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Summary

The perfect book for the spirituality sceptics who really do need meditation in their daily routine.

10% Happier is a spiritual book written for - and by - someone who would otherwise never listen to a spiritual book. It is both a deadly serious and seriously funny look at mindfulness and meditation as the next big public health revolution.

Dan Harris always believed the restless, relentless, impossible-to-satisfy voice in his head was one of his greatest assets. How else can you climb the ladder in an ultracompetitive field like TV news except through nonstop hand-wringing and hypervigilance?

For a while his strategy worked. Harris anchored national broadcasts, and he covered wars. Then he hit the brakes and had a full-blown panic attack live on the air. What happened next was completely unforeseen. Through a bizarre series of events - involving a disgraced evangelical pastor, a mysterious self-help guru and a fateful gift from his wife - Harris stumbled upon something that helped him tame the voice in his head: meditation.

At first he was deeply suspicious. He had long associated meditation with bearded swamis and unwashed hippies. But when confronted with mounting scientific evidence that just a few minutes a day can literally rewire the brain for focus, happiness, and reduced reactivity, Harris took a deep dive. He spent years mingling with scientists, executives and marines on the front lines of a quiet revolution that has the potential to reshape society. He became a daily meditator and even found himself on a 10-day silent meditation retreat, which was simultaneously the best and worst experience he'd ever had.

Harris' life was not transformed into a parade of rainbows and unicorns, but he did gain a passion for daily meditation. While the book itself is a narrative account of Dan's conversion amid the harried and decidedly non-Zen world of the newsroom, it concludes with a section for the novice on how to get started.

©2014 Dan Harris (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about 10% Happier

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Almost gave up several times

The narration wasn't great, but the most annoying thing about this book was it was more this guy's autobiography than a book that gave you any relevant advice. It's great how much he loves his wife but for the 200th time i hear about 'wonderful Bianca' and learn everything from her home cooking to how many guests they had at their wedding, it was getting a bit annoying. Only the final 3 chapters get into the actual meditation peice, this book could've been a third of the size. I wouldn't recommend.

25 people found this helpful

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Likes the sound of his own voice

A life story rather than anything useful relating to meditation. Couldn’t stomach it, gave up very early in.

5 people found this helpful

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An “enlightened” choice

I really enjoyed this book and engulfed it in almost one sitting which is testament to how it flowed. I liked how Dan flip flopped from his story through the years as being an anchor and how mindfulness slipped into his life and became part of him. Being sceptical myself, I also connected to the way Dan always questioned things he came across that seemed a bit woo woo. Even when he had made up his mind and perhaps been somewhat judgmental he still found a way to revisit his thoughts when something new arose to challenge his way of thinking. I will always practice meditation and mindfulness as I believe it is of huge benefit to everyone. Great book and must read/listen! Thanks Dan.

2 people found this helpful

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Changed my mind on meditation.

I wish I could read this book for the first time all over again. It opened my mind to the idea of meditation from a very modern perspective.

1 person found this helpful

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nice story but not giving me any tools

it gave me some knowledge about meditation, but not were to look or war to read if I want to avoid the whole chakra - faith part of meditation.

but it was entertaining.

1 person found this helpful

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Great story but narration let it down a little

What did you like most about 10% Happier?

Firstly, the story is entertaining and told in a light hearted endearing manner. It resonates with my journey. The only downside is the narration. Dan has an excellent TV voice but not suited to book narration. Even his own. It would have benefited from a professional voice over. The style was too 'TV news', imparting information and authority when a more sympathetic, story telling voice would have been better. Just my personal opinion. Take it or leave it.

3 people found this helpful

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Awesome!!

You may just get bored by his storey at the beginning but all make sense as soon as it gets to Retreat Chapter. I'm going to listen to it again in a month or two. I love the way he describes so well his vulnerability and the need of constant improvement in this journey, very western way towards mindfulness, cus he is almost or pretend to be against this practice, so it makes the whole experience much more acceptable. Thank you Dan!

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A perfect meditation odyssey.

Dan Harris’s meditation odyssey was in turns very funny, insightful and really well investigated. Dan’s own narration never jarred and this reader, having just started on my own meditation journey, had all my misgivings and doubts addressed and my hopes and expectations about the process validated. The retreat chapter was hilarious and inspiring at the same time. Brilliant.

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Great Autobiography + Meditation

A great story of personal discovery, and a sceptic's positive introduction to meditation without the silly spooky stuff. Dan's healthy and humorous cynisism still shines through to to the end as a valuable inoculation against woo smuggled in under the guise of mystery.

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Loved this book

Dan explaines meditation in a very tangable way, alongside a very interesting and funny bio

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  • Llewellyn
  • 23-08-18

Disappointed

Too self-centric. Basically an autobiography full of the author's ego. Puts others down to elevate himself.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ansa Brink
  • 13-07-18

Absolutely fantastic!

This book opened a new world to me.

Dan has managed to promote the idea and practice of meditation with the backing and running commentary of real thoughs, feelings and a highlight reel of real world issues. The point is to preservere and keep asking questions.

I will listen to this book again and again and keep practicing to practice meditation.

2 people found this helpful

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  • John Barrett
  • 04-01-21

100% Practical

I was suggested this book by Hugh Jackman via his twitter feed, and I was not disappointed.

A true practical guide to finding a meditation style that suits you. Know that you aren't alone in your quest for inner peace, but also know there is not one straight path to it either.

Highly recommended, seeker and sceptic alike.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-07-20

Excellent

The honesty of the story allows the reader to see meditation as something achievable while managing expectations about the results of practice. My only criticism is that the performance sounds like you are being read news headlines(unsurprisingly), it can feel too intense.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-06-18

Straight TORTURE son.

This was absolutely useless, I have zero interest in this man's autobiography which is mostly what it is interwoven with his banal efforts to get involved with Mindfulness. Spare yourselves. Avoid at all cost

1 person found this helpful