Common steps and sub-activities
The following basic steps are taken whatever additional approaches are used in combination with it to engender a relaxed state.
No food - You must not have any meals for some time before the technique [so first thing in the morning is good]. You should also not have much liquid. If you need anything have plain water or weak green tea . This is because the relaxation generated will make us want to wee and poo [a threat] and our concentration will be disrupted by the constant need to go to the toilet.
No chemicals – avoid all chemicals including alcohol. They are counter productive.
Journeys out of the body – Robert Monroe
None of the relaxation-producing drugs that are readily available seem to help. Barbiturates force a loss of conscious control and only bring a confused state in deeper consciousness. The same is true, to a lesser degree of tranquillisers. Relaxation is obtained but at the cost of perception. Alcohol in any form brings similar effects.
I have utilized all [sorts of ]methods, and rejected drug relaxation quite early as it resulted in both too much loss of conscious control and distorted perception. … The borderland sleep state techniques have been employed most often. In spite of the complicated-sounding procedure, it is the most natural method for me.
Go to toilet – Go to the toilet before you start so your bowels and bladder are empty, then although the stomach and intestines are ready for work, there will be nothing to work on.
The room - Darken the room just enough to ensure that no light can be seen through your eyelids. Do not use a completely blacked-out room, as you will then have no visual point of reference if you go out of body.
Helpers - You do not need a helper as the techniques that use this are benign. Do not lock the door, tell others what you are doing, so that they can monitor but not interfere. This way you minimise the threat of interference, but maximise the feeling of safety in case you need help.
NO DISTURBANCES - Absolute requisites. Ensure without question that you will not be disturbed in any way, either by direct physical intervention, a phone ringing, or other interrupting noises. All disturbances are threats.
No time limits - Do not set a time limit or a deadline. These become threats and prevent anything happening. The time you spend in the experiment is not more valuably spent elsewhere and you should have nothing impending that might cut short this activity. Time limits are a threat.
Temperature - . Make sure you are warm [the room for example needs to be warm but not hot – close to normal blood heat] and perhaps covered by a soft blanket. If it is too warm it becomes a threat, if it is too cold it also becomes a threat. The best judge of whether you have got it right is whether you haven’t noticed it.
Clothing - You must be wearing extremely loose clothing or no clothing if you prefer.
If you go naked, the temperature must be far warmer than you would normally prefer, if you use a bed the sheets must be super soft, so the softest softest cotton or maybe even silk, something that does not rub or cause unnecessary physical sensations.
If you decide to stay clothed, the clothes need to be loose and floppy – no tight waists or compression points, with nothing around your waist. A smock or long tee shirt for example is OK, it is often better to wear no underwear at all. It helps to wear very very soft socks [angora for example] and warm soft clothes.
Covering - Keep covered so that you feel just slightly warmer than is generally comfortable for you. Your metabolism will slow down during this exercise, and you are liable to get very cold. If you can find a light duvet to place over you that is ideal, but you should try to avoid any heavy covering as it will simply excite the nervous sensations and this we do not want.
Jewellery - Remove all jewellery or metal objects close to or touching your skin. No watches.
Body Alignment - Try to align your body along a north-south axis, with your head to magnetic north. I have no idea why this works, but Robert Monroe in his early experiments found that his most successful results – when an Out of Body experience was obtained were achieved principally under conditions of warmth, when he was lying prone and when his body was in a North south position, with his head to the North. When he was lying East West he was successful only 19% of the time, whereas he was successful 63% of the time when he lay North South. [18% of the time he was successful but did not know his orientation]. He noted that “there is no noticeable effect from humidity, barometric pressure changes, or the moon’s gravitational forces”.