Dan Harris is a fidgety, skeptical ABC newsman who had a panic attack live on Good Morning America, which led him to something he always thought was ridiculous: meditation. He wrote the bestselling book, "10% Happier," started an app -- "10% Happier: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics" -- and now, in this podcast, Dan talks with smart people about whether there's anything beyond 10%. Basically, here's what this podcast is obsessed with: Can you be an ambitious person and still strive for enlighte...more
Suffering from his own long battle with depression, social scientist and author Johann Hari yearned for a greater understanding of what caused it and what might help combat it. Hari set out on a journey to not only meet the leading experts on depression, but to observe how other parts of the world treat it. He breaks down his research into the biological, psychological and social causes of depression and presents several fascinating studies from around the world. The Plug Zone Website: https:/...more
Our guest this week, Jay Michaelson, wears many hats. He is the author of six books and over three hundred articles on religion, sexuality, law, and contemplative practice. He is a columnist for The Daily Beast and is a frequent commentator on NPR and MSNBC. In his 'other' career, Jay is an affiliated assistant professor at Chicago Theological Seminary, teaches meditation in Jewish and Theravadan Buddhist lineages, and holds nondenominational rabbinic ordination. And for a decade, he was a profe...more
With suicide being the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, the likelihood is that nearly every person in this country knows someone who has died by suicide. In just the last couple of weeks, we learned of the suicides of three people linked by American tragedies - two survivors of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the father of a child who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Jeremy Richman, a recent guest on our podcast. ABC's Chief ...more
We all have biases, and only by acknowledging them can we make a conscious decision to not act on them. That's one of the teachings of our guest this week, award-winning psychologist Dolly Chugh, who studies the psychology of human bias. She's also the author of the book, "The Person You Mean To Be: How Good People Fight Bias." Chugh also discusses the role meditation can play in helping to combat acting on our biases. The Plug Zone Website: http://www.dollychugh.com/ Book: http://www.dollychug...more
Our guest this week, Anuradha Bhagwati, is a writer, activist, yoga and meditation teacher, and Marine Corps veteran. She founded the Service Women's Action Network (SWAN), which brought national attention to sexual violence in the military and helped repeal the ban on women in combat. In our conversation, she details her lifelong journey of rebellion, the obstacles she's faced along the way and how she has found peace. The Plug Zone Website: https://anuradhabhagwati.com/ Social: @AnuBhagwati ...more
Gretchen Rubin describes herself as a writer who relentlessly explores human nature to understand how we can make our lives better. Through her bestselling books and her award-winning podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, she shares strategies that help people understand themselves and create a happier life. In this week's episode she sits down with Dan to discuss the connection between happiness and decluttering, which is also the topic of her latest book, "Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter an...more
This week's guest, Mirabai Bush, has co-written a book with spiritual teacher Ram Dass entitled "Walking Each Other Home: Conversations on Loving and Dying. In the book, and in our conversation, Bush explores how death can help us cultivate gratitude, compassion, mindfulness, and an abiding joy in the simple beauty of living. The Plug Zone Website: http://www.mirabaibush.com/ Website: https://www.ramdass.org/
Social scientist, author and podcast host Arthur C. Brooks believes America has developed a "culture of contempt." He feels we increasingly view people who disagree with us not as merely incorrect or misguided, but as worthless, which is warping political discourse, tearing us apart as people, and even wrecking our health. In this week's episode, Brooks discusses his meditation practice, his relationship with the Dalai Lama and how we can bridge national divides and make progress as a society, a...more
Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter from the Potential Project discuss their mission of enhancing performance for leaders and large organizations through mindfulness. Potential Project believes we can cocreate a more peaceful and kinder world by helping others reach a calmer and more focused mindset. Hougaard and Carter have deep roots in the practice of meditation and mindfulness and have written books about what kind of mental qualities are needed for leaders in today's society along with wh...more
Having dreamed of space since she was a little girl, Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides wants to use the power of space to shift our perspectives, connect us with each other and our home planet and become the kind of species we would be proud to send to the nearest star. She studied astrobiology at Stanford and Caltech, and has done research on plant life in the Canadian Arctic with NASA, dove to the bottom of the ocean with Titanic Director James Cameron and floated weightless hundreds of times as a Fl...more
Neuroscientist, philosopher, best-selling author and podcast host Sam Harris teams up with Dan this week for a special podcast recorded in front of a live audience. Dan and Sam discuss a variety of topics including what meditation is and what it isn't, different types of meditation and they offer insight on meditation retreats. They also answer an array of questions from their live audience. This special program took place at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles on May 4th, 2018. Have ...more
If it were not for this week's guest, Dan Harris may never have found meditation. Mark Epstein, M.D. is a psychiatrist and the author of a number of books about the interface of Buddhism and psychotherapy. Dr. Epstein discovered Buddhism at a young age and says he saw therapy as very Buddhist, making it a natural transition. He explains how the traditions, when used together, can lead to spiritual and psychological growth. Have a question for Dan? Leave us a voicemail at 646-883-8326. The ...more
Frank Ostaseski experienced death at a young age, losing his mother as a teenager and his father just a few years later. In his search for healing, he found meditation. With this as his foundation, Ostaseski would go on to become a pioneer in end-of-life care. He co-founded the Zen Hospice Project, the first Buddhist hospice in America, establishing a model for mindful and compassionate care and he founded the Metta Institute training countless healthcare clinicians and caregivers treating those...more
You remember that old commercial where the guys says, "I'm not only the Hair Club President, but I�m also a client."? That's kind of how Ellen Hendriksen sees herself. She's a clinical psychologist who helps millions calm their anxiety and be their authentic selves through her award-winning Savvy Psychologist podcast, and at Boston University's Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders. But she doesn't just help others, she too has suffered from social anxiety. Hendriksen explains the techniques ...more
Oliver Burkeman writes about social psychology, self-help culture, productivity, and the science of happiness in This Column Will Change Your Life for The Guardian. In his writings, he challenges "The Power of Positive Thinking," and in fact argues for the benefits of contemplating worst-case scenarios. His new book, "The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking," explores the benefits of negativity, uncertainty, failure and imperfection. Have a question for Dan? Leav...more
With the new year upon us, it's the perfect time to help you make those resolutions stick. This week Dan Harris and his "Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics" co-author, meditation instructor Jeff Warren, listen to and answer your questions about how to begin a meditation practice, make it stick, and many other queries which may arise during the course of your practice. Have a question for Dan? Leave us a voicemail at 646-883-8326. The Plug Zone Website: http://jeffwarren.org/ Meditation for ...more
Ben Feder was the CEO of a tremendously successful company, but it was coming at great personal cost. Returning home from his worldwide business travels, he greeted his family, only to realize how disconnected he felt from them. For years he had sacrificed time with his family to focus on his work, but at this moment he decided something needed to change. He embarked on a year-long sabbatical, in a very big way. He gave up his job, pulled his kids out of school and moved his family from New York...more
You may know Paula Faris as the former co-host of ABC's The View or Dan's former co-anchor on ABC's Good Morning America weekend edition. What you don't know is why she decided to leave these TWO dream jobs, and the role that meditation and her faith played in that life-altering decision. Have a question for Dan? Leave us a voicemail at 646-883-8326. The Plug Zone Check out Paula's podcast: Journeys of Faith http://abcn.ws/journeys
In every conversation we have, from mundane to serious, our personal motivations drive what we say. But most of the time we are not aware of what our personal motivations are and we can end up mindlessly saying something that causes conflict with someone else. Oren Sofer has spent years studying this and has written a how-to guide to help people apply mindfulness techniques to have more meaningful conversations. He describes the importance of learning to communicate better as a "life hack" that ...more
For many years it was Ruth King's job to work with large corporations, making them aware of racial bias within their company and helping them rectify it through diversity training and leadership development programs. Over time, for a variety of reasons, she decided it was time for a change. However, just as she was about to move in a new direction, she met a woman who would introduce her to meditation, which in turn would revolutionize how she approached the challenges of her career from that po...more
Michael Gelb found his calling during a tumultuous time in American history. It was during the polarized 1970s Gelb decided he wanted to look for ways to help people clearly think through and debate real issues. He found meditation to be a good starting point, which eventually led him to England, where he studied the spiritual traditions of the world and how they're interconnected. Gelb explains how he took these studies of consciousness and self-awareness and translated them into practical tech...more
Musician Amos Lee started meditating in college as a way to cope with his mother's breast cancer diagnosis and his own Generalized Anxiety Disorder. For two years, he was going on retreats and meditating two hours a day. Lee knows what it's like to face personal hardships, so he views his music "as a service," a way to reach out and comfort people who may also be suffering. He talks about how working on his new album, "My New Moon," was therapeutic for him, writing about some very personal exper...more
ABC News Senior National Correspondent Matt Gutman is, unfortunately, no stranger to tragedy, both in his career as a journalist and his personal life. He learned the practice of meditation at just 12 years old, mere months before his father would be killed in a plane crash. And now, nearly 30 years later he's reporting on how meditation played a role in the miraculous rescue of 12 boys trapped in a cave in his new book, "The Boys in the Cave: Deep Inside the Impossible Rescue in Thailand." He o...more
Tal Rabinowitz was a top executive at NBC, developing some of the network's high profile comedy programs, but after nearly 20 years in the business she was let go. And then, SHE let go. Rabinowitz found herself burned out and ready to take her career in a new direction. She tells Dan how and why she decided to open up her own meditation studio, what her meditation practice looks like and how she's introducing meditation to her two-year-old daughter.
Kindness has a bad rap, often being viewed as a sign of weakness. But Adam Grant, an award-winning researcher and Wharton's highest-rated professor, tells Dan Harris good guys don't have to finish last. In fact, Givers, those willing to help others, are often the top performers in their field of choice. Later in the interview, Dan and Adam engage in a thoughtful debate about the benefits of meditation.
While so much of science is dedicated to finding the causes and cures for depression, anxiety and stress, Shawn Achor studies the opposite. He is a happiness researcher. Achor looks at the science of happiness and uses research-based techniques to make us more optimistic and help us lead happier lives.
At just 32 years old Strauss Zelnick became the president and chief operating officer of 20th Century Fox. He was young, successful and appeared to have it all, but internally he was struggling. Zelnick says he was unhappy, anxious all the time and drinking every night. Now, nearly 30 years later, Zelnick remains super successful and thanks to his daily physical and spiritual practice he's become the picture of health. Zelnick reveals his secrets in his new book Becoming Ageless: The Four Secr...more
Susan Piver was a tough girl. Like, crime-fighting, head of the Boston chapter of the Guardian Angels tough. After nearly being killed by a drunk driver, her path led her to yoga, meditation and Buddhism -- which, by her own admission, made her "soft." But, only by softening toward herself, was she able to soften toward others. Having learned she could apply her teachings to relationships, in the midst of marital troubles and fearing divorce, she was inspired to apply the four noble truths of Bu...more
Platinum-selling country artist Brett Eldredge has the headlining tour, the sold-out venues, the number one hits and an Insta-famous dog named Edgar, but through all his successes, the singer/songwriter says he has long struggled with panic attacks and anxiety. Eldredge has recently picked up gratitude-journaling as a way to help him slow down, reflect and give himself a break from being so hard on himself. He puts his own vulnerabilities on vivid display in this candid interview with Dan.
While working on a difficult case with some particularly difficult opposing council, Scott Rogers said he had a moment during a mindfulness sitting when he realized the way he was dealing with the matter of litigation wasn't reducing that quality of dissatisfaction with that experience, it was contributing to it. Rogers, who has written several books, now serves as the director of the Mindfulness in Law program at the University of Miami School of Law, working with law students and faculty to em...more
Comedian and writer Dan St. Germain has earned laughs on "The Break with Michelle Wolf," "Superior Donuts," The White House Correspondents Dinner, his stand-up routines and many more, but behind it all, he has struggled with substance abuse, anxiety and panic attacks, and uses meditation to ground himself.
Mallika Chopra calls meditation "a great gift" to her life, not only because she said it causes a dramatically positive change in her father, Deepak Chopra, but also because it has helped her through her own parenting journey of raising two daughters with her husband. - Nightline debate, "Does God Have a Future?" https://abcn.ws/2Nv5OPw - Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: @mallikachopra - Website: http://www.mallikachopra.com/ - Books: http://www.mallikachopra.com/books-2/
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, whose most recent book is "Training in Tenderness: Buddhist Teachings on Tsewa, the Radical Openness of Heart That Can Change the World," believes it's possible for all humans to develop compassion towards each other, but it starts with realizing the motivation behind ones own desires. - Website: http://www.mangalashribhuti.org/VDKR - Book: "Training in Tenderness: Buddhist Teachings on Tsewa, the Radical Openness of Heart That Can Change the World" and others: http...more
Having been raised in the Mormon faith, Thomas McConkie was feeling a little lost after he had a falling out with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, his family and his faith-based community. When he started going to a Zen meditation center in Salt Lake City, Utah, a daily practice became "a lifeline," McConkie said, and it eventually helped him make his was back to Mormonism, start a meditation center called Lower Lights School of Wisdom and launch his "Mindfulness+" podcast.
After having two kids, Elizabeth Cutler had a friend suggest she try spin classes as a way to lose weight and less than a year later, she and her business partner Julie Rice launched SoulCycle. After the pair sold the multimillion-dollar company in 2016, Cutler decided to take her family on sabbatical, pulling her kids out of school so they could take classes online as they traveled all over the world, and all the while she tried to keep a regular morning meditation routine.
For a long time, Culture Abuse's 31-year-old frontman David Kelling didn't want to perform in public. As all five members of the San Francisco-based punk band opened up about things they've tried to work through, Kelling, who has Cerebral palsy, said he felt that the frontman is "supposed to be good looking, in shape and this and that ... and so it is hard" when he "didn't really have any examples" of lead singer/songwriters who played with disabilities, and now that the band goes on tour, he ad...more
"There was more snowstorms than meditators in Alabama when I was growing up," said Light Watkins, who started a career as a working model before switching gears to become a yoga teacher and then dove into the world of Vedic meditation. With his newest book, "Bliss More, How to Succeed in Meditation Without Really Trying," Watkins, who is now a meditation teacher and lives as a nomad, said his mission is to "simplify the approach" to meditation "and help people start something that they can get e...more
Spring Washam was on a meditation retreat when she felt herself falling apart, so much so that she picked up "the red phone," screamed out "HELP." That moment launched Washam onto a "whole other journey" to work through her past and find sources of her suffering, which she details in her book, "A Fierce Heart: Finding Strength, Wisdom, and Courage in Any Moment."
Spiritual leaders often have great influence over their followers but there are times, author Scott Edelstein says, when some leaders will use their position of power to manipulate, shame and abuse others. Edelstein discusses how spiritual leaders can "stray," even become predatory, and suggests ways for a healthy student-teacher relationships, which he lays out in his book, "Sex and the Spiritual Teacher."
Jeremy Richman remembers his daughter Avielle as a fun spirit with "this unbelievable smile that she would just give out to anybody," who was as happy playing dress-up as a fairy at a ball as she was practicing Kung Fu and shooting a bow and arrow outside. Avielle was killed with 19 of her classmates and six educators in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, and in her memory, the Richmans started The Avielle Foundation, which funds research on brain health and ...more
Her body badly broken in a horrific bus crash in Laos, Alison Wright was still trying to breathe as she realized that she may not make it out alive. But not only did she survive, the award-winning National Geographic photographer called upon her years of meditation practice to keep breathing as she re-learned how to walk, overcame months of debilitating pain, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and even got back on a bus in Laos, all of which she details in her memoir, "Learning to Breathe: One Woman's Jour...more
Since invading the condiments market with Sir Kensington's, a line of ketchup, mustard and other spreads, company co-founder Scott Norton said meditation has helped him slow down and have better self-assessment under the stress of managing a start-up.
Author and religion scholar Diana Butler Bass has tried on many forms of Christianity, from growing up Methodist to becoming an Evangelical Christian for years and then joining the Episcopal Church, where she started exploring Centering Prayer and eventually meditation. Though her 10 books span a range of facets on Christianity, Bass says writing her most recent book, "Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks," saved her life.
Stephanie Sarkis, an author and expert in ADHD, anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorder and chronic pain, brings a unique perspective to her work because she herself struggles with ADHD and anxiety. Working mostly with adults, from college-age on up, Sarkis said she began recommending mindfulness meditation to her clients and then began a practice herself when she read about the possible benefits and saw positive changes in those she treated.
Roshi Joan Halifax came to New York City by way of New Orleans in the '60s with a thirst to engage in social justice, protesting "everything related to discrimination," she said, and the Vietnam War. Halifax, whose latest book is called "Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet," went on to become a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist and a pioneer in the field of end-of-life care who has brought her work into psychiatric programs, penitentiaries and refugee cam...more
It was around the time she decided to go on her second meditation retreat that Sally Kohn, a gay, Jewish, community organizer turned political commentator, took a job as a commentator for Fox News. In her TV career -- she's now a commentator for CNN -- Kohn has experienced hateful personal attacks from online trolls and recently faced some backlash over her first book, "The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide To Repairing Our Humanity," but with her book she has lead a conversation around finding co...more
Comedian Paul Gilmartin was the host of TV's "Dinner and a Movie" for 16 years, but smiling and acting happy on-screen often "felt like lifting 500 pounds," he said, as he struggled behind the scenes with depression and even contemplated suicide. When the show ended, Gilmartin launched "The Mental Illness Happy Hour" podcast, which he said has been a valuable outlet that allowed him to work through his claims of being sexually abused by his mother and helping others with their own personal strug...more
Dan Harris leads a conversation with Thupten Jinpa, the Dalai Lama's longtime English-language translator and a monk for over 25 years, about the uses for compassion meditation in today's culture in front of a live audience at the Asia Society in New York City. Their conversation was recorded on Feb. 15, 2018, one day after 17 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
It was an "out of body moment," Catherine Price said, when she realized her newborn daughter had been looking up at her but she had been looking down on her phone, scrolling through antique door knobs on eBay. It led the "How To Break Up With Your Phone" author to redefine her connection to her device and she now offers her advice on how we can go from an "obsessive relationship" to a "friends with benefits" situation with our phones that's still enjoyable but establishes boundaries.
George Haas has worked as a filmmaker, an artist, a doorman at "every major nightclub in New York City" in the '80s, and now he's a meditation teacher in Los Angeles, but even his meditation journey has many turns. "What can I tell you, I'm a seeker," Haas said, as he described how a regular practice helped ease the psychological trauma of a "crappy childhood," got him sober and now he guides others through his attachment theory-based healing practices.
Vox's editor-at-large and journalist Ezra Klein, formerly of The Washington Post, has made a name for himself as a political commentator, finding context within the chaos of our political scene and exploring the idea of what a political system would look like if created amidst tribalism. Klein, who hosts the popular podcast, "The Ezra Klein Show," also argues in our interview that it's important to take a step back from social media - Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat and others - and be mindful enoug...more
Janice Marturano was a vice president at General Mills working on the Pillsbury merger deal in 2000 when she lost both her parents, and began a regular meditation practice as a way to soothe stress at work and in her personal life. Noticing the relief a daily practice brought her, and wanting to lead by example, she sought out a way to introduce mindfulness to her coworkers, and by the time she left General Mills to start the Institute for Mindful Leadership, she said more than 700 employees had...more
"All of us in our lives make decisions about when to do things. 'When should I work out? When should I do this kind of work, when should I do that kind of work? When should I start a project, when should I abandon a project?' ... and the best time of day to do something depends on what that something is," said Daniel Pink, a New York Times bestselling author whose new book is called "When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing." Pink, who was trained as a lawyer and now runs his own company a...more
When author and Wall Street Journal reporter Andrea Petersen was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder at age 20, she was relieved to finally have a name for the thing that had controlled most of her life to the point where she feared walking up a flight of stairs or standing in line at the store. But understanding and overcoming her anxieties was a different odyssey, one she describes in "On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety," a memoir she was inspired to write after interviewing college students ab...more
As a former pro-football player and two sport All-American, world-record holding athlete, Lewis Howes built his life around being the tough, "get back up and play" jock, and it took him a long time to learn how to shed "The Mask of Masculinity," to realize that stamping out emotion was causing him great suffering. The 34-year-old entrepreneur and best-selling author had a breakthrough a few years ago when he opened up for the first time about a horrific childhood trauma and now Howes shares insp...more
The WeCroak app, which sends reminders that you're going to die -- five times a day, is not meant to be morbid, founder Hansa Bergwall said, but to make us stop and appreciate the moment we're living in. "Remembering that you're going to die is really important," said Bergwall, a publicist, writer and meditation teacher in Brooklyn, who was 11 years old when his mother died. "Sometimes that's all it takes to take a deep breath, change the program and do something different, feel something differ...more
Dr. Jannell MacAulay, a lieutenant colonel and flight instructor in the United States Air Force with over 3,000 flying hours as a combat veteran, sees mindfulness meditation as national security asset. A former commander of the 400-member joint 305th Operations Support Squadron, MacAulay teaches mindfulness to her fellow commanders and other Airmen in order to improve their leadership and mission-focused performance, as well as change the culture within a high-stress military organization.
"Part of what I have decided for myself - it's a decision - I don't want to be part of the pain, creating more pain in the world, for myself or for others," said Rhonda Magee, a law professor at University of San Francisco. "So it's that capacity with mindfulness to get a sense into ... what my own experience of feeling vulnerable, feeling afraid, what it does to me, how I start to look at the world through the lens of that ... now [I'm] at a place where I'm not reacting from a place of fear." A...more
Brad Katsuyama's blood pressure levels were "out of control" and he decided to make a significant change in his life. The Canada native left his job at Royal Bank of Canada, began a regular meditation practice and started IEX, a stock exchange that took on predatory high-speed trading and was the subject of Michael Lewis' best-selling book, "Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt."
Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks and David Letterman are just some of the dozens of celebrities who sought out Bob Roth to learn Transcendental Meditation (TM), a mantra-focused meditation practice. Roth, who has been a meditation teacher for over 40 years and has a new book out called, "Strength in Stillness," talks about how he found TM and addresses the criticism and suspicions some former members have raised around TM.
Susan Kaiser Greenland, an author and former corporate attorney, and Annaka Harris, an author and editor, work together to teach mindfulness meditation to children and their families through Greenland's Inner Kids Foundation. They offer advice for parents on introducing meditation to their kids and starting group sessions with other families, but they also share their views on the controversial topic of teaching meditation in schools and how they tackle concerns many parents have about teaching ...more
Tim Ferriss, the host of "The Tim Ferriss Show" podcast and the author of several best-selling books, including "The 4-Hour Workweek" and "Tribe of Mentors," has built an entire empire around offering life-hacking advice, but when someone suggested he try meditation, he resisted for a while. He tried various forms, then eventually dove head first into doing a 10-day silent retreat, where he came face-to-face with a long-buried childhood trauma that made him re-evaluate how he cared for himself.
Yael Shy, the author of "What Now? Meditation for Your Twenties and Beyond," says she came to meditation from "a lot of suffering" as a student at New York University in 2001 -- the same year the World Trade Center towers fell near her New York City dorm during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Today, Shy helps college students tackle stress, anger and FOMO (fear of missing out) around academics, relationships, sex and social media in her role as the senior director of NYU Global Spiritual Life and th...more
Danica Patrick is one of the most successful female drivers in racing history, having been the first and only woman to win an IndyCar race. Since becoming a staple on the race track, Patrick has expanded her repertoire to include owning a winery, launching a clothing line and writing a new lifestyle book called, "Pretty Intense: The 90-Day Mind, Body and Food Plan," which she developed after changing her own diet and exercise routine while going through the process of freezing her eggs.
James Altucher, an entrepreneur, writer and host of "The James Altucher Show" podcast, is a master of reinvention, so much in fact that the title of one of his 18 books is "Reinvent Yourself." Altucher has built and sold numerous companies (and made and lost a few fortunes in the process), once gave up all of his possessions and was homeless for a time, dabbles in stand-up comedy, and all the while has maintained his long history with meditation.
Manoush Zomorodi, the host of WNYC's "Note to Self" podcast, is an advocate for boredom because allowing our minds to wander, she says, can lead to problem solving and fresh ideas. Her book, "Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self," stems from an experiment in which she convinced more than 20,000 listeners to try to disconnect from their phones, just be bored for a moment and jump-start their creativity.
We close out the year by hearing from you, our loyal listeners! We recently set up a voicemail where listeners left questions for our host Dan Harris and he answers a selection of them that range from how to start a practice, how to tell your friends it's not "weird" to meditate and how to afford retreats. Dan's new book, "Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-To Book," is on sale Dec. 26.
Dan interviews his wife, Bianca Harris, who is a big part of the storyline in his new book, "Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book." She resisted starting a meditation practice for years, but has recently made a change. The book is on sale Dec. 26 and available for pre-order now.
Meditation teacher and writer Jeff Warren and our host Dan Harris reflect on their January 2017 road trip, in which they traveled from New York City to Los Angeles to talk with people about what keeps them from meditating, and in the process, the two friends discuss how meditation has helped them work through their own personal struggles. Their new book on their journey, written with Carlye Adler, is called "Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book," which is on sale Dec. 26 an...more
There has been an explosion of research in recent years on what meditation does to the brain, but as neuroscientist Dave Vago points out, the science of putting meditation under neuro-imaging is still quite young. Vago, the research director for the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, studies brain scans of meditators to analyze changes in brain activity, blood flow, size and function of certain areas in the brain, and he was part of a group of scientis...more
On "Good Morning America," Ginger Zee is known as ABC News' bright, always-smiling chief meteorologist, but now she is sharing that, in reality, she has long battled storms within herself. Zee, who was born Ginger Zuidgeest, discusses her new memoir, "Natural Disaster: I Cover Them. I Am One."
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage and Shambhala International, has a new book out called, "The Lost Art of Good Conversation: A Mindful Way to Connect with Others and Enrich Everyday Life" -- poignant for this time of deep divisions in the U.S. and abroad. Born in Bodhagaya, India but bought up in the West, Sakyong Mipham who talks about how conversation is powerful because it begins with recognizing that "there's another person" with you, and he says, as a marr...more
With the holidays (and shopping season) upon us, we asked our friends The Minimalists (Ep. #32) for a short meditation to help us focus on what's truly important.
Author, motivational speaker and former pro-skier Bonnie St. John had her right leg amputated at age 5, but that has never slowed her down. The San Diego native made a Paralympics run in 1984 and became the first African-American to win medals in Winter Olympics competition. A Rhodes Scholar, St. John went on to serve on the White House National Economic Council and has written seven books, including one with her husband called "Micro-Resilience," which outlines five frameworks for small "life h...more
Chuck Raison, a psychiatrist and a professor of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, and Vlad Maletic, a clinical professor of neuropsychiatry and behavior science at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, wrote a book together called, "The New Mind-Body Science of Depression," in which they offer research on the mind-body connection, such as looking at the immune system, as a way to tackle depression. But their conversation also d...more
Andrew Scheffer's decision to try meditation after his freshman year of college launched him on a journey where he traveled the world, spent over a year training as a Buddhist monk and worked with the famed Buddhist master, Sayadaw U Pandita, before going on to earn an MBA from the prestigious Wharton School of Business. After working in finance, Scheffer founded and leads "Mindfulness Matters," a corporate training program that applies meditation practices to leadership skills, teaching all sor...more
Growing up in a post-9/11 Pakistan, Shiza Shahid had what she called an "activist childhood," where she volunteered in prisons, refugee camps and disaster relief efforts after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake. When the Taliban issued an edict banning girls from going to school, the then-Stanford University sophomore created a secret summer camp in Pakistan for girls, one of which was a 12-year-old Malala Yousafzai. When Malala was shot in 2012 by a Taliban gunman, Shahid co-founded the Malala Fund to...more
Leslie Booker was working as a wardrobe stylist, dressing models for a living, and was looking for a way to transition out of the industry and her winding path -- she lives a nomadic lifestyle -- eventually brought her to becoming a meditation teacher. A Navy brat who grew up in Virginia and Japan, Booker is also an activist who was involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement and has worked with incarcerated youth, and she shared her thoughts on how the Dharma has changed the way she approaches ...more
As the X Ambassadors' fame grew, drummer Adam Levin noticed he was always waiting for something to go wrong. With more success, came more anxiety, "and that's not a fun way to live," he said. Levin talks about how the rock star life drove him to meditation, as well as how the band works together, what lead singer Sam Harris goes through to care for his voice, and why Levin thinks the band's next album is "the best work" they've "ever done."
When author and journalist Sally Quinn needs a moment of peace or clarity, she said, "I walk the labyrinth." A labyrinth walk has long represented a journey or pilgrimage and Quinn uses it for walking meditation -- her late husband, legendary Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, even built one for her at their Maryland estate. Quinn, who launched the Post's 'On Faith' website as a self-proclaimed atheist, talks about her new memoir, "Finding Magic," her notorious D.C. dinner parties and...more
Anderson Cooper, a 23-year news veteran, is the anchor of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" and a contributor to CBS News' "60 Minutes." His reporting for a "60 Minutes" piece on mindfulness led him to start his own meditation practice, and he talks at length in our interview about how it has brought him some peace and perspective after dealing with the deaths of his father and brother, being "incredibly introverted" and being a good journalist in the age of Twitter.
The new biopic about reclusive author J.D. Salinger explores his formative years, from struggling writer, to serving in World War II, to publishing his famous and controversial 1951 novel, "The Catcher in the Rye," to using meditation to deal with PTSD. Actor Nicholas Hoult, who plays Salinger, and Danny Strong, who wrote and directed the film, are both meditators themselves and talk about diving into this tortured author's mind to bring his story to the big screen.
On a live show, anything can happen, but Tom Bergeron trusts he can handle it. The host of ABC's hit dancing competition show, "Dancing With the Stars," has been meditating for over 35 years and credits his years of TM practice for keeping his cool and "responding appropriately" on the fly in front of judges, contestants and a live studio audience, as well as managing "a really bad temper."
In her new book, "The Four Tendencies," best-selling author and speaker Gretchen Rubin breaks down what she denotes as four different personality profiles -- Upholder, Questioner, Obligor and Rebel. Rubin, who is also the host of the popular podcast, "Happier with Gretchen Rubin," and calls herself an "Upholder," says "The Four Tendencies" help explain how we form or break habits, how we respond to "inner" expectations of ourselves, such as keeping a New Year's resolution, and how we meet "outer...more
Dan Goleman and Richie Davidson, both titans in their respective fields and best-selling authors, have co-written a new book out now entitled, "Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain and Body." Goleman, a renowned psychologist and science journalist, and Davidson, a prominent neuroscientist and founder of the Center for Healthy Minds, talk about their cutting-edge research in this new book, comparing brain activity of "Olympic level" meditators (such as monks) to...more
Justin von Bujdoss was working as a hospice chaplain in New York City, traveling all over the five boroughs and greater metropolitan area to visit patients, when he began volunteering at the city's notorious Rikers Island Jail. Von Bujdoss started out teaching meditation to groups of female inmates, but now he's the first ever staff chaplain for the city's Department of Corrections, providing spiritual and emotional support for officers, and he talks about seeing suffering on both sides of priso...more
Being out on a surfboard, when it's just you and the ocean, is "a meditative space," Jaimal Yogis said, "There's a certain amount of solitude that's just built into the experience." The longtime surfer and meditation teacher talks about his first memoir, "Saltwater Buddha," a coming-of-age story about running away at 16 and buying a one-way ticket to Maui to surf, joining a monastery and almost becoming a Zen monk and then launching a journalism career, and his second memoir, "All Our Waves Are ...more
"Progress on the meditation path tends to involve moral progress. You tend to become a better person as well as a happier person... I personally think that you should not be allowed to call yourself enlightened if you're a jerk," said Robert Wright, a best-selling author with extensive knowledge on philosophy and religion. Wright, whose new book out now is titled, "Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment," offers his thoughts (and skepticism) on what it m...more
LeAnn Rimes has been making a name for herself and her powerful voice since her early teens -- she's the youngest person ever to win a Grammy -- and the country music star's career includes writing books and appearing in TV series and movies, including the new film, "Logan Lucky." In our interview, Rimes opens up about another side of her life: How meditation has changed how she feels about herself and interacts with others.
"I don�t claim that ['The Princess Bride'] is a Buddhist story, but I do think it has some Buddhist elements," Ethan Nichtern said. "It's a deconstructed fairytale that's... really about trying to navigate relationships from this space of compassionately not knowing." Nichtern, a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition, uses moments from the cult-classic movie in his upcoming book, "The Dharma of The Princess Bride," out Sept. 12, to illustrate his personal life -- he says his father'...more
In the final installment from the "10% Happier" road trip, Dan Harris and meditation teacher Jeff Warren ended their cross-country tour at a Wanderlust Hollywood event in February, where they hosted a live discussion and Q&A with recording artist Moby and Bill Duane, the Superintendent of Well-Being at Google. The guys offered their advice on how to overcome meditation frustrations.
Anurag Gupta, who immigrated to the U.S. from India at age 10, has devoted much of his adult life to helping reduce racial inequality and transform bias into awareness and understanding with mindfulness techniques. An attorney and mindfulness expert, Gupta founded BE MORE America, a non-profit that works with various organizations, including hospitals, banks, tech firms and police academies, to train professionals on how to eliminate bias in hiring and decision making.
Shortly before his 40th birthday, Rich Roll was walking up a flight of stairs when he suddenly felt like he was about to have a heart attack. That terrifying moment led the former entertainment attorney, who had already been through rehab for alcohol abuse, to overhaul his lifestyle and now he is a dedicated vegan who has completed some of the world's most grueling and extreme endurance races.
At a time when there have been controversial police shootings of unarmed civilians and many officers risking their lives to protect their communities feel under siege, one potentially constructive element being introduced into this highly-charged atmosphere is mindfulness. Richard Goerling, a police lieutenant in Hillsboro, Oregon, who has served in law enforcement for 20 years, works with police departments around the country to teach officers how reduce stress, combat unnecessary use of force ...more
It's easy to become addicted to the constant stream of information coming at us from the 24-hour news cycle, social media, and our own desire to be informed. Led by Sebene Selassie (Podcast Ep. #42), this meditation helps us take a break from information overload. This meditation is part of a new Mindfulness in an Age of Polarization series on the 10% Happier app. Whether your personal politics lean left or right - top teachers have been enlisted to create bipartisan meditations that can help us...more
Virginia Heffernan, who has written for several major publications including as a television and Internet culture columnist for the New York Times, opens up for the first time about her addiction to prescription drugs and her decision to get sober. The author of "Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art" and a co-host for Slate's "Trumpcast" podcast, Heffernan talks about the turmoil she was facing in her work and personal life, her relationship with religion and her Twitter persona @Page88.
In another installment from the "10% Happier" road trip, Dan Harris and meditation teacher Jeff Warren sat down with Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, at the congressman's office on Capitol Hill in January shortly after President Trump's inauguration. Ryan, who has been meditating for years, talks about bringing in teachers to host meditation sessions for members of Congress and their staffs, and why he believes meditation should be taught in public schools.
VanyerMedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk got his start as "the wine guy" when he launched one of the first wine e-commerce websites in the U.S. He began making a wine video blog as YouTube was coming up and went on to build an entire social media-focused empire. Vaynerchuk was skeptical of trying meditation, so Dan brought in mindfulness teacher Cory Muscara (Ep. #82) to help.
Renowned mindfulness teacher Mark Coleman, founder of Awake in the Wild and The Mindfulness Institute, has led wilderness meditation retreats from Alaska to Peru. Coleman talks about making peace with our "judging thoughts" and how nature can "open the heart" and relieve stress, even if you're stuck on a cross-country flight and taking notice of the landscape below or just taking a moment to feel the wind on your face.
James Gimian, who has been in publishing since the '70s, started covering the emerging mindfulness movement for a small magazine years ago when he said it became clear that secular mindfulness was taking root in "a big and significant way." In 2011, he spearheaded the launch of Mindful, a mission-oriented non-profit organization and magazine dedicated to bringing secular mindfulness to the masses, offering community building, profile pieces, advice and guidance.
This a special pre-Tony Awards episode of the podcast with multi-platinum recording artist and actor Josh Groban, who is nominated for best lead actor in a musical for his role in Broadway's "Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812." Dan Harris and meditation teacher Jeff Warren sat down with Groban at the start of their cross-country meditation bus tour back in January to teach this Broadway first-timer how to meditate.
Cory Muscara, 27 years old, admits he first tried meditation because he wanted to impress his college girlfriend -- but it changed his life forever. Muscara, an econ major who considered a finance career, switched gears and spent six months practicing mindfulness meditation as a Buddhist monk, completed numerous meditation training programs and eventually became the founder and head teacher of the Long Island Center for Mindfulness, bringing meditation into school, health care and corporate sett...more
In conjunction with Sharon Salzberg's new book, "Real Love," the folks at the 10% Happier app recorded a series of six audio meditations that can be used as a complement to the book or as standalone. The first of this series is being made available right here on the 10% Happier podcast and is about connecting with your own goodness. If that sounds gooey, Sharon breaks it down for us in her inimitable style, showing us how recognizing the good is a healthy counter to habits of self-criticism and ...more
"I think people do things motivated by love, certainly more strongly sometimes, and more successfully, than when motivated by hate... I think love is actually the force that keeps us going," said renowned meditation teacher and best-selling author Sharon Salzberg. A regular on the "10% Happier" podcast, Salzberg talks about her new book, "Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection," out June 6, which explores how we can change the way we feel about having self-compassion, love for all beings and l...more
ALERT: This episode contains "Scandal" spoilers! Bellamy Young, best known for playing Mellie Grant on ABC's hit show, "Scandal," said making meditation part of her daily routine has helped improve her sleep and process her character's heavy, emotional narratives. And she dishes on what was changed in the original "Scandal" season 6 plotline.
Many of us get into meditation because we want to be calmer, less stressed and less yanked around by our emotions, but sometimes there are unwanted effects. Brown University researchers Willoughby Britton, an assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior, and Jared Lindahl, a visiting assistant professor of religious studies, published a new study today on the wide range of difficult experiences and challenges meditators they interviewed said they faced in their practice.
Buddhist meditation teacher Lodro Rinzler, who had been meditating for most of his life, found himself dealing with multiple, heartbreaking tribulations in his 20s and he fell into despair for a while. After working through his experience, Rinzler, who has written six books and co-founded MNDFL in New York City, focused on having conversations about how Buddhist teachings can help others cope with devastating life events.
Stand-up comedian Jen Kirkman was introduced to meditation at a young age and over the years has tried a bunch of different outlets, from 'body scan' practice to mantra to meditation classes, to help her deal with panic disorder, depression, anxiety and the chaos of a hectic schedule in the entertainment industry. Kirkman, who even includes a whole bit about her practice as part of her stand-up routine, offers a very interesting take on meditation, not only as it pertains to everyday life but al...more
Jeffrey Walker served 25 years as the CEO and cofounder of CCMP Capital, the $12 billion successor to JPMorgan Partners, JPMorgan Chase & Co's global private equity group, the vice chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and chairman of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and said he was "always pretty open" with his coworkers about practicing mindfulness -- even taught meditation to his fellow executives. Walker, who now holds leadership roles in a number of non-profits and has an investor group ca...more
Jon Kabat-Zinn was on a meditation retreat in the late '70s when he had an idea to marry science with mindfulness and bring the practice into hospitals, which then led to his redefining an important element of patient care. Kabat-Zinn is the founding executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the founding director of its renowned Stress Reduction Clinic, who created Mindfulness-Based Stress Reductio...more
Want to give meditation a try? Here's a great place to start. It's a free, guided meditation from Jon Kabat-Zinn, the creator of mindfulness-based stress reduction. When you're done, make sure to listen to Dan's full interview with Jon Kabat-Zinn, in Episode #75.
Def Jam music label founder Russell Simmons had his first experience with stillness at a yoga class -- which he admits he took because girls were there. �I went to class because of a lot of hot chicks. It's true,� Simmons says in our interview. Simmons, who practices and teaches Transcendental Meditation, has worked to bring meditation to schools to help lower their violence levels and increase students� learning abilities. He explains why being a vegan has dramatically changed his health for th...more
In a special edition of the "10% Happier" podcast, Dan Harris leads a discussion with David Leite, author of "Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love and Manic Depression," in front of a live audience in New York City. Leite talks at length about struggling with bipolar disorder for decades -- and going undiagnosed for much of that time -- but also shares funny stories about navigating relationships and his passion for food.
Life is always changing, and so are our thoughts.� In this free guided meditation, Anushka helps us become aware of our ever-changing thoughts, and helps us watch the turbulence of our inner mind.� Check out this latest meditation here on the podcast, and the find the rest of them in Anushka�s new course �Stop Ruining Your Own Day� in the 10% Happier app.
"The human central nervous system and brain is designed the same around the world... and there probably is a lot of spontaneous rediscovery in different areas of different ways you can play with the mind," Dan Goleman, renowned psychologist and author of the best-selling book, "Emotional Intelligence," says in our interview. Goleman has helped spread the concept of "emotional intelligence," or "EQ," and its four parts -- self-awareness, self-management, social awareness (empathy) and relationshi...more
Sam Harris, who has no relation to our beloved host, is a scientist, a controversial skeptic and the author of several New York Times bestsellers, including "The End of Faith," "The Moral Landscape" and "Waking Up" (also the title of his popular podcast). During our interview, Harris hosts a clinic on deconstructing "consciousness and its contents" with the help of meditation, and recognizing how getting lost in thought can be tied to suffering.
Clair Brown, an economics professor at UC-Berkeley and a Tibetan Buddhist, was teaching an introductory course when she asked herself, "How would Buddha teach Econ One?" Brown went on to write the book, "Buddhist Economics: An Enlightened Approach to the Dismal Science," and advocates for a more mindful approach to how we contribute to society, for example, that as consumers, we should work to simplify our lives by focusing on what matters most to us, buying less and reducing our carbon footprin...more
Jewel, whose poetic songs about relationships and heartache dominated the airwaves in the '90s, used writing as an outlet to deal with anxiety through a tough childhood and later, homelessness. She began looking for ways to "re-wire" her brain, change her life for the better, and came to Mindfulness. The Grammy-nominated recording artist wrote a memoir, "Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story," and stars in the upcoming Hallmark movie, "Framed for Murder: A Fixer-Upper Mystery," airing Sund...more
Jerry Colonna was working as a venture capitalist in New York City during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and as he walked by wreckage of the World Trade Center towers, he said he felt like his "world was falling apart." Colonna went on to become a practicing Buddhist and in 2014 he founded Reboot.io, a CEO-coaching company where he serves as a certified professional coach for the heads of some of the most dynamic start-ups in the United States.
In his famous book and documentary film project, "No Impact Man," Colin Beavan, a senior Dharma teacher in the Zen tradition, chronicled a year of his life as he tried to have minimal impact on the environment while living in the bustling metropolis of New York City. He followed it up with a book called, "How to Be Alive: A Guide to the Kind of Happiness that Helps the World," a sort of twist on the self-help genre that he calls "each other help."
Virginia Military Institute, a military college in Lexington, Virginia, was another stop on the cross-country meditation tour, where our host Dan Harris and meditation teacher Jeff Warren spoke to Profs. Holly Richardson and Matt Jarman, as well as a few cadets who have taken their classes. Jarman, a psychology professor who leads a "Modern Warriorship" course with meditation, and Richardson, a physical education professor who teaches a mindfulness class, both talk about how they teach cadets i...more
Here's a meditation from one of Dan's favorite teachers on the planet, Jeff Warren. In this simple practice, Jeff guides us in using the center-line of the body as an object of focus. The goal is to inch closer to that illusive feeling of fulfillment. Get more content like this from Dan and Jeff's "Two Meditators in a Car" journey on the "10% Happier" app.
During their cross-county meditation bus tour in January, our host Dan Harris and meditation teacher Jeff Warren stopped in Tempe, Arizona, to talk with Sylvia Moir, who has been the head of the Tempe Police Department for the past year. Chief Moir says her mindfulness practice has not only helped her during high-stress police calls but also in how she engages with and leads her fellow officers.
Want to give meditation a try? Here's a great place to start. It's a free, guided meditation from Buddhist scholar and meditation teacher Shinzen Young. When you're done, make sure to listen to Dan's full interview with Shinzen Young, in Episode #64.
Shinzen Young first became fascinated with Asian culture as a Jewish teenager growing up in Los Angeles in the 1950s. Now a renowned meditation teacher, Shinzen is deeply involved in scientific research into what meditation does for the brain and has a new book out called "The Science of Enlightenment."
We're offering a special pre-Oscars edition of the podcast this week with actor Billy Crudup. Best known for his role as 70s rock star Russell Hammond in "Almost Famous," Crudup stars in two Oscar-nominated films this year, "Jackie" and "20th Century Women." A Broadway star as well as a movie actor, Crudup said he began practicing mindfulness as a way to help "triage" anxiety and panic attacks he experienced, including at three separate times while performing on stage.
Hannah Hart is best known for her bubbly personality and boozy cooking mishaps on her mega-popular YouTube series, "My Drunk Kitchen," so many fans were surprised to learn about her life-long private struggle of dealing with her family's mental health issues, as detailed in her memoir, "Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded." Hart said she turned to meditation while she was fighting to get conservatorship of her mother, who suffers from psychosis. (( Links and more info below... ))
Psychiatrist and addiction expert Judson Brewer was researching better treatment options for alcohol and cocaine addiction patients and found, through clinical studies, that meditation could significantly help break these behaviors or "habit loops" and prevent relapses. Brewer, who is now the director of research at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine's Center for Mindfulness, founded a company called Claritas MindSciences, which uses neurofeedback techniques combined with mindful...more
Tibetan Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, who is originally from France, earned the moniker "world's happiest man" after brain scans taken during a neurological study on meditation (led by Dr. Richie Davidson) showed excessive activity in his brain as he meditated on compassion. A staunch vegetarian, Ricard talks about the importance of extending compassion to all beings, including animals, which he lays out in his new book, "A Plea for the Animals: The Moral, Philosophical, and Evolutionary Impera...more
Mary Karr has shared many dark pieces of her past in her memoirs, from a painful childhood, to a long struggle with alcoholism and depression, to living her entire life as an agnostic before becoming a Roman Catholic. It was when she said she found herself "sober in a mental institution" that she first began to pray and meditate, both of which are practices she continues today to stay centered.
The host of the mega-popular Top 40 radio show, "Elvis Duran and the Morning Show," has never shied away from dishing out "real talk" to his millions of listeners, not even when it comes to his dramatic weight loss after "gastric sleeve" surgery. Duran is a longtime meditator and talks about keeping up with the practice while also trying to maintain his edge.
Canada native Jeff Warren was a "chronic over-thinker" who got into meditation sort of by accident while working as a science journalist and now he's an established meditation teacher. Warren and our host Dan Harris are hitting the road this month on a cross-country bus tour to host meditation sessions with folks from all walks of life from New York City to Los Angeles.
The recent election has elicited strong emotions from people across the political spectrum. In this guided meditation from Dan's "10% Happier" app, Jeff Warren helps us all find perspective on these strong emotions and provides us with a few techniques for navigating the upcoming inauguration. A Canadian and so-called MacGyver of meditation (having a technique to help anyone with their practice), he brings both the right skills and a nonpartisan view to this American stressor.
George Stephanopoulos, the co-anchor of "Good Morning America" and the host of ABC News' Sunday morning political affairs show, "This Week," first started practicing meditation in the '90s when he was serving as a senior advisor in the Clinton administration. Stephanopoulos talks about how Transcendental Meditation has helped him deal with anxiety over the years and offers his thoughts on Donald Trump's upcoming inauguration.
Soren Gordhamer is the founder and host of the Wisdom 2.0 conference, which is lauded as one of the largest gatherings of meditators in the world, but it also has been the target of controversy. Raised in Lubbock, Texas, Gordhamer grew up as one of five kids in a Buddhist-friendly household and said he was drawn to meditation in high school as a way to deal with pain and suffering.
Vince Horn, the co-founder of Buddhist Geeks, says when he reached nirvana, he found it "disappointing" and "anti-climactic," which set him on a new journey to map his experience. A practicing meditation teacher from Asheville, N.C., Horn's latest project is called Meditate.io, a free course on aiming to make in-depth meditation training more approachable.
Josh Radnor, best known for playing Ted Mosby on TV's "How I Met Your Mother," started practicing meditation over a decade ago after he went through a break-up and never really stopped. Radnor's career extends beyond TV -- though he stars in PBS's "Mercy Street" -- to include acclaimed indie film work, Broadway roles, his current role in "The Babylon Line," and he credits meditation for helping him navigate it all.
Andrew Olendzki is a Buddhist scholar of the Pali canon, the original, authentic teachings of the Buddha that have been passed down for centuries. He even speaks Pali, the ancient Indian language the Buddha spoke and taught in. Olendzki started the Integrated Dharma Institute as a way to bring these teachings to the masses.
From the pressures of buying and receiving gifts to surviving awkward office parties, the holidays can be a stressful time of year. On a special edition of the "10% Happier" podcast, our host Dan Harris leads a roundtable discussion with two meditation teachers, Sharon Salzberg and Kate Johnson, as well as David Gelles, an author and New York Times business reporter who covers the meditation scene, on how meditation can help us get through the holidays.
We all have urges that are hard to resist this time of year. Dan's got a little tool for you to SURF these urges without reacting to them during the holiday season. (Additional Holiday Stress meditations from Sharon Salzberg and Jeff Warren are available in the 10% Happier app.)
Joe DiNardo, a businessman and attorney from Buffalo, New York, was married to his wife Marcia for 15 years when she was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. DiNardo used to his years of meditation practice to help get through the grief of losing her and in his new book, "A Letter to My Wife," he shares anecdotes about the relationship they had and the love he found.
Bob Thurman, the father of actress Uma Thurman, was one of the first Americans to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk. He later gave up his robes and is now one of the most famous Buddhist scholars around, having worked with the Dalai Lama for over 50 years and traveled the world lecturing on Buddhist teachings.
John Mulaney, known for his stand-up comedy and his work on "Saturday Night Live," first turned to meditation while filming a short-lived sitcom that bore his name, "Mulaney." He now has a daily meditation practice, which he often practices in a dark dressing room before he goes on stage for "Oh, Hello," the two-man Broadway show he co-wrote and stars in with fellow comedian Nick Kroll.
Jessica Morey has turned what some may see as the impossible -- teaching teenagers how to meditate -- into her life's work. Morey, who attended her first meditation retreat at age 14, is the co-founder and current executive director of Inward-Bound Mindfulness Education, or iBme. It�s a non-profit organization that takes teens to residential retreat centers and out into the woods for hiking and meditation across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Born and raised in India, Sadhguru says he spent his childhood and adolescence as a "super skeptic" who didn�t grow up "with anything spiritual or religious." He spent his days crisscrossing the country on his motorcycle, he launched successful businesses, but then he had an experience in his 20s that changed the direction of his life forever. Sadhguru is now a world renowned yogi and mystic who talks about how ancient yogic practices can be relevant and helpful in contemporary times. He's the f...more
Fewer than 50 people have accomplished the Explorer's Grand Slam, a challenge of summiting the highest peaks on each of the seven continents and completing treks to the North and South poles. Colin O'Brady not only completed the EGS this summer, he shattered the world record for it, finishing in just 139 days. O'Brady also set the world record for climbing the seven summits -- summiting Kilimanjaro in just 11.5 hours. Five years ago, a friend suggested he try mediation and recommended a 10-day s...more
Duncan Sheik first made a name for himself in the mid-90s with the hit song, "Barely Breathing," and has since reinvented himself as a Broadway composer. He won two Tonys and a Grammy Award for music he composed for the smash Broadway hit, "Spring Awakening," and he also composed music for Broadway's "American Psycho." But when Sheik first started out, performing on stage made him very nervous and it wasn't until he was introduced to Nichiren Buddhism, which involves the practice of a form of ma...more
This election has been brutal on the American psyche (on both sides of the aisle). In this meditation from Dan's "10% Happier" app, Jeff Warren leads us in a guided practice to gain perspective and find a bit of balance. Jeff delivers with the candor and hilarity that only a Canadian could bring to this uniquely American stressor.
It can be tough to carve out time for meditation. That's why we recruited Alexis Santos to teach us how to apply mindfulness 'On The Go.' In this meditation, Alexis Santos guides you in a mindfulness practice while driving (eyes open, of course).
About 20 years ago, Judge Jeremy Fogel was serving as a superior court judge in California. But when he felt that it was causing him a lot of stress, he started looking for a way to center himself, and found meditation and yoga. Shortly after he started practicing, he was nominated to become a federal judge and said meditation became a refuge for him. Today, Judge Fogel continues to practice regularly and touts mindfulness as a powerful tool judges can use to help with their decision-making. He ...more
Sebene Selassie's career has taken her all over the world. An Ethiopian immigrant, Selassie grew up in the Washington, D.C., area. Her father left her family in the '70s to go back to Ethiopia and became a guerrilla fighter in the Eritrean independence movement. Her brother became a "Hare Krishna" devotee. Selassie, however, found meditation, and started practicing in high school. She studied Comparative Religious studies at McGill University and went on to work with not-for-profits in internati...more
"Good Morning America" co-anchor Robin Roberts has more than 30 years of experience in the radio and television business and said it was her "GMA" colleagues, George Stephanopoulos and our host Dan Harris, who first perked her interest in meditation a few years ago. Today, she says she can't remember not meditating because it's become so much a part of her daily routine. A devout Christian, Roberts also finds comfort in her faith and has overcome major health challenges, first survived breast ca...more
In the midst of what some are calling the ugliest election ever, millions of Americans say they're feeling more stressed, anxious and just plain exhausted from it. One therapist even coined a term for this: "election stress disorder." As a remedy, many doctors are recommending meditation. On a special edition of the "10% Happier" podcast, we present a one-of-a-kind roundtable discussion led by our host Dan Harris about best practices for handling stress during the election. Dan is joined in-stu...more
Jason Stirman went to his first meditation class when he was working at Twitter. An early employee there, he eventually quit Twitter with founder Ev Williams with the intent of starting a new company with a �mindful culture.� When they started the publishing platform Medium, Stirman said they practiced Holacracy, meaning they ran the company without management, and they held guided meditation sessions in the office three times a week, which led him to a regular meditation practice. This past spr...more
Eileen Fisher weaves mindfulness and social consciousness throughout her multimillion-dollar clothing company and in her personal life. After being in business for over 30 years, her collections are sold in 65 EILEEN FISHER shops across the country, as well as department stores, and her company backs several initiatives focused on using sustainable fabrics, human rights for garment workers and EILEEN FISHER employee health. But even with the daily stress of managing a clothing empire, Fisher sti...more
Tony Wright spent 25 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. This past August, a Philadelphia jury acquitted Wright of the 1991 rape and murder of an elderly woman after his lawyers, including two from Innocence Project, presented DNA evidence that supported his innocence. He was just 20 years old when he was arrested. During his time in prison, one of Wright's lawyers gave him Dan Harris' book, "10% Happier," and Wright started practicing meditation and yoga. He's now learning to readjust...more
Spring Washam was selling timeshares and struggling with depression when she decided to embark on a journey to work on her mind. After looking into psychology texts, self-help books and various forms of meditation, she eventually attended a 10-day meditation retreat that she says changed her life forever. Washam is now a well-known meditation and dharma teacher who started the East Bay Meditation Center, bringing mindfulness meditation practices to the diverse communities in the Oakland, Califor...more
Alan Cumming is an award-winning actor on the Broadway stage and on-screen, a New York Times best-selling author, director, comedian and activist. He's best known for his roles in Broadway's "Cabaret," TV�s "The Good Wife" and as Nightcrawler in "X-Men 2." During the interview with Dan Harris, Cumming talks about his meditation practice and his new book, "You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams: My Life in Stories and Pictures," out this month.
Elizabeth Vargas has been known throughout her 30-year career for her strong reporting around the world, her tough interviews and her steadiness during breaking news coverage. But now for the first time, Vargas reveals that she has also long struggled with alcoholism and anxiety. In her interview with Dan Harris and in her new book, "Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction," Vargas shares that she suffered repeated relapses and says meditation and reaching out to others has helped save ...more
Want to give meditation a try? This is a great place to start. Meditation can seem simple, even trivial. But the mental muscle we exercise in beginning again (and again, and again) is an excellent training ground for the many times in our everyday lives when things don't go as planned. We've built the skill of beginning again. This is a guided meditation from Dan's "10% Happier: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics" app, featuring Sharon Salzberg (featured in Episode #8 of this podcast!). A towering ...more
Chef Eric Ripert, of the famed Le Bernardin in New York City, is one of the world's best chefs, an Emmy-winning cooking show host and a cookbook author. But while Ripert was building a name for himself in the heat and the stress of a fine-dining restaurant kitchen, he also became a practicing Buddhist. The chef sat down with Dan Harris to talk about his daily meditation rituals, how he found Buddhism after being raised Catholic, and how he got to where he is today.
Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus have been through a lot together. They grew up together in Dayton, Ohio, both in families that struggled to make ends meet. They went on to climb the corporate ladder together and both made a comfortable living. So when Josh discovered minimalism, a practice in which you rid yourself of excess stuff to focus on personal happiness, it wasn't long before Ryan joined him. Today, the two childhood friends live in Montana and host a podcast, a website and hav...more
Mike Gervais is a high-performance sports psychologist who works with athletes, most famously as the mindfulness coach for the Seattle Seahawks, on training the mind and body to work together under the intense pressure of competition. Gervais has helped pro-basketball players, golfers, swimmers, snowboarders, volleyball Olympians, hall of famers and a host of other elite athletes find new approaches to reaching peak performance from within. He talks with athletes and entrepreneurs about their ex...more
A few years ago, Jesse Israel was a sophomore film student who had just signed an up-and-coming college band to a record label he co-founded out of his dorm room. Israel built that record label into a successful company -- then he decided to walk away from all of it and looked into ways he could "bring people together through shared interest." After toying with a few ideas, Israel came up with a plan to start a community for young adults to meet, meditate and "share quiet," he said.
Dr. Richie Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and founder of the Center for Healthy Minds, has been meditating for over 40 years. But it was the Dalai Lama himself who convinced Davidson to dedicate his life to researching the effects of meditation on the brain. Early in his career, Davidson said he "became a closet meditator" and the Dalai Lama "played a major role in me coming out of the closet and encouraging serious scientific research in this area." Davidson's...more
Oren J. Sofer, a former child actor turned longtime meditation teacher, was a 19-year-old college student in New York City when he said he felt things in his life were falling apart. "And I had heard about people going to India for study abroad and I had found out about a program where you wake up, 5am every morning, stay at a monastery, meditate twice a day, no drugs, no sex, no alcohol, and I just said, 'Sign me up,'" Sofer said. Fast forward to present day and now one of Sofer's specialties a...more
Mingyur Rinpoche, the author of "The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness," is a study of contradictions. On one hand, he's been formally recognized as the reincarnation of two Tibetan meditation masters. On the other hand, he has been working with scientists to design research around the impact meditation can have on the brain. In fact, he and other practitioners had their brain activity measured while meditating on compassion and the researchers were stunned by the resu...more
Dan Ryckert works in an industry where you wouldn't imagine there would be a whole lot of meditation: Video games. Ryckert is a senior editor at the popular video game website, Giant Bomb, and he's the author of "Anxiety as an Ally: How I Turned a Worried Mind into My Best Friend." Ryckert's raw memoir details his struggles with anxiety and panic attacks, from trying to find a diagnosis and then with learning how to deal with the attacks in his personal and professional life, and then how he eve...more
Author and journalist Claire Hoffman has been practicing Transcendental Meditation since she was 3 years old. When she was 5, she and her family moved to a secluded meditation community in Fairfield, Iowa -- Maharishi's national headquarters for Heaven and Earth. In her new memoir, "Greetings from Utopia Park: Surviving a Transcendent Childhood," Hoffman describes what it was like to grow up in a place where people aspired to follow all of Maharishi's principles, what happened after she began to...more
Dr. Amishi Jha, a neuroscientist and an associate professor of psychology at the University of Miami, and Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt of the U.S. Army might seem like an unlikely pair, but they have worked together to bring Mindfulness to the troops. Jha studies how the demands of high-stress, high-stakes professions may degrade the brain's ability to make decisions and she has found in her work that groups like accountants, students, athletes and military service members benefit from Mindfulness tra...more
World-renowned chef Mario Batali has 28 restaurants, 10 cookbooks, a daytime cooking show, a food emporium in New York City, and now plans for a food theme park. He also -- somehow -- finds time to keep a daily meditation routine. Batali says he started practicing mantra-based Transcendental Meditation (TM) six years ago after Jerry Seinfeld and his wife, Jessica, suggested he look into it. Batali said he now practices twice a day for 20 minutes, and that it's helped calm his temper.
Buddhist psychiatrist and author Dr. Mark Epstein has for years written about the overlap between Western psychotherapy and Eastern Buddhist philosophies. Epstein sat down with Dan Harris to talk about the impact meditation can have on the mind, both positive and negative, for those looking for an escape from suffering. He also went deep into the Buddhist concept of the "no-self," whether Enlightenment can be reached ... and what it might look or feel like. He has written numerous books on these...more
Arianna Huffington has a multimillion-dollar media website that reacts to world events by the millisecond, she's a mother of two -- and yet she says she always gets a good night's sleep. Not only that, she says wants to help everyone else do the same. Huffington, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, has a new book -- her fifteenth -- called "The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night at a Time." In the book, she traces sleep deprivation back to the Industr...more
Want to give meditation a try? Here's a great place to start. When left unchecked, our thoughts exert enormous influence over our lives. But when we become aware of them, we realize that they are little more than nothing. This is a guided meditation from the 10% Happier: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics app, featuring Joseph Goldstein. Joseph is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society. He is also Dan's teacher (which means he knows firsthand how crappy a meditator Dan is). Joseph i...more
Acclaimed movie producer and director Adam Shankman is best known for his upbeat, family-friendly movies, including "Hairspray," "A Walk to Remember" and "The Pacifier," but behind the scenes, Shankman says he spent years grappling with substance abuse and self-loathing. Growing up in Hollywood, Shankman, who is openly gay, remembers being "an incredibly happy kid." But when he was three years old, he says, his parents set him up with a doctor who was doing a study on sexual identity. Unbekno...more
Success and happiness: Can you have one without the other? Many may assume that these two things are at cross purposes but Emma Seppala, the science director of Stanford University's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, argues that that assumption is actually dead wrong. The Ph.D. holder and author of "The Happiness Track" sat down with Dan Harris to tackle this subject -- a central theme in Dan's own book, "10% Happier."
Chade-Meng Tan was employee No. 107 at Google. But the software engineer's career took a turn when he began teaching meditation to the company's employees and executives, adopting the job title of "Jolly Good Fellow." While he's no longer at Google, Meng -- as everyone calls him -- continues to meditate and has written a new book, "Joy on Demand," detailing how anyone can access joy through meditation.
Thinking about death can be supremely difficult. Many of us try not to think about it at all � until we have no choice. But two Zen Buddhist monks are using meditation, and a generous dose of humor, to show people that the dying process does not have to be scary, and can even be uplifting. Sensei Robert Chodo Campbell and Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison are the co-founders of the New York Center for Contemplative Care, and have trained doctors, nurses, hospice care workers, and social workers to inc...more
Ali Smith goes into some of the toughest neighborhoods in one of the toughest cities in America, and teaches yoga and meditation to troubled and at-risk school kids. And the results have been incredible. Smith, a certified yoga instructor, is the co-founder and executive director of the Holistic Life Foundation. His workshops and after-school programs reach approximately 4,500 kids every week � and that number only continues to grow.
In our pilot episode, which we recorded back in January before we moved into a fancy radio studio and had any clue what we were doing (this part hasn't changed much), Dan invited author and speaker Gretchen Rubin over to his New York City apartment to talk mindfulness, how to break bad habits and find better routines.
When he was 28 years old, RuPaul Andre Charles found himself broke and living on his little sister's couch in Los Angeles. "It was a really, really, really dark, dark period for me." That�s when RuPaul, now the world's most famous drag queen, started his meditation practice.
Enlightenment (or, more specifically, exactly how one gets enlightened) has become a somewhat taboo subject. For years, American meditation teachers have largely avoided discussing what's known as "the progress of insight" -- the various stages that lead to Nirvana -- with their students. But why? In this episode, Dan gets clear, candid answers from Steve Armstrong, a long-time meditation teacher and the managing editor of the new book "Manual of Insight."
Thupten Jinpa may be best known for being the Dalai Lama's longtime English-language translator. But now Jinpa is working to get his own message across. In his new book, "A Fearless Heart," Jinpa touches on the course in compassion training he helped create at Stanford University -- one that has been shown to make people happier, healthier and better able to regulate their emotions.
Want to give meditation a try? This is a great place to start. If you're struggling, it means something is going on that you're not accepting. The struggle is the feedback. Instead of pushing through, ask yourself "What am I not open to?" Often you'll see that the struggle dissipates right there. This is a guided meditation from the 10% Happier: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics app, featuring Joseph Goldstein. Joseph is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society. He is also Dan's teacher (w...more
Lama Tsomo is one of the first American women to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist lama, or spiritual teacher. Born Linda Pritzker, she is part of the family that built the Hyatt hotel chain. But Lama Tsomo embarked on a very different path, diving deeply into Buddhism, spending months on retreat, learning Tibetan and teaching around the world. She sat down with Dan Harris to talk about her story and to detail some of these Tibetan practices.
Leigh Brasington has been practicing meditation for decades and is one of the most prominent American teachers of Jhana meditation. The Jhanas are a set of altered states of consciousness associated with profound amounts of bliss, happiness and ecstasy. Entering Jhana is done through meditating with intense concentration and it's considered a controversial topic by many in the Buddhist world. But can regular people access the Jhanas? And are they even real?
Actress and singer-songwriter Margot Bingham has moved from playing the role of jazz singer Daughter Maitland in HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" to a highly-respected detective in ABC's "The Family," but in working through these complex roles, Bingham said she finds comfort through practicing meditation. Bingham sat down with Dan Harris and talked about her career, how she dealt with the heaviness of her "Boardwalk Empire" role and how she found meditation.
A towering figure in the meditation world, Sharon Salzberg is part of a small group of people who helped bring meditation over from Asia to the United States. Growing up in New York City, Salzberg had a traumatic childhood and was a sophomore in college when an Asian philosophy class she chose sort of on a whim led her to find a personal and positive connection with Buddhist teachings and practices. Today, she is a meditation teacher, the cofounder of Insight Meditation Society and the author of...more
George Mumford has taught mindfulness and meditation to some of the greatest athletes of all time: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, among others. In partnership with the legendary coach Phil Jackson, Mumford taught meditation to the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, and now works with the New York Knicks. He�s also the author of "The Mindful Athlete: The Secret to Pure Performance."
The three most important words for a beginning meditator may be, "Simply Begin Again." This short episode is a bit different. It's a guided meditation from the 10% Happier: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics app, featuring Joseph Goldstein. Joseph is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society. He is also Dan's teacher (which means he knows firsthand how crappy a meditator Dan is). Joseph is one of a handful of western teachers who brought mindfulness meditation to the west 40 years ago. So, i...more
The author of "Mindful Work," New York Times reporter David Gelles is a self-described "sporadic meditator." During the day, Gelles says he uses so-called "meditation hacks," such as waiting a beat or two before picking up a ringing phone or practicing walking meditation around the office at work. Earlier this month, he wrote an op-ed for the New York Times Sunday Review called "The Hidden Price of Mindfulness, Inc.," in which he talked about the "mindfulness economy" and the hundreds of product...more
Amy Cuddy has created a bonafide sensation in the world of happiness and well-being. A social psychologist at Harvard Business School and a New York Times best-selling author, Cuddy gave a TED Talk that has been viewed millions of times about how to make yourself look, feel and act more powerful, through something she calls "power poses."
Dr. Jay Michaelson is a lawyer, a rabbi, a legal/religion columnist for The Daily Beast, an LGBT activist, a professor, and an author of six books. Yet despite his staggering number of day jobs, Michaelson has also found time to intensively practice meditation. In fact, add another job to the resume: He�s also a meditation teacher. And not only does he practice and teach meditation, he says he�s had experiences of enlightenment, or "awakening."
The filmmaker and co-creator of the TV show "Billions" talks about his practice of Transcendental Meditation.
Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo has been writing and singing hit songs for more than two decades. But this Grammy-winning rocker, whose lyrics about relationships, promiscuity and drug use helped Weezer become what some argue is the father of today's emo genre, credits his success and stability to his daily practice of meditation.
How can you live a happier life? In our debut episode, Dan Harris sits down with the Dalai Lama and Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist and founder of the Center for Healthy Minds. His Holiness and Richardson have collaborated for years on research looking at the impact meditation can have on the brain. Please leave us a review! ----> http://bit.ly/2lkYXxT