An Accidental Transpersonal Experience

By Harold Stearley at Earthwalking

Warning: This post is about mystical stuff. If you don’t like that kind of stuff you can stop reading now. 🙂


Quite a few years back in my undergrad days, I had access to the biofeedback lab at the university.  The goal was using their machines to lower my heart rate and respirations.  To achieve a state of complete relaxation. 

The little tones beeping from the machine you wired yourself up to weren’t a distraction but were an adjunct to assist you with hitting the set goals.  The rate of the beeping reflected the rate of your heart rate and respirations until you were able to lower them to the desired parameters. Thus, heart rate lowered, respirations decreased, no more beeping. 

I would be laying on a mat on the floor. My head on a pillow.  The temperature of the room was warm and comfortable. 

But while I was relaxing in the lab one day, I experienced a “side effect.”  I guess you could call it that.  I had a spontaneous vision, or experience, or a visualization; whatever you wish to call it.  I discovered, just recently, a term for these experiences – transpersonal.

Transpersonal experiences or phenomena include “experiential identification with other people or with animals; visions of archetypal and mythological beings and realms; ancestral, racial, and karmic experiences; and identification with the Universal Mind or Supracosmic Void.” 

I believe that out-of-body and near-death experiences fall squarely within this realm as they are defined as “non-ordinary states of consciousness.”

I won’t go into an in-depth explanation of such phenomenon in this post, perhaps in a later post.  But for this post, I just wish to relay two such experiences I had, the first of which I converted into a meditation/visualization/shapeshifting practice based upon my accidental transpersonal experience.

It’s been a while, but I’m back to trying sitting/laying meditation again in addition to the moving meditation techniques I use.  So, I thought I’d share it with you, and you can try if you like.  Remember, the first time this happened to me it was a spontaneous event.  I had not tried to have any sort of out-of-body experience.  Nor had I set an intent for meditation.  I was simply laying on the floor, relaxing, breathing.  Bare bones.

And then I blinked.

After my first experience, I integrated the scenery I witnessed for the meditation to help facilitate having a repeat of the original. I placed myself in a Natural environment and added necessary detail for focus.

For shutting off or occupying the rational mind.

A feather will help with this practice.  Feathers represent rising from the terrestrial world, breaking the bonds of gravity.  They are the harnessers of the Wind.

Whether you are using a feather or not, you should prepare your meditation environment by smudging it and yourself with sage.  Rituals are important to set your intent and to create sacred space, so add any of your own to this ritual you are creating.

Find a warm, comfortable place to lie down.  Support your head and neck well as you will be in this position for a bit of time.  Grasp a feather that you like, that has some meaning to you.  Perhaps the bird is an animal totem, or perhaps you had a significant experience with finding this feather, or the bird served as a messenger to you, or the feather represents flying to you.  Whatever the reason is, it should be of value to you in some manner, and you should recognize that it is a powerful object.

Fold your hands over your Lower Dantian, about two inches below your belly button.  The “Dantians – there are three of them – are energy centers, a topic that will wait for another day. What’s important now is that you are tapping into that energy center to aid you with this meditation.

The feather should rest between your fingers pointing upward.  Your eyes will be closed throughout the meditation, but there will be times where you visualize them as being open as you view your visualized surroundings.

Set your intention.  Why are you doing this meditation?  Is it for relaxation only?  Healing perhaps.  Seeking an answer to a burning question.  Whatever it might be, focus on that before and as you begin.

Pay attention to your breathing, inhalation – exhalation, and slow your breathing down if you can.  Slow your body down.  The goal is to decrease your resting heart rate and respirations, but don’t try counting your pulse as that will be a distraction.  Just relax and let it happen. 

Following some breathing mediation and achieving relaxation, it will be time to begin the visualization.

Picture yourself lying down in a field.  It can be a prairie or a field of wheat, but there must be tall grasses surrounding you.  The field is primarily a golden-brown color reflecting the changing of the season or, in the case of a wheat field, it is now harvest time.

I prefer the variety of the prairie myself.  The sights and aromas take me back to childhood romps through many a field.  But use what suits you the best to bring yourself to a state of comfort.

Imagine, if you will:

Feather Reed Grass, towering five feet above your head, its pink plumes have faded into a wheat, light tan color, and the tops of the plumes, as suggested by the name, feather out to where they’ve released their rice-sized seeds. 

There’s Big Bluestem, some six feet tall.  Some of its three-fingered flowers, now limp, cling to the stems, and its color has shifted to scarlet after the frost hit a couple of mornings ago.

Zebra Grass is another.  Clearly recognizable by its horizontal gold bands.  Even as it’s summer green has faded, the bands, or stripes, remain.  The variegated stems seem to form tiny ladders reaching up the length of their eight-foot-long stems.  Ladders to the heavens.

Purple Moor Grass is another favorite.  This grass has a translucent appearance.  It is shimmering, the light reflecting as it would across the surface of a lake. 

Pink Hair Grass adds another tone of variation.  Its wispy magenta blooms have faded but they remain teased out at its tops.  Only three feet high, you can reach up and stroke through its fine soft brush texture. 

There are not only the tall grasses that surround you; wildflowers have peaked and their scents fill the air giving it a fullness when you breathe in.  Hyacinths, coyote-mint, wild rose, freesias, primrose, musk mallow, yarrow, chicory, and more all perfume the air.  You take in the mix of scents – citrus, musk, lavender, spicy, balsam, tangy, fruity-sweet, succulent, clove, vanilla, oakmoss, ginger, and camphor. 

It’s an intoxicating blend of whatever you choose.

The grasses tower above you and there is a gentle breeze so you can see them oscillating, floating back and forth with the Wind.  It is a wave-like motion as the air flows gently over you.

You visualize opening your eyes (they are actually shut) and you find yourself looking up at those waving tall grasses, and opening above those is a deep, aqua-blue sky.  There are clouds resting on the currents above and slowly moving through your plane of vision.  Lenticular and cumulus – all white fluffy pillows. 

It’s important to walk your mind through all of these details, or the details of the images you created, whatever they may be.  Observe them all as if you were lying in that field.  Feel, see, hear, touch, and taste them all.  Take your time with it.  Savor it. 

The temperature is perfect.  It is almost as though you were floating in water.  You continue to relax and feel your breath synchronizing with the waving grasses.   

You notice a raptor enter your field of vision high above you; or picture a different bird of your choice. Matching your feather to the bird, if you’re using one, will help align the energies at play. 

It is a large bird, and it rarely flaps its wings.  It just gracefully rides the thermals.  As you notice it, it notices you.  It continues to circle, and you continue to take in all of your surroundings. 

Breathing in the perfumed air.  In-out.  Grasses waving back and forth.  You feel your body swaying, dancing with their movements.

Then, when you feel ready, you close your eyes (again, in the visualization, because they are already closed).  With your eyes closed you feel yourself merging with the raptor.  You feel the shape of your eyes change as the corners elongate.  You feel your arms extending and feel as though there are many points of contact down their length.  You feel the air sliding over your arms and feel slightly warmer air flowing across your abdomen.  It’s as if you inverted your position although you are still actually lying on your back. 

And you have the sensation of gliding. 

You open your eyes slowly (visualized only), and blink, and you realize your entire orientation has shifted.   Instead of looking up at the sky, you are looking down towards the ground.  You see the field of waving grasses and wildflowers below.  And you see yourself lying there looking up.

You suddenly have the feeling of simultaneously being in your body, but also being in the raptor’s body.  You can choose which body you wish to be in.  You consciously choose to be in the raptor’s body and feel the warmth of the thermals underneath your body, supporting you so you are not in free fall. 

As you take in your surroundings from above, you can feel down the length of you wings and feel the origination points of each and every feather as if each were a small finger.  You look left and right at your beautiful wings; the feathers are the same as the one you are holding above your Dantian.  You notice a ridge of down-like feathers along the front edge of both wings.  These buffer the air, and your flight is completely soundless.  You are circling above your body below. 

You are free.

Once you fully assess your feelings of being airborne, you begin to widen your circle on the thermals, and you can choose which direction away from your body that you will veer. 

You also know you can close your eyes again and choose which bodily form your consciousness will reside.  So there is no fear of not being able to return.

As you master your flight, you will have to choose how far you wish to travel.   But travel in this realm is not the same as actual flight.  You can cover great distances quickly and observe what is happening.  I’ve read that if you achieved this out-of-body experience, you can actually confirm your sightings with someone you know who lives far away. 

This type of “distance-seeing,” however, if achieved, should not be abused.  The goal, as you can tell, is shapeshifting.  But it’s also feeling all of the sensations of flight.  And your flight should be aligned with your intent. 

If you’re seeking answers that come from within, you may land or simply return to your human bodily form.  They will come.  Or, if you need to be in a certain place to have the answer, you can fly there.  Or if it requires a hunt, seek out your prey and dive upon it.

You choose your direction, your flight path, inward or outward.  Just go with it and let it take you. 

If you are so relaxed that you fall asleep, no worries, enjoy your rest and dream.

At any time, you can return to your body by simply blinking your eyes, the reverse of how you took the form of flight.  But be sure to completely “feel” your surroundings in both the field and the air before you return your consciousness to your body.


Remember, my first experience with this was spontaneous.  It was not within my control at all, and I had not set an intention for the experience. You may relate if you’ve have had any type of similar experience. I was quite startled when it happened.  As can be the case with every step we take to fully awakening in this World.


I mentioned I’d relay two transpersonal experiences.  Similar to the meditation described, I was having a lucid dream.  By that I mean I was an active observer in the dream.  You might say a third-party.  I was dreaming that I was riding a bicycle, at night, in a thunderstorm, along a busy highway.  The Wind was strong and blowing the rain forcefully in my face.  And the cars seemed to be getting closer and closer to hitting me.  I had the distinct insight that I could choose which bodily form to awaken in.  I could be the bicyclist, or I could wake up in the comfort of my bed. 

You could analogize this to the concept of the dreamer and the dreamed.  Which is more real?  Neither actually.  They are equally real.  I chose to wake up in my bed, but the experience of riding that bicycle in the rain was extremely real.  I felt every part of the ride as vividly as I felt lying in my warm comfortable bed. 

Now, I would expect a certain amount of skepticism when it comes to having out-of-body experiences, but that’s ok.  I have my own, but I also know what I’ve experienced.  And there have been other events in my life that could easily fall into the category of transpersonal. 

Think back, I’m sure you have too.

Learn to fly!

In Metta

Photo: A Raven in flight. The perfect image for the meditation I described.

Transpersonal Psychology:  A dear friend recently steered me toward the writings of Stanislav Grof.  He is one of the forerunners of Transpersonal Psychology.  This movement was born out of the realization of the limitations with Freudian psychiatry and behaviorism.  I’ll write more about this in a future post, but you don’t have to wait for me.  Go research it yourself if you wish to. 😊

The Dantians:  If you would like to know some very basic information about the Dantians, check out this website:  What Are Dantian? The Energy Centers of Chinese Medicine

19 thoughts on “An Accidental Transpersonal Experience”

  1. The only way to relax and relieve all tensions is to have no goals. Setting the wires to help you achieve a goal is completely counter-productive in this experiment. If the goal is to relax, how can you relax watching the output worried about achieving your goal?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Good point George. I don’t find the two as being counter to one another. You can set an intention and see what happens. You don’t worry about it. If you achieve a state of relaxation and meditation answers can reveal themselves without you focusing on accomplishment. There is no pressure to achieve, but it is good to integrate after an experience and see if there is anything that brought clarity to a situation. It’s not worrying about meeting a certain goal. I’ve set intentions as healing but I encounter a lot of messages that may be tangentially related. Now, I realize that could be difficult for people who function in terms of say competitive goals and checklists, etc. That mindset could be counter productive. You might think of it this way, write down a question or an issue or whatever, then burn the piece of paper. You plant an idea in your subconscious, but you don’t dwell on the issue, you just let things happen. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You should do this post as a podcast, being able to relax and just listen to you read this exercise would be invaluable to many I assume. WP has a feature that you can add to read your posts and add the link at the end. This is fabulous Harold, thanks, C

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks! It was amazing when it happened and now it serves as a good guided meditation. I’m glad I was introduced to transpersonal psychology too. I had not heard of this before and it’s fascinating reading about it ❤❤❤

      Liked by 1 person

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