Spiritual and Esoteric practices like Yoga, Ayurveda, and a myriad of meditation techniques have become quite commonplace in modern western culture. Yet the less recognized phenomenon of astral travel (out of body experience) could hold a hidden key to the healing and enlightenment we seek.
We've connected the dots between tending to our spirituality and how it affects the mind-body-emotion dynamic. Imagine if we could enhance that soul-work by taking a spiritual journey to see life from a broader perspective?
Astral Projection: The Fast Track to Spiritual Enlightenment?
In leaving your body for a brief time, you have the opportunity to experience firsthand the realization that your soul exists beyond the boundaries of your body.
If you care about spiritual growth and soul expression, you should put astral travel at the top of your priority list. Let's explore what the astral plane, astral body, and astral travel are, as well as how to astral project and some cautions and tips to help you on your way.
The Basics: Astral Travel, the Astral Body, and the Astral Plane
Astral Projection: Nanci Trivellato, MSc., is a consciousness researcher and an instructor with the International Academy of Consciousness (IAC). In her TEDx talk "How Out of Body Experiences (OBES) Could Transform Yourself and Society," Trivellato describes astral travel as "An experience in which the consciousness moves away from the human body, being able to experience a reality that is subtler than this ordinary one."
Trivellato studied commonalities in reports of OBES and found that several physical symptoms and perceptions were common across people who had them. These included:
Dr. Robert Crookall was a British geologist who became a well-known researcher of OBES, the afterlife, and other psychic experiences of humans. Dr. Crookall compiled thousands of OBE accounts, leading him to conclude that they are not the result of a belief of any kind and are independent of cultural aspects.
Astral travelers describe a vast range of experiences while projecting. These can vary from witnessing a real-time actual even involving people they know personally to entering into different dimensions, meeting non-human entities, and gaining profound insights into the universe and their existence.
Astral Body: Whether by accident or by intentional practice, an out of body experience allows a sort of energetic 'copy' of you to move independently of your physical body. In so doing, this copy or astral aspect of yourself can experience and witness things that are impossible when integrated with the physical body. When projecting, you free your astral body from the confines of space and time.
Many astral travel experts speak of the necessity to ground oneself before leaving the body, describing a sort of cord that connects the astral body to the physical body, maintaining a link at all times. Themystica.com reveals, "The body is composed of astral material and is an exact energy duplication of the physical form that it encompasses. This energy body is attached to the physical body, usually at the naval, by a silver-like cord."
Astral Plane: Many consider the astral plane to include vibrational destinations like the collective beliefs of heaven and hell. They are both said to exist in the astral, separated only by their rate of vibration. The astral plane is, naturally, a dimension of reality native to the functioning of the astral body. It is the astral plane that lies closest to the physical reality, parallel yet more subtle, more etheric, less literal.
Many types of guides, entities, and spirits inhabit and roam the astral realms, requiring caution and some know-how from those wishing to try astral projection.
Dangers of Astral Travel: Like anything in life, there are real concerns related to astral projection, and there are also myths.
Some myths include that you can get 'stuck' in the astral plane and be unable to return. As aforementioned, you remain linked to your physical body at all times. If you are having a scary astral experience or are ready to return, your choice will make it happen. Another myth implies that your body could fall prey to possession during astral traveling because you are 'out of the office.' Again, though a copy of yourself is elsewhere, you maintain agency and control of your body, and no entity can take over your vessel without permission.
With the myths out of the way, it's essential to consider a few valid concerns with intentionally inducing OBES. While you can glean valuable spiritual insight while your astral body surfs the ethers, it is crucial to remain firmly grounded. Without intentionally grounding into your physical life on earth, you may become so engrossed in the astral plane that you neglect the relationships and responsibilities of your real life. Astral projection could become a crutch or an escape from reality.
As with any spiritual practice, you must find a balance. As a rule of thumb, your OBE practice should enrich, support, and imbue meaning to your life path, not attract you away from your flesh and blood reality. We have our bodies and physical incarnation or a reason.
Benefits of Astral Travel: Trivellato also describes some of the grand findings uncovered during her years spent researching the out of body experience. For the individual these include:
If all people in society knew, from real firsthand experience, that the world is not purely physical, the benefits could include:
-Each society member would polish their principles
-Every individual would mind the lasting effects of their actions
-We would exhibit greater humanitarian and planetarian concerns
-We could share multidimensional awareness- perhaps launching humans into the next higher phase of evolution
She suggests researchers could use OBEs as a tool to research how subtler realities that escape our ordinary senses might interact or interfere with our everyday existence. She uses the example of the field of medicine, suggesting that if scientists trained to examine subtler realms, they may be able to detect when such influences may impact patients' health or unexplainable cures to disease.
Are you part of the roughly Ten percent of the population who have spontaneously experienced an out of body journey, or are you curious about making one happen intentionally? Whether or not you decide to take your astral body on a journey through the ethers, your awareness that you exist beyond your physical body and world can bring transformation and meaning to your brief and precious life here on earth.
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