How To Have An
(1915-1995) was a distinguished radio
broadcasting executive and pioneer in
consciousness studies who founded The
Monroe Institute (www.monroeinstitute.org), a worldwide organization
dedicated to expanding human potential.
Journeys Out of the Body introduced
the term "out-of-body experience" and
involves inducing mental states beyond
space, time, and even death. Monroe became
famous for discovering how specific
sounds have the ability to produce out-of-body
states and positive enhancements to
consciousness including sleep, relaxation
and expanded awareness. Monroe developed
Hemi-Sync Method, an audio technology
where specific sounds are able to coax
the brain into various beneficial states.
In 1958, while Monroe was experimenting
with ways to enhance learning while
in a sleep state, he experienced sleep
paralysis and bodily vibrations followed
by seeing a bright light. Then after
several weeks of experimenting he induced
his first out-of-body experience. Monroe
is also the author of two more classics:
Far Journeys and
Ultimate Journey. The
following article presents Robert Monroe's
method to consciously induce an out-of-body
experience short of actually baying
to fall asleep.
In his book,
Journeys Out of the Body,
describes a complicated-sounding technique for inducing
OBEs. In part, it is similar to other imagination methods,
but it starts with induction of the "vibrational state".
Many spontaneous OBEs start with a feeling of shaking or
vibrating, and Monroe deliberately induces this state first.
He suggests you do the following. First lie down in a darkened
room in any comfortable position, but with your head pointing
to magnetic north. Loosen clothing and remove any jewelry
or metal objects, but be sure to stay warm. Ensure that
you will not be disturbed and are not under any limitation
of time. Begin by relaxing and then repeat to yourself five
times, "I will consciously perceive and remember all
that I encounter during this relaxation procedure. I will
recall in detail when I am completely awake only those matters
which will be beneficial to my physical and mental being."
Then begin breathing through your half-open mouth.
The next step involves entering
the state bordering sleep (the
Monroe does not recommend any particular method of achieving
this state. One method you might try is to hold your forearm
up, while keeping your upper arm on the bed, or ground.
As you start to fall asleep, your arm will fall, and you
will awaken again. With practice you can learn to control
the hypnagogic state without using your arm. Another method
is to concentrate on an object. When other images start
to enter your thoughts, you have entered the hypnagogic
state. Passively watch these images. This will also help
you maintain this state of near-sleep. Monroe calls this
After first achieving
this state, Monroe recommends to deepen it. Begin to clear
your mind and observe your field of vision through your
closed eyes. Do nothing more for a while. Simply look through
your closed eyelids at the blackness in front of you. After
a while, you may notice light patterns. These are simply
neural discharges and they have no specific effect. Ignore
them. When they cease, one has entered what Monroe calls
Condition B. From here, one must enter an even deeper state
of relaxation which Monroe calls Condition C -- a state
of such relaxation that you lose all awareness of the body
and sensory stimulation. You are almost in a void in which
your only source of stimulation will be your own thoughts.
The ideal state for leaving your body is Condition D. This
is Condition C when it is voluntarily induced from a rested
and refreshed condition and is not the effect of normal
fatigue. To achieve Condition D, Monroe suggests that you
practice entering it in the morning or after a short nap.
With eyes closed, look into the blackness at a spot about
a foot from your forehead, concentrating your consciousness
on that point. Move it gradually to three feet away, then
six, and then turn it 90 degrees upward, reaching above
your head. Monroe orders you to reach for the vibrations
at that spot and then mentally pull them into your head.
He explains how to recognize them when they occur. "It
is as if a surging, hissing, rhythmically pulsating wave
of fiery sparks comes roaring into your head. From there
it seems to sweep throughout your body, making it rigid
and immobile." This method is easier than it sounds.
Once you have achieved
the vibrational state, you have to learn to control it,
to smooth out the vibrations by "pulsing" them.
At this point, Monroe warns it is impossible to turn back.
He suggests reaching out an arm to grasp some object which
you know is out of normal reach. Feel the object and then
let your hand pass through it, before bringing it back,
stopping the vibrations and checking the details and location
of the object. This exercise will prepare you for full separation.
To leave the body,
Monroe advocates the "lift-out" method. To employ
this method, think of getting lighter and of how nice it
would be to float upwards. An alternative is the "rotation"
technique in which you turn over in bed, twisting first
the top of the body, head and shoulders until you turn right
over and float upwards. Later you can explore further. With
sufficient practice Monroe claims that a wide variety of
experiences are yours for the taking.