I’m going to get a little personal and talk about something “weird” (weird in a unique and endearing way) that is important to me that you may or may not know. I grew up very intuitive, and I naturally believe in a religion that I refer to as Christian Mysticism. Basically, I believe in God, but I also believe in psychic phenomenon and that we all have gifts and other senses that we can access if we get to know ourselves better. People don’t always put God and intuition together, but I believe these gifts come from God. Anyway, that aside, I have had a history in psychic phenomenon and intuition. I’ve always been clairsentient; I can feel what others are feeling when they are close to me, and many times I know things are going to happen before they do. You may not believe in it, and that’s absolutely fine! But this is something in my belief system.
The reason I am bringing this up is because I recently signed up for the beginner’s course at The Monroe Institute entitled “Gateway Voyage”. I did this because the Monroe Institute offers a wide variety of exciting courses that you must complete Gateway Voyage to participate in. We filmed part of my pilot Weird World Adventures there, and I loved what I heard. And we are going to feature at least one of these programs on my show. So, I participated in Gateway Voyage this past month to really see what it is all about.
What do you do at the Monroe Institute?
Basically, the shorter form is that a program at TMI is like a meditation retreat with many more layers to it. Robert Allan Monroe founded this experience after having an out of body experience. He was an audio engineer, so he began experimenting with audio waves to try and recreate what he experienced. At the Monroe Institute, you go into meditation exercises where you have headphones on. One ear is giving you a wavelength that is different from the other, and your brain creates a third wavelength to balance the two. This is called “hemi-sync”, and it is supposed to help you shift into deeper states of consciousness. “Your neurology goes with the waves, like when you dance,” one of our instructors explained. The purpose of it all is for everyone to be able to experience that they ARE more than their physical body- That there is more to them than what they know. You can find your spirit guide, explore different states of your consciousness, and more- things that people usually take psychedelic drugs to access, except The Monroe Institute is a clean place free of drugs and alcohol so you truly know that you are able to experience this on your own without substances. Me not being a drinker, never having done drugs, and having a history with intuition, this is definitely the place for me!
Programs at The Monroe Institute can last for varying lengths of time, but this was a 6-day retreat that I attended. During your program, you are separated from time and technology as much as possible, which I really love. Back before cell phones, they would take out a chest and ask you to put your watch in it until the end of the week. Each day they ring a bell when you are supposed to show up for a session or for food, so you don’t need to know time. It’s harder now with cell phones, for sure. But it’s a challenge to yourself to step away from the technology as much as possible, which can really be refreshing. But this is symbolic to not let time control you. If you just allow your body to eat when you are hungry and sleep when you are tired, things would be so much easier for you. Sometimes, time controls us too much.
My Experience at the Monroe Institute
The grounds at the Monroe Institute offer a true mountain-getaway experience. I stayed at the Nancy Penn center, and it was perfect. There is a lake that is easy to walk to, beautiful mountains surrounding the campus, a peaceful stone labyrinth, and a giant rose quartz crystal onsite. There was a gym for early morning yoga classes, the “fox den” (common area) always had snacks and drinks stocked, a library, and more. And the home-style food for each meal was incredible. (I’m originally from Virginia, and I miss the delicious home-style food I could find there that doesn’t exist in LA.)
The beds in each room were built like cubbies into the wall. Each has a black curtain over it so it can serve as a sensory-deprivation area. There are speakers in each unit as well as the headphones attached to the wall so you could sit or lay and do your meditative exercises in your space. For me, I found that I am sensitive to EMF, so the sound equipment being right at my head level made me a little uncomfortable, so I switched sides and put my head at the opposite end of the bed, and that was extremely comfortable for me. I found it best for me to sit almost fully up with pillows propping up my back and head against the wall. This allowed me to feel relaxed yet keep me awake so I didn’t fall asleep during the meditations and exercises.
As I was exploring the different states of consciousness that they teach in Gateway Voyage, I could feel a light, lifting sensation as I went between them into higher states of awareness. I had never felt so awake while being almost asleep. It was interesting because you could explore these different levels of consciousness or come into them with a purpose- to learn something about yourself or get guidance from your higher self and guides.
For me, there were times I felt as if I was living in my imagination, getting guidance through seeing things within my mind. Other times, I went into a trance-like state where I was basically asleep but not fully asleep. Those times, I would see visions pop before my eyes as if I was dreaming. They were always quick scenes flashing before me. It really did feel as if I was dreaming, but I knew I wasn’t quite asleep all the way. When I would go to Focus Level 15, I would see a flashing white light in my face every time. And there was a point after we had learned a few different levels where we were instructed to go through them without the hemi-sync, and it was surprisingly easy. I was shocked at how naturally it just came to me. So, the program teaches you tools that you can take away on your own and use without needing the crutches of the hemi-sync. Though they do provide a take-home exercise at the end so you can practice with the hemi-sync, too.
This type of experience is especially interesting for me, as I have been plagued my entire life with sleep paralysis. It was so bad when I was younger that my husband is now trained to wake me when he hears me make a certain sound, as I can make certain sounds while paralyzed. Talking to one of the instructors, they were telling me to experiment the next time this happens. This is a state where I should be able to think about a space (such as the door) and move there with my astral body. Good to know that I can try this next time.
Lastly, I thought it was profound when speaking with the instructors about intuition; they guide you to think of the process of learning your intuition as remembering that which you already know. In this life we just have temporary amnesia from this greater universal sense that is out there.
Needless to say, this is a journey that has to be experienced first hand. I encourage you to visit The Monroe Institute for yourself. It’s perfect for anyone looking to understand more about the world, themselves, and/or our universe. The practical application can apply to any career or any life no matter your background or beliefs. You won’t regret it!