15 Days of Juice Fasting and the Gateway Experience

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I’m going back to Ireland on holiday next month, and I’d be only kidding myself if I resolved to eat sensibly. I experimented with my first juice fast last month. That time I only managed to last four days, but this time the plan is to go for fifteen days. I just want to give my body a good clean out, so I can feel a bit less guilty about any Christmas food overindulgence in Dublin. I also plan to do another 15 day fast when we return to Thailand in January. This will help to get 2013 off to a good start.

Excited About 15 Days of Juice Fasting

So far November has been a complete washout in regards to healthy eating. I stopped my 5:2 intermittent fasting diet, and I didn’t replace it with anything. Surprisingly, my weight hasn’t gone up that much, but I just feel yucky because of all the junk I’ve been eating. I enjoyed my last juice fast, so I’ve high hopes for the next 15 days. I did hit a bit of a wall last time at day 5, so it will be interesting to see what happens this time.


Back to the Gateway Experience

One of the benefits of fasting is that it allows me to go deeper into meditative states, and it increases my dream lucidity. Earlier this year, I devoted three months to the Monroe Institute Gateway Experience, and I feel that this was time well spent. I managed to trigger a couple of out of body experiences, but I must admit that the second half of the course was a bit of an anticlimax. I’m going to try to do 3 – 4 sessions a day of the Gateway Experience so that I can repeat the course during my juice fast. I’m not expecting too much to happen (which is a better approach), but I just enjoyed this journey so much last time that I want to repeat it.

I’ll add some updates on here as the juice fast progresses.

Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander

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I still have a few pages left to read of Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander, but I will post my thoughts on this book now as I have a bit of time. The title alone would normally be enough to put me off reading this material. It sounds so gimmicky but it turns out to be a great read. Discounting any surprises in the remaining pages, it has not provided any type of conclusive proof of the afterlife, but it does contain some proof (as I would define it).

Skeptical Response to Eben Alexander

The only reason for why Proof of Heaven ended up on my radar was that it received such bad press from the skeptical community. People like prominent atheist Sam Harris have written editorials lambasting Eben Alexander. Like true modern skeptics most of them provided their negative reviews even before they read the book. Of course, there are good reasons for why the debunkers are in such an uproar. They must feel that they are being betrayed by one of their own. Eben Alexander is a neurosurgeon and not the type of person who should be having near death experiences. I suppose the publishers of Proof of Heaven, and indeed Eben Alexander, should be grateful to the debunkers for getting the word out. I would probably not have paid much attention to the book otherwise.

Truth about the Near Death Experience

I once avoided any material discussing the near death experience (NDE) like the plague because I considered it to be a type of wishful thinking. My own ignorance meant that I just accepted the claims that science had explained these events away by hypoxia (lack of oxygen in the brain), or that it was simply the reaction of a dying brain. The truth is that NDEs have not been adequately explained at all. The best theories rely on promissory notes or “science of the gaps” type arguments – we don’t know now but science will be able to tell us soon. The truth is that NDEs remain a mystery, and for me the best source of information about them would be the people who actually have them.

It is estimated that there are up to 774 people who will experience an NDE each day in the US – that’s 275,544 individuals a year in just one country! The near death experience is not an oddity that is limited to a few humans who are mentally unbalanced to begin with. These are people who come from every walk of life – including individuals who were nonbelievers prior to the event. The details of the NDE vary between cultures (as might be expected), but humans have this type of experience in every country – they are even reported here in Thailand.

Does Eben Alexander Provide Proof of Heaven?

Eben Alexander was a successful neurosurgeon until he contracted a severe case of meningitis. He ended up in a coma, and his brain suffered so much damage as a result of the infection that it was practically at a standstill. Eben’s medical team had given up all hope of him having any chance of recovery. I found this part of the book particularly difficult to read because it so resembled what happened to my father after he fell into a coma following a heart attack. Eben remained in a coma for seven days, and it was during this time that he enjoyed a near death experience.

Any of the other accounts I’ve read about NDEs provide whirlwind visits to the afterlife but Proof of Heaven offers a longer description. I must admit, it felt to me that there was something lacking in his details of the afterlife (I wanted more wondrous events), but this probably boils down to a case of “you had to be there”.

Once Eben was sufficiently recovered from his ordeal he began looking for explanations. His profession as a neurosurgeon meant that he was ideally suited to sift through the available data (ironically many of the debunkers are challenging his ability to assess the data – after all what would a neurosurgeon know about the brain?) to find a solution that would fit in with the current scientific materialist worldview. In the second half of the book he considers the various explanations, and he provides compelling reasons for why they are not adequate. In the end he concludes that that the best explanation for what happened to him was that he visited the afterlife.

I didn’t find any knock out proofs for the afterlife in Eben Alexander’s story, but it certainly makes survival of consciousness appear more likely. My own view is that the only way to be fully convinced of such proofs would be to experience them ourselves. Trying to deliberately induce a NDE would be extremely reckless (anyone who has seen the movie Flatliners will appreciate this), but we can get close to it with the out of body experience.

Here are some talks that Eben gave at the Monroe Institute:

Gateway Experience – Anticlimax at Focus 21

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I’ve now reached the end of the Hemi Sync Gateway Experience program, and I must admit to feeling slightly deflated. I felt like I was making such good progress earlier in the journey that I ended up developing unrealistic expectations for the finale. I definitely don’t regret the experience, and I’m still going to continue with it – although with a bit less intensity.


My Goals for the Gateway Experience

My original goal with the Gateway Experience home program was to have an out of body experience. I’m able to lucid dream on a fairly regular basis, and I wanted to find out for myself if the OBE state is just another type of lucid dream. During the first month of listening to hemi sync I had two OBE episodes, but they were over almost as soon as they started. In the second month I had a longer episode but it still wasn’t enough to allow me to come to any firm conclusions. My current thinking is that the OBE state is closely linked to dream lucidity, but the former is more intense and allows for greater exploration possibilities. As I say though, I don’t have enough experience to form any firm judgments.

Anticlimax at Focus 21

The final two sessions in the Gateway Experience are devoted to focus 21. I had hoped that this would be a state of consciousness where I’d be able to go out of body at will. I do feel frustratingly close to something happening while in focus 21, but it is like there is something holding me back. I’m dealing with a bit of uncertainly in my life at the moment and maybe it is the tension related to this that is getting in the way. I’m also fairly sure that my unrealistic expectations are partly to blame. I was a bit spoiled with success in the first half of my Gateway Experience, and this all went to my head.

This journey has benefited me in ways that I hadn’t planned. I feel like I’m getting in touch with aspects of my inner world that I didn’t even know existed. Despite not managing any more OBEs (I haven’t even had a lucid dream in over a month). I keep experiencing flashes of images while in focus 21. I did experience some imagery in the earlier parts of the program but they were not as vivid as what I’m getting now. I suspect that these messages are coming directly from my subconscious, but only time will tell.

Future Plans with the Monroe Gateway Experience

I’ll continue using the Gateway Experience audio, but I’m going to cut down to one session a day. Maybe I was overdoing it, and that was why my results seemed to taper off near the end. In my rush to get to Focus 21 I was doing 5 sessions per day in the last two weeks. I will now cut back to one session per day and lower my expectations. I will continue to update here with my experiences.

My Previous Posts about the Monroe Gateway Experience

Out of Body with the Monroe Gateway Experience
Early Astral Explorations with the Monroe Gateway Experience
How Brain Entrainment Increases My Productivity
Astral Travel to Help People Recover From Addiction
Continuing Adventures with Hemi Sync Gateway Experience
Arrival at Focus 15 with the Gateway Experience

Arrival at Focus 15 with the Gateway Experience

Latest posts by Paul Garrigan (see all)

For the last few days I’ve been experimenting with focus 15 as part of the Gateway Experience program. Robert Monroe referred to it as a level of consciousness that is beyond time. This sound suitably mysterious, and for the last few weeks it has been a real struggle for me not to skip ahead to this session. I forced myself to stick with my schedule because each session builds on the previous one. I’m glad I waited because it meant that the move to focus 15 felt natural.

Goodbye Bob Monroe, Hello Laurie Monroe

Waves 5 and 6 of the Gateway Experience were changed after Bob died. This is because up until a few years ago it was not possible to go above focus 12 with the home program – you had to attend a retreat at the Monroe Institute for this. Bob wasn’t around to create the new waves so the task has been taking over by his daughter Laurie Monroe. When I heard her voice on the first track of Wave 5 it came as a bit of a shock. Despite my complaints in the last post about Bob’s wordiness I’d gotten used to his friendly voice. It took a few sessions before I was used to his daughter providing the instructions.

Arrival at Focus 15

The process of moving from focus 12 to focus 15 is nothing fancy. I suspect that the real magic happens because of the hemi sync that is hidden beneath other sounds on the track. The difference between focus 10 and focus 12 is quite noticeable for me. I can literally feel my consciousness expanding and the area around the middle of my brow (this is sometimes referred to as the third eye or brow chakra) becomes activated strongly. The first time I moved from focus 12 to focus 15 the change felt subtle. I knew that something had altered in the level of my consciousness, but I just couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. I’ve now been back to focus 15 about 12 times and the quality of this state of consciousness is more obvious to me. I can understand why it is referred to as beyond time – although it is different from what I expected.

I waited until after I’d experienced focus 15 for myself before reading what other people had to say about this state of consciousness. I came across a post by another blogger and he described it as being stuck in some sort of perceptual molasses. That is a good description and better than the words I would use to describe it. Thoughts slow down in focus 15 and the gaps between thoughts seem to go on for a long time – it is almost like you can forget to think. I’ve found that it is lethal to enter this state when I’m tired because it is so easy to fall into sleep. When I manage to stay awake there tends to be long gaps of nothing combined with periods of clear images. On a few occasions when I’ve reached the end of the session I didn’t want it to end.

The ability to remain aware without thoughts or other stimulus is evidence that consciousness is far more than what some modern scientists would have us believe. Our sense of ‘I ness” can remain even when our identity, memories, beliefs and opinions fall away. There are some advanced meditators who claim to remain aware even when they are in deepest sleep – I believe them. I view this ability to remain aware without external or internal stimuli as further evidence that we are more than our physical bodies.

My Previous Posts about the Monroe Gateway Experience

Out of Body with the Monroe Gateway Experience
Early Astral Explorations with the Monroe Gateway Experience
How Brain Entrainment Increases My Productivity
Astral Travel to Help People Recover From Addiction
Continuing Adventures with Hemi Sync Gateway Experience

Continuing Adventures with Hemi Sync Gateway Experience

Latest posts by Paul Garrigan (see all)

I’ve now been following the Monroe Gateway Experience program for a little over two months. I’m still managing on average four sessions per day, and I’ve almost reached the end of Wave IV. I try to do each individual session at least five times with a couple of exceptions where it didn’t seem warranted (e.g. colour breathing). I repeated some of the early sessions 20 times to ensure that I was getting the basics. I still feel like I’m rushing through the program so I do intend to go back and go over everything again. So far this has been a definite positive experience, but there have been plenty of times when I felt like giving up.

My Personal Battle against Cynicism

I consider myself to be a spiritual person, but I struggle when it comes to adopting any particular belief system. I just keep picking away until I find the holes and this gives me the excuse to be cynical. This is why I’ve not been able to fully embrace Buddhism despite it being such a positive force in my life over many years. I want spiritual teachings that do not rely on any type of faith, but these are in short supply.

There have been more than a few occasions when my cynicism levels have been elevated during my explorations with Bob Monroe. I find it difficult to accept things like remote viewing without evidence. I’m not that bothered if there is a lack of materialistic scientific proofs that would convince a debunker (although there are plenty of experts who make convincing claims that sufficient evidence is already there), but I do need personal experience before I can accept such things. I’m keeping my mind open, and this is only a small part of the Gateway Experience anyway.

The thing that has raised my cynicism the most has been Bob Monroe’s wordiness. He sometimes seems to be saying ten words when one word would do just fine. This can mean that affirmations sound like legal jargon, and it is like he is making things harder than they need to be. This wordiness can be particularly annoying at the end of a session when he reads out a health affirmation – I cynically refer to it as Bob’s blessing. Sometimes I just want the session to end and at these times I feel certain that he is talking complete gibberish.

The thing that is allowing me to overcome my cynicism is that the Gateway Experience is working for me. I’ve now had a few out of body experiences – although these have been mostly brief. I’ve read that some people try for years before they are able to have one OBE so I am grateful for that. I’m also enjoying an impressive increase in dream lucidity and dream recall – most nights I can remember three separate dreams. There have also been other strange experiences that I’ll talk about in a later post.

The Gateway Experience is Better Without Expectations

I am learning that the best way to approach the Gateway Experience is without any expectations. I’ve already achieved some of my initial goals, but the journey is not taking me where I expected it would. It seems to be leading me somewhere better. Some readers who have more experienced with the Monroe Institute did say that this journey would change me, and I don’t doubt them. I am hopeful that I’m going where I need to go and not where my limited imagination wants me to go. Despite my cynicism I’m becoming convinced by the Gateway Affirmation which begins with the words, I am more than my physical body…

I’m not completely sure if the Monroe Institute offers the best program of its kind. I certainly would not suggest that it is going to be a good option for everyone. I’m not here to offer free marketing services for hemi sync. I think that it is a pity that their audio course is so expensive. What I will say is that so far it is working for me so I’m a happy customer.

My Previous Posts about the Monroe Gateway Experience

Out of Body with the Monroe Gateway Experience
Early Astral Explorations with the Monroe Gateway Experience
How Brain Entrainment Increases My Productivity
Astral Travel to Help People Recover From Addiction