Tea Time with Tom: Questions & Answers
The question and answer format is one of my favorite ways of sharing. It is relevant and in the moment, spontaneously organic, and its fluid nature allows for the greatest free-flow of knowledge and co-creation. Each question is a launch pad that provides a fresh opportunity to access and formulate this knowledge in a new way. Often times, the answers that come through me are just as insightful to me as they are to anybody else. Question and answer sessions really are co-creation at its best, because we expand this knowledge together, taking it to places we have never been before. This section is an ongoing project; as I answer various emails, comments, and digital communications I will post them here as well. So grab a cup of your favorite tea, sit back, relax, and let’s chat!
“Have I gone mad?” asked the Mad Matter.
“I’m afraid so.” said Alice, “You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”
| Out of Body Q&A | Medical Qigong Q&A |
Q&A: Out of Body Experiences
Question: What is an Out of Body Experience (OBE)? How will I know that I am Out of Body (OOB)?
Basically, its when you, in your full waking awareness, recognize that you are no longer perceiving yourself and your surroundings through your physical body, but instead you find yourself in another vehicle of consciousness (usually experienced as an energy body duplicate) and you realize that you are fully out of body. There are two important components here:
- You find yourself fully perceiving through another vehicle of consciousness, usually an energy body that appears similar to your physical one but with obvious differences
- You are fully lucid and awake within this new vehicle and energy environment
You will recognize that you’re no longer in your physical body by several factors. For example, you may notice that your environment is not the same as the physical, and it will dawn on you that your body is also not your physical one! Or you may look back at your bed and see your physical body laying there, although this is not always the case! Lastly, you may discover that your new energy body is transparent, translucent, gives off a radiant glow, and/or is able to levitate, fly, walk through walls or any other action that is not possible in physical terms. Depending on the density of your new form, you may find varying degrees of ease or difficulty with these activities. Or, if you’ve moved beyond the realms of form, you might find that you have no visible body at all!
Question: Do you go Out of Body (OOB) from meditation? How often do you have OBEs? Do you have them spontaneously or do you have to work at it?
I usually initiate my OOB experiences from the in between states of waking and sleeping, that is, as I drift to sleep, or as I am coming out of sleep. In meditations, I’ll at times have visions, something more like remote viewing or seeing into other dimensions but usually not the full blown OOB experiences that I have from those in-between states.
While I do have spontaneous OBEs, generally it takes focus for me to initiate them, and when I am not focusing on it, they become pretty rare. When I do focus, they start to happen regularly, ranging from a few a week to several even in one nite; it varies. Sometimes it seems more challenging to initiate, while at other times, its easy. I’m sure it depends on many factors besides just the focus of my physically oriented self.
Question: I experience intense, I mean INTENSE vibrations when I meditate or at night, sometimes it feels like my body will get ripped apart, torn apart! What is that? Does that happen to you?
What you are describing is the vibrational state, one of the most common OBE phenomena. When your energy body starts to go out of phase with your physical body, that is, when your waking consciousness is beginning to shift to perceiving through your energy body, and it is still occupying the same space as your physical body, you may experience that out of phase state as intense vibrations. And they can range in intensity, from smooth and mild to feeling like they will rip your body to pieces! As you get familiar with it, you can learn to relax into it and simply at that point, will yourself away from your physical body, and the sensations will stop once your energy body is no longer occupying the same “space” as your physical body does. You can will yourself away from your physical body by levitation, rolling out, or getting up – and then you’re off to a great adventure!
The vibrations are often accompanied by “sleep paralysis” – which is the inability to move your physical body, because your consciousness is occupying your energy body. This used to happen to me a lot when I was much younger, and it used to frighten me a lot, as did the vibrations at first. Now I welcome the experience 🙂 As you probably already know, my videos from the Seth conferences explain a lot of this in detail. I would also recommend William Buhlam’s books, specifically Adventures Beyond the Body and Secret of the Soul, which describe the phenomena, including those intense vibrations. I also have some lectures for download on this subject. Happy trails! And yes, please do share your experiences! The more we all openly share our natural abilities, the better we are for it as a society that is awakening to our latent potentials.
Question: What is the difference between lucid dreaming and OBEs? I have visions in my meditations that feel like OBEs, are these OBEs or how do these visions relate to OOB states?
I like to think of the whole phenomenon as a continuum of consciousness, with many gradations in between. The two main continuums I see are a spectrum ranging from unconscious dreaming through various degrees of lucid dreaming all the way to full blown out of body states. The other continuum I see is a spectrum ranging from waking physical consciousness and full body awareness, perceiving through the 5 senses, and gradually withdrawing attention from the 5 senses and opening up to our inner senses, passing through a range of increasing inner sense perceptions, including visions while still being aware of our physical body, going all the way to a total disengagement of the conscious mind from our physical body and completely embodying another vehicle of consciousness altogether, 100% out of body, as it were. This can happen in meditation, though its much more common from sleeping states. In the literature they point out three induction methods: the direct method and the indirect one, and dream conversion. Direct being where you enter OOB states from the waking state, and the indirect method where you do so following a sleep cycle. I think its pretty awesome that you can enter the vibrational state from meditation and induce visions and inner experiences – if you want to develop the skill, you might consider meditating in a laying down or supported posture, and play with deepening your vision states and moving further on the spectrum towards full blown OOB states – which is full immersion in the energy body and full disengaging from your physical body awareness.
Question: Help! I’m not getting anywhere, I’ve tried and tried but I can’t get anywhere and its frustrating. What should I do next? Should I attend a retreat? What do you recommend?
My first suggestion is to relax about the whole thing. Anytime when I was stressed about it, everything got a lot more difficult. Sometimes when you are really fixated on the outcome, it can block the results. Michael Raduga has some great suggestions, as does William Buhlman – both authors add a lot of insights and different tips and tricks. Also, have you tried moving to an alternate location for the last 2 or so hours of sleep? I found that when I did this, it got a lot easier to induce OBEs in that last block of sleep from the new location – its an old trick but very effective. A retreat might help, but it might also add more stress – if you only got several days to make it happen, that could bring a “do or die” stress to it that may block the experience. My greatest suggestion is to follow your joy and your excitement, and if that means setting this down for a while, then you might have to do that and take a break. Your joy and excitement may lead you to other projects for a while which may be exactly what you need right now. The point is to keep it light – joy and excitement lighten you up and you really need to be light to be able to float out of body 😃 As another teacher once said, if you want enlightenment, the first thing you got to do is lighten up!
Question: I am curious about your exit technique. Do you experience vibrations or…? What precedes/initiates your OBEs? What is your “go to” exit technique once you feel the vibrational state? Or you do even have vibrations or do you have hypnagogic imagery, which seems to be how most people attain their OBEs?
My entries into the OOB state vary over time, and from day to day, depending on how I approach it. Usually I do a combination of entry methods, mixing and alternating between the target technique, and motion techniques (visual/kinesthetic). For example, from the hypnagogic/hypnopompic state, I may start out by imagining myself in my living room, seeing and feeling myself there, then I might imagine rubbing my hands or rubbing my body torso, then look at my hands, then imagine myself doing some motion, as well as just observing imagery. Depending on my mood, and whats working, I’ll switch it up, especially if I’m not getting anywhere with one particular technique. I really let my intuition guide me. I sometimes also add affirmations, like “higher self now.” These days, I rarely get vibrations when I do these, or very refined subtle ones. I used to get vibrations very intensely way back in the day though!
I usually “pour-over” my awareness from my physical body using my imagination until my imagination becomes the reality and I’m no longer in my physical body awareness. My awareness gradually, or suddenly, pours over from physical awareness into my new environment. In other words, for me, separation is more of a translocation technique. However lately, I use the sensation of certain standing qigong meditations as a target technique to initiate/activate my energy body in another location and I get very pleasantly intense vibrations from those. I recently taught the qigong meditation postures and decided to use them as target techniques and they are phenomenal for activating vibrations! Translocation is my go-to separation technique, however, whether I feel vibrations or not. Hope that helps!
Question: Have you experienced the pure consciousness realities and does your video give techniques to do so? And finally do you enter the non form based realities while you are in the astral or do you go directly from the physical to them? I.e., William Buhlman states: “Higher self now” will garner the experience but from the astral….. I believe. Thanks man!?
I have some rare experiences on the pure consciousness planes, and have entered there from dream conversion / OBE and from the physical. Extremely rare though, I wish I could do it at will, but alas, for whatever reason those states aren’t too frequent. The physical ones happened when I was standing in the Wu Ji, a qigong standing meditation posture, which is actually meant to put you into a formless state. The experience was one of completely dissolving, literally my physical body and entire being dissolved away and all that was left was pure consciousness in an ocean of awareness where there was no more “I,” just pure consciousness. The non-physical one was more like Will Buhlamn describes, spontaneous, a classic “I am God, and so is everyone else” type experience – words my waking self came up with once back in the physical, and yes, those layers of consciousness described in his books are very real, I felt myself fall back down from that pure Source Energy state through layers and layers of myself/the universe, setting off the most magnificent non-physical fireworks show, a completely different explosion of light and color as my local waking consciousness passed through and interacted with each native layer on its way back down to my physical body. That is why I often talk about the many levels of the self in my talks 😉 At any rate, at the beginning of my practices, I also had a distinct waking state projection from one of the qigong standing meditation postures, where I went from standing in my bedroom to standing in the middle of the desert somewhere on the Australian continent, pretty wild stuff. But all that aside, my typical experiences are quite short, and I feel like such a beginner in all this. The video is mostly about form based planes, techniques and ideas to implement, and how to prolong and dial our consciousness into our energy vehicle. That is why I put “advanced” in quotes, because there is so much more beyond those form based planes, yet the astral does have its charm and good uses for growth and experience.
Question: I just had an amazing OBE and my question is this: was this an actual reality that existed before I entered it or did I create that reality? If I created it, does the created reality continue to exist even now that I no longer experience it? Or do I have a probable self that continues to experience that reality? Did I actually BECOME a probable self therefore allowing me to observe that reality? Does this also pertain to dreams? Do our dream realities continue to exist after we have exited the dream? Someone said that you have all the answers!
Hahahahaha I don’t know about ALL but I can answer some! And any answers I give will invariably lead to more questions! And these are just my takes on it anyway, personal perspectives… Seth said that any reality that we create, continues to exist even after we the dreamer or creator withdraw our energy from it. The reality of the dream or whatever construction continues in its own terms. You can run into pre-constructed realities, and mold them to your liking, unless you enter consensus realties that have varying degrees of malleability, in their own terms. The earth plane is one such consensus reality, there are definite rules of construction here that most abide by, except for those that know how to bend them. I tend to think that probabilities are endless, and that some part of you continues to experience that reality, even while your waking self has returned to this one. The multidimensional creativity of the self is staggering, and blooms into endless realities, forwards and backwards and sideways in time, or out of time altogether. I think of it as shifting this waking focus through the various levels and aspects of the self, which is infinite. You could also consider that your inner being has an inner being that has an inner being that has an inner being… you get the idea… all the way to ATI and then spreads out again in all directions. This is why we so often say that we are all one and the same. Yet we are brilliantly ourselves and individual. Whether that reality existed before, it might have, only to be affected and molded by you the visiting consciousness, or you might have created it from the moment of perception. Perhaps its this AND that, and both are true 😃
Here is a Seth quote that I refer to at the end of my 2015 Seth Conference talk , that will answer some of this:
“Each dream, first of all, begins with psychic energy which the dreamer transforms not into physical matter but into a reality every bit as functional and as real. He forms the idea into a dream object or event with amazing discrimination, so that the object or event itself gains existence, and exists in various dimensions.
“It does not seem to exist in various dimensions. It does in actuality so exist. If a dream object or event straddles what you call not only time but space, and if, as I say, dream objects and creations maintain some independence from the dream, then can you see that although the dreamer creates his dreams for his own purposes, he nevertheless projects them outward in a psychic expansion.
“The expansion, again, occurs as the dream drama is acted out. For the dreamer, a contraction occurs as he is finished with the events or drama for his own purposes, but no energy can be taken back.
“Energy projected into any kind of a construction cannot be recalled, but must follow the laws of the particular form into which it has been for the moment molded. Therefore, when the dreamer contracts his multirealistic objects backward, ending for himself the dream that he has constructed, he ends it for himself only. The reality of the dream continues. I do not care if the idea now appears impossible… The fact remains that it is so.
“The fact also remains that on other levels but conscious ones, you and every individual knows that the dream world is indeed constructed by the inner self with utmost care, with precision known only to the intuitions. And each individual knows that such a splendid creation as this then exists beyond the self that was its origin.”
~ Seth, The Early Sessions, Session 93
Want more? I have audio lectures on out of body exploration available here. You can also check out my freely available YouTube videos on the subject here. Lastly, I have assembled my favorite books on the topic here.
Q&A: Medical Qigong
Question: What is Medical Qigong?
Medical qigong is one of the five branches of traditional Chinese medicine, and it is a highly powerful healing modality. Utilizing the same energetic frameworks as acupuncture, it includes energetic cultivation practices as well as energy work treatments. With a rich history of some five thousand years, medical qigong is highly relevant for today’s age.
As we recognize our emerging need to become increasingly more integrated as individuals and as a society, we can turn to this ancient art and science that addresses and integrates our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects, making us whole again.
Medical qigong stimulates our own inherent healing powers, reconnects us to our own true center core self, and saturates our bodies with healing light energy. It activates our energetic pathways or channels, meridian points, internal organ systems, as well as our energetic centers, clearing away blockages, restoring our natural free-flow of energy, filling in deficiencies, and harmonizing our entire energetic system.
Question: What is a Medical Qigong Treatment?
Perhaps the best way to get this answer is to just watch this brief and fun video that explains it!
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, creativity 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.