G. Scott Sparrow, EdD, LPC, LMFT

Counseling and Mentoring Services

The Importance of a Meditative Attitude in the Out-of-Body State

Normally, I meditate every morning for 30-60 minutes, and then in the middle of the night every other day or so. But this past week, I had the flu and so I found it hard to meditate for several days. Not that I didn't try, but my physical condition kept interrupting my progress.

Finally, I felt good enough to get up at 4:00 and meditate for 30 minutes after taking galantamine. I hoped that I could resume my regular out of body adventures, which have often involved apparent journeys to other star systems. To make sure my excursions are not interrupted, I go down the hall to one of our spare bedrooms for the remainder of the night.

I have been able to have a lucid dream/OOBE just about every time if I do everything right--at least 30 minutes of meditation, a sufficiently positive state of mind, and 8 mg of galantamine taken about an hour before my first dream upon returning to bed. On many occasions, I experience a WILD--that is, a "wake-induced lucid dream" without a break in consciousness from waking to dream.

Sure enough I find myself with another man, and I point out to him that we are in a dream. He resists the idea at first, then realizes it is true. I take him by the arm and lift him off the ground to show him that we can fly, and proceed to explore the domain with him. After a while, I decide to leave him and set a course for the stars, which usually means dropping my arms to my side, and orienting myself to a certain part of the eastern sky.

But as I begin to fly upward, it becomes clear that I am losing buoyancy, and I become unable to fly or pass through barriers. Everything is becoming increasingly dense, and I am becoming heavy. The harder I try to counteract the effects of gravity, the heavier I become and the more trapped in form I feel. Suddenly, I know that I need to meditate. So I close my eyes and meditate. Immediately, a brightness fills my closed eyes, and I feel myself floating upward weightlessly. I open my eyes, and find myself with several people, including a woman whom I recognize from somewhere and from whom I feel a timeless, deep love. We continue to visit for a good while in a state of heightened awareness and luminous surroundings.

Meditation is like putting money in a bank. If your account is full, then your experience in the OOBE state will be luminous, refined, subtle and full of love and connection. But if you have been unable to keep your account "full" due to distractions or illness, then you'd be better off not leaving your body, because none of the ineffable properties available to you will manifest in your phenomenal experience. At least that's my experience.

I have heard many people talk about their own lucid dreams and OOBEs, and I've come away thinking that each of us encounters what we have built in our lives. A person who does not meditate will report rather pedestrian OOBEs that mirror the waking state with fair precision. Speaking of the after-death state, Edgar Cayce captured the self-fulfilling, self-mirroring nature of nonphysical reality by once saying, "A dead Presbyterian is a dead Presbyterian." He was saying, I believe, that death alone does not confer any particular release from what we believe, and have built in our lives. In my experience, neither does lucidity/OOBE awareness. I wrote back in the 70s that the so-called OOBE  simply mirrors the observer's own beliefs and paradigm about the world. If one tends to be a "realist," measuring life in empirical terms, then the OOBE state accommodates this believe system by mirroring the physical world, and is often identical (with some variations) to one's waking reality. Does that make the OOBE "true?" Not at all. It's just a mirror of one's paradigm, confirming it in most ways, but often revealing along the edges of the experience a reality that is far greater, and much less ego-centered. It takes meditation, or an attitude of surrender to take us beyond our own reflection in the mirror.


How to Work with Metaphors

My exploration of metaphor construction and analysis through the lens of cocreative dream theory is fairly new, but I have written a paper that I'd like to share with you, titled: Understanding and Working with Dream Metaphors from the Standpoint of Co-Creative Dream Theory. It can be found at my website:


Let me know what you think about it. I have a feeling that this line of inquiry will continue in my work.

Galantamine Study Results

Hi Friends,

We have just completed a pre-publication draft of our research study, titled "Exploring the Effects of Galantamine Paired with Meditation and Dream Reliving on Recalled Dreams: Toward an Integrated Protocol for Lucid Dream Induction and Nightmare Resolution." It is currently under review by a major journal, so this draft is for personal use only, and not be distributed. I think you will see that the study will probably make a big splash in the dream research community.

Check it out at http://dreamanalysistraining.com/offsite/offsite-11/styled-36/page74.html

A Dream Following a 4 am Meditation

This dream has stayed with me for a few days, and I thought it might stir something within you, too. Dreams are meant for sharing. We are one another, and the "quarries" of our lives are conjoined.

I am driving up or climbing a very steep road, and wonder how I can succeed, since it’s almost a vertical slope. As I reach the top, I’m in a large dark interior space, like a projection room above a theater. A latino man is there, and he shows me around. He feels like a wise man, a guru of sorts. He tells me that in order to help people in psychotherapy that I need to “explore the quarries.” Then I see against a far wall in the darkness, probably 100 feet away, a giant mandala that is lit up, and begins to pulse with light from the center. A woman stands beneath it, holding a white pod-like object, about three feet long, wide in the middle and pointed on both ends. I has a clear circular window in the middle through which I can see white light. She is singing a beautiful song as the light builds within the pod As the light reaches a certain intensity within the pod, she projects it outward. The only word I discern in her song is the word “river.” When I woke up, the tune was on my mind, and I thought to myself, “I’d better record this into my Iphone,” but thought I’d remember it later. Of course, I didn’t!

A Life Changing Discovery

I have studied dreams, and pursued lucid dreaming all of my life. But about 10 years ago, I began having lower back pain about 5 hours into the sleep cycle. Suddenly, I was uncomfortable and restless during the "prime time" for dreaming--from 4 hours until awakening. Consequently, my practice of early morning meditation as a catalyst for lucid dreaming suffered: It was hard to get out of bed, and it was hard to go back to sleep, as well. My lower back pain became chronic about a year ago, and I honestly thought I was going to need surgery before much longer. Then I discovered that the solution was already at hand.

Almost 40 years ago, I purchased a "Ma Roller," a back massage tool that you place on the floor and lie upon. I've used it almost nightly for years without realizing that it would become the breakthrough solution for my lower back. I don't have any commercial interest in this item, so please don't think I'm trying to sell you something. But I am so impressed with the total recovery I experienced using the roller that I thought it could work for others, too.

You might ask, why did it take me so long to realize that the Ma Roller would work? And why wasn't it working all along to prevent the lower back problem? Because I wasn't using it to its full advantage!  I got the clue about how to use it while talking to my brother-in-law, Jim Peabody, who had been to see a physical therapist, who had told him that he could treat his lower back pain by leaning backward against a kitchen table or a similar edge that would force his spine to bend backward rather than forward. I tried that, without much success, but then I thought, "Heck, the Ma Roller can do better than that." So I did what I'd been avoiding for years--lowering my lumbar area fully onto the roller, such that my hips and my shoulders were both touching the floor. It hurt like hell, and it felt like it was making it worse. That's why I'd never allowed my full weight to rest upon the roller. It just didn't feel right. But if you've ever been to a physical therapist, you'll know that they often ask you to do things that hurt, but that actually make the problem better. So I decided to suffer the pain, thinking that maybe it could make the difference.

The next day, there was a dramatic improvement! I didn't have any lower back pain through the day! So I did it again before bed (and it hurt like hell again!), and I went to bed. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN YEARS, I SLEPT FOR OVER 8 HOURS WITHOUT ANY BACK PAIN!

That was four months ago, and since then, I do the same exercise twice a day. My back pain during the day and at night has completely disappeared, and I literally feel ten years younger. Indeed, I'd thought of giving up guiding flyfishers, but now that I feel strong again, I'm planning to give it another couple of years.

If you or anyone you know has lower back pain, please share this with them.  The original Ma Roller is no longer made, but  a company called Earthlite and a few other vendors make the same design, and you can get one for $25-40 on Amazon. I bought a second one recently, just so I could loan it to family and friends. They will last 100 years, so it's the last one you'll need to buy. Of course, run this by your doctor if you have serious back problems, and everyone's different. But I am so thankful that I was willing to suffer the initial discomfort to discover a profoundly effective remedy.

Fading Light and Sluggish Flight: Making Sense of Anomolous OOBE Features

I delivered a well-received presentation last June at the annual IASD conference in Anaheim, titled, "Fading Light and Sluggish Flight: A Two-Dimensional Model of Consciousness in Lucid Dreams and Out-of-Body Experiences." In it, I address several phenomena that occur in OOBEs that, alone, do not seem to make sense, but together convey an intriguing picture that points to facilitative and disruptive modes of awareness that impact the OOBE in dramatically different ways. In my paper/presentation, both of which can be found on my website under "Recent Events," I make the case that one can prepare oneself to exercise an optimal state of awareness during an OOBE––and fly effortlessly, move through form without resistance, keep the light sources from dimming, and commune with the light that manifests during the experience––all through meditation. I have posted the audio of my presentation, my powerpoint, and my written text. Enjoy!

Dream Groups Going Well, More Planned

I am currently hosting two online dream groups each week. About half of the participants are also seeking certification as DreamStar Dreamwork Practitioners, and getting credit toward their Practicum requirement. It's been a great experience for me working with the two groups, which are comprised of therapists, artists, lucid dream experts, and lay dream workers. It's rewarding to see how co-creative dream work deepens and facilitates a level of engagement and meaning-making that I find often lacking in content-oriented dream work methods.

Meanwhile, I private maintain my middle-of-the-night meditational practice, and achieve lucidity almost 100% of the time, spending up to two hours out of my body on some occasions. Last night, I began meditating around 4 am, went back to bed an hour later, and spent at least two hours going in and out of out-of-body experiences. At one point, I got up and went to the bathroom, and then returned to bed for another multi-chapter OOBE. The interpersonal encounters were rich and fulfilling. Indeed, I encountered two old friends in apparent soul-to-soul encounters, even though I know better than to think that they were conscious of the exchange. I've spent most of my life working out a model of dream engagement that allows for "actual" contact influenced by several other "feeds" that condition the experience according to personal and transpersonal influences. To give you an example, last night I was flying through darkness, expecting to emerge in another star system (which often happens), only to hear loud voices in the darkness that pulled me into a bedroom that I thought, at first, was my own. But it was an ex who was entertaining her two grandchildren in bed. Before I realized it was her, I asked loudly, thinking it was Julie, "Why were you were making so much noise?" The ex reacted, at first angrily at my intrusion, but then became friendly when I explained my error. We visited, and members of her family came into the room and greeted me. Of course, it was not "actual" in the ordinary sense, but I suspect that certain features of the experience drew upon objective information, and that to some extent it was a real soul-to-soul contact that was qualified and distorted by my own filters. Regardless, I emerged from the experience feeling positive and further healed of any unfinished business between us.

New Dream Groups Beginning October

There will be two online (Zoom videoconferenced) dream groups starting in mid-October, one on Friday morning and another on Monday evening. We will have a post or two in each group, so if  you're interested, please email me at gscotspar@gmail.com. For a description of my online DreamStar groups, please see http://dreamanalysistraining.com/page2/styled-10/page3.html. I hope you will consider joining us!

Galantamine Study Results Soon to be Published

I have been working with my colleagues Ryan Hurd (John F. Kennedy University and founder of www.dreamstudies.org and Dr. Ralph Carlson (my stats guru at UTRGV) on writing up the results of our study testing the impact of combining meditation and dream reliving (M/DR) with the ingestion of galantamine. 73 people volunteered for the ambitious eight-night study that involved getting up around 3 am and spending 40 minutes doing a variety of activities. While it would take too long to summarize the entire data, suffice to say that the integrated protocol (M/DR+galantamine) performed better overall than galantamine alone, but wasn't significantly better than galantamine alone. The two galantamine conditions (with and without meditation and dream reliving) blew away the baseline and placebo conditions on six measures--lucidity, reflectiveness (regardless of lucidity), interaction, role/status changes, constructive action, and the presence of fear/threat--showing us just how effective galantamine is.  M/DR+G was especially high on reflectiveness and fear/threat.

What was surprising is that fear/threat in dreams was higher, not lower, in the galantamine conditions. In our earlier study, based entirely on participants' recollection of their prior use of galantamine, they recalled that their dreams were lower, not higher on the presence of fear, threat and violence (we measured them separately in that study).

Our thinking is that using galantamine has a global positive impact, but that the actual content of dreams, when assessed immediately afterward, shows more fear/threat. The M/DR+G condition showed the greatest elevation of fear/threat, which makes sense in that dream reliving involves reliving a nightmare in fantasy as if one is lucid, and seeing it unfold in a more positive way. By itself, M/DR should increase nightmare content, but in a way that facilitates resolution. So the quantitive measures don't tell us the whole story, by any means. We will need to look at the specific phenomenology of the dreams to see if, indeed, the dreamers are working through the outwardly distressing dream content.

You might not know it, but all of the effective cognitive interventions for trauma resolution involve re-exposure to the original trauma or nightmare, and the reprocessing of the memory so that the level of distress is reduced. Our hope is that M/DR+G may create an optimal dream state for the re-engagement and resolution of unfinished business in general, and trauma in particular. It's an exciting research agenda, and I will be updating you as we find out more.

Visit to Another Star System?

I haven't posted in a while, but I have been continuing my personal exploration of lucid dreaming/out of body experiences. I have had to start recording them on my recorder, since some of them are too long to writ out  Here's one that was particularly memorable and in the spirit of the last posting:

I meditate and return to bed, and begin to hear the gift waves after a while. I roll out, and move up into the darkness. It takes quite a while before I see anything, but a dome of stars appears. Below me I can see a valley and lights, but the scenery is still fairly dark. Suddenly I emerge into an outdoor scene where people are singing a rousing, primitive-sounding song. It’s still fairly hard as I walk through the crowd. A man comes up to me, takes my hands to greet me, and then rubs them, saying, ‘You must be cold from your travel.’

I leave there, and fly upward into the darkness again, this time emerging in another outdoor scene, more brightly lit. People are everywhere, going about their lives. I see stores, and greenery and the scene seems quite peaceful. But I don’t feel that I’ve arrived at where I need to be. So I fly upward again, passing into darkness until I emerge in a beautiful, brightly lit world, which I understand to be another planet in another star system. A young man greets me and gives me a tour of various displays that depicts aspects of his world. Finally, I ask him if anyone has been able to solve the problem of interstellar travel, by working around the limit imposed by Einstein’s theory of relativity. He said that a race of people—the Talens—had solved the problem. He began to describe the solution mathematically, but I laughed and told him that his efforts would be futile. 

Then I asked him if he knew of earth. He paused and look thoughtful. Then he said, “Yes, but it’s very far away.” He went on the add, “Someone should be going there before long.”