"My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all. ~ Stephen Hawking "
OBE Update 1 - Progress is progress
Update Oct 2014: Due to my partner also being interested in obe and lucid dreaming, my motivation to success has been recently reignited. We have both been making slow progress, and by comparing our individual approaches, have been able to find a few more pieces of the puzzle. Some of this might seem obvious, but for us there have been several blindspots we have discovered along the way, so I'll put this out there as it may inspire others who have had similar hinderances.
1. Enjoying the process.
We've both been trying to do this for so long, with only occasional successes to keep our enthusiasm peaked, that we sometimes forget it is the enjoyment of the journey that makes the success so tantalising. Curiousity and play is important and is what makes the process enjoyable, that's how children learn so quickly. Learning to enjoy the process also helps you to eliminate any tension created by the anticipation of waiting for something to happen. This brings me to the next point..
2. Learning to walk: Layer by layer.
We realised that we have been far too goal orientated in our approach, generally resulting in frustration when we don't achieve it. Basically, we've been trying to run before we can walk. What we've figured out is that we need to slow it down and take it in much smaller steps. Rather than lying down and focussing straight away on getting 'out-of-body', we are learning to just close our eyes and look at our mind as a series of layers, and just observing each tiny layer bit by bit until it drops away. For example, the first layer might be a little bit of stress residue from the day, just look at it and see it for what it is until it starts to fall apart, the next layer might be a physical distraction like muscle strain or tension, so just look at that too and see it for what it is until it starts to fall apart, another layer might be frustration about getting out of body, another might be a self imposed belief pattern about how hard it might be to do it, another could be fear of the unknown, just look at each layer without any judgement or expectation, see it for what it is until it starts falling apart. You will find small moments of peace as each layer drops away.
3. Learning the path - Going deeper by not going deeper?
Don't get frustrated and give up if you make some headway but then seem to drop back into normal consciousness. Consider this to be a positive exercise, repetition is how we learn, and going in a little then moving back out several times is only going to help reinforce the process for you so you can do it more easily the next time. This is also related to something hypnotists have learned to use called 'hypnotic fractionation', where bringing someone out of trance briefly before dropping them back down again creates a much deeper trance state because the subject is more comfortable in there.
4. Moving in the right direction: Inner vs outer..
You may have had a few successful attempts, or maybe you've read a book, where the emphasis on 'out-of-body' has been on the 'getting out' part, but I believe this is misguided. The emphasis should be on going internal, not external, and I've spent years looking in the wrong direction. The difference here may seem somewhat esoteric, and, it might be a trivial point, but if you've come up against a wall and nothing seems to be working to get past it, you'll eventually need to try moving in a different direction. Flying to the moon, or checking in on the cute girl down the street might be your end goal, but remember obe is an altered state of consciousness, and, if you want to find the way out, you'll need to explore your inner consciousness to get there.
Needless to say, we are now both committed to getting this to work, so I will be posting further updates as we progress. Hopefully some success stories to come soon.