Lucid Dreaming & the Out-of-Body Experience

Sean McNamara
For millenia, shamans, prophets, and mystics have used their nighttime awareness to explore the reaches of mind and reality. Some use the dream state to gather information, others leave their body behind and travel through non-physical realms as a point consciousness or as an "energy body." Today, many people report having spontaneous experiences like these. Yet these are skills that can be developed, and there are many techniques for doing so. Let's define these experiences: 
Lucid dreaming is the experience of becoming consciously awake - the way you are right now as you are reading this - within the dream state while your body is asleep.  You are able to control dream elements in ways beyond normal physical capabilities.  You can feel what it's like to fly or change the appearance of your environment through your will.  There are many profound tasks you could accomplish with lucid dreaming. People have reported gaining insights into their subconscious, experiencing physical and psychological healing, receiving insights about situations or solutions to various problems.  Interesting forms of communication have also been reported, for instance with departed loved ones, with unborn children, and with others who are dreaming at the same time.

The OBE (Out of Body Experience) is the experience of separating your conscious awareness from your physical body.  Right now as you read these words, your physical body and consciousness seem to be occupying the same space and location as a unified process.  Imagine waking up in the middle of the night hearing a tremendous rushing sound, a person's whisper, tinkling bells, or other unexpected sounds. Then a feeling of waves, electricity, rapture, or tingling move through your whole body. Finally, you feel yourself floating up above your bed, toward the ceiling, or even moving through the ceiling into the sky above, while your body is left behind in bed.

Some people come to the class because of their interest in just one of these abilities. However, the techniques for one can be quite helpful for achieving the other, which is why they are taught together. The techniques share the element of intention, awareness, visualization, and deep relaxation. I believe that the kinesthetic element is crucial for visualization, so I bring in props like hammocks, ropes, and balloons for us to use. By the end of the class, you'll be endowed with a full set of techniques to choose from as you continue your training afterward. If you keep practicing, one evening you'll find yourself awake within a dream, or floating out of your body and flying over your neighborhood. The things you discover at that point are limitless, and life changing.

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