My guest is Sam Harris, Ph.D. Sam earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Stanford University and his doctorate (Ph.D.) in neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He is the author of multiple best-selling books and is a world-renowned public-facing intellectual on meditation, consciousness, free will, psychedelics and neuroscience. He is also the creator of Waking Up and the host of the Making Sense podcast. In this episode, we discuss meditation as a route to understanding “the self” and experiencing consciousness, not just changing one’s conscious state. Sam describes several meditation techniques and their benefits, including how meditation fundamentally changes our worldview and how it can be merged seamlessly into daily life. It can help us overcome universal challenges such as distractibility and persistent, internal dialogue (“chatter”) to allow for deep contentment and pervasive shifts in our awareness, all while acknowledging the more immediate stress-lowering and memory-improving effects of meditation. We also discuss the therapeutic use of psychedelics and the mechanistic similarities between the benefits of a psychedelic journey and long-term meditation practices. And we discuss the rationale behind Sam’s recent decision to close his social media (Twitter) account. This episode should interest anyone wanting to learn more about the higher order functions of the brain, the brain-body connection, consciousness and, of course, meditation and why and how to meditate for maximum benefit.
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