Waking Up With Sam Harris App Meditation Descriptions | Day 15–50.
Before using the Waking Up with Sam Harris meditation app, I considered myself an avid and committed meditator. I sat for 10–20 minutes every day and made an effort to read and listen to content that I thought would help me develop my practice.
After downloading the app and going through the first 50 meditations in less than 20 days, BOY did I realize how far off I was from truly grasping even the most basic elements of my meditation endeavor.
Not only is Sam an obviously experienced meditator, he’s a great teacher. Through subtle yet profound simplicity and clarity, he uses the first 14 daily meditations to introduce and guide you through the essential elements of meditation in the course — what they are, how to practice them, their purpose, and how they complement and enhance each other. From Day 15 onward, the sequential nature becomes less and less important.
After finishing all 50 meditations, it was clear to me that this course had truly helped me build a solid foundation for my practice. And all I wanted to do then was to go back and listen to a handful of specific meditations that had particularly connected with me!
There was one problem…none of the meditations on the app have descriptions to them (only Day numbers). I hadn’t kept any notes and after a quick Google, I realized that there aren’t any descriptions of them online either.
If I wanted to re-visit the meditations that stood out to me, I had to go back to Day 1, listen to all 50 of them again, and take my own notes about what each one was about. So that’s what I did.
Once I had finished my notes and began talking to others about the app, I also noticed that a few people had the same problem. They wanted to go back to specific meditations but it was difficult to find them without listening to all of them all over again.
Sensing that this might be an issue more people are encountering, I’ve decided to publish all of my description notes for the meditations on the app in hopes that they might be useful to others (hence, this article). You’ll find the descriptions below, but before you read further, please take a few things into account:
- If you’re reading this and haven’t done the 50 meditations yet, I’d strongly recommend going through all of them on your own first, without reading any of the descriptions. It will make your experience much more rewarding.
- If you’ve already done all 50 meditations and want to use these descriptions for reference, please know that they aren’t “official” descriptions. They are my own personal take on what I consider is the main topic of each of the meditations. Given the nature of the concepts that are touched upon, I’m sure that other people are likely to have different take-aways from each meditation.
Knowing this, I hope you find these as helpful as I have.
Day 1–14 — Introduction of all of the elements of meditation in the course. You’ll get the most out of your experience by listening to all of these without a description. It’s also best that you listen to them in sequential order, as they build upon one another.
Day 15 — Resting with your mind wide open. Noticing that consciousness is the place where everything appears.
Day 16 — Focusing on the breath and adding a mental note.
Day 17 — Gazing into the visual field with eyes open and eyes closed and looking for The Meditator inside of your head.
Day 18 — Gazing out into your visual field. Relaxing concepts about what you see and resting as that space.
Day 19 — The practice of loving kindness.
Day 20 — Awareness of the body. Letting go of judgement of sensations.
Day 21 — Receiving the breath and being aware of everything else.
Day 22 — Looking for the seat of attention.
Day 23 — Observing the sense of self. Is there an observer or only observing?
Day 24 — Paying attention to the cloud of sensations in your body. Where is the center of attention?
Day 25 — Changing experience suddenly.
Day 26 — Resting as the state of consciousness in which everything appears.
Day 27 — Setting the clear intention to drop everything when meditating. Consciousness and its contents, moment to moment.
Day 28 — Leave your mind wide open, immediately.
Day 29 — Noticing things clearly. Consciousness and its contents.
Day 30 — Eyes closed, looking for the subject. Eyes open, looking for the subject.
Day 31 — Noticing how thoughts and everything else arises in consciousness.
Day 32 — Anchoring attention to the breath with a mental note.
Day 33 — Being the screen upon which the movie of your life is being played.
Day 34 — What thoughts are we starting our meditation with? Reflecting that they are only thoughts. Resolving that there is nothing we need to think about during our meditation.
Day 35 — Forming the intention to honor this space that you are creating in your life.
Day 36 — Resting as the space where everything appears. Stop keeping score. (** my personal favorite)
Day 37 — Encountering a bad thought.
Day 38 — Noticing that what your eyes perceive is different to the imagery or thoughts that your brain can create.
Day 39 — First day practicing looking at an object and immediately looking inwards for the subject.
Day 40 — Being mindful and looking inward for the self.
Day 41 — Analyzing the sense of moving attention from formation to formation when mindful and how that too is just a formation.
Day 42 — First time asking you to be absolutely still. When being aware of sensations, let go of the associations you have with how something feels and just perceive a sensation or formation as raw data.
Day 43 — Eyes open practice of looking into space and periodically checking for the looker within.
Day 44 — Our mind is already wide open. Noticing thoughts as another formation that arises.
Day 45 — Gazing into the visual field with your closed eyes. Noticing thoughts arise by themselves.
Day 46 — Noticing thoughts.
Day 47 — Noticing raw sensations in the body.
Day 48 — Thinking thoughts that make you happy and noticing what that generates. Thinking thoughts that make you suffer and noticing what that generates.
Day 49 — Eyes open. Quickly, turn your gaze inward and look for that who is looking.
Day 50 — Let’s keep this one a surprise ;) If you haven’t done Day 50 yet, you’ll get more out of it without knowing what it’s about. If you’ve already tried it, you don’t need notes to remind you what it’s about.
That’s it folks!
Thank you for reading and thank you for your practice. It’s truly an absolute pleasure to share this with you!
PS — If you have any corrections or recommendations on how I can make these descriptions better, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave comment. I’ll do my best to constantly update the article. You can also read more about my work about cacao ceremonies and ceremonial cacao here.