Conscious awakening is waking up with a particular thought in mind; ideally, a thought about indirect techniques. In order to start using indirect techniques upon awakening, it is not sufficient to have a cursory knowledge of the techniques to be used when waking. Due to the peculiarities of the human mind and its habits, it is not always easy when waking to recall any particular motive or idea. The goal of conscious awakening is to practice instant action without being idle after waking up.
There exists a belief that the phenomenon of out-of-body travel is practically unattainable, and is accessible only to an elect few through practices that require secret knowledge. However, the greatest difficulty when trying to experience out-of-body travel in a short period of time lies only in immediately remembering about the techniques upon awakening without moving. This is all simple and straightforward. But it is precisely this trifle that is the largest stumbling block when trying to experience such an uncommon phenomenon.
This is not difficult at all for approximately 25% of the population. However, for the other three-quarters of the population, this is an difficult barrier to entry that can even seem insurmountable. If such thoughts arise, one should simply understand that this cannot be so, and that persistent attempts and training are the key solution.
The reasons why people are unable to remember practicing the phase upon awakening are: not being in the habit of immediately doing anything upon awakening, a desire to sleep longer, a desire to go to the bathroom, being thirsty, a desire to suddenly start solving day-to-day problems, and so on.
Conscious awakening with the intent of attempting an indirect technique should be a practitioner's primary goal, which should be pursued at every cost. The speed at which the phase is learned and experienced depends on this.
There are several effective tricks to learning conscious awakening:
Intention upon falling asleep: This is the very important to successfully achieving conscious awakening. A very clear scientific fact has been proven by somnologists (scientists who study sleep): upon awakening, people usually think about what they had been thinking about before falling asleep. This phenomenon is easy to observe if the sleeper is experience a serious life problem; they fall asleep with the problem and wake with it. So, in a case like this, if difficulties at the front of the mind are replaced with a desire to practice the phase, this will produce the desired effect. It is not necessary to think solely about conscious awakening while falling asleep. It is sufficient to simply affirm the intention clearly and distinctly, even state the intention out loud. Practicing these types of conscious actions while entering sleep will do much to promote the success of indirect techniques upon awakening.
General intent: The more clearly a practitioner concentrates on the importance and necessity of waking up and immediately remembering to practice the techniques, the more solid the intent will become, and the more likely the process will fulfill its role and actually lead to results.
Affirming desires: Sometimes an internal intention is simply not enough for some people, or they are unable to properly affirm one by virtue of individual characteristics. In this case, an affirmation of desires should be introduced at the physical level. This could be in the form of a note with a description of a goal placed next to the bed, under one's pillow, or hung on the wall. It could be a conversation with friends or family about the particular desire, or by repeatedly vocalizing the actions that need to be performed upon awakening. It could even be an entry in a diary, blog, or texting on a mobile phone.
Analyzing unsuccessful awakenings. Analyzing unsuccessful attempts at conscious awakening is extremely important. When remembering the failed attempt after several minutes, several hours, or even later in the day, focus on it and resolve to succeed during the next attempt. Deep exploration of the failure is highly effective and practical since the practitioner is learning what works, what doesn't work, and making healthy resolutions toward success.
Creating motivation: The greater the desire to enter into the phase to accomplish a goal there, the quicker successful conscious awakening is achieved. Motivation is be created by a great desire to do or experience something in the phase. In general, previous visits to the phase are great motivation, but an uninitiated person does not know it and will need something to which they can relate. For some, this could be a childhood dream of flying to Mars, for others it could be the opportunity to see a loved one who has passed away, for another it could be the chance to obtain specific information, or influence the course of a physical illness, and so forth.
Aside from natural methods to achieve conscious awaking, there are various devices and tools that facilitate a measure of success. These will be covered in Chapter 5 in the section describing non-autonomous ways of entering the phase.
The best moment for conscious awakening is while exiting a dream. This is the most effective and productive time to attempt separation or performing the techniques. At this moment, physical awareness of the body is at a minimum. Awareness at the very end of a dream often occurs after nightmares, painful experiences in the dream, falling dreams - any dream that causes a sudden awakening.
With time, one should develop a reflex that enables one to perform planned actions at the moment of awakening, but when consciousness itself has not yet had time to return. This type of reflex is highly beneficial to seizing the most fruitful of opportunities to enter the phase.
Due to various psychological and physiological factors, it is not possible for every person to achieve conscious awakening after every sleep cycle. Thus, there is no point in becoming upset if conscious awakening does not occur every time. Experiencing only 2 to 3 awakenings per day is normal; this is sufficient enough to attempt phase entrance 2 to 5 times per week when practiced daily.
It is not worth getting carried away with an excessive number of attempts. During the School's courses, it has been noted that doing 10 conscious awakenings or more (some students try 20 or even 30) over the course of one night and morning rarely yields results. This is due to the fact that if one sets oneself a goal that is desired so much that its realization breaks the natural rhythms of the body, one deprives oneself of the intermediate, transitional states that make the phase effective. A practitioner may also quickly become emotionally exhausted from the large number of attempts and be unable to push limits in the right direction. The upside is that one will simply tire out. If that starts to happen, it is better to calm down and try to approach the matter in a more relaxed manner, evenly and gradually.