I have been fascinated with accounts of the non-physical world for as long as I can remember. I grew up in Confederate Point in Jacksonville, Florida when there were still lots of woods to play in and a neighborhood full of kids. Our imaginations ran wild and we were free to explore with abandon; the fear mentality was in its infancy. We built forts; made home videos; swam at the community pool, which also had tennis courts, a playground, bathrooms, and even a soda machine; rode our bikes everywhere; and played a lot! As we got older nearly all our sleepovers involved an Ouija board and a seance, where we tried to communicate with the spirit world. We were firm believers in this ‘other world’, alternate reality, or the non-physical, as I like to call it now, and we desperately wanted to ‘prove’ it existed. I’m sorry to say that nothing out of the ordinary ever happened but, nonetheless, I was not convinced it didn’t exist either. What I couldn’t experience myself I could read about, though, and that’s what I’ve been doing since then.
I have devoured stories of near death experiences, lucid dreaming, remote viewing, spontaneous healing, and all kinds of paranormal experiences with a skeptical but open mind. I learned that knowledge of these types of experiences in the non-physical world has been around for thousands of years, probably more. It is the big secret that’s been kept from the general population this whole time! Traditionally, knowledge of the non-physical world has been transmitted via religion but today we have access to all the information we desire thanks to the internet. This access to information for everyone is unprecedented and it will be interesting to see where it takes us. In the meantime, I believe it is facilitating a lot of people in their personal growth, mine included for sure.
Thanks to YouTube, I found out about a guy named Tom Campbell. While he was working on his PhD in physics, he was introduced to TM, transcendental meditation, which changed his life. He went on to do some pioneering work studying consciousness with Bob Monroe in the 1970’s at the Monroe Laboratories. He stresses the importance of turning personal beliefs into knowledge through direct experience. He has also written a book called My Big TOE (theory of everything) where he disseminates his forty plus years of experience exploring his own non-physical world AND the world of physics and proposes a theory that elegantly explains the big questions: Who are we? Why are we here? Where did we come from? The short answer, he says, is that we are here to learn and to grow up. This reality is our school. He also describes different dimensions of consciousness to explore, the non-physical, which we all have access to and are capable of cultivating. This caught my attention.
So what is this non-physical world? It is easier to explain what it’s not. It’s nothing you can see, smell, touch, taste, or hear; your senses cannot detect it in your waking world. It is a different dimension than the one we collectively call reality. There are three ways to access this realm: lucid dreaming; out of body experiences (sometimes called astral projection); and meditation. Meditation is the easiest way for most of us to become familiar with our inner, non-physical world. When we practice meditating, we are training ourselves to have mastery over our thoughts instead of our thoughts controlling us. Meditating is simply the practice of being an observer observing your inner landscape. Out of body experiences are characterized by a feeling of floating out of your body, sometimes with the ability to look back down on your physical form, and the ability to travel and explore the astral plane. This can happen during meditation (which again got my attention) and other instances when the body is relaxed but the mind remains awake. Lucid dreaming happens when you realize you are dreaming inside a dream and become conscious of your dream state landscape. You can make decisions and have experiences similar to your waking reality.
I was reading Tom’s book in December 2017 and up until that point, my only experiences in the non-physical were a couple of lucid dreams I had had in my twenties and my on and (mostly) off again meditation practice. Those dreams were very cool but also short lived and seemed to happen by chance. I got so excited when I learned there were techniques I could practice that would facilitate these experiences as well as prolong lucidity in a dream. I also felt short-changed with the belief system I was taught like I only got half the story growing up. If I had known that explorations like this were possible, I would have practiced like crazy my whole life. Well now I knew and I was excited because I had my why. I decided my new year’s resolution for 2018 would be to dedicate myself to this exploration by beginning a regular meditation practice and to practice the various techniques that were meant to trigger lucidity in my dreams. I started writing my dreams down every morning (one of the techniques) and questioning my wakefulness during the day (another technique) and to my pleasant surprise, I started having lucid dreams! Not as frequently as I’d like but a couple of times a month on average I’d wake up and remember every detail. Sometimes I was so excited about becoming lucid that I would pop myself awake but other times I had enough time to try some things like flying. Now I can’t wait to get to bed to see what nocturnal adventures I’ll have!
One of the side effects of my experiment is that I am much more mindful in my life, both night and day. I am a work in progress but I would say that I have more command of my thoughts and emotions, regardless of outside circumstances. I have learned to lower my keel and stay calm amidst some crazy shit this past year. No one makes me angry, upset, disappointed, or fearful. I do that all by myself. I used to do it frequently too! When I’m in the moment and making conscious decisions and choices, I find it easy to look at any situation as an observer and note what’s really going on. I get my ego, with its preferences and expectations, out of the way and that opens me up to engage authentically from my heart. This has come primarily from my regular meditation practice. The more I access that calm, open space in my meditation, the more easily I can access it when I really need it! My goal is to operate from this level 100% of the time. I’m not sure how long that will take but as long as I’m breathing, I will be dedicated to my practice! My project that is ME becoming…from the non-physical to the physical and back again…
So here’s the challenge: Pay attention to your dreams. Start writing them down as soon as you wake up. They are valuable teaching moments for you. One technique I used at the beginning that worked well for me was to look at your hand throughout the day and say to yourself “when I dream tonight I will look at my hand and realize I’m dreaming” over and over. When and if you become lucid, try to jump in the air. You will not come back down if you are lucid in a dream. You will be able to FLY! It is THE COOLEST THING! and everyone has this potential! Happy Nocturnal Wandering!
Heather aka Indigo Girl