« Making Sense with Sam Harris

#227 — Knowing the Mind

2020-12-07 | 🔗

In this episode of the podcast, Stephen Laureys interviews Sam Harris about meditation practice and the scientific study of the mind. They discuss why Sam began to practice meditation, the difference between dualistic and nondualistic mindfulness, the search for happiness, wisdom vs knowledge, our relationship with death, the Buddhist doctrine of rebirth, the hard problem of consciousness, the role of introspection in science, meditation and free will, the self and the brain, the difference between voluntary and involuntary actions, dangerous knowledge, the mystery of being, the power of hypnosis, and other topics.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
What colors make a test podcast by SAM Harris just a note to say that if you're hearing this, you are not currently on our subscriber feed and will only be hearing partial episode of the podcast if you'd like access to full episodes, you'll need to subscribe, it Samharris, DOT, org. There you'll find our private rss feed to add your favorite podcast, along with other subscriber only content and as always, I never wanted money to be the reason why someone can't listen to the podcast. So if you can't afford a subscription, there's an option, Samharris dot, org to request a free account and we grant one hundred percent of those requests. No questions asked okay, no housekeeping. Today. Today I am presenting a conversation I had with Stephen Laura's, whose
a belgian neuroscientist and neurologist here's a clinical practice as well and he's engaged in a lot of fascinating research, which we don't have to talk about I'll, be left for a future converse and this time round. He wanted to interview me for a book he's doing and he wanted, Talk about meditation and, as the conversation got into some interesting detail, I thought many of you would like to hear it. So this is me being interviewed about meditation what it is Why one would do it? How can help us understand the mind scientifically and the ways in which it can't, and now I bring you stay, Don Loris. I am here was Stephen Laura's Stephen nice to meet you nice to meet you SAM, so Stephen you're, working on
book, and you wanted to talk about meditation and consciousness and related things, and so I'm happy to deal with him and happy to go wherever you want to leave. Thank you for that. Yes, indeed, I actually wrote the book. I was invited to do so by a flemish small publishing company and it is about my personal experience and then as a neuroscientist. How we studied the brain of these buddhist monks and how was in the largest, I now actually prescribed meditation and turned out to do very well. It was then translated in French and and language is in no way it's coming out in in English, and some very very happy to have your testimony in and an end
how? When and why you started to meditate nice just so My listeners know you you're a you're, a neuroscientist, Andy neurologists, you you have clinical practice. Now- are you during your hospital? Yes right, I mean in the university hospital of I'm an empty, and our area of expertise actually is damaged brain. So I created the coma sign, group and now had the yeah consciousness research units were we tried and from a scientific point of view, basically to understand human consciousness, which, as you know, is one of the biggest miss trees for signs to soften, and we do that not only by looking at patients who have a severe acquire brain damage
the trauma or hammerhead shore survivors of cardiac arrest, so so that comin related states also near death experiences, but then we also have a lab. Looking at what happens in your brain in mind when you are a nest, his eyes when you're, giving these narcotic drugs or psychedelic drugs? For that matter, And finally, we have a strong tradition here and whole lap. Looking at hype noses and its medical use, we have over ten thousand patients who had surgeries like taking out your tour. It aura, tumor and breast were anywhere. You would have the general and esteem. from a logical com. But here people are undergoing this intervention, while basically thinking about their holidays- and in this I do not take state while you ve had thousands of people have surgery without anesthesia under him. Now
yes, yes, this is a wonderful woman whose scald maladies from or veal is it, and if these Ya'Ll adjacency bitch she's really a pioneer who introduce type noses and- and as you know, is this- you know what we know from from television and anteater. You know the wing tricks, but it's also some that illustrate, I think, again, the power of the mind than and how ass she. If she is so shown, you can use this in India operating Room during surgery, but also now in the pain clinic so yeah that that, Sir, what we do with the team. The talking about meditation for me, is something I it's out of my comfort zone. It's not something that I know would have predicted twenty years ago. He thought how happy to get into a with you, sir. I think you're. Your first question was how I got into it and it works
in my case- and this is really not unusual- my interest was first precipitated by a drug experience in my case was empty. I may otherwise known as ecstasy and tat. I think I was eighteen and I had an experience there, which was not what's the all too common one. Now I wasn't. I wasn't at array of her party or what it wasn't really a recreation no use of of that drug, took it knowing its potential to reveal something interesting about the nature of my mind, and I took it very much,
in the spirit of investigating my mind and and seeing what transformative experiences might be on the other side of my eye, ordinary waking consciousness, and so it turns itself wasn't so directly relevant to what it. What I later came to consider the true purpose of meditation, but it revealed for me than the fact that it was possible to have a very different experience of of myself and the world and and my my sense of my being in the world- and
if it is possible to a much better life than I was going to have by just living out the implications of my own conditioning and tendencies at that point. So it's set me on this path of self inquiry, really bad. When I been explicitly study techniques of meditation to try to explore than the landscape of mind further in a directly through through introspection- and I have taken other psychedelics spins and I ate and do psychedelics hurt- have been a part of this, but they are separable. And then perhaps you want
talk about that. But there was no question it, but for that initial experience it seems pretty likely that then I may never have grown interested in in meditation or anything like it. So the do when was you were eighteen years old, curious and then taking these drugs to kind of explore, changes in self perception and then and then you turn to meditation and and. what kinds of meditation did. Did you try? I have been given a book by rammed Dass who originally was named Richard Albert, and he was alone with Timothy Leary led some of those initial experiments at Harvard in the sixties, studying lsd and was also fired from Harvard, along with
Larry for their on their misadventures in in handing out Ella state all comers. He then he would hear that many people a story. He went to India, he met his teacher. He came back. in with a very long beard and in a dress, calling himself robbed us, and he then was a kind of spiritual teacher form many many years. He would only recently died, and so this was around. This was eighty seven. I sat my first meditation retreat with him and there he was teaching eclectic mix of practices and he was it was really a kind of buffeted of spirituality, but part of it was buddhist meditation in particular vote
remind fullness meditation, and that was the practice I'm most connected with. On that retreat and then I went on to sit here explicitly Buddhist, the pasta retreats in silence after that and spend a lot of time studying with my friend Joseph Goldstein and who was one of my first apostle teachers and sat with his teacher Sido Puntita burmese meditation master and then eventually migrated away from strict for partner, for some reason to enable cry talk about to save ii, the logic of the practice any kind of coal seeking that was built into it. Avenged,
It seemed mistaken to me, or at least unnecessary and and also a source of a fair amount of striving and psychological suffering, and then I connected with your so called non dual practices both within and outside of Buddhism, and that did change. I really did significantly shift my approach
to meditation, but that took a few years to happen, so they were. There were several years there where I was mostly never exclusively, but certainly mostly practicing. You know what people in the west to know it as mindfulness now but you're, very much under a burmese tarabotti buddhist influence and then migrated to the Tibetan Practices Dog Jen, but also influenced by some teachers and teachings. I encountered outside of Buddhism and yeah. It's all of that during my twenties that absorbed a fair amount of time. I spent about two years on silent retreat in the in the decade of my twenties and it dropped out of school and- and you know what wasn't quite sure, how I was going to integrate all of these things and then only after that decade did I return to school and get a Phd in neuroscience and begin to get all of my
my interests are aligned and it is taken some time, but you know not now I'm in a position to have the kind of conversations I want to have about the nature of the mind and what can be understood about it or not, based on first person methods like meditation low. So how would you define these numb? You will practices and and how they differ differ from from mindfulness. I think, is best understood, certainly by anyone who has tried to meditate by describing the usual starting point for the practice of meditation. So someone decides they. They want to meditate and they're. Taught a method in the sentence can be mindfulness. To confuse me on to some other method like transcendental meditation and your mantra. Meditation could be a visualization practice. It can be any use of their attention
but most of us start that project from a specific point of view and the people tend to close their eyes and of its ordinary life on this practice, they might be told to focus on the breath, and so, if you close your eyes and you try to pay attention to your breath, most people will feel that their consciousness. Their awareness is a common locus of an of attention in the head.
They're, paying attention from some place and is very likely in their head behind their eyes, and they can eat their attention at the object of meditation. So if there are in their attention at the breath whether he heard the Tipp of the nose her in the the rise and fall in of their chests store, abdomen, there's a sense of being a subject in the head that can now strategically pay attention to something and, of course, that the real obstacle to doing the successfully is distraction getting lost in thought and our thoughts are continually arising and you're getting pulled away from the object of medicine, and then you bring your attention back to the breath or to sounds or to a visualization right or your mantra, whatever your focusing on and as concentrate,
and builds. This can become more and more successful rescued and actually let attention can rest on the object of meditation for a longer period of time, and if your practicing mindfulness, you can get good enough so that you can even notice thoughts arising as objects in consciousness, rather than just being merely taken away by them in each moment, and that many interesting changes in one's states of mind and an emotion can happen here. But if your practising dualistic Lee it more or less always feels like. There's a meditative. There is a subject who is paying attention, there's the subject, which is the source of awareness itself and then there's the object of awareness and whether the breath or sound or whatever, and that point of view that duality subject, object
section is an illusion and at the end it is the primary illusion that meditation is designed to cut through, and if your price Cassim really well in this do way that will occasion we happen and it may happen a fair amount to make it happen. If you go on retreat and you do not nothing but meditate for twelve, Eighteen hours a day and in your mindfulness gets very continuous and effortless. You can find that this subject object distance collapses, again and again and again, and so you'll hear a sound, for instance, and in that brief moment of just the impasse, judgment of the sound on your ear drum. You might notice that there is no sense of war, who is hearing, the sound is just hearing. There's no there's! No, you know
you, and I have listened to a bird out. There is just this ineffable appearance of hearing that is unified, the subject, crops away and the object drops away really there's just the kind of the unity of of knowing and and disappearances. But again it it's haphazard. You don't have any control over it when it stops happening. Your left thinking, oh, that was that was interesting. How do I get back to that end? it seems under that way of practice in the only way back to that is to once again summon this heroic level of concentration and continuity of mindful and dumb what non tool paths of practice have understood is that there really is a fundamental allusion to cut through their. It really is not the case that you need massive, sustained concentration to get to this experience of
community or non duality. In fact, it's already the case in every moment of consciousness consciousness itself doesn't feel like a a center in the head. It doesn't feel like a spotlight of attention being aimed at an object's. There is no self in the head or thinker of thoughts, there's just this open condition in which everything is appearing, and it can be recognized as such directly and so he sent that recognition. That really is that is the starting point of non dual practice out of practice. Exo, Chen and Andrea Lee
begin practicing it until you recognize that this is the way consciousness already is, but once you do, then your your mindfulness becomes synonymous with that recognition to what what you become mindful of their after is not the brass or sounds or anything else for say. Do your you may in fact be aware of the breath or sounds whatever happened to be appearing. What you become mindful of is that there's no subject in the middle, consciousness. The practice itself becomes simply familiarize yourself with this intrinsic property of consciousness that you basically has spent every moment of your life, overlooking a prior to learning how to practise in that way, and so that that is the difference of a again. It somewhat paradoxical to talk about and can be confusing too many.
people. But I think most people realise that whether they're trying to meditate or not, they do feel like a subject. They don't feel identical to their experience. If you like they're at the centre of their experience there having an experience there, appropriating it from a place in the head and as the central illusion that is cut through in Nano practice sang. So we briefly discuss the went into how when and you mentioned, stood the wire. Could curiosity, as I understood and also mentioned, suited to try and live a better life. It can use a little bit more? Why you continue to to meditate and- and what are your current favorite exercises- was so the why they're really too wise and which can be more or less important for people?
most common. Why the why that is certainly advocated by the buddhist tradition? Generally, isn't? Really? Intellectual curiosity is much more a matter of overcoming suffering. We all feel unhappy to one another degree in our lives as such say that happiness doesn't come, but it also goes you you just can't day. Joyful all the time, and if you just wait long enough, you'll feel frustrated and annoyed and angry and sad and fearful and injustice. There's a lot of psychological pain that most of us experience fairly regularly and in is offered as a as a method of having some fundamental insights into that process such that you dont keeps
foreign to the same degree in and in all the ordinary ways, and it certainly holds out the promise that it might be possible, in some sense not to suffer at all to actually fully escaped the logic by which you tend to make yourself miserable, and it has a lot to do with with have an insight into the nature of thought itself and breaking one's identification with thought of. So much of our psychological suffering is mediated by our thinking about the past and the future, and in failing to act with the present, because we're thinking so much and and not noticing that were lost in thought so my motivation, while I was always somewhat intellectual as well, it certainly was primarily about living, a better life in the sense of just not suffering on which is actually being happier recovering from
The ordinary collisions in life. It cause psychological pain, meter recovery more quickly, and I think that certainly it is the most common motivation and you know for me in both of these motivations continue. It was changed for me as it is not so much a sense of practicing deliberately any more medication and I do sit and meditate, but it's much more sense of always practicing in that my moment to moment, experience is always being punctuated by what I would call meditation a movie what year, what would qualify as meditation? If I happen to be uniformly in a session of meditation at which is it's a recognition of the way consciousness is, and it happens, Automatically, you know doesn't happen all the time it's either I live. I spending an impressive amount of time still lost in thought, but one I'm not lost in thought. The thing that I
become aware of, is this non duality of subject an object in consciousness, figure and ground have flipped here a little bit witches in the beginning. I was trying to get to this experience and meditation was Formal attempt to do that. Initially I was it was haphazard and then I was doing it more or less on demand, but now there's much more of a sense of this is the way consciousness is an much of normal life, is my inadvertently overlooking that. But when I'm one I know you know in any given moment it is what what I'm restored to. No longer feels like a practice of any kind
fact, it's when one is actually mean or what really meditating one isn't doing, something one is doing less than one normally does you know it is simply the absence of distraction we want once you know what to pay attention to. It is simply the absence of being lost in thought. For that moment in the EU, were you suffering as an eighteen year old? Were you in a crisis that d gate of drop out. What was what's your personal story there why I had many experiences of intense suffering in order, but be a completely or nothing extraordinary, just completely ordinary sorts of suffering that people experience in life, but I'd had them as a
he nature. You know it when I was thirteen. My best friend died when I was seventeen. My father died when I was eighteen new, just proximate to this experience was empty. I may my girlfriend had broken up with me. In college and freshman year. These are very ordinary experiences. Now, I'm as some people don't have any when die until there a little. Older than I was, but if you can you just wait around people are cast our dine on you and so I was not living in a sieve war, and they do is really those nothing unusual happening. In my life, I had a very lucky life at that point. All things considered, but those experiences hit me really hard. I was really unhappy Frances after my girlfriend broke up with me in college,
I was probably in some kind of clinical state of depression for several months. After that I was not myself, and it was because I was thinking incessantly about what I had lost right and I just I was meditating on law send loneliness and grief and had absolutely no insight into this process, and I was just a mere puppet: being blown around by whatever. Then this next train of thought would be right and that's everyone's condition: Amelia, if you, if you do not see an alternative to being identified with the next linguists or a majestic appearance in your mind in the next, emotionally laden statement that seems to appear the voice of your own mind, whether its self judgment or something
produces anxiety or something that produces sadness over a loss you ve suffered. If there's no space around this autumn, utility of thought, there's no her native, but to be living out, the emotional implications of whatever the thought happens to be, and most of us most of the time have at best mediocre thoughts when we're not tending to tell ourselves a story about Good life is how grateful we are for, although we have how mean a beauty all the people in our lives are and how lucky we are to be with them. Maybe you can decide to show
Your thoughts along very deliberately wholesome lines that will will improve your mood and that's a totally useful practice that is being very much supportive of mindfulness and- and these are the practices and we're talking about. But most of us don't tend to do that automatically. Most of us Think about all of our disappointment. We notice everything, that's wrong. We have a long list of things we wish would happen, so we tend to be captured by a story of defence Nancy right. Things are not yet good enough and it were telling ourselves a story that, if only we could change these things about our lives, if only I could get it another girlfriend rival, I could meet somebody. That was almost certainly a story. I was telling myself at that point or if only I could get back to the girlfriend who broke up with me. That self talk seems too
promise, something which proved to be a mirage. This idea that if we could only arrange our lives perfectly, there would be a good enough reason for attention to truly rest in the present moment and peace satisfied, but unless you have a mind that is capable of that, that's not what happens when you get what you want and you find that you simply want other things at that point and they can tear your happiness appears to be contingent upon satisfying those desires. I'm not saying it's not better to get what you want, then, to have you just one disappointment after the next to me that yes, they're ordinary sources of pleasure and happiness in this life, but none of them are durable sources of happiness. All of these contingent source of happiness need to be continually propped up by IRA
words. Are they all tended to grade? And you know you accomplish one goal now: no matter how we in a wonderful and experience, it is to do that. You know it doesn't take fifteen minutes before people are asking you. What are you gonna do next right? I mean nothing, nothing it finally banked as the foundation upon which you can arrest and and be happy know every moment thereafter. So meditation is the practice of understanding something about the mechanics of this dissatisfaction in the search for happiness and to delete, Lee step off the hamster wheel here, minutes to see that you, if you're running on this, we'll some
level you're, not not getting anywhere, and then the only way to truly come to rest is to step off. It resonates with my own experience that you mentioned your crisis, losing your best friend, your father. Girlfriend seems quite often the case that that we we we seem that seemingly need these difficult moments to go in and discover things like like meditation. It's also what I see in my outpatient clinic
maybe that's a pity. People actually tell me it's it's it's a pity. I had you know I I had this burnout or depression or whatever, and I wished I would have discovered meditation before that. So so, strangely, and it it's it's something that is, I think, also maybe with your community and then your app is something that you must often hear that people come to this because they they don't feel or go well, and maybe we should invest more in, and prevention and and talked about this before we
what do you think about it again? It is difficult to talk about because it is somewhat paradoxical menaces the the line, one continually walks in describing meditation at its benefits, because it's not that nothing else. Matters right is not that there aren't ordinary requisites for happiness that you want to recommend to people, and yet yes, it is good, to have good relationships being integrated into community and having people you love and who love you, who can support you and who you and turn support him in that all in all of that is for most people, most of the time, a necessary component of Bein, a happy person Annie there is an illusion here is not stable and all of them
is made better by discovering that the true foundation for psychological well being doesn't rest on even those relationships to have the best. Really kinship to have the best marriage on some other. You really need to already be happy. You needed bring into that relationship. your need for companionship, but your ability to simply love the other person right is not transactional not a love you. If you love me, it's you're already happy and you'd deeply want happiness for the other person you're, not extracting something from them. For your own benefit, though you are getting a lot of benefit by being with them, but you're already your ear, the centre of gravity of your well being is already over your own feet. Meals were used
and you're, not leaning into them, in a way that that makes the whole enterprise precarious, but again that this is paradoxical cause. I wouldn't want to say that it's not important to have the other person, but there is no question that relationships get healthier and healthier. The more you want. Some level can be just as happy when you're alone, in a room, when the one you love leaves the room. You know you're not diminished by that and there's gonna two levels at which we can seek well being and end with one level is to continue to do
the things that matter or seem to matter for most people most of the time. So yes is better to be healthy than sick. It's better to be comfortable than uncomfortable, it's better than to have financial resources than to not have them in all of these, things remain true, and yet the deeper truth is you're only can be as happy as you can be, based on what you're doing with your attention in each moment and if you're just habitually lost in thought and thinking near crappy thoughts about what happened to you on social media in a whatever you're the the actual character of your life, you are not in a position to enjoy it, and it is in fact also true that there are people whose minds are such that they can be deeply happy even in conditions. It would drive most people totally crazy.
Play. I've studied with people who spent in a decade's in caves just meditating right here, you put the average person in a cave and separated him or her from everything they want out of life and everything they love in this world and they'll go insane and they'll go insane based on an inability to pay attention in a very specific way. You know that again, is there something paradoxical here, but it's the paradox is resolved by are doing both sets of of wise things simultaneously. You want to have a good life. You want to do work you find meaning,
participate in the world in ways that are a fun and creative and connect. You two other people, and you want to recognize this thing about the nature of your own mind in my book. I argue for meditation courses in school, maybe just the way we have specific teachers teaching. You know giving physical education and it's important to take care of our body, but I feel we we neglects the emotional well being and in our educational system, this wonderful things happening, but but but nothing struck. Really at least not in in Europe, but I dont think its application in the states it still. Education is very much about acquiring knowledge, and maybe we could and should do better. What's what's your opinion,
that year, you someday my wife, arnica has focused on a large, is taught mindfulness in schools in both the school. At my daughter's go to an and other schools. For some years and yeah. It's amazing! You kids, can really learn this. I think, probably six years, all this is about the earliest it you can profitably start, but yeah, I'm kids can learn. To initially simply become more aware of what their feeling six year old. Who can recognize specific emotions clearly and see him how they motivate him or her to behave in certain ways that such an amazing skill to teach and means is the first step toward the primary value of living
I am in life that we know so central to western philosophy, for you know at least a thousand years or so, and then we lost it in the west me. This is why so many people like myself have gravitated toward eastern traditions to at least initially to learn these techniques, because the value of wisdom, wisdom, as opposed to mere knowledge, is something that it's not that it ever completely disappeared in the last. But it got genuinely submerged by other priorities and is certainly It has been the case for now centuries that, if your western philosopher that carries absolutely no implication that you're doing something that entails living a better life
right, minister, need be no connection between philosophy and well being or living ay and ethical life being a benign person that a minimum in this world, and you can have some of the great philosophers of the western cannon, who were just almighty, neurotics and toxic people, and that says nothing derogatory about their philosophy. Right
have someone like Nietzsche or Schopenhauer, and may just you a video of Schopenhauer through his housekeeper down a flight of stairs Vichtenstein who who just beat pupils and treat his colleagues terribly. These are not people to emulate in terms of how they lived their lives. Obviously there in each of these for brilliant man and can be profitably read for their thoughts about other topics. But there was an important bifurcation between what philosophy became in the west and its original purpose, which was to understand something about the nature of being in the world such that it transforms your capacities
a person had trained and transforms the the actual moment to moment texture of your life, so we have largely lost. That is, I think the fact that even now, it's really an afterthought in or or we're just its superior a kind of new discovery that maybe we should be teaching children, something about. They had to be such that they become happier wiser, more ethical people, and I think that the most important project we have- and it seems strange that we don't even discuss it for the most part at any point in in our education system and then just rely on people to figure it out for themselves once they become
run it absolutely it. It strikes me even more as a caregiver, I'm supposed to take care of others, but actually, throughout my studies at university, medical school and then in specializing neurology. Never ever have low and anything about taking care of myself, listening to my own emotions and in in we know, caregivers are at risk for burn out to colleagues who committed suicide. We notice for such a long time, and still so little is happening structurally speaking and in our faculty in our budget system so yeah. He added that is another point there, which is,
we ve all met doctors who are maybe brilliant physicians, and it is certainly in my experience, been recommended to me, as as brilliant physicians, who have terrible bedside manners their therein in no sense a healing presence as a person and say you're, coming to them, essentially for their their expertise as physicians as diagnostician or people who could recommend a course of treatment where they might be brilliant surgeons, rice, or that this is actually the pair of hands you want operating. If it comes, that, but these are people who are just some level, cancelling the inner. Whatever healing benefits there might be of actually connecting with a wise and compassionate physician. Because of
who they seem to be in a in their own skins as people. You know I don't know what they teach in medical school about how to be with patients, but it is obviously the profession of being a doctor selects for range of being a personality types and I'm sure that the various specialties further select right. So it's your someone at the mercy of the personality that shows up there and again yet it would be better if there was a more holistic understanding of what it means to be in that role right because it seems you're dealing and I'm not speaking from experience, I'm really just speaking as a consumer of medicine. But you know, depending on what specialty you're in you are encountering people very often in the most vulnerable.
Anxiety, ridden we'll eat your ear, even grief stricken moments of their lives and it matters what sort of person you are in those moments in, in my field of expertise, seeing patients dacians to com and their families and a lot of people die yeah it's. It is a big challenge to do. The job was with empathy and compassion and, as you said, we were not selected for that. We had no particular courses and- and- and that is that is a pity. Speaking of that and in my job again I see death on a daily basis and then how did meditation change your relationship with death? Why it's certainly traditional too.
frame. The project of meditation again and spiritual practice generally contemplative practice very much in the context of getting ready to die on some level saying that this is part of the the explicit project which is your death is inevitable and we spend my customer our lives by default, materially, avoiding it for obvious reasons, but also avoiding thinking about it. And this is the whole notion of death denial which I think has a lot to it, and there was a wonderful book by that title. At the denial of death by our inspector, we try to distract ourselves from this ever pay current reality and many of us manage to do that rather well. Remember their people who don't think about death all that much because they're they're so busy trying to have a good time in life and
and I would say that by ten, as they have always been a person who, who has not been able to forget about death for very long rare I. This is probably due to the fact that I did lose. A few people close to me in a fairly early on, so it was always obvious to me, I'm really safe from thirteen onward. It was quite obvious to me that this was a reality and this could happen at any time or no guarantees that you're going to live a long life, and so is something that I have always kept in front of me as a fact. I think more than than the average person and meditation is is a further way of doing that emits. It is a way of extracting the wisdom
doing that rat, rather than than merely being made morbid by one's awareness of death, is a method of recognising just how much there is to be grateful for you. Haven't died, yet your life is right here, to be enjoyed an end, it can only be enjoyed by you Raymond. This corner of the universe is illuminated where you sit in. Only you get to make the most of that and how you pay attention to it. It really is the most imports piece of that and is not real and making the most of it isn't in the end radically changing what is already the case there is it's really being able to sink into Experience of being in the world more and more and enjoy it and enjoyed in relationship to other people enjoy it in relationship to the natural beauty of the world, enjoy it by behaving more and more f
finally enjoy it by having better and better intentions with respect to your collaboration with other people and enjoying the quality of of mind. Born of those good intentions. Right I mean were rather than seeing yourself in competition with others, actually wanting other people to succeed and feeling good when they succeed, rather than feeling like your happiness, has been some had diminished by Someone got a slice of the pie that you wanted and using all of that to come to rest More and more, in the present moment, Mary, I really do see that as the project and an awareness of death is apart from just being caught
check with with reality Raymond. This is coming for all of us. It is the backstop that keeps you from just wasting all of your time and attention either without an awareness of death. I don't know, I think it would be possible to just distract yourself as pleasantly if you could muster always right in and have to know deeper. Nor the really something good about being aware of death, but unless you can find that and use that it is easy to just feel like it's, it's a source of of unhappiness maritime. You think about death, you feel like ok, that's that's no place to linger, and I just want the project now is to forget about it, and I think that to a misuse of the actual opportunity, you referred a number of times.
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Transcript generated on 2020-12-07.