Why OBEs happen more easily for me
It's been several months since I last wrote anything here, mostly because I've had a lot going on, and I was also dealing with some health issues. I'm finally back in an apartment that's quiet at night, and my health is fine, so I'm looking forward to having some OBEs again.
If I haven't written about this before, I thought I'd make a few notes here about why I seem to have OBEs so much easier than the rest of the population. Not including genetics, which I can only guess at, there are five factors that I think make me more prone to having OBEs than most people.
First two reasons
If you have written any of the OBE/OOBE literature, you know that the people that have them usually have a background like this:
- One or more times in their youth they got very sick.
- They tended to be loners in their youth.
1) Being sick when I was young
I fit both of those criteria. I don't remember getting sick when I was young, but I've been told that several times I was so sick and feverish that I was hallucinating.
My personal theory is that when you're sick when you're young, you somehow damage (or at least loosen) the "connection" between (a) your physical body and (b) your soul/consciousness. There's no way to prove this, but it is my theory.
2) Being a loner
I also ended up being a loner, though I don't know if I made that choice, or it chose me. I can remember thinking from a very young age that I was very different than other boys, and generally speaking, I didn't like them. Frankly, I thought they were dumb, and I didn't want to waste my time being with them.
Three additional factors
Beyond that background, three other things probably contributed to my OBEs:
- I have larger than normal lungs, so I breathe slowly.
- Since the age of eight or nine I was a baseball pitcher, and I used to practice "concentration" to be a better pitcher.
- While falling asleep in my teens, I used to practice relaxing.
3) Large lungs
I learned in a high school anatomy class that my lung capacity was as large as our school's best long-distance runner, even though I didn't run much, and he was probably three inches taller than me. This was later verified when I went to an allergist, who ran some tests, and then told me that my lungs are 33% larger than normal.
As a result of this, my respiration rate is naturally lower than others. In Zen you learn that your respiration rate helps you control your mind, so again, I seem to have a natural advantage here.
4) Practicing concentration
I learned to practice concentration after I learned about a baseball pitcher named Steve Carlton. His career was only so-so at best, until he picked up the martial arts in the early 1970s. In 1972 he went 27-10 for a horrible team, so this made a deep impression on me.
I used to practice concentration in boring high school classes. I'd either draw something on a piece of paper, or put a penny on my desk and just stare at it until it was the only thing in my mind.
This helped me when pitching, because I could stand on the mound, and once my catcher and I decided what pitch I would throw, I could see nothing else but his glove, and I would focus only on that glove. It didn't matter who the batter was, because all I saw was the glove.
I was reminded of this recently when I went bowling. I naturally fell into a state of concentration that reminded me of my baseball days. I've been trying to teach myself to throw more of a hook, and in doing so, I've been aiming for the second arrow in the bowling lane. During my last bowling effort, everything came back to me when all I saw was the second arrow on the bowling lane, and everything else disappeared into the background.
5) Relaxing in bed at night
Finally, one other thing I did in high school probably also helped me have OBEs more often. For some reason, I had a lot of energy at night, and could never fall asleep on time. As a result, I'd usually stay up late, then be tired at school the next day.
At some point I decided to try deep relaxation exercises in bed, so while laying there, I'd consciously start relaxing my toes, my feet, my legs, my torso, and so on. I didn't know this then, but that's something Bob Monroe was writing about in relation to having OBEs, and of course that's exactly what people do at the end of yoga classes in the "corpse pose".
In yoga in particular, you spend the entire class stretching your muscles, controlling your breathing, and moving your concentration to different body parts, followed by the deep relaxation of the corpse pose. Back in the mid-1990s when I first started yoga, I nearly had OBEs twice at the end of class, and forced myself to sit up in the corpse pose so it wouldn't happen in the class.
If you want to have an OBE/OOBE, there isn't anything you can do about being sick when you were young, and you probably can't just make yourself a loner, but you can follow the other steps I've listed here.
In particular, I recommend taking yoga classes with a good teacher. However, I don't recommend the fast paced commercial yoga classes; instead, find a good teacher with a small, quiet studio, perhaps someone that is Iyengar qualified, or if possible, a Kundalini Yoga instructor. (When I finally told my yoga instructor about the vibrations I used to feel, she immediately told me about Kundalini Yoga, which is a form of yoga that's meant to stimulate this energy.)
Good luck with your own OBE efforts.