... self-transcendence - the experience of losing the sense that there's a subject in the center of experience. And when you lose that feeling of self, then in some basic sense, only the world remains. ... Given that Christians, and Hindus, and Buddhists, and Muslims, and even atheists like myself, have this (type of peak) experience in a variety of contexts, we know that this experience can't be data in favor of any religious interpretation. We know that there's a deeper principle at work, and this deeper principle has to be understood in 21st century terms that are non-sectarian, that don't endorse any kind of sectarian tribalism. And that's the challenge I see for us - to get out of the religion business and to talk about the full range of human experience in terms that are intellectually responsible and honest and therefore non-divisive.
At age 18, I had a profound drug-induced experience that I couldn't forget which was that life could be far better than I was tending to live it. It became very clear, as I did some reading and got my first taste of meditation practice, that the problem was my own mind, the problem was how I was unable to pay attention in the present moment.
Meditation can be an immensely powerful tool for the mitigation of psychological suffering." Sam Harris
Sam Harris, author of "Tame Your Mind (No Religion Required)" interviewed by Mary Hines on CBC Radio's "Tapestry": http://www.cbc.ca/tapestry/