One of the most effective exercises of astral projection is concentration on the heart. This exercise has been used for this purpose for probably thousands of years, and it’s the one I’ve used most. Virtually anything that focuses the mind upon one thing can be used to project with, but concentrating on the heart is a good basic exercise to have and it’s an efficient technique to learn to astral project with.
The heart is not only a vital organ of the physical body, but it also has spiritual aspects, which is why it has so many references in spiritual art and literature. One of these aspects is the heart chakra, another is the divine firmament, another is the heart temple, and there are many more.
Concentration on the heart can be practiced at any convenient time without it being just an astral projection exercise. But like any exercise that uses concentration, you’ll need to put in quite a lot of practice and gradually train yourself for it to start to work.
How to Do the Exercise
Astral projection is more effective if you’re relaxed and are lying on your back where you can fall asleep, as sleep is needed for the physical and astral bodies to separate.
You can also do this as an exercise in itself without using it to astral project with, in which case you would do it sitting up.
Concentration on the Heart Beating
To astral project you lie on your back and relax, and begin by gently perceiving your heartbeats. If you can’t perceive them, take three deep breaths and you should feel your heartbeats almost straight away. If you can’t feel them you can imagine your heart beating.
Once you begin to notice the beats, concentrate on each of them. Keep focusing on your heartbeats and try to feel them throughout the body until your whole body is a heartbeat. One of the things that can happen with this is that you begin to move with the beats of the heart, independently of the body, subtly at first, but the movements increase until they lift you out of your body.
You can also do this by directing the beats of the heart to the various parts of the body. For example, you could direct the beats of your heart to the tip of your nose, the palms of your hands, the soles of your feet and so on, until eventually you feel that your whole body is a heartbeat.
Another way is to perceive the pulse or beat of the heart throughout the body or in part of the body, keep feeling the beat and stay on it. This can work very well.
When concentrating on the heart, it’s best to remain in the same position until you astral project. Don’t try to get up when you feel the first signs of the astral split beginning to happen. Continue with your exercise until you actually project, usually by rising up or by floating up out of your body – at that stage you can get up and move around.
Visualization and Concentration on the Physical Heart
For this technique you lie down on your back on your bed or on the floor, or sit down comfortably in an armchair. Once you’re relaxed, direct your attention to your physical heart with the purpose of visualizing it within your own physical body.
Begin by gently concentrating on the heart and visualizing it in detail: imagining its shape, size, color, etc. Next, further explore in detail other areas of the heart like the texture of its muscle, its surfaces, the chambers, the arteries attached to it, etc. As you explore the inner and outer parts of the heart try to find out how it works, what it is made of and what it is for. Carry on exploring the heart until you astral project.
Visualizing the Heart in Stages
Visualization of the heart can sometimes work better by visualizing it in stages. For example one way could be to explore the outer part of the heart only and try to get that part right, another could be exploring the chambers of the heart, or the arteries attached to the heart and so on. When using this progressive technique you should always retrace all the stages you have already learned to visualize. Keep going by visualizing more and more areas of the heart, but always retrace what you’ve already visualized until you cover the whole heart.
This can work more effectively if you do a 10 minute exercise of visualizing your heart before your astral projection exercise. This familiarizes you with the technique and trains concentration before you actually try to astral project with it.
It’s best to remain in the same position until you astral project.
Visualizing the Heart as a Spiritual Place
There is a variation on visualizing the heart, by visualizing it as a spiritual place. This can bring benefits associated with the heart’s spiritual aspects.
Here are two ideas for it:
Visualizing Your Heart as a Temple
Direct your attention to your heart and visualize it being like a temple, a place with light and with the layout of a temple as you imagine or know one to be.
Visualizing a Spiritual Place in the Heart
Direct your concentration to your heart – imagine it as a place of light or divine fire. Go into it and visualize any spiritual place or spiritual being there. Fall asleep visualizing this.
Visualizing the Heart Chakra
You can also visualize the chakra of the heart, imagining its qualities and attributes and/or its spinning movement. This can be accompanied by pronouncing a mantra that activates the chakra at the initial stages of the visualization and then stopping the mantra after a while to focus on visualization.
Questions & Answers
Should we keep trying to concentrate until we eventually fall asleep? I’ve been concentrating for about 15 minutes then giving up and going to sleep on my side. I have the time to do it longer, I just never have. Also for some reason, I cannot visualize the heart for more than five seconds… I can concentrate on my heartbeat but it’s a quiet beat unless I take deep breaths. Any advice is welcome thanks.
It’s best to increase it gradually. If you are comfortable with 15 minutes then go on to 20 and so on. In this way you are going to train your body and mind to concentrate, and you’re not going to be so disrupted by discomfort.
It’s normal to only be able to last a short time when concentrating on the heart when you’re starting out, as the mind is not trained to focus on anything for long. But as you do your exercises regularly, your span of concentration will increase.
Given practice you’ll be more able to perceive the fainter heart beats, and visualizing in detail how your heart looks can naturally increase the perception of it.
I’ve been trying to astral travel several times now and I can feel myself getting close. But before I get anywhere I lose concentration on my heart either because my heart rate becomes more shallow and it’s really difficult to concentrate on it, or I become distracted by my own breathing. Can you please give me some advice on what to do?
When the heartbeat becomes too faint and obscure, you should visualize it; then you can keep focused on it better. With practice you don’t lose it like you have.
Once you feel the heart beating then visualize and concentrate on the heart, forgetting about the breathing, letting it return to normal, and, if you think about breathing at any time, go straight back to the heart. Eventually with some practice, the distraction from the breathing will subside. It’s a small state (ego) that’s affecting you.
Alternatively, you can try to feel the pulse or beat of the heart through the body or in part of the body, and stay with that.
I’ve tried to astral project numerous times and still no success. I can relax my body to the point where my body is tingling, almost as if it has fallen asleep, like what happens when you sit on your foot for a long time, but after that nothing. Sometimes, this feeling gets really severe and my body feels like it’s contorted into odd positions even though I’m just lying on my back. This also is hard to explain. One time, while I was trying to project, I was in steady relaxation for about 15 minutes and during the other five minutes my body felt like it was sideways even though I was lying on my back. Is this my astral body moving, or am I doing something wrong? Are there any dietary precautions I should be taking?
Once you relax, concentrate on the exercise without paying attention to the sensations that are happening.
When your body felt like it was sideways even though you were lying on your back, your astral body had already split. This was your astral body moving, although other parts of the astral body can also move separately from the physical body. Next time, slowly get up from bed, and then you can find yourself in the astral plane. You were not doing anything wrong – you were very close.
As far as dietary precautions go, the main thing is not to eat a heavy meal before you sleep or try to astral project.
Sometimes, when trying the exercise, I start feeling a heaviness and I start feeling as if I am being tilted in a circular motion and feel dizzy. I can carry on, but I have never got beyond this and I never feel as if I have fallen asleep. Am I doing the exercise correctly?
If you feel as though you are being tilted and are moving in a circular motion and this is quite noticeable, you can try slowly getting up from the bed to see if you are in the astral world, because you may just catch the moment after you have split. But if you are not quite there, it’s important to concentrate on the exercise you’re doing: the focusing of the mind will bring about the split.
Can you concentrate on breathing for astral projection? Because sometimes breathing blocks the feeling of the heart beating.
Yes you can use concentration on the breath to astral project; many people have had success with it, but don’t mix the two. If you’re concentrating on the heart, forget about the breathing; let it go on normally and just stay with the heart. You can also concentrate on the breathing alone as an exercise, but remember to stick to it. Don’t switch between it and the heart or anything else, or you may spoil the exercise.
I tried relaxing my body. The heartbeat was there and I could feel my heartbeat even shake the bed in rhythm, but when I tried to project there was nothing. Are we asleep when this happens or are we in that in-between stage of sleep and being awake?
You’re getting close, but if you’re not relaxed enough, you won’t be able to sleep and it’s needed for projection (watch you don’t get emotionally involved either, with tension for example).
Make sure you carry out the relaxation exercise firstly. Then concentrate on the heartbeat, but relax into it. Try also to visualize the heart a bit more when you do it. You may find that other exercises like mantras help you to relax more into the projection, until you learn more about how it works.
Don’t give up on the heartbeat though, because with a bit more practice you could get somewhere with it. It can take a lot of patience and persistence to get it.
When you felt your heartbeat shake the bed in rhythm you were in the in-between stage of sleep and wakefulness, when the splitting of the astral and physical bodies takes place, but as soon as a projection happens, the physical body is asleep.
I keep practicing the exercise, except I place my hands on my chest to better feel my heartbeat. Should I do this? Also, my heart does beat faster and faster, but then it feels like I have to fight to breathe, which usually breaks my concentration. What should I do?
Placing your hands on your chest is distracting you and you’re becoming too concerned with it.
As you start the practice, relax and go gently into it. When you begin to feel your heart beating, carry on as though your heart always beats that way and keep your concentration on the practice. Then, you will feel the first signs of astral projection.
However, once the signs appear you need to be concentrated on the practice and not get involved in what’s happening. This is very important, because with your excitement or your fear you either get stuck at one point or the exercise will come to an end
Keep going – you’re not very far from achieving it.
I just tried the heartbeat exercise. I lay down and relaxed my body twice. Then I focused on my breathing. First, I felt the beating in my ears. Then my feet up to my calves tingled and the tips of my hands. After that, I was hearing the beating in my chest. Then I felt this circular motion in the center of my chest near my heart, my feet, and my hands. Then I only remember waking up; I didn’t get to the jumping part. How am I progressing? What was this? Was it just in my mind or what? Should my eyes be open or closed?
You are getting there; you were splitting into the astral plane when you woke up.
Keep going with the exercise no matter what is starting to happen to you due to the process of splitting. Watch out for emotions too because they can easily wake you up.
You should have your eyes closed, as sleep will arrive better and you are less likely to be distracted.
How do you know when to stop concentrating on your heartbeat and know you’re out of your body?
You can be sure when you actually lift up out of your body.
Since I heard in the lesson about concentrating on the heartbeat, I tested it nearly every day. In the evening I always fall asleep, so I tested in the afternoon, which gave me some more results, but I only get some of the first things you describe – beeps in the ear and feeling heavy. Are there any other techniques that are a little more effective?
It sounds as though if you keep continuing with this one you will get some results. There are exercises that suit some people better than others however, and you can try different ones. It’s a matter of trying them and being very patient.
In general I’ve always been a light sleeper and maybe that’s why I am finding astral projection difficult. What’s the most important feature in reaching the astral plane: sleeping on the back, listening to the heartbeat or relaxation? I never sleep on my back, but I am trying to train myself. I am also blocking outside noise, but I haven’t made much progress. Is the main point of listening to the heartbeat to block out the subconscious thoughts and daydreaming so that they don’t mask the astral?
You should try to get all three of them right; you can be in any position that’s comfortable, but lying on the back is the most effective one for most people. The thing that helps astral projection most is concentration, by concentrating fully on the exercise that you’re doing. That’s why it’s important to practice concentration with the astral projection exercises and to concentrate upon what you’re doing during the day.
I’ve been doing the concentration on the heartbeat exercise. I have been doing it and all of a sudden, a rushing to the head feeling happens and then I feel like I am floating above my body. It is quite a pleasant, releasing feeling. I can’t see anything but black. I still have my eyes closed. Should I try opening them or will that break the exercise?
You should open your eyes when you reach that stage, because you have already gone into the astral plane. It will only break the exercise if you do it before you split.
I’ve tried to concentrate on my heart in both the lying and sitting positions, but I am getting no joy. At moments I can feel it ever so slightly flutter, but mostly I can’t feel a thing. What am I supposed to be sensing? Am I supposed to be sensing anything? If however, I hold my breath, I do feel it pounding in my chest. What should I do?
You need to be visualizing the heart, even if you can’t feel it very well. The more you do it, the more you will gradually begin to feel the heart. Later on you will feel your heart as soon as you concentrate on it, but getting visualization right is important. Maintaining visualization will enable you to project with this technique.
It’s important to practice visualization for at least 10 minutes a day; the more you do it, the more you will explore your heart and get interested in what the heart is spiritually. Visualization will also help you in any other astral exercise you do, because you learn to focus the mind.
I had an interesting experience last week that’s given me a lot to think about. I would appreciate your thoughts and advice regarding this matter.
After last week’s lecture, when I went to bed I was beautifully relaxed, concentrating on my heartbeat, when suddenly I thought “(main content of dream)” and that instant the buzzing symptom began with great intensity. It was quite remarkable. (Although I’m quite familiar with the buzzing sensation, I find it really uncomfortable and I’m trying to work through what I believe is fear, which prevents me from completely separating.)
I dislike the buzzing sensation so much that, in this instance I put my fingers in my ears in an attempt to dull it. After a short period of this I gently returned to my heartbeat, and with great hilarity realized that it was my astral body with which I had tried to block my ears!
To me, there are two issues that stand out: one – the thought connection to a previous dream event that clearly became a trigger to commence separation, which has never occurred to me before, and two – the feeling I get is that there is something I need to learn further by dealing with this dream/issue in the astral plane, even if it is to simply determine whether it is additional inner states (egos) making mischief.
Fear, avoidance and denial seem to be the obvious egos in this experience. So, if for the time being I set these aside, my curiosity and enthusiasm is fired, fear allayed, and I have room to develop more courage needed to actually separate, hopefully with the potential to learn something, which I feel may just hold something of deep, significant importance to me.
Thank you for you for providing simple access, and presenting this and other spiritual matters with a responsible approach.
You’ve made some interesting points. If you’ve been very relaxed and concentrating on your heartbeats, it’s likely that your concentration on the heart triggered off the steps for astral projection, to the point you were out of your body and closed your astral ears. You simply missed the separation as you may have drifted in and out of sleep.
There’s certainly a lot to learn from dreams; it’s good that you’re using your intuition to understand them. It could be the case that you’re being shown aspects of yourself, or something that you need to be aware of in that dream. That’s something for you to decipher with the help of your intuition and by looking into your life as you live it.
Fear of the unknown is very common, but experience and knowledge help a great deal with that type of fear. Having some initial courage you can begin to open many doors.
Note: This is information about the widely practiced exercise of astral projection. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice and any practice of astral projection is done at your own risk and is your own responsibility.