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.
A Strategy for the Toughest Emotions | Bonus Meditation with Sharon Salzberg
Bring wisdom and compassion alongside difficult emotions by first calming your body & mind and then opening to the feels with acceptance.
About Sharon Salzberg:
A towering figure in the meditation world, Sharon Salzberg co-founded the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) alongside Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield. She is a New York Times best-selling author whose books include Lovingkindness, Real Happiness, Real Love, and Real Change. Sharon lives in New York City and teaches around the world.
To find this meditation in the Ten Percent Happier app, you can search for “Letting Tough Emotions Be,” or click here: https://10percenthappier.app.link/content?meditation=2649944e-3c86-4237-9232-ddb9a2437925.
Excited about the Taming Anxiety Challenge? Download the Ten Percent Happier app today to get ready: https://10percenthappier.app.link/install
The Surprising Upsides of Self-Deception | Shankar Vedantam
Anyone with a passing familiarity with Buddhism will know that “delusion” is rarely, if ever, mentioned in a positive way. In fact, the Buddha included delusion (aka: confusion about the way things really are) on his list of “the three poisons.” The whole point of meditation, per the Buddha, is to uproot delusion -- along with greed and hatred. Only then can you be enlightened.
My guest today is here to valiantly make the case that delusion -- or self-deception -- has an upside. Many upsides, in fact. While he concedes that self-deception can, of course, be massively harmful, he argues that it also plays a vital role in our success and wellbeing, and that it holds together friendships, marriages, and nations. Understanding this, he says, can make you happier, more effective, and -- crucially -- more empathetic with people with whom you disagree.
Shankar Vedantam is the host of the popular podcast and radio show Hidden Brain. His new book is called Useful Delusions: The Power and Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain. In this conversation, we talk about: the many ways our brains filter and alter our perception of reality; why we evolved for a robust capacity to lie to ourselves; and how his research on delusions has colored his view of the chaos and confusion of our modern world.
Are you excited about the upcoming Taming Anxiety Challenge? If so, you can download the Ten Percent Happier app today to get ready: https://10percenthappier.app.link/install
Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/shankar-vedantam-354
Chris Bosh: Making Your Inner Voice Your Ally
One of the more surprising lessons I’ve learned as an ambitious person is that perhaps the best recipe for success is... keeping your ego in check. For a long time, I subconsciously believed that you needed to be unremittingly selfish to “make it.” But after life delivered me repeated beat-downs, I finally got the message: sometimes what’s best for me is to focus on greater good -- on the team. It’s enlightened self-interest. (For the record, I am not perfect at this.) My guest today has also learned this lesson the hard way.
Chris Bosh is an 11-time NBA All-Star, an Olympic gold medalist, and he was just recently inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. He says his proudest moments as a player came from defeating his own ego, and you’ll hear him explain how he learned to do this. You’ll also hear him talk about something that anyone who’s ever been born needs to learn how to do (given that we live in a universe where impermanence is a nonnegotiable fact): letting go. In 2016, Chris nearly died from a blood clotting illness that sidelined him. He spent the next couple of years trying to make his way back to the NBA before retiring in 2019. He’s just written a new book, in which he tells his story and compiles some hard-won wisdom. It’s called Letters to a Young Athlete. But you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit; it’s really for anyone who’s interested in excellence.
In this conversation, Chris and I talk about the difficult process of letting go of something you love; the in’s and out’s of his journey with his own ego, both during and after his playing career; how to set aside the inner chatter in your mind in order to be in the present moment; and how to play every game–whatever that might mean to you–like it’s your last.
Before we dive in, I also want to let you know about a special series of episodes we’ll be launching next week here on the podcast. It’s called “Taming Anxiety.” It will feature interviews with top anxiety researchers and a dynamite meditation teacher. And, as is our wont here in TPH-land, we’ll be launching a free companion meditation challenge on the Ten Percent Happier app to help you put everything you learn in the podcast series into practice in your daily life -- to integrate it into your neurons, as I like to say.
Get ready to join the free challenge on June 21 by downloading the Ten Percent Happier app today: https://10percenthappier.app.link/install
Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/chris-bosh-353
Dan Tells A Meditative Story
In this episode from the excellent podcast Meditative Story, recorded a couple of years ago, Dan shares a candid look at his attempts to connect more with his son, Alexander, on their first father-son trip.
Meditative Story combines human stories with meditation prompts embedded into the storylines — all surrounded by breathtaking music. You can learn more about it here: https://meditativestory.com/, and listen here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/id1472106563.
Why You’re Burning Out -- And How to Fix It | Leah Weiss
Covid appears to have brought on a spike in burnout, especially among women, millions of whom have exited the workplace since the pandemic began. So what is burnout, exactly? How do you know if you qualify? How do you fix it? And can meditation help? That’s what we’re tackling today with Leah Weiss, who despite being a longtime meditator herself, has experienced burnout firsthand.
Leah is a researcher and author. She was a founding faculty member of the Compassion Institute at Stanford University, and she’s the co-founder of Skylyte - a company that specializes in using the latest science to help organizations prevent burnout. She’s written two books. The most relevant for our purposes is called: How We Work: Live Your Purpose, Reclaim Your Sanity, and Embrace the Daily Grind. In this conversation, we cover: the differences between anxiety, depression, and burnout; how to detect burnout; how burnout runs along a spectrum, and is a “full body experience;” why meditation can help but also make some people more susceptible to burnout; what can be done to protect women in the workplace; and her argument that burnout isn’t just a personal problem, but also a systemic one.
Also: If you don't already have the Ten Percent Happier app, you can download it for free here: https://www.tenpercent.com/?_branch_match_id=888540266380716858, or wherever you get your apps.
Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/leah-weiss-352
A Buddhist Approach to Patience | Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche
These are not hospitable times for the mental skill of patience. Instant gratification has never been more thoroughly scaled. You can order food, taxis, and shampoo from your phone. Streaming services autoplay the next episode of whatever show you’re binging. You can ask Siri or Alexa for the weather, the latest sports scores, or the dating history of Paul Rudd. And on a deeper level, of course, global tumult is trying our patience -- with the pandemic, political polarization, climate disruption, and cultural divides over race, gender, and more.
My guest today comes armed with great tools we can all use to exercise a muscle that, for many, is badly atrophied. As you’ll hear him explain, the Buddhist approach to patience goes way beyond grin and bear it; instead it’s about developing a mind that can work positively with whatever is bothering us.
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche grew up in a monastic environment in Northern India. His father was said to be the third incarnation of a great Tibetan master. His mother was his first teacher -- a renowned practitioner who completed thirteen years of solitary retreat before she got married. Rinpoche now lives in the U.S. -- in southern Colorado, where he has a mountain retreat center called Longchen Jigme Samten Ling. His students include former guests on this show, such as Pema Chödrön, the best-selling Buddhist author, and Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel, a teacher and author who is also his wife.
Rinpoche has a new book out called Peaceful Heart: The Buddhist Practice of Patience. In this interview we talk about: how to define patience from the Buddhist lens; what practices he suggests for getting better at patience; the difference between patience and passivity; the challenges he still faces in the patience arena; and the role of patience in eating and in enduring physical pain.
Also: We're offering 40% off the price of a year-long subscription for the Ten Percent Happier app until June 1st. Visit https://www.tenpercent.com/may to sign up today.
Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/dzigar-kongtrul-rinpoche-351
Thanks dan for bringing us this podcast. You have great guests and have presented us with some incredibly inspiring interviews. Would love you to interview Tara brach, Marianne Williams, Brene Brown? Anyway keep up the great work, thanks from me here in New Zealand.
Healthy balance of scepticism and curiosity
Thoroughly enjoy the skeptical yet curious and inquisitive interviews on this podcast into people’s lives and how meditation impacts them. I’ve particularly enjoyed the “Jew-bu” collection of interviews. The science of meditation and it’s findings is inspiring and heartwarming. Thank you for a wonderful podcast.
Love Dan he is so clever and funny, really not listening to all the interviews