Reader Reviews

My first WILD in over 30 years. Let me just mark this on the calendar: 9/6/17. Thank you, Daniel Kelley. And to think I am only on the third week of my 120 day challenge. My dreams really are becoming more vivid, too, as they should in the first month of the program. Because that is the goal. While I'm thinking about it, it may be closer to 32 or 33 years. I wasn't expecting to lose the ability at the time back then.

Recently I was taking a quick nap when I got up to turn on a light and forgot to bring my body with me. Thanks, Daniel Kelley. I haven't had an OBE since '90 or '91.

-Tom Kinney (Iowa US)

There are only two books I have found available in English that are rich in esoteric tradition and energetic practices for lucid dreaming. This is one of them, the other would undoubtedly be Stavish's treatise on the topic*. The main reason for this is that in the western tradition the spiritual bodies are 'built', they are not assumed to be there as accessible states, its usually just the lucky individuals that through karma or some equally inexplicable reason possess them. In fact the same case applies for eastern traditions like many schools of Tantra.

What Daniel Kelley's book provides is a program for energetic development through traditional methods ( with a tantric and taoist leaning) and some genuinely insightful exercises to help develop the dream body. I have a fair amount of previous knowledge and I was delighted to get some new ideas that are already improving my abilities. Its for these that I am writing the positive review. The first half is dedicated to the theory, and he provides a good rational overview indeed. The second half is dedicated to the practices I'm lauding. I think this and Stavish are for me the books I would recommend to friends or interested travelers without hesitation.

-Jon Senekal (UK)

Few people in this world hold such authentic and conscientious beliefs and wisdom with as much humility as Daniel Kelly. I'm so happy and excited for the journey that begins with the release of this book.

-Anne Marie Shirley (NY)

This book is the best book I've read on the subject of Lucid Dreaming.

It gives a complete history and great tips and for an experienced "veiler" for someone who wouldn't even know where to start.

Lastly, I've been obsessed with this subject for a long time and have come across so much people and books that try to tackle this subject and it ends up just a confusing rabble. This is unbelievably written. I honestly never write reviews like this.

-Nikki Reed (US)

It seems like the market is flooded with books on the dreaming arts. Forums abound with near endless discussions on lucid dreaming, astral projection and OBEs. However, very few of these media channels offer an up-to-date comprehensive synthesis of the relevant information that would help dreamers with native talent get their footing or to guide the uninitiated into the many aspects of exploring "behind the veil". Usually, these materials tend to be unbalanced, uncritical and unwholesome. This is not the fault of the authors, per se, but that they are either obsolete or are rigidly scientific. For instance, one of my favorite texts is The Art of Dreaming by Carlos Castenada, which is a great literary achievement, but a poor user's manual for beginner approaching the practical techniques of exploratory dreaming (however, every advanced "veiler" would do well to familiarize herself/himself with that extraordinary work). Daniel Kelley borrows from neuroscience as well as traditional knowledge, such as the Tibetan Dreaming Yogas, to create an approachable and user-friendly method to those who are either new to this stuff, or are wanting to take their "inner-space explorations" to the next level.

One of the key contributions of this work is the acknowledgement of personal empowerment and intention when deciding to go "beyond the veil". This is crucial, because there is a tendency for beginers to give over to their fears of their own projections, which often generates one of two reactions: it frightens them away to face their unconscious fears, or they'll unwittingly attempt to use it to scare themselves into "higher consciousness". Daniel Kelley teaches us not to react, but to respond. That is, you must face up to your fears, because they are the wounded parts of ourselves that are imprinted within our energy body. Once we come to terms with our conscious or repressed fears, then we can continue to co-create our realities in wakefulness, sleep or beyond. Robert Bly, the great poet, says: "We must eat our own shadow". I rather like that.

Kevin J. Foltz

Review of Behind The Veil

by Bob Peterson

Today I'm reviewing the book Behind the Veil: The Complete Guide to Conscious Sleep by Daniel Kelley. The author, Daniel Kelley, was kind enough to send me a copy of his book a couple months ago, and it's a good one. I put a lot of flags in the book, and that's a very good sign. The information is based on Kelley's twenty years of experience, so apparently he has good credentials.

Think of this book as the other side of the coin of my previous review. An Adjacent Place was all narratives and no techniques, whereas this one is all techniques and no narratives to speak of.

Kelley's goal is to teach you become a competent "Veiler." In other words, someone who lives life behind the veil. The theory is sound: most people spend 8 hours a day sleeping, so a third of their life is wasted. A true "Veiler" tries to squeeze 24 hours of consciousness, taking advantage of all stages of sleep.

So in one sense, this book isn't about Astral Projection or out-of-body experiences. It's about attaining conscious sleep. But it's a slow progression, and the ultimate result at the end is, in fact, astral projection.

The book is very systematic. It suggests a 120-day curriculum in which you learn new techniques every week, then put them into practice. Every week you become more proficient, and every lesson builds on the previous. So in that sense, the material is very well organized, concise, instructive, and even somewhat entertaining. Though I'm overly simplifying things, the progression goes something like this:

•Learn about dreams and the different dream types.

•Start keeping a dream journal.

•Develop internal energy (Chi / Qi) to fuel awareness.

•Make your dreams more vivid.

•Develop lucidity and make your dreams lucid.

•Develop conscious awareness during nREM sleep.

•Progress from lucid dreaming to astral projection.

•Progress from astral projection to astral travel.

Some of Kelley's techniques are fairly innovative and some are more traditional, but re-branded with a new name (or possibly an older name I'm not familiar with). It's almost like a movie with lots of twists and turns: It's very easy to miss things that are vitally important. For that reason, I actually recommend you read this book twice. The first time will give you a basic understanding, but you might get more benefit from the second reading where things may just "click" and make more sense.

Kelley won my heart right away. Early on, he states that he began practicing Tai Chi, and leaned toward Taoism, like I did in the early 1980s when I started having OBEs. I can't remember any other book in the genre that touts the virtues of Tai Chi. (Graham Nicholls teaches the "Push Hands" technique, and Robert Bruce teaches Taoist Chi / Qi circulation, so they're close).

Unlike most books in the genre, Kelley insists that not everyone is suited to be a Veiler. Like learning to play piano or any other skill, you can learn and practice the motions and techniques and make some accomplishments, but it really helps to have some level of built-in skill.

Throughout the book, he makes some very insightful observations. For example, he compares our consciousness to the weather. He writes:

"...the mind and it's [sic] objects are like the weather, whereas our overall consciousness is like the sky in which the changing weather occurs. The problem is that we tend to identify with the changing weather and forget that we're the unchanged sky." (pg. XX).

Kelley has obviously done a lot of research on consciousness, and presents a good amount of science regarding sleep. He talks about the details of brain waves, brain hormones, sleep cycles, and neuroplasticity: The ability of the brain to rewire itself. Kelley says:

"The take-home message is this: Unless you rewire yourself to make it happen, you won't succeed." (pg. XX)

He admits upfront that:

"Many of the methods offered here are pulled directly from the Taoist, Yogic, Tibetan, and Tantric traditions I've personally used in my own quest." (pg. XX)

He talks about Taoist meditation, embryonic breathing, Chi/Qi circulation; the same "microcosmic" and "grand circulation" orbits I learned in Tai Chi as an energy building exercise. He doesn't teach Tai Chi or Qi Gong per se, but he teaches the energy systems they use, and he goes into good detail about them.

He doesn't call out the WBTB (Wake Back To Bed) but he suggests a similar thing: wake up and practice at 4:00am.

He also stresses that:

"It's your consistent and firm intention to step behind the Veil that unlocks the mysteries behind it!" (pg. XX)


"When trying to grasp the Trance state it helps to know that intention isn't the same thing as effort. An intention carries it's [sic] own energy and that energy has a movement all its own. Effort, on the other hand, is a form of tension.  Obviously, there's a place where effort is needed, but when it comes to the attaining of Trance, manipulating Qi, or going Astral, it only gets in the way." (pg. XX)

Kelley has some very unique ideas that are not found in other books in the genre. Here a some examples of unique ideas from this book:

He says the ideal position is keeping the upper body at a 45-degree angle, much like a hospital bed. Too often, we're pre-programmed to fall asleep whenever we're lying down, so this helps to retain consciousness.

Unlike other books in the genre, Kelley talks about the different veils. He says lucid dreaming is related to the "Veil of Dreams" whereas the veil related to astral projection is "The Veil of Ghosts." Cool name, but unfortunately he doesn't go into much detail about these labels.

I have my own theory about the four OBE states, but Kelley sees awareness mostly as a progression of states. For example, he says the Physical has more in common with the Etheric, and the Dream has more in common with the astral.

He recommends you completely ignore exit-symptoms. He says to pay no attention whatsoever to the vibrations, voices, or visions.

He talks about "The Psychic Mote" which is a psychological wall that forms between the part of us that perceives subtle-realm experiences and the part that interprets those perceptions.

He talks about how many people have simple blockages or bad habits that keep them from OBEs, such as drinking too much coffee, consuming too much alcohol, or eating too close to bedtime.

He talks about neurotropic supplements like Huperzine, L-Theanine, etc.: a subject sorely lacking in most OBE books.

He introduces an exercise called "Channeling Intensity" which is kind of like intensifying your awareness, feelings and raw emotions, so that you feel everything more deeply.

Sharpening your imagination, trying to create a sense of realism. For example, don't just imagine a scene. Imagine you're staring into the scene.

Working on intensifying your imagination one sense at a time: focusing on sight one time, sound another time, touch another time, etc.

He talks about three different levels of lucid dreaming, LD-1, LD-2, LD-3.

He talks about four different levels of pellucid dreaming: PD-1 thru 4.

He talks about training the dissociative reflex.

Another thing that won my heart: In Week 6, he gives a technique that's basically the same as my technique of manipulating hypnagogic images.

Another thing I liked: In my first book, I described childhood experiences in which my consciousness would shrink to an incredibly small size, which terrified me: I remember watching a single grain of salt tower over me. Kelley described a similar thing:

"The image of a huge boulder rolling over a toothpick comes to mind, but that's not quite it. It's as if your very soul is rapidly shrinking to the point where at any moment it'll be extinguished. In its place grows a terrifying feeling of fear and amnesia followed by blackouts and a pervasive sense of danger." (pg. XXX).

The book is fairly big. I can't tell you exactly how many pages because--and this is the book's only shortcoming--it has no page numbers! But bear in mind I got a pre-release copy; the book has since been professionally edited. So I expect that to have changed. The book is about a half-inch (1.25 cm) thick, but wider and taller than most books. The footprint is about the same as Nanci Trivellato's book, but not as thick. So there's a good amount of content.

The writing is very good. Mature. The grammar, spelling and organization are almost professional quality. Only a few cases of "its" versus "it's" that should hopefully be fixed in the final version. Kelley obviously took a lot of time and care with this book.

I'm giving this book 4 out of 5 stars. It's a great book, very innovative, and well worth the money.

Created by Collegium Cherubim