The SATS Method: Gain Mastery Over Your Reality (Neville Goddard Manifestation)

Image of Neville Goddard and SATS method

If you feel stuck with manifestation, this article is for you. Today, we will look at Neville Goddard’s SATS technique.

This technique, though great, is often misunderstood and done incorrectly, hence the struggle so many experience. So in this article, I will show you how to use this method in the correct manner and the principles you must follow to ensure success. These principles or “laws of the mind” are the difference between success and failure. If they’re not followed, it will not work.

In this article, you will learn:

  • What “SATS” means
  • Why this method is so effective
  • How to do the SATS method correctly
  • How to ensure a successful practice
  • How often you should do it and how long it take for results

What Is the SATS Technique?

SATS is a manifestation technique or method developed by Neville Goddard (though he never used that term himself).

SATS stands for “state akin to sleep” —  a meditative and relaxed state of mind and body, which will be described later. The first step is going into SATS or a “state akin to sleep,” but note the term SATS will also be used to describe the method in its entirety.

In rough steps, the SATS method involves: 1) going into a state akin to sleep and 2) imagining a scene or mental movie implying that you are now in possession of your desire.

I will explain how and why in a moment, but before that, we need to understand what makes SATS so effective.

Why Is SATS So Effective?

Though manifestation techniques are just that — techniques — SATS seems to be one of the superior ones. Why is that?

First of all, the soft spot I have for SATS comes not only from its effectiveness but from the fact that it’s like you are peeking into a totally different reality, previewing what it will be like before you make your final entrance. And resultantly, once the desire or intention eventually manifests, you are often left with a feeling of surreality and deja vu.

Secondly, the reason SATS is so powerful in the act of manifestation is this: it perfectly follows a set of principles that enables the acceptation of an idea into the subconscious. This means that one cannot help but get results of some form if one follows the procedure correctly.

Manifestation is all about the subconscious mind, the “imaginative being,” the deeper strata of your mind that operates below the conscious faculties. All that is necessary when you are manifesting is to get the subconscious mind to undertake the particular desire wished for. When the wish is impressed and realized in the subconscious, the subconscious will, through seemingly magical powers of its own, orchestrate the manifestation of that wish as external fact.

SATS works because it provides a pathway of communication between the individual and their subconscious. With that in mind, let’s now proceed with how to do the SATS technique.

Preparation Before You Begin SATS

Before you begin the practice, start by defining what you want to manifest (your goal or desire). Then, create one or more small mental dramas or imaginal acts, each implying that your desire is now an accomplished fact.

Preliminary Step 1: Defining Your Objective

First, pick your goal. It can be something you deeply desire, or you can simply make a “test manifestation” by going for something small.

It can be as broad or as specific as you want. If you want more money, you could imagine an exact amount, or you could simply just imagine that you are rich. Since you’re here, you probably already have a goal in mind.

As a bit of controversial advice, I recommend not going further than your faith can bear. In the beginning, it should be a goal you can believe is within the scope of possibility. As you see the workings of this power, faith grows in almost exponential fashion, and you can rapidly move on to bigger goals. For instance, if you find it overwhelmingly hard to believe that the mind can influence something on the outside, choose an ego-strengthening goal such as “more confidence.”

Preliminary Step 2: Creating a Scene

When you know what you want, construct a small scene or mental drama that implies the fulfillment of that desire. Restrict it to a single concentrated act. For example, if you want a particular job, imagine being congratulated by a friend or reading an email telling you, “You’ve got the job.”

You can do multiple of these scenes within each SATS session, but I find it more optimal to concentrate on one scene with only a single concentrated action. What we want is to make changes within; not just to daydream.

And remember, the imaginal act has to take place after the fulfillment of the desire. We only want to suggest the end outcome to the subconscious. Once a target is given it will, by itself, formulate the means of achievement.

How to Do the SATS Technique

So, you have your scene and a clearly defined goal. You are now ready to do the SATS technique. I have divided it into four steps:

Step 1: Inducing a State Akin to Sleep

First and foremost, find a place to relax where you will not be distracted. Sit or lie down, and close your eyes. You will now induce a state akin to sleep.

Why This is Necessary

Going into a relaxed state means that:

  • The subconscious becomes amenable to suggestion
  • Imagining becomes more effortless

Inducing “a state akin to sleep,” as Neville called it, or a state of autohypnosis, we lull the critical factors and inhibitions of the mind to rest. As we do this, we move in touch with the subconscious, which by nature is responsive to suggestion. Once the barriers of the normal waking state are softened, we are free to implant any suggestion within ourselves. This is demonstrated in profound states of hypnosis, where the suggestion that “your hand is a balloon” will cause the hand to float upwards.

This state of meditation favors attention without effort, enabling you to concentrate exclusively on a single state without any effort or tension on your part. This is vital for success.

How to Induce This Drowsy State

Below I’ve outlined one of many methods for inducing a state akin to sleep.

Sit or lie down in a comfortable position, in a place where you will not be disturbed.

Close your eyes and turn your attention to your breathing. Breathe slowly and deeply. As you breathe out, begin to focus on each part of your body in sequence, starting from your toes. As you bring your awareness to each body part — toes, feet, calves, thighs, abdomen, chest, arms, hands, neck, face, etc. — mentally address that part, saying, “Relax, let go,” as you allow it to release any tension.

Not only does this particular method of induction cast a deep state of relaxation on the body, but by focusing your attention on different parts of the body, you encourage a state of concentration.

This induction of the state akin to sleep is quintessential to the succession of the next step — impressing the subconscious.

Step 2: Imagining

You are now in a state akin to sleep, in a state of autohypnosis, and can proceed with the “controlled waking dream” — the scene or action you’ve chosen to imagine. As you do this step, you will continue to move deeper into this state of autohypnosis.

In imagination, start enacting the scene. It is important that you do not merely visualize but that you immerse yourself in it as if you were actually doing it. Imagine with confidence and conviction.

Let the environment of the scene surround you. View it through your own eyes, from a first-person point of view. Feel the reality of it. Imagine that you are really there. Though your physical body is at rest, allow your imaginary body to move around in the scene.

Keep imagining, keep concentrating your mind on this state without letting yourself dwell on any other thoughts. As you monopolize your attention on this state, it becomes the only reality to your mind, and gradually, the scene will begin to feel more and more real.

How to Imagine in SATS:

Partake in the scene: Feel yourself into the action as if you were really doing it, looking through your own eyes as if you were there. For instance, if you’re shaking someone’s hand instead of merely visualizing it, imagine that you are really doing it.

Monopoly of attention: Your mind should be dominated by the imaginal act, and nothing else. Do not hold on to thoughts like, “Is that chair over there vivid enough” or “Am I doing this correctly?”

Vividness: The vividness of your visualization is not important. You do not need to see a clear, brightly colored world around you. Again, you cannot immerse yourself in the state of your desire if you’re simultaneously thinking about the vividness of your mental imagery.

Include senses: Include your senses in the scene. Touch the objects around you with your mental hands, hear the ambient sounds through your mental ears.

Minimal effort: As I will explain in a later section, a lack of effort is vital. This is not an act of will but an act of imagination. Imagining and holding your attention on the desired state should be simple and easy, done with no sense of strain.

Feeling: Feeling is not emotion only, but things such as gratitude, satisfaction, and joy are common. As you repeat the scene, and as you hold your attention on it, it will begin to feel real, and emotion will often appear automatically. Emotion acts as a catalyst, strengthening the imaginal act.

Repeating the scene: Keep looping the scene over and over. Do so until you get a feeling of satisfaction where you do not want to repeat it anymore.

As you imagine and as it begins to feel real, you are effectively transforming your desire into a subconscious state. What in your mind was merely a “mental waking dream” was the correlation of a much more abstract and advanced movement in the subconscious, which will eventually resolve in the manifestation of your desire.

You may be under the impression that this is a really difficult and complex exercise that only the greatest preparation can do justice, but that’s far from the truth. The underlying processes may be complex, but the practice should be both simple and easy.

Step 3: Awakening or Falling Asleep

You are still imagining, looping your scene over and over, but have now reached the point of satisfaction. Depending on whether you are doing SATS at night or in the day, you have two options:

If you’re doing SATS at night before bed, simply doze off to sleep while imagining. It will be seamless and unnoticeable. If you cannot do so, wake up from your meditative state and let yourself fall asleep shortly after.

If you’re doing SATS during the day, once you reach the point of satisfaction where you have no desire to repeat the scene anymore, it’s a great time to awaken from your slumber. After having done so, you will no doubt feel cheerful and revitalized. If you were deeply concentrated on the imagined state, you might even be a bit disoriented.

Step 4: Afterwards

Having awoken from your SATS session, the question becomes: what now? Like a seed, the desire is planted in the fertile ground of the subconscious, and though repeated sessions will be needed to strengthen it, your desire will begin to “grow” into existence, both through you and around you.


Repeat this practice once or twice a day — one of which, preferably at night in bed. Each successive practice strengthens and nurtures the idea.

Taking Action

You are relieved of the burden of making the desire appear. Acting totally beyond your conscious mind, the subconscious mind will, with its own intelligence, move others around, change your life’s circumstances, and open new paths before you, all in a grand orchestration that leads you step-by-step to complete manifestation.

This does not mean that your job is to sit and wait. Not only do you have to repeat SATS over and over again, but the subconscious, rearranging things according to the new plan will also compel you into action. Sometimes, your actions will seem to lead to nothing, but as a rule of thumb, when you see an opportunity to move forward — take action. It could be the subconscious nudging you.

The path to your desire will open by itself, but you have to do the walking.

Ensuring Success With SATS — Follow These Principles

You are now familiar with how to do the SATS technique. But as mentioned, SATS works because it calls certain principles into play — principles that govern how a mere idea in the conscious mind gets transformed into a subconscious state.

I highlight them here because they may seem trivial at first, yet they are the key to success.

1) The Law of Reversed Effort

“If there is one reason in this whole vast world why people fail it is because they are unaware of a law known to psychologists today as the law of reversed effort.”

Neville Goddard, Five Lessons, 1948, Lesson 2 – “Assumptions Harden Into Fact.”

In Neville’s view, too much effort was the biggest cause of failure, and I believe it continues to be the culprit today.

How it works:

The more forcefully you try to force an idea into the subconscious, the more you invoke a counter-suggestion of the opposite nature. You cannot, for example, force yourself to go to sleep. The more you try to sleep, the more awake you become.

If you, for instance, are visualizing a scene implying “I am confident in social situations,” as you meet the currently embedded idea of social awkwardness, the more you push against it, the greater the resistance becomes. Instead of imagining “I am confident,” the more you vainly try and overcome the resisting idea of awkwardness, the more intensely you think “I can’t” or “I am socially awkward.” The SATS session effectively served to strengthen the thing you didn’t want to be true as opposed to the thing you intended to bring about. Your willpower tried to do one thing but was counteracted by imagination.

What to do:

To follow the law of reversed effort, your SATS sessions should always be easy and simple. Imagine your desire, but sacrifice emotion and vividness of visualization if that’s what is needed to make it easy. If you feel you are doing it incorrectly, don’t stress! It’s better to move only one step forward each session than to turn around and go backward.

2) Concentration

“A single sensation dominates the mind if you pray successfully.”

Neville Goddard, Five Lessons, 1948, Lesson 4 — “No One to Change But Self”

For the internalization of the desire to happen, concentrate completely on the state imagined and nothing else.

How it works:

Your attention should be given exclusively or almost exclusively to the imaginal act. As the imaginal act begins dominating the mind, other thoughts, such as “This doesn’t work,” “Is this correct?” etc., are crowded out because there simply isn’t room for them. We can only hold one thought in the mind at a time. A thought dominating the mind momentarily becomes a fact to that mind. This is not unlike certain hypnotic techniques where the subject loses themselves completely in a swinging pendulum or a ticking clock.

Combining concentration with a state akin to sleep, we create a very favorable condition where the intention easily sinks into the subconscious. If, however, the attention constantly fluctuates, first between the intention and then between other thoughts, the transformation of idea into subconscious state is either less potent or completely terminated.

For succeeding with SATS, it is pivotal that we focus exclusively on the imaginal act. But we always have to remember the law of reversed effort; forcing yourself to think one thing really only enforces its negative. What we want is a condition where the attention is encaptured or almost hypnotized by the imaginal act.

What to do:

The state akin to sleep automatically favors concentrated attention without effort. The progressive muscle relaxation laid out earlier further helps in this.

As you start performing the imaginal act, the attention may still run loose, fluctuating between a bunch of thoughts, but by gently bringing it back again and again, it will eventually get lost in the imaginal act and stay there without your aid.

3) Emotion

Emotion acts as an auxiliary. It is not strictly necessary, but it makes the particular SATS session more effective. They often appear on their own when imagining.

How it works:

By bathing the imaginal act in deep emotion — gratitude, satisfaction, fulfillment, joy — the transformation of idea into subconscious state becomes more potent.

Have you not noticed that on days when you feel happy, you tend to focus on all the good things in life? And likewise, when you are in an irritated mood, things that wouldn’t normally bother you seem to make you even more angry. This is what emotion seems to do. It amplifies suggestions of alike nature.

What to do:

In SATS, after having gone to a state akin to sleep, you are likely in a fairly peaceful state. Though it is a pleasant feeling, emotion seems to be at rest.

As you begin imagining the thing desired, as you begin concentrating more and more on it, gratitude, joy, fulfillment will begin to appear on their own. This emotion, in turn, strengthens the imaginal act, amplifying its effect on the subconscious.

If emotion doesn’t appear on its own, merely thinking “gratitude” will call up gratitude. Emotion can be lured up from the depths, but remember they must never be forced as this sets in motion the law of reversed effort.

4) A state of Autohypnosis

What we want is obviously to implant our desire upon the subconscious, to turn our desire into an internalized state. The state akin to sleep, which acts as a form of autohypnosis, moves us in closer rapport with the subconscious, from where we can give the suggestion of our desire.

How it works:

I touched on the state akin to sleep in the earlier section, but I want to add a bit more to it.

The subconscious is always responsive to suggestion. The problem is that during the waking state, our ordinary mental faculties seem to form a barrier between ourselves and the subconscious. We are stuck on the surface of the mind and cannot profitably give suggestions.

During sleep, these mental faculties are in abeyance, and the subconscious, like water, rises from below and floods the surface. This would otherwise be a great time to do the imaginal act and impress the subconscious, but we meet with another problem: our mental faculties are now so sound asleep that we cannot even think to do so.

This is why we induce a state akin to sleep. It is characterized by the immobilization of the physical body and a partial abeyance of some of the mental faculties, but where we are still attentive and able to direct our thought. In this mixed state, the rigidity of the waking state is removed sufficiently to summon the subconscious, but we are not asleep and, therefore, able to give suggestions.

What to do:

Follow the relaxation procedure laid out in the “How to Do the SATS Technique” section, or use another relaxation method of your liking.

5) Repetition and Consistency

This is the cornerstone of success. If it is removed, the whole building falls. Each successive session strengthens the idea implanted in the subconscious.

How it works:

As a general rule, the idea does not get permanently planted in the subconscious upon first session.

It is not uncommon that shortly after a SATS session, you see improvements in the direction of your goal, which is then followed by a stagnation or a reversal back to the old situation. The desired idea did not have its roots firmly enough planted and was out-strengthened by the currently planted counter beliefs and assumptions (that have been accumulated and strengthened over the course of your life) fighting for their survival.

Through repeated sessions, we restrengthen the desire in the subconscious, allowing it to plant its roots more firmly until it becomes a permanent part of us.

What to do:

Do SATS every day at least once or twice, preferably one of them at night before bed. Do not skip a single day.

How long to continue for:

At some point, the desire will be so strong that it can hold its own against its competitors (the counter beliefs and assumptions). Neville called this the “point of satisfaction.” When you reach a point where it feels like your work is done, that you have made a change within, the seed is planted firmly.

At this point, you do not need to do SATS anymore, at least not every day. If, however, doubt ensues in your daily life or you do not see results, reignite the daily practice. Though it may take days, weeks, or months until you see the confirmation of it in manifestation, as long the idea is fully registered in the subconscious, it will manifest no matter what.

Daily Attitude — What to Do When Not Doing SATS?

When you’re not doing SATS and just going about your daily life, you do not want to dwell on thoughts like “This will never work” or “I didn’t do it right.” By doing this, these thoughts become suggestions. If they get strong enough, they will usurp the implanted desire.

This is a form of nocebo effect, you could say. If a person believes a certain medicine doesn’t work, the efficacy of the given medicine actually decreases. Likewise, if you constantly think, “I didn’t do it right,” all the work you did during SATS will be undone, even if you did it perfectly in the first place.

Instead, be neutral or positive. Have the attitude of either “I will wait and see what happens” or “This will work.” Just don’t lose yourself in unwarranted doubt and worry.

When is The Best Time to Do SATS?

The best time to do SATS is at night before bed.

Firstly, because you are already in a state akin to sleep, and the subconscious is automatically flooding the surface.

Secondly, because you will fall asleep shortly after. “The unconsciousness of sleep is the normal state of the subconscious” (Feeling is the Secret, Chapter 2 — “Sleep”). If you keep the suggestion fresh in the mind as you fall asleep, the suggestion is taken deep within your subconscious, contemplated, and sustained over the course of the night.

Do You Have to Visualize? SATS Without Visualization

If you don’t like visualizing, no big deal. The SATS technique is one of many. Neville himself said that one should find a technique that fits one’s temperament.

You can just as easily do a variant where you, for instance, substitute affirmation for visualization. Instead of visualizing you could simply think, “I am confident” over and over, and as long as you adhere to the above principles (the law of reversed effort, concentration, state akin to sleep, etc.) the affirmation will sink into the subconscious.

Additional techniques can be found in the “Further Reading” section.


The reason SATS is so powerful is that it provides a means through which you can implant your desire upon the subconscious. Mastery of your subconscious means mastery over your reality.

Reading about it is not enough. Reading without doing is the number one mistake. The only way to truly understand and benefit from manifestation is to practice it yourself. So, why wait? Start applying this method today. Trust me, if you learn this, you can truly live your dream life. You will have opened the floodgates of a truly incomprehensible power, and you’ll be able to do and achieve things you would have never thought possible.

I hope you found this article helpful. Please feel free to send any feedback or questions. Thanks for reading!

Further Reading:

Here are three techniques based on affirmation, that are great for those who don’t like visualizing:

A list of best manifestation techniques is also provided in this article:

Chris J.

Hi, I'm Chris. I have actively been practicing the art of manifestation for several years now, and have manifested many things in my own life. I have seen firsthand how powerful manifesting is, and how huge the result can be. On this website, I want to share my knowledge and experience from my many years of doing this and provide you with practical tips and techniques for the purpose of helping you manifest your desires and create the life that you want.

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