Hong Kong people are accustomed to hear or read about esoteric practices and strange events in daily newspapers or through people they know. The most recent one concerns a Feng Shui master who lost an attempt to win the huge heritage of the most wealthy lady in the city. I'm actually not quite interested in this kind of "court intrigue", there are already too much intrigue among the common people! Other "minor" strange events will include people claimed to be doing esoteric practices turned out to be crooks and were jailed subsequently. I'm not interested in these events either, for the time being. I was fascinated by one of my friend's OBE experience of entering, in a trance like state, a beautiful and relaxing garden from time to time.
This experience of his, according to him, is a very vivid perceptual experience. And his mind will simply wonder off during the day time, sometime sitting at his office, sometimes relaxing at home. When he came back from this encounter, he felt very refreshed. And, according to him again, that allowed him to better perform his duties in this worldly World! The thing I find most interesting is the scene he entered into in every OBE experience is the same place. A place full of beautiful flowers. The exact place as one beautiful painting he saw once when he was a child! My friend lives well with this experience, and he told me that he has no intention to venture outside this vivid garden because he "sees no point in doing so". The only complaint he had was that he can't drive for any lengthy distance because he afraid he might venture into the garden any time - which seems quite outside his conscious control.
For those who have, different people react to their OBE experience differently. My friend's experience helped him tackle his worldly tasks better. Recently I re-read a book by the famous self-learned Japanese Taoist, practitioner of magic and immortality, 高藤聪一郎， who, during his OBEs, like to venture into faceted gem-stone too! He must love diamonds: which is forever as immortality.
On a more serious level, classical Taoist meditation texts did distinguish between two kinds of OBEs: One Yin and one Yang. The Taoist one belongs to Yang and requires a vigorous program of chi-practice before doing OBE. On the other hand, the Yin one is onto a faster track (my friend's one is Yin in nature), but sometimes not without its possible negative ramifications. I shall discuss the Yin and Yang approaches of OBE in a future post.