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The disappearing relationship - Sam Harris Daily Meditation 2022.09.03

Sam Harris

Notice if your sense of subject-object perception changes at all

In this meditation, Sam Harris again gives instructions for experiencing non-duality.

The disappearing relationship between subject and object

Today´s quoted instruction makes the meditator aware of yet another "hidden" property of perception: namely, that

(1) in the background, the perceiver holds a sense of perceiving in the background

(2) this perception is structured in some way and that is reflected in the "sense of perception".

However, Sam Harris leads the listener further.

Sam Harris´ meditations are all about leading the listener to a non-dual way of perception. That is, in some way, a perception where there is "neither a seer nor the seen, but only the seeing".

And indeed, this is what the meditation aims at a few minutes later:

And then, very gently,

just look

for the one who sees.

Does that change your relationship

to what you're seeing?

Is there

a relationship to what you're seeing?

Or is there merely the seeing?

Thus, Sam Harris leads fromm whether the nature of the relationship between subject and object has changed, to whether there is a relationship at all.

The answer can of course only be that there is no relationship. A relationship can only exist between two separate entities.

Christian Centering Prayer - on becoming god

The following section illustrates "the case of the disappearing relationshp" in a different spiritual field. he following thoughts and quotes from Blaschke 2017, who refers to Thomas Keating and Father Theodore, an interviewee in this field study.

The area of relevance here is the state of "unity consciousness in Christian Centering prayer. This is an advanced stage of this particular path.

The first marker of unity conscious or "disappearance of any difference to the effect that the practitioner "is God".

What do you do when you become God? You can´t have a relationship with who you are exact, unless you fall back into Self-Consciousness."

Thus unity consciousness lacks the constituents for a relationship. Centering prayer starts out as a relationship with God, but this relationship appears to change - and may disappear entirely - as practice matures.

On heaving no head

Further in this meditation, as is usual in Mahamudra / Dzogchen, this insight is facilitated by the typical pointing out instruction to "turn awareness onto itself". This is often expressed, for example, in the famous Lion´s View by Milopa.

In this meditation, Sam Harris uses a Western equivalent: The "On Having No Head" technique by Douglas Harding. In this technique, the meditator is instructed to find his own head (the head of the perceiving subject, or, actually, the subject itself).

But this instruction cannot be followed: that is because at the place whether the head is, the meditator will already find the visual representation of the world. "The world is where the head should be". This is just another metaphor and instruction leading to non-dual perception.


Blaschke, B. A. (2017). Consciousness of god as god is: Phenomenology of Christian Centering Prayer. XXX. Retrieved March 31, 2023, from

Gebel, T. (2022s, September 12). Sam Harris Daily Meditation 2022.09.11 - Attention on attention - Lion´s view. Till Gebel. Retrieved September 23, 2022, from

Harding, D. (2013). On Having No Head.

(This book is also available for free in Amazon Kindle Unlimited as of March 2023)