For something that’s often sold as an antidote to the stresses of modern life, learning to meditate can feel weirdly pressurized. And in a secular society, those who have a healthy dose of skepticism running through their veins can find the esoteric nature of it a massive turn-off. And this, according to Dan Harris, is what people have got wrong about meditation. Reaching enlightenment isn’t the goal for most modern meditators, and a mind completely clear of thoughts just isn’t a thing. In fact, noticing the constant mental traffic of thought and external interruptions is essential, and allowing yourself to begin again and again is what meditation is really about. In this episode of Simplify, listen to Dan Harris explain how you can cut yourself a little mental slack, and how life-changing and essential meditation became for him, a self-proclaimed “fidgety skeptic.” And if you feel like you don’t have the time to meditate, relax. Just one minute is all it takes.
Plug this episode into your ears to learn what meditation is really about, and how to introduce a tiny, life-changing, more-or-less-daily ritual into your life.
Who’s Dan Harris?
Dan Harris is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, the co-anchor of ABC’s Nightline and the weekend editions of Good Morning America. He is the author of two New York Times bestsellers, 10% Happier & Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book. He went on to launch the 10% Happier podcast and an app called 10% Happier: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics. He lives in New York City with his wife, Bianca, their son, Alexander, and three ASPCA cats.
Extra Credit Reading
If you would like to dive deeper into some of the topics Dan Harris covers in this Simplify episode, check out this book list composed by Ben and Caitlin!
How Emotions Are Made challenges everything you think you know about emotions. From learning how our brain registers anger, fear
Altered Traits takes an empirical look at the art of meditation and details the benefits it has on our mental wellbeing. It also looks at different types of meditation, as well as the effects of meditative practices on different groups, including experienced meditators, students and even a yogi.
Get Some Headspace paves an easy path to understanding meditation and the ways it can benefit us. Drawing on his own experience as a Buddhist monk, Puddicombe offers a strong case that even the busiest people can take ten minutes a day to get some
Simplify is a podcast for anybody who’s taken a close look at their habits, their happiness, their relationships, or their health and thought “There’s got to be a better way to do this.” We talk to bestselling writers, productivity wizards, sex geniuses, and happiness experts to find it for you. Simplify is made with love by Blinkist. Click here to try Blinkist free for 14 days with the voucher code: dailyish