Astral Travelling is like sport for the spiritual seeker.
Astral Traveling is not a difficult endeavor, in fact you do it every day. Where the difficulty lies is being conscious that you are doing it. Every time you fall asleep your consciousness turns away from your everyday existence and turns itself toward other spheres of consciousness. The astral spheres is a term to describe the stars and planets. With a bit of literary tweaking we have come to see this term broadened somewhat to include non-physical realms of consciousness.
When a person sleeps the physical body rests. Our physical day to day experience not only includes physical exertion. Thoughts and emotions are constantly animating the level of our exertion. When we sleep our body is rested from both these experiences. Our thoughts and emotions turn to the realm of consciousness that does not need our physical body.
At the point of sleep we become unconscious and for many the only experiences of the sleep state are dreams. Yet there is more to the sleep state than the dream state. There are a myriad of spaces and presences available for you to experience. Use the term visit if you like.
Astral Traveling is a term I reserve for the process of being conscious that you are outside your body and moving. There is another term Space Traveling. This is akin to daydreaming, whereby you are aware you are in your body and move from space to space in the astral plain. With Astral Traveling the center point of your consciousness is not your physical brain, but beyond it.
For a spiritual initiate, one who spends a good part of their time undergoing meditation and contemplation, the ability to astral travel is high on the agenda. To achieve the art means you are able to discern consciousness beyond it's normal level. The standpoint is widened markedly. Also to master astral traveling holds the initiate in good stead for their death.
Sleep and Death have something in common. In both cases consciousness turns away from the physical body. With sleep it's usually for 6 to 8 hours. At death it is permanent. And to be able to retain consciousness while in the sleep state means the initiate is also able to retain consciousness in death. The transition is similar. That point of sleep, the moment you fall asleep, is similar to crossing over into death. Any wonder people panic when they begin to astral travel. The sense of falling is a common experience with Astral Traveling. It's not usually the ascent, but the descent that creates the fear of falling.
To begin to practice Astral Traveling you need to learn how to put your body in a state of deep relaxation and not fall asleep. You want to retain consciousness, that's the key. There is a point where consciousness changes and if your mind grasps too much you will not transition into it.
The deeper your body relaxes there is a point where you can practice lifting your nonphysical self outward. The sensations of etheric arms and legs and head is felt. You're not lifting your body, but the ethereal component. Paradoxically you don't try, you allow it. The more you force the harder it is and if you get frustrated with the practice you're likely to give up and fail before you begin.
When you have managed to get your non physical self out of your body, the key is to stay put. At least in the beginning it is important to stabilize the experience. Be consciousness that your physical body is in the bed but you are not. Hover above your body for longer than you think necessary. If you can master this part you are likely to become an expert traveler.
By the way, the process of putting your physical body into a deep state of relaxation is in itself a major tool for recuperation and could be practiced as an aside to the purpose of astral traveling. Another piece of consciousness you may be interested in, you realize your brain is but an organ through which consciousness is processed. Something for you to ponder.
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