10% HAPPIER came at the right time for me. It is both laugh-out-loud funny and deeply compelling. Author Dan Harris writes intelligently, yet without any snobbery. His self-effacing, realistic style is relatable and interesting. I started reading this months ago when I first started studying mindfulness; I just finished this after reading several similarly-themed books in between. Harris’s book stands on its own as a great resource, as well as an excellent memoir.
The first few chapters provide shockingly real views behind the news desk. Harris does not mince words when described himself and fellow newsroom superstars, such as Peter Jennings. Harris dives deeper into his rise and his catastrophic fall. The video we see captured on YouTube of Harris stumbling is nothing compared to what he reveals about himself during these chapters.
Here is the video of Harris’s on-air panic attack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qo4uPxhUzU
Coming from a similarly-discussed religious organization, I was surprised to see Harris’s early involvement with such church groups—and what lies behind the scenes. As his chronologic journey progressed, he talks about meeting with Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra. I am a fan of both these gentlemen, especially Tolle, but I could readily laugh at Harris’s candid opinion of both. His opinions are real, but not totally disrespectful (no one goes under his comment-radar).
About halfway through the book, Harris starts to explore Buddhist philosophy and traditional mindful meditation techniques. He finds a way to engage in his life while being in the moment and feeling connected. Through his efforts he has become a successful advocate for mindfulness and meditation.
The book concludes with some great recommended reading selections and FAQs on meditation. This may be new for people just seeking the behind-the-news look (and it is captivating) or it may be some nice continued lessons for those already immersed. Either way, this book is a win.
Here is a recent video of Harris talking about “hacking” the brain via meditation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAcTIrA2Qhk
Here’s a nice video on ABC: http://abcnews.go.com/WNN/video/dan-harris-meditation-path-happiness-22871879