I didn’t have to Leave my Body to Leave my Body

I was sitting on the beach, in an ordinary state of mindfulness meditation this morning, feeling wind on my face, listening to breakers, trying, with intermittent success, to keep my mind in what is called stillness. This stillness, which is alluded to in many spiritual traditions, is not about being in some kind of trance state, or sudden internal deafness. It’s just keeping the mind quiet so it can hear the world speak (not in any supernatural way, in a quite natural way), much the way we stop talking and focus on what the other person is saying, when we’re in a conversation. My visual imagination is strong, and it was stimulated to generate an image of myself sitting on the beach, with the atmosphere streaming around me, on the planet Earth, and the planetary view expanded so I saw (in my imagination) the planet with crisp pictorial clarity, complete with imagined weather in clouds, as if seen from orbit. I was also able to see myself on the beach in all this. Those people who claim to teach “out of body experiences” would say “Oh yes you’d traveled from your body for a moment”. No, I didn’t. My mind stayed in my body, it never left it. It was pure imagination, but it functioned at a high level because irrelevant input from my mind was stilled.

People who imagine OBE experiences have likely worked themselves up into a purely imaginative experience. They haven’t gone anywhere, except within their imaginations…The experience was, though, meaningful in other ways; it showed me my place in the scale of things. It was refreshing.

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