Common steps and sub-activities

Guided imagery

Painting by Michael Parkes

Guided imagery is a technique in which a person – guided by a trained practitioner  - imagines or evokes mental images.  It is a form of guided visualisation, and as such is a precursor technique to the invocation of OBEs, visions and the use of lucid dreaming. 

According to Wikipedia it has caused mental damage to people – which rather implies the practitioner in the studies they used was appalling and should never have been allowed to use such techniques. 

And here we have the disadvantage of the technique – it needs a decent sympathetic well trained practitioner.  Somebody who is spiritually aware and empathetic

If you go out of body during this, the practitioner has to know what to do to bring you back safely and calmly.  As one who went rather a long way out on this technique, - so far that the hypnotherapist’s voice seemed like a distant echo, - I can vouch for the fact that even a distant voice is incredibly reassuring and she brought me back very slowly and knew exactly what to do when I came back with a thump – I was frozen and she immediately covered me with warm blankets to bring me round.

Michael Parkes - Desert Dream

Guided imagery is a technique used to induce hypnosis in hypnotherapy sessions, in this case a person – the hypnotherapist is guiding you. 

It can be used to teach and progress meditation. 

But, it can also be used by a person without help – although perhaps less successfully - using CDs or similar recorded messages. 

The following was written in the 1980s, before the technique became popular.  Please note that the number of observations does not reflect its efficacy.  Most of the case histories for hypnotherapy and OBEs do not mention the use of the technique, even if it was being used, as they tend to concentrate on the effects and not the detailed methods.

David Scott Rogo - Leaving the Body: A Complete Guide to Astral Projection

A fascinating psychological technique called "guided imagery" or “the waking dream" merges visualization skills with a self-programmed reverie.  The procedure involves guiding a meditating subject into an exploration of his or her own unconscious mind by suggesting that the person experience open-ended mental journeys. Each phase of the journey symbolizes a different aspect of the participant's life. The subject responds by reporting the spontaneous imagery that arises as he or she surveys each level of the hypnagogic like environment. Since the OBE seems inherently related to relaxation, visualization skills, and pre-sleep imagery, the waking dream method might be a plausible approach to its induction. Although no well-known [past] astral projectors of the past used or even suggested guided imagery techniques, the basic technique of the waking dream can be readily adapted for such use. One mid-western psychologist is currently using such an approach and is claiming much success with it.

Observations

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