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Summary

ABC News anchor Dan Harris used to think that meditation was for people who collect crystals, play Ultimate Frisbee, and use the word ""namaste"" without irony. After he had a panic attack on live television, he went on a strange and circuitous journey that ultimately led him to become one of meditation's most vocal public proponents.

Here's what he's fixated on now: Science suggests that meditation can lower blood pressure, mitigate depression and anxiety, and literally rewire key parts of the brain, among numerous other benefits. And yet there are millions of people who want to meditate but aren't actually practising. What's holding them back?

In this guide to mindfulness and meditation for beginners and experienced meditators alike, Harris and his friend Jeff Warren, embark on a cross-country quest to tackle the myths, misconceptions, and self-deceptions that stop people from meditating. They rent a rock-star tour bus and travel across eighteen states, talking to scores of would-be meditators, including parents, police officers, and even a few celebrities. They create a taxonomy of the most common issues (""I suck at this,"" ""I don't have the time,"" etc.) and offer up science-based life hacks to help people overcome them.

The book is filled with game-changing and deeply practical meditation instructions. Amid it all unspools the strange and hilarious story of what happens when a congenitally sarcastic, type-A journalist and a groovy Canadian mystic embark on an epic road trip into America's neurotic underbelly, as well as their own.

©2018 Dan Harris (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Critic reviews

 

"'Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics is well researched, practical, and crammed with expert advice and it's also an irreverent, hilarious page-turner.'

- Gretchen Rubin, author of The Four Tendencies and The Happiness Project

What listeners say about Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics

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Motivation to meditate

This book answers the fears many have about starting to meditate, explaining the basics quickly and with everyday language. I was able to integrate the techniques into my routine immediately to start a practice. I’ll experiment with some of the more advanced meditations now that I’ve completed the book.

This book is suitable for everyone. I want to try to teach my children the techniques. That was maybe the only missing element. The content can be applied anywhere but not sure the arguments work with pre teens.

This book shows that meditation should be a part of our education system.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent guide unlike any other

Unlike a lot of self help books this one entertains and educates. Dan Harris brings a dry self deprecating humour to a skill that was seen by many as a source of ridicule. I needed this to help me see the practical benefits of mindfulness and strip away my misconceptions. I have listened to this book 4 times now and keep finding new stuff. I am confident that I can ignore anything that is currently beyond me knowing that soon I will get it in a future listen.
I enjoy the banter between Dan and Jeff as they gently wind each other up making it feel more like friends helping each other. There are a lot of fantastic guides books out there that teach but I haven’t come across any that also make me laugh So much. These books (including 10% happier) helped me to openly admit that I practice and enjoy mindfulness without feeling weird. Hope they bring out more of these guides.

2 people found this helpful

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Absolutely brilliant book

I can now meditate were before I struggled. Thank you so much Dan and Jeff.

2 people found this helpful

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Meditation beginner

great listen for someone thinking of getting into meditation. easy to follow, lots of pro tips, ends on a guided meditation, I thought they would be of no use to me, oh I was wrong!

2 people found this helpful

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Seminal work on introducing mindfulness meditation

Originally discovered this book on the introduction to meditation Audible podcast, which Can can be found on episode 6.Admittedly i was a fidgety sceptic with a couple of audio books under my belt. If anyone is intrigued by the genre or wants to listen to a feel good book then look no further. Whilst the message is not totally original the delivery and clever wit is. The result, dispelling myths of meditation and reinforces it's importance in modern society. It's a genuine enjoyable approach on how to start your own practice/routine. Jeff Warren is the star of the show and both narrators make listening a pleasurable experience. Highly recommend and now looking forward to following Dan and Jeff to learn more.

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  • JT
  • 15-06-20

Painful

Irritatingly condescending tone.
Irritating low-fi sound quality.
Irritatingly obtuse, drawn out and crashingly uninspiring.

The other reviews must be from saps or shills.

1 person found this helpful

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Started off well...

...but then became just another book on meditation, overusing words like "equanimity", which I started to hate! A different approach, certainly, and I may revisit it in time, but for now, not for me

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loved it!

Dan Harris is on a mission to help us all benefit from meditation. I've tried to develop a regular meditation practice without success for years. I think he might have cracked it for this particular fidgety sceptic. Absolutely love Jeff's attitude to mindfulness - friendly compassionate and really funny. I'm going to be recommending this book far and wide!

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No longer a Skeptic

This book has given me the motivation to include meditation 🧘‍♀️ into my Daily life.

Something I never thought would happen!