Sam Harris is a very smart and very wise man.
As you may know, he’s part neuroscientist, part philosopher, part mystic.
In his great book Waking Up he makes a very important distinction I’d like to talk about Today.
He tells us: “The traditional goal of meditation is to arrive at a state of well-being that is imperturbable—or if perturbed, easily regained. The French monk Matthieu Ricard describes such happiness as ‘a deep sense of flourishing that arises from an exceptionally healthy mind.’ The purpose of meditation is to recognize that you already have such a mind. That discovery, in turn, helps you to cease doing the things that produce needless confusion and suffering for yourself and others. Of course, most people never truly master the practice and don’t reach a condition of imperturbable happiness. The near goal, therefore, is to have an increasingly healthy mind—that is, to be moving one’s mind in the right direction.”
I love that.
As nice as it would be to experience a state of well-being that is completely imperturbable, that state is just a little bit off in the future for most of us. (Hah.)
So, our goal is to practice regaining our state of well-being when it is perturbed.
And, most importantly, our immediate goal is NOT to reach a state of perfect well-being once. and.for.all! but to get excited about creating “an increasingly healthy mind.”
Sam also shares this genius gem: “Happily, the benefits of training in meditation arrive long before mastery does.”
Now, of course, we talk a lot about moving from Theory to Practice to Mastery.
Let’s shine a VERY bright spotlight on the fact that the benefits of training in Optimizing arrive LONG BEFORE MASTERY DOES.
Let’s not beat ourselves up for not being imperturbable (levitating!) masters yet. 🤓
Let’s celebrate all the little benefits we’re ALREADY experiencing.
That’s Today’s +1.
Let’s do a quick inventory.
What’s ONE benefit you’ve experienced as you practice your Optimizing?
Here’s one little (/big) benefit: ____________________________
High fives. Big smiles. Let’s keep doing this!!!
Here’s to an increasingly healthy mind and all the little benefits we’re racking up as we practice Optimizing in pursuit of mastery!
+1. +1. +1.