Jarring OBE

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Tyler Vandevenne, modified 4 Months ago.

Jarring OBE

Posts: 7 Join Date: 10/19/20 Recent Posts
Howdy,

I've been meditating for about 3 weeks now (1-3+h/day) and based on the "idiot's guide" I seem to be in A&P territory (white lights, tingles, seeing through my closed eyes somehow). 

The thing is, two days ago I had an extremely vivid and completely unexpected out of body experience that lasted at least a couple of minutes. As peculiar as my other experiences have been, this is really the first one that was too "real" for me to even potentially chalk up to an overactive imagination or me "nodding off" for a minute while meditating. This happened, and I don't know what to make of it. 

I can go into detail of the experience next time I have a minute to hop on my laptop, but my question is; is this just something that happens in A&P territory, or was this straight up the "A&P event" and I should brace myself for an oncoming dark night? Or am I totally off base and this has nothing to do with anything? I'm very new to all this and so any guidance any of you can offer is welcomed.
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Jim Smith, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Jarring OBE

Posts: 942 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Turlough Doyle:
Howdy,

I've been meditating for about 3 weeks now (1-3+h/day) and based on the "idiot's guide" I seem to be in A&P territory (white lights, tingles, seeing through my closed eyes somehow). 

The thing is, two days ago I had an extremely vivid and completely unexpected out of body experience that lasted at least a couple of minutes. As peculiar as my other experiences have been, this is really the first one that was too "real" for me to even potentially chalk up to an overactive imagination or me "nodding off" for a minute while meditating. This happened, and I don't know what to make of it. 

I can go into detail of the experience next time I have a minute to hop on my laptop, but my question is; is this just something that happens in A&P territory, or was this straight up the "A&P event" and I should brace myself for an oncoming dark night? Or am I totally off base and this has nothing to do with anything? I'm very new to all this and so any guidance any of you can offer is welcomed.

If you can provide more detail about your out of body experience it would be helpful.

Were your eyes open?

What happened when you were out of the body?

Did you travel beyond what you could see with your eyes in your body?

Do you have other types of psychic experiences? 

There is a kind of non-dual experience that happens sometimes in meditation when you seem to merge with what you are looking at. It can feel like you have come out of your body but it is caused by certain areas of the brain becoming inactive. It doesn't signify anything except deep concentration unless it is accompanied by other changes that persist after the experience.

Based on what you wrote I can't tell if that would explain your experience.

The terms that are used to refer to it often get used for other types of phenomena as well so I can't even give you a proper name for it.

But if you are interested...

This link has a description of that type of experience which I had:
https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/mystical_experiences#mystical_kensho


This is the explanation of what is going on in the brain.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2012/05/experience-of-oneness.html
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Turlough Doyle, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Jarring OBE

Posts: 7 Join Date: 10/19/20 Recent Posts
Thanks for the resources!

I was on my couch meditating (observing the breath), and all the usual stuff was happening (tingles, white lights), and then quite suddenly I was standing in my dining room. I didn't question it at the time. I remember I felt quite "floaty" and everything had a sort of cyan tinge to it. I also remember there was music, It was a sort of waltz tune (I'd had the StarTrek Voyager theme stuck in my head when I was mediating, so that might have been it, but I can't be sure). So, I started waltzing, and I ended up waltzing by my big wall-size mirror in the dining room. I waltzed up to it and looked in the mirror. 

This is where I stated getting a little freaked out. I had this vague notion that I was in a dream state, and whenever I'm dreaming I've sort of built up the habit of checking out any mirror I can find because, in my eperience, my brain can't do a very good job of recreating faces. They always seem to lack the detail of a real face, so as a bit of an experiment on myself I'll look and see if I have enough "wherewithal" to notice that this isn't my real face (usually I don't). 

The thing is, when I looked in the mirror during my OBE, it was very clearly my real and accurate face. I remember reaching out and touching the mirror with my fingertips, sort of to test if the mirror was real and if this was actually a reflection of me. That's when I started thinking, "Wait a minute, this isn't a dream? How did I ge here? Wait, wasn't I meditating on the couch? OH MY GOD I'M NOT IN MY BODY!"

Then I heard/felt this loud vibration. I think my physical body was actually shaking at this point, and then suddenly I'm back in my body sitting on the couch. Even though nothing really bad happened, it was terrifying. In retrospect I think those times I thought I was seeing through my eyelids were also OBE, because it's not like I'd see the room from my own perspective. I would see it as though I was standing next to myself or behind myself or something. 

Sometimes when meditating it seems like I get brief glimpses into events going on through someone else's eyes (like a moment they're talking to a coworker while at their job), but these I just sort of chalked up to me nodding off or something mid-meditation. I would also see people's faces clearly in these "visions" too, though, and I had no explanation for that, but they didn't shock me enough to make "figuring it out" a priority like this is. 

I remember having OBEs as a kid, but that was a long time ago and I hadn't given it any thought in probably 15-20 years (I'm 27). 

What I'm stuck on is, if this was just a dream, it wasn't like any dream I've ever had before. Maybe meditating has given my brain a better capacity for generating accurate faces, idk. If I really was outside my body, though, why did the mirror show my reflection? I wish I had taken a better look around when I was in that state to get a better sense of how "accurate" the room was, but unfortunately this is all I have to go on. 
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Jim Smith, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Jarring OBE

Posts: 942 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Turlough Doyle:
Thanks for the resources!

I was on my couch meditating (observing the breath), and all the usual stuff was happening (tingles, white lights), and then quite suddenly I was standing in my dining room. I didn't question it at the time. I remember I felt quite "floaty" and everything had a sort of cyan tinge to it. I also remember there was music, It was a sort of waltz tune (I'd had the StarTrek Voyager theme stuck in my head when I was mediating, so that might have been it, but I can't be sure). So, I started waltzing, and I ended up waltzing by my big wall-size mirror in the dining room. I waltzed up to it and looked in the mirror. 

This is where I stated getting a little freaked out. I had this vague notion that I was in a dream state, and whenever I'm dreaming I've sort of built up the habit of checking out any mirror I can find because, in my eperience, my brain can't do a very good job of recreating faces. They always seem to lack the detail of a real face, so as a bit of an experiment on myself I'll look and see if I have enough "wherewithal" to notice that this isn't my real face (usually I don't). 

The thing is, when I looked in the mirror during my OBE, it was very clearly my real and accurate face. I remember reaching out and touching the mirror with my fingertips, sort of to test if the mirror was real and if this was actually a reflection of me. That's when I started thinking, "Wait a minute, this isn't a dream? How did I ge here? Wait, wasn't I meditating on the couch? OH MY GOD I'M NOT IN MY BODY!"

Then I heard/felt this loud vibration. I think my physical body was actually shaking at this point, and then suddenly I'm back in my body sitting on the couch. Even though nothing really bad happened, it was terrifying. In retrospect I think those times I thought I was seeing through my eyelids were also OBE, because it's not like I'd see the room from my own perspective. I would see it as though I was standing next to myself or behind myself or something. 

Sometimes when meditating it seems like I get brief glimpses into events going on through someone else's eyes (like a moment they're talking to a coworker while at their job), but these I just sort of chalked up to me nodding off or something mid-meditation. I would also see people's faces clearly in these "visions" too, though, and I had no explanation for that, but they didn't shock me enough to make "figuring it out" a priority like this is. 

I remember having OBEs as a kid, but that was a long time ago and I hadn't given it any thought in probably 15-20 years (I'm 27). 

What I'm stuck on is, if this was just a dream, it wasn't like any dream I've ever had before. Maybe meditating has given my brain a better capacity for generating accurate faces, idk. If I really was outside my body, though, why did the mirror show my reflection? I wish I had taken a better look around when I was in that state to get a better sense of how "accurate" the room was, but unfortunately this is all I have to go on. 

I don't know how to relate this to Buddhist practice or the progress of insight so I can't really address that aspect of your question.

I do have some knowledge of psychic phenomenon, I've read a lot on the subject and I've had some of my own experiences.


If this keeps happening I suggest you try to figure out if you are having lucid dreams or psychic experiences (they can overlap). Spontaneious cases with vibrations are more likely to be OBE's though a lot of the techniques sold to induce OBE produce lucid dreams.

You might find this article interesting:
https://www.newdualism.org/nde-papers/Tart/Tart-Journal%20of%20Near-Death%20Studies_1998-17-73-99.pdf
Six Studies of Out-of-Body Experiences Charles T. Tart, Ph.D.

This site: psi-encyclopedia.spr.ac.uk, has reliable information on psychic phenomena, these article might be of interest also:
https://psi-encyclopedia.spr.ac.uk/articles/out-body-experience-obe
https://psi-encyclopedia.spr.ac.uk/articles/does-something-leave-body-obe-historical-perspectives

The best way to prove you are having a psychic experience is to try to see if you can notice something that you wouldn't be able to sense with your ordinary senses and wouldn't know about, but can verify afterwards.

For example, I set up my computer to show a random picture to practice remote viewing. That might be a bit complicated but it conveys the idea.  Maybe you could leave a magazine open to a random page without looking at it? Or leave a playing card face up without looking at it?

If there is anything else you want to disucss on the subject, I am interested. 


There are some people who insist their OBE's are real even though they consistently fail to get verifiable information when they try. I really don't know what to think about that. I suppose it's possible but my confidence in it is not high - but people who have the experiences are best able to assess them. If you want to find out more about that side I can suggest this site:

https://www.multidimensionalman.com/Multidimensional-Man/Astral_Travel_and_life_after_death.html
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Turlough Doyle, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Jarring OBE

Posts: 7 Join Date: 10/19/20 Recent Posts
And for the record, my physical eyes were closed and everything I saw in my OBE was behind were my physical body was/was facing. 
T DC, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Jarring OBE

Posts: 389 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
Turlough! Thanks for posting, very interesting experience, and it does sound very much like an OBE.  The vibrations, the clarity of it, and the fact that you have had these experiences before all point to it being an OBE.

In my experience of the OBE state vs the dream state - they are very similar, but OBE has a depth, clarity, and stability to it that goes very far beyond the average lucid dream.  So, it's not particularly surprising that you saw your face in the mirror and it was an accurate reflection.

Was it the A/P?  Doubtful.  Maybe if you had gotten out of body, started flying around, and then the sun had exploded this could be put into A/P category.  As it is it just sounds like a very classic example of OoBE, which is also incredibly cool, and, given that you seem gifted in this area, a potentially very interesting realm of exploration.

Personally I think the A/P gets overcalled a lot on here - there are many unique varieties of spiritual experience, and every interesting lucid dream, OBE, or random mystical experience cannot be automatically put into A/P category.  I look at the A/P as a very specific and unique meditative door / attainment, that opens the way to new / challenging mental territory, and although it can coincide with explosive energetic phenomena, both can also occur entirely seperately.  

Another possibility, if you have been experiencing mystical phenomena since childhood, and are a dedicated spiritual seeker - perhaps you are already passed the A/P?  ;)  Food for thought.
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Turlough Doyle, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Jarring OBE

Posts: 7 Join Date: 10/19/20 Recent Posts
Huh, well if I have already crossed the a/p then I really don't know where I am
T DC, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Jarring OBE

Posts: 389 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
Turlough Doyle:
Huh, well if I have already crossed the a/p then I really don't know where I am


Hi there, just read your OP again where you mentioned only having starting meditating three weeks ago.  I still think it's possible that you have crossed the a/p given the experiences you have described, but I also wanted to emphasize that in many ways the maps are not helpful this early in starting a practice. 

Give it time to get more depth of experience with meditation practice, and see how your practice develops.  The maps help us to orient ourselves and allow for more clarity regarding the path ahead, but there is also a wide variety of meditative experience, and they are by no means set in stone. 

My personal advice would be to explore the maps if they interest you, and keep that knowledge in the back if your head, but also to just be patient, keep an open mind, and allow the process to develop with your ongoing practice. 
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Jim Smith, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Jarring OBE

Posts: 942 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Turlough Doyle:

I can go into detail of the experience next time I have a minute to hop on my laptop, but my question is; is this just something that happens in A&P territory, or was this straight up the "A&P event" and I should brace myself for an oncoming dark night? Or am I totally off base and this has nothing to do with anything? I'm very new to all this and so any guidance any of you can offer is welcomed.

Personally I never experienced things it the order they are supposed to happen according to the progress of insight. So I don't give much credit to "milestones" along the path. I prefer to pay attention to whether my equanimity is increasing over time and measure progress that way.

Daniel says this about A&P
https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/30-the-progress-of-insight/4-the-arising-and-passing-away/
some people who have done decades of meditation practice never get to this stage

He phrases it like their development is stunted, but I don't agree with that. People who have done decades of meditation will have equanimity so it doesn't matter if they never had A&P. 


He says this about dark night
https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/30-the-progress-of-insight/5-dissolution-entrance-to-the-dark-night/
It should be noted that some pass through the Dark Night quickly and some slowly. Some barely notice it,

Telling people about dark nights is a double edged sword, it is good to warn people about risks of meditation but it should be done in a way that doesn't convince people they have to have problems and suffer in order to make progress or cause people to have problems through the power of suggestion (some people are very suggestable). And there are a lot of other risks besides dark nights that should be mentioned but rarely are.

In my experience meditation can bring up unpleasant emotions at any time and it doesn't have to be a "dark night". Many people deal with this from time to time and don't even notice it or need a name for it. It can happen anytime in your practice. When things are getting ready to come up you can feel like you don't want to meditate, either cutting sessions short or skipping them. The same thing can happen if you have something you would rather be doing. How do you know which it is?

My opinion is that when serious dark nights happen it is usually for one of several reasons: Someone has a lot of emotional baggage they have a hard time dealing with, or their world view gets turned upside down because of an insight in meditation and they are not expecting or ready for it, or they have practiced too much meditation or meditate incorrectly  and their brain is not able to handle it (they break their brain) or they have issues that have nothing to do with meditation and blame it on their practice because someone told them it would happen. Some people are very timid about spiritual things and any strange experience frightenes them and they blow it out of proportion and scare themselves. I read a post by someone on reddit who got scared when he felt his heart beating so it started to go faster which scared him more and it went faster and faster as he panicked. Or another person would meditate with his eyes open and feel like is vision turns off and he panicked because he was afraid it wouldn't go back on. When you meditate with your eyes open you often let your eyelids droop while turning your eyes up and you can't see. Most people figure this out, some just panic.

You can look at the above and figure out if you are at risk for a bad dark night. If not don't let predictions or suggestions scare you into one. If you can handle an OBE I think you are pretty stable. 

In my experience A&P can happen at any time also. I never experienced it as any kind of milestone. It  means I did a lot of meditation in one day and am getting high on neurotransmitters and endorphins. It can happen at any time. I can do it whenever I want.

I am pretty sure people can get to equinimity and never experience dark nights worth mentioning or A&P events.

Equinimity is something you get from meditating regularly. And I don't believe you need cessation/fruition to awaken. In my view awakening is the process of letting go of attachments to self. Over time it frees you from the ten fetters. That's all. My opinion is that people do not have to concern themselves with milestones.

A&P, "dark nights", and equanimity can happen to me all at the same time. Meditation is usually a spiritual (A&P) experience for me, I have equanimity from meditating regularly for many years, and I work with emotions in meditation every day and it doesn't disturb my equanimity.

If you believe in the map then you might interpret your experience accordingly. If you don't believe in it you are not necessarily bound by it.