Hi JKith and welcome aboard!
I felt as if I was getting ripped apart in a violent way, that was (looking back at it now) kind of painful, it wasn't pleasant at all. I didn't have any physical pain upon waking, but the sensations were strong and violent.
It sounds like you came very close and that the first thing you received was a fear test. Not a great way to start but retrospectively, the question being posed could be: "Are you sure you are ready for this?"
In my first NPMR encounter, I thought I had died.
It seems as though you were entering what many people consider the "Vibration State"
. It looks like you got the paint-can mixer treatment but don't be put off by it. It varies in intensity and you'll develop a fair degree of mental control over them with practice. Sometimes, I feel very gentle and weak buzzing and occasionally as though I'm in a paint-can shaker as well as every level between the two extremes. Never any pain though. Just an unpleasant violent shaking. Again, once you experience them enough then you figure out how to control them instinctively just like using your hands, eyes and feet.
How to proceed? Well firstly ask yourself the question above... Are you positive you want to open that door? There's no closing it once it's open. There will be fear tests, a lot of learning and introspection, and there will be some truly extraordinary moments of extreme emotions and tear-jerking beauty.
So getting to the meat...
How to navigate this?
With your intent. Set your intent to accept it and to allow it to happen to you. Resign to it and accept it as inevitable.
Is it safe to continue?
is a subjective term. You'll be exposed to some truly paradigm shifting situations. They will change your core belief structures, self identity and your personal understanding of the "Big Picture"
. It will change they way you think, feel and interract with other people as well as yourself.
So is it safe? Only if you accept the fact it will change you in PMR as well... For better or worse depends on what you yourself bring to the table.
Should I ride out these strong pulses regardless if I believe i'm going to die?
Yes, however you take your beliefs with you. You won't "physically"
die, but you may enter an NPMR situation where you are faced with your death and this can happen MANY times. You enter into an entirely "Thought Reactive"
enviromnent where your thoughts, beliefs and judgements create the environment you perceive. If you are fearful, then the NPMR frames you enter will mirror your fears.
Is this sort of thing normal when wanting to experience NPMR?
I've had 516 NPMR encounters since October 2015 when they all began. Every single one of them has been spontaneous in the wee hours of the morning and every single one started with passing through the Vibration State. Sometimes violent vibrations and sometimes gentle buzzing. Sometimes a flash over the skin like diving into a pool of water, and ALWAYS gentle dissipating vibrations on emergence back to PMR.
They begin with a sense of imminence and absolute certainty that "something"
is going to happen. There is a flash of profound mental clarity, focus and then I get auditory distortions rapidly followed by the vibration state.
Of course these are the markers/sypmtoms I experience. Everyone is different and there are others here who could report very different characteristics...
I want to know the true nature of consciousness, experience greater freedom, understand the larger picture of reality and the lives i've lived, meet non-physical friends, explore my subconscious even more possibly in 3D non-physical environment to further my practice of dissolving ego, prove out for myself what Tom talks about in My Big TOE.... etc etc,.. the list goes on.
There's no need to articulate "why"
you want NPMR access. My personal view is that regardless of whatever your initial motives may be, once you've truly experienced an NPMR frame that you perceive as just as "physically real"
as this reality you live/breathe/pay taxes in, then that realisation alone completely
dissolves whatever prior motivations you may have had... It's all consciousness and it knows you better than you know yourself.
Whatever motives you enter with, it will call all your bluffs
, even the ones you don't willingly/knowingly bring... In PMR you can easily hide your car keys. In NPMR, you can't hide your mind.
So, I've found that the easiest way to enter NPMR on a consistent basis it to be able to identify the mental states immediately prior and during the transition. Once you are familiar with those mental states, then it is easier to trigger on waking from or falling asleep.
Meditation is an excellent starting point as the events you describe in your post ring strongly of the mental states you need to pay attention to...
is also a good starting point. The reason being, that often times when you gain complete lucidity and self-awareness within a Dream, one's almost always expunged back to PMR. However if you are critical enough, then you can catch the entire PMR emergence whilst you wake and very clearly identify every mental state and series of return events. There is no ground more fertile than this in order to familiarise yourself with the mental states. Whenever I gain dream awareness, my vision fades to black and I immediatley find myself within the vibration state where I can either emerge back in PMR or deepen and emerge in NPMR. All the mental states you described above are clearly identifiable.
How to gain it? Well practice dream recall. Whenever you remember during the day, simply stop whatever you're doing and simply scrutinise your hands for 10 seconds, examining the details of your fignernails, palms and finger prints. 10 seconds as often as you can remember through the day. Within perhaps 2 weeks of dedicated daily practice, especially before bed at night, you'll find you do it within your dream. The moment you do it in a dream, you'll become lucid and realise the nature of your environment. What happens next, is you pay specific attention to the exit back to PMR. Learn every step/sensation of the return process and learn to remember exactly how it "felt"
Once you've "felt"
those pre-cursors often enough, then you will simply identify them, deepen the vibration state and off you go into NPMR. It will become a reflex action and you won't have to look at your hands anymore. With more exposure, you mightn't even pass through the vibrations. A new reality frame will simply condense around you.
There's probably much more experienced forum members here who can contribute with more relevance and experience than my meagre logs, but we're all learning together... It would be too easy if we had all the answers right?