I usually leave it up to the professionals here on the ol’ blog, but I lucid dream/obe quite regularly & have a pretty formulaic method [drawn from 3 or 4 other sources] which others have found success with as well – therefore I wanted to share it with you firsthand.
*For more info., please check out this previous post: journeys out of body – it includes books by Robert Monroe, & Robert Bruce [2 authorities on these subjects].
Anyhow, without further ado, the method:
1. throughout the day, do any/all of the following: turn light switches on/off & see if they work, ask yourself often “is this a dream?”, look at your hands & note their appearance, jump up & try to fly.
*all of these exercises train the subconscious mind to perform the same actions while in a dream – the more you ingrain them in to your daily waking life, the more apt you are to perform them in the dream state. once in a dream, doing any of the above will result in an oddity, which will be noted by you, hence signaling that you’re actually dreaming – i.e. light switches won’t work, if you ask if it’s a dream you’ll realize it is, your hands will morph when looked at, and when you jump to fly – you’ll fly.
this method is for realization of a dream once you’re already in a sleep state, not for OBEs or astral projection – although all of those terms are related, they’re basically different stages of the same phenomena.
[steps 2-4 have to do with out of body experiences/astral projection]
2. right before bed-time, sit in your bed and perform 10-15 minutes of alternate nostril breathing.
*this will align the hemispheres of your brain as well as increase your awareness and energy – it is a vital step for breaking the energy body free from the physical body & works well to initiate an out of body experience.
3. after step 2, perform the chant “FA, RA, ON” – do this 12 times aloud, followed by 12 times internally – both while lying down in the dark ready for bed.
*this chant is ancient Egyptian in origin and it works in conjunction with the above step to break the energy body free of the physical shell – this has a lot to do with sound waves, energy meridians, & vibration.
4. after step 3, breathe deeply & fully using your diaphragm – in & out the nostrils only. breath easily, fluidly, all the while envisioning your body as 2 separate entities: the physical body and the energy [or vibratory/sound] body. don’t imagine or believe, but really know this separation and move from an identification with the physical body to one with that energy body, which is encased in the gross body. pay no attention to time or method, just hold on to this feeling of being lighter than air – vibrating faster than the body which holds you in. start at your feet, & as you continue breathing place your awareness inside of each body part: feet, up the legs to the knees, sexual organs, stomach, heart center, throat, 3rd eye [point between the eyebrows], & finally the crown of your head. the point here is to connect with the subtle inner body, not the actual feet, knees, etc.
you are to move up and back down this energetic matrix 3.5 full times [ending at the crown], and when you are done with this, relax fully, pick one point to stay connected with – & stay there all the while observing, unattached, the physical body falling asleep. i personally use my 3rd eye [with eyes closed & turned upward], but you can visualize a red circle in your mind’s eye, do a silent single syllable chant [OM, RA, etc.], or any other method which you prefer. as the body falls asleep you may feel trapped inside, i use a rocking method at the waist to break free, while others can more easily “pop”, “slide” or “roll” out – see what works best for you & what happens naturally.
*with dedicated practice of steps 2-4 you will begin to be able to stay consciously-awake as your body falls asleep. with this ability comes the shock of sleep paralysis, as well as sometimes VERY powerful vibrations, auditory “hallucinations”, and other phenomena which accompany the conscious mind at the time of bodily separation. there are many ideas regarding these occurrences & what they are, but it’s been my experience that they are something like safety mechanisms which prevent travelers who aren’t ready for the full trip from taking it. getting through this stage is a practice in itself and again, with dedication and awareness you will succeed.
at this point you will have graduated from an out of body experience in to astral projection – if you haven’t already, this is when you’ll want to research that other post i was referencing up there in order to get more info., other methods, etc.
good luck & happy travels.
*oh yeah, that picture up there comes from the secret of the golden flower & in my opinion, it’s an invaluable book.
update: here’s a pretty cool link about wake initiated lucid dreaming [the WILD method] just in case you want some more tips, or just want to cut to the chase.