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.

Episodes

May 10, 2021 75 min
To state the blazingly obvious, creating healthy habits can be infernally difficult. But why? And what are the best strategies for getting around this? My guest today has spent nearly two decades researching these questions. Her name is Katy Milkman. She is a behavioral scientist and professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She hosts a podcast called Choiceology and has written a new book called, How to Ch...
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Using the practice of gratitude, you can learn to relax your body and settle your mind. About Anushka Fernandopulle: Anushka teaches meditation, works as an organizational consultant, and does leadership coaching with individuals and teams. She has practiced meditation for over 25 years, including four years in full-time intensive training in monasteries and retreat centers in the US, India and Sri Lanka. Her work is informed by ...
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When somebody wrongs you, what is the wise way to handle your anger? Is forgiveness possible? What about friendliness? My guest today has a lot of thoughts about how to handle anger and how to respond to people who mean you harm. It might surprise you to hear from a Buddhist teacher who actually isn’t utterly disparaging of anger. In fact, she is proud (somewhat facetiously) of having been called “the original Angry Asian Buddhist...
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If you meditate (or do yoga, for that matter), you may have been taught by a Westerner, but you owe a gigantic debt of gratitude to the giants and geniuses in Asia who developed these practices. This fact can be overlooked or downplayed -- intentionally or otherwise -- by Western practitioners, including, sometimes, me. However, in the midst of a spike of anti-Asian violence, now seems like a very good time to learn more about wher...
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Develop the skill and sensibility of kindness, warmth, and goodwill by bringing your loved ones to mind. About Anushka Fernandopulle: Anushka teaches meditation, works as an organizational consultant, and does leadership coaching with individuals and teams. She has practiced meditation for over 25 years, including four years in full-time intensive training in monasteries and retreat centers in the US, India and Sri Lanka. Her wor...
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The idea of networking can be fraught. For some people, it might, at times, seem either icky or pathetic to deliberately try to make friends, either in a personal or professional context -- especially since so many of us may be feeling a bit socially awkward anyway, after months of Covid restrictions. However, my guest today will argue that there are profound health benefits to building positive relationships, and she has advice ab...
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One of our primary missions on this show is to rescue vital ideas that have lapsed into cliches. There are so many important concepts out there that many of us might be tempted to dismiss because they are encrusted with cultural baggage or have been reduced to potentially annoying or sappy slogans. So, for example, we’ve talked a lot on this podcast about things like: hope, gratitude, and “listening to your body.” All of which can ...
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Counteract negativity bias by appreciating the goodness in life: simple acts of kindness, moments of beauty, and even your own good efforts. About Oren Jay Sofer: Oren Jay Sofer teaches mindfulness, meditation and Nonviolent Communication. He has practiced meditation since 1997, beginning his studies in Bodh Gaya, India and is a long-time student of Joseph Goldstein, Michele McDonald, and Ajahn Sucitto, and is a graduate of the I...
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Today we’re talking to a renowned psychologist who has come up with five strategies for cultivating hope. Dr. Jacqueline Mattis is a clinical psychologist from Rutgers University, where she is also a Dean of Faculty. As you will hear, she did not start her career wanting to study hope. She started out studying spirituality and religiosity, specifically doing lots of field work and interviews in African American and AfriCaribbean ur...
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Buddhism can get a bad rap as being hopelessly pessimistic -- in no small measure because one of the Buddha’s first principal pronouncements was, “Life is suffering.” But if you listen to the rest of his spiel, you will hear that the Buddha acknowledges that life can be hard, but then goes on to say that we can make it better. He then spells out a bunch of practical techniques for doing so, which makes Buddhism essentially hopeful....
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Learning to trust life moment-to-moment is a powerful practice. Check it out. 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 undergraduate at McGill University where she majored in Co...
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As you may know, we are in the midst of a two-week series on hope – a concept we are trying to rescue from the realm of rote cliche and empty bromides. Our belief is that hope, when properly understood and practiced, is not baseless optimism or naivete, but a powerful skill.  Today’s guest, Sebene Selassie, has earned her capacity to hope the hard way, surviving multiple rounds of advanced cancer. She is also the author of an exce...
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Spring is here. Vaccines are entering arms. But for many of us, hope can feel slippery and fleeting. Even with the pandemic seeming to abate, there's still a lot of uncertainty and suffering. That’s why, starting today, we’re launching a special two-week series on hope: what it is, what it isn’t, and how and why to cultivate it. The word “hope” might feel vague, or gauzy–or even, given the current state of the world, misguided...
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In this guided meditation, Joseph unpacks what restless energy is all about, showing you how to go from restless to restful. 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 Kornfie...
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To inject a little sunshine, perspective, and wisdom, we thought it might make sense to repost one of our favorite conversations of the last year. This is a straight up meat-and-potatoes meditation talk from the one and only Joseph Goldstein. In this chat, we explore three profoundly useful meditation strategies: mindfulness of thinking, awareness of rushing (a deeply ingrained habit for many of us), and the genuine insight that ca...
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Today’s guest is at the forefront of understanding human emotions: what they are, why humans evolved to have them, how they’re different from feelings, and what science says about how to manage them (rather than get yanked around by them all the time). Dr. Lisa Feldman-Barrett is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University, with appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hosp...
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Counteract negativity bias by appreciating the goodness in life: simple acts of kindness, moments of beauty, and even your own good efforts. About Oren Jay Sofer: Oren Jay Sofer teaches mindfulness, meditation and Nonviolent Communication. He has practiced meditation since 1997, beginning his studies in Bodh Gaya, India and is a long-time student of Joseph Goldstein, Michele McDonald, and Ajahn Sucitto, and is a graduate of the I...
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Learn to use mindfulness of your natural breath as a way to create relaxation for yourself, any time, any place. About Oren Jay Sofer: Oren Jay Sofer teaches mindfulness, meditation and Nonviolent Communication. He has practiced meditation since 1997, beginning his studies in Bodh Gaya, India and is a long-time student of Joseph Goldstein, Michele McDonald, and Ajahn Sucitto, and is a graduate of the IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Train...
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The great meditation teacher Ram Dass once said, “If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family.” My guest today comes with tools to help you keep your cool when interacting with family -- or anyone else. We’re going to talk about a kind of meditation practice known as “relational dharma,” or “insight dialogue.” It’s a way of taking meditation off the cushion and into the crucible of conversation.  My guest is ...
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People in the mindfulness meditation world often note that what we’re teaching is not a breathing exercise; the goal is to just feel the breath as it naturally occurs (if you’ve chosen the breath as the thing you want to focus on). However -- and this is something we haven’t spent much time exploring on the show -- there is a ton of evidence to suggest that actual breathing exercises can also have powerful benefits, physiologically...
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