Intentions and Imaginations Triggering OBE'S

by Alfred Ballabene

Attention! Trance methods and meditations described in this article can be dangerous for psychic instable persons, who perform these methods without control of an advanced person. Awakened psychic forces can get out of control by people with great problems and uncontrolled fears.

Bodily Basis For OBE's

Relaxation (Savasana) for trance:

Lay with your back on the floor, with a flat pillow underneath your head. Turn your head aside, to prevent your relaxed tongue occluding the respiratory tract, which could hinder you in breathing and make you snore (which may cause awakening). Furthermore the above quoted head position prevents saliva to flow into the trachea. Place your hands close to the body. Then relax, and use additional imaginative techniques. For Savasana you find a good description in the home page of Steve Ritter 3).

a) Contracting the muscles:

Contract all muscles especially of spine, getting your back lifted from floor in a bow, with only heels and shoulder touching the bottom. Then relax and come down to the floor again. By this muscle tension you get a better muscle feeling and relaxation is better afterwards.

b) Stretching the spine:

Stretch your heels as far away as possible, then set them on the floor and pull to elongate your spine. With your shoulder fixed on the floor, the pulling heels stretch the body, mainly the spine. Then relax.

c) To "switch off" the body:

Check relaxation of limbs and body, starting with your feet. Move your feet some what, to get a better feeling of them. Then relax. Have a final control of the feet upwards to the ankles.... you feel them relaxed .... imagine a switch at the ankles and turn the switch off. This part of your body now will be cut off your awareness. Now control relaxation of the following section of the legs upwards to the knees ... imagine a switch at the knees and turn the switch off. This part has dropped out of consciousness as well and you go further upwards to the hips. Then you repeat the same procedure with your arms and then with your trunk and afterwards with your face. Now your awareness has no further bond to the body and is directed towards the inner realms.

Further aspects of body positions:

see: Alfred Ballabene "Balancing between sleep and awakeness" in 1)

Automatisms To Start OBE's, Triggered By Intentions


The first step in OBE-ing is set by the subconsciousness, in all states, independent of the fact if you are in trance or in sleep. All the flying dreams, the lightful and colourful dreams and as well false awakening are produced by subconsciousness. What you have to do is to get the impulse strong enough to make you lucid and to start OBE's. Trance is not handled as easily as many persons think , because your will has to relinquish leadership to subconsciousness, which will be the primary authority to decide, if you stay awake, if trance is started, or if you fall asleep. Therfore subconsciousness on the one hand is a valuable tool for you, if you are able to trigger it by right intention and imagination and on the other hand can be difficult like an untamed horse.

The intention which triggers subconsciousness is very subtle and has ist own symbolic language. A pure intellectual decision to have an adventure or to learn about the secrets veiled in yourself is not sufficient. The signal directed to your subconsciousness to trigger OBE has to be precise in the aim and powerful by emotion and desire.


Desire is like a call of the "other world"to meet your beloved relatives or to lead you "home" and it pulls you out of the body. It is a strong trigger for astral travelling especially. Desire without anything othercan be sufficient to actualize an OBE, if feeling and remembrance of last OBE is fully present. Religiosity is of no influence for etheric OBE-ing, but of very great influence on quality of astral travelling. A dogmatic and polarized view very often leads to confrontations with demon- or devil-like creatures. It is very often caused by intolerance and aggressivity which is characteristic for a heaven-hell point of view of fundamentalists. Fear may be considered as hidden aggressivity. A lovely person meets loveley worlds.


Expand your inner awareness towards the room or to the surrounding and focus your attention to what is going to happen in next moments. Don´t drect your attention inwards to phantasies and thought-dreaming, threads of thoughts nor let your attention fall off; Instead keep your awareness outside, just waiting attentively and being alert. This kind of awareness has to become so dominant, that it persists subconsciously while you fall asleep after some time. Following the sleep period you get half-awake and the outward directed awareness will be actualized automatically (if input was strong enough and had worked as a kind of posthypnotic order).


It is said that by continuous repeating affirmations it is possible to implant orders into your subconsciousness. Subconsciousness then will obey your orders. Such an order for instance could be to get lucid. See article of Ed Erst 4).

Examples for affirmations:

I shall have a very vivid dream ..... I shall remember at least one dream ..... I shall have colourful dreams .... I shall get awake in dream and be lucid .... I shall have an OBE ..... I shall have an astral journey

a) Working with tape and clock:

You can record your affirmations on a tape and switch on the recorder by means of an alarm-clock at a time when you are asleep. Trigger the volume in the right way. You can use affirmations on tape to create half- sleep or light-sleep states, in which you usually have a better dream control.

b) Tape for brief sleep sequences:

You can use a tape to awaken you in REM-sleep in the morning. Record on your tape and after every spoken sequence leave a longer silent interval, so that you can fall asleep again in every sequence of silence. You will have dreamlets in which you may have more control and in which you can study dream mechanisms. Starting with dreamlets you learn to manage dreams in your way.

c) Using a ritual:

A ritual is a magic symbol-language, which is of greater "authority“ to subconsciousness than an intellectually made decision. Support your magic order by optical and movement impressions. In consequence more archaic sectors of brain are involved, than by thought or spoken words, which are processed in a semantically organized sector, a part which evolved in a late evolutionary period. Though it sounds old fashioned, nevertheless a well performed ritual will be of great use.

Imaginations As Autohypnotic Inductions For OBE's And Inner Journeys

How to start an OBE by imagination:

If you keep your imagination in full concentration and alertess, nothing will happen. Many people don't know this and are frustrated by the insuccessful trials, though they feel to have done everything „in the right manner“. If you want to start OBE, there has to be an interval, at least a short moment between imagination sequence and the start of OBE-ing, in which a change of quality of consciousness occurs. This interpolated phase may be a short dream or a glide into trance. An image for OBE and an image for trance induction do not differ. Furthermore the imagination has to have an affirmative aspect, outlasting the interpolated phase.

General considerations:

A great variety of induction methods are used in psychotherapy for hypnosis and autohypnosis. The most conventional methods, however, often do not fit for OBE-ing. These methods are based on the hypnotic order "to go deeper and deeper“. It is meant to go into deeper regions of subconsciousness, to unveil repressions. The prefered imaginations used for these kinds of inductions are to dive into the ocean, to go downstairs etc. OBE-ers who had several astral travellings, however, sometimes associate these orders with descendence to lower astral regions, which are "hell regions“. With respect to subconsciousness deeper regions are more chaotic and aggressive. Years ago I experienced following scenario:

1989 (Alfred)

To gain some experience in hypnotic methods I asked a friend, who is therapist, to have some sessions with me. Because I was interested to see how these methods could be used in Yoga, I asked him to guide me as intensely as possible to cosmic love. We started and he asked me to lift my right hand as mark for the degree of love. When love would increase my hand should rise and in highest state should touch my forehead. Speaking in a calm and friendly way as in usual conversation, he led me to good relaxation and spoke to me about love. My hand slowly started to rise (I felt no tiredness in the arm by holding it upwards). Then he spoke to me: "Now you go downstairs, deeper and deeper“. He repeated this order for several times. I did as he had ordered and I went down a stair, which in inner sight was in faint light and I entered a cloudy grassland. Again there was the order to go deeper and I went down a further stair, now gloomy, and I entered a plain in dawn. My hand slowly sank down. At last I felt to be in a dark plain, with danger threatening from all sides.There were no herbs, only stones and nothing to hide. All sides were full of thorny and sharp things. I tried intensely to feel love but I was not capable to have only a minimum shine of love and my hand sank down on the knee. The session was a great flop.

Movement imaginations, general survey:

Triggering etheric OBE´s, general aspects:

OBE´s in the kind of "stepping out of the body“ are induced by activating the motoric center of cortex, as I suppose. From this part of brain alertness spreads to the other centers (visual and semantic areas) creating lucidity. (In astral travelling the visual area seems to be the starting point.)

a) Body feeling as necessary for OBE´s in the kind of "stepping out of the body“ ( Alfred Ballabene 1)) is gained by awareness on vibrations, by imagination of body movements, and by space feeling. For OBE-ing in the sense of "stepping out of the body“ imaginations of activ body motions will do best.

b) Body feeling in OBE´s in the kind of "floating out of the body“ (Alfred Ballabene 1) is generated by body awareness when relaxing. OBE-ing in the sense of "floating out of the body“ may be triggered by imagining your body being moved in a passive way, like being carried away. If you are not able to fall in trance, it may work nevertheless in form of an inner order which will be actualized in sleep or at the border of sleep.

Triggering astral travelling, general aspects:

Astral travelling is induced when visual sense dominates. This requirement is fulfilled in dreams as well. Therefore, when an OBE is started out of a dream, it will always be an astral travelling and never an etheric OBE. An additional inductive impulse is caused by religious and spiritual emotions. For astral travelling imaginations of speedy, far distance travelling like flying will do best.

Practical aspects:

The first times when you use an autohypnotic system, record the text (examples see later) sedatively and persuasively on a tape. After several sessions you can start trance without using a tape. To be less disturbed by noise from outside and to support autohypnotic process, calm music will do very well. Furthermore rhythms of the drum and monotone rattling may improve trance.

In autohypnotic inductions for trance (especially for "floating out of the body“ experiences, furthermore for astral travelling and for time journeys) your body plays a passive part (is carried away) as opposed to methods for "stepping out“, in which you move your body actively (in imagination).

Examples of different categories of imaginations:

moving actively in nearby distance:

Fits for "stepping out of the body“: rocking forth and back ..... stand up and get out of your body like out of a shell; do it over and over ..... pull yourself out of the body with your hands grasping a hold ..... walk in the room ..... dance

moving actively in far distance:

Fits for astral projection and is done in near sleep state: Flying away like a bird..... drive a car, aeroplane, rocket, boat ..... glide on skates, skate-board, on skis .... glide in the air ..... moving in spacious jumps

being elevated (listed in Ballabene 1):

Fits for "floating out of the body“ and astral travelling: Flying in an aeroplane or balloon ..... go by a fast train or bus..... being carried away on a cloud ..... sitting in a ski-lift ..... going upwards a lift ..... being a leaf and being carried away by the wind ..... be carried by a wave ..... sliding up or down an escalator

passing a border (-zone):

For astral travelling: Passing fog, a river, mountains, a door ..... look through a window ..... look into a mirrow and pass ..... look into a painting and get it vivified .... pass "heavens gate“ ..... pass a ring of smoke ..... pass a tunnel ..... be pulled into a whirl ..... a long straight street ..... crossing the sea ..... taking stairs


Watch television a movie and project into the scene (you can watch TV in reality before). ..... zoom into an imaginated or visualized landscape ..... zoom into "nothing“ ..... look and project yourself through a telescope

time travelling:

visit a museum and pass the rooms, each one representing a passed epoque. ..... look at the single pictures of a film in backward direction to more and more past times ..... turn the pages of a book ..... look at an hour-glass and think about time passing ..... visit a churchyard

dissolve your body identity:

These are methods for higher consciousness states and higher planes. Your body is made of air, of fog or a cloud and dissolving ..... your body is hollow ..... expanding by far and afterwards your body is retracting (f.i. Tara meditation).

stimulation of motoric brain areas:

This method works only with body awareness: The imaginations include all variations of body engagement and work because of two reasons: - because of creating body awareness, which helps to create a "second body“ (double). - because imagination itself is brain-work and helps to sustain a higher level of alertness in near sleep (or in sleep/dream) states.

Examples: "Practicing karate in the mind" and play a sport, jog..." of Charles Goodin. Further quoted in same article: "she mentally played the piano" (besides mentally using her hands she certainly felt rhythmic elements, which are associated to body movements).

Reply by John Crystal (4-Oct 1995): ..“I play my guitar... Works for me!“

"Water Skiing Method of Projecting" by Matt Holmes 5) 49 different imaginations were posted in the news group by Charles Goodin 6). I hope you will find the article in his home page or in a book of him. Most of his quoted imaginations include elements of body movement.

Expanding inner awareness:

While taking a breath feel spirituality, connection with transcendence and love, entering from above through the top of head, --- while breathing out direct awareness outwards through the forehead as a kind of expanding space-sensing.

Full text examples and experiences:

a) Boat imagination:

You lie in a boat and watch the white clouds (look at them as a symbol for thoughts) which slowly glide in the sky. In the calm swinging of the boat you enter a peaceful and well balanced state. The remainder of your thoughts belong to a far away world and have become unimportant. Thoughts fade away and quietness and peace replace them.

b) Tunnel imagination:

Create a detailed image of a cave, which leads to a tunnel. Then enter and pass the tunnel until you see a light, signaling the end of the tunnel (see as well A. Ballabene 1).

1982 (Alfred)

To gain new experiences some of our group had learned shamanistic methods in seminars. The rest of us was eager to learn from their group fellows and therefore we had rented a basement room. We lay down on floor and first had to get in touch with our animal guide. While drum was beaten we started our journey. I had chosen the imagination of a rock- cave to start my journey to underworld. I passed a long tunnel and after a time, I don´t know how long it was, I saw a light in front of me, which soon came closer. It was the end of tunnel and I entered a plain in full daylight. I had passed about 100 meters, when I saw a wooden stable, about 50 meters away from the place I stood. The most fascinating impression, however, was a very beautiful horse, which turned and looked at me. This horse seemed to be my animal guide responding to my inner call. I had had nothing to do with horses by this time, but years later circumstances led me to start horse-riding, which I have used to do every Saturday or Sunday for years now. As some kind of late realization I am going on horse-back with "Igor“ a black wallach and we both go into the beautiful landscape of Carnuntum, which is known to the people because of a former Roman fortification situated on the river side of the Danube.

c) Painting figures in the sand:

Imagine to be at a beach, standing with bare feet on golden sand. You are alone, surounded by a beautiful landscape. With a stick or your finger-tip you draw the number 5 into the sand. Now draw a circle around the 5 and step into the circle. After a while a wave erases number and circle. Again you draw a number inside a circle into the sand. It is the number 4. The number is again erased by a wave and you go on with further numbers until you have reached zero in a circle. When this cipher is erased, your everyday life is erased as well. You are in trance and have entered a new world. After a while, when returning from your journey you recall the numbers again and this time in upward sequence.

d) The seven halls:

You enter a hall in red light and pass without having a look aside, fixating the door in front of your way. Upon arrival at the door you open it and you enter a green hall. You go on and pass seven halls in the colours as named here or in the colours of the seven chakras or in colours of your preference. Red ... green .... blue .... violet .... orange .... yellow .... white. When you have opened the last door you enter an unknown world.

e) Journey to past lifes:

You are sitting at an old wooden table with an old pergament book in front of you. You meditatively turn the pages. Candles on the table with their flickering light cast moving shadows on the room, converting the scene into a magic world of shadows. An old clock is ticking tuck...tuck...tuck..Every sound of the clock is like a step in a more and more ancient time. The room fades away and scenes made of blurred shadows emerge. By and by the sight clears and you start to catch a sight of scenes in ancient and lost times.

f) Projecting to a "real“ place:

OBE-ing by intensive imagination of a walk in a well known surrounding is an old technique passed on from the early times of occultism. Before you start imaginations go to a place of your choice and note every detail in your mind. Close your eyes and memorize the details, then open the eyes and check your memory. In this way improve your remembrance of details. At home relax and recall the place in imagination and have a walk there. Take care of perfect body imagination and go slowly, step by step and look at every detail of your surrounding. Being in full concentration you forget about your present situation (of being at home) and you subsequently start to be in "reality“ at the place of imagination.

1978 (Alfred)

A member of our group who had studied physics and who was good in electronics, had borrowed an amplifier from a medical institute to set up an EEG-recorder. He wanted to control relaxation of our group members by registration of brain signals. To have a better feedback the frequency- range of the recorded brain potential could be monitored by sound, which became the deeper the lower the frequency was. We all were eager to test our abilities for the short time the amplifier could be used. So I lay down on floor, electrodes on my head and behind the ears, pasted with salty gel-electrolyte. The apparatus was switched on and I started to relax. By choice I decided to imagine a walk in the nearby shoping area. It was a slow walk, every step was imagined and I had a look to each shop- window I passed. The surrounding became more and more concrete and awareness of the room in which I was lying faded away. Suddenly I was shocked awake by noise and switched on light." The trigger for frequency range did not work", the physicist said, who interpreted the deep sound in his way; the experience was over.


1) Alfred Ballabene: "Experiences In The Etheric And Astral Body“ in Astral Projection Home Page of Charles Goodin.
2) Tips of CharlesGoodin, posted in alt.out-of-body, 3 Nov 1995
3) Steve Ritter: "Your Journey Begins Here...“
4) Ed Erst: "Affirmation And OOBE“ in out-of-body 6 Dec 1994
5) Matt Holmes, in Astral Projecting Home Page of Charles Goodin, Tips, May 1995
6) Article of Charles Goodin in the news group alt.out-of-body, 3 Oct 1995.

-- Alfred Ballabene