I've been working through one of Bruce's tape sets for the last three months. Don't ask me why it's taking me months to work through a 2-day seminar, I don't know. (: I finally got to the first retrieval exercise on tape 7 tonight, and thought it might be interesting to post my notes!
Just as a quick introduction: Though I first read Bruce's books back in 2000 I've never really tried retrieving anybody, except immediately after 911 when I gave it a flailing shot anyway. I figured they could use all the help they could get, bumbling or otherwise. Posted the results here at the time.
I've also never had an OBE, though I've gotten fair-to-middling at meditating from using assorted TMI tapes. The most "out there" experience I've ever had was hearing a distinct "not quite me" voice giving me advice a couple of times in autumn 2001. (I'm still working on repeating that one! :)
2002.01.11 Friday. Moen-oid Retrieval #1.
Listening to side 7b of the Virginia Jan '01 cassette set (But had to switch tapes partway through! LOL).
18:00 or so, sitting in my "relatively-comfy-chair," neighborhood dog occasionally barking outside. Dim lighting.
Before starting the tape, I was sitting at the computer idly moving energy from my feet, up and out the top of my head and back down around in a sphere-ish kind of way, focusing mostly on a general feeling of flow rather than obsessing about making sure the energy identifiably moves every step of the way. Sort of a combination of Bruce's Energy Gathering Breaths, New Energy Ways, and a pseudo-REBAL. (You know, unless you know Bruce's techniques, and Robert Bruce's NEW stuff, and the Monroe Institute terminology, that sentence makes absolutely no sense, does it? (: Sheesh...) At one point I just suddenly felt like this was a good time to close the computer and start the exercise. Fair enough - I try to avoid being oblivious...
Following Bruce's instructions on the tape, I did the preliminary Deep Relaxing Breaths etc etc, including the new addition of remembering assorted activities of the day. As always, my breaths are apparently deeper than average, as I found myself once again hurrying along to get three in before Bruce started telling us to do something else!
The moment I asked for a Helper, or even a bit before while Bruce was still in the process of telling us to ask, a dark triangle-ish shape quickly scooted into my left field of vision from off stage left. Dang those Helpers are fast! (: It was darker than the rest of my closed-eye field of "vision," which was interesting - haven't seen this sort of thing before. But anyway, a Good Sign. Focused on this a bit, but didn't manage to get more detail.
Note: Somewhere in the middle of the retrieval I noticed that my attention was occasionally wandering. I paused and asked for greater focus/clarity, and while there was no immediate effect, a bit later I suddenly sunk into a more silent, focused mode without any effort on my part. Another first.
When I asked to be led to somebody who needs a retrieval, I got a few disjointed images: the base of a stone structure, a rough-rock/gravel-strewn ground, a man face-down against the slope of a long depression in the ground. (Not as fast as that makes it sound - the impressions lazily filtered in one by one.) I put that together to get sense of a man lying in a rough ditch, perhaps at the base of the kind of wall you might have around an ancient city.
Asked him what he was doing, and got a feeling of a reply that he just couldn't get up.
Asked his name, and got a double image, of first a triangle, and then above it what appeared to be a word with all the letters except the first letter covered up with a rectangle or something. The letter kind of looked like an unusual variation on a capital A, and this together with the triangle suggested to me a primitive version of the letter A (like from thousands of years ago when the letters of our alphabet were still forming from their original pictographs). Thought of him as "A-------" from here out.
Asking what happened, I got sort of a "Duh, I fell." Implying, "I'm lying in a ditch at the base of the wall, whadda ya think happened?"
Asking for something that would identify him, at least to his friends, I got an image of a puzzle/game with polished wood (?) pieces that you stack to form a structure or tower. The pieces were of assorted interesting shapes, and when put together make a pointy tower (in contrast to the square, flat-topped tower that you get with a similar game I've seen in the stores).
When the Helper took him away, I got an immediate sense of a moving vehicle, specifically of some form of tank treads (which certainly didn't match my working-interperetation so far, of a fairly early walled-city civilization). A solid sense of movement toward the left (say, in the direction of 10 o'clock). I tagged along with it, without much difficulty.
When they stopped, my impressions were noticably vaguer. The inside of some structure, perhaps a hangar or similar "functional" building.
When I left with the Helper, I got another feeling of movement from our retrievee, in a vehicle moving somehow similar to the way a submarine would glide through the water while surfaced, but with the impression of a largish open area in the top of the vehicle where A------ apparently was (along with others?) (This suggested the previous structure might have been something like a sub hangar/base? Dunno.)
Asked for any other information from the Helper that might help me understand:
Image 1: A------, among a dozen or so men in a cramped room, dressed all in black (uniforms? Either pants and long-sleeved shirts, or black coveralls), apparently standing at attention along the three sides of the room that I could see. Got the impression that someone was talking intently at them, perhaps they were recieving orders, or being chewed out by him...
Image 2: A lone image of an indoor gallows (with guillotine), followed by a sillhouette of an unidentified man hanging from a noose. At first this suggested suicide to me, but the guillotine seemed to imply more of a deliberate killing. Could he have been pushed off the wall?
Asked the Helper if there were anything else, and got an image of a stylized eye, which I interepereted to mean "If you're interested, go look for yourself."
Since that seemed to be it, I thanked the Helper, and got up to get my PowerBook to write this down.
It's probably a good sign that it never occurred to me to question what I was "seeing," or agonize during the times when nothing was coming in. It's only after writing this that I can look at it and say that I appear to have been rather successful, at least in terms of getting some at least sort of results. I wouldn't say I felt "confident" doing it, but rather I just _forgot_ to feel not-confident (if that makes sense...) dispite my lack of experience. Not that I'm complaining. (:
I definitely want to keep writing detailed reports like this. The contrast between my overall image of the retrieval at the moment I finished it, and now that I've written it out, is like night and day. When I first opened my eyes, I was thinking, "I percieved _some_ stuff, but not that much. Well let's write it down anyway." But sitting down to make notes allowed me to focus on it more, and it looks like I remembered a lot more than I thought I had.
I started by just jotting down disjointed bits here and there, and then going back and filling in the details, which allowed me to get a quick overview of the whole experience and helped cement it in my mind. Then when the basics were covered, it's like my mind was now free to go back and pull out memories of more details here and there, so I put those in too.
Looking back on what I wrote, it looks almost coherent! What a concept!
Though having the tape end partway through this exercise thus requiring me to put in the next tape wasn't what I'd anticipated :D, interestingly enough it didn't bother me. That's probably because Bruce's method doesn't require you to enter a massively deep meditative state like say OBE training wants you to do. If an OBE tape had stopped partway in I'd probably have been bumped out of the relaxed state, but when this tape ended in the middle of things, I just smiled and put the new tape in, and off we went. (: It helps that this isn't the kind of tape you're supposed to listen to every time you use the technique. That's somehow freeing.
It's nice having somebody (i.e. Bruce) walk me through the process, rather than just reading about it. Reading is nice, and useful for assembling a list of things to keep in mind, but whenever possible I prefer to metaphorically look over somebody's shoulder to get a "feel" for an activity. That's the way I learn the best. Just to get the feel for the timing, the level of intensity or laid-backness, that sort of thing. In that, and looking at the results, I'd say the tapes just paid for themselves.
Anyway, it took at least as long to write this as it took to do it in the first place, so I hope somebody enjoys it!
This could be fun...
Pres in Japan