February 27, 2012
“We live in a society that tells us life is only as big as our five senses, but when you suddenly learn through your own experience that it is possible to transcend the physical world, then the boundaries of your world really broaden.”
--former TMI executive director Paul Rademacher
Theresa Vargas is a Washington Post staff writer. Last fall she attended the Gateway Voyage program at The Monroe Institute. Her story, "An out-of-body experience could just be a beat away in Virginia," was published this weekend in the Lifestyle magazine section of the Sunday Post. From the story --
“I’ve done other programs here,” the firefighter is saying. “In one, we learned to bend spoons with our minds.”
“And you did it? You bent it?”
“Everyone did it,” the firefighter says. Broadman’s bushy eyebrows arch high. This is his first dinner at The Monroe Institute®, a cluster of buildings perched on more than 300 acres in the Virginia foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He will spend the next six days here, attending a program that will ask just one thing of him and other participants: to consider that they might be more than their physical bodies.
The institute uses audio technology to help induce different states of consciousness. The technology is touted as creating optimal conditions for the brain, leading to “peak human performance.”
Broadman doesn’t expect much. A self-described “alpha cynic,” he is here for the adventure. In an e-mail his daughter will send — one that he will share with me late one night — she writes, “Hope you’re having fun and don’t come back weird....”
I’m here to better understand a place that not even those who live in surrounding Nelson County know much about, and to see if, even one person at a time, the institute can fulfill its ambitious five-word vision statement: “The Global Awakening of Humanity.”
My room is quaint, if a little underwhelming, until I notice the bed.
It’s a nook cut into the wall, and to get inside you crawl through a black, double-layered curtain. Inside, you have the sense you are in a cushioned vault, undisturbed by light or sound. Above each mattress dangles headphones. We will slip them on several times a day, lie in the darkness and wait for Monroe’s baritone voice to guide us into the unknown. Each time, the experience will change, forcing us to explore a different part of ourselves. In one, we will look for dull spots on our bodies that might need healing, and in another, we will envision where we want to be in a year or more.
On our first full day, we are introduced to a state of consciousness known as “Mind awake, body asleep.” The recording begins with the sound of waves lapping against the sand and seagulls crying in the distance.
“Now, close your eyes and relax,” Monroe instructs us. He then tells us to imagine “an energy conversion box,” capable of holding all our distractions. “A box so strong that no one but you can open it. And nothing you put in it can get out unless you take it out.
“Now, close the lid on your box, close it tightly and turn away, turn away from your box, putting it behind you. Put it behind you and relax...."
...A man in dress slacks and a collared shirt sits cross-legged on the floor. He introduces himself as Joe McMoneagle and says he was the first member of the U.S. government’s experimental psychic spying program. He was Remote Viewer 001, he says, capable of sitting in one place and describing in detail another location. (According to documents declassified in the 1990s, the program, started in the 1970s and eventually dubbed Star Gate, was first run by the CIA, then the Defense Intelligence Agency. A government-commissioned group eventually found it too unreliable and inconsistent for spying purposes.)
McMoneagle says he first came to the Monroe Institute in the 1980s. He wanted to find a way to “cool down” more quickly from one remote-viewing assignment to another. For 14 months, he worked directly with Monroe, who eventually created a recording just for him.
More than 10,000 people across the world have been tested for remote-viewing skills and not one person has shown zero capability, McMoneagle says. “So, I’m sorry, you are all psychic,” he tells the group. “It’s part of being human.”
... On the subject of UFOs, he says, “To think we’re the only intelligent species is ridiculous.”
Broadman raises his hand. He says that he is struck by how McMoneagle believes with certainty that these often doubted phenomenon exist.
“I also know psychic ability is real,” McMoneagle says.
“But that’s not the norm,” Broadman says.
“It should be,” McMoneagle says....
From "Out-of-body experiences: Could you have one?" by Amanda McGrath, The Washington Post BlogPost --
While Vargas and the others in the program underwent their sessions in private rooms, the Institute sometimes monitors participants in its lab to gather data. This video shows what the experience is like.
And check out these awesome photos taken by the Post at the Roberts Mountain Retreat and Nancy Penn Center campuses!
http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/at-the-monroe-institute-a-spiritual-experience-could-just-be-a-beat-away/2012/01/27/gIQA9RdrXR_story.html" target="_blank">See full source article here.
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