Day 3: things are starting to get interesting...

With my flu mostly over, it got much easier to practice, and this morning I got a lot of interesting results. When I started the Wake up back to bed + wake up timer method, I had hoped I would make rapid progress as far as OBEs are concerned. I am not disappointed with an out of body experience this morning, as well as sensations of lifting off the body, and much more :)

But for the record, let's start from the beginning and recall how the whole night went.

Yesterday night, I didn't go home too late. I was in bed around 22:45. The last thing I wanted was a repeat of the previous night when I tossed and tossed and finally gave up the idea of falling asleep in my bed. Yesterday, I was pretty tired and my cold had got better, so I knew (hoped) I would be able to fall asleep much more easily. I was asleep by 23:30 which is already an improvement.

I had asked my wife to set up the alarm clock for 4:30. I was anxious to wake up on time and have the courage to actually get up without falling back asleep. It seems that both my mind and my body had received the message: I woke up from a bad dream at 3:50. I cancelled the alarm and got up straight away, to go to the office.

Now, the next little challenge was about to start. Everything was set. My "sleeping quarters" inside my office was ready. The wake-up timer was set. I chose the "ramp 4" from the lucidology presets (8 minutes, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 20, 6, 6, 6, 6, ...). I laid down with my headsets on. Next: I had to relax and fall asleep.... but again, I had trouble to do precisely that. I had been lying for 20~30 minutes, had already heard the timer a few times so I gave up and got up to change strategy.

Like two nights ago, I wanted to listen to my relaxing CD and to the timer. The problem was that the timer had to be set to be the loudest so that it actually wakes me up. But with the volume cranked all the way up, the relaxing CD was anything but relaxing! The night before, I had tried to set the two with two different software. I first set up the timer and tested the loudness. Then I used Kmplayer to play my Monroe Exploration of Sleep CD at a suitable volume. What I hadn't noticed yesterday morning is that the volume control of Kmplayer directly affected the computer's general volume settings, so I reduced the loudness of the beeper as well. No wonder it mostly failed to wake me up! So, to work around this problem, I opened the whole relaxation file with Audacity and tested properly the volume control: everything was perfect! I could have a loud beeper and a quiet guided meditation CD track.

Thus, at around a quarter past 5 in the morning, I was set up with one 30 minute relaxation track, and had delayed the same ramp number 4 by 30 minutes, which gave me the time to properly relax and get to sleep. I relaxed on my back and about half an hour later, I rolled over and fell asleep right about the time the first loud beep rang in my earphones.

Then the fun started! What follows all happened between 5:45 and 9:00, when I got up. The exact succession of events is not clear to myself, but it all mostly must have happened during the earlier hours, as during the last hours of my 3rd night, the beep hardly woke me up anymore.

First, I had a nice out of body experience / lucid dream. As far as I recall, I never have had any spontaneous lucid dreams. Or maybe when I was very young, but I don't remember. When I did have some, they were induced. Thus, I remember the very first lucid dream I had as a young adult. I had just learned about Out of Body Experiences and lucid dreams. I was in Britain at that time. I dreamed that I was in my parents' home, in France. It was daytime, and I was in the garden, walking towards my father and brother who seemed to be inviting me to come forward. I was thinking that this was a dream, that I was not actually walking in the garden. I told myself: the best proof is that my physical body is sound asleep in my bedroom. As I was thinking this, I turned my head around, to look up to my bedroom window, thinking that right now my body would be in the bed right behind those windows. Obviously, I was wrong, because I was sleeping in a bedroom hundreds of miles away from there.

Since that time, I have always been interested in everything connected to the dream world, lucid dreams, "ordinary" dreams and OBEs. I have noted many dreams in my dream diary and I often ponder about the temporal and physical discontinuity between the waking and sleeping worlds. One thing I always wondered was how close I could get my dreaming consciousness to my waking consciousness. Some dreams seem to take place from the current perspective, where I live, my marital status, and current occupation. Other dreams, sometimes during the same night, are from the perspective of my younger self, still single and without a clue that I would one day be living at the other end of the world...

All this is a kind of introduction that will explain the content of the out of body experience I had this morning during my practice. Somehow I had already projected. I didn't find myself in the Here-Now. Like in my first lucid dream from so many years ago, narrated above, I found myself in the garden in my parents' home. The perspective and the mood were different from that first LD. I was conscious of the fact that I was projecting. Indeed, the garden had strange colors and seemed somewhat wider than it really is. I wanted to test myself to see if I could accurately state the timeframe related to my sleeping body. So, I correctly remembered that we were in August 2009, the 20-something of August.... (like in daytime, I was not exactly sure which day, precisely, but I knew we were past the 20th). I don't recall remembering where my physical body was, but I knew in was not in my parent's home. So, I was not in the Here-Now, but most obviously in my Parents-Home-Now. :)

The following experiences, all from this morning, were less like a lucid dream, but closer to a more traditional Here-Now OBE.

The loud beeps from the timer woke me several times, startling me. But I remembered not to move but to let my physical body fall asleep again.

At least twice, I experienced the pre-OBE vibrations. I even found them a bit painful. It's ironic because yesterday night, I was re-reading the chapter about the sensation of pain in the Astral in R. Peterson's first book. Even though, I kept my cool and observed the process. Each episode didn't last long. Each time I blacked out and probably fell asleep again.

Several times I felt that one limb had successfully detached. I could freely move that astral limb (an arm) while the rest was still bound to my physical body. I amused myself wriggling my arm and enjoyed the feeling of it not being burdened down by its physical weight.

Also, several times I had the sensation that I was fully detached, floating somewhere inside my office. However I was still within the blind range, too close to my physical body not to be affected by it, so I was more or less blind. What I remember is not images, nor a view (e.g. a classical top down view of my sleeping body). But I do remember many strange sensations associated with floating and slightly bumping between the walls and the ceiling. It's not yet that much, but it's in fact already a lot. During my previous OBEs over the years, the experience never lasted more than a second or two, because I got afraid that I might fall: I was scared to be hanging above emptiness. Experiencing, and enjoying, those new sensations in an important part of the learning process.

Most of the above is recalled as if I were recalling dreams. The memory is a bit hazy. After all, most of this must have happened around 6am, and I was mostly sound asleep during the last hours. Also, none of the experiences lasted very long because of the method used to get them, so I didn't get any good chance to commit them to memory.

The lucidology web site promissed people the ability to have 100 OBEs in 100 days. But they admit themselves that they cheat in their counting method. According to them, the above would already amount to quite a few OBEs.

All in all, it's not yet much, but is already tremendously encouraging. The wake-up-back-to-bed method works, especially combined to a timer to wake you up at regular intervals. I'll certainly do my best to carry on practicing this and reporting here on my progress.

For my 4th night, I want to improve at least a couple of things:
- use the 27 beeps instead of the 9 beeps, to make sure I wake up properly.
- try to relax and fall asleep quicker. My body must be already getting used to this new, weird schedule, so it should get easier over time.

What do you think?

See my related blog entry at Getting results with Out of Body Experience practice.

Very interesting to read. Keep it up!