Dan Harris is a TV News Anchor who appears to have spent a good deal of time feeling sorry for himself. He’s kind of a smug fellow with a nice soothing voice. He does a good job of reading his book and delivering the gags and one liners that fill all the space between the Zen talk. But Dan isn’t happy about his super successful life…because he’s not Walter Cronkite or his personal idol, Peter Jennings. The fact that there are no Cronkites or Jennings in the modern world doesn’t seem to have occurred to him. Without the help of Google I couldn’t tell you who sits behind the desk at any network…and I tend to get my news at Google as well.
Dan Harris, like countless others before him, stumbles across Self Help books one day. But being Dan Harris, he doesn’t just read Eckhart Tolle And Deepak Chopra, he goes and talks to them. Dan’s spiritual quest reminded me of Oprah’s quest to be thin, if you have all the money in the world, it’s a little easier to get close to people who can help you. Like most of us who find the self help section, we soon discover that there’s a lot of bullshit in these stacks. A lot of double talk and a lot of hey, I’m a God, you can be a God too! talk. Dan found Tolle and Chopra baffling, but he did like the idea of meditation. He finds a personal guru, goes on a retreat, and has a nice epiphany. Bam! He’s on board with daily meditation.
Dan is a TV personality, so he can’t help but drop names at every opportunity. He peppers his story of seeking enlightenment with tales of Paris Hilton and the Dalai Lama. One odd little side trip sees Dan becoming buddies with Ted Haggard, a married minister who maintained he wasn’t gay, he just greatly enjoyed having sex with men.
I like Dan’s whole take on Meditation, he’s all for the mindfulness stuff, but hates the random crap about spirituality. He’s not a religious fellow, but meditation, like science, doesn’t need your belief in it to work. You can follow your breath without carrying the baggage of seeking enlightenment, nirvana, heaven, the happy hunting ground, or, well, anything.
Dan is amazed at the changes in his life. Meditation allows him to focus more on the now and less on the future. He ends the book with a few tips on improving your own life, the biggest tip is to start meditating. Thirty minutes a day seems to be his magic number.
I liked 10% Happier.