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Sam Harris Daily Meditations - Introduction

A short introduction to all of Sam Harris´ Daily Meditations, based on the frequency of words in his meditations

You have to play this:

So, really, if you want to take an easy approach to meditation, just do what his most frequent words tell you to do:

Just notice appearing thought

Absent words

It is equally interesting which words Sam Harris does NOT use. Examples are:

  • awakening

  • enlightenment

  • realisation

  • compassion

  • love

His meditations are therefore suited also to those listeners who do not self-identify as Buddhists (like me), and would feel a little awkward or even repelled by these concepts.

These terms may come across as somewhat elitist (e.g. as in "I am more enlightened than you" thinking).

Thus, Sam Harris' vocabulary renains relative abstract and devoid of emotional content.

This is very different from approaches like Pointing Out the Great Way who closely align with a certain tradition, in this case the Tibetan Bön variant of Mahamudra / Dzogchen. This is a more flowery language.


Just a little idea how I did this. I know it´s not rocket science! But just in case you want to do your own word cloud. Of course you can also type words into the tool.

The wonders of simple technology! I recorded Harris´ voice on the Daily Meditations as text on my mobile using the Google Transcribe tool (the mobile recording itself as text). I then copy/pasted a few of the transcribed meditations sequentially into a Google Docs document and exported it as a text file. I then fed the resulting combined text file into the free world cloud tool .

In Wortwolken I did a little bit of editing to for example join "eye" and "eyes" into one word, then I created the cloud as a movie, and on that, I used Wondershare to add the bubble effects and slow it. I thought bubbles are a good way to represent appearing thoughts!

I guess if I did this for a longer time, the content of the word cloud would over time represent his main terms more and more accurately. On the other hand, I also think the world cloud would not change much.


A word cloud tool, as you may have guessed by now, creates a graphic representation of the frequency of terms fed into it. For example, words with a higher frequency are shown in different sizes and/or in different colours.


A thought on...

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