And it comes with meditation. If you go on a 3 month retreat, where you’ll just meditate 18 hours a day, and every time your mind gets lost in thought you come back to practice whether it’s your mindfulness or put a pause on meditation or whatever it is. Could be yoga.
That, being in a pressure cooker of intensive retreat can give you that some experience of more. I’ve never quite have it like what you get in a psychedelic experience.
Joe Rogan: How close have you come?
Sam Harris: Uhm, well it’s not… It’s not the uhm, you can certainly get what you get with MDMA. Like the full blown emphatic, unconditional love
Joe Rogan: Really?
Sam Harris: Thing happen. Yeah
Joe Rogan: Have you had that?
Sam Harris: Oh yeah. yeah.
Joe Rogan: Wow
Sam Harris: And they’re actually practi– in Buddhism, there are practices that are just tuned to that. So the practice of love and kindness called Mettā in Pali is just.. You’re just trying to stoke that emotion. And you’re just thinking.
It’s a very simple practice. You bring to mind people you love. Not romantic love but people who are just, your best friend say. And you just meditate on that person and you just think, your thoughts of well-wishing for them.
May you be happy. May you be free from suffering and just connect with your wish for that person’s happiness. And you just train that up.
The crucial pieces. Once you get concentrated. Once your mind is no longer wandering to the uhm, into the chatter of just distraction and you can actually focus, you get the feeling going and you can focus on the actual practice. Then you can do it. Then it’s kindled.
You feel very much what you feel on ecstasy where there’s just this uhm, it becomes like ecstasy the moment you move it off coz you start with someone who’s very easy to love like your best friend. Uhm and then the practice revolves and you move it to a neutral person and you even move it to an enemy. Uhm
Joe Rogan: Whoa!
Sam Harris: So you just get it… It’s a broad spectrum, you know 360 I love, I wish everyone happiness. That’s the goal of the practice. And but wishing with a totally focused mind that is not lost in thought.
The truth is just having a concentrated mind and is not getting lost in thought, is just intrinsically pleasurable. It’s intrinsically blissful.
It’s like the emotional base note of all the good drug experiences. It’s kinda like the opiate, happy feeling comes just with concentration. It doesn’t matter what you’re concentrated on.
If you’re just concentrated on a MI Buddhist do practices, or you just focus on a colored disc and they, they reach levels of concentration. So you focus on a piece of swatch of red and you’re reaching states of consciousness that are just extraordinarily blissful.
Joe Rogan: Wow. Awesome. That’s amazing.
Sam Harris: But again that’s not the ultimate.. that’s not the ultimate point of concentration. Concentration’s just a tool to use to actually glimpse something about the nature of consciousness.
And so this comes back to what I was saying before… That the actual goal and this is the difference between just getting more content and getting the kind of wisdom that comes with uhm recognizing somethign about consciousness.
The goal is to recognize that ordinary consciousness without anything getting psychedelic is a circumstance of genuine freedom. That the sense of being in erotic self, locked in the head, worried about what other people are thinking that can be cut through fully so that it’s just gone.
So that you can recognize the intrinsic selflessness of consciousness. And that can happen without any of the pyrotechnics. It can happen without the rush of energy in the body. It can happen without the colors changing. It can happen without any luminosity of any kind of…
You don’t feel like you’ve taken a drug. You’re awareness is crystal clear. It’s compatible with ordinary behavior. You can drive a car. You can, if someone says can you pass the salt, you don’t, you’re not this dazzled stoned person who can’t find the salt.