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Mindfulness as Secular Meditation

Sam Harris | 7:00


Mindfulness is very much in vogue at this moment, as, as many of you probably know. And it's often taught as though it were a glorified version of an Executive Stress Ball. 

It's just it's a tool you want in your toolkit prepares you emotionally to go into a new experience with a positive attitude and you're not hauling around baggage from the past. And that's true. And actually, having focus and having your mind in the present moment is a it's a little bit of a superpower in in situations that we're all in for day to day. 

But that that actually undervalues what mindfulness really is. And its true potential. It's more like the Large Hadron Collider and that it's a real tool for making some fundamental discoveries about the nature of the mind. And one of these discoveries is that the sense of self that we all carry around from day to day is an illusion and cutting through that illusion. 

I think it's actually more important than stress reduction, or any of the other conventional benefits that that are that are accurately ascribed to mindfulness. The enemy of mindfulness and really of any meditation practice is being lost in thought is this being is to be thinking without knowing that you're thinking. 

Now the problem is not thoughts themselves, we need to think we need to think to to do almost anything that makes us human to reason to plan to have social relationships to do science, thinking is, is indispensable to us. But most of us spend every moment of our waking lives thinking without knowing that we're thinking. 

And this automaticity is a kind of scrim thrown over the present moment through which we view everything and it and it's distorting of our lives. It's distorting of our emotions, if it engineer is our unhappiness, and every moment because most of what we think is quite unpleasant, we're judging ourselves, we're judging others, we're worried about the future, we're regretting the past where we're at war with our experience in subtle or coarse ways.

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