Any person who has been applying these techniques faces an inevitable problem. Better said, there are many impediments to consciously astral projecting. It is the purpose of this lecture to explain what these are, but more importantly, how to apply effective remedies.
There are two primary obstacles. The first is a lack of effective methods, and the second is our own mind.
The first problem is easily fixable, although there are some issues. Anyone who explores this topic, searching on the internet, discovers a multitude of teachings. There are many astral projection techniques, theories, and instructions. It is so easy to get lost by the interpretations and the novelties of diverse knowledge. It is incumbent upon the student to discriminate the real from the illusory. But for beginners, this is not easy. It is not easy to discern what is true and what is not.
But there is a way to know what is effective and what is not. It is the lived experiences of the teachers. People have to live what they teach to a more or less degree. It is important that when we study from a school that we can verify or determine that whatever is being taught is experiential and has been experienced.
Unfortunately, there is a tendency in spiritual schools to teach what one does not know. In fact, many people make a business of the divine. They take the teachings that have a tremendous potential and merely leave it in the intellect. Personally, I have known groups that teach about astral projection, even when the instructor has never had that experience. It is really sad, and it unveils the necessity to experiment and to test, to know.
My purpose in teaching these lectures is because I have had many experiences about the techniques, so I can teach from my own faith that this is real. However, even though any missionary can give you knowledge and offer promises, can provide any type of wisdom, the reality is that it is necessary for the student to know what is being taught. The only way to know is to practice daily for many years until the results you long for become a reality.
Obstacles to Astral Projection
But of course, there is a major problem: the mind.
The mind is an obstacle. Even if the techniques are genuine, it is our own conditioned states which prevent the actualization of conscious astral projections. The tendency of the mind to be distracted is the fault, is the ultimate impediment.
Anyone who has been following this series of lectures, perhaps studying the last lecture on mantras, has experienced that the mind wanders. You may be lying down, very relaxed and yet your mind is all over the place— thoughts appearing and disappearing, cycling, churning, and fleeing from one idea to another or in a chain of associative thinking, never on the goal.
These mantras and techniques work, but only in accordance with the discipline of our mind. We can give an example. A carpenter has tools: hammers, saws, rulers and whatever is necessary to do the job. But a carpenter cannot do anything, cannot build anything, if he does not know how to apply the tools.
You have to be concentrated on what you are doing. You also have to know how the techniques work and the purpose of the tools. You cannot take these items and create anything real if you do not have the knowledge of their effectiveness and purpose. For example, an astronomer cannot study the stars with a microscope, nor could a biologist study the microbes with a telescope. These techniques have a purpose, and the only way that they work is if you are fully immersed with your whole Being into them and that your mind is not thinking of something else.
I know that the analogy may not be perfect, because someone who is very experienced in carpentry may be thinking of something else and doing one thing, but the reality is that people who do a really good job are fully focused. Their whole Being is there. They do not think of other things. They are not distracted.
So, if we lack the ability to serenely observe ourselves, to be present, to know what we are doing, then we cannot enter the astral dimension with awareness.
Samael Aun Weor gave a quote in The Aquarian Message which emphasizes these points:
Before anything else, comprehend that in order to consciously travel in the astral body, the process of thinking is an obstacle. We have given many clues in order to travel consciously in the astral body. However, we have seen in practice that those people who cannot quiet the mind, not even for an instant, who are accustomed to hopping from school to school, from lodge to lodge, always inquiring, always preoccupied are not able to astral travel. —Samael Aun Weor, The Aquarian Message
It is the tendency of the mind to be superficial, to move from thing to thing. I do want to mention that from this quote, that Samael Aun Weor made a very profound point. He is not talking about going form school to school not learning about objective spirituality. He was a student of many teachers, many religions, many groups. But he did not approach each school or each religion with a superficial attitude. He had his own discipline of mind, his own character development, his own meditation, so he was able to learn from all of these diverse teachers and schools about how to perform this work. But most people when they go from idea to idea do so without a ground, without a foundation, and it is this foundation that is at the heart of spiritual success.
Litelantes and Simplicity
In this next slide we see the Venerable Master Litelantes, the wife of Samael Aun Weor. She is a great master. I say this not because I read about it, but because I have met her. The first time I met Samael Aun Weor was with this initiate in the astral plane in an Aztec temple. She is a very awakened master. She has knowledge of reincarnation from experience. She is a judge of the law of destiny in this solar system. She is one of the forty-two judges of the hierarchs of karma. She helped Samael Aun Weor rise. She is a severe but profoundly loving master, and despite all of her achievements, what is most remarkable, is that she was illiterate.
She could not read. She is very simple, but unfortunately in our Western culture, we think of illiteracy as stupidity, and this is wrong. There are many people who are not literate who have profound memory, imagination, understanding, but also intelligence. Real intelligence is spiritual. It is the ability to know how to navigate life with selflessness and love.
Sadly, in our modern era, the intellect predominates. The intellect has been used to create the atom bomb. That is not real intelligence. That is stupidity.
So why mention this master? It is because in astral projection, it is the heart that matters. The intellect is secondary. People who are very intellectual, who have a head like a library but have no sentiment, and no heart, are polarized in a very negative way. The intellect divorced of the spirit is detrimental, because the intellect is used for cunning, for sophistry, for articulate sarcasm, for cruel words, for manipulation and deceit.
If we want to be really successful with astral projection, it is important to develop the heart, superior emotion, and qualities of the Being. Samael Aun Weor stated the following in The Perfect Matrimony in a chapter called “The Flying Serpent”:
In practice, we have been able to prove that people who are very intellectual, full of bookish culture (the library book worms) do not manage to go out at will into the astral body. On the other hand, people who are simple, humble peasants, poor servants of families can do so perfectly. This has made us think a great deal about the matter and we have carefully investigated the problem. The fact is that traveling in the astral body is not intellectual. Rather, astral travel is more aligned to sentiment and to superior emotion. These qualities are related to the heart and not to the brain. The intellectual polarizes himself in the brain in an exaggerated fashion and abandons, in fact, the world of the heart. The result of his lack of equilibrium is the loss of the psychic powers of the Soul. —Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony, “The Flying Serpent”
Balancing Mental and Spiritual Faculties
We need balance, like in this image. We have Anubis judging the mind and the heart of the defunct, and above are the Egyptian gods of judgment, the lords of karma, who are ascertaining the moral caliber of the student, of the initiate. This feather represents the mind, and obviously the heart represents superior emotions.
Sadly in this era, most people do not know what superior emotion is, but we have had rare glimpses: perhaps a mother to her child, who sacrifices herself despite her faults and imperfections; to be kind, to be pure, to be compassionate; also comprehension, understanding and the building of communities. These qualities unfortunately, for most people, are very rare. We do not genuinely identify ourselves with the best, primarily because we are afflicted with ego, by pride, anger, lust, resentment, and fear.
When the heart is heavy with emotion of the negative type, of the ego, the scales tip and therefore we have an imbalance. Any imbalance between the mind and the heart results in failure. If we really want to be effective with conscious astral travel, astral projections, the mind needs to be in balance and the heart needs to be calm, present, and still.
Anytime we exercise a faculty, we strengthen it. For most of us in the West, we have a mind that is very filled with knowledge and our hearts tend to be depleted and deficient. Wherever we direct attention, we expend creative energy. Therefore, whatever actions we perform strengthens the machine that is facilitating it. If you use your intellect more than other faculties, it becomes, in a sense, more experienced, more developed, like a muscle.
However, the intellect must be balanced. You would find it strange to go to the gym and see a person who only works out their right bicep at the expense of all of the other muscles. It would be absurd, but in our Western culture, which is so intellectual, requiring intellectual responses to life, to stimuli, we tend to have the mind very fat, ignoring other qualities of our Being, and because of this, there is a problem. In our Western world, we need the intellect. We need it, but it should not predetermine everything we do. The connection between the mind and the heart has to be established because there is a fine connection and thread which is our own Being, our own Essence.
By this we are not stating, because of the faults of the mind, that we should be illiterate or should not have the intellect. For most of us who are in North America or Western countries, this is where we begin, because of our education, our personality, our background or our experience. Now it is more important that we learn to reunite the mind to the heart. Samael Aun Weor stated in The Perfect Matrimony, “The Flying Serpent”:
Unfortunately, a faculty cannot be acquired without the loss of another. Whosoever wants to develop the intellect does so at the expense of the psychic facilities. This problem is serious because we can in no way approve ignorance and illiteracy. It is logical that the intellectual culture is necessary. Ignorance leads to very serious errors. —Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony, “The Flying Serpent”
So by this statement, it might seem that, well, if he argues against illiteracy, what about his wife Litelantes who was illiterate? For her, she was already awakened before she was born. She had a type of consciousness or has a type of consciousness that is very distinct, very alert, comprehensive, intuitive, and awake. She was already awake before she was born. Therefore, she had a faculty in her early years that allowed her to navigate existence. But for most of us, we are asleep. We lack knowledge of our past lives, of our previous states, and of who we really are.
Blavatsky and Illuminated Intellect
We begin where we are at, and because we are hyper-intellectual in the West, we have to develop ourselves kind of like this master, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. We included her in this slide because she is a perfect example of both a scholar and a master. Anyone who reads her Isis Unveiled or The Secret Doctrine can immediately ascertain her facility with knowledge. But that is not all where she left it off. She had an illuminated intellect, and she knew how to use the mind in balance. There is a quote by Samael Aun Weor in Igneous Rose, the chapter called the “Esoteric Discipline of the Mind,” which explains what that type of illuminated intellect is.
We must learn to think with the heart and to feel with the head. —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose, “Esoteric Discipline of Mind”
This is something you have to experience. Understanding is a distinct quality from rationalization. The mind that thinks, that theorizes, that debates, that argues, that churns, that stews, is not comprehension. Comprehension is a light. It sparks in you when you know in your very core the meaning of something, and therefore, you do not have to think. You do not rationalize. The real solar mind, the divine intuitive mind, receives knowledge and wisdom in a receptive way. The consciousness is hyper-active, but the mind is still. This is how the images of the internal worlds enter into the psyche. When the mind, the intellect is in perfect equanimity, when these surfaces are clean and still, then wisdom emerges. But to do that, we have to become like children, as Jesus says in the Gospels.
I will emphasize another quote again by Samael Aun Weor about what we must do if we want to be experts at astral projection:
Now the interesting thing is to know how to reconquer the lost psychic faculties. A man with a brilliant, illuminated intellect and with all of his psychic faculties in full activity is really in fact, by his own right, a true illuminated one. The occultist needs to establish perfect equilibrium between the mind and heart. When the mind has become excessively frozen in the brain, leaving at will in the astral body becomes completely impossible because there is imbalance. It is urgent then, that the intellectual occultist re-establish the equilibrium between the mind and the heart. Fortunately, there is a technique to re-establish the lost equilibrium. This technique is inner meditation. —Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony, “The Flying Serpent”
Dream Yoga Discipline
We are going to talk about some practices that you can use to develop all of this. Dream Yoga becomes our lifestyle. We will give some techniques, some guidelines you can follow. We are going to elaborate upon them now so that by learning techniques like meditation and introspection, we can become more intuitive. Samael Aun Weor states in The Secret Doctrine of Anahuac:
Those candidates who sincerely long for physical direct experience must unquestionably begin the dream yoga discipline. The Gnostic must be very demanding with himself and to learn to create favorable conditions, to remember and understand all these inner experiences that always occur during sleep. —Samael Aun Weor, The Secret Doctrine of Anahuac
Let us talk about this discipline. Here are the preliminaries. In this image, we see in the top left a woman whose face is transposed beyond her own, looking at herself. We chose this because it is a perfect illustration of self-reflection. When you go to bed at night and even throughout the day, how often do we see ourselves? How often do we actually look at what we are thinking, at what we are feeling, our state of mind, our quality of perception, how we see, how we react, how we behave?
Self-observation is essential, but many people get stuck in this. It is easy to consider this an intellectual exercise, thinking: “I am now looking at my surroundings and at myself. I see anger in me or I see pride. I see fear.” The mind can label but it cannot understand, unless it is in a passive state. The consciousness must be hyper-active, but the mind must be calm, equilibrated.
But before you go to bed, especially, examine your state. Do not go to bed angry. Do not go to bed with negative emotions. It is better, like in the bottom right of this image, that we meditate. It is better that we really comprehend why we behave the way we do, why we suffer.
Look at it. If you had a problem with a family member, an ordeal with someone, look at the emotion. Look at your thoughts. Look at yourself, and do not struggle with it or suffocate it or suppress it, but look. See it.
This is psychological judo, real, spiritual martial arts. When you see something in yourself that you may not like, look at it and look at your reactions. Look at your mind. The mind struggles. The soul can disarm our own psychological opponents, which are our own defects, and as you are doing this, we learn to develop superior emotion.
When you recognize that you are not your thoughts, not your desires, not your hatreds, you can begin to see that you are a spark of the divine, the Divine Mother Kundalini, the Being. In moments of stillness, we access our true nature, and when you taste that, it will give you joy. It gives us happiness, because we realize that we are not the mind. We are not our pain, our fears, our anxieties, our insecurities. We are something more, and that we are a spark of Her. This develops prayer. When you connect with that, you ask, “Help me, my God, to not be what I am, but to be something more, to be united with you!”
Exercise, Diet, and Mood
In the process of introspection, we can develop our lifestyle.
Exercise is important. If you live a sedentary life, if you do not work out or get some type of exercise, consider it, because if you go to bed with tension, pain in your body, inflexibility, it is going to make it very difficult to practice astral projection. You will not be able to relax. It is very simple.
You may find an exercise regimen that is conducive to your schedule, your needs. Some people do martial arts, or they do exercise in the gym. Some people run. Some people walk. Find our what works out best for you.
Also, it is good to work daily with our sexual energy. We see this woman on the top left performing pranayama. Pranayama, especially for single people, is essential. Transmute every day. Conserve your energies. That is the power that is going to awaken you and give you insights.
Also, listen to good music. We often recommend classical, especially, primarily because the works of initiates like Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, and Tchaikovsky originated from the Being. This kind of music awakens the heart, the superior emotion. It inflames the soul.
I have had experiences about Beethoven’s music, especially his Ninth Symphony. What was very startling for me was that when I had this samadhi, I later listened to his symphony, and I immediately recognized what I experienced. It scared me. I did not know how someone could articulate perfectly within music every sentiment and movement of that vision. Therefore, music can inspire our spirituality and help us to work, opera especially. We have given a course which is ongoing, which is The Secret Teachings of Opera, where we study operas such as Turandot by Puccini. There are many works. They educate the mind but also the heart. So, if you are looking for a practice that will equilibrate your psyche and also teach you kabbalah, study opera.
Our diet should be light at night. It is not good to eat heavy foods before we go to bed. You might find it difficult to practice. Too much food in the stomach at night can cause indigestion and then nightmares, especially from red meat in the evenings. If your diet is very heavy in that, consider diminishing it or limiting it. Your last meal of the day should not encumber your body. It should help you feel balanced, because when your stomach is filled with food when you sleep, you activate, especially with red meat, the chakras of the abdomen, which are infernal, that could awaken you down in the infernal planes. It is very common. This is well documented in science or the study of dreams, that indigestion causes nightmares. So, eat lightly at the end of the day.
Home and Environment
Something to consider, too, is that our home or our environment should be conducive to our practice. Our bed should have, like in this image on the top left, good support for our body, our neck and our spine. Our bed should be comfortable. It should not be so rigid or hard that you cannot sleep. If you cannot fall asleep, you cannot practice, or if you cannot maintain your awareness when going to bed, then consider adjusting your environment. Beds with springs that are creaking or noisy are very discomforting.
You should make your home a temple. On the top right we see a bedroom or a bed with the three primary colors: red, blue and yellow. These three colors represent the three primary forces, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Having these colors in your room can help you awaken, in a sense that if you are conscious of your environment and what the colors represent, they help to create beauty in our home.
It is very difficult to relax if our home is a mess, or if it is in disarray. We should take care of our temple. Our environment or our nest should be comfortable, inspiring and uplifting. The three primary colors are beautiful for that because they represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Now your bed does not have to look like this but you may find ways to decorate your home. For example, some people use the Tibetan prayer flags which have these colors. You can adjust this principle to suit your needs.
Every night, keep a journal nearby, a dream journal, so that first thing when you wake up, you write down what you experienced. Remembering your dreams and documenting them is essential. We will give a whole lecture on how to remember dreams in the future. But the important thing is that you have some notepad or some way to document what you dreamed about before you wake up.
There is something about the act of writing which helps us to remember things. Many people have documented that they remember things more when they write about what they experienced. The same thing with a dream journal. So, you may find that if you get up in the morning and you are rushing to work, it could be easy to forget your dreams. But if you wrote them down after performing some preliminary retrospection exercises to recall what you saw, you might not forget.
So, journal it. Write it down. Your journal does not have to be super detailed. However, much time you have, whatever you can commit to paper, do it. Make sure you include enough information that it will help you recall things.
Also, we should incense our home daily. Perfume it. Whatever incense or smells help you to relax, that help you feel at peace, use that.
You can even incense your pillows with your favorite perfumes. There is something about aromatherapy and smells that help elevate our mood. If our mood is positive, you can enter the dream yoga practice with more enthusiasm. Also, cleaning your home of astral larva with sage or other incenses that I mentioned before can help for more cleanliness, psychologically speaking, and this goes a long way to help our practice.
Morpheus, Northern Magnetism, and Astral Projection Postures
You may find that astral projection can be very difficult and there are other remedies you can use to help cultivate your spiritual life.
You can lie down in the posture of the lion. This is the Buddha that has his legs, his left leg over his right, the knees bent, his right hand holding up his head. The left hand on the left hip. This is a very effective posture for astral projection. You may find that it may help you to relax, but also be attentive, and that is the key to any exercise, that you are able to relax but also stay awake long enough that you remember what you were doing. So, finally by hitting that balance, you knock on the door to the internal worlds.
For some people, this posture may be difficult, and that is fine. You can do Chac Mool or other exercises. You can lie on your back. The key thing is that you have to be relaxed but attentive. You have to be aware of what you are doing at all times. But you will hit a transition point where, as you are entering sleep, you perhaps start to experience sounds, visions, colors, and images, and almost in a sense, it comes upon you without you really being aware of it. It just happens, and when you recognize it, that is the moment that you can get out of your body, get out of your bed, and do a test. Pull your finger as we explained previously, to see if it will stretch or jump in the air, to see if you float. The postures are helpful. You can try this, the lion’s posture.
You can also lie down on your bed with your head facing North. Northern magnetism helps with astral projection. The planet is an energetic and even psychological and spiritual body. It channels forces and energy thoughout the globe that effect our psychology. Magnetism especially influences the astral body, and the Northern pole helps to orient and align our state of mind with the higher worlds. I know we mentioned in previous lectures that certain spiritual authors associate the North with the spiritual worlds, like the mountains or the cold. So, if you lay down with your head towards the North and fall asleep, that magnetism can help you make astral projections more frequent because the astral body is a fluidic vehicle. It is material in the sense that it has its organs and capabilities, but at the same time it is organized and dominated by different laws that are more energetic and subtle.
We also have the God Morpheus, who is a part of our Being. Anyone who has seen The Matrix films knows about Morpheus and the analogy of how we need to awaken from illusion. So, Morpheus is actually the god of dreams in Greek mythology. He represents part of our Being. There is a part of our Being that helps us to awaken within the astral plane. You can concentrate on Morpheus and pray to your inner God to help you to enter the astral dimension consciously.
Morpheus is a part of us. Some people often think of divinity as singular, but the truth is that there are many parts of the Being which we are learning to work with and unite. It is all the parts of our inner consciousness which have their roles. Morpheus is that part of our Being that helps us to awaken within our dreams. So you can pray to Morpheus. You do not need formulae. Simply pray: “Help me get out of my body,” or whatever comes naturally to us.
The Lunar Influence
You can also take advantage of the lunar influence. People often report more vivid dreams and astral projections during the full moon, and this is because the astral body is lunar. It relates to the lunar-mechanical influences of nature.
There is both a positive and a negative aspect of the Moon. We know that women are naturally influenced by the lunar cycles, such as with menstruation. The tides of the Earth are regulated by the Moon. But in a negative sense, we find that there are more crimes on a full moon. We even get the term “lunatic” from the word luna. But because this is a mechanical influence that is a part of nature, but also a part of us, we can take advantage of it, take something mechanical and make it intentional. When there is a crescent, waxing moon or a full moon, we can dedicate more intensely to our astral projection exercises because the lunar influence will help us, help us to awaken.
The Moon has both a material and a psychological, spiritual influence on our mind and heart, so we should use it to our advantage.
It is fortuitous also that we are now in the astrological sign of Gemini, as of today, May 21st to June 20th. Gemini is the zodiacal constellation associated with the brothers, the twins, and is intimately related to the sign of Mercury, the planet Mercury. There are masters in the internal planes associated with the planet Mercury. Samael Aun Weor calls them the lords of the mind. They are masters in the internal planes who can teach you how to astral project. In the sign of Gemini, they work more intensely, because the influence of that zodiac is entering our planet and is accelerating certain spiritual influences. If you become conscious of them and work with them, you can really intensify your dream yoga experiences.
In Gemini, the forces of Mercury are very powerful. Mercury is related with the mind, the mental body. But these lords of Mercury, these lords of wisdom, can teach us to astral project. So whatever technique we are using, we can also invoke and call upon these initiates. There are many beings throughout the universe not merely from our Earth.
Now, in public discourse, we have more openness about extraterrestrials, other humanities. The question is at least being raised instead of being shunned. But we go a bit further, because if you awaken in the internal worlds, you can get help from other humanities. Personally, I have received help from other humanities, not physically, but internally, where certain beings have come, humanoid, that look just like us, to help me get out of my body. The lords of Mercury can do that for you. So, you can intensify your practice during this time in the sign of Gemini.
Ethical Requisites for Astral Travel
There are also some things we can cultivate in our daily life that can help us promote our practice. Samael Aun Weor mentions the following ethical prerequisites for astral travel in his book Aztec Christic Magic, where he talks about how ethical discipline is really the key to our wellbeing.
He is not talking about morality, or whatever country thinks is good or bad. What is good in one time, is bad in another, and vice versa. We are talking about something more universal, having to do primarily with the cleanliness of the body, the lungs especially, and our sexual energy.
If you faithfully practice each one of the exercises that we have taught in order, for these six consecutive days, you will soon project yourself in your astral body, this is if you are a respectable person, that you neither abuse liquors or tobacco, that you do not propagate gossip, that you do not enjoy making fun of your neighbors and that you live and respect every living being. —Samael Aun Weor, Aztec Christic Magic
Obviously, it is difficult for people who smoke or drink liquor, but we know conventionally that these elements toxify the psychology. These elements are also very difficult for our dream yoga practice. If the body is unhealthy, the mind is polluted. If we are sick from consuming these elements, it is going to be very difficult to practice.
On a more subtle note, it is important not to engage in criticism of our neighbor, as difficult as that may be, because negative emotions spread and cause pain. A negative emotion is another obstacle to dream yoga. The important thing is to have compassion for others. This is the ideal. We should strive for it.
Tips for Astral Projection
Here are some tips you can use to astral project:
1. Rehearse the practice for 10 minutes beforehand
Before you actually practice, rehearse the practice. You can lay down, imagine, or pronounce the mantra that you are going to use as a kind of test run, so you get comfortable with the process of actually lying down and doing the exercise. If you are practicing, you may find it difficult in the beginning if you are unfamiliar with how to do it. So, if you rehearse it, it can make you more familiar.
2. Do not fear being unable to go to sleep. Practice whole-heartedly.
We should also not fear being unable to go to sleep. Some people do not practice whole-heartedly because they feel like they need to be alert in a ridged sense. Perhaps it is excitement or fear or agitation, or the idea that if I practice astral projection, I will not get any rest and therefore there is the obstacle of not wanting to practice. Do not fear that you are not going to get sleep, but give your self some space. You can practice for ten or twenty minutes, thirty minutes if you want, if you are ambitious, or maybe more but dedicate some time to yourself to figure out how long you want to engage in the exercise. You could do it ten minutes vocally and then ten minutes whispered and then fall asleep.
3. Slowly train the body to adopt a posture.
We also have to train the body to adopt the posture. Some postures like Chac Mool or the lion posture can be difficult for some people, so take some time to practice the postures. Get used to them, and then after a time of actually practicing them, you can always roll over on your side or your back, whatever is most comfortable for you to fall asleep. But do take some time to get familiar with them.
4. Deepen relaxation. Do not force the process. Let it happen.
Also, deepen your relaxation. These techniques only work if you relax. Be attentive but relaxed. It does not have to be tight and ridged. Being alert does not necessarily mean having five cups of coffee and being hyper. As I said, it is about being calm. Real alert awareness is relaxed. Do not force the process of astral projection. Let it happen. The more you try to force it or restrict it, you can jump out of the experience. You can lose it.
5. Gradually increase practice length from 10 minutes.
Gradually increase the time of your practice. Over time you can gradually increase the practice to lying down for ten minutes. Maybe you start with five at first, five minutes vocal and then you go to five minutes whispered and then you go to sleep. You may find that you get more into it or more relaxed and then you can basically extend the practice.
6. Conscious efforts, not mental exertion.
These are conscious efforts, not mental exertion. As we hinted before, the consciousness has to work. The mind must be passive. The personality has to be calm. You will know the difference through experience, through how you apply your perception.
7. Practice consistently and with dedication.
Also, practice consistently with dedication, because if you practice one night but not the other, you loose momentum. Then sleep becomes another reoccurrence of our former habits. We go back to bed and enter oblivion for eight hours and we do not remember anything.
8. Enjoy the exercise and the results of your practice.
Enjoy the exercise and the results of your practice. It is like working out. People do not stick with a workout regimen if they do not enjoy what they are doing. But if you find something that you enjoy doing and you enjoy it, like this exercise, you are going to be more enthusiastic to practice it. So that is something to keep in mind.
9. Maintain equanimity and dispassion.
We should maintain equanimity and dispassion. The more excited you are, the more agitated, the more fearful, the more anxious we are, the more attached to results, the less likely we will consciously astral project.
10. Develop concentration and visualization.
Concentration and visualization are the key, to focus on one thing and visualize what we are doing like with the Fa Ra On exercise we taught about previously. You imagine the pyramids. You see them with as much vivid intensity and color as you can, and you see yourself going there. Or better said, rather than imagining that you are imagining it, you actually imagine the sand, the wind, the heat, and the environment. It is important that we maintain our concentration and visualization exercises, so we have more depth and strength to our exercise or our work.
11. Adopt a prayerful attitude.
Adopt a prayerful attitude where we humbly ask for help and pray, “Show me, Divine Mother, the internal worlds. Help me to change. Help me to experience this for myself!”
12. Take a comfortable position when ready to sleep.
Lastly, take a comfortable position when you are ready to sleep.
There is another exercise you can do if you want to increase your likelihood for astral projection. We call it intermittent sleep.
You can practice getting up in the early hours of the morning or late at night. You set an alarm, sleep for a few hours, then get up in the middle of the night and you perform a practice. The Qur’an is a perfect example of a scriptural source of this discipline, where in Islam they mention about supererogatory prayer, which are additional exercises or prayers that one performs in the middle of the night or the early hours of dawn. As it says in Surah 17:78-79:
Perform the prayer at the declining of the sun to the darkening of the night. And the recitation at dawn—truly, the recitation at dawn is ever witnessed! And keep vigilant prayer for part of the night, as a supererogatory act for thee. It may be that thy Lord will resurrect thee in a praiseworthy station. —Qur’an 17:78-79
You may find that if you wake up in the early hours and you practice and then go back to bed, that you suddenly enter the astral plane with a lot of intensity, a lot of vividness of color and depth. It is because you take the time to awaken yourself even physically to be more alert and aware until finally you take that alert state and go back to the dream world. It is very useful. It is a form of spiritual resurrection, because you are literally coming back from the world of the dead and then entering it again.
But of course, there are some caveats to this. You do not necessarily want to perform intermittent sleep or practices when maybe you have work during the week, or you have a busy schedule. It is not good to do it all of the time, especially if you find that you need rest. But instead, you can basically perform it maybe once in a while or whatever is conducive for your schedule. You can also go to bed earlier. That is important too, to make up any sleep you have lost, but also you do maintain a schedule that is going to be healthy for you.
Elementotherapy: Nature’s Royal Art
We are going to explain these last few slides, a couple of practices with elemental therapy which is nature’s royal art. There are certain plants that can help us to astral project, especially if we struggle with achieving it.
In synthesis, elementotherapy is a term coined by Samael Aun Weor about working with the souls of plants. Every plant in nature has a soul. It is animated by life, and every plant has a spiritual purpose. So we can work with the intelligences of nature to teach us how to astral project, to help us go out of our body. I will only mention two.
Elemental of the Angel’s Trumpet
We have a plant called the Angel’s Trumpet. Samael Aun Weor talks about this in Esoteric Medicine and Practical Magic, in the chapter on “The Magic of the Angel’s Trumpet.”
So, typically what you do is you concentrate and visualize the soul of the plant. You perform a mantra that activates the plant itself and helps you to facilitate inner experiences.
One thing to be conscious of with the Angel’s Trumpet is that it is highly toxic, so there is that caveat. It is important not to consume the plant. What we are working with is the elemental, not the physical substance of the plant itself. Samael Aun Weor, when he mentioned this practice, he mentioned how in his past lives in certain temples of the White Lodges, he would take some of the juice of some of the plant and dab it very lightly on the forehead of the initiates when they would fall asleep so that they, with the combination of mantra and prayer, would go out. But personally, since I am not a master nor am I under the jurisdiction of one in my physical life, and do not have that kind of guidance in my personal existence, I do not recommend doing it for oneself, with the juices. Personally, I do not know the accurate dosing, although he does describe dabbing it. But that is something very easy to abuse, and in fact, there are many indigenous shamanic cultures and traditions that have abused this plant. So, my personal recommendation for this type of exercise is that you work with the plant’s soul. Do not consume or touch the leaves of the juices itself because it could be harmful. But the elemental of the soul of this plant is very powerful.
Here is what Samael Aun Weor stated in his book, Esoteric Medicine and Practical Magic:
Every angel’s trumpet tree has its corresponding elemental, which has to be utilized by those who wish to consciously depart in their astral body. […]
So, it is like a little prick, and we know that ancient blood rituals were performed by Jesus in the Last Supper, where he took a drop of his blood and deposited it in the chalice of the Last Supper, which was shared amongst his disciples or the Apostles. This united the astral bodies of all of the initiates with Christ.
So, blood is a very potent substance which carries the life of our humanity and our spirituality. With this, you take a little bit and connect it within the incision of the tree and it creates a bond where the elemental will vow to help you. Here is what Samael Aun Weor also had to say about this topic:
Then the disciple will cut some hair on his head and will hang it on the tree. He will collect a few petals from the flowers of the tree and place them within a little bag and hang it around his neck as a talisman. Hence, from that moment on, the disciple has under his service this humble elemental, who will always assist to his call.
So, again he mentions a dab, but personally it is my recommendation to work with the soul of the plant, because one could abuse it, using too much of it, obviously, and that is a problem.
Elemental of the Peyote
There is another plant which is very controversial, which is talked about in a lot of shamanic traditions. It is peyote. But there are a lot of problems with peyote, even though authentic peyote can produce conscious astral projections. I will name a list of issues, although it is not exhaustive.
To find authentic peyote is very difficult. It is only found in certain regions of Latin America.
Not only that, but one has to be educated on how to dose it which is learned by certain indigenous masters within Latin America. But then the problem becomes how to discriminate who is authentic and who is not, or who has maintained the purity of any lineage. Unfortunately, in these times, this is very rare. Personally, when I have met certain indigenous masters, it has been in the internal planes. That way one is not easily fooled, if you are very alert and conscientious.
The elemental of the peyote also only works with meditation, and for this, one has to be a practical meditator, not merely learning how to calm the mind or how to concentrate for a few minutes, but actually meditate to experience internal truths.
This is based upon chastity. The elemental of the peyote only obeys chaste people, not those who waste their sexual energy.
It also requires sanctity, eliminating a lot of ego, because the elementals do not respect people who do not have any ethics.
Also, when the authentic traditions of peyote were utilized, they were done so in sacred spaces and temples and even so, most of that has been in the internal worlds.
Some people would be surprised how is it that one can work with peyote in the internal worlds. It is because the astral plane is material. It is a plane of spiritual matter and energy. This elemental magic is internal. While there is a physical component, the real work of that magic happens within the spiritual planes.
There is also the issue of when to use the peyote, and when it is appropriate. That is based on divine will, in very rare cases, but also knowing what divinity is commanding what to do is obviously difficult for us as beginners. Most people do not discern reality from illusion or reality from desire and attachment.
There is also the issue of frequency of use, how frequently to do it, when it is allowed, and how it is allowed, because often this can lead to abuse—and has.
Also, it is illegal in many countries.
Let me relate some things that Samael Aun Weor stated about this topic.
In Mexico, the Aztecs used the buttons of the peyote to astrally depart. Such a cactus is very abundant in Chihuahua. Unfortunately, the peyote that is known in the valley of Mexico does not serve for this purpose. Whosoever wants to obtain the true peyote, has to search for it among the native Tarahumara in the mountain range of Chihuahua. Moreover, they have to learn how to dose it. Those native Indians are the only ones who can teach how to administer that cactus. Many people have wasted their time with the peyote in the valley of Mexico. The people who have obtained this cactus in the North of Mexico did not achieve anything because they do not know how to use it. This is the difficult problem of peyote.” —Samael Aun Weor, Aztec Christic Magic, “The Sephirah Hod”
He also states in a lecture called “Questions About the Path”:
Peyote is not found in the countries of South America or Central America. It is only found in Mexico and with difficulty. —Samael Aun Weor, “Questions About the Path”:
To corroborate on some earlier points, he continues in this lecture “Questions About the Path”:
The elemental of the peyote cooperates, yes, with meditation. It does not create any kind of tendencies. The elemental is very demanding. It demands chastity. In no way will peyote help, for instance, the indecent lustful ones. It has rules. Master Huiracocha talked about peyote. He narrated how the Master Racinchi inside the temple of Chapultepec, used peyote in order to cause an astral projection. This is the only recommended plant with the condition of not the abusing of it, since it is only for the K.H., Kosmic Humans.
So, we mentioned this in this lecture because a lot of people like to rely on certain substances or drugs to have astral projections because they feel blocked. Some people who are very impeded by their own mind, want to rely on other things to help them astral project, and so, they may turn to peyote or other substances to experience that. But we want to emphasize that if one were to use authentic peyote, it would be under very strict stipulations. There are certain difficulties as I listed, which are just some of many problems. So, this is why Samael Aun Weor mentions in Aztec Christic Magic:
We do not recommend the use of this marvelous cactus. Indeed what we recommend is practice, much practice and soon you will act and travel in the astral body. —Samael Aun Weor, Aztec Christic Magic
I know one missionary who was helped by the elemental of the peyote, but it was performed in a ritual in the astral plane. So, as you saw from that list, there is a certain discipline needed to work with certain elementals. This is something to consider, but this person I know was very awakened in that state as a result from receiving help internally. But for most beginners, obviously, we have attachments and weaknesses to consider. What is better recommended is much practice with these exercises, so that we can achieve the results that we want.
Concentration and Visualization of the Heart
We can also develop our concentration and visualization of the heart. Concentration and visualization are essential for astral projection. If you find that it is very hard to astral project, you can work on your concentration and imagination.
Concentrate and visualize. You can take an image of the heart, maybe in minute detail, depending on your interest or needs, and see it. Concentrate on your heartbeat. Meditate and enter a drowsy state. Visualize how the heart functions in you. Be aware of its presence and the life that it gives. See it. Feel it. Imagine it. By working with the two, concentrating on this image or any image of the heart, you can start to access knowledge that is internal, where you actually see how your heart functions, how it is the Sun in your own psychological and physical solar system. But the two, concentration and visualization, are very important. Without these two principles combined together, it is impossible to really enter the astral state with lucidity and ease.
We will conclude with a practice.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Questions and Answers
Question: In The Yellow Book, Samael Aun Weor speaks about how an obstacle to meditation is a lack of the drowsy or sleepy state. Could that also be an obstacle for astral projection?
Instructor: Absolutely. As we were saying in the lecture, if you cannot relax when you are practicing, when you are meditating, you cannot really access anything profound or deep, because relaxation is the threshold that leads to the internal worlds. It is when you progressively detach yourself from your physical body.
So oftentimes when you are meditating and you are entering a drowsy state, you can start to perceive different images, sounds, colors, experiences, which are not physical, but they are within the screen of your imagination. You cannot access that if you are agitated, or you are in your body or identified with your body or if you are tense. The important thing is to really relax deeply. Without that, you cannot meditate.
Actually, meditation without drowsiness is harmful. It is because you are very alert, but you are not going into your internal worlds.
There is something about drowsiness and relaxation that suspends the mind and that is actually one of the limbs of Ashtanga Yoga, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, where he talks about suspension of the senses is the beginning of yoga, where you let everything get calm, relaxed and become still, whereby, like a tortoise, you retract your attention inward and no longer identify with the body. So, we need to relax. Without that, you cannot access anything authentic or real.
Question: Forgive me, but I have forgotten the name of the posture but when we are lying down on our right side with the left leg on the right and our palm of our right hand is on our head, do you spend about ten or twenty minutes hoping to get into the meditative state in the posture and then could you relax on your back afterward? Or would you try to fall asleep in that position?
Instructor: Good question. Basically, what you do is rehearse it for a while. Get into the habit of trying to relax in that posture and train your body. In the beginning you may find that you cannot do it for more than ten minutes or so. Therefore, it is good if you are not able to relax fully in it yet, at least get into the practice and habit of doing it. So, with time you will find you will be able to relax more in that position. The more you do it, you train yourself and the easier it becomes until finally, you can get drowsy and relax while doing it. But it takes time.
Comment: Time and consistency. Thank you.
Question: And on that posture, the lion’s posture, can you do that on your left side as well?
Instructor: He mentions it on the right side and that when you finally feel like you are ready to go to bed, you can turn to another side, relax, and then fall asleep. But he does specify the right side, primarily because the right side relates to the lion, the solar forces. The Lion of Judah is the power of the Sun and also the Son.
Question: I recently overheard that somebody was saying that they were taking a new heart medication and it caused him to have nightmares. So, what are some obstacles that medication can present? If it is something that you have to take, is there something you can do to overcome that?
Instructor: That is really a good question. Personally, I know of students that have suffered a mental illness, therefore, they have to be medicated, for their heart or for something or a condition. It creates certain impediments while also helping to heal the body. If a person’s physical and mental health requires medication, obviously, that takes precedence, but medications that are perhaps causing nightmares or other types of experiences, obviously that is an obstacle.
For some, taking medications related to depression or mental illness, those drugs are very powerful and can make a person very drowsy or perhaps clouded of mind, which commonly is the testimony they give and that it does create difficulties in practice. But it does not mean that because there are difficulties that one cannot overcome them.
It could be difficult to have to take heart medication that causes nightmares, where that is one of the results of having to take it. Whosever’s health is affected by not taking it, obviously, you have to weigh the pros and cons. What is life going to be without the medication, if you are going to be without the medication? If you are going to die or if it is going to harm a person, then you need to take it and have to deal with the consequences.
There are ways to remedy nightmares. You can do runes. Runes are a great way to overcome negative emotion. I knew of one missionary, whose father was a teacher of Gnosis, and while growing up he would have nightmares quite frequently. What his father would do for him was, as soon as he woke up from having a bad dream, they would stand up and do runes for two or three hours. It got rid of the problem.
That energy will help elevate the soul. It can counteract some of the negative influences of symptoms of any kind of drug. So, yes there are obstacles, but it means that there is a pro and a con, so to speak, good and the bad. While it is an impediment, it is also possible to overcome it.
Question: What role does cerebral spinal fluid play in dreams and in astral projection? If one is deficient in this, can that prevent astral projection?
Instructor: Good question. Basically, with our brain and the functioning of our nervous systems, there is a connection between astral projection in the body with the health of our nerves, because when you are physically active, your astral body is integrated with your physical body. It is basically operating within the human machine.
It is good to have good health, a good spine and a healthy brain, but of course in this day and age, there are difficulties. It is very rare to find someone who is very healthy, perfectly healthy in this era. Especially in the West, given all our technology, our results of medicine and achievements, and yet still, a lot of people are ill and suffer many conditions.
If your car is damaged, obviously there is going to be an impediment to be able to drive around effectively, and there could be different problems with the car. It is the same with the physical body. It is the same with the heart, the emotional body and also the mind or the mental body. Internally, your mind, emotions and physicality can be represented by a car, and if you have dreams about a car, how it is driving and functioning, it is a representation of many things. It could be a representation of, for example, of your mental health, emotional health or physical health. If you ever get experiences of that nature, where you are being shown something about yourself and your health, it is good to consider the guidance of divinity showing that maybe we are being told to take care of our brain, our physicality, to take care of our heart or take care of our mind.
We can often get warnings in the internal world, especially in the early morning hours of the dawn, where we can get insights into what we need to focus on. It is important to be healthy, but obviously if we have an illness, because of certain karma, it can be more difficult to do the work. But personally, I have known people who have suffered some kind of injury or condition that they have had to contend with, but because they were so persistent in achieving the results that they wanted, they awakened.
It is not easy. It is not simple. Everyone’s situation and karma is different. But it can be done. I have faith in that because I have seen many students and learned about people’s hardships, challenges that were difficult to hear, but we have to do the best that we can given our circumstances. If it means taking care of one’s livelihood or one’s health, one has to do what they need to do. But it does not mean that one is going to fail. What matters is the consciousness, learning to operate with what one has, because what is more important than the car itself is how you drive.
So maybe there are certain restrictions on how you drive. But, in the end, what matters more is that you take care of your needs or learn to drive ethically. There are a lot of people who are healthy and have had a life handed to them on a golden platter in terms of their physicality, and yet they are terrible people. They do not appreciate what they have, and therefore maybe in the future they will not have that. So, there is a balance of mind, body, and heart. If you are conscious and you are serious, if someone has a condition that they are dealing with, it can be done.
Question: Speaking on the importance of the drowsy state, once I start to see events and hear voices projecting, I tend either to lose consciousness or I cannot control what I am seeing or hearing. How do I control what I see and hear?
Instructor: Do not try to control everything. Watch it. Desire wants to modify, to change or to control. When you start to have inner visions or experiences, the thing is not to grip them more tightly. The thing is to let it go and watch. Let it unfold of itself like a clock that is unwinding. Let the mechanism spring and fulfill its own objective, and just look at the results.
One obstacle to astral projection is trying to control the process. It is very common to want to accelerate things or to want to run away from the experience. I remember when I was a young kid, one of my first astral projections scared me. I was levitating above my bed, floating in the air with a lot of lucidity and intensity. I called out for someone to help me because I did not know what this was and obviously, I woke up. I wanted to control the situation. I wanted to get out. I did not want to be there. I was afraid of what I was witnessing with myself, levitating above the bed. It was very real, more real than my physical life. Had I not tried to be controlling of the situation or had I not been afraid, I could have prolonged the experience and learned to navigate effectively.
The reality is that in order to be more dexterous with astral projection, to know how to do it more effectively, you actually have to relinquish a lot of control. Do not let your mind try to control things. In a sense, let it happen. Watch what happens. Let the images come. See them like you are watching a film. You are trying to learn what is objective and real here.
With practice, you will sense that you are starting to lift out of your body, or you are in bed and the visions pass and you feel that you are about to transition, that you are about to step out of your body. When you recognize that moment, that is the moment that you have to act. But this is not a type of mental control. Do not try to modify or control the circumstances. It is about acting when you need to, but discriminating when to do that is going to be difficult in the beginning. You will learn it through time, through familiarity. So be patient.
Another Instructor: Another factor that may be at play there is that the consciousness is too dispersed, and one lacks attentiveness. You can work with the practice that was discussed earlier in this course where in our waking state, you meditate on a candle or an object for a certain amount of time each day to strengthen the consciousness and strengthen the ability to focus the attention.
Question: A gnostic instructor once advised me to pronounce the mantra “Wu” for calming the mind. How is that pronounced?
Instructor: It is like an exhalation of air, like a hurricane. So, the breath sounds like this: (Sound of hurricane wind howling through a mountain’s throat):
It is an exhalation. It is almost like you are trying to whistle but you are exhaling the air, letting it out, followed by the “U” sound. So yes, that is also a very good mantra to calm the mind and can help to train your mind to get ready for astral projection.
Any other questions? I thank you all for coming!
The Gnostic Academy of Chicago
Free online courses, lectures, podcasts, and transcriptions.