Friday, 7 August 2015

10% Happier / Dan Harris

3 stars out of 5
This book surprised me—I guess I hadn’t realized that it was a memoir of an American news anchor who suffered an on-air panic attack and went searching for a way to untangle a rather complex, stressful life. As a rather non-religious person, he was as surprised as anyone when he found his answers in the practice of meditation and the study of Buddhism.

If you are currently considering beginning meditation, you would probably find this book encouraging. It’s something that I have been pondering for a while, and I think I will seek out a class of some kind this autumn, sooner rather than later now that I have read this book.

Harris tells fascinating stories of the behind-the-scenes in the news biz. I was surprised at how much dirt got dished, especially considering that he seems to be earnestly trying to be a better person. As a memoir, there is an awful lot more information on Harris and his life than there is about meditation per se.

I was attracted to the title, as I think that 10% happier is a reasonable goal. I was also interested to learn that the word “happy” comes from the same root as haphazard and happenstance, a root which references luck. Harris’ primary message is that one need not rely on luck for happiness—meditation can provide a reliable mechanism to increase one’s well being.

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