Astral travel is a term used for the travel of the subtle body or the astral body without the physical body. The term used for astral travel in ancient Yogic and Tantric literature is “Sukshma- deha-gamanam” translated as “traveling with the subtle body”. By doing astral traveling, the astral body goes to what is known as astral plane.
he Astral Plane is another dimension, or a parallel universe, as a scientist would say. The Astral Plane is the dimension where each one of us goes every time we sleep, with our Astral body.
We may sometimes wake in the morning, recalling dreams of places we’ve never been before. It is very likely that we visited the astral counterpart of that Physical place, even if it was in a hazy, dreamlike state.
Within the Astral Plane there exists all that exists in the Physical Plane. However, there is much in the Astral Plane that we could never find in the Physical: sacred temples, divine beings, amazing phenom- enon.
Astral travel is a useful skill which can be acquired through systematic training in a scientific manner. If learnt properly, there are lots of advantages of astral travel.
In the Astral the sky is not the limit! One can fly way beyond the blue sky, into deep space exploring the planets. One can consciously project to any part of the world through concentration. We can fly through the air, having a birds eye view of what is below, travelling across the surface of our huge planet… Imagine being able to glide over the ocean like a seagull, or being able to penetrate into it and breathe beneath it like a fish!
We can meet enlightened beings, even of distant ancient traditions, who can help guide us along the Spiritual Path. Or we can even attend true esoteric schools and temples to learn much about the mysteries of life and death. There are all sorts of hidden knowledge one can acquire through Astral Projection, knowledge that can not be acquired in everyday life, from other people or books.
Exploring astral realms is safe and very rewarding. The knowledge you gain from your travels can be used to enhance the quality of life now and it also gives you greater understanding of the underlying reasons why things happen as they do. Many of your existential questions (Who am I? What am I here for on this planet earth? What is my life mission? Etc.) can be answered through astral travels. When you astral travel, you will infinitely expand your knowledge of the cosmic realities in which all exists.
Almost everybody astral travels, almost daily while in sleep. Most people confuse it with dreams. Hence it is very important to understand the difference between dream state & astral travel.
Astral Travel is very different to normal dreaming. It is an extraordinary experience! All who have experienced it can testify to its lucidity and magical quality.
It is interesting to note that conscious Astral Travel is experienced as clearly as we experience our daily life! In fact it is even experienced more clearly at times. Our senses seem sharper and the environment somehow more real. It is often considered that Out-of-body experience is only encountered by people that have had a near death experience after an accident or on the operating table. But astral travel is a natural possibility that anyone can develop through practice.
The biggest difference between dreams and astral travel is that in astral travel the scenes you observe are real. They have actually happened, will happen or are occurring in other planes of existence.
For the beginner, Déjà vu (having been here before) experience is a common way you can prove to yourself that you have genuinely had astral travel experiences. As your awareness of the astral realms expands, you will have more and more confidence and ability in you to understand and differentiate between dream state and astral travel.
Once you learn astral travel, you can form relation- ships on an astral plane. They are more fulfilling than those in the everyday world as the barriers to honest relationships (like imposed morality, guilt etc) are non-existent in astral realms. In fact our relationships with our loved ones who have departed, sometimes continue through astral links. This is the reason many times we get very clear messages in our dreams (actually astral visits!) about various aspects of our life and issues concerning our family, relationships etc.
Expert Astral Travelers can establish relationships in astral planes with Astral Masters of various traditions and can learn a lot through these links. Astral relationships are truly rewarding experiences!
In astral dimension the effects of aging, injury, disappointments and depression are replaced by the best
the universe has to offer.
It is a place where painful residues of past life issues
are wiped clean.
Through astral travel, anxieties associated with past
life traumas, empowerment issues, and ill health are effectively eliminated.
Astral travel practice increases our awareness of our-
selves and puts us in touch with our spiritual side.
Through astral travel, we can discover the spiritual re-
sources of higher astral planes. (e.g. your past birth spiritual gurus, guides, personal angels etc.)
Astral travel can extinguish our natural fear of the unknown and replace it with optimism and joyful anticipation.
With practice of astral travel, even death takes on a new perspective – it becomes an exciting passage into the light of a new and enriched existence, rather than a dreaded leap into the darkness of the unknown.
You discover new meaning to your existence as a conscious, enduring energy force in the universe.
OBEs and Astral Travel as growth strategies increase our power to overcome the negative forces we all encounter in daily life.
OBEs are purposeful, enriching and empowerment driven.
They enhance mental imagery, intuitive thinking,
peak experiences, scientific discoveries and elevate the consciousness to a higher plane of understanding.
During a typical out-of-body state, intelligence is
heightened, consciousness is expanded, sensations are more vivid and perceptions are more accurate and detailed.
Through OBEs we can literally transcend the biological and environmental constraints that limit our growth
and separate us from the larger realities of our existence.
OBEs offer a magnificent vehicle for tapping into the inner sources of knowledge while probing the outer reaches of the cosmos. The result is better understanding of cosmic principles, along with greater power in applying them to enrich our lives and to develop our full potential as human beings.
OBEs can unleash abundant resources from within ourselves while connecting us to the highest sources of cosmic power. They can expand our vision and help us see the growth opportunities that surround us. They can give us a forceful emotional and motivational lift, pre- pare us for action, and inoculate us against setbacks. They can teach us self preservation, even under the most adverse circumstances and they can inspire us to press forward with determination, even in the face of fierce op- position. They can help us cope with stress, solve problems, develop positive attitudes and social relationships, and succeed in achieving the loftiest goals.
OBEs mirror the divine nature of our being as a conscious, indestructible entity. In OBEs we are compelled to expe- rience the advanced, spiritual side of our existence.
OBEs give us a powerful sense of our identity and an un-
wavering faith in our future. They lift the spirit to new levels of insight and power. They help us to know our- selves and the universe in ways that point to new mean- ing and a new vision.
With OBEs we understand that we are not human beings having spiritual experiences but we are spiritual be ings having human experiences. We also understand that biology is not destiny but rather a transient vehicle for spiritual growth and discovery on this physical plane.
Normally we know our biological destiny is physical de-
cline, old age and death, but our spiritual destiny on the other hand, is permanence and continues growth. The out-of-body experience is a preview of the unlimited pos- sibilities awaiting each of us in that liberated, enriched state beyond the gateway of death.
If we retain conscious awareness of our individuality
during the temporary out-of-body state, it would follow that after death and final astral disengagement from the body, conscious awareness would continue unaltered, or perhaps in even greater enlightened form.
OBEs not only reaffirm our discarnate destiny, they facilitate our later transition to the other side when death leans against the door. Equally as important, they pro- vide the important groundwork for our continued growth in the life-after-life realm of enriched existence.
With OBEs we understand that our life in the present and future is shaped by choice, not by chance or some predetermined destiny.
OBEs heighten the ESP. Psychic impressions of the future (precognition); psychic awareness of the past (retrocognition); expanded insight concerning distant, unseen realities (clairvoyance); and mind-to- mind communication (telepathy) often occur spontaneously in the out-of-body state. The out-of-body state can activate our highest psychic faculties. Not surprisingly, expanded awareness of past lifetimes frequently occurs during the astral experience.
OBEs bring us the awareness & knowledge not otherwise available to us.
The ultimate challenge of being human is to have conscious life and conscious death so that we drop out of the karmic wheel of birth and death. OBEs and astral travel bring us that awareness and understanding that heightens our awareness for day-to-day conscious liv- ing that can result into the highly alert and conscious state at the final moment of life in the physical body, we call it death.
If you are interested in enjoying the benefits of as- tral travel, you must spend some of your time in creat- ing a right kind of environment for astral travel. Here are a few tips.
Set your bedtime right. Regularity of bedtime is helpful.
Bed position: Head to east and feet to west is the ideal position.
Arrange no pressure or low pressure work schedule during the day so that you do not carry unnecessary worries and anxiety to your bed. You can shake up
your daytime worries by going for an evening walk after dinner for about 30 minutes.
Keep your diary and pen or pencil handy, near your pillow. Note down all the important aspects of your astral trip in detail, including names, places, people, dates, settings etc. These data once collected for a few months will be your great source of inspiration and confirmation.
Get adequate sleep regularly. This helps in coming to a balanced state of health where you can enjoy astral travel experimentation.
Calm before sleep. It is better to avoid involvement in vi- olent emotional scenes, horror films etc.
For the best results, start this schedule at the new moon and for the first week you should not try to record any of your impressions. Seven days before full moon, start setting your timing device so that you will be awakened three hours (approx.) after lights out. When you are awak- ened, immediately record your very first impression. Those who do not like to write can record it on a cassette by narrating in front of the recorder, to the extent possible.
Finally, don’t try to force it. Be playful. Set the things right. And then practice, practice and practice!
VARIOUS STAGES OF ASTRAL TRAVEL
Vibration Stage: Energy vibrations are felt throughout the body in the form of humming, buzzing or roaring sounds along with occasional numbness and catalepsy (inability to move). The intensity of these vibrations can be mild and soothing or intense and startling. During this stage our consciousness shifts from our physical body to our non- physical energy body. The vibrations and sounds are not the physical events but the conscious recognition of our higher frequency body as it separates itself from our physical body.
Separation Stage: When the energy body gets separated from the physical body, there is generally a distinct feeling of ‘lifting’, floating or rolling out of the physical. After the separation is complete, the vibrations and sounds immedi- ately diminish.
Exploration stage: Once we move away and con- sciously exist independent of the physical body, we can begin to explore the non-physical environment. The energy body is often experienced as a duplicate of the physical body but consisting of a higher frequency form of energy. Because of its subtle structure, the energy body is extremely thought responsive. The method of mobility we use is completely unlimited; we can walk, run, fly or float. To maintain our exploration, we must continue to focus our attention within the new environment and energy body we are experiencing.
Re-entry stage: Re-entry or the reintegration of the subtle energy body and the physical body automatically occurs by simply thinking about the physical body. On occasion, during re-entry the integration of two bodies is accompanied by temporary vibrations, numbness and catalepsy. These sensations quickly fade as we become reunited and in phase with our physical body.
FOUR STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL ASTRAL TRAVEL
The first step to a successful self-controlled out-of-body experience is to remain mentally and emotionally calm as you begin to recognize any form of movement or shifting in your awareness. Your ability to remain calm is essential for achieving and maintaining any degree of control when out-of-body. The initial sensations associ- ated with out-of-body experience can be startling to the beginner. This is especially true if you are unprepared for the experience. Many times this excitement is caused by the intense sensations and sounds that may occur just before or during separation. Some people become so excited or startled by these inner sounds and sensations that they immediately think of the
physical body. This causes the instant ‘snap back’ into the physical. The key is to welcome the unusual vibrations and sounds and to remain as calm as possible.
The second step is to incorporate the habit of automatic self control. Whenever you experience any sensations or sounds associated with an out-of-body exploration, immedi- ately begin to encourage these feelings or sounds to expand through- out your being. For example, if you experience an intense buzzing sound or unusual vibra- tional feeling, immediately begin to encourage the sensation or sound to spread. Focus your complete attention on the enjoyment of your new, higher vibratory rate. Then, mentally encourage the vibratory sensations or sounds to immerse your entire being.
The third step is to direct yourself away from your physical body. This is easily accomplished by a verbal or mental internal dialogue that directs and maintains you away from your physical body. For example, “I am floating up, up…” or “I am becoming lighter and lighter…” or “I am moving to the terrace…” (or backyard or any other location away from your body). Any phase that directs and separates you from your physical body will be effective. Remember not to think of or mention your physical body in any way, shape, or form. Even random thoughts directed to your physical body can cause an abrupt return.
The fourth step is to maintain your focus entirely away from your physical body. The easiest way to achieve this is to temporarily forget about your body and become com- pletely involved in the new environment you are experienc- ing. The success and duration of your out-of-body experi- ence will depend utterly upon your focus of attention. Thoughts or feelings related to your physical body will instantly snap you back into it.
Easiest way to first conscious astral travel
Urgent Necessity: This is the meaningful task you have set for your astral consciousness. It may be like meeting the astral masters, or your own astral guides, or meeting the loved ones who have departed from the physical dimension etc. It is better to define it properly before you prepare yourself for your astral projection, as it helps to achieve conscious control, which you will be able to prove to yourself.
Emotions: Emotion is one of the most important aspects of preparation for astral travel. Where astral travel is concerned, the most damaging emotion is FEAR. If you are anyway afraid of what might happen, your astral body may not separate from your physical or even if it has separated, it will snap back. In fact there is absolutely nothing to fear in the astral. No student has ever come to any harm by taking astral trips. In fact, all of us have taken thousands of astral trips and are doing so daily, but we are not con- sciously aware of it! So why should this new planned trip to astral hold any fear for us? Anger is another detrimental emotion. If you are violently angry and are going out to wreck your vengeance on someone, this too will keep you in the mundane body. Feeling of optimistic expectation, of well being, are the ones on which you should concentrate so that it becomes easy for you to astral travel.
Environment & Diet:
- Security: Make sure you will not be interrupted by phones, pets, children. Lock yourself into your practice area, so that you feel comfortable and secure, and are sure that you will not be disturbed.
- Posture: Lie comfortably on your back with a small pillow under your head, keeping the spine straight, with head to the east. It is best not to lie on a spring mattress, as metal in it seems to interfere. Cotton mattress is ideal. Remove all body bindings such as hair clips, jewelry etc.
- Room Temperature: See that room temperature is as per your comfort requirements. Set your air- conditioner or fan or Heater accordingly, as per your requirements. Also, it is better to have the body unbounded, preferably nude, so a light cotton or natural woolen blanket may be required. Do not use synthetic fabric blankets.
- Lighting: The room should be in almost total darkness, or you can keep a low intensity night lamp, if you like it that way.
- Noise: See that you cut off from unwanted external noise to a great extent by closing doors and windows. It is necessary for you to listen to the other dimensional messages with your Clairaudience faculty. Loud outside noise can interfere with or block the messages you are interested in receiving. Also, remove from your room all types of hanging wires, extensions etc, as they may interfere with your astral projection. (Also, keep away from high tension electric lines, as they seem to interfere with your astral projection).
- Diet: Heavy meals before attempts at astral travel should be avoided, for they will induce heavy slumber and the typical nightmare ordeal. The most preferred situation for controlled astral projection is to be neither hungry nor overfed, but just nicely content. (If you do not have any urgent need, you can fast before astral projection and create in yourself an urgent need for food. Then you will find yourself automatically traveling to the nearest refrigerator, for the astral will be driven by the hunger of the mundane. The astral self cannot eat the food in the refrigerator, but it does seem to gain some sustenance from such living foods as freshly picked greens and fertilized eggs.)
- Sex Life: It is better to have a well adjusted sex life, so that there are no undue lustful thoughts just before astral projection, as they may lead you to lower astral planes, which may not be as per your liking. In fact, it is possible to enjoy ‘energy transfer’ in special relationships on astral planes and the joy of which is hundred times more than that of physical sex. For sexually deprived people, at times it becomes difficult to hold onto astral as most of the time, they may be thinking of physical gratification. In such a case, once you know that all sexual needs can be satisfied on the astral, you will be able to stay in your astral body.
- Time: Set your bedtime right and be regular. Once you fall asleep, you enter a dreamlet-like stage called hypnagogic state that may last from five to twenty minutes. At the end of it, you are ready for your first conscious astral trip of the night, possible only if you keep your awareness high as you enter this state.
Follow the instructions on astral readiness, as men- tioned above. Now make sure that your urgent need is defined clearly and implanted in your mind. Make sure that when you lie down you are not so tired that you will immediately lose your resolve and drift past the hypnagogic period into sleep. The easiest way to do this is to lie still and form an astral twin of yourself immediately above your recumbent body. Start to lift the twin out. It is as light as steam rising from a gently heated swimming pool. Imagine the steam rising slowly from every pore of your body. As it rises, it gradually forms your astral twin.
As soon as you have achieved this small dissociation, you can relax. Without practice, at this stage, most probably you are likely to drop back into your body. Try it again. This time you will find yourself up, away from your body into the ceiling corner of your room. Think of yourself in the ceiling corner, looking back at your mundane body lying on the bed. When you have achieved this, imagine yourself at the place at which you will receive the answer to the question you have asked. You will be instantly astral traveling to the astral realm of your requirement!
Just before the astral body separates itself from the mundane, the signal phenomenon occurs. It may be in the form of Vibrations in the upper chest and head, or the level of light in the room suddenly getting brighter or some people hear hiss or a rush of air. These three-signal phenom- enons are most common but it can be anything else and there are hundreds of such signals possible. You have to find out your own unique signal type. Once you have astral projected a few times, you will recognize your signal phenomenon; and by deeply relaxing when it happens, you will be able to leave your body more easily and consistently.
In the astral planes dwell beings we call Guides. Guides are people like you and me, with one major difference; they are between incarnations and do not have bodies. The guide that is assigned to you is likely to have a similar background as that of yours and his or her function is to sponsor, protect and instruct the astral traveler. You may or may not see your astral guardian but you can feel their presence! You can feel their instructions and the loving protection you get from them intuitively! Sometimes, you may not be able to astral travel, however hard you may try. The reason for this may be your astral guides are not near by and hence failure to astral travel in this case is an inherent protection for you.
When you are travelling in the astral here-now, you may (or may not) see trailing behind you a glowing silken web-like thread. When you get out-of-body and are close by within 10 meters distance, look over your shoulder. Most subjects can clearly see a thread connecting the astral double to the physical body. This is the thread of light, which usually connects the solar plexus (or third eye) to the back of the head of the double. Seeing this thread is an indisputable verification of the fact that you are really astral travelling. (This is true for clairvoyants, while Clairsentience will just feel the presence of silver cord. Some subjects detect the thread through other senses).
Silver cord maintains the connection between the astral and the physical body, as the physical body lies comfortably and securely at home. During astral travel, if anything at all threatens your physical body, a message is passed faster than light along the silver cord and the very next instant you are back in your body fully conscious and in control of it. At times, you may feel jolted on such rapid calls! When you are so suddenly dragged back, it takes a moment to readjust. Take two or three deep breaths and lie down fully relaxed, otherwise you may feel giddy and stumble. Because of the great weight difference between astral and the physical body, at times, when you are suddenly jolted back, you do not get your astral and mundane heads together and experience the giddy sensations. Sometimes you may not get your astral and mundane limbs together. This is called “leaden-limb phenomenon”.
Many people travelling for the first time in the astral become embarrassed because they discover that most astral entities and they themselves are unclothed! This can be compared to a first time visit to a nudist camp! In such a case, if you are feeling uncomfortable, all that you have to do is will your astral self be clothed and instantly, magically, it is clothed! This is so because in astral realms, thought controls the experience and thought manifestation is instant! Hence, you can travel anywhere you like just by willing it. You can walk or fly over towns. The choice is yours! Think yourself at the place where you want to be. Instantly you will be there! In astral, the closer you get to your physical body, the stronger is its pull on you. If you wish to make an astral trip to see what is going on in the next room, you must make it a quick trip for you will be lucky if you can remain there more than a few moments. On the contrary, if you go to the next town, you can stay there for as long as half an hour, if your physical body is not disturbed in the meanwhile.
Easiest way to first conscious astral travel
Step 1: Sleep on your bed with your head towards east and feet towards west. See that you are feeling fully secured and comfortable. Before dropping off to sleep, put your body into deep relaxation. Do this by systematically tensing and relaxing each muscle, one at a time. Start with toes and work up the body to the face. This will put your body into deep relaxation and remove the “trapped” tension in various parts of the body.
Step 2: Practice one round of 25HB – Nirmal Kriya. This will keep your body relaxed but vital for keeping the awareness throughout the experiment. Please note that if you do it more, you may not be able to fall asleep. If you do it less, you may fall asleep; but may not be able to awareness. Maintain awareness.
Step 3: Rotate your awareness throughout the body (as we do in yoga nidra). This will put your body into a very deep state of relaxation.
Step 4: Focus your relaxed attention on your third eye. Just become aware of how heavy your body feels.
Step 5: Set your relaxed attention to your astral double. See it as made up of light. It is almost weightless and free. Picture in your mind’s eye the images of bubbles, feathers floating on the breeze, smoke rising upwards. Your physical body is heavy but your subtle body is almost weightless.
Step 6: You see the darkened room, even if your eyes are closed. It appears to be bathed in soothing golden light. Now, focus your relaxed attention on the ceiling light fitting. Consciously put effort in drawing the light fitting towards you. As you do this you may feel yourself floating towards the ceiling. Remain conscious with relaxed attention. You will become aware of floating in your astral self and may even see your sleeping body laid below on your bed.
Step 7: Now you can travel anywhere you want by willing it! You can come back to your body by willing it.