Phase (lucid dreaming and out-of-body experience) maintenance or ”maintaining” refers to techniques that allow a practitioner to remain in the phase for the maximum amount of time possible. Without knowledge of ”maintaining” techniques, the duration of the phase will be several times shorter than it could otherwise be. The shortest phases last just a few seconds. Beginning practitioners usually fear not being able to exit a phase; this shouldn’t ever be a concern because the real challenge is being able to maintain the phase state, which is easily lost unless phase maintenance techniques are used.
Phase maintenance consists of three primary principles: resisting a return to the wakeful state (known as a foul), resisting falling asleep, and resisting a false exit from the phase. As a rule, the first two problems (return to a wakeful state, or falling asleep) are often encountered by beginners, but the third difficulty (false exit) manifests at later stages of practice.
Resistance to returning to the body is self-explanatory, whereas resistance to falling asleep is unclear to many. Not everyone knows that almost half of phase experiences usually end in a quite trivial way – falling asleep. A person usually looses attentiveness, his or her awareness dissipates, and everything around gradually looses clarity and turns into what is for all intents and purposes a usual dream.
Resisting a false exit from the phase is a lot more surprising and dramatic. Sometimes a practitioner detects an impending exit from the phase, subsequent deepening techniques fail to work, resulting in what seems to be a return to the body and physical reality. Sure that the phase has ended, a practitioner may stand up and the fall asleep after perceiving a few steps. In such cases, falling asleep most often happens without any movement, but while still lying in bed. The problem is that the difference between the phase and reality can be so subtle that in terms of internal or external indicators, the phase practically can’t be distinguished from reality. Therefore, one must know the necessary actions to take in the event that the phase ceases, since the end of a phase could actually be a trick and purely imagined.
There are specific solutions for the three problems described in addition to general rules that apply to any phase experience. Studying these rules should be given just as high a priority as studying the specific solutions, since only some of them, when applied separately, may help one to remain in the phase several times longer than usual.
In some cases, techniques for maintaining are not applicable. However, knowledge of how to maintain is useful for the majority of experiences. Also, there might be situations when someone need only resist a foul, while someone else may need to resist falling asleep. All of this is very specific to each case and can be determined only in practice.
With perfect knowledge of all the techniques for maintaining, a phase may last two to four minutes, which doesn’t sound like an extended duration, but really is. A particularity of the phase space is that achieving something and moving around in it takes a minimum amount of time, mere seconds. Thus, so much can be done during 3 minutes in the phase that one literally needs a list, so as not to waste any time.
There are theories that have neither been proven nor disproven claiming that time in the phase contracts and expands relative to real time. Thus, one minute of real time while in the phase may feel much longer in terms of phase time.
Perception of time varies from practitioner to practitioner. Novices especially perceive a real minute as more like five to 10 minutes in the phase. This is determined by the particularities of individual psychology, state of mind, and the type of events that occur in the phase.
In order to understand how long a phase really lasted, one does not need to try using a stopwatch in the real world. It is better to count how many actions took place in it and how much time each of them could have taken. The result will differ from one’s first rough estimate several times over.
The maximum duration the phase varies depends heavily on the ability to apply phase maintenance techniques. Some practitioners have difficulty breaking the two-minute barrier while some find it easy to remain in the phase for 10 minutes or longer. It is physically impossible to remain in the phase forever because even a 20-minute phase is unheard of.
TECHNIQUES AND RULES AGAINST
RETURNING TO THE BODY
Of the following techniques, constant sensory amplification and as-needed sensory amplification are applied the most often while performing phase maintenance. However, as opposed to other technical elements of phase exploration, other secondary techniques of maintaining often become mainstream and the most appropriate for certain individuals. Thus, all the techniques should be studied, but the first two should be considered very carefully.
Constant Sensory Amplification
The same sensory amplification described in the chapter on deepening (Chapter 6) also applies to ”maintaining”. In essence, having achieved the necessary depth of phase, one should not stop to actively agitate his or her perception but should keep on doing this all the while, albeit not as actively as during deepening.
The idea is that during the entire duration of the phase, all action should be focused on experiencing the maximum possible amount of tactile-kinesthetic and visual perceptions. This entails constantly touching and examining everything in minute detail. For example, if passing by a bookcase, touch and examine some of the books in it, including their pages and corners. Tactile observation should be performed on every encountered object.
Palpation may be applied separately as a background sensation. This is done in order not to overload the sense of sight. The hands should be touching something all the time, or better still, rubbing each other.
As-Needed Sensory Amplification
Applying the as-needed sensory amplification technique is no different than constant sensory amplification. It is used only when a foul (a return to a wakeful state) is imminent or when phase vision starts to blur and fade. For example, while traveling in the phase everything may start to blur, signaling a weakening of the phase. At this moment, the practitioner should touch every available object; observe everything in fine detail. As soon as returns to a clear and realistic state, actions may be continued without needing to perform amplification.
This technique is used to maintain constant, strong vibrations in the phase. As previously noted, vibrations are generated by straining the brain or tensing the body without using muscles. Maintaining strong vibrations will have a positive effect on the length of the phase.
Strengthening Vibrations as Needed
In this case, vibrations are created and strengthened only if signs of a foul become apparent. Examples of foul indicators include duality of perception or blurred vision. Strengthening vibrations will help to deepen the phase, allowing a practitioner to stay and continue within the phase.
This technique is the same as the deepening technique of the same name. If a phase is about to dissolve, diving headfirst with the eyes shut and a desire to dive as quickly and deeply as possible. As soon as phase depth returns, translocation techniques may be used to keep from arriving at a dead end.
Forced Falling Asleep
As soon as indicators of a foul appear, immediately lie down on the floor and attempt forced falling asleep; the same as the phase entry technique. After successfully performing the technique (3-10sec.) , a practitioner may get up and continue to travel through the phase since the perception of reality and its depth will most likely be restored. Resist actually fall asleep.
If indicators of a foul appear, the practitioner should start rotating around the head-to-feet axis. Unlike the phase entry technique of the same name, the movement does not have to be imagined. This is an absolutely real rotation in the phase. After several revolutions, depth will be restored and actions may be continued. If indicators of a foul persist, rotation should continue until proper depth is achieved.
During the entire phase, count to as large a number possible – not just for the sake of counting, but with a strong desire to reach the highest number possible. Counting may be performed silently or out loud.
This technique works by creating a strong determination to remain in the phase by providing a goal that requires action in the phase.
If there are any background sounds similar to those heard while entering the phase – rumbling, whistling, ringing, buzzing, or sizzling – these sounds may be used to prolong duration of the phase by aggressive attempts at listening in, hearing the entire range of internal sounds. The forced listening in technique may also be used for phase maintenance.
Hooking onto the phase
Another interesting method of ”maintaining” is hooking onto the phase. In the event of an impending foul, grab onto an object in the phase actively palpate or squeeze it. Even if a return to the body occurs during this technique, the hands will continue to hold the phase object and the physical hands will not be perceived. Beginning with these phantom feelings in the hands, separation from the body is possible. Any nearby object may be hooked: the leg of a chair, a drinking glass, a doorknob, a stone, or a stick. If there is nothing to grab hold of, clasp the hands together or bite down on a lip or the tongue.
Two rules apply to using the techniques that help to resist a phase exit. First of all, never think that the phase might end and result in a return to the body; thoughts like this are like programming that immediately send the practitioner to a wakened physical state. Secondly, do not think about the physical body. Doing will also instantly return the practitioner to the body, every time.
TECHNIQUES AND RULES
for resisting FALLING ASLEEP
Constant Understanding of the Possibility of Falling Asleep
Most of the time, falling asleep while in the phase can be overcome by a constant awareness that sleep is possible and detrimental to a continued phase. A practitioner must always consider the probability of falling asleep and actions must be carefully analyzed to ensure that they are based on real desires and not on paradoxical notions, which are common to dreams.
Periodic Analysis of Awareness
Periodically asking the question, ”Am I dreaming?” while in the phase helps appraise situations and the quality of the actions being performed at any moment. If everything meets the standards of full phase awareness, actions may be continued. Asked on a regular basis, this question becomes habit, automatically used while transitioning to the phase state. If you keep asking this question regularly, sooner or later it will arise automatically at the moment when you are actually transitioning into a dream. This will then help one to wake up, after which it is possible to continue to remain in a full-fledged phase..
The frequency of the question should be based on a practitioner’s ability to consistently remain in the phase. If a phase usually lasts five to 10 minutes or more, it is not necessary to ask the question more than once every 2 minutes; otherwise, this question has to be asked frequently, literally once a minute, or just a little less often.
There is another important rule related to resisting falling asleep: no practitioner should engage or participate in spontaneous events occurring in the phase. Events that are not planned or deliberate lead to a high probability of being immersed in the side action, which results in a loss of concentrated awareness.
Techniques against an unrecognized phase (lucid dreaming and out-of-body experience)
Since the techniques of testing the realness of the end of the phase are a little absurd and demand additional attention to actions, they should only be used in those cases when they are indeed required. Until then, one should simply bear them in mind and use them only in moments of doubt. The same methods may be used to safely determine whether or not the practitioner is in the phase when using techniques for entering it.
Since the cessation of the phase experience may be simulated and no different in terms of perception from a real exit, differences between the physical world and the phase world must be actively discerned. In other words, a practitioner must know how to determine whether a genuine phase exit has occurred.
At present, only one experiment is known to guarantee an accurate result. The phase space cannot withstand prolonged close visual attention to the minute details of objects. Within several seconds of acute examination, shapes begin to distort, objects change color, produce smoke, melt, or morph in other ways.
After exiting the phase, look at a small object from a distance of four to six inches, and remain focused on it for 10 seconds. If the object does not change, a practitioner can be assured that the surroundings are reality. If an object is somehow distorted or askew, a practitioner knows that the phase is intact. The simplest option is to look at the tip of the finger since it is always close at hand. It is also possible to take a book and examine its text. Text in the phase will either blur or appear as alphabetical gibberish, or full of incomprehensible symbols.
There are a variety of other procedures to test the occurrence of a foul. However, since any situation, any property, or any function can be simulated in the phase, these procedures are not always applicable. For example, some suggest that it is sufficient to attempt doing something that is realistically impossible, and, if a practitioner is in the phase, the impossible action will be possible. The problem with this suggestion is that the laws of the physical world may be simulated in the phase, so flying, passing through walls or telekinesis may not be possible, even in the deepest phase. It has also been suggested that looking at a clock twice in a row may help a practitioner determine whether or not the phase is intact; allegedly, the clock will display a different time each time it is observed. Here again, the clock’s display may not change in the phase.
Of all the auxiliary procedures, one deserves mention and works in the majority of cases: searching for differences from reality in the surroundings. Although the usual surroundings of a practitioner may be 100% accurately simulated in the phase, it is very rare. Therefore, it is possible to figure out whether a phase is intact by carefully examining the room where everything is taking place. In the phase, there will be something extra or something will be missing; the time of day or even the season will be different from reality, and so on. For example, when verifying whether a foul occurred, a room may be missing the table supporting a television set, or the table may be there, but be a different color.
General rules for maintaining
The rules for maintaining the phase deal with resisting all or most of the problems which cause a phase to end. Some of these rules are capable of increasing the length of stay in the phase by many times and must be followed.
The practitioner should not look into the distance. If faraway objects are observed for a long period of time, a foul may occur, or one may be translocated towards these objects. In order to look at distant objects without problems, a practitioner has to employ techniques for maintaining. For example, from time to time the practitioner should look at his hands, rub them against each other, or maintain strong vibrations.
Constant activity. Under no circumstances should a practitioner remain passive and calm in the phase. The more actions performed, the longer the phase is. The fewer actions – the shorter the phase. It is enough to pause for thought, and everything stops.
Plan of action. There should be a clear plan of action consisting of at least 5 tasks to be carried out in the phase at the earliest opportunity. This is necessary for several important reasons. First, the practitioner must not pause in the phase to think about ”what to do next”, which frequently results in a foul. Second, having a plan, the practitioner will subconsciously perform all of the actions necessary for staying in and maintaining the phase to carry out all the tasks that have been planned. Third, intelligent and pre-planned actions permit focused advancement of purposeful actions versus wasting phase experiences on whatever comes to mind at a given moment. Fourth, a plan of action creates necessary motivation and, consequently, pronounced intent to perform the techniques to enter the phase.
Stopping the ID. The less Internal Dialogue (ID) and reflection that occurs in the phase, the longer it lasts. All thinking must be concentrated on what is being achieved and perceived. Talking to oneself is completely prohibited. The reason for this is that many thoughts may act as programming in the phase and even announcing them internally may introduce alterations, including negative ones. For example, thinking about the body cause a return to it. The practitioner may also get lost in thought, which will lead to a foul. Also, sporadic thoughts usually and quite easily cause the practitioner to simply fall asleep.
A practitioner must try to re-enter the phase after experiencing a foul. Always remember that a typical phase experience consists of several repeated entries and exits. Essentially, in most cases it is possible to re-enter the phase through the use of separation or phase state creation techniques immediately after returning to the body. If the practitioner has just left the phase, the brain is still close to it and appropriate techniques may be applied in order to continue the journey.
(the phase = lucid dreaming(LD) + out-of-body experience(OOBE) + astral projection(AP)