Once in a blue moon, life can lift you into an unforeseen adventure like some protagonist unknowingly lured into a mystical journey and a break from the mundane. Being at the Monroe Institute was like walking into a real-life episode of Altered Carbon fused with Black Mirror with a dash of Inception.
What would read as pure fiction would be with no doubts one of the most real experiences I have ever lived. Let’s tumble down the rabbit hole shall we?
The beginning of the journey already had this uncanny series of unforeseen circumstances. Unknown to myself at the time, (March 2nd, 2018) a large storm had hit the East Coast. Over 3,000 flights on the East Coast had been canceled do to Nor’Easter, the second in a week dubbed the “Bomb” cyclone.
The airport in Kelowna at 5:00am in the morning was the busiest I have ever seen. Mind you I don’t travel that much and thought maybe it is always this busy on a Friday morning. The line-up was massive, so I wait until the Kiosk clears avoiding the line to the flight attendant counter. To my dismay, my passport and travel code were being rejected. This stewardess attempts to help me seeing me scratch my head in confusion, only to confirm the bad news. I had to go through the larger line.
Reluctantly I walk to the back of the line and wait another 30 minutes before I arrive at the guest counter. It turns out my bag was not going to make it all the way to my destination. The friendly attendant informs me she has to phone to have the back properly routed. She asked if my itinerary had changed and I said that it had, showing her the most recent version.
“No problem”, she says. “Someone must have made a mistake connecting your bag to your flights. We can have that fixed shortly.”
“Thank-you!” I tell her, “I couldn’t imagine arriving to my destination without my bag. I’ve been wanting to go on this trip for 30 years, so you saved me a tremendous amount of trouble.”
She smiles and nods, “It’s going to take a while do to some cancellations.”
45 minutes later, she routes the bag. I’m already panicking that I might miss the flight and race through security. Boarding had already began and finally I was on the plane. The worse was over, I relaxed and let go of all the travel anxiety I had. Finally, my first ever vacation with only myself. My birthday is on March 15th, so this trip was also a personal present to myself. It meant the world to me.
The plane takes off and after a while I decide I better check the connecting flight having raced through security I hadn’t taken the time to look. For some strange reason the time was saying 11:38am, yet on my itinerary the time was 2:00pm. Confused, I couldn’t figure out why. Was it the time change? Finally I notice the departure date was the following day.
This instantly causes severe panic! I had a hotel booked and arranged for the Monroe Institute to pick me up at 10:30am the following day. My arrival time was now 9:00pm on the 3rd. Distraught I walked up to the front of the plane and explained my problem with the flight attendant. She looked up the reason.
“Oh, looks like all flights on the East Coast have been canceled due to a severe storm.” She explains.
Frustrated at not knowing my flight changed I explained, “I wasn’t told my flight was canceled or had changed. Only that my bag was not connected.” Then I told her my dilemma of how I was on my dream vacation to a destination that took me 30 years to finally travel to for my birthday no less. I told her I understood that they cannot control the weather and realized there was nothing I could do about it until we landed in Toronto.
The whole flight I was a wreck, miserable and feeling like a big ugly cloud followed me. Was I going to be stuck in an airport for 30 hours? Where was I going to sleep? I didn’t want to pay for a hotel. My attitude was taking it all personal. Figures out of all the time I would chose to go on this adventure it would be somehow sabotaged by unforeseen circumstances.
My mind races about solutions, perhaps I could rent a car or catch a bus. There are always solutions to any problem so I assured myself everything would work out. When I arrived in Toronto, I discovered that buses also were canceled due to fallen trees and power lines, so renting a car was out of the question.
Could this trip get any worse? I was about to cancel everything and tell them to just fly me back. Defeated, I decided to complain about the situation how had I knew the flights were canceled I would have preferred to fly out the following day. In a very kind manner I explained the situation to guest services and the lady gave me a free hotel and 3 meal vouchers.
Finally, some sense of sanity among the chaos. I can handle missing the first day, I’m sure it will still be a fun adventure. I had so many questions and curiosities related to my 31 years of lucid dream experiences and consciousness during sleep adventures. I couldn’t miss this opportunity.
The next day, I check to ensure the new flights are still available. Everything is good except at the last minute a gate change happens on my last flight causing everyone to have to scramble to the other side of the Airport.
When I finally arrive in Charlottesville, to my surprise I was greeted at when my flight arrived at 7:00pm by a driver holding a Monroe Institute sign. This was unexpected as the arrival sheet informed me that they only shuttled up to 4:00pm that day. I was prepared to taxi ride out but this was beyond welcomed after what I had gone through. Just one of the many acts of kindness that I would be shown during my stay.
There was one more attendant who was caught up in the cancellations. For some reason the bag check dragged on with no bags. People from our flight remembering the gate change started to become concerned that maybe our bags didn’t make it. Again, a sense of anxiety hits. It takes over 45 minutes before the bags start to arrive, and finally I see mine ride down the conveyor belt.
There was another student who was caught in the cancellations. She was this very nice Asian lady filled with excitement and enthusiasm for her journey. We get to know each other as we drive towards the Institute. The damage from the storm was evident everywhere. Fallen trees that had been cut with chainsaw and their pieces pushed to the side of the roads were everywhere giving this eerie sense of being in the aftermaths in some disaster movie.
In many ways I was already thinking of the strange story like qualities of this journey, like some unseen writer had been setting a tone and mood for the introduction of the protagonist. The drive however proved quite enjoyable as we discussed lucid dreaming and out-of-body experiences. For me, it all falls under the vocabulary of consciousness during sleep.
Having arrived late, I missed out on orientation and introductions. I am met with a group of newly arrived truth seekers who graciously accepted me into this newly emerging circle of friends. The strangeness of it was I recognized so many of them (from past dreams) even though this is the first time meeting them in waking reality. I was bold enough to say, “I know you.” to one of my facilitators. Unfortunately, I didn’t have those dreams written down. The reality is I don’t have the time to record all my dreams due to time constraints with a busy career so I focus on the fun ones. That and at this point of having over 31 years of precognitive dreams I just have gotten used to having them, I don’t need the verification of a dream journal any more to prove what I already know.
The facilitators ask me what brought me to the Monroe Institute and I told them that I have had my own out-of-body and lucid dream experiences spanning 31 years and credit Robert’s work as being some of the most insightful many things he describes were within my own experiences. Someone asked then why did I come and I said mostly for Nostalgia (and sleep… lots of lots of sleep).
In the back of my mind however I am very attuned to this persistent deja vu sensation and faint amnesic echoes of past dreams were whispering in and out of my awareness like soft rolling clouds. Having missed all the orientation and as it was late I was able to start to make some new friends. As I stood in this area with a table, and pictures of foxes. I over heard someone talking about his ability to fall asleep and dream an entire lifetime.
Now if you follow my work, and have read my paper “Dreaming a Century of Time During One Night of Sleep” which I wrote in 2010
This ability for time to stretch in dreams has been one of the most intriguing passions of mine as in my experiences I have been able to have psychological time in dreams stretch to a maximum record of 2 weeks (while lucid). It is this time stretching phenomena that started in 1992 (I started lucid dreaming in 1987 at the age of 15) and have talked about it ever since. Having done so I have been contacted over the years by several people who describe this phenomena of falling asleep then living an entire lifetime before they wake up. They can grow old, have children, watch them grow old, fall asleep, dream, wake-up. I call this being dream locked.
Now for the first time in my life, I hear a person talking openly and with enthusiasm about their experience which draws me into the conversation. I share my pitiful 2 weeks worth of lucid awareness during such a dream. To my surprise he was then amazed that I was lucid as in his he was not. It’s because I am lucid that I usually get scared and bail out ending the journey into this place where time doesn’t seem to exist.
We sit down with a group of people and engage in a really amazing discussion. Someone brings up the idea of what is behind Bob Monroe’s projector and I hear a name that strikes me as familiar, “Tumara” from a person who I also recognize from a dream. I look at his tattoos on his arm and realize I did dream this but in a symbolic format. Once I realized where I could place him in my long array of dreamed experiences I also remembered the exact dream in my online dream blog. I could pull this up and show the group.
I need to get WiFi on my phone first and scramble to get that sorted out. I return with the dream loaded from Feb 13th and scroll to the relevant section and share it with the group. In my dream the person’s name was Sumara, I was off by one letter. However the nature of the conversation, the person to was now sitting across from me in waking life was indeed the same person in this past dream.
Although the dream clearly was embolden with symbolism, “The Theory of Precognitive Dreaming” something else struck me as new. This was my first ever “Lucid Symbolic Precognitive Dream” and to be honest, I’ve been noticing this symbolic noise in my precognitive dreams lately which was one of the reasons I came to the Institute to see if I could clear up the noise. I prefer literal precognitive dreams over symbolic versions for obvious reasons.
Regardless of the symbolic influences everyone who shared in that discussion agreed that there was far to many similarities to the conversation, the person he mentioned and the fact I described him in the dream content. But the real key was the name. Even though it was one letter off, pulling any name from a dream is difficult. For me, it was actually seeing the person knowing it was him in the dream. I have the advantage of the originating memory of the person from the dream. The character in the dream was a match to the person I was now sharing this dream with.
The reality of proving a dream to be precognitive fails often in the dream-to-text transcription. How does a word like man, or middle eastern with tattoos give the reader any real accurate context? I’ve covered the dream-to-text problem in many articles over the years. The worse of it, this dream was immersed in symbolism making these one of the hardest dreams to prove to anyone that the symbols are actually part of the future events masked in a poor interpretation of the data. Noise does get in the way.
That night, I go to my room and for the first time see my CHEC unit which is an acronym for a Controlled Holistic Environmental Chamber. This is where I will sleep and also where all the exercises will take place. I have one of the smaller sized units and my roommate apparently canceled. This was yet another detail I had dreamed about, arriving at night at the Institute and not having a roommate was another dream I failed to record yet here I was in that exact situation. Like I said, can’t write them all down, I have hours upon hours of dreams a night in some nights I could write a novel.
The room however was wonderful, free from all the interactions with others I couldn’t wait to go to sleep, slip out and explore the Monroe Institute in non-physical. When I lie in the CHEC unit, my excitement and nostalgia is keeping me awake and I lie there just thinking about finally making it. The sense of joy and adventure was wondrous. This occurred every time I laid in the bed for either sleep or an exercise. I couldn’t get enough of that process.
Finally after 4:00am I fell asleep and slipped into full waking consciousness. I found myself walking downstairs in the Nancy Penn center but no one was present so I walked into the kitchen. In the kitchen I met this African man. He told me I should try on some costumes at which point I laughed and returned to exploring before waking up.
I shared this dream in the morning with the group. During the days that passed I didn’t notice any men working in the Kitchen but mid week, as I walked through I bumped into the very same man and instantly remembered that I wrote this in my notebook, and shared that with the group. Another symbolic lucid precognitive dream where the actor in the dream was the person in waking life.
Now there are lots of really amazing experiences that take place just in the training, from achieving certain focus states to going deeper into these focus states. By the third day I noticed I was starting to respond to the process better and managed to have some solid mind/awake, body/asleep states. By the end of the course, I could really appreciate what Bob Monroe’s vision of this course really entailed. It was really more than just an OBE course, it was there to heal, evolve, clear emotion, connect to deeper aspects of self. It was there to help you help yourself, and I loved every lesson and exercise with very success or failure I had along the way.
The other part was meeting the group of people who you would share this experience with. Watching them start to have their first ever taste of focused consciousness. The experiences they shared were wonderful, I can’t begin to described the joy I felt when they had success and new experiences.
I won’t lie that while I was there, I was also seeking to find people who may have acute experiences with precognitive dreams. Especially lucid precognitive dreams. Although both facilitators expressed that they have had precognitive ones, they said they never had lucid precognitive ones and recommended that I speak with Joe McMoneagle because he was a seasoned lucid dreamer and also military trained remote-viewer.
There was another couple that was there hoping to meet Joe and were huge fans of his. To every ones surprise we had the distinct privilege of being introduced to Joe as he sat and entertained us with his experience in the military as a trained remote viewer.
When it comes to story telling, he is amazing at it. First his voice is like a deep strong radio announcer, second he has a great sense of humor and charm. Third, the stories he tells will absolutely captivate you and blow your mind. What I will say about him, he is a true American Hero and a National Treasure. That you can believe.
It was beyond wonderful to just sit there and enjoy his company. I won’t go into details as to what his stories were, they are his stories but I will share a little where it relates to my interests in lucid dreaming and lucid precognitive dreaming. Needless to say, just seeing him share these stories did make me tear up, I think he noticed because I was bubbling with complete joy.
My interest in lucid precognitive dreaming spans 29 years of searching for others since I had my first experience with one at the age of 17. I have had people through the internet contact me with their experiences however to actually sit with someone and discuss this rare potential within the dreaming spectrum was more than I bargained for on my journey to the Institute.
He arranged to join us for lunch towards the end of the course and to offer a nice question period. Lucky for me, he decided to sit at the table I was seated at. He didn’t want to talk about remote viewing so the table wouldn’t become crowded. But the conversation soon changed to lucid dreaming which opened up an opportunity to ask the question.
Normally, I seed a person by starting with deja vu, then progressing to deja reve, finally to lucid precognitive dreams when I experience mine from other people. In this case, I figured he’s seen enough that if I ask it directly, and if he’s experienced it, he’ll know exactly what I am asking.
“Have you ever had a Lucid Precognitive Dream?” I asked.
He looked at me, his eyes opened up wide. He knew exactly what I was asking. He became very serious and said yes. Then he pointed his finger at me and said, “You ask me when we are in the other room, I want other people to hear this.”
Now, for the average person this may seem so uninteresting but in my world after 29 years of searching for someone to just even recognize a similar experience with this unique quality of precognition and lucidity was like meeting some space faring Alien from the far reaches of inner space. It was a beyond the beyond moment for me.
We go and sit in the other room on a couch, Joe entertains us with some small talk before turning to me and saying, “So you had a question you wanted to ask.” and of course asked the very same question.
“Have you ever had a lucid precognitive dream?” I asked.
He smiles and opens up first with this amazing story of how he first came into lucid dreaming and participating in a study with Dr. Stephen LaBerge. Now if you follow my work, you must realize by now it was LaBerge’s article in an 1987 issue of Omni called, “Power Trips: Controlling your Dreams” that started me on my journey. LaBerge is one of my all time dream experts and heroes. This couldn’t get any better. But of course, this is Joe McMoneagle so it will get epic.
He tells his story which again, I won’t share as it’s his story however when he finally gets to the part about his first lucid precognitive dream, and I hate to say it, the story was absolutely amazing and no, I won’t share so don’t ask. It’s his story, he can tell it if he wants. I just want to share one important detail in the process as it was identical to my first lucid precognitive dream.
In his situation, it was a being that opened up a 2 dimensional window then the lucid precognitive dream information engaged.
This process was identical to my first as well, although the content and situation completely unrelated to each other as they deal specifically and uniquely to each individual in a very subjective and personal way.
Read about that experience on page 48 under the Ambient Lucid Precognitive Dream section in my paper, “Theory of Precognitive Dreams” http://www.youaredreaming.org/assets/pdf/Theory_Of_Precognitive_Dreams.pdf
Further more, the cover that I designed for my book, “You Are Dreaming” is full of these 2D windows but the being in this metaphor in the cover is the point where the two triangles connect which represents the being as a conscious singularity. I’ve dubbed this singularity as “The One Who Dreams Us All” in my dream journal entries only. Not written about (yet) in any of my articles. This single-point consciousness is something I will one day detail as I have yet to write about my own experiences with it although it has been a huge factor in my journey and I know exactly what it is.
See the cover art of my book, “You Are Dreaming” http://youaredreaming.org/assets/pdf/YouAreDreaming_04252013.pdf
As far as this being a coincidence as a process? I don’t think so. I’ve used these windows many times in my dreams as you can see by the cover design and yes, they are portals to information relative to one’s future, past and even beyond this realm. Just data access nodes if you will, but very powerful in what they reveal.
When I picked up this point, I wanted to belt out that I too had the being/window experience for my first however there was one more line of questioning I opted for and didn’t want to just sit there like a little kid going me too because this is really serious for me, on some very deep level you see. One of my main reasons for coming to the Institute and I was finally meeting someone I could trust with the answers.
The second line of questioning actually surprised Joe, and to be honest I didn’t expect his reaction. After he finished his story, and wow what an amazing story he turned back to me with a smile. And yes, I loved every moment of that experience to the very core of myself. Best moment of my life since my Daughter was born.
But then I asked him, “Have you ever tried to change the precognitive dream when lucid?” and he looked at me surprised. I swear I felt this energetic wall go up and he said, “No, never. Why would I do that?”.
I was hoping for a yes, but his reaction made it a bit awkward however I did comment that I had changed them in which he replied, “I have no doubts.” and finished the discussion. We then had some pictures and he left. But I admit, I felt a bit sad that I might of actually spooked him out with that line of questioning. I certainly wanted to go down that path as I have changed many of my lucid precognitive dreams during a very controlled period back in 1998 with amazing results. I changed them to answer a very deep personal question, and when satisfied with the answer. I stopped as the curiosity and need faded. Once you know, you then know and enjoy so that is what I have been doing for the last 20 years with it. Just enjoying it when it pops up in those rare moments.
But regardless, what Joe and I shared regarding this very rare phenomena that day will forever be one of the most engaging, thought provoking and riveting conversations I ever had with anyone living. Mad props for even going there Joe. That is some deep next level experience, and rare to find this day and age.
Other highlights of the trip involved some of the potential I was seeing in quality of focused consciousness that emerged during the exercises. I was recovering some of my fragmented amnesiac memories (related to sleep induced amnesia and dream memory not the knocked on the head forget a section of your life type. I write about this in my book You Are Dreaming).
This made me realize in the present moment at the Institute that the information of the moment was very old, it felt very ancient. Other forgotten dream memories regarding my visit there emerged, became clearer and then faded as I slipped in and out of these advanced focus states.
One of my most favorite moments was towards the end of the course when I was downstairs now learning how to access these focus states while awake and in my body, where I saw this imagery which I found linked recursively to a very old observation I had within my pre-life memories ( something I haven’t disclosed much on this website but have talked about on various forums such as my Reddit AMA: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dreams/comments/75qwvc/ama_with_ian_wilson_who_has_explored_lucid/do8nakn/ )
From that post:
“We arrived at a location where it explained to me that I had died and gave me a slight tour of other people who have passed on and were processing in this way point. We moved further until we arrived at what I thought was a lake. I stood in its waters about waist high and put my hand in lifting out these dime sized translucent cell shaped objects. They gave off this energy which was like magnetic sunlight, hard to describe.
The being explained, “Like you, they are awaiting to go back and experience life.”
It was then that I realized what it was suggesting, that it meant to send me back to this locality. Back to Earth, to a new life and I wanted nothing to do with it.
I argued, “I don’t want to go back, it’s crazy down there everybody killing everybody.”
The being replied, “This time it will be different.” and force pushed me into a spiraling fractal vortex which I dub the blender as it tried to shatter my personality and strip me of all memory but I fought like hell and when I was back, I would leave as quickly as I entered and argued again that I didn’t want to go back. Each time I returned it simply said, “This time it will be different” and I’d wake up this child traumatized by all the surviving fragmented memories.“
I suggest reading the full transcript as I rarely reveal that part of myself but the reality is it has so much purpose and meaning as to my own personal journey with this amazing miracle that we all share.
So take this lake with these grey cell shaped potentials, and now fast forward to this moment at the Monroe Institute where I am now accessing higher states of consciousness while awake and what do I see? A vision so beautiful, so inspiring. I see the same lake but this time instead of grey dimly lit cells, I see a sea of light beings evolved and expressing love, interconnectedness and oneness. Is this just a figment of my warped imagination, or am I seeing what our true purpose is to become more than what we started out as in this evolutionary journey into experiential reality. Is this the future for our non-physical selves? I like to think so.
I cannot express how much growth I experienced in just a single week. I’ll also mention that in this training we access this focus state called Focus 15, or No Time. Is this the source of these long dreams that last longer than the brief moment that one sleeps. Joe also mentioned he was trapped in a false-awakening loop that lasted days. I knew exactly what he was talking about. I’ve been there and done that. As I am sure others before us have.
The best part of the journey for me was the group. The people that I met were beyond amazing. I fell in love with complete strangers to whom I knew nothing about yet here we came together and grew and evolved into new experiences. The deep conversations and sharing that took place will always be one of the most pleasant joys I’ve experienced. If you pick up on my quality of self, just setting aside differences to enjoy each others company is something I strive to manifest in all my relationships with the people around me and that week, this expression was a second-by-second ongoing occurrence. So thank-you, all of you who were joined together on this wonderful adventure in this magical week where many rich miracles bubbled into our waking lives.
When people have been asking me what my trip was like, one of my replies has been. “You don’t go to the Monroe Institute to find religion or God. You go to the Monroe Institute to find yourself. Then find yourself in others as others find themselves in you.“
For the true truth seeker, would I recommend this journey to TMI? Absolutely!
Here are some of the photos I took during my visit to this land of magic and adventure.