My Body My Mind
My spiritual journey is on-going and I'm pretty sure will last my lifetime and whatever else is in store for us after we die, if anything. Some believe there's nothing more, that our bodies shut down and our minds go black and it's done. As a practical person and one who also trusts science, this seems like the logical conclusion; however, my spiritual side says it's not. The only reason I think it is not, is because I have had my own experiences where my soul has left my body. Scientists would say this is our mind and that it's so powerful it's capable of things we can't understand. To date, I've had three unique experiences involving my soul being detached from my body.
For those still with me, thank you. I'm sure I've lost some who just don't believe all of this is possible. It all started in the mid-nineties in Florida, in a deep state of meditation, where I felt this incredible awareness and vibrations of an engine throughout my body (trust, I was just meditating, he he) and it scared me to death! For anyone who follows this blog, you may remember I wrote about this before, if anyone else is interested, you can read it here. I had no idea what was happening and when I opened my eyes, I saw what I'm guessing was my soul lifting up from my chest in a 3-D version. It was a white, translucent silhouette. I didn't know what I had activated, but I knew it was big and I decided I didn't want it to ever happen again, nor would I tell anyone, I felt like a freak. I stopped meditating for years for after that.
Fast forward to New York City at the turn of the century, in my tiny Chelsea studio. While being surrounded by nine million people, it can still be a lonesome place. I turned back to meditating and reading about it as it really interested me. I've dabbled in various religions, this can happen when you grow up very Catholic, church becomes the norm. While I'm not Catholic anymore, I still perform ritualistic ceremonies, as creating a quiet, peaceful atmosphere to connect with the heavens, was my favorite part of church going and I wanted to try to understand what happened all those years ago... and do it again. When you're desperate for something, it seems to be when it moves away from you, such as when the earth is desperate for rain, it just can't be, it must be patient. Therefore, once I began meditating again, it would be over fifteen years before any action would happen again.
So here we are, in the present, with a total of three "soul experiences" to date, one many moons ago and the other three . . . in the past four months.
I'm not quite sure how they're happening and if they're even real. It very well could be a dream, but I'm sure I woke up before they started, I think! I've gotten back into yoga, not as much as I would like to, but still doing it nonetheless and anyone who does yoga knows, the poses are hard and you have to have a real focus to maintain your balance to master them. Yoga is about connecting the mind and the body, like no other physical activity out there. Well all physical activity connects the mind in a good way, but yoga needs the mind in a certain state of concentration in order to succeed, the hard poses at least. The combination of yoga with a longer meditation in savasana and a deeper meditation later at home or before bed is powerful - when you completely surrender in all. Surrender as in: letting all ego go, forgetting about outside life, completely focusing on the body, breathing and the moment.
It was in the middle of the night, after one of these triple combos, where the second experience or the first astral projection occurred. The first all those years ago happened so fast and was all a mess, I'm not sure what it was, maybe it too was an astral projection I had interrupted, I'll never know. The second time however, I'm sure of it. Something woke me, maybe a ghost or just a sound outside, I'm guessing it was two or three in the morning, as that's when I'll wake up sometimes. I was staring at the ceiling trying to remember my dream, but I couldn't get a full picture, only snippets of the "movie." I closed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep, the next thing I knew, my body started to shake all over and it freaked me right out (no, it wasn't a seizure), but this time I kind of remembered this happening from before and that I wanted it and as hard it was, I went with it. My heart was pounding and I even wondered for a second if I was being abducted by aliens, somehow I managed the courage not open my eyes.
It felt as if my body became an airplane and took off, that is the best way I can describe it. I could feel the rumblings of the engine jets and then I was in the air flying around my room near the ceiling. I had terrible balance and was "flying" all wobbly. It could very well have been a dream but it seemed very real, because I remember being awake. I told myself to go downstairs and then I flew right through the closed door, down the stairs into my living room. It was like playing a video game and controlling the avatar with my mind. I didn't know what to do next, so I just told myself "go outside." I flew right through the window and was now outside, I remember being shocked. The atmosphere completely changed, I couldn't feel hot or cold and it was light grey, airy and a little louder than inside, it was easier to maneuver myself, as I had more room. This could also have been lucid dreaming, but I know it was different, because in lucid dreaming, you know you're in a dream and even tell yourself to "wake up," I was already awake in this scenario from the get go -- I'm pretty sure -- I just had kept my eyes closed.
I decided I wanted to go back inside, because I wasn't sure what do to out there and it was scary. I tried to go back in and I couldn't, I remember hitting my head up against the window and that is the point where I believe I went back to sleep and started dreaming again, because from there it gets all wild again as dreams do: dancing fairies, angels talking; that sort of dream type things. That was it for what I'm sure was my first astral projection. The next morning, early, I called my friend, who is also into spirituality and someone I knew wouldn't judge me and I told her about it. She immediately said it was astral projection and advised me to "go up" the next time it happens and that stuck with me. She also said during astral projection we have a silver cord or the sutratma that is connected to us through our belly button and if we get too scared, we can touch our belly button to connect back to our bodies. She has yet to astral project, but hopes to.
I wrote the above before looking deeper into the subject of astral projecting, because I didn't want any other knowledge of it to cloud my experience, as it's considered a pseudoscience and controversial in some religions. I get it though, it's hard to believe it's real, even to me. As it turns out, astral projecting -- or intentional or unintentional out of body experience or OBE -- has been being documented since ancient times, in many different countries. It wasn't until the 19th century where it received the term "astral projection." Ancient Egyptians for example, referenced it in the Book of the Dead, which they used to bury the dead with to help them transition. Many other religions reference OBE as well, such as: Judaism, Christian, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhist and Kabblah to name a few. Additionally, there are scholars from past centuries who have devoted their lives to writing about it, such as in the 1800's the French Eliphas Levi and Indian Meher Baba and in the 1900's, American Sylvan Muldoon and Hereward Carrington to name a few.
|wikipedia, redone image of the original from the book of the dead|
|wikipedia, image from the secret of the golden flower, china 1600's|
If you've ever been interested in astral projection or if that's out of your scope, perhaps you've been interested in meditation in order to relieve stress and anxiety and to quiet the mind and have never been able to mediate? Does your mind always race way too much when you try to mediate and you give up? Even people who meditate on a regular basis have this same challenge and that's because it's completely normal. The mind likes to race, it's what it does. If you want to meditate and this is blocking you, think of the mind as a wild horse, it just wants to go and go and go, but it can be tamed, it will just take time and lots of practice. A quick tip for when you're in that state and you can't seem to stop the mind from doing its natural thing; first, take four or five full deep breaths to relax the body and then try to s l o o o w d o o w w n e a c h w o o r d i n t h e t h o u g h t s a n d t h i n k t h a t w a y f o r a b i t. G o o d l u c k *
Sources: NYTimes World History Encyclopedia, WorldHistory.org, Wikipedia, Gaia, Yogapedia