Summary: Nightline anchor Dan Harris embarks on an unexpected, hilarious, and deeply skeptical odyssey through the strange worlds of spirituality and self-help, and discovers a way to get happier that is truly achievable.After having a nationally televised panic attack on Good Morning America, Dan Harris knew he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he found himself on a bizarre adventure, involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists…Read more.
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Dan Harris: 10% Happier Audio Book Summary
Is it possible to completely relax and calm your mind? If you could learn a method to de-stress your life and not lose your edge, would you do it? This is what author Dan Harris teaches in his book, 10% Happier. Dan offers a practical approach to learning mindfulness in our modern world. This book is a powerful tool for someone hoping to gain peace through meditation. The focus is on teaching how meditation can be helpful to normal, every day people. There is no need to wear a white toga or never eat meat again. It is an excellent primer for those who want to learn more about meditation and how to best integrate it into daily life.
Dan Harris was host of a day-time talk. He very publically fell apart one day during the show and realized he needed to make some changes in his life. The writing in the book is hilarious and approaches an important subject with sensitivity and humor. Harris was very ambitious and competitive. He was also addicted to drugs and lived on the verge of a complete mental breakdown. His on-air anxiety attack was the wake up call he needed to set his life straight. He went into therapy, sobered up, and began a journalism project based on spirituality.
This journalism project provided Harris the opportunity to interview and learn from several prominent religious figures, including Deepak Chopra, Ekhart Tolle, and Ted Haggard. As Harris worked through his project, he eventually stumbled onto a possible solution for his own spiritual troubles. He discovered mindfulness and describes how it changed his life.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness creates space in the head so the indiviudal can respond rather than just react. Buddhists believe that no one can control what occurs within the mind. They believe our thoughts all come from a mysterious void and humans spend a great deal of time harshly judging ourselves for something over which we have no control. What we can control, however is how we handle these thoughts.
With proper meditaion techniques, instead of tryng to corral the million pieces of thoughts constantly buzzing through our heads, we instead focus on breathing which helps calm our minds. Harris defines the essence of mindfulness as the ability to recognize what is happening within the mind, but not get carried away by it.
Enjoying The Journey
Instead of approaching life as a series of rewards due to accomplishments, think of it as simply enjoying each moment in its own right. Happiness is a result of pursuing happiness. Harris recommends determining what you want and then enjoying the journey towards obtaining it. He cautions not to get to attached to the end result so that if your course or focus change, you do not feel dissatisfied.
According to Harris, today’s society is constantly bombarding us with images and information. Being able to deal with these competing thoughts by focusing on calming the mind helps us achieve a balance and harmony within our lives.