You’re very likely familiar with the Gateway Experience; a CD series from the Monroe Institute that impresses upon the user certain mental techniques, notably how to change your state of mind between wakefulness to a conscious dream state. If you are not familiar, a summary from the Monroe Institute website follows.
Explore various states of expanded awareness through direct experience. This course takes you from the physical waking state, through deep relaxation, and ultimately into unexplored dimensions of your consciousness. Discover how to perceive and control your non-physical energy.https://www.monroeinstitute.org/products/gateway-experience
At around a thousand dollars, it is quite expensive. I managed to pick up a (probably older) copy online, and maybe you can too. The Monroe Institute also have versions of it on Youtube for you to listen to, although only one track.
I’m not sure how up to date my version is, but it feels old. This doesn’t really matter to me however, as I am seeing the effects of using the series. I’ve listened to every track a few times now, there are thirty, and I find myself repeating the ones I like.
Some tracks teach you skills, and some exist to let you practise those skills. I find myself repeating the ‘Focus 12‘ freeflow exercise more often than the others. According to the Monroe Institute;
“Focus 12 is the state of expanded awareness, where you can sense and feel that you are more than your physical body.“
I would agree with that quote. There are some things I have experienced that are truly unique to using this course, and Focus 12 is a definite state that you become familiar with. What follows is just a guide that explains what I visualise at each stage. As this is written and nonverbal, what you imagine will be completely different to me. I will try my best to explain what I visualise.
Most of this syncs up with what happens on the CD, but you can achieve the same effects without the binaural beats present. just make sure you are somewhere where you can meditate in peace without disruption.
Like any astral projection attempt; The first step is to relax. Lay in bed, unclench every muscle and get comfortable. Stretch and just lay there with your eyes closed. I wear a T-Shirt and underwear and lay under a blanket. As I have headphones on, I don’t want the wires touching my skin as it’ll be a sensory input I’ll want to ignore.
Mentally tidy away your worries into a heavy box
This is explained well on the CD, but if you have not tried it yet; you need to imagine a heavy box, put your worries, thoughts and fears in it, and move on.
That is simply said, but harder to image, What type of box, Where am I? How Heavy? I have taken to imagining a standard office room, with a box in it. There is a person there who unlocks and opens the box. My worries and thoughts and fears are all represented as physical objects which I place into the box. Tiny trophies might represent something like a leaky roof, an annoying pet, a phone, a deadline.
Lastly, you put your body into the box, and remain outside the box as you lock it. At this stage, I imagine I leave through a different door than I came in, into a very blurry to the eyes, wide open space filled with many floating islands (Wacky I know, this is just what came to me.)
On the CD here, you are told to breathe in and out, along with a humming background track. You breathe in, imagine good clean energy coming into you, and you breathe out, hum in resonance with the track, and imagine bad energy leaving you.
I actually read up on how other people visualise this step. One person, who I can’t for the life of me remember, visualised themselves sitting, floating above a pyramid, and as they breathed in and out, it ‘charged up’ the pyramid. I do something similar after reading this. As the humming continues, every time I breathe out, I imagine I ‘desync’ with the heavy box room, and my vibration starts to ‘sync’ with the floating island area.
In reality, laying in your bed and breathing and focussing on your breathing will calm you down, the visualisations will help you focus.
An Energy Bubble
It is at this stage, when you feel you are completely ‘tuned’, that you proceed to form an ‘Energy bubble’, a ‘Resonant Energy Balloon’, as described in the CD.
You descend off your pyramid (in a floaty fashion). I like to imagine there is a floating rock which I place both hands on. One deep breath primes the balloon, the second expands it rapidly from my core. So breathe in; energy is stored, breathe out, energy expands and forms a balloon around you.
I have no idea what this stage is supposed to represent, but it feels comforting to do and is just part of the process for me now.
Here you are supposed to make a declaration, an affirmation. The Monroe Affirmation is as follows;
I am more than my physical body. Because I am more than physical matter, I can perceive that which is greater than the physical world. Therefore, I deeply desire to: to expand, to experience, to know, to understand, to control, and to use such greater energies and energy systems as may be beneficial and constructive to me and to those who follow me. Also, I deeply desire the help and cooperation, the assistance, the understanding of those individuals whose wisdom, development and experience are equal or greater than my own. I ask for their guidance and protection from any influence or any source that might provide me with less than my stated desires.
I honestly can’t remember all of that. Mine is much shorter and more to the point.
I am more than my physical body. because I am more than my physical body I desire to know. I deeply desire the help and cooperation from any who are willing to help, and who have a positive intent. I am more than my physical body.
Now I don’t know if abridging the original is going to make any difference but I think the thought and feeling is the same. I just can’t remember all the details from the original. You probably can change things up as you wish.
Similarly the the resonant energy bubble, I imagine there is a floating rock with the words on it, and I am reading them.
Once you have finished, it’s time to count up, from 1 to 10. This is meant to symbolise you moving through focus levels 1-10. When I started out I was just counting and it seemed fine, but now I imagine something different.
Putting the declaration stone down, I turn right and there is a long path. On the ground there is a ‘1’ to the right on the path. It’s a black number on a white stone. I walk down the path. In the distance on the right of the path is the same, but a ‘2’. Getting to the two, much further away is a 3, so I start running. The distances between the stones increase, and the faster you move the more like flying or gliding it feels.
At 10 there is a moving door that you have to speed up to just jump into. This leads inside a room for me. I call this, shockingly, ‘The Focus 10 Room’. It’s very bare and it has changed over time, but for me it is like sitting in a small dome. There’s also a computer here so the edge, and a spiral staircase runs inside the wall from the ground floor up through the roof.
I sit in the centre of the room on an orange circle on the floor. This is ‘The Focus 10 Spot’. I’m not sure why this came to be like this but I sit there. You can happily, mentally sit here and have some weird experiences, but as this is a Focus 12, and not a Focus 10 track, we move onto Focus 12.
Onto Focus 12
Sitting on the spot for a minute or two, it starts to move upwards like an elevator. Half way up the room is Focus 11, and as it breaks through a hole in the ceiling, you’re in Focus 12.
I imagine Focus 12 as a sort of Tardis experience, suddenly you’re outside, it’s all blue cloud and very gentle. Honestly I scare quite easily so I need things to be tranquil, even though its my own imagination.
I sit on the orange circle for a while until things happen. Usually things happen on their own from here, you’re drawn into stories and half-dreams, and have experiences and meet dream-entities. I feel here that I am so close to bordering sleep than I’m just entering dreams and ducking out when I realise. I think when fully practiced, you could probably enter a dream from here and be lucid from the start.
It’s tough to put into words as this is an entirely nonverbal, personal experience, but that’s it. That’s what I do when I’m listening to the Focus 12 Free Flow track. Was this of value to anybody? Almost, certainly not.