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A Series of Experiences While Learning to Reality Check

Experience submitted by Jenny
Experience submitted by Jenny

After learning the reality check techniques for astral projection from Belsebuub’s courses I had a series of slightly amusing yet informative experiences with them.

The Endless Finger Stretch

I was making efforts to astral project for many months without a lot of result when one day finally I had a clear astral experience. It came at a time when myself and a group of friends decided to try waking up in the mornings (independently, in our own homes) before sunrise to do a meditation practice and then go back to sleep for a bit and rest and try to astral project again. I’m not naturally a morning person, so making an effort to get through a decent meditation practice so early on in the day was a challenge.

I recall one day I had a big resistance to waking up for my meditation (reinforced by the fact I hadn’t seen results in previous days from this exercise routine), but I made an effort to get up out of bed anyways and do my meditation. The thought of having a chance to sleep in afterwards was a comforting idea at that moment… :). It wasn’t the best of practices (I was sleepy and drifted mentally a fair bit), but I felt it was a good thing I made the effort anyways. At the very worst, I thought, it wouldn’t set me back because I know from experience that for me one missed practice just leads to another…

A photo of myself and friends stargazing one night outside of a similar lodge some years later.
A photo of myself and friends stargazing outside of a very similar lodge some years later.

Anyways, when that practice finished I went back to bed. Nearly as soon as I lied down I felt myself float up out of my body. Effortless. So effortless I was in disbelief — I haven’t experienced anything like that up to that point.

I didn’t need to seek out something to do — there was an innate knowing that I wanted to go to a place of knowledge. I felt a pull in a certain direction and my body followed, floating through the air, outdoors, and a little while later I arrived at a familiar lodge. I was greeted at the door by a door keeper who allowed me to enter. The lodge was full of people I knew in real life and who I somehow knew were also “pulled” to gather there as I have been.

I found myself amidst a special gathering in the astral, and I have never been a part of anything like that before. Somehow intuitively I knew what was happening and what we were all awaiting. I just stood, observing as much of what was going on as I could.

That waiting wasn’t long in actuality, but somehow time felt stretched. As I stood there I began to think this is all too good to be true, too clear, too special. I doubted if perhaps I was dreaming after all? Maybe I never even came out of body? (that’s how real it felt). I decided to do the finger pulling reality check technique I learned from Belsebuub to be sure.

And here is where my mind played a trick on me, and also taught me a lesson. In the class when I learned the finger stretching technique the instructor did a casual demonstration of how that looks while he was speaking. He pulled his finger and made a mock motioning in the air of it “stretching” a few inches. In Belsebuub’s astral projection book there was also a drawing of the finger stretching technique showing the same thing — an illustration of a lady pulling her finger and it stretched a few inches as she seemingly became lucid in the astral. It seems these memories left a subtle impression on me that when you use this technique that your finger should stretch only a little, just those few inches — no more, no less.

The key here is that this impression was something completely off my radar — I never actively thought how much the finger should stretch, just as one wouldn’t think how much weight he should put on his foot while walking. I just knew to give the stretching technique a try, just as I’d seen in the book illustration and the classroom demo. So in this particular astral experience I finally had the opportunity of being conscious enough to test out that technique.

Standing amidst that gathering in the lodge, I pulled at the tip of my index finger on the right hand with my left hand. My finger stretched. A LOT. It seemed to have been made of rubber or like a string of melted cheese and stretched as far as my left hand could pull it while my arm was fully extended to the left. But, instead of this rubber-like quality my finger was displaying being interpreted as “yes, this is the astral! I can’t do that in waking life obviously” my mind interpreted the experience as “oh no, this isn’t right. It stretched too far; it didn’t work / it can’t be the astral” and with that awkward realization I put my finger back into its natural state and the experience ended.

Needless to say I was facepalming myself later for this awkward ending to an otherwise amazing experience, but it was a good lesson.

My Newly Gained Ability to Fly

On a few separate occasions I found myself becoming very lucid in a dream — I decided to use a reality check technique to try and become even more conscious and leave the dream behind completely. I used Belsebuub’s technique of taking a jump to float / fly. I floated up way high into the air and then landed back down. I repeated the process, leaping up and down along a pathway. I imagine for an observer from the side I might have looked like an incredibly light bouncing ball, springing up and down from earth to sky. Instead of “waking up” out of the dream though based on this physically impossible action, I mentally thought “oh, cool — I can leap like this now. This will make things so much more fun!” ..and back into a dream I fell.

On another occasion I pretty much experienced the exact same thing. I was becoming lucid in a dream, did the reality check technique to see if I could fly — I flew up into the air above my house overlooking the city and thought “oh wow, I can fly now — awesome!” … and again back into a dream I went.

In both instances upon waking up I was shocked that these things happened — of course I can’t fly or bounce into the air in real life… why did I so readily accept that I could in those lucid dream scenarios?? In reflecting on it I could see the correlation with how I was practicing these “reality checks” in general — pausing a moment in my day here and there to do one on autopilot, then rushing straight back into whatever I was doing beforehand, often with some kind of subtle / barely-there thought or quick mental justification of why I should get back to whatever it is I was doing. I could see I needed to learn to do the exercise with more mindfulness at each check I did — autopilot behaviour wasn’t leading to anything meaningful.

One More Example

When I first discovered these techniques many years ago I used to drink a particular type of soda. In embarrassingly indecent quantities. I won’t even say how many cans I’d go through a day, but let’s just say it was entirely too many. At the same time I used to really hate the taste of the same drink by a competitor brand and so I never drank it.

One day I was dreaming that I was in my kitchen and wanted to grab a drink. I open my fridge. It was fairly empty (not atypical in those days), and on the centre shelf there was a giant GLOWING can of the competitor version of the soda. It was big, bright, very colorful, and practically shining — almost hyper-real like those commercials enticing you to crack open a cold can on a hot day to quench your thirst. Despite the atypical size / product choice, the experience felt incredibly vivid and real at that point. I thought, “oh weird, I don’t recall purchasing that… Oh well.” And the dream went on. It didn’t occur to me to question what on earth this unrealistically massive can of a drink I never liked was doing in my fridge…

When I woke up I laughed. It was very clear to me that I was being helped in that experience to wake up out of a dream. An “elephant” was placed in the room and I failed to notice it.

  • Hi Jenny,

    Thank you a lot for this funny and very interesting article. By reading your experiences, I really learned a lot about the struggles and their subtleties we have to overcome to have meaningful experiences in the astral. I can relate to many of them. Thank you also for sharing so openly as your article gave me lots of motivation and insights what I need to change and what to improve about my attitude towards how to practice. Practicing even though you don’t feel like it, doing the checks sincerely and not having ideas of what things should look like in the astral, are really good pointers to focus on.

    Your account about the meeting you had with people you knew in the astral also sounded amazing and something to work hard for to earn the honour to be part of that.

    I also want to say I really liked the last story about the soda. I realized it is so important to question things more often and more sincerely in the physical and more importantly in the astral and to fine tune the exercises more. I have experienced off-the-radar things in (lucid) dreams and didn’t question the absurdity of it and that kept me then locked in.

    Thank you again Jenny for this great article.

  • Amazing accounts, Jenny!
    Thanks a lot for posting.
    I learned to fly in my dreams as a little child, in order to flee from bad situations and, since then, I cannot recall having bad dreams at all; however, and this is where I completely relate to your account on this matter, I simply enjoy flying so much I have tremendous difficulty trying to do something meaningful in the astral, even though I feel I’m there and all.

  • Nice and funny experiences Jenny!
    I was in a similar situation you described with a too long finger. Mine was so long that I thought I would hit someone or against a wall or something by accident. Actually, that was my first time I became lucid using technics from Belsebuub’s courses and I can relate to how much surprised you were.

    About “the elephant in the room” it’s amazing how the mind can rationalize everything wired or subnormal. On the other hand, I like how with the reality check technics we can manipulate our mind in order to become more lucid. And of course much better than making scenarios and creating illusions with it at the astral plane.

    Thank you for sharing them!

  • Nice experiences Jenny! I can relate to the check not being enough to wake me out of a dream. I found that jumping checks were more effective for me because they gave a bit more of a surprise. But, even more so is the rushing attitude that you mentioned – where the check is done in a by-the-way approach. This is a big problem for me too and I think a lot of us suffer from not giving life situations and activities the attention they need.

  • Nice write up on your efforts with reality checks Jenny. It was entertaining to read and captured the conundrums you faced well. I definitely had my fair share of experiences where things ended prematurely because they didn’t meet my expectations of what the astral should be like.

    I remember one time in my early projections I flew out of my apartment in over the city of Montreal. It was May or June in the physical world but there was snow in patches here and there in the city. Rather than continue towards the destination I was being taken, I pulled up short, landing on the ground and said ‘Why is there snow on the ground in June?’ I was so adamant, that this snow should not be present. I behaved like a little child! And I woke up in my body a minute later. It’s laughable now, but from your experience and others too it seems like this is a natural part of learning how to BE in a new dimension of life.

  • Your experiences made me laugh out loud Jenny! So funny and yet they give you such insight into your approach of doing reality checks. I’m happy to read about your thoughts related to doing reality checks and what kind of efforts are needed to make them work. I’ve seen myself many times doing checks on auto-pilot, especially when things during the day are given more importance than they actually deserve. For instance, a deadline for a school project that comes up and it would create this tension or fear of not meeting it, which then would overwrite the intention of doing a check or I would squeeze one in, in a half-hearted way. In dreams then I could see how I was sabotaging myself with this behavior as the strangest things would be happening around me and I would reason myself out of doing a check. It’s one to know about the technique and another to do it correctly.

    When I started out doing checks, I wasn’t relaxed enough about it. So I would pull my finger really hard to make sure it certainly stretch in the dream. If I’d continued like that I’m sure my one index finger would have been slightly larger :D. In the dream then I would do a similar check but that tension was exaggerated. Over there I was pulling my finger and it felt like it was made out of concrete. I can remember myself thinking, how on earth will I be able to stretch concrete, all pointing me back to my attitude of which I was doing the check that needed to change.

  • Thanks for sharing those experiences, Jenny. They made me smile, and also gave me a lot of insights and inspiration to look around, pull my finger. Really question things.

    I’ve also had those moments in a dream where I just assumed that I had suddenly figured out how to fly. And wondering why I wasn’t always flying. It was such an easy and wonderful thing to do!

    Once I had a lucid dream where I was standing in the kitchen of my apartment. At the time I was living with two friends, and I was just amazed at how clean the kitchen suddenly was. So very tidy. And then I realized I was dreaming :p

  • I can relate to a lot of what you’ve written and laughed a good bit just reading through it. The soda thing was hilarious. I’m just imagining a higher being observing you, amused as you accept this giant glowing can into your reality. 😀

    This one time, while giving the reality checks a try throughout the day, I had a dream where I was explaining to someone about astral projection. I was referencing Belsebuub’s books and pretty adamant that it was very possible to do it. I even went into explaining how it was done and how it felt. But nada. 🙂 Stayed in the dream. Upon waking up, I just found it very funny the kind of conversation I was having and to still be locked in the dream state. As simple as the practice is, it requires a lot of tweaking and learning as you go. Thanks for sharing, Jenny.

  • So what are people’s experience of what it takes to make reality checks work?? Needing some encouragement here! 😉

  • Thanks Jenny for sharing those comical experiences of trying to stay lucid in dreams. It’s a pity you didn’t spot the “glowing” anomaly with the oversized can of soda in the fridge, but I’m glad that you managed to move on from your habit of drinking “embarrassingly indecent quantities” of your favoured brand in the meantime! 🙂

    I found it funny about your finger stretching so much. It reminded me of a lucid dream I had, where I was aware I was dreaming, but still had dream images around me. I was in a subway station and decided to grab onto the train. Then as it pulled away from the platform, my arm stretched like Inspector Gadget’s! 🙂

  • Reality checking really does have its own level of rigor in terms of making it successful. I really appreciated your examples. The example of being able to leap so high and thinking how much more fun things would become was particularly funny… and close to home – I know I’ve had similar thoughts 🙂

    It seems silly that we can do something that so obviously demonstrates we’re in the astral, but still get grounded by a physical perspective. There’s a lot to explore with this technique!

    • Definitely a lot to explore — so much more than I imagined when I first heard about it. Just amazing how much of our dream time we spend accepting all kinds of “realities” so simply… 😅

  • Thank you for sharing these Jenny. I found these early experiences often very amusing. 🙂 I used to have similar experience like you when I was a kid. At that time, I would sometimes become spontaneously lucid in my dreams and start flying. And I remember always thinking: “why sometimes I can fly, and sometimes I can’t? Why don’t I remember that I can actually fly more often?”. So basically, I thought I was in the physical dimension (not knowing there were other ones), and that for some strange reason, sometimes i was able to fly, and at other times i was not. 😀

    Your first experience sounded very inspiring. The gatherings of that kind are amazing, and make you think of the importance of the spiritual work we are carrying here in the physical world, which then allows us to take part in those meetings in higher dimensions. How interesting that you got this experience after literally forcing yourself to do the practice even if you didn’t feel like it, and it was not even the best of the practices… This shows how overcoming resistence is highly valued spiritually, which we often don’t realize. I also found it interesting that there was a door keeper in that lodge, reminding me of the guardians at the temples.

    And the last one – quite funny indeed. I think the beings out-there have a very good sense of humor!

    • Yes, the last example was so perfectly orchestrated 😄. It’s the thing I would least suspect — that someone would place a big can of junky soda in my kitchen to see how I respond… and because it was so unexpected I totally bought in 🙈.

      I think I was really helped in that lodge experience, but I also think that making the effort to at least try the practices I set out to do (learning to be more disciplined with my own decisions) has played a big role there at that time. It was a magical experience for me.

    • Yes Lucia, the “ho-hum” reaction to out of place or impossible occurrences in dreams is also familiar to me. When I was a boy, I used to quite often dream I was flying, but not in a typical way. I would usually be sitting in a kind of crouch position, holding onto my legs, but skimming through the air a few feet above ground level. I used dream of flying around the house like that fairly often, but I would always think “oh, I’m not really flying, it’s just that little trick I learnt to make it easier to get around!” 🙂

  • Hi Jenny,

    thanks a lot for sharing these experiences, they also made me laugh out loud but also have come at a good timing for me to reflect on some serious thing… I’ve been trying to ‘revamp’ my astral checking, yesterday calculating how often I’d have to do it to get to 50 a day and trying to come up with a plan of action on how to get there. I was speaking with someone about how the finger check is often a secondary ‘confirmation’ when I already KNOW I’m in the astral, and they said they thought it showed I wasn’t really doing it enough or with a genuine questioning. I can relate to the ‘oh great, now I can fly …’ thing – though somehow this happens more with flying than with the finger stretch, which seems to jolt me a bit more.

    I thought the experience with the different brand of pop a really funny example of how well they know us! “She would NEVER have this in the fridge in the physical!” I remember once using these birds as triggers to check if I was in the astral, ones that I saw a lot and that I’d heard had a reputation for being ‘silly’, quite playful birds. In my dream they were being really silly, like surfing to cheesy music and just mucking around, but I just thought … “ah, that shows their reputation is warranted!”

    But reality checks can be such a helpful thing, both to get to a clear astral experience and to break through the mind in the day – but they have to be done properly to have either effect. I’m still trying to make each one ‘real’, like you describe, it’s so easy to just make them into a mechanical part of a mechanical day. Looking around for me really helps, to get that sense of double-checking where I am and that everything’s normal, as does trying to feel myself ‘present’ in my body and the space I am in, rather than living through my eyes.

    Thanks also for sharing that incredibly clear experience where it sounds like the group that devoted time and effort were rewarded together. Very inspiring. I recently went through a period of sticking to a daily schedule to work towards something and it really helped, but now with the change in the seasons the schedule naturally needs to be re-jigged. The method of getting up a bit before you naturally would to practise and then going back to sleep for a bit is one I’ve found really works in the past … think I’ll begin it again soon. And it does seem like there’s something about sticking to it daily that is really crucial!

    Thanks again. BTW, are you dreaming? 😉

    • Hehe 🙂

      The birds experience — that’s exactly what the can of pop was like.. And you’re right, it is interesting how the things that end up mattering / making experiences are these little subtle things — and how when help or guidance is given in these experiences it’s often these little things that I don’t even think about / actively conscious of, and yet they are so perfectly picked for each scenario (which says a lot about how well I know myself a lot of the time… 🙈).

      Good luck with your efforts to revamp things!

  • There’s some things I can relate to in your experiences Jenny. Others not so much 😉

    I really liked the effortless leaving of your body, that just seemed so nice. I think I’m a bit too locked up in my physical body for that, makes me want to focus better on relaxation which in my case easily makes it to the wayside.
    Getting up early in the morning, doing a practice, then going back to bed is indeed very likely way to get astral experiences I’ve found. I used to do a paper route everyday Sunday morning. I always had trouble getting out of my bed 🙂 But once I was out it was incredibly beautiful in my village. I’d do my best to be aware and do reality checks, when I got back (and I was also looking forward to this) I would go back to bed and often have many and multiple experiences. That paper route was such a gift actually, I never would’ve gotten out on my own at that time 😀

    I’ve also discovered the need for the: ‘check plus+’. After many experiences where I checked in the astral and knew I was there, but didn’t really break through and make use of my time there, I started to incorporate the ‘so I’m in the astral what then’ in my reality checks during the day. So for example I’d do a check during the day and then pretend thinking so I’m in the astral what now? Concentration was a big key there to stay focussed. As well as remembering my goals.

    The soda I can’t really relate to… haha. Even the thought of such an amount of soda bleeh! Water seems much more sensible.

    • Hehe. Yep, actually soda totally evokes a beeeh feeling in me these days as well. I couldn’t even drink a sip of that stuff.. :S But it was a perfectly suitable astral “dilemma” to face at that time period 😄.

      I like your check plus+ approach — good idea!

    • The check plus approach is a good idea Karim! I’ve always tried to have a current goal ready for when I make it into the astral, but I haven’t included it into my reality checks like that. It seems like it will be helpful. I often wake up in the astral and then the experience ends right then, so concentration and will to act on your goal, mission etc.. seems critical to me.

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Mark (Belsebuub) is a British-born author. Belsebuub has written several books on OBEs and dreams. He withdrew from public life in 2010. Read more

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