William Buhlman is the author of one of the classic texts on astral travel. He learned how to do it the same way most of us must – the hard way. This is of special value to beginners, because you get the sense that, “If he can do it, so can I.” Interestingly, Buhlman doesn’t teach or practice just one astral travel technique, but draws on dozens of different techniques to achieve astral projection. In an interview with Guy Spiro, William Buhlman talks about his early experiments with astral projection. While he is not offering a lesson in the interview, much can be learned from what he says. Buhlman first started learning the Eckankar methods back in the early 1970s. That was the so called “Flower Power” hippy era, when there was a huge interest in the subject. The only difference between Buhlman and many others who read and talked about astral projection during that fascinating era seems to be that while others were content to talk about it, he was determined to find out for himself whether or not it could really be done.
Learn Astral Travel through Target Technique
The first astral travel technique William Buhlman learned was the Target Technique. In this technique, when you go to bed at night, choose 3 “targets” or objects in the room where you will be practicing. All you do is imagine yourself walking over each of the objects in turn and examining them closely. Get as absorbed as you can in your examination. For example, if it’s a vase, mentally pick it up and turn it around. Feel the texture and weight of it. Treat it like it is an expensive item you are looking at for the first time and thinking of buying. The object of this exercise is to have your attention focused away from your body as you fall asleep. Buhlman said that after about 4 weeks of doing this conscientiously, one night he found himself out of his body. After that initial experience, Buhlman became obsessed with out of body experiences. This led him to write his first book, Adventures Beyond the Body. He chronicled every detail of his experiences as much for his own information as for his readers, because it was all so new and amazing to him.
Other Astral Travel techniques
That was back in 1972. Since then, he estimates he has tried over sixty different astral travel techniques, but says they can be broken down into a few main types.
- An imaginative technique would be one like the one described above, where you imagine yourself to be someplace else.
- A motion technique is where you imagine yourself rolling out of your body or slowly rotating your astral body around inside of your physical body.
- Meditation techniques include those where you activate your chakras or imagine yourself exiting your body through your third eye chakra. Another similar technique is to go through the chakras from the root chakra to the crown chakra and exit your body from there.
Lucid Dreaming techniques
Buhlman also talks about lucid dreaming techniques that help detach you from your physical body. One of them he mentions is similar to those mentioned in the Carlos Castaneda Don Juan books. All you do is simply look at your hands. When you fix this in your mind and observe them in the dream state, you wake up in the dream. He also talks about looking for “anomalies” in dreams, such as a lion under your kitchen table. If you train yourself to look for these, it will remind you that you are dreaming and you will “wake up” in your dream. He says that he has received over 16,000 letters over the years about people’s astral travel and lucid dream experiences and has noticed that many people like the “naturalness” of lucid dreams as opposed to the sometimes violent shock of a kundalini experience or forcible exit from the body. Perhaps the most important part of the interview when the interviewer asks William Buhlman what the significance of the experience is to the individual. He points out that we live in an information age and intellectually know more than any culture in history, but that we lack direct spiritual experience. An out of body experience can be life changing because it reconnects us directly with our spiritual selves. This is something no book or religious teaching can do.
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