I would first like to thank you! I attempted meditation for the first time during my college years- bought an enormous book tried to understand everything it wanted me to do sat there time after time trying to "meditate" and finding that I only ended up with a dry throat ;). Fast Forward 16 years & 2 years into practicing yoga. I believe my first success at meditation was in Savasana at the end of a very memorable yoga class... As I lay on my mat, completely surrendered, my mind started to wander...I was no longer in my body. I felt as if I were "tripping" for lack of a better comparison. I have been able to return to that state at the end of a practice and at times it freaks me out. This also occurs while I lay in bed trying to sleep. I am somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness-almost an awake dream-state. I have not attempted to achieve this "at-will" until this am with you. again, as if i am tripping- visualizing people i do not know, scenes i do not recognize... is this normal?
Awake while entering dreams
It's not only normal but also a very desirable state. Many artists, scientists and visionaries have gone to great lengths to get flashes of this state of consciousness. Look up hypnagogia in Wikipedia for a full list of all the amazing people who've used this state of consciousness to achieve great things.
Don't be freaked out by it. Relax into it. You'll find that you can snap out of it at any moment if you need to but when you are deliberately meditating you should let your mind slip into this state whenever you feel it. This is part of becoming comfortable with spiritual experience.
Follow up question:
Thank you for your response! I remember when I was much younger, slipping into this state and "jumping" up wanting to draw what I had just visualized. I wish i had learned to just go with it at that time! :) I just read up on Hypnogogia and not only is that EXACTLY what I have experienced both involuntarily and "at-will" but I also certainly have had the phosphenes as well as exploding head syndrome, I have experienced all of these as long as I can remember... In fact, I can recall being a young child closing my eyes at bedtime and experiencing these phosphenes..... I'm going to just go with it- see how deep I can get ;) And definitely spend more time meditating with you.. can you suggest the next course I should take?
Awesome follow up answer:
So cool right? You're also in some pretty great company with a lot of the great philosophers and scientists through history. If you're looking at courses online you should check out my essential guide to meditation. I go much further into many kinds of meditation. If you're in a city that I travel to regularly (L.A., New York, San Francisco, Miami, Sydney Australia, Phoenix) you should come and take a class with me.