Meditation for the Astral Realm
The astral body is the realm of your mind and emotions. It’s your feeling body, and it extends slightly beyond your vital body. Everything you think and feel lives as energy in you and around you, out as far as the astral body. Perhaps that is why people can sometimes “sense” each other’s feelings. When you stand next to someone, you are closer to that person’s astral body than you are to his or her physical body.
The astral body contains two more sheaths of existence, the mind sheath, or layer of thoughts and emotions, and the intellect sheath, the layer of higher understanding through which you can begin to see the true nature of reality. Just as the vital sheath is considered a bridge between the physical and the astral bodies, the intellect sheath is considered a bridge between the astral (subtle) body and the causal (super-subtle) body. You can learn to control the mind and intellect sheaths through breath control (which helps to center the mind), the practice of sense withdrawal, and concentration exercises. You can also include these layers as the subject of concentration for your mediations.
The Mind Sheath: Feeling
Sit comfortably with your back straight. Turn your attention to your heart chakra, the life-force energy vortex behind your heart. Imagine this chakra beginning to turn gently and slowly, pulling with it all the emotions and feelings that sit inside your chest. Imagine then swirling gently and ordering themselves around the slowly spinning chakra. Now, imagine that the diameter of the swirling chakra is growing as it picks up more and more emotions. It expands to fill your entire chest, then becomes wider ands wider, like a hurricane on a weather map but gentler and smoother.
Now the spiraling wheel has extended beyond your chest, and its edges encompass your neck and head. Imagine the rays of the spiral catching up all the thoughts in your head and pulling them along, like debris in a mild, peaceful cyclone. There they go, riding on the waves of your emotions.
Imagine this spiraling wheel growing beyond the boundaries of your physical body, and then beyond the boundaries of your vital body, extending past breath and energy. Now imagine the spiral growing and enveloping your physical and vital bodies in a warm, rosy, pink aura of emotion and thought. Everything you feel and think is reflected in and protected by this rosy halo.
Feel the projection of your emotions and thoughts into the space around yu and marvel at their simple existence. Don’t judge them. Just see them. There they are, as much a part of you as your ankle or your shoulder blade. No more important, no less.
The Intellect Sheath: Understanding
Sit comfortably with your back straight. Breathe normally and notice your breath. Now, close your eyes and casually notice your physical body. Visualize where it starts and where it stops. Next, recall your vital body, how it extends beyond the physical body in a swirling dance of energy. Next, recall your mind sheath, a glowing pink encompassing your physical and vital bodies.
What is beyond the mind sheath? Visualize the edges of the mind sheath. What do you see? Nothing at first, but then you begin to see a pale yellow color extending beyond the mind sheath. What is it? You can’t quiet see it. You can’t quite get there.
Bring you attention back to your mind sheath. Visualize tiny bright green shapes floating around inside your mind sheath. Some are circles, come are triangles, some are squares and some are random polygons with no names. Sometimes the bounce against the edges of the mind sheath but they seem to be stuck inside it as if in a bubble.
These green shapes are your thoughts and feelings. They live in the mind sheath but can’t go beyond it. They are content to live there. But wait – one triangle doesn’t seem content. It keeps bouncing against the mind sheath, as if trying to break through the bubble. Follow this triangle. Is it a thought or an emotion? What is it about?
Suddenly, the triangle breaks through the boundary of the mind sheath, and the intellect sheath shows itself in sunny yellow. Ah-ha! You think. Now I understand! You’ve reached a new level, a new understanding of some aspect of reality you’ve been struggling with. The true nature of your problems, your self, and your world are suddenly clear. You’ve encountered the intellect sheath
~Taken from, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Meditation” By Joan Budilovsky and Eve Adamson