Occasionally questions are received by hymla.com relating to meditation and then are responded to from a Yoga-meditation perspective. Here is one such email question and the response for your enjoyment and information.
Question: Is astral projection safe or something to be avoided?
Answer: The goal of Yoga-meditation is to know the True Self, not to play with powers. So I'd say not to seek astral projection. Without the help of an expert, one might get into trouble with such experiences and it's a complete distraction from the goal of Yoga. Why waste time with such things? If it is experience that is wanted, go to the movies or on some adventure. If you want to know the Truth, meditate and let the mind become calm and focused.
Further Question: The interest I have in astral projection is not for amusement or distraction. I would be interested in meeting people I can learn from in the astral plane and also meeting beings with positive energies. Can astral travel or projection expand consciousness? I wrote down what you mentioned that astral projection should be under the guidance of a master.
Answer: When I said that astral projection is a distraction, I meant that it is a distraction from the main goals of Yoga-meditation, which are to know the Truth and to attain self-mastery. I prefer to stay on target and have not spent time with astral projection. I do have some questions for you though: (1) Why try to travel outside of your body when you can do so in your body? Why get so ungrounded like that? (2) You said you want to meet beings with positive energy, but how do you know you won't meet beings with negative energy? If you are in an energy world, and meet such negative beings, I wonder whether it would be more difficult to escape. At any rate, how does this differ from dreaming?
When I said that astral projection should be under the guidance of a master, I meant a true self-realized meditation master; not just someone who calls themselves a master but actually has no attainment. Unfortunately, there are very few true masters and many of the second type. Be aware.
You asked whether astral projection can expand consciousness. Actually, I am not sure how it differs from dreams or waking consciousness. Expansion of consciousness happens with meditation.
I get the impression that what you're seeking is experience and learning. There are many traditions of knowledge and wisdom in the world, including Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and others, that are time tested and contain great richness and beauty. The meditative paths of Yoga, Buddhism, Sufism go deeper to give direct experience of the Truth. So, there is a banquet available. You might consider diving into one of these traditions of wisdom rather than wandering without a map into questionable territory.