368 Sam Harris & Project Reason

I was introduced to  Sam Harris  by  The Minimalists,  they  interviewed Sam  on account of his book Waking Up ... where he discusses the benefits of Mindfulness.

(From  The Minimalists'  website:) "Sam Harris is the author of several bestselling books and winner of the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction. He is a cofounder and the CEO of  Project Reason,  a nonprofit foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. He received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA. But don’t let all those credentials scare you; he’s also an awesome guy."

Yeah, an awesome guy alright ...  check him out,  read his stuff. And browse Project Reason,  there's hours and hours worth of reading there, just look at the line-up of  contributors;  turn off the tv ... for good.

Anyway, back to Sam's book Waking Up ... it is all about mindfulness and the mind.

On his website Harris treats us to a reading of the  first chapter of Waking Up   ... there is a transcript too, if you (like myself) want to read along; hint: Click on the Soundcloud ikon to play the audio, then you can stop in mid-sentence by tapping the space bar (I needed to do that a lot, to catch up with him). Here is a little snippet:

"In one sense, the Buddhist concept of enlightenment really is just the epitome of “stress reduction”—and depending on how much stress one reduces, the results of one’s practice can seem more or less profound. According to the Buddhist teachings, human beings have a distorted view of reality that leads them to suffer unnecessarily. We grasp at transitory pleasures. We brood about the past and worry about the future. We continually seek to prop up and defend an egoic self that doesn’t exist. This is stressful—and spiritual life is a process of gradually unraveling our confusion and bringing this stress to an end. According to the Buddhist view, by seeing things as they are, we cease to suffer in the usual ways, and our minds can open to states of well-being that are intrinsic to the nature of consciousness."

The mind is very much at the heart of my writings in my book with no name but three definitions for the term en.light.en.ment for a title. You could say the mind is a hobby of mine, since I had an introduction to it by the Master (see my essay Q&A). This is the foreword to my book: