If you read Dr Castaneda’s books you will notice that they are more than a little trippy. There are bits that are coherent and bits that aren’t. He speaks of a whole bunch of stuff that is far out man. Now this kind of stuff can be very exciting to certain types of people and they may seek to replicate it. If you have an intention for the weird and the wonderful you are actively intending it to happen. If you are after magical powers, you are looking for some kind of short cut maybe seeking to compensate for a lack of “power” you perceive. I have some shamanic experience and the states accessed in shamanic workings can be pretty strange. From my research into this kind of stuff, they pertain to what may be called the astral or emotional plane. Weird shit can happen and by and large it is a distraction and not really of a great deal of use. It might be fun or downright scary, whatever lights your candle. Once you start to “soften” the common dream, you lose its integrated interpretation of “the world”. Behind that are many other possible “worlds”. When one world goes, you no longer have a basis for coherently interpreting what may be transpiring. This can make you shit bricks. The thing is indulging in astral plane stuff, is basically wasting time, no matter what high adventures you may have along the way. It has glamour and illusion. It might sound all cool and something that you can impress the chicks with around the campfire, astral stuff it remains. There are things of use, but they are few and far between. If you are going to explore, you need to be anchored, you must have ball of string to lead you out of the maze, otherwise there you can remain.
If you start to play with the “medicine” points of the physical body as used in acupuncture, Ayurveda, or these kind of systems, it can effect. These effects are twofold one in mind other in “bodies”. Again, this can be distracting. Some are healers, others not. People like phenomena because this can be exciting. But indulging in phenomena is indulging in phenomena, it is not liberation. Astral stuff is old, and it should be left to fade away, naturally. Farting about with it gives it an unwarranted longevity. If you need to deal with astral stuff, it will make its presence known, you do not need to go looking for it. The Path of High Adventure probably needs to go, to fade.
The best way to approach left side awareness is to start close to “normal” awareness. This happens in the zone of an elite sportsman, the combat awareness of the soldier and in the sometime meditative atmosphere of a good dojo. There adjunct to the normal is the heightened. And until you have trained this, you don’t know. In all these cases there is a ball of string back to the day to day. The trouble is if you spend too long in heightened awareness as a soldier might, you can miss it. I certainly would not wish to be hunted by a highly skilled soldier in a forest at night. What I am suggesting is going out of the comfort zone but not completely out of depth. If you are bricking it, you cannot learn because you are so busy bricking it, that is all you see.
To my experience dreaming, is a form of meditation, hence we have dreaming practice. One can loosen the common dream and in the crack between “worlds”, learn. I am not talking about the energy body, the dreaming body or anything of that ilk. I am talking about a heightening awareness which goes past the mundane. Be aware indulging is indulging, period. The most important tool is a good ball of string, the length of which can increase with time.