Who Are You, and What Are You?

What Is Your Real Purpose in Life?

Getting Away from Your Body

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Leaving your body for a while is a meditative skill that takes place entirely in the mind. It is something you can learn to do a little bit at a time. Essentially, it means deepening your meditative state, and requires becoming more advanced in your meditation skills. I learned it accidentally over a long period of time. But, when you know what to do and you focus on doing it, you’ll learn it a lot quicker than I did.

Learn, train, read, study, get help from a teacher, and practice until you can achieve the meditative state (totally awake but without any thought) for ten or fifteen seconds each time. Start practicing for fifteen minutes a day for at least five days a week until you can maintain non-thought for a minute. Practice, practice, practice until you can maintain non-thought for two minutes. Learn to really LOVE your practice, and make it an important part of every day until you can stay in the meditative state for five minutes. By this time, in most of your meditations, you will begin sensing small traces of the joy and energy that are always found in the human spirit.

Don’t stop. Use those delicious little tastes of spiritual inner peace to deepen your commitment to the practice. Have many short meditations in your daily life, while standing in line at the checkout counter, during a long traffic stop, whenever you are bored, and every time you get in bed and can’t sleep. When you are a meditator, you eagerly use every episode of insomnia as an opportunity to practice and deepen your meditative state.

Then one day, you’ll discover that you are meditating ten to fifteen minutes each time—with ease. You might reach this stage of your practice in a year or two. Or, depending upon your dedication and consistency, perhaps in a few months. It took me thirty years. But, if I had known what I’ve just written in the two paragraphs above, it would have been much, much sooner for me.

By this point in your practice, you will have developed an ability to block some sensory inputs from your mind—to one degree or another. You’ll know how to block out a distracting noise, perhaps a buzzing insect, or whatever seeks to disturb your meditative state. Then, voila! One day you realize that you can block out the annoying pain in your knee, or the throbbing place where you hurt your hand. Perhaps even a headache. Simply by deepening your meditative state and silently telling the mind to turn off a particular sensory input, you have begun to separate yourself from your body.

As you explore your own mental geography and practice the skill of turning off sensory inputs, you will learn—again, one small step at a time—the art of leaving your body. Generally speaking, each “trip” away from the physical body brings you into the proximity of your own human spirit. There you may discover a vast resource of knowledge and joy like you have never known or imagined.

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