Exploring Uncharted Legions of the Mind

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View of the grounds at TMI in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia

How brave are you really? Would you dare to enter the uncharted legions and depths of your mind?

I did. Repeatedly. I’ve always been interested in how the human mind works; I should have been a psychologist. Through my personal studies, though, I’ve discovered that truly NOTHING is impossible. Whatever the mind can conceive, it can achieve–or–if you can imagine it, you can make it happen.

I just completed a six-day program at The Monroe Institute (TMI) in Virginia, called “Timeline”, which focuses on the exploration of past, present, and future lives and how they influence our current lives. Fascinating stuff.

This painting by Salvador Dali pretty much sums up the sort of things I’ve experienced during programs at TMI:

Salvador Dali

Wait–you don’t get it? No, no drugs are involved. Let me attempt to explain.

You spend most of your time in your CHEC unit (Controlled Holistic Environmental Chamber), which is more or less a bed that’s enclosed on all sides except for an opening, which allows you to crawl in and out. A heavy black drape covers the opening so that the entire unit is completely dark to minimize external sensory distractions and maximize internal focus. Through headphones, you listen to recorded exercises, which are similar to guided meditations with the incorporation of Hemi-Sync® binaural beats. (More about this later.)

CHEC Unit

CHEC Unit

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The founder, Robert Monroe’s home, where the “Timeline” program took place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does it feel like to enter another dimension of consciousness?

(Please keep in mind that these are my personal experiences—those of others may vary.)

After a series of mental steps to help you feel comfortable and safe during your “excursion,” you are then guided to different levels of consciousness which are referred to by number, i.e. C-1 represents full, waking consciousness, followed by F10, F12, F15, F21, F27 and so on. The “F” stands for “Focus Level.” F10, for instance, indicates the state of “mind awake/body asleep” and in F10, you feel as if you’re on the verge of falling asleep, but you can still feel your body lying on the bed and you’re fully aware that you’re in a room and what you’re doing there. In F12, (the state of expanded awareness) you begin to let go a bit more, and when I “arrive” in F12, I often “see” someone waiting for me there. Sometimes it’s someone I know in my current life, or sometimes it’s someone I’m familiar with but don’t know personally. It appears that these “people” always have a personal message for me, something I’ve been ignoring and need to address because they seem to get immediately in my face and are generally very insistent.

Often the images I encounter in the different levels of consciousness are symbolic or metaphors for something in my waking life and sometimes I know exactly what they mean; other times I never seem to figure them out. So far, the meaning of the images I encounter immediately upon my arrival in F12 are pretty easy to decipher, because it’s always a person (as opposed to an inanimate object, or a sound or a feeling) and he or she instantly moves toward me as if we’re opposite magnets.

Throughout any focus level, I am always in complete control of what I’m experiencing, and I have the ability to end the session or ask for clarification on anything at any time I choose. This is extremely important, because before my initial sessions at TMI, I was afraid that I would somehow relinquish control of my mind. But this is NOT the case. Ever. I always have control, but sometimes I have to remind myself of that fact! Just like in my everyday life.

galaxy-379213_640 Most of the Timeline program took place in F15, the state of consciousness where time doesn’t exist. It is a very deep, meditative state and there’s a feeling of floating. During my first experiences in F15, I found it a bit difficult to breathe; it felt as if my “surroundings”, for lack of a better word, were thick and intense, as if I was floating in a substance as dense as ketchup. Once I became more familiar with it, though, I told myself to relax, told myself that I could breathe easily, and that knowledge allowed me to float effortlessly and allow experiences or realizations to come to me. It’s like having a dream, where you’re in the REM state and you’re not aware of your physical body.

What I’m attempting to relate is nearly impossible to describe in words, because I experienced a richness to my sessions, where my visuals were accompanied by feelings and the use of all (or most of) my senses, but in a much more heightened manner. My perception also varied from one session to the next. (Sometimes I would simply “click out” or fall asleep, and experience nothing! This isn’t uncommon.)

TMI logo photo by Baja Rock PatFor instance, I interacted with energies that were clearly not human, but whom seemed to know me and (often) love me unconditionally, and the words “alien” or “angel” or “spirit” or whatever familiar term one might attach to it, does not adequately describe what I thought, felt, saw, or heard. The terms alien, angel, or spirit are relative terms anyway–they mean something different to each of us. TMI refers to them as “other energies or other energy systems,” a more appropriate description, because these “individuals” weren’t made of flesh like you and me, but of vibration, or energy, or thought. And just because they weren’t in human form didn’t mean they were more intelligent or advanced than we are. Now isn’t that an interesting concept?

walnut half During several sessions, I received a “knowing” that where I had requested to go (you set an intention for each exercise) required me to leave my physical body behind, and I worked very hard to make this happen. (That was my first mistake–”working very hard.” I now know that by trying to force things, it only hindered me–again, just like life.) In F15, my body felt heavy and “crispy,” and like a walnut shell that’s cracked in half, if you scoop out the nut, the empty shell remains the same shape it was in before you removed the nut, so too, my body retained its shape, but it was as if the top part had been removed, and my “insides” were rather gelatinous and began to “slosh” back and forth horizontally from head to toe like when you shake a bowl of jello. This gelatinous part of me then began to vibrate as it attempted to float upward, but it never got “out” completely. It rose up about three or four inches, but something kept it attached to my crispy shell (body).

Many who have experienced the out-of-body state, describe a vibration feeling that happens just before they leave their bodies, but some describe leaving their bodies without that feeling. I think my focusing too much on trying to achieve the out-of-body state may have been the very thing that kept me tethered at times. And although during the entire 6-day program, I never got the feeling that I completely went out-of-body, I’m certain that it happened many times without my ever realizing it, because there were times I knew I was completely immersed in another dimension of consciousness without regard to how I got there (because “how I got there” wasn’t important at the time; I wasn’t focusing on that aspect). My body felt paralyzed, in a sense, but my mind went jaunting off into other “territories”.

In addition to being limited by words to describe such experiences, another challenge is that there is no empirical proof whether the things one has experienced are real or imagined; but perhaps a more important question is: “If I just imagined all this, why did I imagine this particular scene and not something else?” The mind is a powerful tool, and when you let go of trying to control your environment, and simply allow things to come to you, amazing things happen. This isn’t just true for TMI sessions, it is true for one’s everyday waking state as well.

meditation-389700_640 The Timeline program reinforced in me that I am much more than my physical body, and that “I” do not end with death. In several sessions, I actually experienced the dying process of my physical body in previous lifetimes, although I did not allow myself to feel the pain associated with it. I realize this sounds frightening, but I learned so very much from these exercises. What I experienced was a separation of spirit and body, a release similar to my being given an epidural during the births of my children, and the moment the drug took effect, the pain vanished instantly. The death experiences felt similar to that–the moment the spirit left the body, there was instant relief from pain, combined with a release from mental anguish as well. This was completely unexpected, and the “I” who was witnessing the whole scene, was surprised at the tremendous sense of relief and release.

In 2003, I had an out-of-body experience (OBE) in the middle of Sammy Hagar‘s concert, and that moment changed my life. While in the out-of-body state, I “saw” landscapes that were clearly not earth, and beings that were not human. Thousands of them. I wrote about this in Dance of the Electric Hummingbird. At the time, I assumed they were representations of alien worlds that exist beyond human comprehension. Now, after the things I experienced at TMI, I wonder if they were glimpses of previous lives that I had lived, or future lives, because there is a school of thought that considers that we may indeed, be living all of our lives simultaneously, similar to the space-time continuum theory in physics. With this theory in mind, some say that just as each of our cells makes up different parts of us, all these other lives are merely different aspects or parts of us–each being integral to the whole. And ultimately, just as these different aspects of us make up one whole that we think of as the “self”, we too, are all different aspects of what we call God–each of us connected to form one consciousness that is God.

I can certainly see now, how this could very well be possible.

I also saw that since “I” exist far beyond the constraints of my physical body and that since the boundaries of what I call “me” overlap and merge with other living and non-living beings, what I do to others (or to the earth), I also do to myself.

Too, it’s important for me to realize the blessing of existing here, right now, in this physical body, for there are aspects of spiritual growth that cannot be learned by any other means. Therefore, I shouldn’t squander my life fretting over “the small things,” because every moment is meant to be enjoyed with every fiber of my being.

wave-64170_640 I learned that if I look closely enough, and with the eyes of a child (Zen calls this “Beginner’s Mind”), I can actually see my entire essence—the very essence of life itself, in a drop of rain, the veins of a single leaf, in a freckle on a stranger’s face, the song of a cardinal, and in every being—living and non-living. All of these things are me and they, like me, since we are all fibers of God, are infinite. Time is merely an illusion; it’s something humans created to make sense of and feel in control of our environment.

At the risk of sounding presumptuous, I believe that my initial OBE during the rock concert, planted a kind of “seed” in my subconscious. This seed continues to grow the more I feed it spiritual wisdom, the sort of wisdom I uncover during TMI sessions, because these sessions put me in contact with—and enhance—dimensions of my mind (that are also in contact with higher levels of consciousness) that I previously never knew existed.

Bob Monroe's Cabin photo by Baja Rock Pat

Robert Monroe’s cabin, where he wrote most of his books on his many out-of-body experiences and the exploration of altered states of consciousness

Why is any of this important when there are people starving in the world and so many other important things one could be focusing on?

The exploration of the mind and its capabilities can give us insight into the reasons we behave the way we do, help us achieve personal goals, and give us tools to teach others, thereby healing the world by first healing ourselves. Visiting some of my other lives not only explained the roles certain people play in my current life, it also showed me how and why I adopted some of my limiting beliefs. Knowledge, then, is power—the power to change and to better myself. I shall continue to explore the power of my mind and spirit, for there is much to learn, and that, I believe, is the meaning of our lives—to grow and to experience emotion in its many forms–the greatest and most important of these–is love.

TMI by Baja Rock Pat

Giant crystal on the property

(To read about my first experience at TMI, please click here: Gateway to Altered States of Consciousness)

**TMI is dedicated to exploring human consciousness and peak human performance with the use of Hemi-Sync® audio technology, which uses the scientifically adapted method of binaural beats to induce the meditative state and bring both left and right hemispheres of the brain into balance. The balanced brain then, is much more capable of achieving things of which it may not have previously been capable, thereby providing a tool to help listeners achieve goals such as weight loss, quitting smoking, improved concentration, stress or pain relief, and many other areas of self-improvement. For more information, please visit http://www.monroeinstitute.org/resources/hemi-sync

Gateway to Altered States of Consciousness

TMI by Baja Rock Pat

It’s been a month since I returned home from my six-day Gateway Voyage program at The Monroe Institute (TMI) in Faber, Virginia. TMI specializes in exploring altered states of consciousness, out-of-body experiences and peak human performance and they use sound frequencies (Hemi-sync© binaural beats) to induce these states.

As the old song by Jim Stafford went: “Take a trip and never leave the farm!” Indeed.

“Hemi-sync” is short for “hemispheric synchronization,” or the coordination of both left and right sides of the brain to stimulate expanded awareness and more focused human performance. Wearing headphones, the listener hears similar but slightly different beats played in each ear. For example, the listener might hear a beat of 100 Hz in one ear and 104 Hz in the other. The brain then interprets the difference of 4 Hz as that of a third beat, which it mimics, creating theta brain waves, which is the brain’s natural state of deep relaxation and increased learning. And when combined with an atmosphere with minimal or no outside sensory input, the mind is capable of incredible things. Therefore, each participant is assigned his or her own CHEC unit complete with headphones, volume and light controls, and a black drape to block out noise and extraneous sound and light.

CHEC Unit

 

 

 

CHEC Unit                                                         (Controlled Holistic Environmental Chamber)

 

Founder, Robert Monroe, strove to keep his research scientific and credible, so in developing his techniques, he worked with many professionals including psychiatrists, psychologists, physicists, and electronics engineers to name a few. It was crucial to him that his research was considered valid in the scientific community. And this was one of the reasons I wanted to attend TMI. What they offer there is not spiritual shenanigans. The human brain is an amazing instrument and capable of far more than we realize.

Robert Monroe

                                                                Robert Monroe

 

 

 

I’ve been going over the notes I took while I was there in order to process the incredible things that happened to me. There were many. And some were intense. Not for the faint-of-heart. After six days of lying in the dark on my back in my cubicle with headphones on, the experiences I had will probably take me years to absorb, but I thought you might be interested in a little introduction here, as I continue to sort everything out. Some of my deductions thus far:

  • Death of the physical body is not the end.
  • If we were to use just a tiny bit more of that which our brains are capable, we would be able to accomplish more in our lives than we ever dreamed.
  • NOTHING is impossible.
  • I have complete and total control of my life–my thoughts, my deeds, my circumstances–and I can change these any time I choose.
  • The physical world is an illusion. Our perceptions of what is real and/or true are based on our beliefs, our thoughts, our heritage, our religious teachings, society, and many more influences.
  • I am so much more than my physical body.

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                                    Crystal on the property

 

 

 

So, what exactly did I experience? How did it feel? Why would anyone take the time to explore something like this? Wasn’t I scared? Did I experience other levels of consciousness? Did I leave my physical body? Did I encounter intelligences from other dimensions?

Stay tuned!                                                                                                                    (PS–the answer to the last four questions is yes.)

Voyage into the Mind and Limitless Possibilities

My heart is beating fast with anticipation, frustration and excitement because I’m so inspired I want to climb out of my skin. My next book is swirling in my mind like a mad tornado, ripping up everything in its path: ideas are bouncing around in my head, in the pages of my notebook, scribbled on scraps of paper that get scattered all over the house, and saved in dozens of computer files. In other words, the story is still working itself out but not fast enough to catch up with my emotions. That’s often what happens to me. I don’t write the story, or the poetry that comes out of my hands—they write themselves. But it’s coming. I still need to do some research though, and that takes time.

As a means of better understanding the revelations I’ve been shown about the power of the body, mind, and spirit, and in order to more effectively relate what I’ve learned through my books, in a few weeks, I’m attending the 6-day Gateway Voyage program at The Monroe Institute (TMI) in Virginia. TMI is dedicated to educating people from all walks of life and from over the world about peak human performance under the premise that human beings are much more than their physical bodies and they use sound to induce altered states of consciousness. That’s exactly how my out-of-body experience (OBE) happened to me—sound waves (in my case through live music) lifted me out of my body and showed me my definition of self, God, truth, and the meaning of my life, so TMI seemed like the next logical step.

In retrospect, it’s no surprise that TMI came to me in the serendipitous manner in which it did. When I first had my OBE during Sammy Hagar’s concert in Mexico in 2003, I had no idea what had happened to me. I thought it was my imagination. Or the heat. Or the tequila. But things changed instantly in my life as a result, and I knew that heat or tequila or my imagination were not enough to maintain the ongoing and exceedingly incredible things that I soon found taking place in my life.

I kept a journal, because the things that were happening to me were so hard for me to believe and so wonderful. These things didn’t happen to ordinary people like me! But they were. Fearing for my sanity while at the same time, feeling in complete awe at all the events taking place, I sought concrete explanations. After my Internet search of the words “altered states of consciousness” brought up a book titled Muddy Tracks by Frank DeMarco, I checked the book out of my local library and eventually bought it.

As I read the first few chapters of Frank’s book, I became disgusted with myself for harboring the ridiculous notion that I could ever write a book about what was happening to me. “There’s no reason for me to try to write a book about all this,” I told myself. “Frank already wrote it!” DeMarco was saying the exact same things that I was going to say–and although I initially felt discouraged as far as the writing of my own book, it was such a relief to discover that I wasn’t losing my mind because obviously, these things happened to other people too. But Frank’s story also differed from mine in a lot of ways, one of which was his mentioning of a place in Virginia called The Monroe Institute and how it helped him travel out of his body to places all over the world and to other dimensions.

The more I read Muddy Tracks, the more I got the feeling that I was supposed to contact Mr. DeMarco, but I kept pushing the thought away, telling myself that it was ridiculous. What would I say to him? And the moment I had these thoughts, I read in Muddy Tracks, how Frank was considering writing to the author of a book he was reading. The title was something about a praying mantis, I think. One day as he was pondering all this, he noticed a praying mantis clinging to the outside of his screen door, and he took it as a sign that he should indeed contact that author. But like me, he told himself he was being ridiculous and he didn’t know what to say to her, so he talked himself out of it. A year later, he finally decided to reach out to that author but when he did, he discovered that she had recently passed away. He would never know the impact that author would have had on his life.

When I read this in Frank’s book, I nearly fell out of my chair. It was as if he had read my mind and was telling me not to make the same mistake he did. So with trepidation, I emailed him, telling myself, “He’s a famous writer. He’ll never answer me.”

Days later, I received an email from him.

We exchanged emails for a little while and he was very encouraging and kind. At the time I was still unsure of where my experiences were leading me and I was afraid, so I was rather vague about whom the famous celebrity was that was involved in my story and other details.

Years passed. I wrote my book, got an official endorsement from Sammy, then proceeded to try and find an agent. After countless rejection letters, I decided to self-publish. I knew I had a good book. I knew it was well-written. But something told me to contact Mr. DeMarco again. Maybe he’d be interested in hearing what became of my experiences. Maybe he’d even write me a blurb of endorsement! I almost talked myself out of it again because I didn’t want to bother him, but something within me insisted, so I emailed him once more.

Not only did he write a blurb for my book, but he gave me the name of his publisher and told me he would recommend me to him because he thought his publisher might be interested in my story since he specialized in New Age books.

I contacted Frank’s publisher and he asked for my book proposal, which I sent. Then I held my breath. I’d been through this process before, but something about this time felt different. Within a week, the publisher told me that he loved my book and wanted to publish it.

I later learned that my publisher too, had participated in several workshops at The Monroe Institute, and when the opportunity recently presented itself for me to go, I jumped on it without giving it much thought. Part of me scolded, “It’s too expensive! Think of all the other things you could do with that money!” But, as is now typical of the serendipity and synchronicity that has poured into my life since my OBE in 2003 at Sammy’s concert, it all just fell into my lap and I felt nudged by an unseen force, so I’m doing it! I’ve learned over the years that when something happens so effortlessly like that, whether I understand its significance at the time or not, it’s always in my  best interest to see it through.

I will keep a journal while I’m there to record my experiences. From what I hear, I’m sure they will be vast. And although I’m going there with no expectations other than to gain a better understanding of the power of my mind and spirit, since I’ve already had an OBE, I’m curious to find out what will happen during my Gateway Voyage.

Stay tuned.

(For more information on The Monroe Institute, please click here: The Monroe Institute)

 

Neurosurgeon Has A Near Death Experience Similar to Mine at a Rock Concert

Ever since I had an OBE (out-of-body experience) in 2003 in the middle of Sammy Hagar’s rock concert, I’m noticing more and more people speaking out about having these types of experiences. Dr. Eben Alexander, respected neurosurgeon, describes an experience infinitely similar to mine, although his took place as he lay in a coma due to menigitis.

It never ceases to amaze me when I hear of these experiences–especially those of respected doctors and other professionals–and how we all describe the same thing: a sense of floating above one’s body, a loss of language and physical senses, a feeling of euphoria and oneness with something greater than ourselves accompanied by an immense feeling of acceptance, warmth, comfort, and an overwhelming knowledge that love is all that matters. Alexander describes it as a “warm awareness of the Divine.”

What also fascinates me is that Dr. Alexander describes “seeing” a melody spinning in front of him. I too, saw the words of the song Sammy Hagar was singing that night–they became tangible objects that literally lifted me up and out of my body.

Here is a video of Dr. Alexander describing his experience:

So what does it all mean? That there is an entire realm of consciousness available to all of us–and some of us become aware of it through meditation, or an OBE or an NDE (near-death experience), but it is nonetheless real. And magnificent. And when one encounters this consciousness, one is forever changed and so filled with joy that one cannot help but want to see others experience the same thing.

Mystical Experiences — BRIAN WEISS, M.D. on Past Lives and Reincarnation

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September 1, 2009

In March, 2007, I had the pleasure of attending a lecture by Brian L. Weiss, M.D. Weiss is the author of numerous books, one of which I’d read a few years earlier entitled Many Lives, Many Masters. In this book, he describes his initial skepticism and subsequent belief in the existence of past lives and reincarnation.

While treating one of his patients, a girl in her 20s by the name of Catherine, the girl started recanting things while under hypnosis that she couldn’t possibly have known. With Catherine’s permission, Dr. Weiss began to record their sessions. Through regression under hypnosis, Catherine’s symptoms eventually disappeared one by one until she was completely cured of every one of her ailments.

At first Weiss couldn’t believe what he was seeing. His medical training prevented him from believing in such things as reincarnation or past lives. But through his work with Catherine, he became convinced without a doubt that these concepts were authentic and the results provable.

And as he began to adopt these notions, he too, began to change as a person. He felt a new sense of joy, hope, and purpose in his life. Others remarked how much happier he seemed.

This is similar to what happened to me, but in my case, the change didn’t sneak up quietly, it was more like the “Big Bang!”

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In another of his books, Messages from the Masters, Weiss writes about a man named John who was an audience volunteer at one of Weiss’ workshops. John agreed to be regressed in front of the hundreds of people in attendance. As Weiss hypnotized him, instead of a past life recollection, John had a spiritual experience. He saw a beautiful garden and felt an overwhelming sense of elation, beauty and awareness, causing him to realize that “Paradise on earth is possible if we choose it.”

Tears of joy flowed from his eyes because he knew something had changed for him—at that moment, his skepticism disappeared and he was introduced to the realm of raw emotion—the language of the soul.

After his experience, John began to receive synchronistic messages of gardens in many aspects of his life, as if to validate his transformation.

Weiss has since regressed thousands of people and helped them overcome physical and mental ailments. He has also demonstrated how to tap into other states of reality from our present mental state, and to “feel the pure joy, the ecstasy, the peace, and the beauty” that results from the experience.

This was precisely how I would describe what had happened to me during Sammy Hagar’s concert in Cabo: pure joy, ecstasy, synchronicity.

Past lives and reincarnation… What do you think?