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Wednesday, August 20, 2014


YUMMMMMMMMM--Before I seriously discovered meditation techniques inspired by Sam Harris, nothing seemed to work, even my candy bar mantra.
Now if Sam could help me cure my penchant for silliness I could become that perfect person.

ROOKIE TRIES MEDITATION WITH SAM--I’ve always been too busy being important to try any form of meditation. But as I’ve grown older there are many articles for seniors or almost seniors that insist that by trying new things in life you will benefit your mental and physical health.

So, I’ve saved learning how to meditate for the latter half of my life.  But, as a life long secularist I am wary of anything smacking of a cult or woo-woo religion or all of the above.

Sam Harris
Enter Sam Harris.  I found this person on the Internet.  Just as you’ve most likely found this daily online magazine.

I don’t know him or his work anymore than the personal interactions of the meter maid, who issues parking tickets at $50 a clip.  But, this blog is for the curious.

What I like about Sam’s approach is its secular methods of learning meditation.
He may not be for you but it worked for me.  Simple, n’est-ce-pas?

Sam: Those who are new to the practice generally find it useful to hear instructions of this kind spoken aloud, in the form of a guided meditation. UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center has several that beginners should find helpful.

1. Sam’s intro:
Here’s where I started:

2. Sam’s 9 minute  Mirror of Mindfulness guided meditation:

4.  Many free guided meditations from UCLA Awareness Center:

Sam on meditation:
“...I wrote an article on meditation two years ago, and since then many readers have asked for further guidance on how to practice. As I said in my original post, I generally recommend a method called vipassana in which one cultivates a form of attention widely known as “mindfulness.” There is nothing spooky or irrational about mindfulness, and the literature on its psychological benefits is now substantial. Mindfulness is simply a state of clear, nonjudgmental, and nondiscursive attention to the contents of consciousness, whether pleasant or unpleasant. Developing this quality of mind has been shown to reduce pain, anxiety, and depression; improve cognitive function; and even produce changes in gray matter density in regions of the brain related to learning and memory, emotional regulation, and self-awareness. I will cover the relevant philosophy and science in my next book Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, but in the meantime, I have produced two guided meditations (9 minutes and 26 minutes) for those of you who would like to get started with the practice. Please feel free to share them.”

Sam Harris is the author of the bestselling books, The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, Free Will, and Lying. The End of Faith won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction. His writing has been published in more than 15 languages.

He and his work have been discussed in The New York Times, Time, Scientific American, Nature, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and many other journals. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Economist, Newsweek, The Times (London), The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The Annals of Neurology, and elsewhere.

Harris 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 Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.

Project Reason is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. The foundation draws on the talents of prominent and creative thinkers in a wide range of disciplines to encourage critical thinking and erode the influence of dogmatism, superstition, and bigotry in our world. - See more at:

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