Astral Travel (#15)
Everyone has Out Of Body (OOB) experiences every time they dream, but few have them as intentional learning experiences. By publishing this technique we know we are going somewhere very controversial. Some say that OOB or Astral travel should not be taught at all, or only while in the presence of a very experienced guide. Others feel that being OOB in the dream body, astral body, or whatever you want to call it, is much less dangerous than being in our physical body. Also, it is cited that self-knowledge brings self-control, and lack of it often goes hand in hand with being out of control. In many traditions, it is felt that you will be taught what you need to know exactly when you need to know it. Perhaps just the fact that you are reading this now points to this being the time when you are supposed to deal with it. But it may not be so. In any event, the Meditation Society of America is dedicated to sharing techniques, not to hiding them, and it is with this in mind that we share this basic methodology. Whether or not you try it is up to you.
The Astral Body -
A Short Summary of Traditional Teachings
Our physical body is built and maintained by eating food. If you ingest nutritious food you will be healthy, and if you eat junk, your health will suffer. Your astral body is a higher, finer body composed of subtler material. It is built by feeding yourself what is healthy for your spirit. And that would be good acts, words, and thoughts. These "sattvic", righteous actions produce the holy material that makes up the astral body. But, if you fill with negativity, you will not have enough energy to form a strong functional astral body.
One way to help understand the way this works is to picture your astral body as a balloon. Your kindness, acts of charity, compassion, prayers, meditations, good intentions, and so on, produce astral energy that fills the balloon. When it is full enough, you will rise out of the confines of your physical body. When it is even fuller, you will escape the pull of Mother Earth's gravity and be able to roam the solar system. This goes on until your astral body fills totally, and the balloon bursts. Your pre-preatomic energy is free to join the infinite divine creative consciousness that permeates the universe, and you are free of all limitations, be they physical or astral.
Still using the balloon analogy, it is said that negativity will both dissipate the astral energy you had been filled with, as well as placing heavier, denser energy inside. This loss of "good" and gain of "bad" will affect you as much as hydrogen leaking out of a real balloon and putting sand into it. You will be bogged down and not be able to ascend to the heavens. This is a powerful life-changing situation. It is said that one moment of anger will negate whatever gains months of meditation had brought.
Similarly, the intention you have for using it is felt to be very important in the construction of the astral body. As an example, let's say that all you wanted to use it for was to go to a card game, leave your body, and in the astral, be able to see the other players' hands. Your materialistic desires and plans to have an unfair advantage would probably deplete you of astral energy to the degree that you wouldn't be able to use your astral body any more than a deflated balloon can fly. Although winning at cards initially may seem attractive, there is no doubt that spiritual evolution is a far greater treasure. So if you do try astral travel, it is suggested that this be the intention motivating your use of this technique.
The astral body is the body you will take with you when you die. The greater the quantity of astral energy, the higher stage of evolution you will be reborn into. You can't have any faith in your body, mind, or emotions surviving death. Only your consciousness, your awareness, has this potential. The astral body is the vehicle that carries it until liberation, and the re-union with everything, everywhere, takes place. This is when you experience the Divine Body and live happily ever after.
Close your eyes and visualize yourself sitting or laying down in whatever position you are in. See yourself in as great a detail as you can.
Visualize your astral body getting up and leaving your physical body and floating to a position approximately 10 feet above your physical body.
Float up through the ceiling of the room you are in, or right up in the sky if you are outdoors. When you are about 100 feet in the air, look down and see the area you were just in. See the rooftops, treetops, lights, whatever.
Float very much higher and then see the area beneath you.
Think of somewhere on earth and let yourself be pulled there. This usually happens instantaneously with the first place you think of. It is suggested you preplan your "flight". Look around. Be conscious of your surroundings without commenting, comparing, or judging. No mental chatter!
Let your self, your awareness, be pulled back to high above where you started. Now, let the universe pull you to wherever you are supposed to go. Be silently conscious of your surroundings, learn what you are supposed to, and be pulled back again.
Float back down to above the building or area where you started. Look at the environment, and float down through the rooftop to the top of the room you started in, about 10 feet above your body.
Look down at your physical body, and let yourself be pulled back into it. Lay or sit still and let your physical body absorb what your astral body has learned. Silently witness the process.
Live happily ever after.