Friday, November 11, 2011

The Consoling, Concrete Cherub

Consciousness Exploration Journal

I was looking at a familiar pool and noticed that the water in the hot tub section was very cloudy. I went closer to investigate. The abnormal shape of the hot tub caused me to  immediately recognized that I was dreaming. Out of habit, I did a “reality check” by attempting to push my finger through the palm of my opposing hand. I realized that it was not necessary to do this since I was already fully aware that I was dreaming, but I decided to try it anyway. Strangely, it did not work. I began pressing very hard until the back of my hand began to bulge (similar to pushing a finger into Play-Doh). As I focused on this, I began to feel the familiar buzzing and vibrating sensations. I sensed a distinct shift. The simplest way to express this shift it is that I and the experience itself began to feel much more crisp and real. I began floating upward while the dream scape slowly vanished. As before when this has happened I had a definite sensation that I was “going” somewhere new. Many times in the past, this shift has been so amazing and real that my excitement has snapped me right out of the experience. This time I tried to remain calm and just go with it. 

I suddenly found myself in a different outdoor pool area. This one was much larger and was full of various garden type sculptures (cherub fountains, animal shaped bushes, etc). I remembered my intent to communicate with somebody in this state. I looked around at the various sculptures and began to get the feeling that I was to choose one of them. The sculptures tended to change and morph as I looked at them. It seemed as though a given sculpture would change based on what I was thinking it might represent (similar to creating and finding shapes in cloud formations). As I proceeded, I began to get a familiar sensation of deep sadness. I have felt this before in other similar experiences. It is very difficult to describe. I suppose it could be comparable to crying in waking life, though that does not do it any justice. It is just an immense purge of sadness. It is in some ways comparable to being a child and crying to your parent about something deeply sad. Not a child’s cry about a dropped ice cream, but a cry because his sibling is dying of cancer - a deep and necessary release of sadness. This sensation took over the experience. I have no other words to explain it other than I felt like I was being soothed. I was standing at a concrete fountain-sculpture of a cherub. I had the idea that the sculpture was a source of information of sorts. I began carrying on to the sculpture about how hard it (life) was and how I deeply wanted to grow and become better in every way that I could - a better father, a better husband, brother, friend, etc. The view of my life from that state seemed analogous to an olympic runner trying to run a race in 2 feet of mud. As with other interactions in these states I began to receive data that I had to interpret (again something that is difficult to explain). It was a seemingly larger amount of information and I tried very hard to sort though it all in my head. I was concerned that I would not be able to remember it all when I woke up. Much of it was not even words, but instead general concepts and feelings. I tried my best to summarize it all so that I would remember. 

The summery of the data was something like: “you are doing quite well - working hard to grow. Everything is as it should be. The experience of hardship and struggle is necessary and will help you grow further.” The general idea was that running the race in 2 feet of mud is exactly what I should be doing - it is the point. It was all very consoling and frankly rewarding. It felt very much like a encouraging pat on the back. 

The question will likely always remain: Is the data during such communications from my subconscious or perhaps some outside source? The one thing that I can say with a great deal of certainty is that the experience of trying to become better - more loving - has always led to long-term positive results. On the other hand, fear, greed, selfishness, etc tend to lead to long-term negative results. This is something that we can see by observing those around us as well. Compare a figure like Gandhi to a gangster in prison. As we move toward love and let go of pieces of ego and fear, a natural increase in understanding and awareness occurs. When we are led by ego and fear, a natural decrease or limitation in understanding and awareness occurs. The question of is it real becomes a mute point in this case. The key question becomes: is the information and experience useful - will it help me continue to grow toward being more loving, more selfless, more humble? It is that continual evolution toward love that improves our understanding and view of what those other answers might be.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hardship and Love

Consciousness Exploration Journal

I was walking along a four-lane highway in the country. Suddenly two giant “conex” style storage boxes were on the highway and slowly sliding toward me. They were enormous and took up all lanes and shoulders. The whole situation seemed very odd and I immediately realized that I was dreaming. I was excited but I reminded myself to stay calm. It took a bit of effort, but I was able to remember my intent (though I was off on the wording a bit), “I want to talk to somebody.” I tried to rescue the request, “ ... interact with somebody ... that is friendly.” Close enough. I was totally alone on the highway with the boxes in front of me. I waited a bit, but nothing happened. I decided to state a question out loud, “what do these boxes represent?” The answer came quick, though not out loud. It seemed to come to me as data to which I assigned my own words. The message did come through very clearly though, “they represent hardship and love.” I wasn’t expecting such a deep answer. I pondered this for a bit and then decided to ask a second question, “why are they so big?” Unfortunately, I cannot recall what happened next. I vaguely remember asking more questions until eventually the answers stopped coming. Though I don't recall all that took place after this or the other responses, I do remember a very bizarre sensation that occurred during the communication. It was as though I had to open and quiet my mind to allow the communication to come through. I remember being surprised that I knew to do this and that it came so naturally. Eventually, I lost lucidity and at some point the dream shifted to being a night scene in a quite area of a town. The two giant boxes had transformed into old camper trailers. One trailer was being delivered to my dad/father-in-law (the character seemed to switch between the two of them in the dream) and the other was to be delivered somewhere else. 

One success of this event is that I was able to instigate the lucid dream by focusing my intent over the last 5 or 6 days. Another key success is that I was also able to quickly recall my desire to interact with a "being" or character in the dream. More important than both of those results though is the response itself. I was not expecting such a profound reply. The fact that it was unexpected forces me to consider the origin the message. Who or what did it come from? It could of course have bubbled up from some level of my subconscious. Or perhaps it came from something or someone outside of myself. To remain both open-minded and skeptical, all possibilities must be considered. The best I can do is to gather more evidence and eventually form a probable truth.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Character Test

Though I continue to have lucid dreams, sleep paralysis, and out-of-body experiences from time to time, I have reached a point where I find myself driven to step things up a bit. There have been short spells in the past in which I have conducted various tests or experiments within these states. The findings have always been eye opening to say the least. It is time again for some more serious exploring. I have recently started my MFA program (specifically in figurative, representational, oil painting). My tentative thesis and body of work are directly related to my explorations in consciousness and to my resultant findings. At any rate, it seems to be a perfect time for some more focused adventures.

Before discussing the first set of tests, I should explain something to prevent confusion. I have read my fair share of lucid dream and out-of-body related literature. Something that I have come to realize over the years through these readings and through my own experiences is that there are no solid distinctions between lucid dreams and out-of-body experiences. Much of the lucid dream literature is essentially describing out-of-body experiences and much of the out-of-body literature is describing lucid dreams. They are, as far as I am currently concerned, one in the same. The labels themselves and the expectations of the person in question seem to be the key factors that create any notable difference. So, I will frequently use the terms interchangeably or together as “lucid dream/OBE”.

The first set of tests will focus completely on communicating with the characters, beings, people, etc that I encounter in these other states. Over the last few years, I have begun to more seriously consider the notion that some of these characters are in fact sentient and aware beings separate from my own consciousness. Because the potential exists that these various characters/beings may be “real” to some degree or another (outside of my subconsciousness or imagination), I (to the best of my ability) will continue to interact in a respectful manner during all encounters.

The first challenge of course is to instigate the lucid dream/OBE experiences. My basic approach is a mixture of the various techniques that I have found success with over the years. The real secret to instigating these states, as far as my experience goes, is to think about the subject frequently (almost obsessively) and to get plenty of rest. There are other aspects that help as well, but the two noted above are the bulk of the process.

The basic phrasing of my intent for these tests will be: “I wish to interact with a friendly being.” Anytime that I find myself in a lucid dream or OBE, I will clearly express this intent. The word “being” in this case is referring any character, being, person, etc in the experience regardless of their origin (from me or from outside of me). I’m honestly not seeking to answer if they are “real” or not. What I am really seeking are the experiences that follow the question. The best I can do is to form a probable truth based on those experiences and move on from there (all the while expecting that I will have to set that probable truth down at some point and replace it with another one... and so on). Such is the process of growth.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Believe Nothing?

One of the realizations that occurred while reading My Big Toe by Thomas Campbell was the notion of having probable truths instead of beliefs. Perhaps it might be useful for others as well.

Book 1 of the My Big Toe trilogy helps to clarify the idea that beliefs are limiting and are functions of the ego as a means to coddle our fears. We choose to believe something or have faith that something is true, so that we can ignore the other (not so warm and fuzzy) possibilities. We might also choose to believe or have faith that something is true as a means to deal with our fear and anxiety toward the uncertain nature of our existence. A quick history of the various religions, societies, and cultures is an excellent clue as to just how common and vast this process is. Okay, so I got it: belief and faith are limiting and not so good in terms of growth and understanding of Big Truth.

So the dilemma then of course was: how does one move forward while not believing or having faith in anything? Much of My Big Toe resonated with me. However, to move forward in any way, it seemed like I had to have faith that there was some truth to it or believe that it was true (at least to some degree). It seemed as though I was just falling into another belief trap. So my first thought at that time was: "okay, I just need to go find some proof." I very quickly realized that amongst such vast uncertainty, there is little actual “proof” to be found. Any evidence found along the way had too many gaps that would have to be filled in with belief and faith. Echoing Descartes, the only thing that I could really say was true with a great deal of certainty was that I exist... I can think and experience.

At that point, I had very little to work with: I exist, belief is limiting, and I was surrounded by a great deal of uncertainty. Well, this stopped me in my tracks. How could I move forward with this? The solution it turns out was both simple and eye opening. It is all of course plainly stated in My Big Toe. It just goes to show that one must actually experience something to fully "get it".

Part of the realization was that beliefs are limiting because they omit the existence of other possibilities. A belief does not allow itself to be wrong. A belief says that everything else is wrong except for itself. Ask somebody with very strong religious beliefs what some of the alternative possibilities are in terms of their existence. This is a very scary notion to somebody with strong beliefs and rightfully so (so don’t actually do it). Imagine taking everything that you thought was true and suddenly having it threatened to be ripped apart. It's not a good feeling. This sheds some light on religious wars no doubt.

So, I considered my own beliefs. I had over 15 years or so nailed them down to three basic ideas: 1. There is something “out there” beyond myself that is inherently "good" 2. The purpose of life is to learn how to love (grow toward love, etc) 3. Nothing else really matters all that much. I was lucky that my beliefs were fairly simple. So in considering these things, I realized that I could not really say with 100% certainty that they were true or accurate. So what if they were completely wrong? Well, I may just turn to dust and the universe will continue on. I could find that I am part of some sick alien experiment. I may realize that I should have been baptized years ago because now I can't get into heaven. Maybe I am laying in a computer matrix somewhere and this is all just a very vivid illusion. You get the idea. Are these considerations any more far fetched than the various religious and cultural beliefs that have existed throughout history?

Okay fine, so now what? How do we move forward? Letting go of everything we believe about our existence is like turning out all the lights and then trying to decide where to go. At some point it hit me: I can move forward based on the idea that something or some idea might be true so long as I am willing to face and accept that it could be wrong. Aha! So this is how that “open-minded skepticism” thing that Tom Campbell keeps talking about works. I can say that I hold the probable truth that I am here to grow toward love, but I must be willing to consider and fully accept that I may be confused or completely wrong. In this way open-minded skepticism is not just about a scientific approach. It is also very much about having a great deal of humility and courage. So I might say, "I am a limited being with a limited understanding, but I choose to move forward based on what I currently find to be most probable. I realize that my current probable truths may be wrong, but I move forward with courage in spite of this uncertainty. My path is one of growth and understanding, and I will look honestly at whatever I may come across along the way." This made the idea of having a "spiritual warrior’s" attitude make a great deal more sense. The battle at hand is with self.

So in the end, my realization was this:
I can move forward based on what I currently hold as my probable truths. For something to function as a probable truth and not a belief, I must fully consider the fact that it may be completely wrong. I must be able to look those other (often not so pretty) possibilities in the eye, accept them, set them down, and move on. I must accept my limitations and move forward with what I have. This approach requires a great deal of humility and courage. The goal is not to cover up or get rid of the uncertain nature of our existence. We have to accept uncertainty. It will likely always be there. The best we can do is to keep moving forward with our current probable truths. Those probable truths of course must be held lightly. As our understanding increases, we will likely have to set them down and replace them with new (and temporary) probable truths. This, as Robert Bruce recently said in a discussion with Tom Campbell is to “remain in the question.” If I ever come to a point where I feel like the question is fully answered, then either I am stuck in a belief trap or I am all knowing... and I’m pretty sure I know which one is more likely. (rhymes with “relief snack”).

Of course, all of this must also be held lightly and as a temporary probable truth :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Do Your Best

Consciousness Exploration Journal

I was experiencing a very long and stable lucid dream/out-of-body experience. Curious, I went along with the subject matter of the setting for some time, but then decided to break from it. I began asking every person that I came across if they had a message for me. I had thought about carrying out this specific task for some time in the weeks prior. It was in part a test to see what types of responses I would get. However, at that core it was a serious question for which I truly wanted an answer. I asked 7 or 8 people and received only blank stares or confused responses.

Later in the dream, I found myself at a kitchen bar with a few other people. I turned to an older woman sitting near me and asked, “Is there a message for me?” She balked at first, but then seemed to realized my seriousness in asking this. She looked at me very intently and without saying anything, somehow sent me a message. It was as though I had to filter the information and translate the information into my own words. The message was something very close to this: "Do your best to be good (to make good choices) and the system will be good to you (will help you along)". Though she did not say it herself, the message came though very well and it was clearly from her. I repeated it back several times to ensure that I had it correctly.

Then she expressed something else that I couldn't quite understand. It came through as "defend your indulgences" and then as "protect your indulgences". I tried and tried to understand, but just couldn't get it. I can't make any clear sense of it now either. I did try to work through it with the woman by using the flat grill as an example. I’m not sure why or how it came to me at the time, but in an attempt to understand this second part of the message, I picked up a fork and laid it on the grill. The fork was wet and so it sizzled and hissed across the grill. I said something along the lines of: "Is it similar to if I drop this fork on the grill and decide not to do anything about it; then you pick it up and get burned... or even if you don't get burned. The idea is that I should still do something about it because there is the potential that you could get burned?" At that moment, off to the side, a man exclaimed, "YES!" while clapping his hands excitedly. However, the woman gave me a very patient look that said, that is very good, but not what I am telling you. Concerned that I would forget the first part of the message, I repeated it back several more times and explained to her that I should wake up and write it down so I would not forget. I got up from the chair and jokingly said, "If I only knew how to wake up". The thought came to me to lay down on the floor. At that, I slowly began floating down to the floor. As I did, I looked back up at the woman. I could now see the man who had exclaimed “yes” during the conversation. The woman now had a bit of a glow around her. She gave me a gentle smile as I reached the floor and vanished form the scene.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Flying with the Birds

Consciousness Exploration Journal

I was driving along a road. I noticed some birds flying in the opposite direction. I decided to change my direction and fly with them. I became lucid after doing this. I had perfect control of my flying (unlike other instances). I soared with the birds for a bit, but then decided to speed up. I flew up and over a mesa. Far off in the distance, I could see a mountain range. I focused on one of the peaks and set my intent to fly there. I began shooting across the sky toward the peak at a very fast rate. At the same time, it appeared as though the mountains themselves were moving toward me. I felt like I had conquered that task and so stopped. I could not remember what test I had planned to carry out, so I decided to look at my hands in the meantime. They had the same appearance as my “physical” waking hands. Focusing on them seemed to cause me to begin fading out of the dream. Slowly, I felt myself sinking into a darkness until I eventually found myself back in my sleeping body.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I'm for Dinner

Consciousness Exploration Journal

I had woken up at 5 am and then gone back to bed hoping to instigate an OBE. At some point, I ended up in a dream. I was digging in our yard and putting in sprinklers ... or something along those lines. It was a very vivid and crisp dream. I was dimly aware that I was in another dreamlike state, but for the most part was engaged with my part in the dream. I had the sudden thought pop into my head that a large dog would be walking down the street toward me in the next few moments. I looked down the street and waited. After a bit, I could see a large, bright-orange animal headed my way. It was very large (150 + pounds) and really looked more like an oversized cross between a wolf and a fox. It crept closer to me as if it was going to begin circling me ... preparing to attack. I raised my shovel in the air like a weapon; ready to protect myself. I had a strange flash of clarity though, almost a slight hint of lucidity. Tom's many great words related to fear ran though my mind. I had the idea that the worst case might be that the dog would tear me to pieces... I decided to drop the shovel and close my eyes. I had a very brief and foggy vision of the dog being on top of me and eating me. I fully accepted the worst outcome and completely let go. There was no fear, pain, or discomfort. My awarness slowly faded from the scene and I transitioned straight to being in my bed. I lay there for a moment with my eyes still closed. I could feel the typical vibrations that I often experience with these states. I tried to encourage the vibrations to increase so that I could do more exploring, but apparently the experience was over.

The idea of experiencing various tests and challenges in the dream and OBE state has been on my mind for some time now. The basic idea is that we are constantly making choices and receiving feedback in every state. Tom Campbell has mentioned the idea that these other states are often used by the "larger consciousness system" as a means to test our level of fear and to encourage us to learn specific ideas or concepts.   Based on my own experiences over the years, I find this idea to be fairly probable. There is of course always a great deal of uncertainty involved. You can read my post Believe Nothing? to get an idea of how I approach beliefs and uncertainty. 

I have, over the years, had many experiences with a similar feel as the one from my journal above. In the past I would often become so frightened that I would become lucid. In many cases after becoming lucid, I would look the scary person, thing, monster etc in the eye, and say something along the lines of, "I'm not falling for it! This is a dream!". In a handful of cases, I have even wagged my finger at the scary thing as if I was scolding he/she/it. Becoming lucid in these specific cases has often causes some very interesting results. Many times the dream reality literally falls apart. The reality crumbles as my awareness expands beyond it. The general feeling might be comparable to the final scene of the Truman Show.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Exploring The House

Consciousness Exploration Journal
May 27, 2011, 4:48am

I had set my alarm for 3:33am. My plan was to get up for a bit and then listen to one of William Buhlman’s OBE techniques. I woke up to turn off the alarm, but fell back asleep before getting my headphones and iPod set up. Shortly after drifting back to sleep, I woke up to vibrations. I used the “brain strain” technique to intensify the vibrations (really just another way to encourage the vibrations). I was laying on my back, but not in my normal position. I was in more of a typical sleep position; mostly sprawled out. I noticed that my arms were tingling from low circulation, but I did not want to loose the vibrations. I just let my arms be, knowing that I would get the signal if they really needed to be adjusted. 

After several attempts, I was able to sit up and out of my body. I sat up and moved to the middle of my living room. I raised both my hands in the air in silent victory. Unsure of what to do, I looked around a bit and just took in the scene. I felt like there was something I had planned to do, but I could not recall what it was. I was happy just to have had a smooth process. I tried a few Buhlman style “clarity now” commands. I tried saying it very loud with a great deal of emphasis (I even clapped my hands as I said it). Things got a bit more clear, but not much. I glanced over at the couch several times to see if my body was there, but only saw the couch. Once when I looked, it seemed like there were sheets on the couch (which was not the case in actuality). 

I decided to float down the hallway toward the bedrooms. For some reason, I had sunglasses on. I think this happened because my expectation was that the hallway was going to be dark. I went to the end of the hall. Satisfied with my ability to travel, I turned around and started heading back to the living room. The hallway was a bit longer that normal and even darker now. I realized that I was still wearing the sunglasses, so I took them off. I did this several times until I had a handful of sunglasses. I silently laughed at this and realized what I was doing. At that realization, things seemed to stay at the expected brightness. 

Back in the living room, I looked at the couch again to see if I could see my body. Again, there was nothing. I tried to focus harder... almost to make my body appear. I began to see a slight outline of dim light around where my body should have been. The thought crossed my mind that I could make my body be there if I really wanted to. It did not seem productive though so I let it go. I turned toward the den. I knew there was something that I was going to do or ask, but I had not established it clearly enough before falling asleep. My main goal was to instigate another smooth transition and exit... so really I had already reached my goal. I starting to check my watch to help me come up with something to ask or some test to conduct. I was starting to take the watch off, when I realized what I was doing. I don’t normally wear a watch and even if I did, I wouldn't look at it to come up with ideas. The more I think about it, I should have looked at the watch; maybe it could have given me an idea after all. The idea popped into my head to go in the den where our little dogs sleep at night and see what type of interaction might take place. I floated into the den and they came right up to me in their normal excited manner. The room and the dog area looked different enough though that I realized that I was probably creating the dogs and their reaction. I said hi to them and talked to them for a minute and then floated back to the living room. I say floated because my movement was very smooth. I was upright like I was walking, but I was not walking per say. 

Back in the living room, I decided that I wanted it to be brighter, so I said, “It is daytime”. I did this several times, but little seemed to change. I went to the front door to go explore the outside. The door was solid and did not have a window like the actual door. I decided that I would float through it. I put my hands out in front of me, finger tips extended, and started to head through the door. My fingers thudded against it though. It was totally solid. I tried a few more times, but could not pass through. I thought about the idea that I was either being encouraged to stay or that I just needed to focus more. Eventually the experience ended and I woke up.

This was a good experience for several reasons. First, the exit was smooth and easy; no sleep paralysis required. Second, things were much more clear than my past explorations in the vicinity of my sleeping body. I should add that I don’t necessarily think that I am actually near my body or even separated from it at all. Frankly, I don’t think that it matters. These things will reveal themselves in time. I have to just carry on being open-minded and skeptical, and take one step at a time. I know that many others have found that 3 - 4 am is somewhat of a magic hour. Such has been true for me as well. I will certainly be setting my alarm for 3:30 again. Something else to note is that I was sleeping on the couch. Buhlman recommends getting up to an alarm and then moving to a new location that is not directly related to sleep (example: moving from the bed to a couch).

Reflection Test

Consciousness Exploration Journal
May 28th, 2011 4pm

I laid down to listen to William Buhlman’s OBE techniques (portal). I fell asleep during the guided technique and woke up sometime after. I turned on the riverbend dream loop on my iPod and fell back asleep. I woke up a few times after this but did not feel any vibrations or signs of a potential OBE. I decided to not worry about laying in my typical meditation position and instead relax into a more comfortable sleep position. Shortly after that, I woke up to some intense vibrations. Eventually I was able to exit my body.

I was in my bedroom floating toward a large mirror. It was really more like I was being escorted to the mirror. There should have been a set of french doors leading to the back yard, but instead was this very large mirror. I was trying to look at my reflection in the eyes, but was having a difficult time getting my head to turn the correct way. I kept overshooting to one side and then the other. It was as if my reflection was also having a hard time looking at me. Eventually, we made full eye contact. When this happened there was a strange sensation like the eye contact really locked into place. This was accompanied by a slight jolt and buzzing sound. My reflection seemed mostly normal (as normal as one might expect in an OBE or dream). I smiled at myself and noticed that my teeth were broken and discolored. I have experienced this in several dreams in the past so I was not surprised. I tried just knocking and rubbing my teeth out to see if they would go away. One or two fell out, but little else changed. Curious if I could change how they looked, I did a sort of magician-like motion to change them to pearly white. It did not work. Being playful, I started make faces at myself. I got a little carried away and lifted my hands up in the air as if I had claws and began to snarl and make mean faces. The reflection became very exaggerated. The room grew dark and began to take on a red tint. It was straight out of a horror movie. I realized that things were headed down a path that I didn’t care to explore, so I moved away from the mirror.

Shortly after this, I woke up again to more vibrations. This time, I had a very sharp pain in my right side. I was in full sleep paralysis. The vibrations were very intense. I had the sensation that my feet were hanging off the end of the bed. I had the childlike sensation that something might grab at them. My body felt very dense and it was uncomfortable at the various areas that were touching the bed. The pain in my side grew even sharper. I decided to just let it all go and keep working toward getting out of my body. I remember thinking, “Oh no you don’t... I’m not falling for these tricks!”. The buzzing and vibrations grew louder. I could hear a voice singing in my ear and footsteps in the room. I did my best to ignore this and stuck with it. I realized that I should take some action instead of just waiting and gutting it out. I announced that I wanted to be at my bedroom door. I did this twice and did begin to feel some change, but nothing solid. I realized that I should try to go somewhere further away from my body. I decided on the bathroom and called out that I wanted to be in the bathroom. I quickly remembered that the bathroom had two large mirrors and I didn’t want to inadvertently pick up where I had left off with my previous reflection. Eventually, I decided to just sit up out of my body.

Everything was totally black, but I had the sensation that I was standing in my room. I tried to "open my eyes", but no luck. I tried to rub them with my hands, but that didn’t work either. I decided to breath very deep and slowly; with each exhale, I tried to breath vision into the scene. It did not exactly work but it did create some interesting color effects. I eventually decided to move to the kitchen to regroup. I don’t remember actually moving to the kitchen, but I had a strange overhead visual like I was tracking the way down the hall and into the kitchen. There were people working in my house. I didn’t actually see them, I was just aware of their presence. The people were cleaning up something. I believe they were vacuuming up water or debris of some sort.

In the kitchen I did not really have any vision. It was more like having a perception of the kitchen. It was like I was standing in the kitchen with my eyes closed and visualizing what the kitchen should look like. Finally, I felt established and clear enough to try my intent. I said to myself, “I want to visit my friend C.W.” Nothing seemed to happen, so I repeated it several times. As I was doing this, it crossed my mind that I might still have the scary appearance left over from the mirror event. I did not want to accidentally scare my friend, so I did not try and maintain the state and just experienced it slowly fading until I woke up in bed. 

I'm not exactly sure what to make of the experience with the mirror. The only thing that comes to mind at the moment is that I must remember to keep my thoughts in check and to maintain some clarity and focus.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Don't Forget - Revisited

I was driving home today and had one of “those” strange feelings to pay attention. This normally means that some nice synchronicity is about to occur. I looked up through my windshield and noticed that I was passing Monroe Street.

Flashback to about 15 months ago. At that time I was already a frequent lucid dreamer and had had some “other” amazing night time experiences. These sort of things had been happening off and on for about 16 years or so. For some reason, I had always bypassed the topic of “out-of-body”. I had read about near death experience and just about everything else, but really had no idea what an OBE even was. Well, I got a little nudge 15 months ago to look into it. It did not take long to realize that several of my experiences over the last 16 years were classic OBE’s. I quickly got my hands on Bob Monroe’s three books: Journeys Out of the Body, Far Journeys, and Ultimate Journeys. I devoured all three books in a matter of weeks. When I set the last book down, I was exhausted. It was a total shock to my system. Suddenly, everything felt very uncertain and a bit gloomy. I had a deep sense of being alone and lost. Some deep seeded fears began to rise to the surface. I had to start from scratch. So, in the midst of all of this, I woke up one morning to some intense vibrations. I was no stranger to sleep paralysis and these vibrations, but something about this time was different. Now it was no longer just a weird thing that happened to me at night... it was real. I had been roaming around in the larger reality completely unaware that it just might be real. For whatever reason, this created a great deal of fear. Panicked, I forced the vibrations to stop. I was consumed with this event and trying to figure out these newly realized fears.

Later that day I was driving in my truck feeling totally lost and alone. My world had been flipped upside down, and I had no clue what to do next. How could I be so frightened that I would refuse such an opportunity? I felt ready and yet totally lost and frightened. Suddenly, I got that familiar feeling that some synchronicity was about to occur. My gut told me to grab my iPod. Knowing that it was on shuffle, I hit play. A song came on that I have most likely heard at some point, but had never paid any attention to. While listening to the lyrics a burst of emotion hit me that brought me to tears. Though I did not, I had a desire to get out of the car and yell at the top of my lungs into the open air... a combined cry of joy and frustration. Instead, I just murmured, "Thanks.” Below is the song:

don't forget, don't forget
that I believe in you
should you forget
should you forget
let me remind
that I am behind you

you were a secret, waiting to be found out
soon be what everyone is talking about
may you spread your love like laughter
find whatever you're after
open all your windows and let the music spill out

don't forget, don't forget
that I believe in you
should you forget
should you forget
let me remind you
that I am behind

may you dance like rain upon a still lake
you make this world a beautiful place
no more crying, don't shun your light, keep shining
wipe your tears from your sweet face

don't forget, don't forget
that I believe in you
should you forget
should you forget
let me remind you
that I am behind

don't be afraid should things happen to change
'cause change can be a beautiful thing
should things fall apart
be patient like a rainbow
life is loving and letting go

(Brett Dennen - Don't Forget)

Okay, so that explains why Monroe Street is significant. So I looked around as I drove keeping an eye on anything else that might be relevant. Well, it wasn’t obvious at first, but is was certainly related. The area that I was passing through is somewhat of a rough neighborhood. I noted several men dressed in what one might consider stereotypical gang attire. This was of course not that out of the ordinary for the area, but it was fitting for the sudden urge to pay attention. I’ll explain shortly.

About a month after the synchronicity with the song in my truck had occurred, I had began reading My Big Toe by Thomas Campbell. That really flipped my world up side down. I found so much truth in this book. So much of it matched my own understanding and findings. Yet again, various fears rose to the surface. I was excited and ready to soar, and yet again I felt totally lost, unsure, and frightened. Perfect timing for a fear test I suppose.

I have always found shows about prison life and gangs very interesting. At the time, I had been watching the TV series Gangland for some time. Slowly, the thought of mean spirited gangsters started to work their way into my daily life. To make a very long story short, there was a random home invasion robbery in my neighborhood and I found one of the bad guys hiding in my garage with a 9mm. I could not have created a more stereotypical and scary looking gang member. I hardly slept for months after this. The man had stolen $3,000 from another home and had hidden it somewhere in our yard while on the run. Over the next few weeks several suspicious cars drove down our dead end street. They would slow at our house and then zip away. I spent most of my nights like a watchman peering out our front windows... always on guard. Two weeks after finding the man in my garage, one of the detectives informed us that he was making calls from jail telling his gang buddies to go get the money that he had hidden in a corner of our property. Needless to say, this whole event played a huge role in the process of examining my fears.

I think it is highly probable that my unexamined fear of "evil" helped to bring this on. It has helped me grow though, so I would not call it a bad experience. Over the year that followed this event, I have had many dreams and OBEs that appeared to have been related fear tests... opportunities to express my courage and face such matters.

So, back to the original story. So now I had Monroe Street and a hand full of men in traditional street gangster attire. More than just these seemingly small details, I had this amazing surge within me. Something that I cannot explain completely in words. It was as though I was changing inside... like I was experiencing the being level changes that had resulted from the various experiences that had taken place over the last 15 months.

I had recently created a playlist on my iPod... the way the playlist came about is a whole other interesting chain of synchronizations. The playlist was currently playing in my truck as I drove past Monroe Street, past the hoodlums, and with this overwhelming feeling of something. I laughed out loud, I knew exactly what was about to happen. That song that had served as a message of hope so many months ago was about to come on. Now there were only so many songs on my new playlist, and I knew that this song was one of them, but the timing was interesting to say the least. The song came on. My entire existence filled with a surge of joy that I simply cannot explain. It was as if a chapter in my life had closed and I was receiving a small pat on the back to let me know that all was well and that I was exactly where I needed to be. I felt that familiar joyful sadness and saddening joy that seems to accompany such experiences. There are no words to express the feeling accurately. It is a feeling like I have the most beautiful song in the world to sing from the highest mountain, but there is no voice and there is no mountain. The feeling just sits. It just is. It was such an amazing and powerful feeling, and yet the only thing I could do was smile and shed a tear. Amazing.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Consciousness Art - "MBT"

This is a large charcoal drawing that I did for a class. For those of you that have read My Big Toe (MBT) it will perhaps have a different meaning.

Charcoal on Paper
47" X 38"

Naturespace Audio and a Lucid Dream

I have been using custom binaural beats as part of my daily meditation routine for around a year now. I was looking around the web for some nature sounds to add to my binaural beat tracks and came across They have some really amazing 3-D audio. They also provide a free iPhone and iPad app that allows you to listen to seamless loops of the various tracks. The app comes with some great free audio experiences, but you can also purchase others for around $1 or $2 each. The few that I have purchased have been well worth a few dollars. I highly recommend checking out their website with a good set of headphones.

So, yesterday morning my dog woke up needing to go outside. Many of my more interesting and profound experiences have occurred in the early morning hours after waking up and then returning to bed. When I returned to bed yesterday morning, I decided to listen to "Riverwind Dreaming", which is one of the tracks that comes with the Naturespace iPod app. I listened for a bit and slowly drifted off to sleep. I have had a large number of lucid dreams, but this was the first time that the dream actually began while I was already lucid. I was fully aware as the dream scape materialized around me. I found myself standing in front of a friend. He was really wanting to talk about sports. I was hoping to take full advantage of my lucidity so I informed him that I would prefer to talk about our existence. He smiled and gave me a, "Yea, that figures" sort of look. We shook hands and moved on our separate ways. The dream continued for some time. I interacted a bit with a person that I knew from high school, but otherwise it was a pretty standard lucid dream. The key part of course is that I was lucid and aware as the dream began. It was a very interesting process.

Though I do not think that the Naturespace audio was the direct cause of the lucid dream, it certainly played a role. The 3-D nature of the audio has a high potential to help one shift focus from this reality to another. I look forward to adding some of the Naturespace audio to my binaural beat tracks for meditation.

Tom Campbell MBT Forum Get Together March 2011

In March of 2011 many of the active participants of the My Big Toe discussion forum got together for some Q and A with author Thomas Campbell. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend. Maybe next year. Some of the questions and answers may see a little "out there" or confusing for those that have not read the My Big Toe trilogy. Any question that might arise from watching these Q and A videos can no doubt be answered by reading the My Big Toe trilogy.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

For more videos with Thomas Campbell visit his youtube channel or the MBTevents channel.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Jerk

I was meditating today. I started to get some small vibrations (similar to those I have experience with nighttime out-of-body experiences). I tried every method I knew of to "exit" my body, but nothing was working. I got the impression that I was not ready to exit this way yet. A little frustrated but also trying to be a little funny, I expressed something like, "I promise to stay calm and keep any fears at bay. So just yank me out already."

A few minutes later, I was on the verge of "clicking out" and starting to get those random dream like thoughts and images. Suddenly my left arm shot straight up in the air and dropped like dead weight right back to where it was to begin with. Now I can't say for sure if it was my actual arm, but all of the sensations (including the noise) were real. It felt exactly like somebody jerked my arm up and then dropped it. It startled me pretty good.

"Point taken" was my reply.

We are no doubt our own biggest obstacles.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Precognative Dream?

I had a wild night of lucid dreams and out-of-body experiences last night. Two parts of a particular dream struck me (while in the dream state) as being moments of precognition; a sort of gut feeling that I was seeing into the probable future.

The first part of the dream involved a large plume of smoke from a wildland fire near my house. I was on the phone with my brother-in-law who lives nearby and who could also see the smoke. There was a helicopter flying over the fire and having some trouble. Eventually it ended up landing safely. A great deal of uncertainty surrounds this of course, but this morning in "waking life" I passed a small grass fire with a decent plume of smoke (a mile or so from my house). Granted, it was a small fire, but the odds deserve attention.

In the second part of the dream I was seeing the earth from a radar like perspective. I heard news reporters talking about several large tornadoes sweeping across the globe. I saw them (in radar like view) moving across the US and all the way across the globe to what appeared to be Africa. I am pretty sure that the details are not all that important. The general idea was that it was a "big" tornado event. The reporters were clearly excited and continued to state that it was unprecedented.

Today, I am watching the news about the mass of tornadoes that have pounding the southern U.S. today. There has been much tornado activity in the past few weeks, but this event is clearly "big" in terms of death toll and total number of tornadoes. Bellow from an April 28th, 2011 ABC news report:

"The death toll approached 300 tonight from the tornadoes and thunderstorms that tore through the South Wednesday night and early today."

"NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, estimated there were 173 tornadoes Wednesday, a new record for a single storm system in modern times."
Like many things, there is a great deal of uncertainty related to this. I hesitate to label the experience as anything other than interesting and noteworthy. It stands as yet another clue that there is more to "all of this" than meets the eye.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Above The Clouds

Consciousness Exploration Journal
April 4th, 2011

I woke up at 1am because one of our dogs was barking. The first OBE happened shortly after this. After a series of false awakenings, I woke up to some vibrations. I used the “brain strain” technique to encourage the vibration. I sat up after a few attempts and tried to fly up through the ceiling. I tried several times but could not get through. I stood on the bed and leaned against the wall to try and gather myself. While I was standing there, I began to hear a noise in the hallway. The noise got closer and closer to the bedroom. I focused on the noise and realized that it was our cat coming down the hall. Suddenly, I felt something on my chest. This jolted me back to my body and caused me to wake up. Our cat had jumped up into our bed and onto my chest.

Later in the night, I was in what seemed to be a dream. However, I do vaguely remember exiting my body sometime before the dream. I was on a very pretty street or on a wide path in some type of park. The scenery was full of green grass and lush trees. It was very vivid and beautiful. I quickly realized that I was dreaming. I jumped up into the air and began flying through the beautiful trees. I put my arms at my side and made my body straight like an arrow. I began flying through the air very fast. I focused my intent on shooting through the air to a bundle of branches in the distance. It was exhilarating to fly that fast and seemed to be a productive way to relieve some tension. I was pleased that my focus worked and that I was able to fly straight to the bundle of branches. At some point I decided to fly up and into the clouds. Sometime around this point I asked to go to the "black void" that I have experienced in the past. I kept making my way up, far above the clouds. I was looking down at the clouds in total amazement as they drifted underneath me. The sky above me was getting darker as if I was at the edge of the earth’s atmosphere. I wanted to see the earth from a distance, so I continued on my way. Eventually, the earth was nothing more than a distant ball. I felt like I had gone far enough for this trip and decided to go back. Instantly, I was back in my bed.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Consciousness Art - "Lucid"

This is a recent piece for a series that I am working on related to my experiences in the exploration of consciousness.

Oil on Canvas
37" X 22"

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Phantom Limb and Brain Strain

Yesterday I came across a post about a website called Though it had a very infomercial quality to it, a small moment of synchronicity convinced me to watch a few of the videos. Long story short, I felt like I came away with some valid techniques to induce out-of-body experiences. All of my OBE's up to this point were, for the most part, unplanned. They were either spontaneous, via a lucid dream, or a result of trying to work through sleep paralysis. Something about these techniques left me with a feeling that they would absolutely work for me. And they did.

I had gotten out of bed around 4 am to let the cat out. I returned to bed and quickly fell back asleep. I found myself in a seemingly endless loop of false awakenings. Frankly it is all a little messy and foggy. However, at some point I woke up and rolled onto my side. I instantly remembered to try the OBE techniques. The first one that I tried was the "brain strain" technique. I could not begin to explain to you how to do this, other than saying to strain your brain. When I heard the phrase "brain strain" on the website, I just somehow knew exactly what it was. Anyway, it worked immediately. I felt vibrations race through my body. I was a bit disappointed because I realized that I had just entered sleep paralysis. I was hoping to skip it. Instead of trying to move a part of my physical body to wake up, I began trying to move my dream body (the phantom limb technique). I have to stop here and point out that I do not think that there is such a thing as an actual dream "body" per say. It is just a metaphor. More on that later. At any rate, we can still put these metaphors to use as tools, and that is just what I did. I made an effort to move my dream arm. It took a while, but I eventually got it to move. As soon as I got it to move, I jumped up out of my body. It was a very groggy and sluggish OBE, but I was no doubt floating around my room. I tried to gain control over the experience, but it remained very foggy. My memory fades as to what happened next.

A few dreams and a few hours later, I woke up again. I immediately remembered to try the techniques. Again "brain strain" worked like a champ. The vibrations came quick. I focused on encouraging the vibrations to increase. I began to hear noises that are typical of my experiences of sleep paralysis. Instead of letting the noises frighten me, I focused on them. This seemed to deepen the state. This exit seemed much more clean or tangible somehow. I was floating around my bedroom (the non-physical version of it anyway). Like the first experience, everything was very groggy and sluggish. I tried to fly up through the ceiling, but kept getting hung up in it. At one point, I looked down at my bed to see if I could see my physical body. The bed was empty except for my cat who was looking up at me with a curious expression. I later realized of course that the cat was outside.

I am coming to realize the my expectations, fears, and beliefs play a major role in these experiences. Such things run deeper than the intellect and are not easy to recognize. It turns out that these things must be worked out through direct experience.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Welcome to My Dream: The Dream Train Experience.

Consciousness Exploration Journal

I was walking in the hallway of the a hotel. A beautiful girl that was scantily clad in lingerie greeted me and told me to come on down to room 1743. Still trying to figure out what was going on, I started walking with her. As I did, other beautiful women started coming out of the rooms and inviting me in as we passed. They were dressed in the same manner. I realized that the hotel was some sort of brothel. As we arrived at the door to the room, I started thinking... “wait a minute... what the hell am I doing in a brothel?” Then it hit me that I was dreaming. It has been a while since I have had a lucid dream, so it took me by surprise. I literally threw my hands out to the side like I was playing the freeze game. I told the girl, “hang on a minute, I just realized that I’m dreaming.” I did not have a specific intent planned as I normally tend to do and I did not want to lose focus.

So, I gathered my composure and engaged the girl. We walked into the room. My intent at this point was not to be with the girl, but just to see why she was leading me to the room. When we got into the room, Alice (from the Brady bunch) was laying on one of the beds taking a nap. The woman that had led me to the room now looked more like a troubled 18 year old girl. The girl jumped on Alice and gave her a big hug. Alice grumbled a little, but said something like, “hi sweetie”. The girl told Alice to wake up because somebody was here (me). I was feeling very much like an extrovert and was in a fun-loving mood... I started saying, “Alice wake up, I’m dreaming.” The girl supported this, “yea Alice you have to wake up, he's dreaming.” Finally she woke up. I did not waste any time, “So tell me something you two. How does it feel to be in my dream?” (I recently watched Waking Life for the 3rd time). I went on to tell them how I was dreaming. I got a pretty good response compared to past experiences. They seemed very interested in the matter.

There is a little blank spot after that, but it seems that we were all sort of just hanging out on the bed and talking; like a family on vacation. The girl had some cuts on her back that spelled something. I can’t recall what the word was, but it was something like “hate” or a similar word. Alice noticed that I had seen it. “she did that to herself”, Alice told me. The girl explained that she did not remember doing it. I thought about it for a minute and realized that the girl could not have reached that high up on her back. I mentioned it briefly, but then decided to let it go.

I realized suddenly that I had almost forgotten that I was dreaming. I did not want to lose lucidity so I jumped up and reminded Alice and the girl that I was still dreaming. They jumped up like they suddenly remembered as well. I was happy that they were actually acknowledging this. With arms held wide, I exclaimed, “Welcome to my dream!” and gave the girl a hug. I turned to Alice, “Welcome to my dream Alice!” and then gave her a big hug as well. I started dancing around being silly and singing, “welcome .... to my ... dreeeeaam.” Alice and the girl joined in. As we all really got into singing this and dancing around the room, the dream seemed to shift. Suddenly Alice was a very pretty middle aged black woman. The girl was now a 20 something black girl. They both seemed more real somehow. I was singing and dancing around just sort of having fun with it all, “Wow, Alice.... now your a pretty black lady. Oh you too. That’s okay, because this is a dream!” We all laughed and continued to dance around having a great time together. Suddenly, I looked around the room and realized that their were about 8 other people in the room dancing and singing with us. Still dancing and having fun I laughed, “And now, suddenly I’m the only white dude in here!” I got a chuckle from the group. Then I noticed my friend from College in the back. “Oh wait... now Shane is here”. I danced my way over to him and we hit knuckles over the top of people. All the while everybody is still singing the song (which was being sung in a very pleasant way... as an actual song you might hear on the radio) “Welcome.... to my... dreeeeaam.”

After a while, somebody shouted out, “Dream train!” and we formed a dancing train. What a great idea I thought, “Yea, let’s go get everybody!” We headed out the door, still singing and laughing. We headed through the lobby. As we made our way through, I started recruiting people. “Sir!” I yelled to the man on the couch, “I would like to personally welcome you to my dream. Join us!” He tilted his head down and looked at me over his glasses as if to say, “Yea right”. I jumped off the dream train and stood in the middle of the lobby and jumped up in the air and began to float. “You see, this is a dream! Come join the dream train!” Most people in the lobby seemed unimpressed, but a few joined in.

It was all a great deal of fun. Though I was acting like Jim Carey might in one of his crazy movies, I still had it in my head to be respectful to the various people that did not want to join the dream train. In the parking lot, there was a heavy metal band playing none other than, “Welcome to my dream.” Again I started to float around and convince the ones outside to join in. Most just ignored me, but a few joined in. We made our way out to the parking lot... still singing and carrying on. One of the members of the heavy metal band ran up to hand me a microphone to say something. He looked like he was straight out of a Mad Max movie. He was covered in tattoos and was dressed like he had just come from a future apocalypse. He went to hand me the microphone, but had knife blades sticking out of his hand (like Wolverine the comic book character). He was holding a butter knife and a can opener. I laughed and said, “You are going to have to tell me which of those is the microphone.” He handed me the butter knife. I turned around to say something to the fun-loving dream train, but when I did... the train had dispersed. There were a few still mingling about and the song was now playing quietly over a cheap intercom. The party was over. I started to try to do something a little more productive, but slowly began waking up.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Busy Night

Consciousness Exploration Journal

It started out as a typical dream: I was in a stereotypical downtown area of a large city. There was a kid (around 7 or 8 years old) that lived there. I was somehow connected to this kid. At first, the kid came across as a girl and then eventually as a boy. It was like I was getting the story without fulling seeing or experiencing it.

At one point, when I realized that he and I had some sort of connection, I saw our energy join... like two streams of light coming together. These streams shot up and broke though the ground and into the air. These columns of light stood erect along the various sidewalks and were spaced apart from each other like street lights.

I started seeing the dream from a third person point of view. The “me” in the dream was trying to get away from the kid for some reason (whom I still had not actually seen). It was not a scary situation, but I was clearly trying to hide from him. We were running through what seemed to be train cars. I was in one train and he was in another train (the trains were side by side and moving in the same direction). Sometimes the cars seemed to be underground like a subway, other times not (it was all very unstable and dreamlike). The chase continued. As I watched this unfold, I remember thinking that the “me” in the dream should just stop and see what the kid wanted. At this thought the kid came through the door of the train car that the dream “me” was in. The dream “me” was on the ground now for some reason... hiding... tired... I’m not sure. The train car was dark now. The kid had a sense of power (courage maybe) and he carried it well. He came closer to me and into the light. He was (or looked like) Arnold from the old TV show Different Strokes. He came up to me and gently kicked me a few times with his foot. He raised an eye brown and said something like, “Uh, why are you acting like that... just laying there? You don’t need to do that.” From the third person perspective that I had, I could now see that the dream “me” on the floor looked exactly like Arnold also. The kid and I were somehow the same.

After this part, the kid and I were more like balls of light. We exchanged info for a bit. He was explaining to me what things were like for him to live in this city. He had to live under the streets for some reason. There was some sort of being or person in charge that did not want him to create too much commotion on the streets by zooming around and making lights in the sky. The being that controlled this did not seem to be like a dictator necessarily, but more along the lines of a grumpy parent. If the kid just stayed out of sight, then there were not problems. The kid seemed to be very accepting of this and just made the best of it. After some conversing, the kid and I were like regular pals.

I suddenly remembered the large columns of light that had risen out of the street at the beginning of the dream. I’m frankly not sure exactly when that part happened, but the point was that the kid did not know about it yet. I was worried that it might get him in trouble so I explained it to him. He, in a rush, drug me out to the street (through the ground) and said, “Come on, we have to push all of them back down. Quickly, before he sees them.” We zipped through the sky as small balls of bluish white light pushing the columns of light back into the ground one at a time. There was a strong sense of teamwork and it really felt more like a game. We completed the task in a single breath and landed back on the street. “Shouldn’t we check the other streets?” I asked. He explained that he was only responsible for the streets within a specific bus route and that the other streets would not have been effected. There was a moment of shared enjoyment between us; like kids that had just gotten away with some mess and were now out of breath and laughing at the excitement of it all.

I started thinking about how much fun it was to zip around the sky like that. So I decided to jump up and take off again. Suddenly I had my normal “dream body”. Flying was very slow now. As I floated up past the windows on the buildings, I suddenly realized that I was dreaming. The dream scape began to fade. I stopped and stood at the top ledge of a building. As the dream faded to darkness I could feel strong vibrations. I knew this meant that I was shifting states or was moving back to my body in sleep paralysis. “dang it... what was my intent? I know I had an intent...” I though to myself. I kept holding on trying to remember what my plan was if I became lucid. “Oh yea! I want to see one of my past lives!” I have to laugh at myself here. I suddenly realized that I should be careful what I ask for so directly. So I sort of modified that with, “You know... if it’s okay and is necessary for my growth and all that.”

I tried to hold on, but soon found myself in my sleeping body stuck in sleep paralysis. I am no stranger to this state and have spent a good 17 years trying to work through my fears with it. Each time gets a little better and more interesting, but I still find it less than fun. It is what it is. So, back in sleep paralysis I began to have the usual sensations: buzzing, vibrating, music, voices, sense of somebody standing next to my bed, and on and on. As my physical body was experiencing fear, I was (in my mind) coaching myself through it, “Have courage. Just let go of those noises. Hang in there”. The other part of “me” was saying, “Okay, but I sure am tired of this. Is it really necessary? I’ll do it, but I sure don’t like it.” I continued to force myself to lay there and just experience it. After a while, I slipped back into a dream. It was more like I was still laying in bed and perceiving the dream. I was riding in an old pickup truck. My dad was driving. I was maybe 7 or 8 years old. I got the impression that we were going to a Toby Keith concert. I don’t think that it was actually Toby Keith though, I think this was just a way of expressing that it was a popular country singer. It got sort of confusing, but either my sister was the singer that we were going to see or maybe she was just going to meet us there. I didn’t get that part very clearly. It crossed my mind after waking up that if this was a peek into my past life, maybe my sister was a male singer... or perhaps maybe she was the dad driving the truck (though he looked like my present dad). The era of this dream seemed to be around the 60’s. This could have been a childhood memory from living on a farm as a small child. Hard to say.

After this very quick glimpse, I found myself back in sleep paralysis. I went over the dream/event that had just occurred so that I would remember it. The sleep paralysis continued. I kept gritting my teeth (figuratively) and riding it out. At some point I decided that I had waited long enough and that it was time to get the heck out of that state. I wasn’t about to give up and wake my body up, so I decided to go with the classic Bob Monroe out-of-body “roll-out”. I tried several times and was very happy when it finally worked. Once “out” I began floating up. I have had this sensation before when breaking free of sleep paralysis... like somebody was just gently spinning me around above my body in zero gravity. There have been a few times that I immediately found myself zipping though a tunnel, but I’m starting to think that those instances were just freebies to give me a taste. Anyway, I just kept trying to be very passive and let the experience continue naturally.

As all of this was happening, I had a funny thought or received a strange message. It was something along the lines of “beans will lubricate this process”. So, I’m not 100% sure that I got the beans part right, but the message was clearly about something that would make the process of sleep paralysis and “getting out” easier. Anyway, I think I’ll just keep that one in the back of my head for now ;)

After a while the event ended naturally and my body woke up. It was a very interesting night indeed.

I hardly watch T.V., but happened to turn it on the night after this, and Toby Keith was on a Comedy Channel. Synchronicity or chance? Uncertainty prevails.

I always find it interesting that things (such as my intent upon becoming lucid) from waking life are often difficult to recall in a lucid dream... in the same way that trying to remember the details of a dream is difficult in waking life. Real is relative to the experiencer, but not the experience.