''Leave the familiar for a while.
Let your senses and bodies stretch out.
Greet yourself in a thousand other forms
as you mount the hidden tide and travel back home.''
William Buhlman is one of the best known names in the world of OBEs (Out of Body Experiences). He's a pioneer in the field, and good at teaching the skill to others. So, to be at one of his workshops was fantastic - it allowed me to ask all the questions I wanted directly to the man himself. He doesn't often come to the UK- last time was six years ago - and he has no immediately plans to come here in the near future. He does however go to Italy, saying he resonates particularly with Rome, and possible past lives there. This workshop was at Le Querce Bianche near Treviso. .
Buhlman utilizes hypnosis to maximum effect, achieving a very deep level of relaxation, bordering sleep. This assists people to move smoothly into altered states of mind- the fertile platform for triggering OBES. His workshop activates all the ideas contained in his books 'Adventures Beyond the Body' and 'Secrets of the Soul' "are probably the most accesible accounts of non-physical experience available to date. Millions of people have had OBEs and NDEs ( Near Death Experiences) but a good number of people misinterpret their meaning.
What's good about these books is that they are not just based on his personal experience though 'Adventures' is drawn from his own OBE journals, but they rest on massive research. The number of people responding to Buhlman's OBE survey has now topped 20,ooo! Respondees come from all over the world; the results showing that OBEs are a universal phenomena, irrespective of age, gender, class, religion or belief system.
On a personal level Buhlman shines. He's modest and committed- a great teacher who manages to make complex ideas simple without triviaizing their depth. Lucid and grounded, he stands tall and fit at age 60, and speaks straight from the heart, obviously passionate about his subject.
What you learn from his is that the biggest barrier to exploring beyond the body is our own fear. Developing a strong, flexible mindset, he believes, is probably the most important factor in achieving successful OBEs, allowing the mind to then open up to weird and wonderful inner dimensions. A good out of the body explorer is:
- objective in recording experiences thoroughly
The tendency of some people during OBE practice is to be fearful that what's happening to them isn't 'normal.' Buhlman was great at calming such fears and clarifying that ' There are NO RULES -----Except to keep away from your body once you're out.' Anything goes because we are individuals and one OBE size definitely does not fit all. Different experiences just add to the richness and variety of OBEs. Letting go of emotional baggage, giving up analyzing, and dissolving fearful thinking can have benefits in any area of life, but when confronting the great mysteries of life beyond death, these actions have increased impact. It frees up energy to be able to shift dimensions more freely.
Most are afraid they won't be able to reconnect with their bodies, but to Buhlman, this is what keeps people trapped. They need to 'break the mould'. He has this amazing sense of courage to explore. He never fears alien entities, or malicious spirits, or possessions, as he says 'we are the most powerful creators in the universe.' It is our own minds that create the fears and phantoms in the first place. It is important to recognise this, and it is up to us to just take command. This kind of talk has made him an inspiration. He's working at the frontiers of consciousness, an explorer who challenges all the received and conventional notions of what is supposed to happen when we die.
He used his own hemi-sync style music to lead us into trance states, bordering sleep. Several key techniques were then introduced, including one from the Golden Dawn, and an ancient Peruvian Shaman Fire Ceremony where objects symbolizing habits were burned in solemn silence.
Over lunch, I talked to him about the few advanced I'd made with Todd Rout's workshops; also at discovering Jurgen Ziewe, author of Multi Dimensional Man who says that OBEs can be accessed through meditation. I said I'd used a lot of OBE techniques for a while, but still could not tell whether I was really out of body or not. Buhlman's view was characteristically direct: in workshops there is always an 'aura overlap', which could act as interference, so it was better to be in the secluded, individualized cabins at the Munroe Institute. He jested with me that in a difficult case like mine, I might need to be 'hit out with a hammer'. If so, Buhlman was definitely the hammer I needed- I could easily imagine him blowing things out of the water.
Paradoxically, being 'out' whether slipping out, or being knocked- Buhlman reminded us is a misunderstanding of the nature of OBEs. There is no 'out in terms of the higher consciousness- just as there is no 'up' or 'down' or linear time. The higher self is beyond such categories and measurements required by the physical dimension self. An OBE (a term that seems to have stuck) is really more of a transition of consciousness 'inwards' into layers of being. Going 'out' can be a useful, but largely metaphorical way of understanding this shift away from the physical body we are all so attached to.
Buhlman also said that in that workshop room, several -possibly hundreds- of spirits were listening in, to gain what knowledge they could to know what to do about the after death state. I did not even notice until someone who had photos of hundreds of orbs floating about like mushroom clouds at Ankor Wat, Cambodia, pointed out that there was one in my photo of the workshop room. I was astonished to see it there. The jury is still out on what causes orbs- dust specs and refracted light effects or wandering, nosy spirits?- but they certainly have a strange way of appearing sometimes, but not others, as if they are choosy.
People came forward with various odd experiences, and Buhlman took time to answer them all, so people went away satisfied- the workshop was a success, although with hard work ahead. If there is one motto, I'll take away from the weekend, it is 'Just Surrender' to the experience- it's all there waiting for you.