Meditation goals - Sam Harris Daily Meditation 2022.10.05

Sam Harris

And take a moment to clarify your intentions here. You're doing this for a reason. You actually want to have a healthier more flexible, more open, more joyful, less encumbered mind.

This meditation starts with a clarification of the goals or intentions for the meditation.

Individual versus compassion-oriented intention setting

However, it is notable that the suggested intention/goal is, in a way, "the pursuit of individual happiness".

The goal for today's meditation is purely to one of experiencing positive states at the individual level.

This is different from the standard intention setting in Tibetan meditation, where the goal includes the awakening for the benefit of all beings. That is, the meditation is placed into a social rather than purely individual well-being frame.

Thus, today's meditation is very "Western".

A missed point

Now, I am not saying that Sam Harris entirely neglects the social background. Often enough he reminds listeners to carry a compassionate and non-judgemental attitude into real life.

But today´s meditation may be a bit shortsighted when it comes to this point.

The standard starting formulation in the "Pointing Out the Great Way" meditations is always, in an intentionally traditional formulation:

Set your intention to awakening for the benefit of all beings.

In theory, at least, meditation of the non-dual variety is per se the basis for compassion. After all, there is no more an experience of an individual "I am" : the "I am" experienced by me as pure awareness without all the characteristics of the personality is the same as the "I am" experienced by you. There is no difference between I and you.

This idea is well expressed in "Perfect Brilliant Stillness", best listened to through the reading in the Audible version.


Carse, D. (2017, July 31). Perfect Brilliant Stillness. Perfect Brilliant Stillness. Retrieved 6 October 2022, from (Book) (Audible)

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