Naked girls, astral projection, and achieving Nirvana in 60 seconds or less

Astral Projection And Achieving Nirvana In 60 Seconds

It started because I wanted to see girls naked. I had glasses, braces, acne, was the worst kid in gym class, had crazy hair, and liked science fiction. And I was 12.

But through research in libraries, bookstores, random ads in the back of magazines at the local pharmacy, I knew there was one technique where if I applied all of my superior intelligence then certainly within weeks if not days I would reach my goal.

Astral projection.

I read a book, “Journeys Out of the Body” which seemed pretty convincing. You could basically leave your body, fly around wherever you wanted, see whatever you wanted to see, and by the time the sun rose, made sure you were back in your body for school.

Next step, I got the book, “The power of Psycho Cosmic Power” by Al Manning. It blew my mind. Not only would I be able to astral project but I would also be able to do things like make red traffic lights turn green, get people to do what I wanted them to do (like, maybe a girl would then take her clothes off in front of me), read people’s minds, etc.

But first, I had to follow the techniques from the book to build up my psycho cosmic power. For fifteen minutes a day I had to chant “Om” with my eyes closed and sitting in a chair. There was zero chance that was going to happen in my conservative Jewish household so I had to make due with lying down before I went to sleep and chanting it in my head silently instead.

I figured if I did it twice a day (when I woke and before I went to sleep) then that would make up for the fact that I wasn’t it saying it out loud. The book said that was OK.

Well, it didn’t work. So I increased the time to 30 minutes a day twice a day. I set my alarm clock for 4:50am so I would definitely be done doing my very non-Jewish things before my parents woke up. It didn’t work. I tried out some techniques in another book, “Secrets of the Mystic Masters”, but that didn’t work either.

Then another book suggested I chant while picturing a purple dot for a week. Then during week two, during my 30 minutes twice a day, I’d picture the purple dot turning into a tube. During week three, I’d have to climb through the tube. Etc. It didn’t work.

I did more research. Other techniques.

I found out there were other people doing this type of activity so started reading books about Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, all the time hiding them from my parents. Not even the rabbi suspected. Before long I was meditating on a daily basis, my new goal now to achieve some sort of eternal happiness (alas, it would be about six more years before my initial goal was achieved).

I figured if I couldn’t see anyone naked then at the very least I could achieve Nirvana. That would be cool, I thought. It became more or less, a consistent (or rather, drastically inconsistent) part of my life.

The reality is, 99% of people recognize the benefits of doing some form of meditation but they will never do it. Including me. Its hard to have a consistent practice of 20 minutes a day. In a nutshell, there is one primary benefit of meditation, and its not astral projection, or psychic powers, or unforeseen riches, etc.

Its how to stop getting lost in the maze so you can stand above it. You learn in those 20 minutes of “practice” (and it really is practice that is intended to be used in the real world) how to stop yourself for a brief moment when you are lost in the chaos of your life.

If you suddenly start thinking, “man, how am I going to pay that mortgage” or “that guy I’m doing a deal with is a total asshole” you are able to stop yourself, take a step back into the present moment, note the effect that thought is having on your body, and move on.

Everybody has an ongoing dialogue running in their head all day long. The dialog consists of all the things they are working on, all the things they are afraid of, all of the things that bother them, all the plans and machinations they are in the middle of, etc and wanders all over for hours or even days at a time.

Meditation helps break out of that for a few seconds at a time so you can see it for what it all is. Nothing. At least, nothing you should waste hundreds of hours of your life obsessing on.

But, again, its unrealistic to expect people to spend 20 minutes, twice a day, to “practice” this ability to detach. People just can’t sit still. I can’t.

But that’s fine. I think the idea of meditating for so long is a more Eastern world concept. Here’s the Western version. Its just like dieting. Instead of having 2 or 3 huge meals a day, why not break it down into 6 smaller meals spaced throughout the day. Or 10 smaller meals?

Personally, I think if you do a 60 second meditation, 10 to 20 times a day, Buddha would approve. And if you happen to figure out how to astral project while you are doing this, please call me.


Here’s some 60 second meditations you can practice.

Elevator. In an elevator filled with people, take a deep breath, feel your anxiety at not being able to look at your blackberry (everyone else on the elevator is looking at theirs even though there is no reception). Where is the anxiety being felt on your body. How many deep breaths can you do before the elevator reaches its destination.

Waiting. If you are on line at the store (or waiting for a bus, subway, or stuck in a traffic jam, etc) and feel like you are in a rush, take a deep breath again, ask yourself where you are feeling the pain of being in a rush. Is it in your stomach? Is it in your chest? Your face? Don’t judge it. Just feel it.

Waking. When you wake up, take three deep breaths, count them. Try to list all of the things you hear that moment. Do you hear cars outside? Birds? Your house creaking? Kids downstairs?

Alien. Imagine that you are an alien from outerspace and you were just transported into this body (“Quantum Leap” style). You have no idea who you are and you have to start with a completely blank slate. Spend the next minute figuring it out. Do this one five times a day. “Who am I?” “Where am I?” “Who are these people around me?” Figure it out.

Dishes. Washing dishes is a great one. Stop yourself from daydreaming. Really try to do a good job washing each dish. Not a speck on them. Focus! You just missed a spot! Your only purpose in life is to wash the one dish you are currently working on.

Surrender. Spend sixty seconds completely dedicating this day to whatever higher power you want to believe in (The Force, God, the Tao, The Supreme Alien Intelligence from the Black Hole that’s at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, etc). They are going to take over your body and mind and do their thing today. Hand over the keys to your body and mind during those sixty seconds and know that today will be dedicated to doing their mission. You are just the vehicle.

Gratitude. Make a list in your head of all the people in your life you are grateful for. Only takes a few minutes, drastically reduces stress.

Hate. Think of one person you really hate. Now, truly and sincerely wish him the best in your head. This person is just trying to get through life also. Maybe they’ve lost some money, or maybe they are lonely. But there is some suffering that caused them to do the things they did. Wish him or her the best. And mean it. (Don’t pity them. Everyone is suffering. Wish them the best.)

Tense. Tense every muscle in your body for 5 seconds. Tense as much as you can. Then relax. Feels better, right? Do it again.

Walking. When you are walking around in the city, if you are anything like me you probably hate most of the people who you pass, even if you don’t know them or have never seen them before. Catch yourself doing that. Try the reverse. Try liking all of them. Not in a patronizing way (i.e. don’t give anyone sympathy). But try to really like them.

These all work and are just as valid as the 6 hour meditations any Tibetan guru is doing in his cave.

Heck, in our world we have the added advantage that we are truly stressed out of our minds with work, family, mortgages, responsibilities.

This “practice” will have real practical results (although probably not my original goal from back when I was 12 years old).

Try it out. Let me know any other sixty second meditations you might figure out.

Related reading: Why “50 Shades of Grey” Is Great Literature

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  • Another great post, James! Here’s one that I do: I play bass…every day. Truly: every day. Today is day 1,083 days in a row. I keep track of it in a very simple spreadsheet (you & I have SO MUCH in common!). It doesn’t have to be the bass, though. Playing music of any sort helps one reach nirvana and have a sense of “astral projection.” It’s funny though – once one stops trying so hard to achieve powers only held by super heroes, does one actually attain them. However, I’m still unsuccessful in getting girls to take their clothes off in front of me. The journey continues!

  • Playing videogames, watching a movie/TV on Netflix, and reading a book/Kindle also work for me. I also enjoy listening to podcasts when my wife makes me do the dishes.

  • Hey James, can you get that wordpress plugin that emails people when new comments are posted on specific blog posts. It’s called “Subscribe to Comments”. Thanks!

  • Stacy

    Good post. I would encourage people who have never done meditation to give it a try. I’m 48 and it has been life-changing for me over the past couple of years.

    Most of us have what I’ve heard called the “monkey mind” — a constant mental chatter, much of which doesn’t even serve us and often times is actively harmful: anxiety, worry, imaginary conflict and problems that never even come to pass. And we’re doing to ourselves. Get still, be quiet and stop thinking for a while.

  • I meditate when I swim.

    Also, for teeth grinding and mouth stress, clench you teeth three times fast, pause for three seconds, clench three more times, pause, then clench three more times. It makes a good 15 second meditation time quickie.

  • most excellent! meditation is really fascinating. In my 3 years or so of fooling around with it, i’ve experienced some pretty odd things. rapid thought progressions, feeling that my sensory body was expanding…among a few other weird things I won’t mention because they will seem too far out. I guess it takes a certain inclination to explore the deeper possibilities of meditation. the creation doesn’t reveal its secrets so easily. I love the 60 second meditations…especially the one with the dishes (since I detest doing dishes so much) :)

  • Astral projections rarely work for those who weren’t born with some kind of psychic potential. Likewise, meditation isn’t for everybody.

    Similar to some people no matter how much you try to teach them how to shoot a basketball, they suck at it and throw a ball like a girly man.

  • Great post! As of today I have done 30 minutes of meditation everyday for 1278 days. Your post is straight and to the point and imminently useful. Well done! I am reminded of Douglas Harding’s finger pointing experiment to get a momentary taste of what you truly are. To paraphrase Douglas, what you have given here is truly “meditation for the marketplace.” Awesome.

  • Great stuff, I love it and useful

    All should watch your tech ticker clip on Friday.

    Love the comments “When I wake up about 1 or 2 in the afternoon” or “10 reasons James Altucher is a douche”

    James that interview was HILARIOUS

  • pjc

    John – thanks for the link to the Tech Ticker interview.

    James – liked the mediation stuff. You should add juggling to the list of mind calming activities.

  • James Altucher

    @John, thanks about tech ticker. My wife doesn’t let me look at the comments on Yahoo after I do those tech ticker videos. They are always brutal. But i had a fun time doing that particular video. When I get Aaron and Henry to laugh then I know I’m doing a good video.

    @pjc, thats a good idea! I want to learn how to juggle. Along similar lines, I learned how to hula hoop a year ago (i got a circus performer to come and give my daughters lessons and i participated as well) and it was a lot of fun. But juggling seems like more fun.

    @Travis, 1278! You have a lot of discipline, sir. I’m envious. I can’t go for more than 2 days straight. I’m glad you think its interesting, the idea of the 60 second meditation.

  • pjc

    James – you should write a piece revisiting Henry Blodgett’s famous “Amazon $100” call. I don’t believe anyone has updated the math on that recently. With AMZN near $180, Henry looks more insightful than ever.

  • James – your list helped me a lot. It was excellent. I liked them very much and it realls makes a lot of sense.

  • You can’t leave a contact address? I’d like to interview you for Nonduality Steet, a radio show and podcast. Thank you.


  • Paul

    ..Great post. I am always trying to balance my monkey mind in the market and a more “healthy” perspective on life. Dare I say the only way to escape is to buy and hold with a few stop.

    I just returned from a 9 day silent meditation retreat at Spirit Rock in Woodacre, California. I would recommend for anyone that can put their life on hold, and their iphone or blackberry down for 9 or 10 days, to experience a silent retreat. Life changing experience.

  • Steven Goff

    “- Surrender. Spend sixty seconds completely dedicating this day to whatever higher power you want to believe in (The Force, God, the Tao, The Supreme Alien Intelligence from the Black Hole that’s at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, etc). They are going to take over your body and mind and do their thing today. Hand over the keys to your body and mind during those sixty seconds and know that today will be dedicated to doing their mission. You are just the vehicle.”~James
    Absolutely hysterical when I read it!….lol lol lol……I started laughing right when I got to The Force…….didnt stop to the end of paragraph……nice!

  • When you wake up in the middle of the night and are fortunate enough to have someone lying next to you, instead of worrying or making a list or reaching for your blackberry to email yourself that idea for a story, look at their face. Watch him/her breathe for one minute. Breathe with him/her deeply until you are in the same rhythm. Then close your eyes and fall back to sleep.

    • ElroyArt

      – I do this nightly, and it’s beautiful. #Oneness

    • Steve Ryan

      Yes, but what if you’re in prison?

  • James Altucher

    @Francine, I like that idea a lot. Thats a good meditation.

  • Pingback: What I want for myself in 2011()

  • Mark

    I realize now that beauty is only skin deep, and that as we get older our outside beauty simply moves into our heart. I found out that there’s no woman more beautiful than one who loves Jesus with all her heart. You’ll find out that the most perfect man to marry is a man who loves Jesus with all his heart, because Jesus is God, God is perfect, and when Jesus lives in someone’s heart, it shows in life, and it’s like you’ve married Jesus, because that person has died to his/her own lusts and desires and now lives for the perfect One, our Creator, Jesus Christ God Almighty. You can talk to Jesus any time, He is always here. Many people don’t know that and so they live their life like they don’t need Jesus. Jesus is God in human form, so believe me He knows your thoughts, He knows your feelings, He knows your needs, He knows your wants, He knows your pain, He knows your suffering, He knows everything, He is God who created all of us. Many people don’t know God is love and Jesus is love, and also love is the most powerful force of all (because love is God and He is the most powerful of all, our Creator). Think of it, there’s no law against love, but there are many laws against evil. It’s a spiritual war we are in 24/7 every second the evil devil is trying to brutally kill you and destroy everything in your life and everyone else’s life. You have to fight that war daily because every second the devil is trying to get you to lie, to be selfish, to steel, to hate, to think evil thoughts, and to do or think anything that is not about love. You see it every day on the news. You can only handle so much of your life on your own until your life starts to turn for the worse, maybe years go by and God has to speak to you through an online message. You need someone to save you from the devil satan and only Jesus has the authority and power to do so because HE is GOD. Our Creator God visited us in the Earth as Jesus Christ to show us the way because nobody knew the way. God didn’t want to create robots to obey Him forever because there’s no life, no spirit in robots, they are just metal and plastic. God created real living souls that will live forever somewhere. We each have a soul and are temporarily living in this flesh body on loan from God. Earth is the testing ground like an exam at school, we pass the test and ask Jesus to forgive us and go to Heaven forever and live with Jesus and God and all the other people who were saved forever, it’s God’s plan not mine. Or we fail the test and reject God as Jesus and go to hell forever, our choice. God gave us a choice because He loves us. What if I told you that you have no choice for anything in your life because I will determine everything for you from the time you are born until you die? That’s like communism. That’s like live and let die. That would be a pretty sad life. But God is love, pure love, more than words can describe, and He loves you so much more than you can comprehend! He loves your voice, your smile, your eyes, your face, your walk, your laugh, your hair, the way you brush your teeth, the way you dress, everything about you God loves! Think of something about you that people made fun of you or judged you or laughed at you and it hurt your feelings, God says He loves that thing about you that other people make fun of. It’s true, God created you and loves everything about you that you can think of. You are unique because God doesn’t make copies of trash. But God doesn’t love sin, and when you do something bad He will let you know in your heart, you’ll hear your conscience tell you “I shouldn’t do that” or “I could’ve been nicer than that” or “something’s wrong I know there’s something better than this”. God gave us the knowledge to know when we are doing something that is against God, some people call it morals or conscience or listening to your heart. Sin is the path that leads to forever separation from God, and the last day of your life is the cut-off. Jesus paid the debt of sin by dying on the cross. He arose after three days conquering death and proving He is God. He is holy and righteous and not deserving of death, so that makes the debt paid-in-full but only to those who believe and trust Jesus to save their soul by asking forgiveness. I can’t force you to accept this free gift from Jesus. God gave you many days and chances to choose, Jesus or sin, go to Heaven forever or hell forever, choose now. Getting free from sin by asking Jesus to forgive me is the most wonderful thing that ever happens to any person! Just ask anyone who really knows Jesus in their heart and they will testify and witness to the truth. When parents (God) see a child (us) change from being a pain-in-the-butt (sinner) to being mature and responsible, they are surprised, and eager to give gifts and rewards! The child then tells them “It’s all because I prayed to Jesus for forgiveness of my sins and I was set free and changed forever for the better!” All goodness and love comes from God and Jesus. One day I decided to trust Jesus and I prayed to Him and He set me free from sin. Jesus told me my purpose in life, gave me eternal life in Heaven, gave me power to overcome any and all sin in my life, and the list goes on of the things God blesses His children with once you let go of sin and trust Jesus to forgive you. I know this from reading the Holy Bible every day. I started with the book of John and I recommend that you do the same, read four chapters a day for the rest of your life, it’s a good decision to make. I only know a little bit, but what I do know can lead someone to Jesus, and when I do, that makes God very pleased. I trust God to answer prayers, and God trusts me to do what He has asked His children to do, which is preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people and all nations, that includes online. I know all this sounds different than what you normally hear. If you realize you’re a sinner and want to ask Jesus to forgive you and accept you then you’ll feel His presence with you right now and you may start crying as you feel Him pulling at your heart, I was crying when I did, and you can pray now and ask Him. One day I decided to admit, “I’m not perfect, I’ve done wrong and if I ever stood at judgement in front of Holy God Almighty who is perfect I would look like dirty filthy rags, yes I am a sinner, yes there is more to this world than meets the eyes, I know there must be something else going on, I’m starting to understand there’s a spiritual war going on, the more I learn about Jesus Christ the more I see He died to pay my debt to God for sinning and He promises to set me free forever if I believe in Him, Jesus arose from the grave and conquered death, of course because Jesus is God and nothing or nobody can stop God, yes I’m sorry Jesus, I need Your help, I want true peace in my life, I want true love in my life, I want true freedom in my life, please forgive me of all my sins, I don’t want to sin anymore and I trust You, I accept You as my Lord and Savior now and forever, thank You God for loving me more than I can comprehend! In the mighty Name of Jesus, amen!”

    • Chris Dantin

      Mark.. I commend your passion and your zeal for the Gospel and pursuit of Jesus Christ, but what Jesus are you talking about? The average person only sees what they hear and see on TV. Are you speaking of the TV Jesus? Are you speaking about the Jesus that loses the majority of HIS creation in Hell for Eternity/Unending. From your e-mail, I see that this is the Jesus you speak of.. I encourage you to read ‘Hope Beyond Hell” until we see a savior that acually WINS, and gets what HE desires, we are teaching a Jesus that can’t finish what HE started. When dealing with intelligent people in the financial world, you must make since for the Jesus you speak of, because what they are seeing is not the Jesus you have met. Preaching the traditional Jesus, just will not jive for anyone that truly is educated. How can you put your faith in a being that claims victory over death but is satisfied with losing the majority of his beloved creation, then calling Himself Victorious over Death. If a Creator loses to the creation, its hard to call himself the SAVIOR of the world. If you believe in ulitmate ‘free will” you can’t even know God because it demands for the “Will” to be given up. That is birthed in Genesis, WE wanted to be like God, desiring the Knowledge of Good and Evil, it was never our right to make determinations. He were just suppose to eat of the tree of Life. That is the FALL. We eat of the fruit everyday when we think we know what God is doing, only HE determines what is Good and what is Evil. We claim to know the difference, really? I have learned the Evil things in life had allowed me to stay in the valley, where true wisdom rest. I would love to speak with you about it, it has opened up my mind to who God is and what is HIS purpose for ALL of HIS Creation.. I say this in all due respect, the Jesus you speak of, will fall on deaf ears. Just being honest. It is an exciting journey, I am excited to see your passion for the truth, but know your audience. If HE is ALL Powerful and All Loving, we just don’t give HIM the credit HE deserves. I believe your view is, ” God loves the World and really wants to save the world but gave us free will to either damn ourselves our be with HIM forever? He said, I choose you, you did not choice me, that no man can boast. You invalidate the word of God for the sake of your traditioinals(Matt 15:6, Matt 15:3,9). The tradition that an all-knowing , all-loving, and all-powerful God would create a world where the majority of HIS human creatures are destined to spend eternity/unending in suffering, is inconprehensible. What greater horror has the world ever know? The doctrine of unending punishment, in my view, is supported by four pillars. These 3 pillars represent a misunderstanding of 3 key Greek words, and one concept. They are Aion, Gehenna, Apollumi and “FREE WILL”. Once these are understood as the biblical writers understood them, our comprehension of God judments take on a glorious new meaning. I am learning everyday that the God is in no way the God that I thought He was, it is a very humbling journey. It does not depend on the man who wills or the man who run but on God who has Mercy.. Thank God, because my Will is pretty stinking self serving. He has the power to orchestrate whatever circumstances are necessary to effect one’s will to change..For love is the only ultimate power that is not coercive. We know in part.. we see.. dimly(1 Co. 13:9-12). Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God(Matt 22:29) We claim to have free-will and that God would never violate our free-will to damn ourselves unendingly. What about God, does he also have free will to rescue us from our stupidity to damn ourselves. Judment has a purpose, and its purpose is to bring change and to bring HIS child back to the Truth. If you have children, do you feel satified to see your children live in pain, or do you punish them for their own good so they learn that you truly do love them and you have a purpose for inflicting pain upon them. To inflict unending pain without purpose is void of LOVE. If you study those 3 Greek words you will see what the tradtions of man have taught us..Traditonal Christians have made the right choices and those you don’t, burn unendingly, How in the Hell this “The Good News”. If you read the Old Testament you will not see one mention of burning forever an ever.. That was not spoken of until the New Testament. So is the Good News, actually the worse news we ever heard. Jesus did not actually bring Good New, he actually brought a 70 percent chances on unending punishment, and we thought the Old Testmament rituals sucked. I need some better news than this.. According to Evangelical posting, they say only maybe 30 percent claim to believe in Jesus Christ. If that is true and 70 percent of the people every created would burn unending, the most cruel thing you could ever do is to bring a child into those odds. Where is the love in a 70 percent chances of unending torment. Sorry you have had enought, as you can see there is alot of pain that the traditons of man have taught me. The word “Agape Love” is a love that is unending and not based on based on conditions of man. He loves because that is his his essence. Your friend, Chris Dantin
      Agape ( /ˈæɡəpiː/[1] or /əˈɡɑːpeɪ/; Classical Greek: agápē; Modern Greek: αγάπη [aˈɣapi]) is one of the Greek words translated into English as love, one which became particularly appropriated in American Christian theology as the love of God or Christ for mankind. Many have thought that this word represents divine, unconditional, self-sacrificing, active, volitional, and thoughtful love. Although the word does not have specific religious connotation, the word has been used by a variety of contemporary and ancient sources, including Biblical authors and Christian authors. Thomas Jay Oord has defined agape as “an intentional response to promote well-being when responding to that which has generated ill-being.”[2] In his book, The Pilgrimage, author Paulo Coelho defines it as “the love that consumes,” i.e., the highest and purest form of love, one that surpasses all other types of affection.[citation needed] Contemporary philosopher Slavoj Žižek refers to it as “political love”.[3] Greek philosophers at the time of Plato and other ancient authors have used forms of the word to denote love of a spouse or family, or affection for a particular activity, in contrast to philia (an affection that could denote friendship, brotherhood or generally non-sexual affection) and eros, an affection of a sexual nature.

  • Chris Dantin

    I dig it.. I almost crapped my pants when I tried to tighten all my muscles for 5 seconds, but I am still tingling and tingling ain’t so bad. Continue to share you experiences, you seem to be driven to push yourself in so many areas, keep on the spirtual, you have gained the trust of so many people, use your platform to encourage people to question and desire MORE. You and I know money pays the bills but beyond that, brings only more responsiblity to continue to preform and make more, which never seems to fill that void. Like King Soloman said, its like chasing after the wind, who can catch it? All the crazy distractions this world offers to mislead us from our calling.. Peace, Joy, Love, gving etc, these should be our goals to pursue. There is only so much time in a day, so people are just looking for some reasurance that they are not wasting their time in spirtual pursuits that are void of power. When you share your experience, it gives people the courage to say, it is working for him, so let give it try. We all desire PEACE, but getting there is another story. PEACE is like chasing a moving target, when you share your experience, for a moment it allows us to see the target as being still so we can focus and all the distractions seem to disappear. Chris Dantin

  • Paul

    I’m sorry but that seems to be the most insane waste of time, trying to achieve astral projection in order to see naked girls. Why not do what I did and purchase those glasses from the backs of comic books? The ones that help you see through obstructions like walls and girls’ cotton dresses?

    • David

      Missed the point. Entirely.

      • Guest


      • Dael

        yep. you did. :)

      • It’s difficult for some to see the link… Experience it many times.

      • ElroyArt

        – Hahaha! I think all you responders to Paul missed his joke! #DryHumor

  • razorsedge

    when i stay on my boat,  i wake in the morning just befor sunrise, i listen to the sounds of the boat. its amazing how calming it is.

  • Anonymous

    I really like the Alien meditation.

  • Karteek B

    i read like 10 of your articles today………your best article

  • eric j

     James, I found your site via a Lew Rockwell post and am enjoying your writing.  You definitely have a unique voice. It’s obvious that, like me, you’re somewhat of  a ‘polymath.’   You’ll have a few chuckles if you haven’t already looked it up.  I recently read Ken Wilber’s book Grace & Grit which is a fascinating book from many angles covering a lot of ground including some great details on several different meditations.  One that was mentioned was one I would never have thought of in a million years, and yet it’s beautifully simplistic and highly impactful in unexpected ways. In the same vein of wanting to alleviate suffering in the world, the process is basically visualizing breathing in the pain and suffering of humanity or perhaps a group (such as people who’ve had a parent or child die or people with cancer or…..fill in the blank).  As you close your eyes and breath in, you imagine taking in the suffering and pain and visualize it as perhaps a gooey black mess. As you gently exhale, you send out to this group or person/people a healing light that emanates from you.  After doing this several times, I found the experience much different than I imagined. It’s a beautiful way to focus on others and be a healing element in a destructive world. It tends to defocus the emphasis on your ‘self’ and extend healing and positive energy to others which is always a good thing.
     Best Regards
     Eric J

  • I read Journeys Out of the Body about ten years ago, and have been eying it to read again.  I was eventually able to have a single OBE, but for some reason haven’t try to do it more.  I also listened to some of Robert Monroe’s Hemi-Sync audio tracks with interesting effects.

  • Tabris


  • Tabris


  • Magesha

    This is an excellent post, as always.. One of the things that I learnt from “The Secret” video is to have a “Gratitude Rock” in your pocket. Whenever you put your hand in to grab something or to put something in the pocket, you will touch that rock; during that time, you can thank anything or anyone that matters to you. It probably takes only 3-5 seconds but will build your “gratitude muscle”. Another similar technique I heard from a great Guru in India. Whenever someone asks you something, think of God or the Power that be for a second before answering. After answering, again think of God (or the Power that you surrender to). In that second, you can also surrender that act to God.

    • David

      Good point. The Secret can also be used for personal and spiritual growth. Why visualize something material when you can visualize a new habit (like meditation!), a practice of kindness, mindfulness, eating, loving exercise, etc?

      The most meaningful part of that movie was the paralyzed guy who made a full recovery after intense visualization and intention. *That’s* some spiritual power.

  • Coming from the Carlos Castaneda realm (I did read Journeys out of the Body too) I have learned to “silence the inner dialogue” virtually any time I want. I get an immediate sense of relief and can do things like, if someone tells you “don’t think of a pink elephant”, I can actually not think of a pink elephant! I do it by not thinking at all but putting all of my attention outward at the world.

  • I actually practice visualization and meditation everyday as well, and that’s how I achieved my goal of selling my search engine for $100,000 by 16.  There’s actually scientific proof behind why it works.    

    I write about it in my book:

  • Love the ideas here! They remind me of a book I read some time back, called “The Three Minute Meditator” by David Harp. Same basic idea, doing things like counting steps to the copy machine to bring present moment awareness for just a minute or so. Here’s a link:

  • Alan

    James — For sixty seconds, be aware of your peripheral vision…You may find this to be a simple “off switch” for compulsive thoughts. But the tendency will be to quickly return to seeing centrically and thinking once again. If that happens, simply return your awareness/attention to your peripheral vision.And after mastering that practice, try moving your eyes whilst maintaining awareness of your peripheral vision. If you feel a subtle sensation of pressure or energy, that’s a positive sign — of resonating spiritual energy. Like a muscle acting upon itself, with continued practice, your awareness will strengthen until it’s effortless — this is the state of Presence: personal resonance.Meditation can be defined as the willed strengthening of awareness via one of the five senses. The suggestion above works with the sense of sight — more precisely, awareness of the touch of light upon the eyes. Alternatively, meditation on the breath works with the sense of touch — awareness of the touch of breath upon the nostrils.…It’s this new touch/contact of awareness with one of the five senses that’s the key. That’s why it’s suggested to advance to moving the eyes whilst maintaining awareness of your peripheral vision — that occasional movement prompts the key, new contact between sight and awareness.Many spiritual parables contain “fives” — five loaves, five husbands, five virgins with their lamps, etc. They’re different metaphors for the five senses and the key teaching of being aware of or “watching” them — as in: “I say unto all, Watch.” Sixty seconds is a good start for beginners, but the same teacher asked his advanced disciples: “What, could ye not watch with me one hour?” 

  • Kat

    Tickle your child or give them crazy kisses until you are both giggling

  • David Willimas

    I loved the Alien meditation! It was amazing how wierd everything looked…What am i doing here in this hotel’s noisy outside…Holy Sh** I am way up high! It is a big city down there. What is this shitty looking food on the table? Was I just eating that? I want to get out of here! Not happy here…

  • Andy Murphy

    I can remember when I was 4-7 years old doing the Alien meditation spontaneously. It seemed strange that I had “particularized” into the body and the life I had then. Now, I’m working on a total makeover of my life, searching clarity around the contribution I will spend the remainder of my life making to humanity.

  • Vang Lian

    Really wonderful post! Loved it. Title is a bit misleading though.

  • Ok, I’m hooked on your writing and am inspired to be more honest, it just feels so good to read and to remember I can too.

    You mention “six more years before achieve my original goal” -to see a naked girl or to astral project? ;)

    Lastly, for those who do want some more short meditations, I made a deck of “LILA” cards (Lila means divine play in Sanskrit) that you can find over at -including a free digital version of 5 of them :)

  • José Baquero

    jeje Excelente….

  • Luc Vannieuwenhuyze

    great title inspired me immediately naked girls hmm that’s an eyecather lol by the way it may come as a surprise to you that an belgian (inhabitant of Belgium capitol brussels ) male is reading your blog the internet a great way to discover other people’s interests lives beliefs

  • Steve Ryan

    Thanks, James. This is a really good one.

  • Richard Aubert

    When you are walking around in the city, if you are anything like me you probably hate most of the people who you pass, even if you don’t know them or have never seen them before…..James, this had me laughing so hard ;-)