentrate on your body and how it feels. The goal is to achieve a state of complete mind and body relaxation.
-- Flex your muscles and then loosen them. Start with your toes and work your way up your body, gradually making your way to your head. Make sure every muscle is completely relaxed when you are through.
-- Breathe deeply and exhale completely. Don't hold tension in your chest and shoulders, just relax.
-- Focus your mind on your breathing. Don't get carried away with thoughts of outside worries, and don't get preoccupied yet with the idea of your soul projecting from your body. Just let yourself sink into relaxation.
REMOVING THE SOUL FROM THE BODY
Reach a hypnotic state. This hypnotic state is normally known as the hypnagogic state. Let your body and mind approach sleep, but don't completely lose consciousness. Being at the edge of wakefulness and sleep, a hypnotic state, is necessary for astral projection to occur. Reach this state using the following method: Keeping your eyes closed, let your mind wander to a part of your body, such as your hand, foot or a single toe.
Focus on the body part until you can visualize it perfectly, even with your eyes closed. Continue focusing until all other thoughts fall away.
Use your mind to flex your body part, but do not physically move it. Visualize your toes curling and uncurling, or your fingers clenching and unclenching, until it seems as though they are physically moving.
Broaden your focus to the rest of your body. Move your legs, your arms, and your head using only your mind. Keep your focus steady until you're able to move your whole body in your mind alone.
Enter into a state of vibration. Many report feeling vibrations, which come in waves at different frequencies, as the soul prepares to leave the body. Don't be afraid of the vibrations, since the presence of fear might cause you to leave your meditative state; instead, succumb to the vibrations as your soul prepares to leave your body.
Use your mind to move your soul from your body. Imagine in your mind the room in which you are lying. Move your body in your mind to stand up.
-- Look around yourself. Get up off the bed and walk across the room, then turn around and look at your body on the bed.
-- Your OBE is successful if you feel as though you are gazing upon your body from across the room, and that your conscious self is now separate from your body.
-- It takes a lot of practice to get to this point. If you have trouble completely lifting your soul from your body, try lifting just a hand or a leg at first. Keep practicing until you're able to move across the room.
Return to your body. Your soul always remains connected to your body with an invisible force, sometimes referred to as a "silver cord." Let the force guide your soul back to your body. Reenter your body. Move your fingers and toes - physically, not just in your mind - and let yourself regain full consciousness.
EXPLORING THE ASTRAL PLANE
Confirm that you are projecting your soul from your body. Once you have mastered the act of projecting your soul from your body in the same room, you will want to confirm that you were indeed in two separate planes.
Next time you practice the astral projection, don't turn around to look at your body. Instead, leave the room and walk into another room in the house.
Examine an object in the other room, something that you had never noticed before in the physical sense. Make a mental note of its color, shape and size, paying attention to as many details as possible.
Return to your body. Physically go into the room you previously projected yourself into. Walk to the article you examined during the astral travel. Can you confirm the details you noted when you explored the object with your mind?
Explore further. During subsequent astral projection sessions, go to locations that are less and less familiar to you. Each time, note details that you had never noticed before. After each session, physically verify the details. After a few trips, you will be experienced enough to travel to locations that are completely unfamiliar with the confidence that you have actually performed astral projection.
Return to your body. Some say that astral projection is dangerous, especially when one gets enough practice to explore unfamiliar places. Before you astral project it is nice to imagine yourself bathed in a glowing, white light. Imagine it as a cloud around you, this will protect you from other thought forms. There is so much to get into, but know that no harm will come to you unless you think it will. The thrill of having an OBE keeps some people out of their bodies for long periods of time, which is said to weaken the silver cord. Be sure to stay aware of your body back at home while your soul is projected elsewhere.
-- The silver cord can never be broken, but it is said that your soul can be delayed from reentering your body if you spend too much energy outside of it.
-- Some say that demons can inhabit the body while the soul is being projected. If you fear this may happen, protect your body by blessing the room with a prayer before you perform projection.
-- Your soul can also interact with other astral projections. Try it with a friend who has practiced as much as you have. Some say astral sex is mind blowing. However, remember to always return to your body.
- It's best not to be mentally or physically tired when attempting astral projection, as you will find it hard to concentrate. Drowsy morning feelings work better than being tired after a long day.
- Try not to be scared on your first time, or it will seem to become harder to go back to your body.
- Feel free to walk anywhere you would like. But do not go too far your first few times. If you are new to an astral plane, walk/fly to closer locations first.
- Beliefs play the largest part in Astral Projection. If you believe that you are going to be possessed, you may feel like you are possessed. If you feel like your "silver-cord" is "weak" and that you can't return, you will feel stuck. - Feelings and thoughts are instantly manifested in the Astral Plane, anything you think/fear can seem to happen. Keep your thoughts positive. - Don't try to Astral Project after watching a scary movie.
- If you feel it's hard to get back to your body, just imagine yourself striking with your body at the speed of light. You can come back from any place with in one second. Remember your soul is free of distance and time.
- When releasing your soul from your body, it can also help to imagine yourself all one dull color. Now imagine your colorful soul escaping from your body slowly.
- Visualize a white or yellowish light surrounding you while you Astral - Project to protect yourself from bad entities who may suck your energy if you let them. Also, you can try to raise your vibrations.
- You cannot be hurt mentally/physically by something in the Astral Plane while having an OBE.
- Interactions while in the Astral Plane are limited only by imagination. Space and time do not exist.