Sleep paralysis and the shadow figures
The subject of sleep paralysis is a fascinating subject for me. I used to be into all things astral and lucid and practiced the art of lucid dreaming and astral projection.
I have had many lucid dreams and a few experiences with astral projection. However one of the things that rally hindered my training was sleep paralysis.
What is Sleep Paralysis?
A phenomenon in which a person, either falling asleep or awakening, temporarily experiences an inability to move, speak or react. It is a transitional state between wakefulness and sleep characterized by complete muscle atonia (muscle weakness). (Source – Wikipedia)
Sleep paralysis is when the mind is awake and conscious but the body is totally asleep. You are literally paralysed and you are lying there wondering what the hell is going on. But it doesn’t stop there, at least for me. When I used to get the sleep paralysis episodes I always got the shadow figures coming to visit me.
The shadow figures, as I called them, usually congregated around the bottom or at the side of my bed. I was terrified of them as I hadn’t a clue what they were and why I would be getting them. I presumed, rightly or wrongly, that they were dreamlike figures manifested from a partially sleeping brain. There is no other way to describe it. My mind was awake, my body was sleeping, and another part of my mind was partially asleep.
What I couldn’t figure out was why the figures only appeared during sleep paralysis episodes.
To get out of the sleep paralysis I had to command one finger to move, any finger. If I could do this I was able to wake my whole body up.
Due to the sleep paralysis episodes being so scary, I discontinued the practice of astral projection. However I continued with the lucid dreaming.
There were two occasions when I managed to get myself out of my body, one of them I can’t really say for definite if it was dream or not. The other genuine time happened just after a sleep paralysis episode. I managed to get through the fear of the sleep paralysis, my motivation was particularly high. When I got through it I sort of asked my mind to get out of my body. My conscious immediately took me to another body floating just above my sleeping body. I asked to go a little higher which it did and then I turned around and saw myself sleeping. I became too excited at this point and woke up. I have never had another experience like this, although I wish I could.
The reason I was reminded of the sleep paralysis episodes was because I had another episode after taking a nap the other day. I was dozing when I got the noise in my head (the noise is kind of like a white noise just before dozing of a little deeper) then came the partial sleep paralysis, I had to consciously wake up about 6 times in case the paralysis took hold. It was strange having it during the day but no less scary.
I think I will practice again at night. It involves waking myself up after a few hours sleep and consciously falling asleep again. This is when we pay attention to the act of falling asleep and it makes it easier for lucid dreams and for the sleep paralysis. This time I would have my wife lying next to me instead of being on my own as I was 5-10 years ago.
Have you ever had the experience of sleep paralysis?