A Strategy for Selfless Discovery

One of the foundations of meditation is the fact that there is no center to our experience, no self from which we take in the world. Paying attention (meditating) can take on a very different character if this concept is grasped.

Sam Harris as a part of his meditation course encourages this discovery of selflessness partly through Douglass Harding's teachings on having no head. While this can be very powerful for some, I found the instruction at times difficult to use as a means of returning to a state of selflessness in my own practice.

So instead of looking for the self, I started asking for it to appear.

I would gaze down at my hands and ask "whose hands are these?" (not out loud but mentally.) The answer that arose, if any, could be noticed as a mere appearance in consciousness - certainly not as a self claiming ownership.

In the absence of the appearance of a self, I found the "headless", selfless quality touted by Harris and others. While it doesn't last for long, its implications are nonetheless integral to understanding the bedrock of human experience.

- Will