My very first experience of waking up in a dream was particularly vivid and real, but the setting couldn’t have been more ordinary. I had just woken up in bed and was looking at my bedside cabinet, thinking about something or other.
Everything looked normal, until I realized there was a book on the cabinet that I’d been reading earlier, but had actually put back on the shelf, so it had no reason to be there. It then occurred to me that my physical body was still asleep, but that I had woken up consciously in the dream world. When I eventually woke up physically, I found the book back on the shelf where I had left it.
The experience was interesting, new and different in its clarity to some of the lucid dreams I’ve had, where although I knew I was dreaming and could influence the outcome of the dreams, there were still dream images around me. However, this was my first experience in what seemed to be an accurate representation of the place in which I was sleeping.
Discovering Belsebuub’s Work on OBEs
I later discovered Belsebuub’s writing and became intrigued by his practical tips to have out of body experiences, through either astral projection or becoming conscious in dreams. His writings also confirmed to me the authenticity of my first experience. I practiced various techniques suggested by Belsebuub, such as mantras, concentration and reality checks, which I mention below.
I sometimes noticed similar sensations to the ones that Belsebuub mentions in his work, which occur at the point of sleep when the astral body is splitting from the physical body. These included feeling my body becoming heavy, or paradoxically feeling a sensation of lightness in my limbs, perceiving a strong heartbeat, or hearing a buzzing sound in my head.
Although I had some difficulty in completing the process of consciously splitting from my physical body, I found that my ability to explore the astral plane through waking up in dreams increased significantly and I began to have these experiences around once a month on average, which was a big improvement for me.
Since then, I’ve woken up in dreams in most of the places I’ve stayed in and have been able to examine my environment in a more objective way, without dream images clouding my perception. These experiences often came as a boost and kept alive my sense of curiosity at finding myself in a replica of the physical world. From this, I was able to test out various qualities of the astral plane, such as being able to fly, and differences in the properties of objects and materials, compared with the physical world.
One technique I practiced to increase my chance of waking up in dreams was a simple reality check, which I had learned about from Belsebuub’s work. With this technique, I would pull my finger whenever I saw a certain object during the day, in order to store this habit of checking in my subconscious and prompt me to check in dreams too. Although I had some difficulty in genuinely questioning where I was during the day, I found that the habit of checking did indeed transfer into the dream world. So whenever I started to became lucid in dreams, I would pull my finger to check and observe it stretching, which served as a confirmation that I was outside of the physical world. Likewise my hand could pass through what should be solid materials, such as doors and walls.
As well as confirming that I was outside of the physical world, these reality checks gave a reassurance that it was OK to try things that would be impossible in the physical world, such as attempting to fly.
I noticed that certain factors tended to allow me to wake up in dreams more frequently, such as being persistent, and/or practicing with a group. On one occasion, I had been practicing some of Belsebuub’s techniques with a group of friends, with the aim of astral projecting during the night. I didn’t manage to achieve my goal that night and felt a little disappointed as I travelled back to a friend’s home. However, I had a nap after I arrived and to my pleasant surprise, I woke up in a dream and could study various things within the room in which I was staying. So on this occasion, although I didn’t achieve the result I had hoped for during the group practice time, I still benefitted from the effects of it soon afterwards.
Another particular occasion stood out from a retreat, where we were making efforts to have experiences in the astral plane using various techniques based on Belsebuub’s work. I shared a room with a close friend and we decided to set a few gentle alarms during the night, after which we would get up, briefly walk around the room in awareness and then settle back to sleep. We did this over a few evenings and to my pleasant surprise, I woke up in dreams on three consecutive nights.
It was inspiring to be able to observe the place I was in clearly, while knowing that my physical body was still asleep. However, as with the early experience with the book, I noticed on each occasion that there was something slightly out of place. Sometimes these anomalies have in themselves acted as triggers to become lucid, while on other occasions, I’ve felt there may be a level of symbolism or teaching to them, such as when I’ve seen a notice with information on it.
When I woke up in dreams on the retreat though, I couldn’t quite work out whether the anomalies were significant, or if they were just products of my subconscious. My feeling was that although I was able to generally study my surroundings in a clear manner while physically asleep, there was still a level of subjectivity that may have clouded my perception slightly.
Clearing the Influence of the Subconscious
I feel that the information I learnt from Belsebuub on understanding dreams and the astral plane has also provided me with useful tools to develop self-knowledge. In The Astral Codex, Belsebuub mentions the importance of developing clarity during the day, in order to increase the objectivity of dreams and astral experiences, as the two are very much related. Consequently, clearing any unwanted subjectivity from my mind during the day has become a main focus for me, in order to make the most use of opportunities for learning both in daily life and in the world of dreams.