Out of Body with the Monroe Gateway Experience

In a previous post I discussed my encounters with lucid dreaming. This is the ability to become aware that I’m dreaming and to have some control over the content of the dream. I’m still not able to produce this experience on demand, but lucidity in the dream state is happening more regularly for me these days. My interest in dream lucidity has led me to investigate other topics – most notably the out of body experience (OOBE/OBE).

Going Out of Body

There is no doubt that people do have out of body experiences. They are too widely reported to be easily dismissed – it is estimated that 35 out of every 100 people will experience an OBE during their lifetime. The most well known type of OBE is the near death experience (NDE). This is where people who have reached the border of death (some would even have been considered clinically dead) feel like they are floating above their body. The OBE is only one element of the near death experience, but it is one of the most commonly reported. There are some scientific theories for what is occurring when people have an NDE but no final conclusions have been reached.

Approaching death is not the only way to experience an OBE. Some people describe and event where their consciousness just popped briefly out of their bodies for no apparent reason – although in most of these cases it will be associated with some type of trauma. It is also possible for people to trigger the out of body experience using meditation and other techniques.

Out of Body or Lucid Dreaming

There are definite similarities between the out of body experience and lucid dreaming. This has led experts such as dream researcher Stephen LaBerge to conclude that they are most likely the exact same thing. There is good reason to suspect that an OBE might be a wake induced lucid dream (WILD).

Supporters of the view that OBE is a different experience from lucid dreaming point out that –

– Lucid dreamers become lucid because they realize they are dreaming. The person who is having an OBE does not feel as if they are dreaming.
– The OBE can occur in states unrelated to sleep.
– The people who have these experiences can be dramatically changed by them.

I haven’t made my mind up about what is happening with the out of body experience, but I want to make a judgment based on personal experiences. That is why I’ve been working hard for the last three weeks to trigger an OBE. I right away ruled out copying the characters in the movie Flatliners who created NDEs by stopping their own hearts. My wife has a terrible memory and she might forget to use the defibrillator to shock me back to life. Instead I’ve decided to use safer methods for producing the out of body experience.

Out of Body with the Monroe Institute

Bob Monroe is considered a pioneer of the out of body experience. His 1971 book titled Journeys Out of the Body is credited for making the OBE such a well known phenomena. He developed a technique using binaural beats (called hemi sync) that has helped many people achieve the OBE state. Monroe died in 1995, but the Monroe Institute continues to promote his programs.

I’ve been wanting to shake things up with my meditation practice for a while now. I know that a temporary change in direction can lead to new and important discoveries – it can also give my motivation a boost. For the last few years I’ve stuck with insight meditation, and I’ve achieved some good progress (as far as I can tell). I have no intention of abandoning this type of meditation but a change is as good as a rest as they say.

I first came across the Monroe Institute’s Gateway program a few months ago, but at the time I dismissed it as too expensive. The idea has been niggling away at me so I’ve bitten the bullet and bought the first three parts of the program. I don’t begrudge the money – I just have to remind myself that a few years ago I would have spent 100 Euros a night on booze and not thought twice about it.

My Gateway Experience

I’ve been using these guided meditations for three weeks now, and I have had some reasonably impressive results. I found it eerie at first to be guided by a dead man (it is Bob Monroe on the audio), but now the voice feels like a trusted friend. I’d been warned that this method does not seem to be effective for everyone, and that you only get out of it what you put into it – where have I heard that before. I’ve been spending two hours on average a day listening to these guided meditations.

The one thing that I’m pleased with is that the audio so easily guides me into specific meditative states. These are levels of consciousness that I’m familiar with from meditation, but I’ve not been able to produce them at will. The first of these states is what Monroe calls Focus 10 (body asleep –mind awake). It is from this state that it is possible to explore out of body.

Since I’ve started the Gateway Experience there has been a dramatic increase in my lucidity while dreaming. I’ve also had one event that was tantalizingly close to an OBE. I felt my body leave the bed and move around the room. The problem was that I couldn’t open my eyes to see what was going on – so I’ve labeled it as a near miss. It did feel far more intense than my usual lucid dream so it’s certainly encouraging.

The Joy of New Adventures

I expect that some might consider these explorations into consciousness to be a bit barmy, but I just feel drawn towards this type of thing. I see my continued exploration of my mind as an amazing adventure. My current experiments might be leading me down a blind alley, but it is still an adventure. I promise to add future updates so you can judge my progress.

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38 thoughts on “Out of Body with the Monroe Gateway Experience

    1. Hi Lynne, the whole area of consciousness fascinates me. I don’t believe that we are anywhere close to understanding where this subjective feeling of ‘I-ness’ comes from. I suspect that the only way we can become closer to understanding is from within.

  1. I will be interested to hear your updates, Paul. I used the beginning Gateway tapes in 1989 which only covered deep sequential body relaxation, Focus 10 and Focus 12, for 6 months and then did a 6 day Gateway at TMI in 1990. It was a deeply important turning point in my life. Indeed, we are so, so, so much more than our bodies and much more than our “normal” day to day consciousness. Glad to hear you are exploring. The CDs available now (I actually just got a whole new updated edition) contain so much more than the original tapes. I was fortunate to experience it when Bob Monroe was still on earth and he did “fireside” lectures a few nights during the Gateway. I hear his voice and think of him and remember him fondly and with great respect and gratefulness, as well.

    1. It is great to hear about your experiences with TMI Mary. I’m envious that you’ve actually visited the institute – it sounds like an exciting place. I’ve just realized that I’ve been galloping through the lessons way too fast. I’ve gone right back to the beginning. I’m going to just stick with mastering focus 10 for the next few weeks. I plan to listen to that first main lesson on focus 2 at least 50 more times before moving onto anything else. I’ve started using more imagery along with the audio and that has made a huge difference – before that I was just lying there and waiting for something to happen. I will add further updates, but I’m beginning to suspect that this journey will not go as I expected, and I mean that in a good way. I would love to hear more about your experiences with Gateway.

      1. I think what you refer to – “galloping too fast” – is a common error and what you are doing now is the way to do it. I tend to gallop, but took to heart the instruction to really go slowly and master each focus. Doing it this way had a huge payoff for me. With 6 months of working slowly the results were quite amazing. By the time I went to the institute, I gained so much more from it because I had already really mastered (by going slowly) those sequential states in deep relaxation which is the linchpin for consciousness change/expansion.

        1. Thanks Mary, it is so reassuring to hear from somebody who has had success with this program. I have read the reviews that are online, but it is hard to trust these. At least I know that you are a real person 🙂 It gives me confidence to keep going.

    1. It is expensive. There are pirated copies out there, but I just prefer to pay for things these days. It just seems sort of wrong to go on a spiritual quest with stolen tools 🙂

      1. I was not meaning the cost of the authentic TMI CDs, but the cost of doing a Gateway at TMI. In 90 in was about 700.00. Today it is more like 1700.00 I think. It was alot of money to me then, but, no regrets. However, I also think that with the kind of consistent, slow work you are doing, and with dedication to it ongoing, you can reap the same benefits. The luxury of being there and focusing ONLY on the “work” for 6 days was amazing, but not necessary for some people.

        1. I’d love to go and spend some time in one of those CHEC units – are they comfortable? How many hours a day do you spend on the exercises? Is it sort of like an intensive meditation retreat?

          1. Somehow I missed this response/question, Paul. The CHEK units are like some old european beds or beds I remember seeing in story-books as a child. They are built like they are a cabinet. As i remember, there is a curtain part that is pulled across the the lower half. They are high enough so you can sit up in them without difficulty and are wired for all the audio. Very comfortable. So, while at TMI, you use them for consciousness work exercises as well as sleep at night.

          2. Thanks Mary, I’ve been looking at some of the YouTube videos from the Monroe Institute and people’s experience there. I would love to go sometime – maybe one day.

  2. Hi Paul, I was passing around here and saw your “near miss” and just had to put in my two cents. My first OBE was also with my eyes closed — I got out of my body, stood up near the couch and got back inside my body when I couldn’t see anything. After a little research, I found this is actually very common!!! Not a miss at all. Next time you feel you are “out”, make sure to tell yourself “clarity now!” as this helps with the vision aspect; looking down at your hands until they become clear is also helpful for some, to ground them and also to start seeing everything else. Good luck! It’s an amazing universe! Peace!

    1. Hi Angela, thanks a million for your encouragement. I will make use of the ‘clarity now’ idea in future projections. I’ve since had a couple of OBE’s with my eyes open – exciting stuff!

  3. this seems a bit like a normal? meditation experience, which i guess i would call “without body” as opposed to OBE, Seems pretty usual in the lives of a lot of forest monks and lay people up here. Guess here are many paths for anyone who wants to follow them.
    take care


  4. Hi Paul

    Thanks for replying back! Ive heard the gateway institute go through all 6 waves in 6 days. I think i might try to do the same, What do you think??

    1. Hi Nina, it sounds like a good idea, but I’m no expert. If you can do that but approach the experience with no expectations, you might get far more out of it. It’s hard to do though.

    1. Hi Nina, I did give that session a go. I’m not sure how effective it turned out to be. I sort of prefer what life sends my way rather than trying to influence things – I’ve never been any good at deciding what is best for me 🙂

  5. Hello Mr. Garrigan,
    your website is very interesting. I used to live in Virginia not very far from the monroe institue. My friend came to me one day and said “have you heard of this?”, talking about OBE’s and monroe. This was back in the 80’s. He said he could do OBE’s regularly but couldn’t leave his apartment. I read the original monroe book he lent me. So then I advised him, having no idea, “put your hands together like diving”, later he said it worked. This has been the pattern of my encounters with OBE. I tell people things to do and they later say “oh your right it worked.” All the time, I have only had partial OBE’s and fully unqualified to advise. I have renewed interest in the OBE now but my waves are on cassette tape, grin. I have no cassette player anymore hehe.
    good luck and cheers, –pj

    1. Hi PJ, nice to hear from you too. Did you ever visit the Monroe Institute? I bought the mp3s of the waves, so I never have to worry about my cassette player not working 🙂

      1. Mr. Garrigan,
        Even though I lived so close I never went there. I was so young at the time. ie starving student. Actually I ate good I just had no money hehee. I may go there but right now I am achieving other goals.
        thx for your reply, cheers, –pj

  6. Hello summer and all,
    right now i live in florida. However I lived in the blue ridge mountains for nearly 16 years. Its a beautiful and inspiring place. The monroe institute is more NW virgina, near UVa (charlottesville). I lived in Roanoke and Blacksburg which is more SW virgina. Now about MY experiences with OBE and hemi-sync. I think its fair to say you need a healthy body or at least as healthy as you can get it to be. Don’t put anything in that you think is pollution. I have lived with diabetes for 36 years, 2 transplant surgeries, kidney dialysis, and more medicines than I can remember. In my opinion I think this interferes in one way with your exploration of self/all but in another way it accelerates it. That is one reason I liked this website, because Mr. Garrigan struggle with addiction and my struggle with health and medicines is very very similar. The OBE is also a struggle for me. My attachment to my body is so very strong. I get out of my body but something is always sticking, like an arm or a leg, or part of my torso. I usually end up laughing about it and wake up, hehehe. What do you suggest?
    thank you, –pj

  7. hi pj, thank you for replying!have you ever tried the 4 week manifestations on hemi sync? and if how did you get on with them. i was getting really strong vibrations at the start, but had the fear factor, now the fear factor has gone, but i dont get anything!

  8. summer, your experience is certainly like mine. The bottom line, and you already know this im sure, is you don’t need hemi-sync or anything. But… just use hemi-sync as a very “loose” guide and you’ll be fine. I believe hemi-sync just helps you “program your mind/subconscious”. The problem is people buy a “self help” whatever and they think if they listen to it they will be cured. You are the cure. You create your own pathways. I say “you” i just mean it figuratively. What i really mean is “all of us”. I have researched many pathways to how the subconscious works and how to reprogram it. Believe with complete faith, visualize with absolute clarity, do it everyday, ALLLLL the time, every minute. YOur subconscious with follow!!!!! and if OBE is your goal it will happen. In reality I’m writing this for myself because that is the point of my journey I am at now. OBE is not necessarily my goal but reprogramming of my subconscious certainly is!!!!
    You will succeed, I already know it, –pj

  9. its funny you say what youve just said, as i came to the decision today, that if i really truly want to be happy, im going to have to find a way to reprogramme my subconscious! this is not going to be easy. so im hoping hemi sync will help!

  10. oh dear summer,
    You are already there but let me help in one small way. You said “this is not going to be easy”. There are 2 things that I suggest you change in that statement. (1) no negativity – everytime you catch a negative thought, action, whatever – dismiss it as a “opps” or a “sin” if you were brought up religious. Say a hail mary hehehe. (2) your statement infers the future – the part of the subconscious that is reprogrammable does not understand yesterday or tommorrow, it only understands now, it really is like a kid. Change your statement to “this is easy”. Positive and in the now.
    Again, I only reply to you to help myself. –pj

  11. dear pj,

    if i was positive, my subconscious wouldnt need reprogramming! lol – do you have an email i can contact you on?

  12. ok sure but you don’t need me. If you have gotten to this point then your already there. I don’t know if this forum allows email post but try pj678674 at gmail

    I really want to hear what Mr. Garrigan has to say because most if not all of his articles on this website are techniques to talk to the subconscious and I’m sure he knows that.

    1. Hi PJ, I think you have given some good advice to Summer. I’ve struggled with self limiting beliefs for most of my life, and I’ve found that the only way for me to deal with them is head on. I look upon all beliefs as just stories to help me make sense of life – none of them are really true.

  13. Hello Garrigan, Summer, PJ,

    Looks like I am making this thread active after almost 3 years. I am all new to this world and gathering information / reading.

    So far, I have collated books/resources to read from people like Charles Leadbeater, Robert Monroe, William Buhlman, Robert Bruce, Stephen LaBerge and Michael Raduga.

    Any thoughts on these people and their concepts? Also, any update with Monroe’s OBE methods?


      1. I guess, this is a silly question. What is the difference between OBE and lucid dreaming? I am not getting any good clarity on that.


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