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#71: Sam Harris, 'Waking Up' Podcast Host, Neuroscientist

2017-04-12
Sam Harris, who has no relation to our beloved host, is a scientist, a controversial skeptic and the author of several New York Times bestsellers, including "The End of Faith," "The Moral Landscape" and "Waking Up" (also the title of his popular podcast). During our interview, Harris hosts a clinic on deconstructing "consciousness and its contents" with the help of meditation, and recognizing how getting lost in thought can be tied to suffering.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Ok, get a little another for you, apologies for the short notice on this by one and let everybody now actually doing alive edition of the ten percent happier podcast tomorrow, night Thursday April 13th, It's the Barnes, noble on the Upper EAST side in New York City, You talk nor writer named David Leat he's. Who dies on the NPR show the splendid table. It writes a lot about food and all sorts of publications got a new book coming out. It's a funny memoir and I know it sounds weird to say that, but it's a funny memoir about his own struggles with mental illness and obviously there's a lot of food intertwined in the story is called notes. Manner and again we're gonna do that podcast with him live at the Barnes and Noble one. Fifty EAST, eighty six street in New York City hoped to see their tomorrow night. If you can't make it no worries. You're gonna hear the episode very soon right here on this feed against our short notice. Here's the show
again. Welcome to another attempt to have your podcast, my guess this week is SAM Harris. I have to explain this all time salmon are not related. Although I really do love a guy he's he's a phenomenal human being, a b is let you say from the outset, extremely controversial ease known as an atheist and he's he takes us. Of controversial stances on public issues. Interesting. We, though, my relationship with him is mostly centred around met. nation and our lives. We know that is wives and hang out personally So this, the I know is very different from the same who alot of people get angry at an end, by way of Baxter. I met SAM several years ago when I was moderating a Nightline debate, the primary antagonist
that debate were SAM Harris and de facto pride and exits worth going back and looking at some of the Youtube clips of that debate. It's gotten a lot of attention in the years in the years that have passed since the debate anyway. Backstage at the debate, SAM, and I were hanging out getting to know each other low bitten, he mentioned that he was a daily meditate, her that which I took really seriously cause. I was just at the beginning of my practice that well, if skeptical guy like this is doing it, a guy was a was a must so the here and he introduced me to the guideline ultimately became my meditation teacher, Joseph Goldstein and Joseph in Samara, old old friends and just a side note. I know it's crazy that, after more than a year of having a pike S Joseph has not been on, but I plan to remedy soon long way of saying that SAM Harris is somebody I count as a real friend and just as another side. No, you can actually here a bike as that we did together.
her with Joe Rogan a couple days ago. That's a three hour pike S this window over shorter and much more focused on SAM himself in his work. So without further ado here he is, Paris, I do we ask the question. I ask everybody star with which it, how did you get into meditation? Well, it was some first there were a couple of psychedelic experiences which convince me that naturally occurring or drug induce are there Arthur. Naturally occurring I dont know not only are the this. This was pharmacology enabled by dumb as a kid as aid or the one that meant something was as an eighteen year old man that was empty. I may otherwise known as ecstasy or Molly to the kids. Yeah yeah, and this was before
kids were into it. I think I was the only person I knew of my generation who had tried at that point, so it was. This was good common export from the psychotherapeutic community. I was told you are cutting edge of our region, drug users, but, yes, I met. Get in a context that was not at all like the usual usual now it wasn't like of her or I wasn't it burning man. I was just sitting on a couch, true waiting to discover something about the nature of my mind and man, we were different Xyz eighteen year old, eight years old, I had no desire to understand anything about the nature of my mom yeah. Well, when I was seventeen, I guess I wasn't about something changed and I had a few experts. It is before that I had taken mushrooms as a teenager and had never. saw any greater implication of what I experienced their married, looking icon those experiences. They were psycho appropriately, psychedelic and and interest.
but I never never suggested to me that there was a different way of experience in the world off of drugs registered the juicy Michael S, an interesting drug experience, whereas on India May, the Thee the less and really was that I am not feed, in this way by virtue of my head but patterns and sounded like amateur big experience, was of being really, saying for the first moment of my life. That's that's how I came out of it, and mistress, no longer self concerned no longer preoccupied with the voice in my head and It does seem like a much. More it was. It was a truer Version of myself. That's, that's all! That's what I came feeling and the impulse
mission of that was that I had to find some way to actual eyes. This experience it over the course of life and obvious. I couldn't take em dna every day, and that was not that never was part of the plan, but I it take out. I took lsd, I took a few other psychedelic and Then meditation also became a right. It was recommended in and I tried it in an opposite. That was a more durable path. Right. You were already unsurprisingly, since I'm talking to SAM Harris were in some something of controversial area. Here is disappointing. we podcast so our ISIS Bang. Some people will be like drugs legal personally, I have had panic attack on national television is a consequence of room certain search of drugs, so this can have all sorts of pernicious effects do you have any come?
function about talking's openly about the year describe as though the positive impact, some drugs. You know why not when I have written about this and spoken about in the past, theirs, another side to the story that I tell you right now, I'm I don't take psychedelic any more. I haven't for many years because I've, I've wired a very healthy respect for just how bad and experience you can have on them and MRS Independent of whether their physically unhealthy and I think that story is different depends. On the drug Europe. Talking about, I think, Gambia may, is probably not good for you. There certainly some evidence that is neurotoxic toxic withers controversy there. There's debate about whether the dosages in those expense, were analogous to the dosages that people take, but I think
taking him a lot would worry me purely for physical reasons. I dont know that there is any evidence that something like LSD is neurotoxic, but the experiences you can have particularly on stronger psychedelic cyclists day can be so who psychologically destabilizing and, They, whether or not you have a good experience or a bad experience. Is really in your hands to control, and so so that so my experience with with LSD, which I took more than anything else of the first ten times I took it. I just didn't even see a glimmer of how you could have a bad experience say. I'd heard about ban trips, I heard that certain people had them. I just didn't see how that was possible to suggest knew what it was like up
on sequitur, but would mean a trip number eleven or thereabouts he's just the door to Hell. Guide, kicked open and then it was always a jar of banana then than then that possibility was always on the table when I, when I would take anything but whether it was mushrooms or lsd and so and some of those trips I only did it a few more times after that, but I came away from you owe them feeling like either the day the after effects of Heaven endured a truly heroin encounter with psychosis, is really the appropriate word those lingered for me for months. While you know I mean I just felt like yeah. This is not a good thing to be doing with your mind, with your brain and but conversely, the positive trips you've had those effects. Lingered for months in a
I think the the effect it has on you is unfortunately, a roll of the dice, and so they and obviously meditation is much more easily governed in that way. And so yeah it's not that I would never do it again, and it's not that I wouldn't recommend it. You get you. You really recommended, with the proviso that you, you can't be totally sure. What's gonna happen and the real benefit for me and and for many people? Is that what they have a battery for a good trip? This is true, but certainly on it on a good trip. It proves that a very different experience of the world as possible and you I was the kind of person who probably what
I'm going to realise that any other way you know, I think of you- had taught me how to meditate when I was eighteen or twenty, and I had never had any drug experience. I think I probably wouldn't have been especially good at, which is, as I wouldn't have noticed, something immediately that was compelling, and I would have come. Why probably feeling that was as it was boring nor was just gonna looked inside and see much of interest, and then just want to get on with my life and you know that that happens to a lot of people happened to me. There's someone. People are just not even interested in any form of introspection, so. Psychedelic are really a kind of sledge hammer taped to take to the
normal say of your own? You do you distraction and and self concept, and it's you know again it it can be extraordinarily pleasant or or the opposite. You write about this in a really compelling and often extremely funny way in your excellent book waking up, which I have read, maybe four of our times hey YA, Alby Verus, to show you my coffee cuz, it doesn't know it's all over it and I'm going to be asking many many questions based on those notes we are with the chronology here: you're, eighteen, nineteen, twenty you ve done a few experiments, some of them, as you describe your books, disastrous, with academics, and then you get into meditation, pretty boy and if I recall you're a student and under Stanford time and you down and ran really down into the meditation world the domicile yeah yeah. I had dropped out Suez
my sophomore year so, but I was still living Stanford for what would happen then my junior year and I did a retreat where the robbed us up in Oregon data. Very good at it round? Us was originally no As Richard Albert I? He was a Harvard professor and the M colleague of TIM Larry's, who did the two of them got fired? I think that with the fur professors fire from Harvard in living memory, and they got fired for being too loose with the their lsd protocol and basically given acid to everyone who who showed up- and yeah you may. Obviously there are many many people and many many very successful smart people who are grateful for the way they disseminated LSD into the culture at. But you could certainly Chris
size what they did and there was. There was a kind of schedule, one backlash against what you, what they did certain Schedule one meaning a legal- yes, oh it so unless, if item as illegal drug, yes Psychedelic became from the when we have the law indistinguishable from heroin or methamphetamine or anything else at illegal and continue to prison and research on these drugs more or less stopped entirely for third generation. Half the order was really suicides coming bags. Combat labs was finally come back and that's all to the good, but it say there was there was a backlash anyway returned Albert became wronged ass when he went to India and met his guru and got really into meditation
ok and then started just teaching meditation for the most part and mostly who taught for partner. So that's where I learned the partner meditation on the first retreat. Can you find it if they pass on offer Well, listen! It's! Your podcast probably have heard about the possibility, nothing at some of the key aspect: people villages the first time because you're on our let's, let's give it to them. Ok, well the partner is the Polly term, the the vernacular sanskrit term for insight, and it is by the the buddhist tradition that teaches it consider the the oldest and truest and most essential teaching of the Buddha were meditations concerned and the kind of awareness you? U cultivating. This practice is now widely heard under them
mindfulness and say: I'm It's a little more time to have a partner than just mindfulness, but mine. This really is the center of the the technique and mindfulness his job a very on cluttered. And conceptual ultimately and open, awareness applied to anything that you happen to be experiencing, so there's nothing you're, adding to your experience, nor to do it Monterrey, you're, not visualizing anything you're, just you pain, attend to whatever it is. You happen to notice and initially the technique is, trained ass, a traditional? What what what traditionally kind concentration style practice we're just focusing on the breath, and so if you got a partner positive,
you'll be taught to do sitting meditation and the breath as it as an object of of attention will be recommended to you, but very quickly as you as you into to learn to pay attention, then that that opens up a new petition anything. So it's it's sites and sounds and sensations and ultimately even thoughts and emotions themselves. So there's nothing in principle, excluded from the practice of a partner, our minds, and soon a unanimously you're not trying to get rid of your thoughts, you're not trying to get rid of your emotions are actually trying to feel and see everything as clearly and as fully as possible, without being lost in thought about these things are what we tend to do as we Hindereth view our experience and each moment through this. This really unacknowledged scream of discourse. Seventy which worked.
Having a conversation with ourselves in the midst of everything else were experiencing, and this conversation tends to have the character of a judge, in our experience, criticise and our experience remembering what we wish. We had said: bearded, anticipating the thing is coming next and were bouncing we're just gonna bouncing back and forth. When I really going anywhere cuz, there really is only the present moment with thoughts arising in passing away, but we don't see that we feel we feel identical to each thought that comes careening into consciousness and these thoughts whether, if their unpleasant their kindling unpleasant emotions and if their pleasant, their kindling, pleasant ones, and we just get buffet around by by this, and that the practice of of mindfulness is the practice of just suddenly in each moment, for his firm, maybe only for a moment at a time. Coming aware of
this whole we'll works and unseen thoughts and moods and sensations as appearances in common, arising and changing and passing away in each moment, and so it was great about mindfulness as a technique. Is that it. Because it doesn't entail any eastern com Sab, sir Iconography or ritual limited. There really is nothing new to traditional traditionally the buddhist technique, but there's no in Budapest about it. You're just paying attention- and it was a very- its training- This is a very rigorous way, of any systematic way paying attention to them to the contents of consciousness. Well done so you are, of a person. A retreat with rom does interesting around us, Hindu name, and I associate him with her hindu meditation, but he was teaching a buddhist form of
attention on the retreat. You hear what he was when he was teaching. He may still do this, but he he was teaching retreats where he would give you a kind of smorgasbord of spiritual practices. So there was the partner there was chanting. There was yoga. There was Sophie dancing. It is a lot of stuff, but the partner was the they can. A centre of it in terms of meditation. we're cool with a chanting in the sufi dancing last year. That was all fund, it was all was and it, and I must confess I think I dropped ass. It on my first run, Dost retreats of Lebanon that changes it entirely, but I've. You know your thought of as this famous atheists sceptic guy, so I've our time. Imagining you spinning around Sophie dancing or you know, chanting assent, than any other Krishna us. so it was there a change before or after or am I misunderstanding, the nature of these experiences you? What none of those practices Rick
wire that you, believe anything spooky. Maybe it's just it say, and I know it's not am I still love? I I'm is Adam. Sophie dancers ban has been a long time, but the Think I could do any of those things without any problem. America there just their very interesting ritual was an of of the energy of it and the method of many. Those are our collective experiences rights you of your chanty. Can Europe enchanting a room with a hundred people? and that can be very intense and it's not something. you need to do in a kind of propitiatory prayer away. A media have actually think you're talking to Krishna right. You can just be and is always doesn't even matter what the sound would be. It happens
Krishna, but it could be anything so you so yeah. I could do mantra practice. I don't happen to do it, but they'd be no. I see no problem doing it. So, just at a technology really yeah yeah, it's a kind of exercises. Its orbit, like I'm just like any physical exercise, really where you could make a second. like a light like lifting waits, you could stay home. Why? Why am I lifting these arbitrary heavy objects in our? Why are they shape this way and why You could get wrapped around the actual on all that stuff, but it's anything is is good as anything else in that space of your just connected with the the fundamental aspect of the project, which is due to get stronger right and when you're chanting you. It is a concentration exercise and it is a if your chanting too, the ideal of enlightenment, whether its precise
if I buy the Buddha were, or any other historical or even imaginary, here, you are it there's this kind of aspirational devotional give is very positive mood that is, that you're getting anchored to and yet may you just in my view, you don't have to believe you know anything you dont know or accept bad evidence to do that now. The caviar, of course, is that most of the people who are doing these practices and most who have done them historically, have believed a lot of unjustifiable nonsense in in the service of these. These practices were or that or the practices were put in the service of an ex post.
they religious and dogmatic worldview, and so united. As you know, I really think we have to get out of the religion. Business and most people doing quote spiritual practice- are dont, quite see it the way I see it so, you know if you go to the high Christmas enchant and ask them why either we know. Why are we doing this? They will have a story to tell you about Krishna and his real existence in some invisible realm and d, the usefulness of brain to him and all of that, and obviously that's says of ethics quite crazy. You we're going to deviate alone that from the story of your life, but I promise you and our listeners that we will get back to it, but you ve brought us up to a point.
Which I think is worth exploring, which is one of the main theses of the aforementioned excellent book waking up, which is that we can that it is possible to have a kind of spirituality without religion near the floor. Is yours. Well, it should be obvious that this is possible because People from all different religions have the same spiritual experience where it were, or importantly, similar. Spiritual experiences are a unity of experience. He s a lot of is a less just. Take the experience. Let's take two experiences that France of unconditional love or or unconditional compassion, just gotta having you're you're a mode no doors, is blown open and you feel just just come boundless a boundless commit
into the happiness of other sentient beings. This is a big, a universal experience that that Mr Dickson Contemplatives and just people have testified to four. thousands of years and some people- and this is very much the character of the experience that people have on ecstasy are empty Emma an ant just to amplify your point. These are people utterly disconnected geography and chronology blaming the same sort of experience, yeah yeah so and this this is, you know whether the talk about Jesus or the desert, fathers or any other saints and ends Contemplatives in the christian tradition. Or its people like roomy, in among the Sioux fees or in their numberless Buddhists and Hindus devotees of Krishna these Christmas the God of Love- and you know this is the state of consciousness- that many people are her aiming for shamans in the the ancient cultures, nor into today's cultures,
and the end? Then again people on drugs? We are or area and and the language it can be a little differently there. There are traditions that don't emphasise, love to the named degree as others right, but it just is obvious, When you pay attention to the literature that that people and in more or less every tradition have testify to this experience to one way or another, and so too, with the experience of self transcendence just losing, sense of self losing the sensor. There's an ego riding around in your head, that is the center of the stream of consciousness or the there's gonna bobbing along on the stream of consciousness, people can lose that sends an just experience, pure consciousness, so this consciousness and its content but these these self is not among the contents, there's just thoughts and emotions and sensations and perceptions and
so it's a different experience- and I saw the same- is as boundless love although there is a connection there yeah, but you can either you you, if we have one without the other you can have you got the expensive, boundless love and I feel like an. I still feel like a self. That's that's, loving, nearing incredibly loving and you can experience a loss of the sense of self without anything, really changing at the level of your aspect. So it's not like love just come soon. Army of love comes flooding in, although it can, but it is just you're selflessness is not predicated on being overwhelmed by a feeling of love or compassion. I so that their distinct, but that again these are experiences that are widely testified to in various traditions and
so you can know, are. Religions are not the best repositories or in interpretations of that experience, because They all these religions are mutually cancelling their mutually their logically incompatible her. You know if you are a christian, full doctrine is there is there is no way to make significant progress and certainly no way to be saved, but in the name of Jesus right and Jesus was divine a knave. If, if you don't believe in Jesus divinity in the fact that he was raised from the dead while you're doomed and an end everyone from, Paul onward has said that now, of course, or their Chris repression to relax their adherence to that dogma, one or another degree, but there is no there's no way around the fact that Christianity is logically incompatible with Islam.
And Islam is logically incompatible with Hinduism and they're all incompatible with Buddhism, and so there has to be a deeper prince here. There's that mean none of these, given that people from all traditions have these experiences. None of these none of these experiences, our data points in support of any one of those per parochial worldview, so is at, and yet every Christian who has the experience of unconditional love or the loss of a sense of self will interpret that in the framework of Christianity, as as evidence of the truth, standard is a Christian who is in church prayn, who suddenly guess flooded with love for all humanity will feel like this is the down pouring of the Holy Spirit, or this is that the grace of God or Jesus is somehow touch their lives
so end and a Muslim will have historian or a Hindu will, her story, and these are totally incompatible stories. So We know these today, so we know that these experiences are not data points in favour of any of these faiths, and I mean that So there are many other ways to see why that should be obvious, but did them the mute. The compatibility of these faith claims. It is enough to get us to a point of saying. Well, there has to be a more universal account of what's going on and on account of of the fur. This reaches of positive psychology that is not held hostage to accidents of culture and just at this, the mere fact of someone happened be born in India is up Mr Pakistan or Japan or somewhere else where they would have been handed a different worldview. Ok, so I'm a lavish snickers
I often know I always go into podcast with this idea that I'm going to let people tell the story there lives and then go from there right now. I'm officially dropping that here, because you said too many things that I need follow up on earth, so I will get back fits decree of really out of it. You care what I do, but have no telling that the listeners you talk about selflessness, dropping the eye. I think that is such a hard concept for people to grasp, so let us take. On now, because it is another of the principal theses in waking up that that the self is illusion, this is so hard for people to get. I think most people have never even thought about the self. At all, will help. I understand what you are talking about here and be: how would be at all useful for us in our daily lives
Well, maybe this or that the utility is is a kind of a separate question. It is useful because when you look at the nature of your suffering psychologically the self, really. Then the string upon which all of these negative states mental states are strong and me about a lot of people. Listen to this might feel like I'm that suffering we time on that minute. Road are no crows pecking out my inner some time. Yeah and ends of those people are difficult to reach with with an argument that suggests that, if you do You look more closely at your life. You would discover that that you are You're you're moved in each moment by a sense of dissatisfaction that In fact, the unacknowledged try this like you're, just moving onto the next thing, but there's a a stress in your life
that is motivating more or less everything you do. Merely your life has caught the key a kind of long emergency and yet it did the other people who are happy enough or lucky enough, or we know a positive enough that if you ask them was Are you see stressed out? Are you moved by a profound sense of dishonest? action are you overlooking the present moment, kind of compulsively trying to get onto the next thing, even if in the present moment is full of thing. You thought you wanted a moment ago. There they're kind of their deeply insensitive to to the dynamics of what's happening, and they end if you have a benign satisfying enough life for long enough, yet you can say years, just to see no point to this kind of consideration was: that's fine, Europe, your very happy persons very lucky not in a lot of physical pain? And you don't know Wednesday
I you know that you that an you you're, not you're one of these people, you probably know Joe but you're pretty wise people who don't think about death right. You know this, like you not actually thinking about the possibility of your parents died, kids Diner Amelia for those with anybody wondering there that we, your half jewish eight between us, we make ones you right and by the way, were not really we're not relate, as it is a different different strand of Judaism. But so yeah you're, not their people like this, who just dumb and there are many good way of illnesses- is psychologically straw, way to be nice to be resilient right and not to suffer much in us a you get frustrated by the thing you were all or counting What was the thing you are counting on doesn't happen, and you spend two minutes being disappointed rather than two days or two weeks
there are people who are very lucky just by dint of genes in and upbringing and they're not shopping for a path to enlightenment, because it they don't problem. Right doesn't mean there isn't a problem doesn't mean it they're, not gonna crash and or in some time, rights are good. a lot of what spiritual life is or in your in contemplative practice is, is a kind of training for for the bad times rights. Are you gonna getting ready for the worse day of your life right and at worst day for life, is coming right. That hasn't happened already ill. It will happen eventually right and now you ve, you been with any luck, you're bad times will not be, as add, as humanly possible rise possible to have a dozen unendurable bad light.
Right and we are all hoping we get luckier than that, but and if you have the free time to listen to this punk ass, you probably are luckier than that. But there's no telling what's going to happen to any of us in the future and in the future, as in the present your mind, is all you have you're. My your ability to be happy or be at peace in the midst of what is happening is whatever it is in this moment and if it's out of its untested in this moment, because you have everything you. and you're comfortable will. Then you don't really know what tools you have to work with when the we'll start coming off and european people who have thought a lot about. This have discovered that there
some tools that are worth having in hand and and when you become sensitive to How it is you suffer, its is. Theirs the really there's not a lot going on there. They're, not novel processes is just whenever you're suffering in a really. A you are lost in thought me. You are thinking and that these blows are meted out by our own mind on itself, through this, this autumn intensity of just thinking without without knowing that you're thinking, so that the next thought arises and it just it seems to be you. It seems to be what you are, and you feel that you are the thinker of your thoughts. And this kind of paradoxical you, you think that that you think you're the author thought just arises right from you from who knows where you certainly don't see it arise, and you certainly don't author
but being identified with it carries with it. The the felt sense that you are the thinker seems to create a thinker that that is separate from the thought so, if you listen to me now, you and you don't really get I'm saying you might be thinking well, what was talking about right, so that thought what is this guy talking about? Just just emerges- and it feels like you re feeling that the sense of self is is a product of of not seen a thought, as I thought, arising in a a larger condition of consciousness or or the mind and meditation training is a way of recognising the prior condition in which thoughts and sensations, and everything else arises indeed, at a certain point, you can notice thoughts themselves arise and not be
and not be any more identified with the voice in your head than than you are with my voice. Mrs, so I'm in understanding what I'm saying now just notice you so you you know if you, if you're a speaker of English, you are through no intention of your own helplessly decoding what the sounds are making now and understanding the rest. Easy like you can't you It is interesting to consider it have actually no free will here. So you can't decide not to understand what I'm saying images the wood. the sound is coming in and meaningful to you. If you don't understand something I said. Well, then you just you you don't understand it. There are no free will of your own measures. You're. Just you can't. This is This is being imposed on your mind when one way or the other and your own thoughts are just like this. They just arise. Rights, and you dont actually know what you will think next,
any more than you know. What I'm gonna say next raises: is it it? It feels like you, in a way that my voice doesn't feel like you. But it is if you pay attention fundamentally, justice, as just as is it's just as novel is just as ungoverned by you is justice, is you're not choosing it. You can't to choose what you think would require that you think it before you think it right me. How can you make a simple way to demonstrate that, so but you can't you'd have started to have the kit. Can't you direct your thought. Can you say? Oh god, when you sit down and think about pastrami sandwiches? Now he ever, but where did pastrami sandwiches come from rescue? Could you can do that but of all the things you do wish heritage. Yes, but so you have Choice there or the apparent choice. You could have said anything right, you didn't know
like what, why did you pick up all the food stuffs? You know I mean you know either pry hundreds of things you could have said there. You can't even explain why you went to food as opposed to cities or movies or relationships or famous people, or you can come to anything rainy category of of of thing to think about, but you went to food and then you went to pastrami, but you gotta go and anything else that you, your whereof so and we know France, If we were scanning your brain one at that moment- and we know that with the brain scanner of the future by MRS virtually possible, now we could have told you, we would have known in the lab that you were going for food,
an pastrami before you knew you were doing that recycling consciousness is not the first to know, though, that the word pastrami is gonna. Come out of your mouth, your per stronger sandwich circuits were already firing, probably fer. You know at least a second before why an enemy, If you had sampled your experience during that, second, you would subjectively have felt that you were still in the process of making up your mind, searching for an example right. So I certainly didn't know coming to the package that the word pastrami would eat up this, band, what yeah I'm glad at their livelihood, but our mind. Our minds are always like this right. They they seem familiar right, but in each moment, is deeply mysterious how any this is happening in the future.
just how how you understand what I'm saying happy you know how I get to the end of this sentence is something that is mysterious and and when I fail to do it, if I make a grammatical error that it that's all so mysterious with the sick of the successes and the failures are both mysterious, and again that there is no one in the driver's seat here there there are simply more thoughts and sensations and moods and and all of the phenomenon of conscious life are simply arising in passing in each moment, in the sense that there is a a ride or on the horse is again, this is that's what it feels like to be thinking without knowing that you're thinking without recognising the next thought, emerge and consciousness, and when you can do that
what you find- and it comes back your question williams- why any of this matters is a fine that it's impossible to suffer the kind of classic get of mine states for more than a moment in time. So it like I say, you're, angry, right or terrified- are really anxious about something you have to do those mental states again, our are are born aloft in each moment by thinking and if you, if you, if you have a very strong mindfulness and can just you can just like a laser beam, shine your attention on they, the the process of thinking, to really noticed. Thoughts, arise and pass away, and you can- and you can focus very clearly on an emotion like anger or fear the half hour
If these emotions, when you're no longer thinking about them, is east, I mean just moments: write em, you could you couldn't stay worry for most people think they can stay angry for an hour right or even longer, it's impossible without just thinking. About all the reasons why you have every right to be angry is very upping, yet you just gotta, keep you have to keep you have to keep in producing this emotion, based on the thoughts that are justifying it and the only way to do that is to be lost. In those thoughts me, you can't actually, if you, if you see the thought as a thought, it's just like my voice in your head. You knows it is just an object in consciousness, is not its not doesnt have the same imperative. It doesnt doesn't link to a motion in the same way.
so Immanuel Kant, can't is so so this way of being in the world cancels all of the clear, classical negative emotion, and the things we do as a result of them. So just think of the difference between being angry. someone does something that makes me angry and I be reasonably mindful. I might you know, stand refer a few moments. and then notice how angry I am and then it begins to just fall off, because I because I then I then notice that I'm suffering for no reason right. There's no is no good like it. It's nothing It's not equipping me to do anything useful, I'm the one meeting out this negative experience to myself so, but so the difference between that, and staying angry for an hour or a day and acting speaking and acting on the basis of that anger is enormous mistake
our people destroy their lives and their relationships and their reputations based on just their negative mental state. So if you want, if just again back to the pure utility and taking this out of metaphysics or philosophy or even me on grand goals, like enlightenment, and if you, if you want, if being able to decide to drop your anger or drop your embarrassment or drop your anxiety, because it's not useful, is like a superpower in this world. My most people don't have it in the most. People are just lived by that like they're their full commitment. You know they're going to be three as they get and it will and then the time course is who knows what and they will have said or done. Who knows what in the meantime and then you can see the consequences in people's lives. To decide and again the what this way of talking
oh misleading, because little misleading, because. free will is not enough. It is completely the flip side of selflessness. Is the free will is also an illusion right. So it's not it's not like. There's, there's a self who can who's deciding, but to speak in a very kind of conventional about this to eat, to have the choice. To no longer indulge this negative emotion that is leading nowhere worth going. Is it is a hugely empowering and hugely useful skill to develop and meditation is the way to develop that and but beyond that it is a fact that, to become more and more sensitive to the character of your own thoughts begins to reveal that that, for the most part there not being lost in thought.
Not making you happy, it's not making you it's like the way you want to bet that this they moments in life that come upon you, that are your peak moments. The moments you keep trying to get back to do tend to have this character of not being met. Once when you were just ruminating about your life you're in the zone year, moments of just of you, they ve been called flow or peak. Experiences are moments where weathers through athletics or music, music or or discuss a creativity or sex or drugs, or at least some the something has caused your mind to just go full immersion into whatever it is. You know like it is the best food variants you ever had you like the first bite of your favorite dish.
poverty you are it's it's it's collapsing. The distance between observer, unobserved and people crave that for good reason, but minute. What meditation is is a way of having that expired. and on demand, regardless of what's happening right so and even in the midst of of new technically unpleasant experience. So he gave me this kind. It is a kind of equalising function here where meditation can equalize pleasant and
pleasant experiences, because you you, you realise that the thing that is aware of pleasure is the same thing. That's aware of pain or joy and sadness or, oh you and it's not operating as I think restrictive, and if you keep falling back into that position of just bein the space in which these experiences arise. Well, then, that that distance between image, it just so happens is just have a happy accident that being concentrated, which is really are said of being distracted by thought, has a kind of intrinsic pleasantness to it, and one of the things we like about flow experiences is this concentration of mind and because, when you look alike, is kind of strange that many of these things that are so satisfying when we're in the zone are satisfying.
What what is satisfying about what should be satisfying about any of these athletic experiences say so like shooting a basketball right like if you just feel like you, completely at one with this experience of grabbing about jumping shooting dribbling amid is totally arbitrary and oil. What could we possibly pleasant. any of that right but being in the zone. For that is incredibly pleasant. so it is with everything else, dancing or milk. What why? Why would moving. Your body in this way be pleasant at all right, but now it is not pleasant at all of Europe, uncomfortable I feel yourself conscious, you don't have to dance. People are looking at you you're just ear neurotic will. Then it's not pleasant, but if you know how to dance- and you feel great doing it and yours now doing it in a way. That is where your
ITALY at one with it. We are not a step ahead or a step behind you not think it about pastrami here, you're and you're, not thinking about even do not even thinking about dancing right right, you're, just there's no disciplining dance. Yet that is its a completely arbitrary thing to do, but as its magically pleasant to do it, but an end, the component that is delivering the high for the most part of it there may be other things, but certainly part of it is just concentration is just as is his feature of mind, of just being just just not being distracted anymore. Being distracted is a kind of stress that most people only overcome in a very haphazard way. They think it was the dancing or the basketball or the surfing or the sacks.
What was that where they they got. Therefore, for a second and half, but meditation is a way of taking responsibility for this process and in an dissecting out the variable that is actually universal, which is it just the distraction versus the alternative, and that is just the practice of non distraction. Whatever you're paying attention to limit you go back to the idea of selflessness are not self or whatever you call it. The fact that that the self is an illusion, may I I just worry that people still Agus struggle with x. I know they do. I know they do, because I have four
seven years of looking into it, which we feel we feel very much like the other. I'm here you know, and I see myself in the mirror- and I have to put my pants on in the morning. I gotta make a net disappointments under my name, so it's it's counter intuitive at the least. You say that this was an illusion. Yellow use this term self in a future ways and their ways there, certainly sir, of that- are not illusory. So the the self as just the person, I'm not saying that people are allusions right. So yeah is to talk about Dan Harris the person, is not a sign of confusion and your biographical self is distinct from somebody else's and on that
of all yourself, is synonymous with your physical body, the home, the whole body and its history right, and we can talk about the subject of an object of side of that. But it's the totality of you That's not the self that people feel they have moment to moment. Six inferences, most people don't feel identical to their bodies. If you like, they have bodies, They feel like their riding around in a body as it were a kind of vehicle yeah. I mean I really feel like I've, much relationship with my appendix right, but even like your hand, and you can imagine being without a hand, yes and you feel like you're in control of it but are not down there in the hand really you're up appear in your head and you looked down at the hand, and he said well, that's my hand, but is the body most of it at any rate is
in appropriated from some point of view that is inside the head. That is not an identical to the head and feels like you're inside your head, and when someone looks at you, you feel like they're looking at you, but you feel like you're behind and your eyes in some sense here not really you're, not just your body, your, but it's not that your body is being looked at. You are, you are in relationship to your body to some degree and you don't either their parts of the you you don't like your body or your body is malfunctioning or it's getting older you're in a parts of it hurt and and yet, you're you're at some distance from all of that in us, if there's a pain somewhere, you are you. Are this this low this subject in your head? That's aware of the pain and if you're to pay attention to it or try to ignore it, we're doing all that in this. In this point. From this point of view,
I've been related to the to the rest of of what's happening in your body and obviously that this business most of what is happening in your body. You're totally- Aware of so like your appendix unity, you're, not even aware of having one directly. You just happen to know that you probably have won, but your and my if your bodies like that, so it's the strain. The self as the ego, this the lived sense of self is not the same thing as just being your body or having a history are being up person in the world or being the kind of near the the autobiographical self worth you have this The memories you may or may not have about your past right so, like you so there are other there their experiences.
You have had that you know you ve had just by dint of images is logically, you must have had them, but you may room not remember anything about them. Rights are those it's nothin there. They happened to somebody else, but you can't some in any episodic memory about it. But it's yours! You knows that liquid say you don't remember what you had for breakfast three weeks ago. You noticed there must have an somethin right, but you just can't recall- obviously most of your life, you can't recall, but still see you in the sort of autobiographical self, but again most the cells in your body have changed over time course of of weeks or years, depending on the the org system we're talking about and yet
micro by on which is a bunch of other cell Yang, your guts actually so yeah most of the cells. Nobody aren't even human, and yet this this whole constellation of of parts seems to be you and with an answer and not illusory, to talk about you, the person and answer right, because you're you're still in a way, we can locate you in space and the ban. Trade between you. You know skin and the rest of the world is not totally arbour going to talk about you it as being separate from the world even though again it is, it is your permeable to the world. Ms, as you, your microbiology, so you, the next thing you eat is, is populating you you with me the bacteria from the world another you write so write. It is, to some degree a convention, even its different differentiate you as a physical system from the world, and you are permeable to the world
and you know giving yourself back to the world and consuming the world and its Emma your part of this river of of chemistry and biology that that is doesn't have your boundaries, but if we ignore all that talking about a person makes sense talking about this self, that is interior to the person, which is the self people really feel they have. That doesn't survive analysis and when you look for that self, there's nothing to find, and that's the the really the punchline of meditation You mean oil, you. What you can do is find it to be absent in a way that is conclusive, see if you can look here,
turn off long enough and carefully enough and discover that the thing you thought was there isn't and then that than your experience of meditation shade changes subtly. But but significantly because then you're no longer meditating from the point of view of the meditate or who's paying attention and a calculated way to the contents of consciousness is no longer the sense that I came up here. Been mindful and that now I'm on the breath now, I'm here in a sound out like a so all of again that subject, object. Dichotomy, that's the thing that breaks down. If you look carefully enough for the subject earnest up you here, because you ve gotten into what I haven't again and my real, not so secret agenda is to get at what you're talking about right. Now it wasn't pastrami it wasn't for strongly. Although I will allow myself the liberal you know to have
any jobs. So this is about a hobbyhorse of yours. That within the meditation world there are The word meditation is, as my friend Richie Davidson likes, to say, like the word: sports are lots of different kinds of meditation, but for you The highest form of meditation is really to see the through the illusion of the self. However, most of us more time to meditate are especially the beginning its as you said, we're just watching the breath coming in and going out and I would get lost and we start again and we get lost again and again and again and again and many times you get lost, is totally find. You start again, so your the first one to recommend to me that I go on a meditation retreat, where I was taught this kind of meditation, the net I read her book waking up and you're actually saying ah but the real real juice is in it. Seeing that the Health is an illusion. So that gives me confused.
we think that I'm doing wrong yeah yeah, why it can take while to notice this amazing again. It's it's not there's nothing wrong with doing dualistic. Subject object. Meditation of this is the only place for most of us to start Miss s words that, we have to start somewhere. Dualistic object. Subject, object! Meditation! You mean me at what feels hug me: you're watching my bread feeling my breath coming and going up near. So that's their duelist, there's two parts that which you mean here so the the sense of bees. In yeah, I'm out, I would, I would think of this is kind of two stages of mindfulness, so initially. The clear distinction between mindfulness and its counterfeits is an ability to just notice what is in fact awry,
I am in consciousness in that moment, whether as a sound or sensation or the breath, and to notice the difference between that and thinking about. What are you I thinking about? What's happening, end and fuel Everything through this sum, this screen of of concepts- so I get is something Joseph Goldstein teaches a lot when he so he's. But my meditation teacher in the attitude that you introduce me to somebody and somebody who is gonna come up in a big way. This conversation, because you bunch of a bunch of that with him. They have confused the crap out right, so we're gonna get to that. Yes to justify them the best meditation teacher around his histories. Fantastic and his he's an old friend, so he'll talk about France is futile you're being mindful of the the sensation of your hands, so you could go to take a press. Your two hands together,
and you feel that sensation and now most people who don't really know how to meditate will say. Ok, I can feel that I'm, you can feel my hands, but if you, if you ve done for partner practice for any length of time, you'll know that if you really pay attention the the idea of the car hands it just goes away. Amerika is just a concept, and if you pay closer attention, you'll see that you really feel hands. You feel this cloud of sensation. that is just buzzing with heat and cold and liberation and and pressure, and there there's constituents to come Adams of of of The perception that are not none of none of which our hands right, and so you can just so Josephine and then I will save you. Can let go of the shape of your hands and just pay attention to the sensations and and people with
Little bit of concentration can do that, but an answer that that's mindfulness rights that you and you can do that with pain and the body you can do with an emotion like anger right, so you feel angry feel worried and you bring your attention to to you can the question is: how do you know you feel angry and await? You must be feeling something. So what is if you like in your face, was if you like in your chest and then You'Ll- be that that pattern of energy, that is anger, just begins to resolve itself into just pure energy in the body right and adjusted it it no longer at least in that moment, it no longer has the implication that had a moment ago, when you were just busy being angry that guy get all this. This is the way most of us practice, my yes but you're homeless and an additional exactly the yes vote. So that's that's the first order, mindfulness, where the difference is because I'm no longer loss. thought I'm no longer bewitched.
Heard by the the conceptual mask of and and anger, and I'm actually connecting with raw sensation right and theirs aberration that comes with it, because you can, you can be become very patient with physical pain, under that what you kind of attention, You can you can break free of negative emotions like anger by just paying close attention of the man getting out of your thoughts, but most people do that for the longest time from a position of still feeling like. there, the one doing it right, so I guess not synonymous busy cutting the the concept of hands and connecting with just raw sensation. For most people Is not synonymous with the insight
that there is no observer separate from the observed. There's no Dan feely. Yes, the sensations in what we were conceptually cholera have rights. It's possible due to feel like you're Dan doing that and still notice it there's this. The shape of the hands disappears or that anger just did diffuses into a cloud of of meaningless stimuli. So so the that the next stage of mindfulness is one where you notice that There is actually no in this against. This is not something then, what is taught in Bosnia is just that people don't necessarily get it on demand or any time soon
There isn't. There is no observer apart from just the raw observing. There is no seer apart from just seen, and this and that collapse of sub, object may initially. We start, I feel like there's a seer and the thing scene and in the action of scene and all that can collapse into just pure scene or pure feeling or pure hearing, and that in the past, a language that insight there's no one there doing it is, is the Polly Words Nata, which assumes selflessness, no self and technically speaking from them. From the view point of view,
who does psychology in insight into a not tat? Is there to be had amended because at the self is not like a self? Is there and you want to destroying it through the process of meditation? It's actually not there. Yet, if your pain close enough attention, you each should seem like it's not there yet right Santa Claus, yeah yeah! So it's you know it's like eighty. Is it some? It shouldn't be surprising that is possible to pay attention closely enough. The habit feel like there is no self doing the doing the attend. Okay, so how do we break out of what you call first order mindfulness to this? I want to say deeper, but you are going to have a qualm with you're going to prom with that, because actually you point your argument on. It was a very good argument. Is that actually seen selflessness does not require you to go deep for sale
right there to be seen on the surface of experience. How do we go to second order? My vote is: how do we go to the Morse? The superior insight wrote well it some amidst a tricky over very useful pointers to it and then the way I did it was through was called soaked in practice, which is a tibetan teaching and- and that was so I had to go. I would personally I had to go outside of the partner and find another way of engaging gravitation. Let me just drive you briefly, just to point out that you have an amazing podcast, all called waking up available wherever you get your broadcasts and viewed have a lengthy conversation with Joseph Goldstein in the title of that podcast is the then the goal or on the path that that's one of them. Yet you have couple buddy. I do what were you really Portugal as the path in the goal and you, gently and and a friendly way, but
harangue him about the type of meditation he teaches the passenger and its demerits as it as it pertains to this insight that use you believe it, important, which is the illusion of the self righteous current. What we what you're saying, but I do recommend that everybody go listen to that, because it's completely fastened in an area where is motivating a lot of the questions I am going to proceed. Ask you year. yes, John Joseph and I've, been fighting about this for years in a good natured way tells a story about being stuck on a plane trip to Australia with you, you corner him get out so good, and so I was, Joseph student, a major there was one, my first, the Poznan teachers, nine did many retreat, with him and then did retreats where we were
for setting with other great the Poznan teachers. I side open data several times firm data several times for famous Burmese a couple months at a time, and so I was I was Joseph student and then Joseph CO student with other deposited teachers and then under to some degree, my inspiration, but a few other people involved a guy. Joseph and Sharon and other deposit teachers to go sit with care in Salzburg, yoga, great teachers from other traditions out, so the great soakin teachers in the tibetan tradition. We went and saw this, there's a hindu guru pudgy, who was roiling, never pass. Seen for awhile, with his emphasis on me
related there being there was no reason to meditate is that this is that the teaching of innovative adopt towards it? Basically, is the steepest possible path, either you can recognize as no self or not, but this, if you, if you can't there's nothing to do about this, just have you'd have to sit here in the room with me and and and listen to what I'm saying until you get. The point and if you get the point, there's no reason to meditate. If you don't get the point, meditations hopeless, you're, not gonna polish break into a mirror in suggest, recognise that you're already free at Spain. That's a that shorthand version of of them Mr adviser non dual pad teaching in,
what is nominally Hinduism, but it's it's doesnt really entail any of the the panoply of of gods and goddesses. You associate with windows, so I'm so that when saw Punta G and then we will, we also went to see two m C took Oregon repartee, whose a very famous zones master and so Jane is the the teaching within Tibetan Buddhism. That is most like a. It can have a fusion of of innovative it onto ends and if for lack of a better referendum, it's it's totally doesn't have any of the garish newness of that you associate with Tibetan Buddhism, which is kind of thing, the buddhist version of Hinduism. In terms of its you, how Baroque Lee Religious, it seems I at least, if you go through the front door, but if you go through the back door as we did you meet, these really just pure teachings about non dual awareness which may it yes.
many more of Tibetan Buddhism that that damn or can urge upon you in that context, but really that the core teaching is just just Butte, pure Doubtless awareness and the technique is is is really there's there really. Is there very little technique, apart from recognising that, Looking further looking for the looker, I'm looking further, the one who thinks he's trying to meditate and recognising that that there is there is, there is no centre there. There's oh there's, no one who's paying attention, there's just attention, but things you do right there did. You have just kind of answer my question that set us down this route, which is how does one gopher first order? My fulness, the second order I, if one is just to go back to what you said, if you're holding your hands together and you're feeling the cloud of sensations, you might notice.
It feels like you feeling them, then all one has to do is look for the feeling of you. That is feeling it and you can see fleetingly, there's no, but nothing to find. Isn't it the more complicated than that not necessarily its it say, but it can. That can be confusing. People can waste a lot of time or were or Jack we genuinely uncertain whether they have glimpse this thing that they should be paying attention to and and this is so the thing that this is the thing that Joseph and fight about The thing that I have always felt his misleading about the path of a partner, so if your attention to come back to the hand. So so the you start out feeling like well I'm just distracted all the time I dont know how to meditate. I'm not good at this,
I'm paying attention strategically to sensation, you start with a breath and other things policy will save you. Now your pen, tension of the sensation of your hands and european teacher says, will now just get closer and closer really just die. I've been to the sensations there and you'll notice at the shape of the hands, disappear and you'll get into all of this subtlety, which has in fact truer you know. So it's just pressure just tingling interested. If you can you can your beer attention because it can become a kind of laser alike, and you can you can just you really can t discover, aim a wilderness of of change in anything you pay attention to, and that can become incredibly pleasant and that becomes unto altogether different than being lost in thought. In fact, if you do that, if you get concentrated and
Four times a period of time or thoughts, don't even arise right, which is pure witnessing of raw sensation and that begins to feel Well, I'm meditations really working. You know this and making progress, but it carries with it the implication that The truth is somehow deeper in experience and end users you have to start from where you are as the one who's paying attention and get deeper into the things you're, noticing kind of plunging deeper into sensations or your or moods or, images in your mind or whatever you're paying attention to and that that's actually a false view, certainly from the from If the goal is to notice it, there's no self subtle and cut them grab it, although the microscope and putting on the strong
powered lens and looking at more and more subtlety in your experience that doesn't get you any closer to this truth of no self. In fact no self can be realised, whatever your noticing, no matter how vaguely you're noticing it without any. You know whether you feel your hands are not right and how it is in the direction of looking for the one who's looking so cyclists and what I just read before exactly what you describe before, but the thing the people, don't realize that there they expect again that there's, there's a a kind of a guy, a gradual ism that gets assumed by the usual course of meditation weakens our great you consider gradually get closer to this name. You can build up momentum, you'd, go deeper and then people try to do that, turn the tide turn that same tool on to the subject and again there trying to go deeper. The trying to plunge
into something they. They know not what it is not clear what there is to plunge into their when you start looking for the looker. At the mind, but the sense as well. there's gotta, be there there's gotta be some pride. Says it's gotta, be something gradual, some movement, but the actual fact is that, You either notice it in the first moment or yearn you ve already overshot the mark resource. I guess It is not gradual, as I get it in his instantaneous, and so is her the moment you turn there can be this disc. This open space of neither subject nor objects. You, ok, you look for them. You look for the looker. You see that there's nothing cs. I am busy, ironically the best metaphor for this, that big comes outside of any tradition
but those from from this man who, since died the Douglas Hardy. Ninety eight April was initially a student Zan, but he was an architect who was exploring various different method, meditation and came upon his own metaphor here. Wishes a little more than a metaphor, but here he rubbed the call on having no head and the Hague. He came to this experience where he was, and it was in the Himalayas NEWS. Looking at it was not our code, which is which is near Katmandu. Bicep, it's a place with it gives you the huge view of of the mountains and He was looking at Everest, written and all all the mountains and noticed for a moment that he couldn't see. He didn't see his head right. His head wasn't part of the scene raves just that it's just the same and where his head was where he knew his head to be. There was just the world right
and was given. How predicated our sense of self is, on the same we're inside our heads, this feeling of helplessness is: it is a pretty good marker for this, this loss of a sense of there being a centre to consciousness. Maybe it's as possible is not totally the same thing. And it became. The kind of man is not clear to me that everyone follows Harding's path, takes it quite as far as someone who's whose practising soaked in with it within their frame. But I think it. Let me just sign posts that book for yet again on having no head on having no hair which, by the way you recommended me amend and Joseph also recommended me. I am I've, read it many many times it was slim volume and basically only ask you to do is got at the world in a given moment, try to find your head can find it, and then it becomes an first. This feels very stupid youve. What to me at least it felt
either dumb or two, then totally obvious. While I found trying, it s not expecting to go deep but just seen what happened in those first instances of looking for the looker wrote a bar or something geology from you, you started Otis. That's all that's left is the world right. It's like boom. All that's happening here, It's not me peering out at the world through my eye sockets, but actually this yawning chasm of knowing just raw knowing of love whatever's there, and that is action, readily available anytime. You look for it. and really very, very interesting and it can untie the knot of suffering that come. The you're, angry or frustrated or whatever, so all super useful and yet and yet I feel it people don't get it often, and
max, whose in the next room over here my friend who came pixies a fan of yours, not because he's a a of mine to watch this interview. I love MAX you know he was saying angry recently. I I love SAM's book waking up, but I try headless this this, this thing, and I just can't get it right- Fear as I sort of generally move into the world of talking about what's beyond. First order, mindfulness that view our gonna get it, and I don't know if you have any thoughts about how to make this clear to people or how it can become clearer to people through practice. Yet you know it's A little mysterious could have not met with I've, been with us study with many ocean teachers, and there are some who, in my mind, clearly points out this centralism answer. This heedlessness, in a way that I really like
I couldn't imagine someone not getting it if they still state long enough in that in that dialogue, at you say, we need to go find a teacher, because I learn a mindfulness in a book year minutes. That's, it will need to take the zone chat and this at the summit that some thin old doctrinaire about this, but from the zone Chen teaching side. You absolutely need to find a qualified, zilch and master to point this out to you right now. To my you know, I feel in my gut that there's a little religious, mumbo jumbo sneaking into that edict right, because it is just the nature of consciousness. We shouldn't needy in only a someone who holds the trademark of Zol Chen too, to deliver the truth to buy the truth. There is I needed. Apparently I needed particulars ocean teacher to point this out to me. I had read all the books. I thought I'd I'd considered. The the nature of of subdued
object awareness I done months and months of the partner practice on retreat. I had studied with Punta G is this not all veda girl who was teaching the same thing, but there was. There was a precision to do what the way which took Oregon was teaching it, where I got, I got it in a way where was it was no longer we what what had been true before, as I had experiences in meditation and with people I pudgy, where I had it there had been this loss of of self for a moment at the time, but it just came When do I get? It was not something I could just pray do on my own. It was just a. I would just had hope it would happen to me in the next next time I meditated by ever, and it was by virtue of concentration by virtue of who knows what, but it wasn't
Mindfulness are just paying attention, wasn't synonymous with this insight that there's no self right now zilch and is the the I would define sojourn in the past The terms I was at his ocean is just the product as Non dual, mindful of its is, where were mindful, has become synonymous with the practice of no self and so then it really doesn't matter. We you pay attention to. How can we look at the sky? You can be feeling a breath. You can we walk. on the sidewalk and then you're just you just wherever you that the alternation is not between being lost, and thought and then being very focused on the object of meditation? Is they all is the alteration between being lost in thought and there being no sir, So how do you meditate it's just I I notice I'm lost in thought, you know
Ray everyone whose meditating, amid the antithesis of their meditation, whatever their practices, where there's a concentration practice, whether there, you know chanting, Krishna, whether they're they're they're, doing them tm we're doing to infer partner or doing soaked in It's what you do the moment, you're lost in thought right. You ve lost in thought, thinking about you know, would watch westward wet weather. You set the Dv Artic to record West world tonight or whatever it is by so your ears. Thinking about something that has nothing to do with whether your practice. and you dont know you're thinking right and then then than theirs. That moment, where you realize wait a minute, I'm thinking about television. Now what do you got within now? What happens to your attention right? If you're an ordinary mindfulness yogi, you will see the thought itself as language and image and images just sort of disappear in some strange way,
Why are you ill? It is I who knows: where does a thought go when it's no longer there? It's is something mysterious there, but you'll see just kind of fade away and Then you can pay attention to. you're. You can go back to the breath or back to sensations in the body or go back to the mantra that you are you're chant interfere. Repeating silently, if you're doing tm, but there can still be the senses, there's. There's someone in the centre of consciousness the scent the some music someone ride in the horse and whistled chin You know. What's it like, you have looked for the rider and it visit. Mindfulness has been a matter of looking for the ride or on the horse and not finding him, and so then there's
so one that, when the the thought disappears, what you're left with just consciousness and its contents without and without the sense it there's a centre to it, there's a centralists to it and donors in a while. So it's it's the again at the feeling of a centre is the feeling that they consciousness is kind of Canadian from a local in the head with a few ways to flip this round. So, for instance, me most people may vehicle if you close your eyes and and just try to pay attention to whatever it is the sound of my voice or your breath or just feel her body sitting there you'll probably feel that Europe again you'll feel that your in your head, and in a way that you're not in your knee right. So there's it there's a the centre of your head is closer to where you are as as a s,
jacked and you might feel at your consciousness, is in your head right, but which are calling a head right, the sensation of having a head, the pressure that the temperature and any enemies, signature that you can notice. That is telling you you have a head. All that's in consciousness. Right is ass, haughty consciousness, not indeed now speaking about speaking as metaphysics am speaking as a matter of just experience. Anything you can experience, including your head, is in consciousness, so this just there's just consciousness and its contents right include, which includes your head, which includes the world which includes an and some others. There is. There's not. That is not to the place you see with your eyes. Open is the same place. You are with your eyes closed is the same as the same place. You're thinking rights like if you're looking with your eyes open and you think we'll let the world
my my thoughts or are not left out in the world. My thoughts are in my head right, but no, your thought. Your thoughts are in the same place. You see with your eyes open and you could actually superimpose a thought into your visual space. You could just now on the table in front of us. I could visualize somethin you know whatever pastrami sandwich, I can visualize. I know now. Some people are better at visualizing things and others. So so somebody it's, some people can only dimly sort of flash and image that is somewhat pastrami like, but. Some people can really visualize very clearly, but whatever your ability as there there's, there's likely a difference between visualizing, a sandwich and visualizing a crocodile right. So there's just there's you when I say it when I said cry Before I said crocodile, there was nothing there myself Can you probably got some image of something now that image was if your eyes were open, was superimposed on
Whatever you were seen. Rights is the same space as your visual world and into neurologically speaking, it's it's it's all happening in the same part of the brain and when you visualize something you're occipital lobe is doing that work same way. That is doing the work when you are seen something with your eyes open it's just not as it is not as vivid so your.
Your waking life has very much the character of a dream: Bolton neurologically, end phenomenally because it's the same brain processes delivering these this this movie right and you can expect yet most of his experience had there's this dichotomy either. This stuff is happening in the head and it has all the stuff that's out in the world, but the experience really is of just consciousness and its contents all the time, and so this so the the sense of a centre is neither does it illogical, waiting to see how that there cannot be a self too, because so
If there's this sense of self has to feel like something, otherwise, people wouldn't think they they had it right, Mozilla and any you whenever you never be able to say you: U Fella, you lost it, misguided difference between feeling like a self fulfilling and feeling like you have no self to the sum there's some per se. Edible summit me, however inscrutable. Is there something different right? There can be noticed? Well There is some signature of the self within that must be appearing in consciousness in some way by the sun. Gotta, be something showing up. Well, if it, if something is showing up, it is an object in consciousness, is in consciousness and that of our consciousness is prior to it.
In the same way, pro cautious prior to the sight of this cup, I'm holding my hand or my seeing you across the table, amateurs, there's there's consciousness and its contents, and so, if so, just as must transcend this thing, that you're taking yourself to be right, admit. So, if that self is this feeling in the chest or this feeling on your face or if I could just think of what happens when self consciousness gets magnified to those moments were going through life, where we dont feel especially self conscious. We may not feel selfless, but we don't we're. Not you wouldn't describe yourself have been conscious, but then there those moments where office on you, you notice them was looking at you or you ve, just done so, an embarrassing or whatever. It is, and always ensure that UK theirs is kind of recoil into your person. Hood wages feel like that. Something is a conflict, this August, intensify whenever you are taken yourself to be. That's like what
that muscle is that's what it feels like when it really contracts right? Really, if your you're flexing yourself, when you become self conscious, someone points, sedgy put your points at your face or you got something on your, but you gotta, then you're a courtier mouth, their dad rights or whatever it is. That makes you I gotta go now as it is me on the problem. Rights like that sense of ok look at my face, is that thing again? That's all appearing in consciousness. The energy of that is an object in consciousness. Consciousness is the prior condition of that right cautious, just an empty space, and you are you in the same way that you can reckon You are not identical to your breath, cause you're aware of your breath
identical to me. As you are aware of me, you're not identical to my voice, cause you're just aware of it. It's it's, not your prior to hear the prior condition of any of this appearing right, and that is true of this thing. It is certainly true of self consciousness right this too, that the energy of that and its true of the that the these central, Act of just feeling like there's a centre- and you know I don't know that the only way to discover that is to look for center and whether you want to look for your head or you look for the thinker of of thought, where you look for in a moment of really have a persistent wife, well, there's your phone. So I'm glad you brought up your wife because we are at an interesting juncture here because
Both of our wives, argovie, sitting down at a restaurant in fifteen minutes a restaurant where I'm pretty sure they will not be serving pastrami and I M like an eighth of the way through the questions I had listed for him. So why I'm long winded know your interesting. So so what I think we should do is closed with a promise that you will come back or I will come to you sure at some because the last thing we want to do We gave our well leave, leave our wives at dinner. Nowhere, but I wish they would plot against a and also it would. You know, maybe make our lives and pleasant to have them angry at us, but before we go just tell people where they can find out more about you in and hear more from you that I have mentioned waking up the book and the podcast, but other other places people should go unnoticed. My website, SAM Harris, DOT, Org, not dot com, then I'll get you the they singer, and yes- I am podcasting- is most of
I'm putting out there. Now, though, I have a blog- and I am developed, they meditation app. That will eventually come out. I've just underestimated how difficult this apple. Let me tell do you know whether, yes, I do it's very hard to build and thank you very much pleasure really appreciated Superfund, They continued. Let's not anger. Alas, ok, there's another edition of the ten percent happier podcast. If you liked it, please make sure to subscribe rate us, and if you want to suggest topics, we should cover a guess we should bring. Hit me up on Twitter at Dan be Harris. I also want to thank heartily the people who produce with Pakistan really do very much out of work, Efron Jacko Hand, Sarah AMOS Andrew Kelp, Steve Jones and the head of ABC Use, Digital Dan Silver, attacking excellency,
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