Dan Harris: “10% Happier” | Talks At Google

Dan Harris: “10% Happier” | Talks At Google


DAN HARRIS: I
always feel bad when people have to read the
subtitle of the book. It’s like a Fiona
Apple record title. So if you had told
me a couple of years ago that I was going to
end up as a traveling evangelist for meditation, I
would have coughed my beer up through my nose. This is kind of the
last thing I ever thought would happen to me. And it’s a funny
story, actually. It all started with a panic
attack on national television. What you’re about to see
happened in June of 2004 on a little show you
may have heard of. It’s called “Good
Morning America.” Because I’m a masochist, I
asked our research department to find out exactly how
many people were watching, 5.019 million, so no big deal. And so in this clip
I’m going to show you, I give kind of a blow by
blow my on air Waterloo. We can play it. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] -From ABC News, this is
Good Morning America. -Welcome to the most
embarrassing day of my life. -We’re going to go now to Dan
Harris is at the new desk. Dan. -Good morning,
Charlie and Diane. Thank you– -This is me 10 years ago. And the reason this is the most
embarrassing day of my life is not that it looks
like I’ve been attacked by a blow dryer and
a can of hairspray. No, it’s that I am
about to freak out on national television. -Health news now. One of the world’s most
commonly prescribed medications may be providing a big bonus. Researchers report people who
take cholesterol lowering drugs called statins for
at least five years may also lower their
risk for cancer. But it’s too early to
prescribe statins slowly for cancer production. -At this point I realize
I’m helpless, so I bail, right in the middle. -That does it for news. We’re going to go back
now to Robin and Charlie. -All right. Thanks very much, Dan
Harris at the news desk with some of the
headlines of the morning. Want to go to Tony Perkins now. He is– -Once the fear subsided,
humiliation rushed in. I knew with rock solid
certainty that I just had a panic attack on
national television. [END VIDEO PLAYBACK] I’ve watched that
clip 1,000 times and it never fails to suck. Some people watch it and say,
you know, it wasn’t that bad. And that’s true. It wasn’t like, has
anybody ever seen the movie, “Broadcast News”
where Albert Brooks breaks out in flop sweat. I can guarantee you
that I had I not had the luxury of tossing it
back to Charlie and Diane, that I would have
resulted in flop sweat and a Tourettic outburst
and the end of my career. To my vast surprise,
that panic attack ended up significantly
improving my life in a weird and windy way. But I’m going to tell you
a little back story first. At the root of my
freak out was, I think, something that we all
share, especially, I would say, here at Google, that
would be especially true, which is a desire to be
great at my job. I arrived at ABC News– sorry. That’s– there it is. I arrived at ABC News in 2008,
excuse me, in the year 2000. I was 28. This is the picture they took
of me on my first day at ABC. A colleague of mine– this
is for my security ID. It’s still on my security ID. I can’t get them to change it. A colleague of mine later joked
that if you take a wide shot, it looks like I might
be holding a balloon. So, I’m 28 years
old and I’m working with these giants like
Peter Jennings and Diane Sawyer and Barbara
Walters, and I was green. I knew I was green and I was
really self conscious about it. And my way of coping was
to become a workaholic. I just threw myself
into the job. And after 9/11 happened,
I raised my hand to go overseas and cover
the ensuing conflicts, frankly, without
thinking much about the psychological consequences. This is me with the
Taliban in October of 2001. And I spent the following years
in– I spent a lot of time in places like Afghanistan,
Pakistan, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, and I made
six or seven trips to Iraq. When I got home from
one particularly long and hairy visit to Iraq,
in the summer of 2003, right when the insurgency was
starting, I got depressed. And somewhat embarrassingly,
I didn’t actually know I was depressed,
although I now know that I was exhibiting
many of the telltale symptoms, like I was having trouble
getting out of bed. I felt like I had a low
grade fever all the time. And at this point I did a
toweringly stupid thing, which was I started to self medicate
with cocaine and Ecstasy. I hasten to add, it wasn’t
like the “Wolf of Wall Street.” It was reasonably
sporadic, never when I was at work, definitely
not when I was on the air. As I like to say, I was
stupid but not that stupid. After my panic
attack, I went to see a doctor, who asked me
a series of questions to get to the root
of the problem. One of the questions
was, do you do drugs. I kind of sheepishly
said, yeah, I do. And he said, well actually,
he gave me this look that I read as, OK, asshole. A mystery solved. He explained that even though
I hadn’t been doing cocaine every day, it was enough to
raise the level of adrenaline in my brain and prime me
to have that panic attack. This is a huge moment for me. It really hit me very
hard what a moron I’d been and I realized I need
to make some changes. The first one was a no-brainer. I quit doing drugs that day. The second was
that I agreed to go see this shrink once or
twice a week indefinitely. This isn’t some
neat, clean story where then I started to meditate
and my life has ever since been a nonstop parade of
unicorns and rainbows. There was something else
that needed to happen, which had to do with this guy,
Peter Jennings, who some of you may remember. He died in 2005. But he was a huge figure
in American journalism and he was my mentor. And he gave me an assignment
that I really did not want. He told me I was going to cover
faith and spirituality for ABC News. I tried to explain to him that
I was raised in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts by a
pair of physician scientists. I did have a bar mitzvah, but
that was only for the money. I remember when I was eight
years old, my mom explaining to me that not only is
there no Santa Claus, but there’s also no God. So this is kind of atmosphere
in which I was raised. And I tried to explain
this to Peter– I left out the old
mercenary bar mitzvah part. –but he didn’t care. He said, you’re going
to do it anyway. And it turned out to be
a great thing for me. I spent the next decade in
megachurches and mosques and Mormon temples. I made a lot of
really good friends. I really developed a
deep and abiding respect for the value of having a
worldview that transcends your narrow, personal interests,
which was useful for me as a young reporter on the make. That said, none of what
I encountered really spoke to me personally. I didn’t go kosher or
anything like that. Until the year 2008, when one
of my producers recommended that I read a book by this guy,
whose name is Eckhart Tolle. Has anybody heard of him? OK. We’ve got a smattering of hands. I had not heard of him. He is a mega bestselling
self-help guru. And as my producer
explained, Oprah loves him. All these celebrities
are into him. He was selling, you
know, millions– he still is, selling millions
and millions of books. And her argument was,
well, he’s a big deal. We should maybe look at
him and do a story on him. So I ordered one of his books. And at first I thought it
was irredeemable bullshit. There’s all this weird language
about vibrational fields and these grandiose claims. First off, there’s a lot
of pseudo scientific claims and then these grandiose claims
about how this book is going to produce a spiritual
awakening in you, the reader, and that, after his own spirit
awakening at the age of 29, he lived in a state of
bliss on park benches in the city of
London for two years, a city, which as far
as I know, has winter. Suffice it to say,
I was not terribly impressed at first blush. But as I continue to
read, Tolle started to unfurl a thesis about
the human condition that I’d never
heard before, that I found incredibly compelling. His argument is that we all have
a voice in our heads, by which he is not referring to
schizophrenia or hearing voices, he’s referring to your
inner narrator, the voice that chases you out of
bed in the morning and has you constantly
wanting stuff, not wanting stuff, judging
people, criticizing yourself very harshly. One of the hallmarks
of the voice is that you are
constantly thinking about the past or
the future, instead of focusing on what’s
happening right now. My friend, Sam Harris,
who some of you may have heard of– we’re not
related but we’re good friends, he describes the voice in the
head or his voice in the head or in his head, as,
when he thinks about it, he feels like he’s
been kidnapped by the most boring
personal alive, who just says the same shit over and over
again, most of it negative, all of it self-referential. The laughs indicate you
know what I’m talking about. And when you’re unaware of
this nonstop conversation you are having with
yourself, according to Tolle, it yanks you around. It’s why you find yourself
with your hand in the fridge when you’re not hungry,
you find yourself checking your
mobile device when– I should say Android.
–when –when somebody’s trying to talk to you, or why
you’re losing your temper when it’s strategically unwise. And for me, this was
another huge aha moment. I realized, A, it’s
intuitively true. B, it’s really true for me. And that the voice
in the head explained the most embarrassing
moment of my life. It’s why I went to war zones
without thinking it through. Its why I came home and got
depressed and didn’t even know it, and then blindly
self-medicated and it all blew up in my face. Suffice it to say, it was
mildly embarrassing to be a self-styled, skeptical newsman
and thinking, this guy gets me. But there was a bigger
problem than the ego bruise. As far as I could tell, there
was nothing in Tolle’s book that was practical
or actionable. He didn’t give any
concrete advice. Perhaps I was being
obtuse, but I could not divine any concrete
advice for dealing with the voice in the head. I actually went, and this
delighted my producer, who was a little bit less cynical
about Tolle than I am, I went and interviewed the guy. And I sat down and
asked him, what do you do about the
voice in the head? It was my first question. And his answer, wait for it,
was take one conscious breath. What the fuck does that mean? And then it got even weirder,
because I started asking him if he ever gets into a bad mood. And maybe the
gentleman in the back can play you what he said to me. [BEGIN VIDEO PLAYBACK] -Don’t you ever get
annoyed, irritated, sad, anything negative? -No, I accept what is. And that’s why life
has become so simple. -But if somebody cuts
you off in your car? -It’s fine. It’s like a sudden gust of wind. I don’t personalize
a gust of wind. And so, it’s simply what is. -And you’re able to
enjoy every moment, even if I start asking you a
ton of annoying questions? -Yes, that would be fine. So it’s really– -Don’t tempt me. [LAUGHING] [END VIDEO PLAYBACK] He was so frustrating. It was like he had pointed
out that my hair was on fire and then refused to
give me a fire extinguisher. And I was at wit’s end. I mean, I was really, really
intrigued by his thesis and just determined
to figure out if anybody had any ideas for
doing something about it. And I then threw myself
into the world of self-help, not knowing what else to do. It is not a pretty place. I met a lot of these
questionable characters who promise that you can
solve all of your problems through the power of
positive thinking, which I hate to break it to
you, is not going to happen. And I can get on my high
horse about positive thinking in the Q&A session if you want. But in the interest of
speeding things along, I will say that I found
it deeply unsatisfying, this world. And I was even more frustrated. And then one night, my
then fiancee, now wife, came in with the save. She– I walked into
the apartment one night and she said, You know,
I’ve been listening to you talk about Eckhardt Tolle
and blah, blah, blah, with varying levels of cogency. And it made me realize,
it reminded me of a book that I read a long
time ago by, not him, that guy, who is a shrink,
based here in New York City. His name is Doctor Mark Epstein. He actually has
credentials and he writes about the overlap
between Buddhism and psychology. And notwithstanding the
fact that I was ostensibly a religion reporter, I actually
knew nothing about Buddhism, other than the fact
that at the age of 15, I had stolen a Buddhist statue
from a local gardening store and put in my bedroom because
I thought it looked cool. Unbeknownst to me, this
guy, heretofore known to me only as a lawn
ornament, had 2,500 years before Eckhart Tolle started
cashing his royalty checks, this dude was talking about
the voice in the head. He had a slightly
different term for it. He called it the monkey mind. According to the
Buddha, our minds are like furry little
gibbons, constantly lurching through a forest of
urges and impulses and desires, always grasping at things
that will not last, in a universe characterized
by impermanence, and hurling ourselves from
one pleasant experience to the next, one sexual
encounter, one meal, one promotion to the next, and
yet, never fully satisfied. I mean, if you think
about it, how many great meals if you had? Are you done? We are insatiable. And unlike– so again,
very, very interesting. And unlike, Eckhart
Tolle, the Buddha had a very specific
piece of advice for dealing with
the monkey mind. Fresh problem arises
at this point, which is, what he was suggesting
I found to be repellent. Because what he was
suggesting was meditation. My view was that
meditation was only for hippies and freaks and
people who live in a yurt and are deeply into aromatherapy
and ultimate Frisbee and Cat Stevens and John Tesh and
wear little finger symbols and use the word
Namaste un-ironically. My view is actually
perfectly summed up by Alec Baldwin’s
character on “30 Rock,” who said the following. Gentlemen, can you
roll that video. [BEGIN VIDEO PLAYBACK] -Meditation is a waste of
time, like learning French, or kissing after sex. [END VIDEO PLAYBACK] [LAUGHTER] DAN HARRIS: Love it. When I saw that, I was
like, I am finding that clip and putting it in my PowerPoint. But then I started
do some research and I’ve found that there’s
been a fascinating explosion of scientific research
into meditation. It’s still in its
early stages, but it’s strongly suggestive of a
long and almost laughably long, almost laughable, list of
health benefits, starting with, it can lower the release
of stress hormones. It can lower your
blood pressure. It can boost your immune system. It can help with
depression, anxiety, ADHD, age-related cognitive decline. The further I get into my
40s, the more important that becomes to me. It could even help with
seemingly unrelated things like irritable bowel
syndrome and psoriasis. And here’s where things
get truly sci-fi. Neuroscientists have
been peering directly into the brains of
meditators and finding that, when you meditate you
are, in effect, performing a kind of neurosurgery
on yourself. And this is not just true
of people who wear robes, it is true for the rest of us. There was a study done at
Harvard a few years ago, that took people who had
never meditated before and gave them an
eight week class. During this eight
week class, they meditated for short
periods of time every day. At the end of the eight weeks,
they scanned their brains. They actually scanned it the
beginning and then at the end. What they found in those
second set of scans, was that the areas of the brain
associated with self awareness and compassion, the gray
matter literally grew. And the area associated with
stress, the gray matter, literally shrank. I found this very,
very compelling. And then I learned
something else. Meditation does
not– let me just say that the word meditation
is a bit like the word sports. It can describe a whole
variety of activities. Badminton and water polo
don’t have a lot in common. The type of meditation
that is mostly being studied in the
labs is something called mindfulness meditation. And this type of meditation does
not involve a lot of the things that I had feared, like
finger symbols or whatever. It does not involve sitting
in a funny position, which was one of my worries. That’s my cat Ruby
with Gus behind her. She’s actually watching the
Real Housewives in that shot. That’s not a lie. Many of the other things I’m
saying are probably lies, but that is not a lie. So you don’t have to
sit in a funny position. You can if you want,
but for somebody like me who’s not particular limber,
you can sit in a chair. It also doesn’t involve joining
a group, paying any fees, wearing special outfits,
believing in anything in particular. It’s simple and secular
and, as we’ve established, scientifically validated
in many, many ways. So there are three steps. I’m not going to make you do
this, but just so you know, the first step is
to sit up right, to sit comfortably
with your back upright. Again, you can sit
in a chair or if you want to get all cross-legged,
that’s cool too. The second step is to
focus your full attention on the feeling of your breath,
coming in and going out. Pick a spot,
wherever your breath is most prominent, your
nose, your chest, your belly. You just want to feel
the breath coming in and feel the breath going out. The third step is the biggie. As soon as you try to do this,
your mind is going to go nuts. You’re going to start
thinking about what am I going to have for lunch? Why did I say that
dumb thing to my boss? Why did “Dances with
Wolves” beat “Goodfellas” for Best Picture in 1991? Why do celebrities only
marry other celebrities? Whatever, your mind’s
going to go nuts. And that’s fine, that’s fine. The whole game is to notice
when you’re lost in thought and to start over and
start over and start over. And when you do that, that is
a bicep curl for your brain. And it shows up on
the brain scans. Not incidentally, it
is also a radical act. You are breaking
a lifetime’s habit of walking around in a fog,
in a daydream of projection into the future and
rumination about the past. And you’re actually
focusing on what’s happening right now, which,
I know it’s a new age cliche, but it is always now. And that’s where your life
is at, and yet most of us don’t live there. So when I learned all of this,
I decided to start meditating. I started with like five
or 10 minutes a day. That’s a picture my wife took
of me, meditating on vacation with some opportunistic
chickens trying to bum rush me. And I’m not going to lie to you. It wasn’t like, awesome. You know, it’s hard. The act of sitting there,
trying to focus on one thing, getting lost, and returning,
is– it takes grit. It’s kind of like holding
a live fish in your hands. And especially when you’re
new, it’s like learning, it is– It’s not like, it
is, learning a new skill. And it takes a little
while to get used to. That being said. I very quickly started to notice
some significant benefits. The first was, my ability
to focus got better. I can’t prove this,
just so you know. I feel that it’s
true, but I didn’t have my brain scanned
before or after. However, there have
been studies that show that meditation can help
with your ability to focus. We live in the
age, an age that’s been called the Info Blitzkrieg. You know this
better than anybody. And it is very hard to
do one thing at a time. In my job, I literally
have other people’s voices directly in my ear
through an earpiece. It’s really hard to focus
and yet very important that I do so, because I need
to get the story correct. I need to report it correctly. So I just found that
the daily exercise of trying to focus on one
thing and then getting lost and starting over, really
helped me with that. The second benefit
was the big one. And it’s this word mindfulness. It’s become somewhat
of a buzz phrase. Oddly, it’s also kind of like
a boring anodyne-sounding word, but is a game
changing proposition. A simple serviceable
definition of mindfulness– which by the way, it’s
an incredibly rich term. It goes back 2500 years. It’s all the Buddhist texts. But let me give you a
simple definition that can be relevant in your life,
which is, it’s the ability to know what’s happening in
your head at any given moment without getting
carried away by it. I was going to say that
again, not to be didactic, but it is useful
to hear it twice. It’s the skill of knowing
what’s happening in your head right now without
necessarily taking the bait and acting on it. So let’s just think about
how useful this could be. You’re standing on
line at Starbucks or one of your 5,000
micro-cafeterias here and somebody cuts you off. What happens? You think to
yourself, I’m pissed. What happens next? You automatically,
reflexively, habitually inhabit that thought. You actually become angry. There’s no buffer between the
stimulus and your reaction. When mindfulness is on
board with a little bit of meditating, you
might be able to notice, after that person cut you
off, my chest is buzzing. My ears are turning red. I’m having a starburst of
self righteous thoughts. I’m getting angry. But maybe right now I
don’t need to act on it. I like to think there’s another
way to think about this. I’m not a good artist
but I drew this. You can think of the
mind as a waterfall. And that’s water coming down. Those are your thoughts. Most of them have to
do with me, me, me. Mindfulness is the area
behind the waterfall. You are stepping
out of the traffic and watching what’s
happening nonjudgmentally. We have three habitual
reactions to every piece every stimulus in our lives. We want it. We don’t want it. We don’t care. And mindfulness is
a fourth option, which is to just see
it dispassionately, without getting involved. If you think I’m
making this up, it is worth noting that
we, as a species, are classified as homo sapiens
sapiens, which means the man or woman who thinks
and knows he thinks. But the second sapiens has
been atrophied with time, because nobody points out to
us that we have this bonus level in our brain, which is the
ability to step out and watch it calmly and nonjudgmentally. Let me just get back
to Starbucks example. I suspect some of
you may be thinking, aren’t there times when
I need to get angry? Yes, although I would argue
probably less than you think. The idea here, the
argument I’m making, is not that you
should be rendered into some lifeless,
nonjudgmental blob. The argument is that there
are times when it makes sense to get angry, but most
of the time it doesn’t. So what mindfulness
gives you is the ability to respond wisely to
things that are happening instead of reacting blindly. I love this, respond not react. There are many, many cliches
in the meditation world that make me kind of put a
little bit of vomit right here. But respond not react
is a brilliant one and it’s a life
changing proposition. And as you can imagine, it
has so many applications in the workplace, which is why
it’s now being offered here, Procter & Gamble, Aetna,
Target, General Mills. These are the people that
make Hamburger Helper and they have meditation
rooms in every building in their corporate campus
in Minnetonka, Minnesota. It’s now very big
in Silicon Valley. This is a clip from “Wired”
magazine, where they referred to meditation and mindfulness as
the new caffeine, which I love. I also love the
irony of the fact that you people,
who are developing all of the technologies that
are destroying our ability to focus, are embracing
this technology. This is just–
it’s just awesome. And it’s not just in
a corporate setting. This is the quarterback for
the Seattle Seahawks, who, as you may recall,
dominated in the Super Bowl. They have a meditation coach. Novak Djokovic, who did
reasonably well at Wimbledon not too long ago, a meditator. Many, many, many
Olympians, meditators. The New York Knicks,
not doing great, but they just
started meditating. Let’s see how they do at
the end of the season. It’s also happening
among entertainers. That’s a lead singer of Weezer. Katy Perry does it. Fifty Cent, that dude
got shot nine times. He deserves some peace of mind. Perhaps most compellingly
though, it is now being done by the US Army
and the US Marines, who are spending millions
of dollars to research whether meditation can make more
effective and more resilient soldiers and whether it might
be something that could be used to cut down on the scourge,
the epidemic, of PTSD. So at this point,
I’m going to make a little bit of a
prediction, with a caveat that my powers of
prognostication are historically weak. Just as an example of
that, in the early 2000s, I convinced my younger
brother to invest with me in a company that
makes the Palm Pilot. That didn’t go super well. Having said that,
I firmly believe that meditation is the next
big public health revolution. In the 1940s, if
you told somebody you were going
running, they would have said, who’s chasing you? What happened? We then saw a ton of
scientific research that proved, beyond really
a shadow of a doubt, that physical exercise
is really good for you. And now we all do it
and if we don’t do it, we feel guilty about it. I think this is where we’re
heading with meditation. I think meditation is going to
join the bucket of no-brainers, like brushing your teeth, taking
the meds that are prescribed to you, getting enough sleep,
et cetera, et cetera, when it comes to physical and
psychological wellness. Think about it. We spend so much time working
on our stock portfolios, working on our home decor,
working on our bodies, and almost no time tuning up
the filter through which we experience everything,
and that is our minds. Now despite the fact
that I’ve become this, to my surprise,
this weird traveling meditation evangelical,
I want to be clear, it’s not going to solve
all your problems. It’s not going to, and I have
learned this the hard way, it’s not going to
regrow your hair or help you win the lottery
or like fix everything in your love life, which
is why I wrote a book and I called it “10% Happier.” That’s an absurd
unscientific estimation, but it’s true enough. And I like it because it
sounds like a good return on investment. I would argue that it
does compound annually. My idea is that if
you can strip away all of these saccharine, syrupy,
and frankly, pretty annoying, language, which has been
used to promote meditation for too long, it could
be accessible to lots of smart, skeptical people
who would never otherwise go near it and don’t use
the word Namaste ever. And at the core of it is a
simple and really attractive and really fascinating idea,
which is that we assume, consciously or subconsciously,
that our happiness depends on external factors, the
quality of our childhood, did we get a promotion
recently, how’s our love life. But in fact, it’s
not– now, I’m not argue that those external
factors don’t matter. But in fact,
happiness is a skill, that you can train your mind
and your brain to be happy, just the way you can train
your bicep in the gym. And that is an incredibly
powerful and liberating notion. And it should be accessible
to everybody, not just the folks who have been
drawn to meditation since the Age of Aquarius. As for me, I’ve been
meditating for five years now and I am still, I think you
could probably fairly describe me as a workaholic, just like
I was when I was a 28-year-old. And I still firmly
believe that if you’re trying to be great at anything,
either your job, your volunteer work, parenting,
whatever, there’s a certain amount of stress and
plotting and planning involved. There’s just no
getting around it. But what I’ve learned is to
draw the line, at least 10% of the time, between
what I call constructive anguish and useless rumination. And that has made a huge
difference in my life and in my relationships. That said, if my
wife was here, she would give you her 90%
still a moron speech. And my younger
brother, the one who I convinced to invest
in the Palm Pilot, he recommended that
we re-title the book “From Deeply Flawed
to Merely Flawed.” I’m going to close,
but I just want to say, I just want to leave you
with one exhortation, which is, give it a try. Whatever your
preconceptions are, they’re probably misconceptions. I think five to 10 minutes a
day is a great way to start. You can tell yourself,
you’ll never do more. And I don’t care
how busy you are. I don’t care if you have
three jobs and 15 children, everybody’s got five minutes. Right when you wake up,
right before you go to bed, before you– when you park
your car in the driveway, if you drive, right before
you go into your house, there are five minutes for you. And here’s my little
tagline, which is, if it can work for a
fidgety, skeptical newsman, it can work for you. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] So we have time for questions. There’s a microphone over there. Yes, sir. AUDIENCE: Hi, Dan. My name is [? Adityah, ?]
and I’m an engineer here. And I’ve got a story that
has some similarity to yours. I joined Google six
years ago, in part to help teach meditation. And I apologize
if my question is a little bit outside
the scope of your talk, but I really enjoyed
your conversation with Sam Harris,
the one on his blog. I think it’s called
“Taming the Mind.” And I was particularly struck,
because in that conversation you bring up nonduality, which
is something a little bit difficult to speak about. It’s not exactly the same
thing as mindfulness, but there’s obviously
some overlap. And what I’ve noticed
in the last maybe 5 or 10 years is
that mindfulness has become more mainstream. There are more people sort
of willing to talk about it, to listen to it. Your talk is a very
timely in that regard. I’m curious if
you’ve see anything with regard to nonduality
and if that’s something like, could be a meditation two
point, or what you perceive the public openness to that is. DAN HARRIS: It’s
a great question. Let me just explain
what nonduality is. So my whole thing is to make
this as attractive as possible to everybody. But the mindfulness comes
out of Buddhist teachings and it’s just one part
of Buddhist teaching. And it has been
secularized, I think, in a really great way, which
is the way it’s offered now, in many contexts, there’s
no Buddhism at all. And I’m completely
fine with that. I think the Buddha himself
would be fine with that. He wasn’t trying to
start a religion. He never envisioned an ism. But one of the things
he talked about, which is a little bit
deeper than mindfulness, is the fact that the self, the
voice in your head, the you, that you think is
so real, actually doesn’t exist in the
way you think it does, that it’s actually an illusion
that you are creating moment to moment. Very tough concept to
get your head around. And I struggle with it. Sam Harris, who– [? Adityah, ?]
is that your name? –referenced, who I
talked about before. He’s the guy who said he
thinks that he’s been hijacked by the most boring person alive. He is a famous atheist
writer, and also, and this was a big surprise to
a lot of his fans, a very, very serious meditator. And he’s just written a book
called “Waking Up,” which is an excellent book
and I recommend it to everybody, in which
he talks about the fact that mindfulness
meditation is great. But really the point is to see
that this self that you think is so real, is actually the
source of all of your misery. And so to answer
your question, do I think this is the next
thing coming down the pike? I hope so. I think that would be great. And I think Sam’s book, which is
still on the top 10 York Times bestseller list after four
weeks, is a great first step. I think it’s a very
tough thing to talk about in a comprehensible way. I’m not even sure
I’ve done that here. But one of the
things I think about is, whether, maybe
in my next book, I can learn to talk
about it in a way that is simple and engaging and
seems practical and applicable in daily life. AUDIENCE: Thanks. DAN HARRIS: Appreciate it. AUDIENCE: Hi there. My name’s Nick and I
wanted to thank you for coming and talking. And my question is, kind of
speaks to your story before. About when you first started
doing some of the meditation, and sort of the way
you think about it seems to be very
parallel to myself and I’m hoping some
of the others here. When I first started doing some
of the more mindfulness stuff, I can’t help myself
but think about it in terms of what I’m
trying to accomplish. And every time I get
distracted and I come back, I get this feeling
of, I’m failing. I’m not doing it well. And after doing it for a month,
and getting no better at it, based on the name of your book,
I’m guessing you understand. It feels like I’m not
accomplishing something. I’m not getting better. Why am I doing this? And I just leave more
frustrated than I entered, and I was hoping you could
talk to that a little. DAN HARRIS: OK. I have a million things
to say about that. The big one is you’re not alone. I mean, that’s the deal. The good news is, let me
just lead with the good news, because it is that
it gets easier. It just does. I’ve been doing
it for five years. It’s still hard, but
it’s a lot easier. And I do much more
now than I used to. I do 35 minutes a
day and I sometimes do a supplemental
second sitting before I go to bed because I
find it helps me sleep. Not because I have to, nobody’s
putting a gun to my head. It’s just grown organically
and it’s gotten a lot easier. But is it hard? Yes. Sometimes people come
to me and say, I get it. You make a good case. Meditation is good for you. But you don’t understand,
I could never do it. My mind is too busy. I call this the
fallacy of uniqueness. Welcome to the human condition. Everybody’s mind is crazy. Think about it like
going to the gym. If you go to the gym and
it’s easy, you are cheating. And if you’re meditating,
and it’s easy, you’re probably cheating,
maybe you’re enlightened, or you’re dead. You are fighting, as I said
in my speech, a lifetime habit of just blah, blah,
blah, blah, me, me, me. And it is hard to stop that. By the way, you don’t
have to clear your mind. You’re just focusing
on one thing. That is the game. So drop that. And yet, here I
am, five years in, and when I find myself lost
and distracted, there’s like a, I think I used this phrase in my
book, a tornadic blast of self flagellation. The whole game is to
just notice that too. Oh, I’m beating myself up. Let’s go back to the breath. And Sharon Salzberg, who is an
amazing meditation teacher, who spoke here yesterday,
I had brunch with her on Sunday morning,
and we were talking about my problem of
beating myself up when I get lost in thought. And she said, it’s helpful
to have a sense of humor. Because, as much as
you may think your life is about big things like faith,
honor, fidelity, patriotism, or whatever, and that may be
true, but most of your life– And I could prove it to you
if you just sit down and close your eyes and watch what
happens. –most of your life is about, what am I
going to have for lunch. It’s funny, right? So we’re all assholes,
you know, and so, like so just to sit
down and close your eyes and then find yourself
lost, if you can do it with some lightness, if you can
do it with a sense of humor, it makes it much easier. And then, just know–
And I’ll repeat what I said at the beginning. –that it does get easier. It just does. And so you may not feel like
you’re accomplishing anything, but I’d like to hear, after you
do it for a couple months, what people who live and work
with you say about you. Because it was my wife who
started noticing it before I did. I started hearing her
say at cocktail parties, Harris is less of a jerk. And that really was
a good motivator. And great teachers will
say to all the time, the real litmus test is
what people around you are saying about your behavior. So just keep going. Don’t worry. This is unlike everything
else in your life, where you do something and
expect a preordained result. It requires, and I know
this is a sticky word, it requires a little
bit of faith or trust that it is worth it, which
is what I’m trying embody. AUDIENCE: Thank you. DAN HARRIS: Good luck. AUDIENCE: Hi, Dan. Thank you so much
for joining us today. When I first started meditating. I went to a meditation
retreat and I was telling my boyfriend
and best friend that I was going there. And I felt like,
after I told them that, I had to convince them
I wasn’t joining a cult. But the thing is, that
I think it would really benefit both of them. I’m never sure though,
how to tell the story. I mean, obviously you’re
promoting meditation now, with your book, but before
you decided to write it, was it something that
you were actively recommending to other people? And if so, how were you
talking about in a way that would make sense to a western,
college educated person? DAN HARRIS: Well, there
was a “New Yorker” cartoon that I’m trying to
get into my PowerPoint because it’s awesome. It was recent and
it has two people a lunch and one
of the women says, I’ve been gluten free for a
week and I’m already annoying. That’s kind of my
view about meditation. I’m perfectly happy to
get up and put a mike on and say, you guys
all need to meditate. But I won’t do it one to one,
because it’s really annoying. And there’s just
no way around it. And I think– my wife
doesn’t meditate, by the way. I mean, she’s a
physician, scientist, and she’s seen all the data. She buys it. She loves that I’m
less of a jerk. But she doesn’t do it. And I know the shortcut
to a smack in the head and her never meditating,
would be for me to a lecture about when she
stressed about how, maybe it would help if you meditate. Bad idea. I’m going to steal something
from my Christian friends. They often say that
the best thing to do is not to evangelize one to
one, but to live your faith in a way that is
convincing and compelling to the people around you. And over time, you
may find that people come to you of
their own volition, and say, what’s this all about? Because I guarantee you, in
a world, as I said before, that is characterized
by both impermanence. I.e. nothing lasts, and
entropy, where everything’s out of our control, your
friend and your boyfriend are going to have
crises in their lives. And they may, at that
point, come to you and say, tell me about
this thing you’re doing. One last cliche, it’s often
said in Buddhist circles that it’s better to be a
Buddha than a Buddhist. And so, I would just
say, live your life. Maximize your own happiness
through your practice. Don’t wag your finger
at those around you. And let them come to
you, because they will. AUDIENCE: I have a
follow up question. DAN HARRIS: Yes. It’s worked really well
with my cat, that cat Ruby. She hated me for a
long time but then when I started ignoring
her, she loved me. AUDIENCE: So, Sharon, yesterday
inspired me to start again, because I’m kind of
off again, on again. And the thing that happens
when I meditate in the morning, is when Peter’s in the
shower, I’m always like, let’s hope the meditation
ends before he gets out of the shower. Because when he gets out
and comes out into the room and sees me sitting there, he
inevitably asks me if I’m OK. Like I go to that place when
I’m sad or something like that. And I’m never sure
how the quite tell the story without going
into– I don’t know, in a way that he’s going to comprehend
and make him feel like I’m not doing it because I’m
feeling depressed. I’m just doing it– DAN HARRIS: You need to start
talking to him the way you would about physical exercise. You should start–
This, I think you could say to him
pretty aggressively, just view this as if
you came out and found me doing jumping jacks. You know, this is
just part of upkeep. You don’t have to do it. It’s totally cool if
you don’t want to do it. But this is my
thing and I’m just trying to be consistent about
doing it five to 10 minutes a day. And that’s way every
westerner can grasp. And if you’re
doing it every day, he’s not going to think, he will
not have any reason to think, you only do when you’re sad. And let me just make
a pitch for dailyness. I think it’s more powerful to
do short daily doses than once in awhile long. It’s that daily collision with
the asshole in your head, that will help you fend off
its shitty suggestions. Because that’s it’s job. And what you want
is the wherewithal to not follow those
bad suggestions. And you get that through
the daily collision, which is why I say five
to 10 minutes a day, time we all have, no
question about it. And you can always get
it down to two minutes on your super busy days. It’s just the
dailyness of it that helps you really stick with
it over long periods of time. And when you’re
sitting there worrying about your boyfriend’s going
to say, just notice worrying. That’s what, that this
is what worrying’s like. Then go back to your breath. AUDIENCE: Thanks. AUDIENCE: Hi, my name is Andrea. My dad and I both
read your book. And we really liked it. It’s great that you
admit that you’re flawed and it makes it seem
more realistic and more– DAN HARRIS: Thanks for
bring that up again. AUDIENCE: No problem. That’s what I’m here for. I’m curious if you’ve looked
into positive psychology at all and if you’ve considered
incorporating that as well into your life
or your next book. AUDIENCE: I don’t know anything
about positive psychology, per se. That usually doesn’t stop me
from to speaking at length. But I’m going to use
this is an opportunity to talk about positive thinking. Sorry. Positive thinking,
there’s actually a scientific term for it. I believe the scientific
term is bullshit. This idea that you can
get anything you want– Don’t watch this, but there
is a DVD called “The Secret.” It was very popular a while ago,
for reasons that I cannot fully comprehend. And there’s a DVD which, again,
I don’t think you should watch, in which they
basically argue, you can get anything you want,
like a diamond necklace miraculously, a cure for cancer,
and a that better love life, if you just think positive
thoughts all the time. It’s just demonstrably untrue. And think about the
inverse of the logic and how damaging an
argument this is. First of all, it’s
damaging because you don’t want to be
telling people, you don’t need to go the doctor. That’s just a terrible
thing to suggest. But with the inverse
of the logic is, so anybody born in a
refugee camp in Africa was thinking
negatively in utero? Everybody in Port Au
Prince, Haiti in 2010 was thinking
negatively and that’s why they got hit
by an earthquake? It’s crazy. And it’s not helpful. And the only people
I know who’ve had their problems solved
through these books are the people writing them. So I would urge
you to stay away. I will do some research
on positive psychology. I suspect it’s less pernicious. AUDIENCE: A little bit. And one quick
follow up question? Are there any meditation
apps you recommend? DAN HARRIS: Yes. Headspace. Really good. And those guys know
what they’re doing. They’re legit. Andy, the guy who founded
it, was a monk for 10 years and yet is young and really,
really cool and can juggle. And so, it’s a good app. It’s very sticky. People tend to like it
and I think it’s great. I don’t think you need
technological assistance, just for the record. But if you want an
app, that’s a good one. AUDIENCE: Hi, Dan. My name’s Daniel
and I’m an engineer. In your book, you mention
going on a retreat. What role did that
play in your journey and are there any good
places in New York? DAN HARRIS: Yes. OK, that’s a great question. I went on a 10 day silent
meditation retreat, which was the most annoying
thing I’ve ever done. And also, the happiest
I’ve ever been. I don’t think you need to do it. I did it because I
was writing a book. I needed some shit
to write about. So, but, it’s a
great thing to do if you’re getting
into meditation. The reason why I’m just
being a little careful is because I don’t want
people to think in order to be a meditator, you need
to go off and do 10 days with people who wear
socks and sandals. But it is a great thing to do. It can really
deepen your practice and give you– because
this is, again, to use the physical
exercise analogy, once you’re on 10 days
and its what you’re doing all day, every day,
you get into great shape so to speak, and you’re
going to have experiences that are different
than what you’re doing in your daily life. And for me, I had
an experience where I just, all of the struggling
and striving and the suffering kind of just, whew, just
evaporated for about 36 hours. And I was just right there
with whatever was happening. It wasn’t spiritual, there was
no white light or string music or anything like that. I just had this
incredible 36 hours of being fully where I was. And that was accompanied with
a big blast of serotonin. And then it went away and
it went back to sucking. But I think that
meditation retreats are where your practice
really changes. And if you’re starting
to get serious– there’s a bit of a spectrum. There are people who just
do a little bit every day, and I think that’s fantastic. But some people
move up the spectrum where they get more
serious about it, then I think going on
a meditation retreat is a great, great idea. And there’s a place
in Massachusetts, three hours drive from here. It’s called The Insight
Meditation Society. Sharon Salzberg, who was here
yesterday, she co-founded it. And they run meditation
retreats all year. It is a font of wisdom. It is where this revolution,
mindfulness revolution, started. And you are getting
the purest of the pure and they’re not going
to try to inveigle you into some fancy religion
or get your money. It’s cheap. It’s super legit, and I
would recommend it highly. AUDIENCE: Thank you. DAN HARRIS: Pleasure. It’s 1:00. I suspect maybe you
guys have to work. I’ll answer questions
as long as you want. I love talking about this stuff. But if you need to go
back to work, I’m sorry. [APPLAUSE] Thank you. Appreciate it.

98 Comments

  1. I am reading the book now. Seeing this video helps me understand the bigger picture of where Dan is coming from. I am looking forward to this journey. I really enjoyed the Q&A at the end. I thought I was going to just skip over it, but found it very helpful and even more endorsing about meditation. I really like his quote about being a Buddha is better than being a Buddhist. In other words, it's better to be the product than to sell to someone else.

  2. Dan Harris is yet another person who has written a book about his personal journey and discovery of a topic that is thousands of years old. He recommends Mark Epstein for learning about mindfulness meditation.

    I recommend talks and books by Jon Kabat-Zinn, who is Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. If you liked this talk, then you should search on Vipassana (mindfulness) meditation.

    You can also take this free course.
    http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/news_events/event/the_science_of_happiness

    34:24 Sam Harris book "Waking Up" talking about what is the self (non-duality) fits nicely in with Eckart Tolle's books discussing the "ego".

  3. 4:44 This is another example of why society needs to release ALL the folks who are incarcerated for using some drugs for personal use. If he had been caught using "illegal" drugs then we wouldn't be listening to him. How many people are in jail because they did get caught and had their lives destroyed? The mandatory sentencing laws and 3-strikes you are OUT have caused irreparable damage! Stop this idiocy.

    Example:
    In New York an arrest for possession of less than 500 mg of cocaine is classified as criminal possession in the 7th degree (New York State Penal Law § 220.03), a Class A misdemeanor which carries a penalty of up to one year in jail.

    The penalties for possession of cocaine are set forth in 21 U.S.C. § 844 (*Note: these penalties are for possession only.  Possession of even a small amount will usually be charged as possession with intent to distribute): A first conviction for possession of any amount of cocaine is punishable by up to 1 year in jail, as well as a minimum fine of $1,000.

  4. Deepak Chopra says Namaste and he is VERY intelligent 🙂  Also, Deepak AND Eckhart Tolle talk about "being the witness" which is being mindful so I think Mr. Harris just could not understand what Mr. Tolle was saying about calming the voices in the head.

  5. I wish this guy were gay… I love him! The again, he might be…my ex had been married with 2 kids…<<Fingers crossed>>

  6. I believe what you believe comes true no matter what, bad or good. Hence the very misunderstood movie "The Secret"
    But I love this video. Hes very good!

  7. Just restating the obvious but that's a pretty privileged life if you think that little fluster is your worst life experience. That said, very well spoken and articulate person though.

  8. Minus the cussing this was very fun to listen to. Every time you meditate and have to return your thoughts to your breathing it is a bicep for your brain. I have read many times about meditation but his way of explaining it actually convinced me and I'm going to do it.
    And I can enjoy me life even though I'm not college educated, have a great love life or am in any way successful according to the way this world defines it. No matter what we have or don't have we all have demons in our head and those external success factors don't change that. That doesn't preclude you from enjoying your life though. He has a very dry sense of humor and his personality didn't initially appeal to me but his way of explaining things and keepin' it real makes me appreciate him, his struggles and his art of teaching.

  9. Not only are most of the components of this found in spiritual mystic practices,east and West for centuries but we have had the maharishi who spawned Bensons the Relaxation Response and now Tolle….we keep reinventing the wheel…oh Oprah like it

  10. Thank you so much for that video! This is excellent vehicle to communicate verbally the concept of meditation! I also came to understanding the concept through my own version of personal crisis and long journey of soul-searching, but when I started getting the understanding, the more I felt it inside the more hopeless I start becoming in my ability to communicate it verbally to people around me. I felt that when I attempt to share it people are becoming annoyed by me, just like they are feeling annoyed by what Tolle is saying. 😉

  11. Loving hearing about Dan Harris's journey. It all makes so much sense. Practice, Practice Practice. He's seems like a pretty normal guy that opened up his world.

  12. Even if this is only 50% relevant with 10% results its worth consideration. Helps me with my loved ones, on the water when Im rowing and career.

  13. You have to be ready for what Tolle teaches; it took me 10 years to finally reach that stage, and that after going through mindfulness meditation and other forms of spirituality. Others may be ready for it immediately, but it is profoundly wise, beautifully written, and you wont believe how good you feel once you have practised for a while. I suffered daily panic attacks for over a decade, and found myself first attracted to mindfulness meditation which did help eliminate them completely. But after that, I found a deeper yearning and found a yearning for ultimate truth. This is where you need the teachings of those like Tolle, Leonard Jacobson, David Hawkins, because meditation will only take you so far. Its good – really good – but its not the best.

  14. Really great video, all of the truth with none of the bullshit! It's hard for a lot of people to digest the Eckhart Toille approach or the pseudo hippie mentality. This is stripped-back realness on how to be mindful and stop worrying so damn much about all that life bollocks, self-medicating is used by so many because we just don't know how to deal with life. This is a really great starting point on how to start helping yourself instead of hurting yourself.

  15. The truth of life is complete fulfillment, is always free and always available.
    Fulfilled: It is the way we feel when our minds are completely open to life; we become “filled” with life. Being filled with life makes you feel the way you want to feel all the time. It is true happiness. Learn the truth of life, it explains the real truth about the nature of the mind and life in general, it is the key to overcome your controlling mind. Google TruthContest click on the earth icon and read the Present

  16. PA are just that. You can ruminate, explicate, fudgerate, or just accept. 20+ yrs, it comes and it goes. Not fun when it says hello, just kick it to the curb or let it take its course. Soon the PA will have a main name .Let u know.

  17. Are all the big company's abusing mindfulness to get there slaves to focus on being more productive and not complaining about unfair work practices ?…Without judgement…

  18. beattitudes???THE EIGHT BEATITUDES OF JESUS

    Jesus Christ gave us the Eight Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount, recorded for all posterity in the Gospel of Matthew, the first Book of the New Testament of the Bible. Matthew's Gospel was directed to an audience steeped in Hebrew tradition. The Gospel of Matthew stressed that Jesus is the Christ or Messiah foretold in Hebrew Scripture, our Old Testament, and that the Kingdom of the Lord is the Kingdom of God in Heaven. Jesus offers us a way of life that promises eternity in the Kingdom of Heaven.

    The teachings of Jesus of Nazareth were simple but unique and innovative at the time of his life on earth.  He began teaching about 30 AD during the ruthless Roman occupation of Palestine.  At the time there were four major groups in the Jewish religion, the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and the Zealots, all of whom presented a different viewpoint to the Jewish people.   The Pharisees demanded strict observance of the Mosaic law expressed in the Torah, but  also accepted the oral tradition of Jewish customs and rituals.    The Sadducees were mainly from the priestly families and strictly accepted the Law of Moses but rejected oral tradition.  The Pharisees, unlike the Sadducees, believed in the resurrection of the dead.  The monastic Essenes awaited a Messiah that would establish a Kingdom on earth and free the Israelites from oppression.  The Zealots were a militant Jewish group who wanted freedom for their homeland, and were centered in Galilee; one of the Twelve Apostles was Simon the Zealot. 

    The Ten Commandments, given to Moses on Mount Sinai in the Old Testament Book of Exodus, related a series of "Thou shalt not" phrases, evils one must avoid in daily life on earth.  

    In contrast, the message of Jesus is one of humility, charity, and brotherly love.  He teaches transformation of the inner person.   Jesus presents the Beatitudes in a positive sense, virtues in life which will ultimately lead to reward.  Love becomes the motivation for the Christian.  All of the Beatitudes have an eschatological meaning, that is, they promise us salvation – not in this world, but in the next.  The Beatitudes initiate one of the main themes of Matthew's Gospel, that the Kingdom so long awaited in the Old Testament is not of this world, but of the next, the Kingdom of Heaven.

    While the Beatitudes of Jesus provide a way of life that promises salvation, they also provide peace in the midst of our trials and tribulations on this earth.

    An early contemplation on the Beatitudes came from St. Gregory of Nyssa, a mystic who lived in Cappadocia in Asia Minor around 380 AD.  He described the Beatitudes this way:
    "Beatitude is a possession of all things held to be good, 
    from which nothing is absent that a good desire may want.  
    Perhaps the meaning of beatitude may become clearer to us
    if it is compared with its opposite.
    Now the opposite of beatitude is misery.  
    Misery means being afflicted unwillingly with painful sufferings."

          THE EIGHT BEATITUDES OF JESUS

    "Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Blessed are they who mourn,
    for they shall be comforted.

    Blessed are the meek,
    for they shall inherit the earth.

    Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they shall be satisfied.

    Blessed are the merciful,
    for they shall obtain mercy.

    Blessed are the pure of heart,
    for they shall see God.

    Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they shall be called children of God.

    Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
    Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10

  19. So from a psychoanalytic/biologic perspective, Dan's panic attack on air occurs at 1:36 into the newscast. At this point he is discussing the effect of a class of medications called statins and their possible link to cancer. As the son of physicians there may have been expectations that he would enter the medical field causing conflict. Later in the discussion he mentions the passing of newscaster Peter Jenkins whom he would succeed. The use of drugs such as XTC and Molly with their serotonergic properties acted not to "self- medicate" his anxiety but to overwhelm his serotonin system which occurs even when using conventional serotonin reuptake inhibitors at doses used to treat depression.

  20. "My whole thing is to make this (banqueting with deities) as attractive to everybody as possible."

    (I realize I'll receive hostile replies for the next five+ years, but it doesn't make it any less accurate.) …. 'Pranamasana y'all'…

  21. What he is describing is circular thinking occurring when you are trying to sleep. Antidepressants was a miracle for me. Turned off circular negative thinking like a light switch.

  22. Positive thinking is better than negative thinking
    The glass can be half full or half empty this helps day to day living

  23. Your presentation was/is so so helpful and it resonates with me. As a caregiver, and person that is on disability after several years of a great professional career and as a minister….I never never found an approach to handle my anxiety and depression. This is a game changer because you explained it in a way that makes it doable for even people like me.

  24. I'd like to know how he magically stopped using Cocaine, Ecstasy and who-knows-what-else "that day", cold turkey, with NO withdrawals?? Did the Sun start come out and the birds start singing and the flowers begin blooming and he was reborn??

  25. At least he knew he was having a panic attack some like me think we are losing our minds or dying or both.  Adrenaline dump into the system all at once and it feels horrid.  Fight or flight is all you can think of.

  26. It's great that he's promoting the benefits of meditating, but you don't have to think of it has 'hard'. The whole point is just to notice when you're lost in thought and then come back to the breath (or mantra or whatever). There's nothing wrong or insufficient about noticing thoughts and then going back to the breath. That's what meditation is. It shouldn't be thought of as some task one has to accomplish. It's just a process–finding that you're having thoughts, then returning to the breath. All of that is good–none of it is bad or a sign that you're not 'doing it right'.

  27. By 23 mins the audio and video goes out if sync and loops back to the beginning. Ironic, as I had to focus on the audio, whilst noticing but not getting annoyed be the visuals! Good meditative practice.

  28. He was using drugs and had a panic attack on air. A goy would have been fired immediately and blacklisted. A Jew can make money from this fiasco by writing a book and using the f-bomb. Six Jewish-owned companies control the media, which is why no one watches TV anymore. All of these people should be in prison. They are not journalists. HA. They read the news from their masters (all news agencies are Jewish owned), and they don't have a problem with it because they are making enormous piles of money and support the NWO anyway. Please turn off your TVs and stop going to movies.

  29. The monkey mind. That's the one that gets me out of bed because it's easier to worry with the tv on and my dog on my lap …. this whole day has been accidental and coincidental. I hate self help books and the whole idea of finding something like a key to open what I can't imagine … not right now so I'll listen some more.

  30. Dam Harris , started from 10 years past , asking people to be in meditation in future , still advocates present . these all bull shit he talking at google , human mind designed in this way to learn from past , applying it in moment in hand for better future . where is present ? while you could utter alphabet P from word present , it's gone and becomes past .

  31. I feel like most people who don't understand panic/anxiety mostly work in offices/cubicles where you can be isolated and chill and somewhat control your environment, and they have never worked in the service industry where people are all up in your face all day non stop and you have no escape. Is there a meditation class for that specifically? Also, I'll sign up for your 6 figure job and have a mild meltdown on tv every day, that was nothing. I've been battling this shit for years. He's rich, he'll be fine.

  32. A very inspiriantional talk of Dan Harris. I already did meditation for a long time when I saw this talk the first time at the end of 2015, but it inspires me to follow a mindfulness course. That was very nice! I learn a lot from it and I have more attention for the things I do and I listen better to people if they talk to me. Also I hear more and here different things if I listen to music. I even wrote a blog about it and watched this talk totall 5 times I think in the last 2 years.

    I really like how Dan talk about mediation. He is keeping it simple and makes it clear to understand for everybody because his examples and his experience and because he uses the science. I hope it will inspire a lot of people to try to meditate 5 minutes a day! Meditation brought me a lot together with yoga and the positive psychology. I hope more people in the world will benefit from it:).

  33. This guy is smart, but still looks as a seller, and speaks as a seller. He is taking his personal learnings too serious…

  34. I remember you from you from Newton! (I'm one of the shy bond twins from Brown Jr. High — we were 8th grade, you were 7th)! You are terrific, Danny Harris. Thank you for the book — and your unique, self-aware, cynical-humorous-yet-sincere, simple approach to what seems complex. It really helps.

  35. His app for mediation is ridiculously expensive. I was listening to his 10% Happier audio book and downloaded the app…once I saw how crazy expensive the app was, i couldn't even bring myself to finish the audio book.

  36. The disrespect with which refers to The Buddha or Buddhist practices is cringy. I understand you don't believe in Yahweh, but respect other people's culture. Yes Buddhism is more of a culture than a religion.

  37. If anyone’s scrolling though the comments wondering if they should sit though this whole video, watch it. You’ll get drawn in and wouldn’t even think about clicking off. 100% worth your time, 10% happier for all of time.

  38. There's so much freedom when taking your deepest darkest fear and putting it into the light somehow the power of it disappears or become smaller♡

  39. Interesting these companies have meditation rooms in their corporate headquarters….. how life will change for the people who make the products for these corporate people and their companies if they had meditation rooms especially dealing with being paid very little who knows their working conditions and we all know what the quality of their life Maybe living with the quality of life that is provided with their pay scale quality of Health the quality of being able to provide for their children…..

  40. 10% happiness for Dan by realizing Mind is the reactive monkey and the more Buddha realization involves understanding that Body is the snake. That's 20% happiness I guess! egotestical will accept in next century!

  41. He takes Tolle's message repackages it as "scientific" and then spits on Tolle as a useless guru. Tolle always taught the four noble truths of buddha and has always advocated for meditation plus has never referred to himself as a guru. Now if you don't like his style that's something else. Tolle never spat or discredited anyone else.

  42. I respect this guy so much! I actually made a video about his book 10% Happier – here is the link to my video if you fancy checking it out 🙂 https://youtu.be/IiHAYj_rVCw

  43. I'm so glad I found you by accident. As someone who is getting anxiety attacks during work, I need to badly fix this issue as it's the main obstacle that's stopping me from where I want to be in terms of my work life. I too think my anxiety attacks started thanks to recreational cocaine use which I for sure will stop now that it's what caused yours too.

    Definitely going to read your book and hope it helps me overcome and handle this social anxiety I've developed.

  44. I appreciate the message, but why the "I'm a Western white guy who is so weirded out by `namaste` or that this practice from other cultures is actually really helpful" tone… Especially at Google where so many employees are culturally Hindu/Buddhist the same way he is culturally Jewish. So funny!

  45. How Irony!!! Mindfulness for soldiers to be more effective and resilient… For what?

    I am definitely sure that The Buddha would not agree with that.
    The talk was not so deep but fun to listen.

    If anyone intereted in learning Mindfulnessand Buddist Pshychology, look for a real Dhamma teacher's talks.
    There are a lot of them on You Tube.

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