A Real Tool for Making Fundamental Discoveries

Sam Harris, from "Mindfulness Is Powerful, But Keep Religion Out of It," Big Think, Oct. 1, 2014

"Mindfulness is very much in vogue at this moment as many of you probably know. And it’s often taught as though it were a glorified version of an executive stress ball. It’s a tool you want in your tool kit. It prepares you emotionally to go into a new experience with a positive attitude and you know you’re not hauling around baggage from the past. And that’s true. Actually having focus and having your mind in the present moment is a little bit of a superpower in situations that we’re all in from day to day.

But that actually undervalues what mindfulness really is and its true potential. It’s more like the large hadron collider in that it’s a real tool for making some fundamental discoveries about the nature of the mind.

And one of these discoveries is that the sense of self that we all carry around from day to day is an illusion. And cutting through that illusion I think is actually more important than stress reduction or any of the other conventional benefits that are accurately ascribed to mindfulness."