The term out-of-body experience, also known as an OBE, is specific to an energy body state where consciousness is separate and away from the physical body. The physical body might remain in full view to the energy body during an OBE, or the energy body might travel away from the physical body to the ends of the earth, though remain tethered and fully capable of snapping back into it in an instant. This separation of energy and physical body is quite natural, especially in dreaming. It can also happen volitionally in waking states or involuntarily under the impact of trauma.
Traumatic separation of physical body and energy body is considered a dissociative psychological defense that occurs when overpowering physical or psychological events—events that are too much for the body to process—send consciousness into refuge away from the body.
As opposed to an OBE, dissociation can also occur within the body, in an in-body experience. In contrast to a separation of energy body and physical body, this dissociation involves a separation of mind and body where the mind dominates as an in-body energy center that preoccupies our attention—or consciousness—with an incessant internal dialogue that judges, critiques, and compares us to others without pause. This nonstop stream of chatter can so absorb our awareness that our bodies are completely rigidified and fatigued by the emotional energy generated by these internal messages. In fact, our internal messaging systems, like the texts and pings we constantly hear on mobile devices as we walk, sit, talk, sleep, and drive, completely dissociate us from the location and action of our bodies in space and time.
The Shamans of Ancient Mexico called this dominance of the human body by the mind, a foreign installation—an aberration that grossly limits our humanness and the fuller realization of our true human potential. Pragmatic practitioners, those shamans realized that they could not fight the mind with the mind. They discovered instead that they could find inner silence, the shutting down of the incessant dialogue of the mind, by practicing bodily movements that required their full attention in order to be performed successfully. Toward this end those shamans saturated their lives with these physical movements, which they called Magical Passes. With full attention placed on doing these bodily movements, they were able to achieve increasing moments of inner silence that released access to their fuller potential as navigators of infinity outside the limited confines of the mind.
I encourage the practice of movements such as tensegrity, yoga, martial arts, or any physical activity that when practiced mindfully— with full awareness of the body experience—separates the practitioner from the meanderings of the dissociative mind.
Awareness, in full association with body, unleashes our true potential as human beings and frees us from the bondage of a mind-driven dissociated life, which is the current fixation of our species. The mind in this fixed state is a great thing to lose, as awareness is then freed to fully coordinate with the wisdom and action of the body in alignment with our unlimited potential.