Each month Sam answers questions from subscribers on the podcast. All questions are listed with links to their corresponding audio for ease of navigation.

Unanswered (2417)
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During meditation sessions you will say something like pay attention to the breath but attention or concentration is part of consciousness. And if consciousness is just what is being experienced then how can it be controlled bring attention to anything?

February 12, 2020

Consciousness

Ethicality of Giving

January 31, 2020

In considering the implications of mindfulness and its goal to end suffering and establish mental peace, one of the ways to do this, as laid out by Joseph Goldstein in his book ‘Mindfulness’ is to practice generosity. One example he gives is of lay people coming to Buddhist monasteries to give food to monks and sit in the dining hall to watch them eat so that they feel the pleasure and resulting positive mind state that comes from this, which is deemed ‘skillful’ and ethical.
However, as someone who has been a Peace Corps volunteer – as Joseph has and has worked since Peace Corps in international development and humanitarian response one of the big criticisms is of western aid and generosity being a ‘feel good’ measure for those giving, and in actuality causing more harm than doing nothing. Having grappled with this throughout my career, I don’t feel that I full agree with this sentiment in helping to achieve mindfulness and an end to suffering. How can wanting to appreciate our generosity be squared with ‘doing no harm’ – especially as it seems to clash with the more western ideal of doing good as if no one is watching?

https://www.amazon.com/Mindfulness-Practical-Awakening-Joseph-Goldstein/dp/1622036050/ref=sr_1_3?crid=2JC9G473QXPF&keywords=mindfulness+joseph+goldstein&qid=1580485667&sprefix=mindfulness+joseph%2Caps%2C144&sr=8-3

Ethicality of Giving

January 31, 2020

In considering the implications of mindfulness and its goal to end suffering and establish mental peace, one of the ways to do this, as laid out by Joseph Goldstein in his book ‘Mindfulness’ is to practice generosity. One example he gives is of lay people coming to Buddhist monasteries to give food to monks and sit in the dining hall to watch them eat so that they feel the pleasure and resulting positive mind state that comes from this, which is deemed ‘skillful’ and ethical.
However, as someone who has been a Peace Corps volunteer – as Joseph has and having worked since Peace Corps in international development and humanitarian response one of the big criticisms is of western aid and generosity being a ‘feel good’ measure for those giving, and in actuality causing more harm than doing nothing. Having grappled with this throughout my career, I don’t feel that I full agree with this sentiment in helping to achieve mindfulness and an end to suffering. How can wanting to appreciate our generosity be squared with ‘doing no harm’ – especially as it seems to clash with the more western ideal of doing good as if no one is watching?

https://www.amazon.com/Mindfulness-Practical-Awakening-Joseph-Goldstein/dp/1622036050/ref=sr_1_3?crid=2JC9G473QXPF&keywords=mindfulness+joseph+goldstein&qid=1580485667&sprefix=mindfulness+joseph%2Caps%2C144&sr=8-3

Is death terminal, or does consciousness transcend mortality?

January 3, 2020

Does Panpsychism has the potential to become modern day religious cult?

January 2, 2020

Listened to #178 The Reality Illusion and the claim made by Donald Hoffman about consciousness being the building block of every element around, which is still unproven. This makes me ponder if this exactly the same claims made by sadhus and prophets about their religion and God being omnipresent.

Is there any research done into the treatment of anorexia nervosa with psycodelics.

December 12, 2019

What are the flaws in Daniel Quinn's argument for Totalitarian Agriculture as a root cause of our culture's insatiable need conquer the world, nature, and all non-Totalitarian Ag cultures (most indigenous cultures of 100+ years ago)?

December 3, 2019

Daniel Quinn’s writings primarily in the Ishmael trilogy and Beyond Civilization.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishmael_(novel)

You frequently talk of free will being an illusion, and I completely agree. However, it also seems obvious that the sensation of having free will plays an important part in our mental experience. Do you think that this sensation of having free will has some kind of evolutionary function or logic? And do you think that other animals, e.g. bats, have a similar sensation?

November 21, 2019

01 01 I have noticed that most spiritual paths and the leaders Utilize spirituality to grow their egos! I see it all the time and it surely confuses me. I don’t know what god is but do know the benevolence of kindness and honesty. And I know there are many levels of perceptional reality. So, why do almost all leaders of those places life in a inner dishonesty. By the way Sam, your one of my hero’s!

November 18, 2019

I have noticed that most spiritual paths and the leaders Thereof,

November 18, 2019

Sam, don't roll your eyes when you hear the question, because although you have addressed it several times, you have never really answered it. Here it is: you talk about meditation and the disappearance of the self. You go on to claim that the "self" itself is actually an illusion, or, at other times, an illusory illusion. :-) Question: why not go the other way, and assert that the self it real, and its disappearance during meditation (or while under the influence) is actually the illusion?

November 6, 2019

the self and its disappearance … will the real illusion please stand up?!

When are you going to invite Elaine Scarry (Harvard Professor) to the podcast? Author of Body in Pain, Nuclear Monarchy and much else.

October 17, 2019

Hi Sam, what is your view / experience of practicing the Jhanas in meditation, as a launch pad for further Vipassanic or Dzogchen investigation?

October 15, 2019

Waking Up App vs Other Meditation

October 12, 2019

I started meditating with some Gaiam instructors i.e. Rodney Yee and Maritza in 2011. I’ve noticed with the Waking Up App the emphasis on searching for the searcher vs. just relaxation and body scan etc. I’ve enjoyed the Waking Up App, but still use other products as well. How do you situate yourself in the landscape of mindfulness and meditation instructors what are you emphasizing versus other providers or even Buddhism? Thanks.

Most people know you as Sam Harris, the public intellectual and neuroscientist, however, I can’t help but know you as Sam Harris, the son of Susan Harris, the genius writer and creator of The Golden Girls. How has your mother influenced you?

August 29, 2019

In the episode "A Few Thoughts on White Supremacy" you say "I am Jewish." How do you simultaneously define yourself as Jewish but also not believe in religion as a concept?

August 28, 2019

Will you get David Pakman on the podcast?

August 28, 2019

Eyes open and eyes shut When my eyes are open the visual field you talk about is easy for me to experience in the ways you teach. When my eyes are closed however, I am so used to focusing on breath, hearing, and body that it is extremely hard for me to focus on a visual field. I can for seconds at a time, but my mind is pulling me inward. It’s almost like my eyes turn around inside my head. Any suggestions on how to better see the visual field behind closed eyes

August 28, 2019

Eyes closed meditation difficulty

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