The Monroe Institute (TMI) is a nonprofit education and research organization devoted to the exploration of human consciousness, based in Faber, Virginia, United States. Upwards of 20,000 people are estimated to have attended TMI’s residential Gateway program during its first thirty years, with consumers of the audio industry founded on its research running into millions. Currently, many tens of thousands of people have experienced the residential programs developed by the Monroe Institute at TMI’s campus in Virginia as well as across the US and the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, England, France, Germany, Japan, Romania, and Spain. TMI claims a policy of no dogma or bias with respect to belief system, religion, political or social stance.
TMI was founded by Robert Monroe after he started having what he called “out of body experiences”, now also commonly referred to as OBEs. It comprises several buildings on 300 acres (1.2 km2) of land south of Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. One of its activities includes teaching various techniques, based on audio-guidance processes, in order to expand consciousness and explore areas of consciousness not normally available in the waking state.
In 1978, the U.S. military evaluated TMI and arranged to send officers there for OBE training. In 1983, it sent further officers.
The Institute runs a program called Gateway Voyage, a training course that uses binaural soundtracks to facilitate exploration and replication of specific altered states of consciousness known as Focus levels. Gateway Voyage is a six-day intensive of exercises using custom-designed sound booths (CHEC units), talks, and group interaction.
Participants occupy the CHEC (Controlled Holistic Environmental Chamber) which is a booth that occupies part of a wall of the sleeping quarters. The booths are designed to be as comfortable and quiet as possible to minimize external effects on the participant’s senses, whilst he or she wears headphones through which instructions and audio-guidance signals are sent.
The Monroe Institute also has an Outreach program, where accredited facilitators travel to various locations around the world and deliver workshops.
Controlled studies of the Institute’s technology suggest that it is effective as an analgesic supplement and can reduce hospital discharge times. The Institute has an affiliated professional membership, and also publishes scientific papers on a subset of its own studies of altered states of consciousness. In its in-house laboratory, these states or focus levels are typically induced by delivering Hemi-Sync signals to subjects performing relaxation procedures inside a shielded, sense-depriving isolation tank. Progression through states is detected and monitored by measurement of peripheral skin temperature, galvanic skin response and DC skin potential voltage.
In 1994, a front page article in the Wall Street Journal reported confirmation from the former director of the Intelligence and Security Command of the U.S. Army sending personnel to the institute. It also stated the opinion of the head of the Zen Buddhist temple in Vancouver British Columbia that “Gateway students can reach meditation states in a week that took 30 years of sitting”.
A reporter for The Hook, weekly newspaper for Charlottesville, Virginia, who visited The Monroe Institute said, “…with a few exceptions, the only ‘normal’ people with whom I could fully identify were the trainers, who seemed remarkably well-grounded for people whose day-to-day experiences include astral projection and disembodied spirits”.
The reporter also concluded that “there is something significant being developed at the Institute. Whether it’s just a brilliant guided meditation (complete with trance-inducing stereoscopic sound) or a doorway to a world of spirit entities, I cannot say”.
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I am more than my physical body.
Because I am more than physical matter, I can perceive that which is greater than the physical world.
Therefore, I deeply desire to Expand, to Experience; to Know, to Understand; to Control, to Use such greater energies and energy systems as may be beneficial and constructive to me and to those who follow me.
Also, I deeply desire the help and cooperation, the assistance, the understanding of those individuals whose wisdom, development and experience are equal or greater than my own.
I ask their guidance and protection from any influence or any source that might provide me with less than my stated desires.