It seems counterintuitive, the idea of leaving your body. That you could be separate from it, that you can be sitting on the outside looking in. But that's what an out-of-body experience is: It's leaving yourself for even just a moment and understanding the universe is bigger than you. An out-of-body experience can expand your perspectives and understanding of the world in ways that you never knew existed. So how do you have an out-of-body experience? Well, there are a few methods.
There are wonderful ways to enjoy such an experience without the use of illegal substances. Sure, there are a few methods we've already explored, such as lucid dreaming and astral projection, but here’s a few unique ways that I tried to have an out-of-body experience, some of which you probably haven’t heard before.
Method #1: Skydiving
Yes, you read that correctly. Go skydiving, no matter how afraid you may be. It will change your perspective on life and death. Jumping out of an airplane 35,000 feet up in the air and falling, with nothing supporting your body in the vast open space, erases fear of death. Some may even connect this with a near-death experience, which has similar effects to out-of-body.
The first time your heart melts out of your chest is when the back hangar door of the airplane opens, revealing the fluffy white tops of clouds and the specs of green and brown far below, fields of cows the size of your hand. And you have to convince yourself that it’s totally sane to jump out.
When falling through the sky, you will have an out-of-body-experience. Restrictions you hold on yourself no longer seem as important. You truly realize how short life is, as if jumping out of the plane is birth, and you need to finish school, work, accomplish your goals, and retire all in that space of time before hitting the ground.
Method #2: Through the Looking Glass
There’s a reason an entire book was written about this form of out-of-body-experience. Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland has a second, lesser-known counterpart called “Through the Looking Glass.”
In “Through the Looking Glass,” Alice is intrigued by her reflection on a mirror and literally steps right into it, entering another world where everything is backward. When I tried this, it didn’t work so well because… well, because I couldn’t step through the physical barrier of glass. But there’s something mystical to mirrors. Try this and find out for yourself.
Go to any mirror, I chose the one in my bathroom. Stare closely into your own eyes, focusing on the pupils. Those profound, black-holes that are responsible for forming all the images that you see in day-to-day life. Notice how your iris is like the colorful outer star rings in a galaxy.
The center of your eye is like the center of a galaxy, the black hole. Did you know no spacetime exists in a black hole? Did you know some people believe they are a portal to another time or dimension?
I spent a few minutes staring into the depths of my own pupils. I felt a bit of my consciousness travel, and things looked the way they do in dreams. The experience is not so much seeing as it is feeling and thinking.
While on the moon, American astronaut Neil Armstrong said, “It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” This is what you realize when having these experiences.
Method #3: Deep Meditation
The history of meditation predates much of communication, beginning with chants and mantras. It was developed through the Hindus as early at 1500 B.C.E. It’s an ancient practice, the amount of time it’s been around is proof of its significance. Meditation has many effects on your body that improve different aspects of your life.
This method was the most difficult for me because sitting still and focusing on clearing my mind of any thoughts sounds boring. But after a couple hours of sitting in the same spot, as Buddhist monks in Thailand do in their wat temple meditation sessions, I was able to have an out-of-body experience.
There have been multiple studies by neuroscientists examining the brains of monks. The Atlantic did a fascinating study where they used MRI machines to examine the brains of meditating monks and found “these high-amplitude gamma-oscillations in the brain... are indicative of plasticity” — meaning that their brains were more capable and open to change.
When I deeply meditated, I was able to lose my sense of self. I became one with my environment (I was sitting outside in the grass, and felt connected to the earth as if with roots). I realized the importance of living more in the moment, and caring more about other people.
Method #4: Sensory Deprivation Tank
The first thing that comes to mind is Netflix’s famous show Stranger Things, where the main character Eleven is able to enter an alternate dimension by immersing herself in a sensory deprivation tank. The first time doing this can be a bit scary, but ultimately rewarding.
The purpose of a sensory deprivation tank is literally in its name. A tub of water in a dark room is filled with dissolved salt, so that when you float in it, you become deprived of your senses. The sensations of outside stimuli are absent, making it easy to dissociate from the physical body.
I was terrified by this experience in the first few minutes because I was aware of nothing except for my own mind. It was like floating in outer space, it was like death, a dreamless sleep.
Then relaxation set in after accepting the strange new atmosphere, and I was able to have a full out-of-body experience. I realized how the mind and body are separate entities, the body being a vessel for us in this life, and once it dies, the mind will continue on to some other dimension. We are pure energy, and as Albert Einstein said, “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”
Moonsplaining is a content package dedicated to the power of feminine spirituality. Instead of blaming the universe for your problems, learn how to harness its ebbs and flows for your own good. Here's how to make the universe work for you, not against you.