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William Buhlman - How to Have an Out-of-Body Experience

I never achieved the highest goal of Eckankar, to be instructed while in the dream state by the Living Eck Master — originally Twitchell himself and by my ...
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I never achieved the highest goal of Eckankar, to be instructed while in the dream state by the Living Eck Master — originally Twitchell himself and by my time an unassuming gent named Harold Klemp. But I did learn to keep a detailed dream journal and later recognized that I’d had a number of spectacular lucid dreams Format File: [FLAC]




William Buhlman - How to Have an Out-of-Body Experience


William Buhlman - How to Have an Out-of-Body Experience


William Buhlman is a man on a mission.

“I had this wild belief back in the ‘90s that if everybody could have an out-of-body experience, the whole planet would change,” he says by phone from Faber, Virginia, where he has just completed a workshop on intensive out-of-body experience. “It would shift the consciousness of the planet, the ‘hundredth monkey’ thing.”

But as he taught and wrote about the phenomenon of out-of-body experiences, or OBEs, he met with resistance. “Then I realized that’s not going to happen. People are too entrenched in their beliefs. So you do what you can do. Get the information out and try to make it understandable, because some of this information is so beyond people that you have to spoon-feed it. I can’t walk up to people and say, ‘You’re not human. You’re a multidimensional being.’ They think you’re a nut job.”

When William Buhlman was a sophomore at the University of Maryland, a childhood buddy told him about having a spontaneous out-of-body experience, during which he woke from sleep and suddenly found himself floating above his bed, looking down at his dormant body below.

Excited by his friend’s account, Buhlman decided that if his friend could do it, he could do it.


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It was the early 1970s and there were few books on the subject. However, he did find one book that suggested using ‘targets’ onto which to direct your attention as a way of urging the mind to separate from your physical body. The book also suggested that you had to try this for at least 30 days to have any chance of actually separating your consciousness — what some might call the mind, but as distinct from the brain — from the physical body.

“I chose some things I had made for my mother — a metal ashtray, a wooden doorstop, a watercolor of the ocean — really silly stuff, child art,” Buhlman says now. “I was dedicated, doing this every night, and as you do it you get better at visualizing. I would imagine myself walking around my mother’s home touching these objects. In retrospect, this is important because you end up focusing your consciousness away from your body just as your body is drifting into the altered state we call sleep.”

Nothing dramatic happened for the first three weeks and he was about to give up, but on the twenty-fifth day he had a strange dream that he was sitting at a round table with several people. “They all seemed to be asking me questions related to my self-development and state of consciousness. At that moment in the dream I began to feel extremely dizzy, and a strange numbness, like from Novocain, began to spread throughout my body. Unable to keep my head up in the dream, I passed out, hitting my head on the table. Instantly I was awake, fully conscious, lying on my side in a small single bed facing the wall. I reached out my arm — and my arm actually entered the wall,” he says.

“I could feel the vibrational energy of it as if I was touching its very molecular structure. That’s when it hit me…’

“I tried to stay calm. And the next thing I know, I’m standing at the foot of my bed, obviously out of my body. I thought, Oh my God, I did it! I started looking around and I was aware that I could see beyond the walls of the room.”

What Buhlman saw next was even more astonishing than the sight of his own slumbering body: the figure of a man with dark hair and a beard in a purple robe who seemed to be observing him. “His presence scared me, and I instantly ‘snapped back’ into my physical body. That strange feeling of numbness and tingling faded as I opened my eyes. It was brief but life-changing because it changed my entire outlook on reality.”

In the forty-five or so years since that first experience, Buhlman developed what some might view as an anomaly into a highly nuanced skill. He discovered that he didn’t even have to wait for nighttime. Coming home from classes around midday, he would lie down, start his target techniques and get results. “I was having a lot of out-of-body experiences, as many as four times a week. And they were just mind-blowing. I was walking through walls.’

“And I went through this whole long sequence of discovering it’s a vast multidimensional universe and we have the ability to explore it firsthand.”

Searching for more advanced books on the subject, Buhlman came across the work of Paul Twitchell, a freelance journalist and seeker from Kentucky who in 1965 had founded an anomalous American spiritual sect he called Eckankar. Here Buhlman’s story intersects with my own. During the late 1980s, a jazz drummer I met by chance introduced me to Eckankar, and I became involved in what Twitchell’s numerous books called “The Science of Soul Travel.” The goal of the practice was to learn to monitor and ultimately become consciously awake in your dreams. Beyond that, things got a bit hazy. Eckankar was the very definition of a syncretic religion, combining aspects of Sufi and Christian love teachings with beliefs and terminology based on a Sikh tradition known as Sant Mat and its practice of Surat Shabda Yoga.

I never achieved the highest goal of Eckankar, to be instructed while in the dream state by the Living Eck Master — originally Twitchell himself and by my time an unassuming gent named Harold Klemp. But I did learn to keep a detailed dream journal and later recognized that I’d had a number of spectacular lucid dreams, learning what they were called only after reading Stephen LaBerge’s and Patricia Garfield’s ground-breaking books on the subject. Buhlman became involved in Eckankar earlier than I did and even led his own Satang, or spiritual group, enjoying the camaraderie because they were the only people he knew with whom he could talk about out-of-body experiences or astral projection without being thought of as a freak.

I confessed to Buhlman that not only had I never succeeded in meeting the Living Eck Master in my dreams (neither did he), but also that the first time I had an out-of-body experience was when I smoked DMT (Dimethayltryptamine) at the age of 18. In the summer of 1965, I’d never smoked anything stronger than a Gauloise, and the parsley flakes on which the psychoactive chemical was sprayed looked innocent enough. One minute I was sitting in my car with my friend Randy, puffing on a cheap corn-cob pipe stuffed with parsley, and in the next instant I was outside the car looking in through the windshield at Randy and me. Some 25 years later, while researching a book on spiritual experience, I had several more brief OBEs when I shared ayahuasca with a Brazilian sect called Santo Daime. (Curiously, DMT is believed to be an active ingredient in ayahuasca.) As a result, I know that OBEs are real, even though I haven’t been able to replicate one on my own since then.

“It’s not easy, just so you know,” Buhlman says in response to my confession. “I must have had 50 to 80 OBEs before I could understand the nature of what was going on. It took me two years at least before I started to break out of our mold.

When I started to prolong my OBEs I discovered that you can live an entire life in five or six minutes.

After a time, I would be out of body for half an hour. But it’s like meditation. How long you meditate means nothing. Then you start to internally change your self-concept. Suddenly you know things. You feel you are exteriorizing. But there’s only one path — the inward path.”


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