Dan Harris on Self-help and Meditation

It’s often reassuring and instructive to hear about the self-help journeys of others — what has worked for them, problems they have encountered, practices they have tested. We were very interested when we heard the thoughts of ABC News journalist Dan Harris on his discovery of meditation in his life.

Photo by Donna Svennevik, ABC

Photo by Donna Svennevik, ABC

After developing a substance abuse problem and nearing a breakdown of sorts, Harris began a process of healing. Simultaneously, for a story assignment on faith, he began, “a strange little odyssey” exploring “everything from mainstream religion to the bizarre fringes of self-help to the nexus of spirituality and neuroscience.” This is where he discovered the power of meditation, and here are some of his thoughts:

Self-help gurus are constantly telling us that we can get anything we want through the ‘power of positive thinking.’ This is an unrealistic and potentially damaging message, I think. By contrast, meditation is a doable, realistic, scientifically researched way to get significantly happier, calmer, and nicer.

We appreciate his take on the self-help industry, focussing on self-help practice that has been tested and researched. Just from this article, he seems to take an honest and realistic approach to self-help–not expecting a miracle cure. I’ll be picking up his book, 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in my Head, Reduced Stress without Losing my Edge, and Found Self-help That Actually Works — A True Story. 10-happier-ftr Have you checked out his book? Do you have experiences with mediation or another practice that you have found especially helpful?

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