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UNWORLDING... the art form formerly known as 'out of body experience,' 'astral travel,' 'lucid dreaming,' 'phasing,' 'the quick switch,' etc.



What is the benefit of peacefully abiding, allowing the mind to remain still, in a natural state which is motionless? Until you are able to develop quiescence, you will not be able to control or suppress deluded mental afflictions. They will continue to arise and control the mind. The only way to get a handle on that and put an end to it is to accomplish quiescence. Once that is accomplished, all other spiritual qualities will arise from that basis, such as superknowledge, clairvoyance, the ability to see into the minds of others, to recall the past, and so forth. These are mundane qualities that arise on the path but are developed only after the mind can abide peacefully. Qualities such as heightened awareness and clairvoyance must be developed, because it is through them that one is able to understand and realize the fundamental nature of the mind. As it says in the Bodhicharyavatara, one of the most important mahayana texts, "Having developed enthusiasm in this way, I should place my mind in concentration; for one whose mind is distracted dwells between the fangs of mental afflictions."

      --Gyatrul Rinpoche, commentator, Ancient Wisdom: Nyingma Teachings on Dream Yoga, Meditation, and Transformation

In order to get to the end of the Tunnel, Beyond Noticing, from which it should be possible to easily proceed through the Projection Room into the Unworld at large, it's helpful, and maybe necessary, to start from a place called Intopia, which is a magical mindset that guarantees success in unworlding. You have to find yourself in Intopia. It's the starting gate, but you can't force yourself into it. This is the SPONTANEOUS ENJOYMENT TEST. As it turns out, for better or worse, learning to get unworlded peacefully appears to be impossible for anyone who cannot relax and enjoy existing in this physical world first. I say "peacefully" because there are ways of getting unworlded that no one would recommend. And "relax and enjoy" doesn't mean from anyone else's perspective. One man's enjoyment is another man's cup of poison.

So what we do as soon as we know we have to relax the whole self, not just the body, but also the emotions, doubts, fears, worries, expectations, hopes, anticipations, etc.? Each part of the mind has a grip on something and all these grips have to be loosened in order to get more relaxed than you've ever been. When it comes to achieving altered states of consciousness, relaxation is the pinnacle of success. The problem is that it's only human to try and force yourself into a relaxed state once you decide that relaxation is of key importance. Part of you is gonna try to supervise the process, evaluate your progress, and make sure you're doing it right. This abuse of 4ness can lead to the worst experiences, the automatic failures.

For beginners, the amazing experiences of successfully transitioning to altered states usually occur by accident, but if you're intermediate-to-advanced, you learn to have this accident on purpose. One mark of a true beginner in unworlding is trying to force things to happen. In my case, I seldom have anything at all to report the day after an amazing success, because my mind is grasping at what just happened and trying to replicate it with magical thinking: "I did X yesterday and something happened, so I'll just do X again today." Don't count on getting any results that way. It's not what you do that gets results, it's your total being and its whole setting. It takes time to relax your way into results, because trying to relax only gets meager results if you don't already know how. When you know what Intopia feels like, it gets easier.

Since trying to mentally force yourself into a certain mood is bound to fail, how are you supposed to proceed? You can't force your way there, but you can feel your way there.

My favorite Frawmbickle is to stop talking to myself about my mood and tell myself I have to learn how to breathe. "Establish the body of air to dissolve the body of meat." This doesn't have to be true by any logical or scientific process. It's a trick. When you alter your breathing, your mood alters automatically, unless you're simultaneously trying to mentally alter your own mood while wasting your time doing breathing exercises. You have to focus on wanting the air and get hooked up to the breathing for its own sake. Everything else should be automatic. Mental forcing can cancel out even the magic of breathing.

If you refuse to do breathing exercises, just fool yourself into breathing more air by working in the garden or going for long walks, jogging, jumping up and down, playing with a hula-hoop or whatever you like to do that will get you into the fresh air, night or day, outside of your routine and away from the Moodwatcher, that grasping part of your conscious mind that tries to take control of results. The conscious mind wants to control everything, but it has no abilities when it comes to changing its own emotional state. That's the Dream Usher's territory. The Dream Usher is all about change or 5ness. Control is all about 2ness, 3ness, and 4ness maintaining stability and status quo. The more you try to control and force and manipulate yourself into the Unworld, the less energy the Dream Usher will have to do what it automatically already knows how to do.

The magical secret of breathing is that it's a physical act. Here's the whole trick in a nutshell: your conscious mind is a bungler when it comes to establishing an emotional state or mood that's not at the effect of your circumstances, but it can manage to not interfere with a strictly physical act. The act of breathing more air than you want has certain automatic side effects that we're interested in. Now remember, while you're breathing, to leave the Moodwatcher somewhere else. Maybe out in the garden. Or someone else's garden would be even better. It's OK to Notice how breathing makes you feel euphoric and even to feel a bit grateful for the slightly elevated mood, but the less you clingingly strive to repeat these electrical surges of mental energy, the less you will annoy the Dream Usher while he does what is easy and natural to him.

The more complicated you make it, the more likely that, instead of breathing yourself silly, you'll breathe yourself into that reasonable, logical state of mind that makes it nearly impossible to spontaneously have fun simply existing. So in addition to breathing more air than you want, you have to leave that overly vigilant Moodwatcher behind and just keep at it. This works, and the only reason it takes so long for some folks is that the mind is like a steel trap. Breathing more air than you want works instantly. For the results you pretend you're not that interested in, pretend longer and keep breathing.

To counteract the overly-focused 4ness tendencies we have, which I call Nitpicker and Potwatcher, I like to invoke my 8ness dream body since he knows what relaxation feels like; it's his natural state. He is someone that I am in my more euphoric, ecstatic dreams. So while I breathe, I just pretend I am him. This works automatically if you let it: as long as there's no self-talk, manipulation or striving involved. I picture myself in various dream scenes where I have felt what it's like to be him, and call that feeling wordlessly and with no expectations or checking to see whether it's working. I just passively picture myself as him.

For the musically oriented, it might be worth mentioning that 8ness which is expansiveness, freedom and relaxation is the octave of 4ness: order, time, value, evaluation. So it's not that we're trying to kill 4ness off. Just keep it busy with something worthwhile, something 4ness is good at, so the Uppers--the so-called unconscious mind which I prefer to call the Remote Mind--can show us around the Unworld where they live all the time.

Instead of the arrogant, jealous, childish, presumptuous conscious mind trying to show the Uppers around their own home, teach the conscious mind to be constructively distracted and temporarily lapsed out of the picture. This is extremely effective but it's a trick, it's not something you force. It's something you allow. Managing to let the conscious mind let go of the striving that prevents the physical world from letting go of you is just another application of Metsuke, the balance between focus and detachment. This is because what we do is what we get: striving is grasping is attachment is 3ness abuse. When the 2-3-4 Mind/Body/World stops grasping at more than its share, the world it builds for itself to live in is less like a prison.

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