Instant Meditation Method


4-Step Instant Meditation Technique

Years ago – when teaching a large number of children meditation during a one-week residential program – I developed a stripped-down way of explaining it. To my surprise, it has stood the test of time and I find it often far more effective a way of teaching basic sitting practice than any other. I’m not saying it’s better practice, but it’s a great way to get people started on the right track – at least from the perspective I gained from my particular training decades ago.

The technique has four elements which have to be explained one at a time, but they are done simultaneously, and once you have learned them, you can put them together in a matter of seconds and off you go. I’ll go through them with a little explanation, but then present them in their final form – the words in italics during the initial explanatory section. You can say the words yourself to learn it or in a group situation. The whole thing takes just a few seconds to launch. Up to you for how long to do it, but most find 2-10 minutes enough. For longer meditations, different techniques (mentioned at the bottom) tend to work better.

4-Step Meditation – Explanation

1. “Sit Up.” Take your seat with upright, comfortable posture. Have a sense of lift, lightness, wakefulness. A traditional analogy is ‘like a child watching a movie show.’ The back should be straight but not stiff, neck easily carrying the head without being rigid. Head is aligned so face is looking straight out – not up or down – and the gaze can be straight ahead or slightly down. Hands palm down on knees or in lap. Most people find it best to sit on a dining room chair. The idea is simply to be sitting up and alert.

2. “Sit Down.” Feel your weight going down through your body into the ground, feel stable, balanced, solid. Feel the weight in your sit bones. Feel both ‘up’ and ‘down’ together.

3. “Pay attention.”* Simply pay attention to where you are, the immediate situation. If you are outside, be aware of the surrounding, the view, the sky, the trees, the breezes, traffic sounds, birdsong, whatever. So first you sit – up and down – and now you pay attention.

4. “Relax.” Along with paying attention, you let go. You tighten and loosen at the same time. By doing both simultaneously you remain in a well-tuned middle. This is just like sitting up and down at the same time. So here we pay attention, but without fixating. We can pay focus but at the same time let go, being aware of the larger space. This is effortless effort if you will – again a little like a child watching a movie.

So now you know the drill, all you have to say to actually do it is:

1. Sit Up.

2. Sit Down.

3. Pay Attention.

4. Relax.

Question: what happens when my mind wanders and I realise I’ve been daydreaming?

Answer: Just start over. Don’t harangue yourself but don’t make excuses either. Just feel yourself back in the room or situation, then instantly put together the 4 aspects. Sitting down and up is the body, both done at same time. Focusing and letting go is the mind, again both done at same time, also at same time as the body. It is just instantly being present in body and mind.

Caveat: as mentioned above, this technique might be too minimalistic for people wanting to sit for 30-60 minute (or longer) stretches, in which case I recommend a more involved technique which works with an object, like the out breath. In that case, when you notice you have spaced out, just label the whole thing ‘thinking,’ neither condemning nor indulging it, and return to the technique. You could add labelling to this stripped down one if you want (especially if doing it for more than 5-10 minutes), but really it doesn’t matter: just come back and start over with all four simultaneous elements, again and again.

Very simple! Enjoy!


*Traditionally in Buddhist meditations there is something called an ‘object,’ which is something you place your mind on, something you pay attention to. Sometimes this is an object like a stone or stick or natural feature in the landscape, a painted circle, a buddha statue, a stick of incense, or something imagined like a bright sphere, a deity, Buddha or whatever. These are all using the visual field. The more popular object is something that changes continuously and is not visual, rather physical, namely the breathing. In my school we pay attention, or identify with, the out breath, so every time we breath out, we go along with it and also with the sense that it goes out and dissolves into the environment around, be it a small room or a large valley view with expansive sky above (as in our case these days); during the in breath we just stay out, so to speak, or rest, so there is no sense of trying to stay on point every second without any pause, that would be too intense.

Going with the out breath is an example of something to focus on, but this technique is stripped down, so what I have been recommending is simpler, but also perhaps too subtle if you are going to practice for more than a few minutes, namely: just pay attention to where you are, the immediate environment or space. More simply: Be Present!

The first two are body instructions (Sit Up, Sit Down). The second are mind instructions: “Pay Attention” and “Relax.”

(If anyone has any questions, feel free in the comment section…)


The book-burning is underway – Stefan Molyneux

Stefan — whom I don’t listen to partly because I find a single talking head on a screen tedious and his videos too long — after having his account locked down by Youtube without warning, says that he has become a target because as a philosopher he has consistently been urging people to seek the middle rather than any extreme. A reasonable middle, you see, is what ‘they’ don’t want because they are into fomenting conflict so that everyone on one extreme is battling everyone else on the other extreme, thereby making anathema any peaceful middle — for by definition the middle is where dwells the majority.

But just before learning about Stefan, I read an article about Stacey Abrams, the losing gubernatorial candidate in Georgia who gracelessly turned her defeat into a badge of honour by insisting her loss was due to systemic racism.

“ Abrams was asked what she would tell the leaders of social media companies in a one-on-one meeting if she had the chance.

“That their platforms do not exist in a vacuum and their content doesn’t exist in a vacuum,” she said during a discussion on “Social Media Disinformation and Election Interference” organized by George Washington [sic!] University. “Our democracy is in a very precarious position. We know that we are in the midst of an authoritarian rise around the world that begins often with democracies that have fallen into the thrall of populist authoritarians and that this is not ancient history. This is recent history.”

“Look no further than Turkey, the Philippines, India, Hungary, what may or may not be happening in Poland, what we see happening in Brazil and in this moment, the obligation is to the truth,” continued Abrams, who’s on presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s shortlist as a running mate. “We may choose as a nation to abandon our democracy, but that should be a choice made knowingly and with full information.”

…Abrams said she would ask Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to “look to who they are and their context in the role of history that it is more than simply about profit, and more than about the number of participants; it is about how they are situated in the democratic experiment that is the United States and in a moment of reckoning, we need them to reckon with their choices and to do right by our people.” [end excerpts]

Of course she doesn’t mention Trump but for sure he’s on that list of populist authoritarians. And therein lies the rub, a glaring hypocrisy, namely that she is essentially calling for social media giants to censor conservative political speech because she deems it overly ‘authoritarian,’ to ‘reckon with their choices and do right by our people.’ No doubt she would heartily approve of Stefan’s removal because although he never has advocated for violence or deception nor indeed I suspect for any political party (?), his voice is a threat to Stacey’s notion of ‘our’ people because he encourages his listeners to use critical intelligence to form their own opinions, plus he frequently critiques the Liberal Establishment with its many progressive tentacles squeezing so many societal pressure points. So she hypocritically feels justified in demanding that Big Tech censor ‘authoritarian populists’ (who want smaller government) so that her own brand of authoritarian populism (pushing for far more government) wins out.

Let us look at Trump briefly in this context. Say or think what you will about the man, but rarely has the White House had such an energetic occupant. But also rarely has it had such an embattled one with so little support, the Administrative State including the Intelligence Community, the Military, Congress, the Courts, the Press and about half his own Party being all against him all the time. One would be hard pressed to name a less authoritarian Chief Executive in US history. He has been vilified and thwarted at every turn since Election Day, denied any traditional honeymoon after Inauguration, and everything he has tried to do has had to run the gamut of spitefully mendacious press coverage, relentless Court challenges and no end of treasonous backstabbing by legions of hostile minions embedded in the ‘Deep State’ set into action by the previous President. In short, he is FAR from the sort of authoritarian tyrant that his adversaries ceaselessly decry, indeed he is arguably one of the weakest, unsupported Presidents in the post Civil War era – despite his personal energy and confidence.

However, he DOES represent a clear and present danger to the extreme views espoused by Stacey Abrams who pushes for a ‘populist authoritarian’ system whilst herself posing as a minority victim. As I listened to her speech this morning before Stefan’s, I was ruminating both about this blatant hypocrisy and also about how she uses very similar talking points which those on the right use — ‘saving democracy’ and so forth. The big difference is that though Democrats like Abrams may decry authoritarian strong men, in actuality they are advocating for authoritarian-cum-totalitarian systems and culture. Her goal is to eradicate all opposing views so that only her extreme one is left standing, an all-victorious, uncontested Brave New Totalitarian Reality.

But even though they often use similar terms and the traditional Parties are indeed essentially one UniParty, I further ruminated about how it’s time to take sides. We are now in uncharted waters, a form of ‘global civil war.’ [A civil war is a war between two or more sides within the same nation; ‘global’ means that it is a worldwide phenomenon.] This global civil war is now manifesting as multiple national civil wars happening simultaneously, some more ‘hot’ than others.

Or more simply put: globalism versus nationalism.

One side wants a one-size-fits-all approach to world governance, and the other side wants each nation, along with each region, state, city, family and individual, free to pursue their own destiny on their own terms – aka ‘national sovereignty.’ Although previous empires like the Greeks, Romans, Mongols, Chinese and British tried to establish a one world rule, modern technological advances make it much more attainable, perhaps even inevitable. And although this involves a worldwide struggle, there’s an important twist: the nationalist ‘side’ is not organized as such because it manifests as each nation state on its own battling the same globalist behemoth suitably disguised in each nation as home grown discontent – such as BLM and ANTIFA in the USA.

And so, strangely, it’s no longer appropriate for voters to hold their noses and complacently pull the lever for one or the other wing of the same UniParty fowl (pun intended!). Now there really is a choice, a fork in the road, one that preserves the American Republic with its intelligent, egalitarian Constitution, versus one intending to tear it down without specifying exactly what they intend to replace it with afterwards.

So although I thoroughly applaud Stefan’s reasonable Middle Way approach, I think he is tactically misguided. At this juncture, we all have to take a side. Either we are for the one world order system which must eradicate national sovereignty to exist, or you are for national sovereignty. You cannot be for both since they can no longer co-exist. And it’s because things have finally got to the point where they cannot coexist that we have the current global civil war.

Stefan is no doubt wise in terms of attitude and emotion: demonizing one’s enemies hurts oneself on many levels and remaining dispassionate is far better for all concerned; true, but also we must stand up to those who threaten to or actually infringe on our fundamental rights and liberties; we must decline their offer, say ‘No!’ firmly, even fighting back physically as a last resort. For those in the Reasonable Middle – aka the majority – it is precisely in order to avoid extremes that we must cut through misinformation and globalist views, and rather stand firm for that Middle, and thus manifest ourselves as the actual (versus all too often silently hidden) majority, and not allow ourselves to be cajoled or bullied out of that Middle into any sort of extreme on either side. In other words, being in the Middle can no longer mean being complacent or disengaged, because in the face of the destruction of civil society, a reality we are now facing at this historic juncture, we have to make a stand, to resist.

Paradoxically, to remain in the middle we have to take a side, in this case the side against extremes, against deception, hypocrisy, violent overthrow of existing civil order, and against any authoritarian one-world systems favoring surveillance state mechanisms including biased social media censorship cancelling out Stefan Molyneux’s YouTube channel.

Interestingly, this process resembles how our immune system deals with disease: first you have to expose yourself to it, breath it in, let it into your system; then your system relates with it for a while, trying various approaches until it hits on the right one, and then antibodies are generated and all is well (or not!). The extremists trying to overturn the American Republic right now are similar to a virulent virus. As such, they deserve our respect and we need to hear the urgency of their manifestation in the body politic, to feel them deeply, but not necessarily by going along with their surface logics and theatrics, including vicious criminal behaviors. Then we may find ourselves digging deeper into our own reservoirs of natural vigor and health, emerging stronger and healthier than before, perhaps a little wiser, a little changed for the better.

So the country is at a very interesting, as well as extremely challenging, juncture. But one thing is for sure: we are each and every one of us going to have to take a side – and that side is the Middle! Let us hope enough of us choose to stand together as a country, aligned with its bedrock principles and practices, for even though clearly much has been corrupted the past few decades, that foundation is still what brought us to this point, it is that which has been corrupted, so we have to dig down to reconnect with its bones, then respond accordingly in the flesh and sinews of the present situation, and by doing so we will in turn be forced to make long overdue changes in order to bring things back to health and balance, indeed to Stefan’s recently canceled Middle.


Baron Ash

Date: June 30 2020