Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris completely surprised me. Harris reclaims the word spirituality to mean the practice of meditation and self reflection for
the purpose of personal growth and mindfulness. Harris describes how to wake up and become conscious, become mindful. Meditation is a tool to interrupt the constant flow of meaningless thoughts. He describes how to become present and simply acknowledge emotion without giving in to the narrative of the mind.
During his decades of research, Harris compiled what he finds to be the useful pieces of reflection and meditation and discarded the myths and fantasies religion ties to contemplation. This book is a guide for atheists like myself who have rejected religion on the basis that it is full of unproven claims, yet we seek to better ourselves and find true happiness in the only life proven to exist.
Every line in this book is written with care, and so it seemed to me while reading it that I wanted to quote and highlight every word. For an atheist who is in a point of their personal journey where reading an Eckhart Tolle book feels right, Sam Harris’ book is the perfect scientifically researched alternative that takes the good and leaves the unfounded. Sam is a renown champion voice for the non theistic community in the US and his atheism is not checked at the door of this book. He does a rigorous job of explaining why meditation, self reflection and learning to be happy in the present moment are beneficial lessons we can adopt without religion attached.
This book spoke to me on my personal journey, so much that I am re-reading it now and plan to a few more times. It is the best book for atheists I have yet read. Some of Sam’s other books like Letter to a Christian Nation and The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason do well to convince a person teetering on the verge of becoming atheist. Waking Up describes how a professed atheist can proceed in personal internal growth and happiness.