Common steps and sub-activities
Listening to your heart beat
This an apparently very simple technique, whose simplicity masks its sophistication. In a series of very simple steps it combines four different mechanisms all of which are highly effective.
I would suggest you record this as a sort of script into your iPod and then play it back to yourself through comfy soft headphones.
It was devised through a series of trial and error experiments by Sylvan Muldoon. It is described in his book The Projection of the Astral Body – a book which contains quite a large number of both out-of-body experiences and suggestions for techniques.
The first steps of the technique require you to get in a relaxed state – here I suggest you follow the basic steps for relaxation.
Listen to the heart
I will let Muldoon take up the instructions……
- Concentrate upon your heart, not with tension of mind, but think of that organ with relaxed thought. You will presently notice its pulsations, and be able to feel them at that spot in your chest.
- Keep your mind centred upon these pulsations, until they are very pronounced, until you can both feel and hear them distinctly. Remember you should not feel these pulsations with your hand.
- Keep your hands at your sides. You must feel the heart within you, pulsating.
- After you have acquired the ability to lie still, and both feel and hear your heart-beat within your chest (which you will, no doubt acquire in one or two trials), your next step is to be able to feel and hear the pulsations in any part of your body by concentrating upon that particular spot. I am now assuming that you are lying according to my instructions, and while in a relaxed condition of mind can both feel and hear your heart pulsations.
- Listen to them (the pulsations) closely; they are going thump- thump-thump-thump.
- Now shift your centre of concentration to your neck. You can feel your heart beating in your neck-thump-thump-thump.
- Now that you can feel the pulsations in your neck, shift your thought to your cheeks and you will soon feel them there.
- Just as soon as you have pronounced pulsations in your cheeks, then go to the top of your head and centre your thoughts on that steady-thump-thump-thump. Now you feel there!
- Now that you can feel the pulsations in your scalp, shift your thought back again, over each particular spot - the cheeks, the neck, the chest, and keep on going downward.
- Now you can feel them in the pit of your stomach. Do not shift your concentration until they are very pronounced. There they are - thump-thump-thump.
- Now you can concentrate a little further down, in the lower abdomen. That is an easy place to feel the pulsations - almost as easy as feeling them in your neck.
- Now that they are perfectly plain, you can concentrate upon your thighs, both at once. There; you feel the thump-thump-thump.
- Now concentrate upon the calves of your legs, There; you feel the thump-thump-thump
- As soon as you can feel the pulsations regularly and plainly, concentrate upon your feet, the very soles of your feet, and you will be able to feel your heart-pulsations very plainly, in your feet – just by thinking about them. There; you feel the thump-thump-thump.
- Now go back to your calves again. There, you feel them. There; you feel the thump-thump-thump.
- Now back to your thighs again. There are the pulsations. There; you feel the thump-thump-thum.
- Next concentrate on your right thigh and forget about the left one. See, you can feel the pulsations of your heart anywhere you concentrate
Stimulation – triggering
Now comes a key point in Muldoon’s dialogue and one easily missed. It is key and is the only time in all the techniques where the beat of the heart is used as a trigger – it is an idea of some genius, as the heart beat is a constant trigger to our body, as such whatever we are ‘tuned into’ should be ideal as a trigger
18. Now concentrate upon the medulla oblongata region and cause the pulsations to be felt there, you will know exactly how the pulsations feel at that point. There; you feel the thump-thump-thump
Stay concentrating on this trigger point some time.
The final stage Muldoon proposes is that one can, through concentration, slow the heart rate down.
- Now that you have the knack of feeling your heart’s pulsations in any part of your body, through concentration, the next step is to be able to reduce the speed of the pulsations, which is not difficult to do.
- What is desired, in astral projection, is a slow and steady heart beat.
- During your concentration upon the organ assume that you are one intelligence and that it is another, and that it can understand your thought and obey it; for that in reality is about the true situation. The heart is controlled by an intelligence behind it, the subconscious intelligence. Your thoughts, your concentration, can be considered another intelligence. So, if you desire to decrease or increase the speed of the heart, assume that it is governed by intelligence.
- Perhaps you have tried to drive thoughts or directions into your subconscious mind, and have afterwards said to yourself ‘How do I know whether or not my suggestions convinced the innate intelligence?’ Well, with your heart, you can tell.
- If you concentrate upon it, thinking that it is beating slower and slower, or faster and faster, as the case may be, and it obeys your suggestion, then you know that your suggestion has reached the controlling intelligence.
- We are now supposing that you are lying upon your back, relaxed, with your arms at your sides, and that you have acquired the ability to feel your heart's pulsations in any part of your body. Now you are concentrating upon your heart again, and if it is not steady you are to tell it, in your mind, that it is steady, and you are to catch the rhythm of the proper beat, and beat time in your mind, concentrating upon the thump of the heart at the proper rhythm. Keep this exercise up until your heart is beating steadily.
- Now, if it had before been unsteady, and you have steadied it, or if it be naturally steady and healthy, you are now ready to concentrate upon a slower beat. Think only of these pulsations. Concentrate upon these pulsations, which you feel in your chest, in your heart. Beat time to them in your mind, even allowing your head to move slightly at each beat, if it be inclined to. Alter keeping up this true rhythm for several minutes, begin beating time in your mind just a little slower, thinking that the heart is beating a little more slowly.
- Do not stop concentrating in order to determine whether or not the heart is obeying your suggestion, for you will be able to know this fact in your mind. Continue your concentration, in this manner, until you have the heart beating at the speed at which you wish it to beat. This is not nearly as difficult to accomplish as you might think, and most people, without a doubt, will be enabled to do this after a very few trials.
- One cannot say definitely how slowly the heart should beat in order to induce a fair degree of physical "incapacity." You will recall that my heart-beat, when experiencing projections regularly, was forty-two pulsations per minute.[This would be classified these days as bradycardia] This speed .. brought about passivity of the physical to an unusual degree. Of course, the pulsations of the heart usually are less per minute while we are asleep, than when we are awake; so that if my heart were beating at forty-two per minute, while awake, it must have been considerably slower while I was asleep
Muldoon then goes on to say that the slowing of the heart beat results in you feeling very cold and thus you need to take precautions against this. He also indicates that the slow heart beat can be omitted and you ‘will not be immune from success’ as long as you keep totally relaxed ‘for as you know, many projections take place in this degree of physical calm. The greater the incapacity, the greater the chance of success and it is for this reason that I have given the instructions for producing more profound incapacity”
Muldoon was, somewhat ironically, practising true ‘pranayama’ - control of the prana – yoga style. Although I have used the term pranayama very loosely in other sections to mean control of the breath, pranayama actually means control of any function of the body – prana if we use the analogy is the software controlling the body, so pranayama means control of the bodily software functions. Muldoon here was able to control his heart functions.
The Projection of the Astral Body – Sylvan Muldoon with commentaries by Dr Hereward Carrington 1929