There was a period of time when I got very interested in astral travel and wanted to try it for myself once. I read all literature that I could obtain from the library and online, including classics by Robert Bruce.
The main thing about astral travel is to relax yourself until your body falls asleep but your mind remains awake. First of all you need to relax your body by breathing or meditation. Then you would need to bring your mind into a deeper state of relaxation. One of the techniques they taught was to imagine yourself walking down a staircase or sitting in an elevator. The details of the visualisation is not as important as the sensation of moving downwards.
Guess what, it was much, much harder than it seemed. I spent many nights, lying in bed from 10pm till the wee hours of 3am before I simply fell asleep. One issue was that my mind was simply too active to relax sufficiently. My consciousness would stay around the top of my head as my thoughts wandered. Focusing on relaxing myself only gave me insomnia. Another issue was that I was simply too tired on certain nights to remain awake for long.
But after many trials, I did eventually succeed once while fully conscious. I used one of the techniques described in the books, which was to pretend I was pulling myself up on an imaginary rope above me. And after that one time, I would once in a long while feel myself astral travel while waking up from a dream.
So what did I see that night? The experience only lasted a few seconds because I was simply too excited. On the other times, I am not sure if I was psychically too dense, most often I was in pitch black darkness. I can feel the sensations of flying around on those times, like a particle in a box moving very fast in Brownian motion. On times when I did “see” something, the scenery was suspiciously foreign, as if in a dream and there was nothing I could verify with upon waking up. I have yet to last more than a few seconds so far though.
So if you are trying to astral travel, how do you know if you are succeeding? If you could reach the deeper layers of consciousness, you are on the way. It is strange to describe, but it feels like a subtle click of a switch in the mind. One moment your consciousness is at the top of the head, next moment you seem to fall asleep and lose consciousness but feel a quick click and you are aware of yourself again. Only this time your body feels heavy, and there is an inertia to move. Your consciousness, instead of at the top of the head, feels like it has sunk towards the back of the head.
At some point, you might feel a slight vibration in your body. My method to test if my soul was ready to astral travel would be to try raising my arm first. If it takes much effort to swing it upwards, you are probably trying to move your physical arm. If it swings up and down easily without much effort, it is likely to be your astral body.
Alright, this is a weird post even for me. As with all things, do say a prayer of protection for yourself before you actually try to astral travel. I feel it is much harder to stay out of the body than to go back in, so I do not have any worries about not being able to go back. Ever since, I no longer feel the desire to explore astral. Nowadays if I feel myself vibrating, I simply go back to sleep or wake up instead. I would prefer to spend my energy cultivating my intuition or gut feel.