Practices are not only about quantity. Even more important is quality. Easier said than done, but it’s a golden rule and very worthwhile to grasp it well. Someone once said that “definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different resuts”, and that if the door you try to open is not opening by pushing, then you need to pull it. This indicate the need to experiment in order to get to results.
Most people that get stuck somewhere in the process of learning astral projection, is because they are applying the same approach, without getting any result. This indicates that practices are done in a mechanical way. Therefore, before starting the practice, intent to do it with quality, and things might very well start changing for the better. Remember: astral projection is achieved when the mind is awake at the moment when the physical body falls asleep. It is that simple, and a quality practice will move you in that direction.
Reflection and retrospection after practices for improved results
When the practice of astral projection, or one of the preparatory practices (such as concentration, relaxation, etc.) is finished, take a moment to reflect on how the practice went. See how was your concentration, which thoughts and emotion were appearing and taking your focus away. Perhaps note these down and see if youc an observe a pattern in things that lessen the quality of your practices. use the data gathered from such reflections in order to improve the next practice.
Increasing consciousness through eliminating defects
The esoteric tradition gives an important teaching that in every psychological aggregate (such as anger, lust, fear, vanity, envy etc.) is a trapped percentage of consciousness, and once the aggregate is eliminated, that small percentage goes back to main consciousness. The trapped consciousness is called conditioned consciousness, because it is conditioned by the defect in which it is trapped. Every subconscious thought, emotion and impulse carries a small percentage of consciousness that can be set free by asking the feminine part of our Higher Self to eliminate it. We can see the symbology of this in many traditions around the world (such as the Black Madonna, Kali or Durga killing a demon etc.).
The more percentage of consciousness that we have, the easier it is to maintain concentration during practices, and awareness during dreams and conscious astral experiences.
‘Wake ups’ to break sleep cycle
‘Wake up’ (or plural, if there is more than one) is a term used among some spiritual groups for waking up in the middle of the night in order to practice astral projection. This is probably the most effective way that I have found when it comes to having astral experiences. It is done by waking up after some 4 or 5 hours of sleeping, then staying awake for some time, and then practicing astral projection. After the practice, resume with sleeping.
Now, even if you don’t project, chances are increased that you will have out of body experience or waking up within a dream when you go to sleep after the practice. This is because the sleep cycle is broken which affects the consciousness. It allows the consciousness to ‘break through’ with more ease. The chances are increased even more if you have an alternative bed or mattress where you can sleep in those final hours of sleep.
Changing sleeping habits
As astral projection is so much related to sleep, it is worthwhile experimenting if changing sleeping habits would affect you astral attempts. This can be things such as sleeping in an opposite way than usual (having head on the side where you normally have feet), sleeping on alternative bed/couch/mattress, etc. This is done as something to experiment with, not necessarily making permanent changes.
Using special situations for intense reality checking
Reality checks were mention in the part one of this articles as a good way of training subconscious mind to repeat the questioning of reality that is done throughout the day. These can be intensified during situations such as when we meet new people, or are going to new places, when we are in new or unusual situations, or when we see things that are out of the ordinary or that affect us a lot. At such times we can intensify questioning regarding the reality in which we find ourselves, understanding that we could very well be in a dream without knowing it until we check and make sure. But even then it is still possible we are dreaming, especially if the check is done in a lukewarm way.
Waking one hour earlier to practice astral projection
Another good opportunity to try the practice of astral projection is to wake up one hour earlier than you normally would, in order to do the practice. You can either get up from bed for a bit and then return to do the practice, or move directly into the practice when you wake up. This could be useful because the body still has a dose of tiredness which can help in achieving the astral split.
Practicing when waking up naturally during the night
Sometimes we wake up naturally during the night, whether that be because we woke up from a dream, because we are thirsty, or simply because a sleep cycle has ended. We can use this opportunity to concentrate on a technique for astral projection, in order to try and reach the ‘mind awake body asleep’ state, which is the state where the astral detachment occurs.
I am personally not the afternoon nap type of person so I cannot say from personal experience, but many practitioners who were taking naps have reported that it helped them with reaching the astral split. Because the sleep is lighter, it helps them enter into beneficial state for astral projection. One of the more famous example of that was author William Buhlman, who was taking naps every afternoon during his Uni years and it’s how his first experiences started.
I hope these tips for increasing chances for having astral experiences will be as helpful for you as they are for me. Remember that the key is in experimentation, tenacity, genuine interest, and being open for mysterious. Like the masters would say, one needs to have a childlike interest – curiosity but not being attached to results, and not to crave results. It’s possible to be serious and aim to get to results, but at the same time to not be attached to them and not expecting them. If we do the practices well, the results are bound to arrive. Approaching astral projection with a child-like approach, with innocence and the sense of the wonder, is bound to bring you closer to the mysteries.
HDP, December 2018.