Astral projection


Do members of the Ananda community practice and openly discuss astral projection? Self Realization Fellowship guidelines discourage Kriya students to veer from the path Yogananda has laid out for them; however, astral projection (both technique and theory) seems to have such a vital potential towards one's spiritual development.

—Dean Opseth, USA


I cannot say for certain whether any Ananda members practice astral projection. Certainly I’ve not heard any significant discussion of it in my 25 years here. While it is an arena that is no doubt fascinate fascinating, it also seems to me a distraction from what truly leads to spiritual development: developing our love for God. The astral world, after all, falls far short of the “heaven” of cosmic consciousness, the experience of which is the aim of all yoga practice.

Such abilities as astral projection come naturally with spiritual development. As is the case with many such “powers,” however, it is all too easy to get so fascinated with it that we forget what we’re really here for: not astral travel, but knowing God. That is why advanced yogis generally eschew such powers, and I suspect that is why Paramhansa Yogananda did not encourage the pursuit of such things. I suspect he would say that it’s not a bad thing if it happens of itself, but it’s not something to be sought.