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A Day of Reckoning

Sam Harris | 1:20:38


 Okay. Well, and now for something completely different, , so just to get a sense of who I'm talking to here, how many of you have a meditation practice? How many of you have never meditated? Okay. Interesting. An unsolvable problem, . Okay. Okay. So I, I'm going to, the meditation that I'm going to introduce to you is kinda generically described as mindfulness meditation, and, and there are many different types of meditation.

There are certainly different ways to teach mindfulness. Uh, the, the great thing about mindfulness, it's, it's originally a Buddhist practice. It has analogs and other tradit. . But the great thing about mindfulness as taught by Buddhist and usually Teva Buddhist, the first school of Buddhism that you find in Thailand and Burma and Sri Lanka, uh, is that there really is no artifice associated with it.

That's, there's no iconography, there are no necessary religious beliefs. You don't have to be interested in, even in the Buddha, you know, it's just, it is a, as a practice, it's perfectly designed for export into a, a secular context. And that's why mindfulness uniquely is, is being studied in neuroscience labs and psychology labs as a, as a tool.

And it's a, uh, so it is a very simple practice. There's nothing, there's nothing, unlike the other very common practice that people use, which is tm. , it's not a, TM is a, is a mantra based practice or you're, you're reciting a, you know, a Sanskrit phrase in your head that you're, you're concentrating on mindfulness.

You doesn't have anything like that. So there's, there's nothing. You don't, there's no, there's no evidence you're doing anything that has come from another culture. It really is just a matter of paying close attention to what it's like to be you. And it's very strange that this is a breakthrough at all, or that this has to be imported into our culture at all, because again, it is just paying attention.

But for some strange reason, which I think has a lot to do with the influence of, of Judeo-Christian religion, I mean the Abrahamic religion, uh, in the West, we never figured out that introspection. It was a viable paradigm for doing much of anything useful around the time of William James, psychologists and, and western scientists were trying to get introspection up on its feet and very quickly discovered that there was very little to, to see of interest.

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