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The Target Technique

William Buhlman
For many, the key to out-of-body exploration is to focus and maintain your complete attention away from your physical body as you drift to sleep. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to focus your attention upon a person, place, or object located some distance from you. This can be a loved one from which you are separated, your favorite vacation spot, or a gift that holds some special meaning for you. Whatever you select should be an actual physical object you know, not an imaginary place or person. Select the object or place that is easiest to visualize and holds the most interest for you.

Visualizing a loved one that you are separated from can be effective. Just picture the person that you wish to be with as vividly as possible. It helps to be emotionally involved, so select a person you would love to be with. Choose someone you know, not a fantasy relationship. Become completely absorbed in their presence and actually feel yourself with this person. If you like, role-play some kind of interaction to keep you involved.

Continue your visualization of this person for as long as possible as you allow your physical body to completely relax and fall to sleep. It's important to maintain a detailed picture of this person and your interaction as you go to sleep. As you doze off, attempt to boost your emotional and visual connection with this person as much as possible.

This method is excellent bedtime visualization. Keep in mind, the more emotionally involved you are, the more effective this technique is. Have fun with it and let your imagination go wild.

The Target Technique

Your ability to focus and maintain your awareness away from your physical body is enhanced if you direct your full attention upon a specific object or place. The target technique is an excellent exercise to help you develop this ability. Select three targets in your home. All three targets should be physical items that you can visualize with relative ease. Your targets should be in a different area of your home than the room you normally use for your out-of-body techniques. For example, you could select your favorite chair for your first target. For your second, select a gift or artwork that holds some special meaning to you. Third, select the most visually stimulating object available, such as your favorite painting, sculpture, or crystal. All three targets should be in the same room. After selecting your targets, physically walk to each one and examine every detail. Study each object from different perspectives; notice any imperfections or irregularities. Take your time with each object, memorizing the sights and feelings associated with every target area. Become aware of all of your senses during your walk, especially your sense of sight and touch. Repeat your walk several times until you can easily recall the smallest details of each target area. Pay close attention to everything, including colors, textures, densities, reflections of light, coolness, and heat. Also feel and memorize the sensations associated with your walk from one target to another. In other words, Get Into It! Enjoy all the sensory input that you receive.

The key to this technique is to focus and maintain your attention away from your physical body as you drift off to sleep. If you are persistent, the results will be dramatic. To enhance this exercise, take your time and repeat your physical and visual walk-through daily for thirty days. Get interested and involved in each target. This technique is a great way to increase your concentration and visualization skill and it only takes about twenty minutes to perform.

Select targets that are easy to visualize for yourself. Many people select personal items that possess a sentimental attraction. Once you make a selection stay with it, the repetition of your visualization dramatically increases its effectiveness. This technique is my personal favorite, over twenty-five years ago I stumbled upon it when I began to visualize objects in my mother's home. I strongly believe that this technique can work for anyone who is willing to invest the time and effort. The key is to select target objects that are easy to visualize but interesting enough to hold your attention. Items that you have made such as a painting, a sculpture, a silk flower arrangement, or even a set of curtains can be extremely effective targets. As you progress with this technique you can increase the number and variety of the targets you select. After you become comfortable, you can expand your visualization to include an entire room. This technique is extremely effective, but it is up to you to take the steps. The time you invest will be richly rewarded.

Examples of Targets

  1. Sense of sight
    • A favorite chair
    • Sofa or any item of furniture
    • Any object that you can visualize well
    • A gift or personal item that holds a special meaning
    • Any object or artwork that you have created yourself
    • A special picture, painting or portrait
  2. Sense of touch
    • Textured fabric or cloth of any kind
    • An item of furniture a door, carpet, light switch, sculpture or a wooden banister
    • Jewelry, ashtray, candle or any object that has a unique or distinctive shape or texture