You’ve probably heard of mystical experiences, but what exactly are they? Even more importantly, how do we achieve mystical states? We define a mystical experience as the conscious encountering of the numinous - of something incomprehensibly expansive and divine. If you’ve ever experienced being “one with the universe” you most likely had a mystical experience.
Just as with anything else, there are different levels or degrees of intensity to which you can have a mystical experience. In general, these types of experiences tend to have a lasting effect on those who go through it.
They tend to be life changing, usually altering your perception and understanding of reality even after the experience has concluded and you return to your “normal” everyday life routine.
People who have had mystical experiences tend to be particularly compassionate and empathetic, and are more conscientious of the decisions they make day-to-day. They truly understand that there is a grander plan at play, and that not everything revolves around them. As a result of the ego dissolution that one experiences during a mystical state, they become more humble and less self centered.
Does having a mystical experience sound like something you’d be interested in? If so, read about five ways you can have a mystical experience.
Through deep meditation, you can have a mystical experience. Meditation helps to bring awareness to the present moment, and ultimately allows us to dissolve our egos if we achieve a deep enough state. When this happens, experienced meditators report tapping into a source much greater than themselves. Some people have out of body experiences and experience astral projections.
The downside to this method is that it often takes people years, even decades, to achieve a deep enough meditative state to have a mystical experience. Some people are never able to achieve a deep enough state in their lifetime. It requires a ton of discipline and consistency, and meditating for ten minutes a day simply isn’t going to result in a mystical experience (there are rare exceptions to this of course).
If you want to get skilled enough at meditation to have mystical experiences regularly, you should probably live in an Ashram for an extended period of time, or maybe take an apprenticeship under an experienced monk or guru.
Shamanic drumming is a wonderful way to achieve a mystical experience, and for the most part won’t require years of dedication like it would with meditation. These drumming ceremonies combine music, vibrations, physical movement and breathing techniques to unlock altered states of consciousness. When practiced under the direction of an experienced guide or shaman, people often times report having mystical experiences.
One of the benefits of shamanic drumming rituals is that there is relatively low risk involved in the practice, and while intense, they tend to be easy to participate in effectively. Because these are often practiced in groups, it helps to have everyone around you participating in the activity.
The energy of the group tends to help bring about the altered states much more naturally as well. If you are interested in participating in a shamanic drumming ritual, a quick Google search in your local area should put you in the right direction.
Vision quests, which often times entail multi-day fasting, are an incredibly effective way to achieve a mystical experience. During a vision quest, you are often times alone and out in the wilderness. You are deprived of food and other basic necessities than one living in a first world country is usually accustomed to (electronic devices, a bathroom, a bed, etc.)
Due to the isolation and lack of food, you are forced into a completely different state of consciousness. Your subconscious tends to surface and expand, and you eventually reach a breakthrough point where you have a vision of something very significant and symbolic for your life.
This breakthrough point usually takes several days to reach. One of the major downsides to vision quests is that there is a decent risk involved in one’s physical health and safety. Definitely consult a licensed physician about your health before embarking on a vision quest.
Certain breath and body work, such as bioenergetics, can bring about mystical states. These types of exercises rely on breathing techniques to alter one’s conscious state. Some examples of this would be Holotropic breathing and the Wim Hof method. Unlike meditation, there is a much higher likelihood that you can achieve a mystical state within the first few sessions of doing these breathing exercises. The breath is the life force of the human experience. It flows through us all and connects us to the eternal source of the universe.
We would like to start off by saying there are risks involved in the consumption of psychedelics, especially for individuals who have schizophrenia or some form of psychosis. It is also a risk if you have a family history of schizophrenia or some form of psychosis.
We are only suggesting you consider taking psychedelics if you’ve had a thorough discussion with a licensed doctor, and are also taking the drug under the supervision of a trained professional.
Unfortunately, there is still widespread stigma regarding psychedelic substances such as magic mushrooms and LSD. If you are someone who holds a negative view towards psychedelics, we highly encourage you to read the book How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan.
The fact of the matter is, psychedelics (also known as plant medicines) have highly therapeutic benefits if taken responsibly and in line with certain protocols. At high doses, these substances can bring about extraordinary mystical experiences.
Psychedelics means “mind manifesting” because they allow our deep subconscious to rise to the surface. Plant medicines allow us to break up outdated neural connections in our brain so that we can form newer, healthier ones. Tons of research has shown the effectiveness of psychedelics in treating all kinds of mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety and addictions.
The primary downside to these substances is that they are still Schedule I, which means that there are extreme legal consequences if one is found selling, in possession of, or under the influence of these substances. Great strides are being made in the medical community to change the classification of psychedelics, as well as the rigid and antiquated laws regarding their use.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about these five ways to have a mystical experience. However, reading this article can only bring you so far; it is only the first step. It is up to you to experiment and take the next steps in achieving the mystical state using the method(s) listed above. Do more research and look for local communities and programs that can help you achieve mystical states. Keep exploring. Keep learning. Keep growing.
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