Arrive suddenly: the speed of awareness - Sam Harris Daily Meditation 2022.10. 04

Sam Harris

Just take your seat and close your eyes and try to arrive suddenly there

This instruction to "arrive suddenly" occurs in many Sam Harris meditations, so it has significance.

And, I have to proudly report, that by now it sometimes takes me a second to "settle in view" where I "become" awareness, and "see" the space/ground and the flow of mental events simultaneously. Ok, it's not that fast every time, and it's not 100% stable throughout a 20-20 minute meditation , but with practice it's faster and faster.

So, I know that one can cut the "preparation time" significantly.

There are found potential purposes for Sam Harris to formulate such an instruction: remove limiting beliefs, using the speed of awareness (instead of thought), skipping the efforting phase, showing that perhaps a long and arduous "path" is not necessary, and to support the instruction given in other meditations to "punctuate the day" with short moments of awareness.

Removing limiting beliefs

One way to understand it is as a clearing of limiting beliefs. We can be faster than we think.

Using brain speed of awareness

Dan Brown made a similar point. In the Pointing Out the Great Way meditations, one often hears

Using your high-speed awareness, do "X"

This instruction rests on the neurological fact that thoughts are slow, but awareness is quasi-instant. Typically, POGW uses this phrase to initiate emptiness of Self meditation :

Recall your sense of Self. Then, using your high-speed awareness, try to find this Self anywhere in your body, in your emotions

(Obviously, the result will be that there is no self).

This is not a long drawn out search process.

Sam Harris uses the "briefly" instruction similarly for his "turn attention to itself" instructions when he says:

Briefly look for the looker

Skipping the effort phase

Another way to see it is as an instruction to skip efforting. Efforting tenses up and creates a sense of a Self that does something. Thus, the "arrive suddenly" is better preparation for "non-dual" looking.

Skipping the path

That's, in a wider sense, the message: there is no path. We are really already there, if we just open our eyes it will instantly become clear. We can skip the path... but only once one either had a sudden insight into this or retroactively, in the sense of "now that you reached the roof you can throw away the ladder".

"Punctuating the day"

Quite often, in his concluding statements, Sam Harris suggests to "Punctuate the day" with mere moments of awareness, as a practice. These are the "finger snap" moments of micro-awakening. Just like micro-dosing, they do have an effect.

Just doing it

Word cloud 2022.10.04

The most frequently used word in Sam Harris meditations is the word "just". Don't spend too much effort on it. Just arrive instantly.

A thought on...