Overcoming Fear in Out of Body States
By Thomas Leichardt, L.Ac., DMQ (China)
In a recent Facebook discussion on OBEs, I answered a question about fears that arise during separation from the physical body. I would like to share that response here in expanded form, in case anybody else has experienced states of fear during the initial moments of separation and would like some tips for overcoming them.
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Fear can come right at the moment of separation because the waking consciousness is directly confronted with such a profoundly new experience. Even if we have already read and researched copious material, including how-to manuals, books and other people’s personal experiences on the subject of OBEs, everything changes once we are in a direct personal experience of the phenomena. Fear can suddenly arise, as we are no longer dealing with purely theoretical knowledge. Instead, the experience is so intensely immediate, real, and tangible that it can take some time for the waking consciousness to get familiar with the sensations of that incredibly new and unusual state of awareness.
I overcame my fearful response with proper knowledge from various authors, coupled with practical experience, practice, and patience. Fear can seem rather easy to overcome once you’re on the other side of it, but I know how immediate and frightening it can feel when you’re held in its sway.
As with any new experience, the last thing you want is to judge or beat up on yourself, or compare yourself to others that seem to have an easy time of it. Remember, there is no race. Everyone grows and develops new abilities on their own time, and you will do so at a pace that is right for you.
As an example, to illustrate what may happen as you begin to explore the world of out of body travel, imagine that you are keenly intent on skydiving for the first time. You read all about the actual experience, what it looks and feels like, you prepare with special training on the ground, and you are otherwise very well informed and ready. However, once you’re on that plane thousands of feet in the air, and you look down at the earth so incredibly far below, you might start to feel intense fear. In the grip of fear, you might even decide not to jump at that time, and perhaps postpone it for another day. Now if that were the case, there would be absolutely nothing to stop you from trying again. In fact, you can try as many times as you like, until you feel fully comfortable to make that first profound leap into the unknown, trusting that you’ll know what to do, that the parachute will work, etc. Continuing with our skydiving example, unless you gave up all together, you would feel increasingly more and more comfortable each time you attempted to jump, becoming increasingly familiar with the sensations of the wind, the elevation, and seeing the ground so far beneath your feet.
Some people may jump on their first time, while others may do so on the 2nd or 3rd attempt, and in the end, it doesn’t really matter. You see, there is no judgement, and its not a race to show off how many OBEs anybody has or how advanced you or anybody else is. Its really not a comparison or a competition – its your own personal journey.
Luckily, unlike having to arrange another airplane ride in order to skydive, its rather easy to recreate the proper conditions to try and try again to separate and explore beyond your physical limits in out of body states. You can easily try several times a week if you like. You can also practice Psy Time, a very simple meditation technique, which will familiarize you with altered states of consciousness on a daily basis. And, while second hand knowledge has its limitations, you can always read various books and get more tips from the ever growing library of explorers who have left many valuable insights for others to folow.
Generally, as with anything that you continuously focus upon, you will keep getting better and better, and you will do so at your own pace, as you stay focused upon out of body exploration as a practice. Ultimately, you will become your own authority as you become familiar with your own abilities and mental states, while initially, many of the external sources of information will help to calm and reassure the mind.
Regarding the vibrational state, a common and sometimes frightening experience during the onset of separation from the physical body, my own personal experiences are varied. Sometimes I have intense vibrations and am unable to separate, while at other times I separate by passing through a vibrational state at the onset, and yet at other times, I seem to skip the vibrational state altogether by coming awake within a dream state, or simply by willing myself out at just the right moment.
Its really useful to know the vibrational state so that you can use it as a signpost that your consciousness is already separating from the physical, and that you are in a high probability of being able to manipulate your consciousness and energy body away from the physical one. Once the two bodies are no longer occupying the same “space” i.e. not superimposed one on the other, the vibrations immediately stop.
Using the “target technique” during the vibrational state can be very useful. This technique includes visualizing that you are in another room of your house or at any other familiar physical location. You do this by fully relaxing into your experience, using as many senses as possible to place yourself at the other location, recreating all of its familiar sights, sounds, and sensations. Use as many of your senses to recreate the scene as vividly as possible. For example, in your minds eye, vividly see where you are standing, recreate the sensation of weight on your feet as much as possible, imagine being able to feel your non physical body with your hands, and tune into any familiar sounds of this place. Does it have a familiar smell? Is there a familiar feeling tone in this location? Some people are much better at recreating scenes with their visual senses, while others may recreate by honing into the feeling tone of a place, or its smells and tactile sensations. As you play with this, it will get much easier to go there in your mind. If you catch the right moment and state of consciousness while applying this technique, you will find your consciousness easily leaving your physical body.
For me, the target technique is is by far the most effective way to separate from the physical body when experiencing the vibrational state. Some alternatives techniques to use during the vibrational state include simply just getting up, floating up, rolling out, or otherwise moving away from the physical body.
Many of these techniques, tips, and tricks are all very well explained in “The Phase” by Michael Raduga, and “Adventures Beyond the Body” by William Buhlman, as well as my OBE video on YouTube. “The Phase” is probably one of the best technical manuals out there for inducing OBEs, even though otherwise its a rather dry and scientific book with a relatively materialist worldview. “Adventures Beyond the Body” is also very excellent and incredibly insightful. It offers a much more spiritualistic world view while still attempting to connect the phenomena to modern “quantum” scientific thought.
In the end, whatever your persuasions in terms of beliefs, it is important not to let worldviews get in the way of direct personal experience and explorations. Whether you believe that OBEs are purely states created by the brain, or that your consciousness is in fact leaving the physical body, the techniques for inducing this exhilarating state are one and the same. In other words, both the materialist and the spiritualist can enter this state of consciousness, regardless of what one believes to be its fundamental cause.
Audio lectures on out of body exploration are available here.
About the author: Thomas Leichardt is available for consultations in all things energetic and spiritual. As a holistic medical practitioner, he applies various modalities to help restore his patients’ natural alignment with health, vitality, joy, and clarity. Thomas has an acupuncture and energy medicine clinic in San Jose, CA. He also teaches classes in energy medicine and is faculty at Five Branches University.