Sam Harris's guided "mindfulness" meditation

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Sam Harris's guided "mindfulness" meditation

Postby Ben » Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:56 am

These guided meditations might be useful for those who might be interested in a secular approach to meditation. Harris's guided meditations are based on vipassana bhavana.

Mindfulness meditation (9 minutes)
Mindfulness meditation (26 minutes)
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Re: Sam Harris's guided "mindfulness" meditation

Postby Samma » Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:38 am

I'll give them a go.
From what I understand he did several Goenka and IMS type retreats.
His next book is Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion.
His basic take seems to be one of using a technique to manipulate the brain and make you feel better, so I'm not sure how well he understand the more intricate parts of buddhist philosphy and practice. He seems more populist western philosopher.

His brief basic mediation instructions:
Sit comfortably, with your spine erect, either in chair or cross-legged on a cushion.
Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and feel the points of contact between your body and the chair or floor. Notice the sensations associated with sitting--feelings of pressure, warmth, tingling, vibration, etc.
Gradually become aware of the process of breathing. Pay attention to wherever you feel the breath most clearly--either at the nostrils, or in the rising and falling your abdomen.
Allow your attention to rest in the mere sensation of breathing. (There is no need to control your breath. Just let it come and go naturally.)
Every time your mind wanders in thought, gently return it to the sensation of breathing.
As you focus on the breath, you will notice that other perceptions and sensations continue to appear: sounds, feelings in the body, emotions, etc. Simply notice these phenomena as they emerge in the field of awareness, and then return to the sensation of breathing.
The moment you observe that you have been lost in thought, notice the present thought itself as an object of consciousness. Then return your attention to the breath--or to whatever sounds or sensations arise in the next moment.
Continue in this way until you can merely witness all objects of consciousness--sights, sounds, sensations, emotions, and even thoughts themselves--as they arise and pass away.
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Re: Sam Harris's guided "mindfulness" meditation

Postby Benjamin » Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:28 am

Thanks for these Ben. Harris's words carry a lot of weight in the atheist community, and I feel that any recommendation he gives to meditation can only be a positive thing.
"Don't believe everything you read."
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Re: Sam Harris's guided "mindfulness" meditation

Postby Eightfolder » Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:48 am


Happy 2014 and may all beings be happy!

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Re: Sam Harris's guided "mindfulness" meditation

Postby greeneggsandsam » Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:48 am

I just did a sitting practice with "Looking for the self" (26 min) and found it very good. Buddhist or not I think this guy is worth a listen too.

Thanks Ben for the links!!

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