Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

Dan Harris is a fidgety, skeptical ABC News anchor who had a panic attack live on "Good Morning America," which led him to try something he always thought was ridiculous: meditation. He went on to write the bestselling book, "10% Happier." In this podcast, Dan explores happiness (whatever that means) from all angles. Guests include legendary meditation teachers -- from the Dalai Lama to Western masters -- as well as scientists, and even the odd celebrity. But the show also ventures beyond meditation, bringing on leading researchers in areas such as social anxiety, bias, creativity, productivity, and relationships. The animating insight of this show is that the mind is trainable. This is what science is showing us. Mental traits such as happiness, calm, generosity, compassion, and connection are not hardwired, unalterable factory settings; they are, in fact, skills that can be trained. On this show, you'll learn how.... Show More

Episodes

February 26, 2021 7 min
In this guided meditation (which you can do anywhere), Joseph helps you relax the habit of personalizing everything, so you can live with more ease. About Joseph Goldstein: Joseph is one of the most respected meditation teachers in the world -- a key architect of the rise of mindfulness in our modern society -- with a sense of humor to boot. In the 1970's, he co-founded the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) alongside Sharon S...
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The stereotypical depiction of fighting addiction makes it seem highly unpleasant: White knuckling, sweating it out, detoxing, going cold turkey–you get the picture. This applies to classical addiction, and also to the less dangerous (but nonetheless nettlesome) unhealthy habits and compulsions that we all wrestle with. My guest today takes a very different approach. She aims to harness the pleasure centers of the brain as a way to...
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February 22, 2021 65 min
This is an episode about our craving, grasping minds. Whether you have struggled with a classic addiction or not, we all have addictive tendencies; we all wrestle with desire. I often think about a provocative question once posed by my friend, Dr. Jud Brewer, a Buddhist practitioner and addiction specialist: Are we all addicted? The implied answer is yes.    My guest today thinks about addiction in a similarly broad and compelling ...
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Sometimes we get stuck in yesterday’s mistakes. Reset by using the freshness of each new breath and start your morning with ease. About Sebene Selassie: Growing up, Sebene felt like a big weirdo. Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and raised in white neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., she was a tomboy Black girl who loved Monty Python and UB40. She never believed she belonged. Thirty years ago, she began studying Buddhism as an underg...
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February 17, 2021 81 min
Today we’re going to talk about a massively useful acronym, which can be used both on the cushion and in your free-range living. The acronym is RAIN -- R-A-I-N -- and rather than explaining it myself, I will leave that to my guest, who has become one of RAIN’s primary proponents. Tara Brach is an author, therapist, and meditation teacher. She has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, she founded the Insight Meditation Community of Washi...
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We’re now almost a full year into the era of Covid restrictions, and I suspect that many of you, as I am, are starting to internalize the fact that, notwithstanding the vaccines, there’s likely a ways to go yet. And the mental health issues are piling up: The depression, anxiety, and addiction. Moms, people of color, and elderly people who can’t see their families are among those getting hit especially hard. To inject a little suns...
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Use meditation to connect to how you’re feeling and to unlearn the habit of abandoning yourself when you most need to feel connected. About Joanna Hardy: JoAnna Hardy can talk about meditation to pretty much anybody. She not only teaches in traditional environments like retreat centers, but also in both schools and jails. JoAnna has been studying meditation for nearly two decades and she's done some amazing work ensuring that...
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How do you relate to the more difficult— and even ugly— aspects of your personality? How do you feel about yourself when you are, say, in a judgmental or vengeful or jealous mode? Is that an opportunity for self-laceration? My guest today agrees with me that one of the healthiest possible inner moves is to learn how to hug your dragons, instead of attempting to slay them (which is only likely to make them stronger). Dr. Richard Sch...
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We have talked a lot on this show about how perfectionism can have pernicious impacts on your psyche. Today we’re going to talk about how, by contrast, a certain kind of perfection is very much worth aiming for. We’re diving into another Buddhist list in this episode: the six paramitas, or the six perfections. These are six mental skills that you will never perfect, most likely. But simply working on them can confer massive benefit...
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Is meditation the last thing you want to do right now? This one’s for when closing your eyes and watching your breath sounds like torture. About Matthew Hepburn: Matthew Hepburn is a straightshooting, clear thinking, and dedicated meditation teacher. His personal practice caught fire over the course of several extended meditation retreats in his early twenties, and for the last 5+ years he has been teaching meditation at the ...
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My guest today makes a fascinating and potentially life-changing case. He argues that we need to reconsider how we view intelligence. He says that instead of viewing intelligence as the ability to think and learn, we should view it as the ability to rethink and unlearn. My guest, whose name is Adam Grant, says there is evidence that, in a fast-moving world, what he calls the “critical art of rethinking” can “position you for excell...
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Today we’re talking about one of the Buddha’s first and most important lists: the Eightfold Path. I’m kinda surprised we’ve never done a deep dive into this list on the show before, but better late than never. Some context before we dive in: The Buddha, as many of you know, was a congenital list maker. His first and foundational list was the Four Noble Truths. This is the list that begins with “life is suffering” -- which is someth...
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Take a moment to pay attention to the good things that are already here, and get in touch with the basic satisfaction of being alive. About Joseph Goldstein: Joseph is one of the most respected meditation teachers in the world -- a key architect of the rise of mindfulness in our modern society -- with a sense of humor to boot. In the 1970's, he co-founded the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) alongside Sharon Salzberg and Jack...
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January 27, 2021 62 min
For an audience of meditators (or aspiring meditators), the idea of doing nothing shouldn’t be foreign. But, speaking from personal experience, it is very possible, especially for Type A people, to approach meditation with an agenda. In which case, sitting on the cushion can be very far from truly doing nothing. Enter Jenny Odell, who makes a very compelling case for truly… doing… nothing. In her work, she is challenging what for m...
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For many of us, in this pandemic, our relationship to time has become particularly fraught. You may be noticing that, with no limits on your work time, you are going into overdrive and feeling more crazed than ever. Or you may be feeling like you have too much time and are bored out of your mind. Or you may be feeling both. My guest, Ashley Whillans, is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Business School and author of the book Time S...
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Today, expert meditation teachers Jeff Warren and Susan Piver return to respond directly to the questions that you, our listeners, have been submitting to us about self-compassion. It’s a tricky concept, so it’s no surprise that you’ve sent in more than a few humdingers. So strap yourself in as Jeff and Susan bring on the wisdom to help you make sustainable, healthy change in your life.   Take a few minutes to help us out by answer...
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We’re diving in on another Buddhist list today. One of the many things I like about the Buddha is that, as far as I can tell, he pretty much always aims his messages, even the hard-to-swallow ones, at the pleasure centers of the brain. Even when he’s talking about ethics, which could come off as preachy or overly abstemious. Today, we’re going to talk about the Five Precepts. The Precepts are kind of like the Buddhist version of th...
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On this Martin Luther King day, it’s tempting to fear that America, and the world, may never have been further away from the kind of inclusive society that Dr. King called for so eloquently. So today, we are, I hope, going to give you a little hope -- and perhaps also some ideas for how you can be an engaged citizen without losing your mind. My guest is Loretta Ross, who describes herself as a radical Black feminist, activist, and ...
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Nothing compares to now. Let Jeff help you find freedom and ease from constant comparing by embracing this very moment.   Take a few minutes to help us out by answering a survey about your experience with this podcast! The team here is always looking for ways to improve, and we’d love to hear from all of you, but we’d particularly like to hear from those of you who listen to the podcast and do not use our companion app. Please visi...
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This is exactly what I needed right now: a huge, helpful dose of perspective in the midst of the political crisis gripping America -- a crisis which, of course, has ripple effects for the whole world. Jack Kornfield trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, India, and Burma. He went on to co-found the Insight Meditation Society and then its sister center, Spirit Rock. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is a father, husband a...
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