“Curiosity can be an antidote to a lot of suffering.” ― Annaka Harris
As she describes it, Annaka Harris’ childhood experience with migraines led her to the simple and profound insight that curiosity – stopping to look at our direct experience without clouds of judgement, labels and assumptions – can be an antidote to suffering.
Suffering through severe headaches, without the kinds of medicine that are now more readily available, she describes one day spontaneously turning to look at her resistance to the experience. (In Buddhist metaphor, resistance is sometimes described as the ‘second arrow’ of suffering.) And what she found, when she became genuinely curious, was that the pain changed, or at least her experience of the pain change. This defining moment has led her on a lifelong exploration of the nature of mind.
I’m really looking forward to reading Annaka Harris’ new book Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind. It has been well received and reviewed.
She’s given a few recent interviews to promote the book, including with husband Sam Harris on his Waking Up Podcast (episode 159), which had a certain sweetness because of their close connection, and with Dan Harris (unrelated, other than friendship) on the 10% Happier Podcast (episode 190), which is where I grabbed the quote from. 😉