By Sam Harris
Recommended on: 8th August 2022
Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, by Sam Harris. This book is meant to be a common sense guide to finding spirituality without necessarily springboarding from a religious tradition.
In Harris’s hands, we gain a clearer understanding of mindfulness. “It is simply a state of clear, nonjudgmental, and undistracted attention to the contents of consciousness, whether pleasant or unpleasant.” (But for those LHTLers amongst us who are interested in such matters, it seems cultivating mindfulness translates to continuously maintaining focus and concomittently diminishing both anxiety and creativity, perhaps a mixed blessing.)
As Harris notes: “The crucial point is that you can glimpse something about the nature of consciousness that will liberate you from suffering in the present. Even just recognizing the impermanence of your mental states—deeply, not merely as an idea—can transform your life.”
Harris has knocked around the world of meditation for many years—long enough to have a good feel for both the best and the worst of meditation experts and spiritual gurus. You’ll find yourself thinking about Harris’s ideas long after you finish the book.
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