Sam Harris, PhD: Cutting Through to Consciousness Without a Center

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July 2, 2024

Sam Harris, PhD: Cutting Through to Consciousness Without a Center

Sam Harris July 2, 2024

How do meditation and mindfulness accelerate moral progress? Is spiritual insight alone sufficient to solve today’s problems? Dr. Sam Harris is a five-time New York Times bestselling author, philosopher, neuroscientist, and host of the popular podcast Making Sense. He is also someone who has practiced meditation for more than 30 years, having studied with teachers in Tibetan, Burmese, Indian, and Western traditions. Here, Tami Simon sits down with Sam Harris for a deep conversation on the nature of consciousness and the implications of spiritual realization. 

Tune in for this “aha moment”–filled podcast exploring: the illusion of the self and the default state of identity; advaita and nonduality; two different types of mystery; the future of AI; psychic phenomena; synchronicity, superstition, and skepticism; a new perspective on how to be happy; the superpower of noticing; tantra; Dzogchen and “the goal as the path”; looking for what is looking; resolving the view; becoming mindful of “the glimpse”; meditating from the neck down; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

Sam Harris is a neuroscientist, philosopher, and author of five New York Times best sellers. His work covers a wide range of topics—neuroscience, moral philosophy, religion, meditation practice, political polarization, rationality—but generally focuses on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live. His books include The End of Faith, The Moral Landscape, Free Will, Lying, and Waking Up. Sam hosts the popular Making Sense podcast and is the creator of the Waking Up app, which offers a modern approach to living a more examined life, through both in-depth mindfulness training and secular wisdom. Sam has practiced meditation for over 30 years and has studied with many Tibetan, Indian, Burmese, and Western meditation teachers, both in the United States and abroad. He holds a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.

Author photo © Christopher Patey

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Subscribe to Insights at the Edge to hear all of Tami’s interviews (transcripts available too!), featuring Eckhart Tolle, Caroline Myss, Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, Adyashanti, and many more.

Meet Your Host: Tami Simon

Founded Sounds True in 1985 as a multimedia publishing house with a mission to disseminate spiritual wisdom. She hosts a popular weekly podcast called Insights at the Edge, where she has interviewed many of today's leading teachers. Tami lives with her wife, Julie M. Kramer, and their two spoodles, Rasberry and Bula, in Boulder, Colorado.

Photo © Jason Elias

Also By Author

Sam Harris, PhD: Cutting Through to Consciousness With...

How do meditation and mindfulness accelerate moral progress? Is spiritual insight alone sufficient to solve today’s problems? Dr. Sam Harris is a five-time New York Times bestselling author, philosopher, neuroscientist, and host of the popular podcast Making Sense. He is also someone who has practiced meditation for more than 30 years, having studied with teachers in Tibetan, Burmese, Indian, and Western traditions. Here, Tami Simon sits down with Sam Harris for a deep conversation on the nature of consciousness and the implications of spiritual realization. 

Tune in for this “aha moment”–filled podcast exploring: the illusion of the self and the default state of identity; advaita and nonduality; two different types of mystery; the future of AI; psychic phenomena; synchronicity, superstition, and skepticism; a new perspective on how to be happy; the superpower of noticing; tantra; Dzogchen and “the goal as the path”; looking for what is looking; resolving the view; becoming mindful of “the glimpse”; meditating from the neck down; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

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Tune in for an inspiring call to become a “spiritual warrior” at this precarious time in history, with profound insights on how life exists in cycles—and why this is important to understand; putting our energy and desire to contribute in the right places; compassion and insight; seeing clearly so we can act wisely; removing the filters of hope and fear; grace, synchronicity, and serving your purpose; being faithful to the work you’re called to; the dark night of the soul; working for change at the local level; joy and togetherness; the antidote to despair; the practice of “I’m not lost, I’m right here”; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

Sam Harris, PhD: Cutting Through to Consciousness With...

How do meditation and mindfulness accelerate moral progress? Is spiritual insight alone sufficient to solve today’s problems? Dr. Sam Harris is a five-time New York Times bestselling author, philosopher, neuroscientist, and host of the popular podcast Making Sense. He is also someone who has practiced meditation for more than 30 years, having studied with teachers in Tibetan, Burmese, Indian, and Western traditions. Here, Tami Simon sits down with Sam Harris for a deep conversation on the nature of consciousness and the implications of spiritual realization. 

Tune in for this “aha moment”–filled podcast exploring: the illusion of the self and the default state of identity; advaita and nonduality; two different types of mystery; the future of AI; psychic phenomena; synchronicity, superstition, and skepticism; a new perspective on how to be happy; the superpower of noticing; tantra; Dzogchen and “the goal as the path”; looking for what is looking; resolving the view; becoming mindful of “the glimpse”; meditating from the neck down; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

Ep 10 Bonus: Callings and Resources

This bonus episode will support you to take the main insights from Episode 10, “We Are the Great Turning,” deeper into your life. 

Jess will guide you through an adaptation of the Work That Reconnects exercise called “Callings and Resources.” In it, you and a friend will take turns interviewing each other. You’ll name a contribution you’d like to make in service of the Great Turning, take inventory of the resources you have and need to achieve your goal, and clarify the small next steps you can take. 

All you’ll need for this bonus exercise is paper and pen, or a digital notes app, and a place where you can get comfortable, share freely, and listen carefully. 

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

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