However they choose to relax, the end result for all of them is the same: to eliminate "brain chatter" - those little voices that remind us of everything from what we need at the supermarket to physical aches and pains. Their minds must be completely silent and open so they can experience what is about to unfold in their mind's eye.
When I began researching psychics and psychic spies in preparation for writing the Black Swamp Mysteries series, I took courses in the subject and also interviewed several successful now-retired psychic spies, as well as read several books written by Defense Department and CIA psychics. I developed a system for Vicki to free her mind from all that was going on around her and the brain chatter from within that is based on the interviews and courses.
Here is a scene from Vicki's Key in which psychic spy Vicki Boyd is physically located in her fish breeding business (a front) while she goes halfway around the world in her mind's eye - to Afghanistan.
Vicki sat cross-legged on the concrete floor, her eyes closed. The constant splash of dozens of fish tank filters made her feel as if she was sitting at the base of a waterfall. The air was hot and humid even with the air conditioning on, but her legs were cool against the concrete.
Sam sat a few feet away. She knew he was watching her intently and once her breathing reached a certain point, he would begin to direct her movements. The door to the fish house was cracked open; outside, Julia casually smoked a cigarette. To a neighbor glancing out a window, it might have appeared as though she had just stepped outside to take a smoke break. But Vicki knew she would stop their session in an instant should Dylan return home or Benita wandered from the house.
“Twenty minutes.” Sam spoke quietly as he switched on a camcorder.
Somewhere in Vicki’s subconscious, she registered the time. She knew, even with her eyes closed, she would emerge from her trance-like state in precisely twenty minutes.
She took a deep breath and felt her chest rise and fall in a pattern similar to sleep. She cleared her mind of the dozens of details and thoughts that threatened to hijack her concentration and focused instead on the steady sound of the water surrounding her.
Though her eyes remained closed, she felt the room grow white around her and then she was whisked upward like a bird catching its broad wings on a current of air and allowing it to take her away.
She was weightless. It felt effortless to spread her wings and be transported high above the ground, above the treetops and rooflines, soaring toward the clouds. It was a beautiful summer day, the sky a shade of blue that set the Carolinas apart; dotted here and there with fluffy, white clouds that danced with her every movement.
She felt like an eagle. As she glided on the air current, she became acutely aware of her eyesight; it was stronger than a human’s—so strong that she could see a rabbit emerging from a row of hedges nearly a mile away. The tiniest bird was clearly visible and eggs in treetop nests shone like beacons.
When Sam spoke, his voice was calm and authoritative. “Latitude,” he said simply. She cocked her head as if listening to him through an earpiece.
Like a satellite being tuned to a specific frequency, she honed in on the thirty-fifth parallel, instantly sailing from Lumberton northward to the outskirts of Raleigh.
“State your present longitude.”
Almost robotically, Vicki answered. “Seventy-eight.”
“Move east, across the ocean.”
She dutifully turned eastward. In the blink of an eye, the clouds were gone. In their place was a solid, deep blue the shade of a passionflower, almost purple in its cavernous intensity. Beneath her were shades of brown. Gone were the flowers of North Carolina, bursting in their kaleidoscope of brilliant colors; gone were the trees with their extensive range of greens that ran the gamut from peridot to deep moss. In its place was the Moroccan desert, its sands stretching in various shades of fawn across the earth. Buildings rose in blocks of yellow- and reddish-brown, their height their only distinguishing characteristic from the shifting sands. She soared above jagged crags that rose from the ground like hilltops created from the variable winds.
“Morocco,” she said flatly, like an obedient soldier reporting her location.
“Continue east,” he said evenly. “Longitude seventy-one.”
She soared upward as the ground rose beneath her like a monster awakening. The air was thinner and dry, her mouth beginning to parch. Beneath her were the jagged peaks of the Hindu Kush.
“State your position.”
“Northeast of Kabul, Afghanistan. Headed toward Pakistan. Foothills of the Himalayas.”
“Do not leave Afghanistan.”
Her wings angled, causing her to float above the mountain peaks in a slow, mesmerizing circle, like an eagle searching the terrain for prey.
“Your mission,” he said, his voice soft but firm in her imagined earpiece, “is to locate a remote village. Only one road leads in through the mountains, isolating it from the rest of the country.”
Vicki's Key introduces psychic spy Vicki Boyd and is part of the Black Swamp Mysteries series. The books are sold at all fine book stores and online in both eBook and print formats.