So many different names and acronyms for the same thing can get confusing. That is one of the reasons people get out-of-body-experiences (or OBE's) confused with Astral Projection travel. The difference is: an OBE is directed by the sub-conscious mind, the soul if you will, for purposes of spiritual evolution. An Astral Projection travel is directed by the conscious mind, for many different reasons, some spiritual, some for fun and some for escape. So when people talk about wanting to have an OBE, tell them they do it every night when they sleep. Then tell them how to accomplish APT.
The first thing to note about astral projection travel is the "intent" must be set before the attempt is made. You program the purpose of your journey, and where you want to go before you jump in the car and head out of the driveway. An AP is just like taking a Sunday drive. Even if the intent is just relax and get a way for a while, that in itself is an intent. Making this specification is necessary and will help the conscious mind direct the soul body. Deciding where you want to go is also important. It's almost like filing a flight pattern with the tower at an airport. You need to layout a general map for which direction to head out into the ethers, to help you accomplish the goal.
Astral Projection ~ A Step-by-Step Process
This following is a very basic method to try. [ For an in-depth study and practice of astral travel, I suggest buying the book "Astral Dynamics" by Robert Bruce. This book is by far the best I have encountered on astral projection travel.]
Once you have decided where you want to head out and why, you can use the following suggested steps for learning how to get there. There are a great many books and other resources on the subject of Astral Projection, so if this method doesn't work for you, don't give up. Just broaden your research and look for alternatives.
There are few items and arrangements to be made before you begin your journey. You want to find a place where you are not going to be disturbed for about 1 hour. Typically doing this outside is not a good idea because of the distractions. But if you can find a special place where you know for sure you won't be disturbed by man, animal or machine, then certainly give it a try.
You want to find a piece of calm relaxing music. Repetitive New Age meditation music is the best. You're going to use this to help drown out outside noises. The repetitive nature of the music will help you focus on the visualization process and not on the change in tempo and mood variations that most instrumental music contains. They're fabulous for listening enjoyment, but you don't want to be tapping your foot while you're trying to leave your body. It isn't recommended that you attempt this in bed, before sleep or just lying down. You might be too tempted to fall asleep. If you have a comfortable chair, like a Lazy-Boy or something similar, that might be ideal.
Astral Projection (Getting Started)
Prepare your space as you would for any spiritual development effort. Grab a blanket if you think you might get cold. Light a candle, say a prayer for protection, ask your guides for assistance and so on. This ritual is part of "setting the intent" for your travel. During your prayer, call in your guides and teachers, the location and why you want to go on this journey. Clearly define the "flight plan" to program both your conscious mind and your soul mind.
Relax in a comfortable position. Try to keep everything at your finger tips so you can fully relax. Start your music and close your eyes. Take in 3 deep cleansing breaths. Fill your lungs to their fullest capacity and exhale completely. Imagine the white protective light from the Divine filling your body. Know that you are protected, safe and secure from all harm, seen and unseen.
As you pull in the Divine light through your nose, imagine a large ball of purple energy collecting in and around your solar plexus. As the light grows within your physical body, imagine your silver cord emerging from the glow. Imagine the cord moving through your body and forming into a replica of you next to the ceiling. Try to form this image as your soul body, the essence of the spiritual you. Once you have that image, turn the visual body over so your soul is looking down at your physical body.
Now the hard part. When the two bodies are facing each other, one on the floor, the other on the ceiling, try to transfer your conscious mind into the spiritual image. You can imagine what your conscious mind will experience as it travels up the silver cord into the spiritual you. You imagine what the ceiling would feel like against the back of your spiritual body. What ever it takes to actually put you there. Once you've made a connection, look down at your physical body. Record in your conscious mind what you see. As much of the detail as you can.
When you're ready, move the spiritual body through the ceiling, the roof and out into the ethers. Look back and see your silver cord floating in the breeze, completely intact. Continue through space on the journey you outlined for yourself when setting the intent for this travel experience. When you're ready to return simply think to yourself, "It's time to go back." Then instantaneously, you'll be back.
The hardest part is transferring the conscious mind up into the spiritual body. It's going to take time and probably several attempts before you actually make the transfer. Each time you attempt the journey, make note of how your physical body feels and reacts. I don't want to give you any ideas on what you might experience while doing this. I don't want you to have any influence or mental suggestion that might hinder or cloud your attempts. It's better that you try and practice, making notes of your own unique feelings.
For your first couple of journey's you might want to define some easy goals to validate your experience. For instance, in my first travel I planned on visiting a friend who lived on the other side of the country. While there I made note of as many details as possible. What she was doing, wearing, what was around her and so on. After the trip, I phoned her and asked her to validate some things for me. I told her what she was wearing, what she was doing and so on. She was cooking dinner and looking for something, I knew in the spiritual essence she was looking for a special knife. When I wondered where the knife was and how could I tell her, in an instant I saw the knife and it's hidden location. When I called her, I asked her to look in that place and see if the knife was there. It was and I had my validation.
This process of validating your travel is meant for one purpose. To build your confidence. To show you that you really did take a journey to where you planned to go. As your confidence builds, so does the ease of the projection. As you grow in experience, you can grow in your intent. So if you want to see the dark side of the moon, then go take a look at it. And have some pleasant and wonderful journeys.