Common steps and sub-activities
Deepening of consciousness
This is a systematic deepening of consciousness while concentrating on nothing - blackness.
By doing this the objective is to suppress any learning [suppression of learning] activity, so you have to focus your attention on ‘nothing’ and not try to think.
The technique has the advantage that it also works via sensory deprivation. Because you have created an unchanging sensory input – nothing! - there is no change to the messages coming in from your senses and thus the senses are as deprived as if you stared at nothing.
This is approached by carefully letting go of your rigid hold on the borderland sleep edge and drifting deeper little by little during each exercise.
You will learn to establish degrees of this deepening of consciousness by "going down" to a given level and returning at will. You will recognize these degrees by the shutting down of various sensory mechanism inputs. The sense of touch goes first. You seem to have no feeling in any part of your body.
Smell and taste soon follow.
The auditory signals are next, and the last to fade out is vision. (Sometimes the last two are reversed; I suspect that the reason for vision being last is that the exercise calls for the use of the visual network, even in blackness.)
Initially this exercise is easier to achieve when you are tired and sleepy.
But once you have learnt how to do this, you then need to attempt to do it when you are fully rested and refreshed, rather than tired and sleepy.
According to Robert Monroe “This is quite important, and not nearly as easy to achieve as it is to write about. To enter the relaxation state full of energy and wakefulness is great insurance for maintaining conscious control”
The best approach to take is to start it immediately after you wake up from a nap or a night's sleep. Start the exercise before you move around in bed physically, while your body is still relaxed from sleep and your mind is fully alert.