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May 23

Back to the Basics: Mind Awake, Body Asleep

The state of being “mind awake, body asleep” has been referred to by many as “the Monroe Method” when discussing having an out of body experience. However, the idea of “mind awake, body asleep” can and should be applied to any of your meditations regardless of the focus level you are trying to access (though it is regularly associated with Focus 10). It’s a state of awareness that is associated with having OBEs (out of body experiences) as well as experiencing lucid dreaming. I feel that we hear about this state while we’re going through our programs at the Monroe Institute, so I wanted to bring us all back to the basics today to discuss how to exist in the “mind awake, body asleep” state and the obstacles to avoid that could get in your way when meditating there.

By scanning my body and releasing the tension, I find that I can truly relax enough to feel that it’s in the state of being “asleep”.

How to get into the relaxed state of “mind awake, body asleep”

While speaking with a handful of people about this state, many say that sometimes, you just nail it. You naturally get comfortable when you begin meditation, and you fall right into the state of being “mind awake, body asleep”. Other times, it’s hard to hit no matter how much you try. My best advice to access this state is to just relax into a deep meditation. Being in this state means having your body be effectively asleep while your mind is still active in your meditation exercise. I’ve found success in this by scanning down my body in the beginning of a meditation, section by section, and slowly releasing any and all tension from each area of the body, one small step at a time. By scanning my body and releasing the tension, I find that I can truly relax enough to feel that it’s in the state of being “asleep”. The longer you still your body throughout an exercise, the more it seems to tingle and become less accessible to you. It all comes down to relaxation. All the while, you should be focusing on what you’re experiencing in your mind throughout the meditation. Your mind effectively stays awake, while your body goes into a state of extreme relation, effectively feeling as if it is asleep. Hence, the name.

The obstacles we can face in this state

The main obstacle I experience when trying to fall into this state of awareness is getting in my own way by being in my head. The more I try to over-analyze it, the harder it is to access. To achieve this state, you need to stay calm and go with the flow. It can be easier said than done, but try to get out of your own head. It’s also important to be open and imaginative. To experience your mind being awake in an exercise, I can’t stress enough the importance of opening yourself up to imaginative play. Don’t take the experience or yourself too seriously, or you could get in your own way. The more we “expect” to have a certain experience, the less likely we are to have it.  The more open and honest we are with ourselves, the more likely we’ll surprise ourselves with an enlightening meditation in the “mind awake, body asleep” state.

The more we “expect” to have a certain experience, the less likely we are to have it. 

I will also point out that while you shouldn’t be moving your body much in this state, if you have an itch, scratch it. It keeps you much more in the moment if you simply deal with being uncomfortable quickly and release it than if you’re thinking about being uncomfortable for minutes at a time.

Being in a state of “mind awake, body asleep” is a very gentle and easy place to fall into as long as you don’t try too hard to get there. With a small amount of trust and effortlessness, you can find yourself there in each exercise you conduct.

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Malorie Mackey

Actress, author and adventurer

Malorie Mackey is an actress, host, and writer living in Los Angeles, CA. Malorie's first book was published in 2017 and her short story "What Love Has Taught Me" has been published in the anthology "Choices.” You can find Malorie’s travel content on dozens of digital media platforms. Check out www.maloriesadventures.com for more. Malorie's adventures don't just encompass physical adventures. She has been a student of intuition since she was a teenager, studying at Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. In 2019, Malorie discovered the Monroe Institute while filming her travel show. Since then, she has been studying the art and science of consciousness through many different programs and life experiences.