Dan Harris is a fidgety, skeptical ABC News anchor who had a panic attack live on "Good Morning America," which led him to try something he always thought was ridiculous: meditation. He went on to write the bestselling book, "10% Happier." In this podcast, Dan explores happiness (whatever that means) from all angles. Guests include legendary meditation teachers -- from the Dalai Lama to Western masters -- as well as scientists, and even the odd celebrity. But the show also ventures beyond meditation, bringing on leading researchers in areas such as social anxiety, bias, creativity, productivity, and relationships. The animating insight of this show is that the mind is trainable. This is what science is showing us. Mental traits such as happiness, calm, generosity, compassion, and connection are not hardwired, unalterable factory settings; they are, in fact, skills that can be trained. On this show, you'll learn how.
Hope Is a Skill | George Mumford
Spring is here. Vaccines are entering arms. But for many of us, hope can feel slippery and fleeting. Even with the pandemic seeming to abate, there's still a lot of uncertainty and suffering. That’s why, starting today, we’re launching a special two-week series on hope: what it is, what it isn’t, and how and why to cultivate it.
The word “hope” might feel vague, or gauzy–or even, given the current state of the world, misguided. And if you’re using the commonly understood definition of hope, that might be true.
Many of us think about hope as wishing for some specific outcome or result: a raise, a promotion, a romantic entanglement, or a return to an exact replica of pre-pandemic living. We can get attached to these outcomes–and then get disappointed when they (inevitably) don’t work out exactly as we’d hoped.
But there is a way to hope wisely. And over the next two weeks, both here on the podcast and in the Ten Percent Happier app, we’re going to teach you how. We’ve enlisted an all-star slate of Buddhist teachers, mindfulness experts, and scientists, who will make the case that hope is a skill. One you can get better at.
Today on the podcast, we’ve got the perfect guest to kick off our series. George Mumford is a personal friend and a much-loved contributor to the Ten Percent Happier app. Years ago, he overcame a heroin habit to become one of the nation’s leading mindfulness teachers. He’s worked with some of the world’s top athletes, including Michael Jordan and the late Kobe Bryant.
In today’s episode, he’s going to talk about his own tumultuous path towards hope, how it relates to the Buddhist idea of right action, and also a list he calls the Four A’s.
A quick heads up: in our conversation, George talks frankly about his aforementioned substance abuse, which might be a sensitive topic for some listeners.
If you’re a subscriber to the Ten Percent Happier app, you're going to want to check out our exclusive new "Hope is a Skill" content. We’ve got fresh meditations and talks on the subject -- just tap on the “Singles” and “Talks” tabs in the app to check them out, or click here (https://10percenthappier.app.link/HopeIsASkill). If you’re not a subscriber, now’s the time. In addition to the “Hope is a Skill” meditations, there are tons of resources for starting, rebooting, or deepening your meditation practice. Just download the Ten Percent Happier app today, for free, wherever you get your apps to get started: https://10percenthappier.app.link/download-app.
Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/george-mumford-337
How to Handle Restlessness | Bonus Meditation with Joseph Goldstein
In this guided meditation, Joseph unpacks what restless energy is all about, showing you how to go from restless to restful.
About Joseph Goldstein:
Joseph is one of the most respected meditation teachers in the world -- a key architect of the rise of mindfulness in our modern society -- with a sense of humor to boot.
In the 1970's, he co-founded the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) alongside Sharon Salzberg and Jack Kornfield. Since its founding, thousands of people from around the world have come to IMS to learn mindfulness from leaders in the field. Joseph has been a teacher there since its founding and continues as the resident guiding teacher.
Three Mindfulness Strategies from Joseph Goldstein
To inject a little sunshine, perspective, and wisdom, we thought it might make sense to repost one of our favorite conversations of the last year. This is a straight up meat-and-potatoes meditation talk from the one and only Joseph Goldstein. In this chat, we explore three profoundly useful meditation strategies: mindfulness of thinking, awareness of rushing (a deeply ingrained habit for many of us), and the genuine insight that can emerge from everyday activities.
For the uninitiated, Joseph is one of the founding teachers on the Ten Percent Happier app. He's a co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society, and is the author of several books, including the recently reissued The Experience of Insight: A Simple and Direct Guide to Buddhist Meditation.
Also: Next Monday, April 12, we're launching a two-week series about hope. As we head into spring and vaccines go into arms, we’re going to argue that hope is a skill – one you can get better at. And not only are we exploring hope on the podcast, we will also have bespoke meditations from our podcast guests dropping in the Ten Percent Happier app so that you can actually practice hope as a skill. If you don't already have it, get the app now. Download the Ten Percent Happier app, for free, wherever you get your apps to get started.
Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/joseph-goldstein-repost
How Your Emotions Are Made | Lisa Feldman Barrett
Today’s guest is at the forefront of understanding human emotions: what they are, why humans evolved to have them, how they’re different from feelings, and what science says about how to manage them (rather than get yanked around by them all the time).
Dr. Lisa Feldman-Barrett is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University, with appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. She’s written several books, including How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain and Seven and a Half Lessons about the Brain. In this conversation, we talk about how we can “deconstruct” our own emotions, and the overlap between her research findings and Buddhism.
And one more order of business: Next Monday, April 12, we're launching a two-week series about hope. Hope was perhaps one of the cruelest casualties of the coronavirus pandemic. As we start to inch our way into a vaccinated world, there are ways we can skillfully engage with hope without setting ourselves up for disappointment. And not only are we exploring hope on the podcast, but we also have new bespoke meditations from our podcast guests and teachers dropping in the Ten Percent Happier app so that you can actually practice hope as a skill. If you don't already have it, get the app now so that you're ready to practice. To get started, download the Ten Percent Happier app, for free, wherever you get your apps.
Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/lisa-feldman-barrett-336
A Great Way to Relax | Bonus Meditation with Oren Jay Sofer
Learn to use mindfulness of your natural breath as a way to create relaxation for yourself, any time, any place.
About Oren Jay Sofer:
Oren Jay Sofer teaches mindfulness, meditation and Nonviolent Communication. He has practiced meditation since 1997, beginning his studies in Bodh Gaya, India and is a long-time student of Joseph Goldstein, Michele McDonald, and Ajahn Sucitto, and is a graduate of the IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training program. Oren teaches retreats across the country and works as Senior Program Developer at Mindful Schools, teaching and developing curricula for one of the international leaders of mindfulness in education.
A Pressure Cooker for Insight | Bart van Melik
The great meditation teacher Ram Dass once said, “If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family.” My guest today comes with tools to help you keep your cool when interacting with family -- or anyone else. We’re going to talk about a kind of meditation practice known as “relational dharma,” or “insight dialogue.” It’s a way of taking meditation off the cushion and into the crucible of conversation.
My guest is Bart van Melik, who teaches veterans and children in juvenile detention centers. He’s co-author of a book called Still, in the City: Creating Peace of Mind in the Midst of Urban Chaos. He graduated from the Spirit Rock/IMS Teacher Training and Community Dharma Leader Program. He’s based in New York City, but he’s currently in his country of birth, The Netherlands. In this conversation, you will hear lots of tips about how to actually practice relational meditation and insight dialogue, which Bart calls a “pressure cooker for insight.”
Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/bart-van-melik-335