10% HAPPIER is a spiritual book written for - and by - someone who would otherwise never read a spiritual book. It is both a deadly serious and seriously funny look at mindfulness and meditation as the next big public health revolution.
Dan Harris always believed the restless, relentless, impossible-to-satisfy voice in his head was one of his greatest assets. How else can you climb the ladder in an ultra-competitive field like TV news except through nonstop hand-wringing and hyper vigilance? For a while, his strategy worked. Harris anchored national broadcasts and he covered wars. Then he hit the brakes, and had a full-blown panic attack live on the air. What happened next was completely unforeseen. Through a bizarre series of events - involving a disgraced evangelical pastor, a mysterious self-help guru and a fateful gift from his wife - Harris stumbled upon something that helped him tame the voice in his head: meditation. At first, he was deeply suspicious. He had long associated meditation with bearded swamis and unwashed hippies. But when confronted with mounting scientific evidence that just a few minutes a day can literally rewire the brain for focus,happiness, and reduced reactivity, Harris took a deep dive. He spent years mingling with scientists,executives and marines on the front lines of a quiet revolution that has the potential to reshape society. He became a daily meditator, and even found himself on a ten-day, silent meditation retreat, which was simultaneously the best and worst experience he'd ever had.
Harris's life was not transformed into a parade of rainbows and unicorns, but he did gain a passion for daily meditation. While the book itself is a narrative account of Dan's conversion amid the harried and decidedly non-Zen world of the newsroom, it concludes with a section for the novice on how to get started.
About the Author
Dan Harris is a correspondent for ABC News and the co-anchor for the weekend edition of Good Morning America. Before that, he was the anchor of the Sunday edition of World News. This is his first book.
A sceptic's guide to meditation. With great humour he goes into it kicking and resisting and ends up embracing mindfulness and explaining it brilliantly, while never losing that humour or becoming part of the 'socks and sandals' brigade - I loved it - Ruby Wax, author of Sane New World
With a healthy dose of scepticism and humour, Dan Harris skilfully demystifies meditation, reminding us all that a healthy and happy mind is not only essential for our own sanity, but also for those around us. More importantly, he provides a compelling invitation to move beyond words, from the idea to the experience. A wonderful book and excellent advice - Andy Puddicombe, founder of Headspace
An enormously smart, clear-eyed, brave-hearted, and quite personal look at the benefits of meditation that offers new insights as to how this ancient practice can help modern lives while avoiding the pitfall of cliche. This is a book that will help people, simply put. I know a lot of very powerful, very stressed-out, type-A personalities who will be getting this book from me as a gift this year. - Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
With startling, provocative, and often very funny candor, Dan Harris tells the story of why he urgently needed to tame the strident voice in his head, and how he did it. His argument for the power of mindfulness-which he bases both on cutting-edge science and his own hard-won experience-will convince even the most skeptical reader of meditation's potential. - Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project