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Sam, this is great. I’ve done maybe a few dozen hours of pure meditation over all. Ranging from 5 minute sessions to upwards of 2 hours at a time. I’ve read probably more than the average amount of material on meditation in general with no specific method at the forefront and the way you explain the experience and how to get there is identical to the lane I found best as I was figuring it out on my own. You’ve both reassured my current understanding of at least the begging stages of meditation and it’s always comforting to hear that we’re not trying to stop our thoughts more so recognize them and experiences them while not losing track of ourselves. I have some thoughts and questions on the breath being the forefront of meditation but ultimately have my doubts that it’s the perfect tool that most practicing meditators use. I think we can do better and I have to assume you take us there in this corse because if I have to spend one more second concentrating on my breath I’m going to phyciclyy implode. Again, thank you. Just a special note: I’ve followed your career and your work over the years, I’ve read your books, and listen to your podcast religiously. I can’t help but consider you a friend in spirit. And I’d like to offer my thanks to you for being a source of reason in the times of my life that I could find none face to face. You’ve helped me tremendously...just in case you needed reminding that you are helping people.
I have tried meditating for the last 3-4 years, never being able to stick to it for longer than 2 weeks at a time, harvesting initial peace and calm and then digressing to the old ways by stumbling on different mental obstacles, getting hanged on too much or too little narration, focusing on, forcing or anticipating my breath and so on, so i would quit it and restart practice after a while. I tried apps and various teachers , monks guided meditations with the same results. I am a big fan of Sam’s work in general , his books and podcast, and feel that he brought an immense level of detail to this course. It is well thought out and structured, he gradually introduces you to various concepts and ways of thinking/perceiving the meditation. he is filing in blindness spots, that you are not yet aware of, along the way. No day is the same in the app, and each lesson challenges you in a different way. You can also deepen your experience through additional provided exercises. I’m on day 24 so far, which is the longest streak for me, and while many concepts still seem hard to grasp , i look forward to coming lessons. And it does feel incredible already to sense the time slower and your own nature and reactions differently. This is by far the most structured and easy to follow course on meditation I’ve found.
It appears that many of us are beginning to notice that we increasingly are absent from our lives, even more so than we have been in the past. And this is saying a lot, considering the knee jerk reactions to daily life which nearly all of us consistently trip over, time and time again. This increase in absense mostly takes the form of our phone hypnosis, even amongst those of us who have noticed that putting our phone away while eating, or spending time with family, or friends, is “polite”, and necessary to being present. Despite this, how useful, really, is our time spent staring into the screen? And how often do we do this? I have found this meditation course one of increasing utility, wisdom, and sense making, amazingly packaged within the very device which blankets and obscures these positive aforementioned qualities. One of the few times in my day when picking up my phone increases the quality of my life, truly. And it’s quite likely because as soon as I pick my phone up, and start the next lesson, I just as quickly put it down, close my eyes, and begin browsing, or becoming mindful of the unceasing browsing in the one actual reality that actually matters most. Thanks Sam. Though I love podcasts, and opinions, and moral and political and psychological debate; talk, really, is cheap. Silence is golden.
I have been a Harris fan and supporter for some time and I have been waiting for this app for a long time. It is very good. I like the way Sam expands the practice and includes lessons to contemplate outside of mediation. He explains things in a way that makes the ideas easy to grasp. I find him to be the most thorough instructor amongst there apps I have used. That being said I will wait with anticipation for improvements to the app. More material, maybe guest instruction, daily sayings and reminders perhaps? I am sure whatever Sam adds will be just as good as what is already there. I have used Headspace for some time and have been waiting for a different app for awhile. It is ok and I like the daily reminders to get you thinking throughout the day but I find the instruction a bit basic and it doesn’t really seem to expand much even though there are tons of “different” meditations you can do. I also started using 10% happier mainly to get instruction from Joseph Goldstein whom I hope Sam will add to his app along with other collaborators. I like the idea of hearing different viewpoints as well as instruction styles. I usually use Sam’s app and follow with 10% happier each night. I am hoping Sam adds some features from the others so I can just have and use a single app. For a new release though this app is outstanding. Thank you Sam.
My original review seems to have been deleted for some reason, so I’m re-posting it. I've been trying to build a meditation practice, on and off, for several years now. Unfortunately, I've never managed to stay consistent with it, and lately it has mostly been off. I'm fully sold on the benefits of regular meditation, but practicing on a daily basis is easier said than done, and I feel like I still haven't really progressed beyond the stage of mostly "thinking with my eyes closed." I've also been a fan of Sam's work for a long time, so I was eagerly awaiting the release of this app in the hope that it would get me "hooked" and teach me the techniques I need to progress. Unfortunately, after spending a few weeks with it, I'm a bit disappointed so far. I have to agree with Voletric's review; I find Sam's method of trying to disprove the existence of "the self" rather confusing. Many of Sam's instructions in this vein feel to me more like Zen koans than straightforward guidance, and they tend to leave me stuck in my thoughts, struggling to interpret them and understand what I'm supposed to take away from them. Perhaps I'm just too literal-minded, but this methodology does not seem to be working for me. I've had much more success with other apps like Calm and 10% Happier, even if their approaches are perhaps more surface-level.
Join Sam Harris—neuroscientist, philosopher, and New York Times best-selling author—on a meditation course for beginners and experienced meditators alike.
The purpose of meditation isn’t merely to reduce stress or to make you feel better in the moment—it’s to make fundamental discoveries in the laboratory of your own mind.
WAKING UP SUBSCRIPTIONS AND TERMS
Waking Up offers two auto-renewing subscriptions:
$14.99 per month
US $99.99 per year
If you complete the Introductory Course and don’t find it valuable, we want you to have your money back. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will give you a full refund.
THE FINE PRINT
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REVIEW FROM TIM FERRISS
“I’ve been incredibly impressed with this app. Whether you want to sharpen your mind or experience more peace, this can help in dramatic fashion. The power of its progression is hard to overstate.”
— Tim Ferriss
ABOUT SAM HARRIS
Sam Harris is the author of five New York Times best sellers, including Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. His writing and public lectures cover a wide range of topics—neuroscience, meditation, moral philosophy, religion, rationality—but generally focus on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live.
Sam received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA. He has practiced meditation for over 30 years and has studied with many Tibetan, Indian, Burmese, and Western meditation teachers, both in the United States and abroad.
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This app integrates with the Health app, adding Mindful Minutes in the Mindfulness section.
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