what is an out of body experience

What is an Out of Body Experience?

Can we master the ability to explore what lies beyond the dense limits of our bodies? Can we transcend the limitations of our physical form so that we may spiritually evolve and gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of life?

A common theme of most major religions is that the soul survives the death of the body. However, do we have to wait until our body dies to have an out-of-body experience? 

What is an Out-of-Body Experience?

An out-of-body experience (OBE or sometimes OOBE) is when a person observes the world from a location outside of their physical body. They can control where they go. Reports of out-of-body experiences (OBEs) vary. Some describe little more than a fleeting feeling that body and mind have come loose, while others recount tales of floating far from the person’s physical body and traveling to otherworldly planes. Some call this astral projection.

william buhlman obe techniques

“No matter what we believe or don’t believe, we will eventually separate from the chrysalis of our flesh in order to experience our spiritual essence. Eventually we must master the ability to explore beyond our dense limits, for transcending these limits is at the very heart of our spiritual evolution.” —William Buhlman, author of The Secret of the Soul: Using Out-of-Body Experiences to Understand Our True Nature

William Buhlman

william buhlman obe techniques

As a young college student, author William Buhlman had a friend tell him about having a spontaneous out-of-body experience, during which he woke from sleep and suddenly found himself floating above his bed, looking down at his dormant body below. 

Excited by his friend’s account, Buhlman decided that if his friend could do it, he could do it.

He found a book on OBEs that said to practice “The Target Technique,” focusing on objects in a room that you wish to visit out of your body. He decided to visit his mother’s house. Every night he focused on things in his mothers’ house that he had made for her as a child.

He tried for weeks. He was about to give up when on the twenty-fifth day, he had a strange, vivid dream that he was sitting at a round table with several people. 

“They all seemed to be asking me questions related to my self-development and state of consciousness. At that moment in the dream, I began to feel extremely dizzy, and a strange numbness, like from Novocain, began to spread throughout my body. Unable to keep my head up in the dream, I passed out, hitting my head on the table. Instantly I was awake, fully conscious, lying on my side in a small single bed facing the wall. I reached out my arm — and my arm actually entered the wall. I could feel the vibrational energy of it as if I was touching its very molecular structure. That’s when it hit me… I tried to stay calm. And the next thing I know, I’m standing at the foot of my bed, obviously out of my body. I thought, Oh my God, I did it! I started looking around, and I was aware that I could see beyond the walls of the room.”  

What happened next was even more astonishing.

“I saw the figure of a man with dark hair and a beard in a purple robe who seemed to be observing me. His presence scared me, and I instantly snapped back into my physical body. That strange feeling of numbness and tingling faded as I opened my eyes. It was brief but life-changing because it changed my entire outlook on reality.” — William Buhlman, author of The Secret of the Soul: Using Out-of-Body Experiences to Understand Our True Nature

One in 10 People Report Having an Out of Body Feeling

One in 10 people have near-death experiences (NDEs) and OBEs, according to a 2019 study analyzing over 1,000 participants from 35 countries. During these NDEs, 87% reported abnormal time perception, 65% report having exceptional speed of thought, 63% report extremely vivid senses, and 53% said they felt separated from or out of their bodies.

Children Report Having OBEs the Most

In the book, The Secret of the Soul, author William Buhlman presents his research into out-of-body experiences of over 16,000 survey responses from over thirty countries, making this the most extensive study of OBEs ever conducted. Buhlman found many of the letters he received were from concerned parents reporting that their children (mostly around 4-12 years old) were having OBEs. These children consistently reported a high incidence of the vibrations, sounds, and phenomena associated with OBEs. They described being fully conscious while being out of their bodies. 

oit of body experience

Children between the ages of 4 and 6 describe flying or floating. However, most of the children between 6 and 12 describe meeting with teachers during their OBE. These older children commonly report walking through walls, attending meetings or classes, and even communicating with people who have died. They may even develop close friendships with nonphysical beings. 

The out-of-body experiences of these childrens’ provide a unique learning environment—one that teaches them to confront their fears, develop relationships with their spiritual guides, and resolve karmic situations.

“When I was little, I would tell my mom that every night, when I was sleeping, I would leave my body and go to heaven school to learn how to be human. Almost every morning I would tell her what I learned. I would tell her things that there was no other way for me to know. I was not in school yet and did not watch TV.” —LUCY R., HOUSTON, TEXAS

Children’s out-of-body experiences are an integral part of their spiritual development. Often they are having adventures they can’t explain. They are experiencing ethereal, thought-responsive dimensions of reality beyond their linear concepts of time and space. Children experience unusual sounds, vibrations, and paralysis that commonly occur before an OBE. When these children attempt to tell their parents about their adventures, they often discover that Mom and Dad are less than receptive, if not patronizing. The common refrain they hear is, “It was only a dream.”


These children are still young enough to realize that they are eternal spiritual beings free to explore beyond their physical surroundings. As they enter their teens, these experiences taper off as they become physically indoctrinated and more materialistic. Society teaches children that they are made of dense physical matter and that OBEs are physically impossible. Buhlman has spent a lifetime proving that it is indeed possible that we can break the physical boundaries of our bodies and explore the secrets of the soul. 

Death is Not the End

what is an out of body experience

The research that William Buhlman has done on out-of-body experiences provides substantial evidence that when someone dies, that person has, in fact, only changed their vibratory rate. The person is still very much alive and well. Buhlman has essentially validated that there is indeed life after death. 


Of the 16,000 OBE survey respondents, 24% involved contact with a departed loved one, and 22% reported the presence of a nonphysical being. Increasing evidence suggests that most communication is with individuals we have known at some point in our past. Often spirits are attracted to us because there is a connection to our soul group, a past life, or an emotional or spiritual relationship. 

Life at Death

Dr. Kenneth Ring, the well-known researcher and author of Life at Death, has studied the results of near-death and out-of-body experiences for over two decades. 

In a 2008 book, Mindsight: Near-Death and Out-of-Body Experiences in the Blind, Dr. Ring concludes that the blind can see after leaving their body. He sums up his research in the following statement: 


“Our interviews with both NDErs and OBErs offer abundant testimony that reports of vivid visions among the blind (even those blind from birth) are common during their OBEs.” — Kenneth Ring 

What it Feels Like to Have an OBE

OBEs create vibrational states which may include paralysis, rushes of energy, loud sounds, voices, and other strange events. The energy effects of the vibrational state are often sudden, shocking, and unexplainable by modern science. These energy phenomena result in the rapid and extensive opening of one or more chakras during sleep. It is a massive inner-energy flow.

The Benefits of Out-of-Body Exploration

New insights and miracles are reported frequently during self-initiated out-of-body experiences.  For example, it is common for the blind to see and the disabled to walk or even fly. This occurs because the spiritual body (also known as the etheric body) that we experience during an OBE is the subtle energy duplicate of our physical body.

pulling the mind out of the body

This spiritual body is the direct energy substructure of our physical body. It is an energy vehicle that is molded by our state of consciousness. Our thoughts shape and create our reality. Out-of-body exploration has confirmed that our nonphysical body and its surroundings are highly responsive to thought.


During a self-directed out-of-body experience, it becomes apparent that our mind creates the abilities and limitations we have in the material world. During an OBE, our focused thoughts can manifest any energy shape. According to Buhlman, “this realization opens the door to incredible opportunities for accelerated personal growth.” 

“During an OBE, focused thoughts are required to create…this is one of the primary spiritual lessons we are here to learn. The unaware remain in the dense outer dimensions of the universe until they learn to exercise complete responsibility for their thoughts and actions. They then must learn to escape from the dense gravity field consisting of matter, form, and emotion. Eventually, they recognize and break free from the illusions of form and consciously pursue and experience their spiritual essence. One highly effective method of achieving this goal is self-initiated out-of-body exploration.” —William Buhlman, author of The Secret of the Soul: Using Out-of-Body Experiences to Understand Our True Nature

Tranformative Benefits Resulting From OBEs

      •  Increased respect for life
      • Expansive self-concept extending beyond the physical
      • Increased spiritual connection
      • Reduced hostility and violence
      • Greater awareness of reality
      • Increased interest in a personal search for knowledge and wisdom
      • Increased self-respect and sense of responsibility
      • Personal verification of immortality.
      • Expanded awareness of our interconnection with others 
      • Dramatic psychological changes due to potential encounters with spiritual beings, loved ones, or guides

Real Stories of Out-of-Body Experiences

We Create Our Own Reality

do your thoughts create your reality

These energy principles are fundamental to all of us because we possess the natural ability to shape and mold our own reality. However, we must first recognize and embrace our creative capabilities in order to manifest our desired reality. This energy restructuring occurs much faster when we are out-of-body because the energy environment is highly thought-responsive. 


The use of creative visualization and the law of attraction is based on these energy principles. When we hold an image in our mind, we are forming an energy mold within the unseen dimensions of the universe. When we embrace our creative abilities, we are often amazed at the miracles that occur in our life. 


This energy process is also the key to manifesting our desires while in the physical world. The only difference between the physical and nonphysical is the time it takes for the formation of the new reality to become manifest. The density of matter simply slows the energy-restructuring process.

“This is why it is so important that we consciously recognize and exercise our personal creative and spiritual abilities. Our thoughts build our reality in every dimension of the universe. Many people never recognize this universal truth because the density of matter slows the creative manifestation of thought and obscures this fact. The entire physical universe is essentially a slowed-down molecular training ground designed for the evolution of developing consciousness.” —William Buhlman, author of The Secret of the Soul: Using Out-of-Body Experiences to Understand Our True Nature

The Genesis of Research Into OBEs

In 2014, the first person to be studied capable of having OBEs on demand was a psychology graduate student at the University of Ottawa. The 24-year-old subject “continued to perform this experience as she grew up assuming, as mentioned, that ‘everyone could do it.” 

This is how she described her out-of-body experiences: “She was able to see herself rotating in the air above her body, lying flat, and rolling along with the horizontal plane. She reported sometimes watching herself move from above but remained aware of her unmoving “real” body. 


The study was published Feb.10, 2014 in the journal Frontiers of Human Neuroscience. Researchers conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study of her brain. 

They found that it surprisingly involved a strong deactivation of the part of the brain that controls vision.

strong deactivation of the part of the brain that controls vision
strong deactivation of the part of the brain that controls vision

Instead, the experience activated the areas that control bodily movements. Learn more. 

Read more about “Real Stories of Out-of Body Experiences” 

Coming Soon: “How to Have an Out of Body Experience” 

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