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 Conversation about Abuse, Agency, and Mindfulness | Tanya Selvaratnam
Before we dive in, a warning: this conversation includes descriptions of abuse and violence.
As you may know, March 8th, the day we’re dropping this episode, is International Women’s Day. We have a story today about intimate violence, which has long been a problem for women around the world, and has only intensified during the pandemic.
My guest is Tanya Selvaratnam, a writer and artist who I’ve known socially for many, many years. I was truly shocked when Tanya’s name surfaced in the media three years ago, in connection with the case of Eric Schneiderman. Eric was the celebrated Attorney General of New York State. He was also a regular on the local meditation scene. I knew Eric and Tanya were dating. What I did not know was that, behind the scenes, Eric was allegedly physically and emotionally abusing Tanya. She has now come out with a book, called Assume Nothing, which goes into searing detail about not only the alleged abuse, but also about how she flipped the script, regained her agency, helped bring her alleged abuser down, and how she has healed subsequently -- in no small part through meditation and therapy.
Please note: If you or someone you know is suffering from abuse, you can find resources curated by Tanya at the “full shownotes” link below.
We’d also like to provide more context about the allegations Tanya shares in this interview: When the allegations of abuse against New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman by Tanya and three other women were first made public in The New Yorker in May 2018, Schneiderman quickly resigned. In a statement at the time, he said, “serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me.” He also said, “While these allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct or the operations of the office, they will effectively prevent me from leading the office’s work at this critical time. I therefore resign my office.” After a six-month investigation, prosecutors declined to bring criminal charges against Schneiderman, citing legal impediments, including statutes of limitations. But the district attorney assigned to the case by Governor Andrew Cuomo also said that she “believed the women who shared their experiences” with investigators. In response, Schneiderman said, "I recognize that District Attorney Singas' decision not to prosecute does not mean I have done nothing wrong. I accept full responsibility for my conduct in my relationships with my accusers, and for the impact it had on them." I should also note that our team reached out to Eric Schneiderman and that he declined to comment for this episode.
Two more items: First, remember to check out “In Plain Sight: Lady Bird Johnson,” a new podcast from ABC News, on Apple Podcasts (https://apple.co/ladybird), Spotify (https://spoti.fi/3ukYgoq), or wherever you’re listening now.
Finally, we are looking for a podcast marketer at Ten Percent Happier. If you love this show, marketing, and building relationships, we would love to have you on the team to help us grow Ten Percent Happier and our future shows. Please apply at https://www.tenpercent.com/careers.
Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/tanya-selvaratnam-328
Coming into Balance | Bonus Meditation with Sebene Selassie
Coming into balance is about accepting that balancing is a process, not a destination. Sebene will help you make the most out of the process.
About Sebene Selassie:
Growing up, Sebene felt like a big weirdo. Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and raised in white neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., she was a tomboy Black girl who loved Monty Python and UB40. She never believed she belonged. Thirty years ago, she began studying Buddhism as an undergraduate at McGill University where she majored in Comparative Religious Studies. Now, Sebene is a teacher, author, and speaker who teaches that meditation can help us remember our inherent sense of belonging, that our individual freedom affects absolutely everyone and everything, and that our collective freedom depends on each and every one of us. Sebene is a three-time cancer survivor of Stage III and IV cancer.
Uprooting Your Delusions | Andrea Fella
I know you guys, and it is pretty clear you love deep dharma episodes. Today we’ve got a dharma episode that is quite timely. As you all know, we live in a time when most people are getting their news from carefully curated information silos. As a result, we often create very specific views— about public figures, current events, our fellow citizens — and we can cling pretty tightly to those views. Today we’re gonna talk about how useful and even pleasurable it can be to dig into the roots of these biases and dismantle them— to pop our bubbles of delusion. It can be a relief. It can be eye-opening. It can change the way you relate to yourself and to other people.
My guest is Andrea Fella. She is the co-teacher at the Insight Meditation Center and the Insight Retreat Center in Redwood City, California. She has been practicing Insight Meditation since 1996, and teaching Insight Meditation since 2003. She is particularly drawn to intensive retreat practice, and has done a number of long retreats, both in the United States and in Burma. During one long practice period in Burma, she ordained as a nun.
Also: We are looking for a podcast marketer! If you love this show, marketing, and building relationships, we would love to have you on the team to help us grow Ten Percent Happier and our future shows. Please apply at https://www.tenpercent.com/careers.
And don’t forget to check out the new ABC podcast In Plain Sight: Lady Bird Johnson, which you can find here: https://abcaudio.com/podcasts/in-plain-sight/
Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/andrea-fella-327
How to Make a Masterpiece | Pete Docter
We’re all creatives, whether we think of ourselves that way or not. In so many aspects of your life, from planning your future to planning a meal to curating your social media, you need to be able to both envision and then execute. And how you work with your mind in these moments is key. Today, we are going to hear from a master creator -- the mind behind brilliant Pixar movies such as Inside Out, Up, and the recently-released Soul -- about how to run a creative process at the highest possible level. (I have a six-year-old, and, in my opinion, one of the worst parts of the job of being a dad is sitting through insipid children's entertainment. But the aforementioned films have been both thrilling and moving to consume, for both me and my son.)
My guest today is Pete Docter, who directed all three of those films. He is the Chief Creative Officer of Pixar. He is also a meditator and a practicing Christian whose films are each motivated by a big, pressing question he is posing to himself about his own life. In this conversation, he takes us inside the making of his films, most notably Soul, for which he and his team had to invent a coherent metaphysical scheme to explain both the afterlife -- and the before. We also talk about how his spiritual practices support his storytelling endeavors, and how to power through the pain, frustration, and embarrassment of trying to make something truly original.
One more thing: We would appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to help us out by answering a survey about your experience with this podcast. Our team here cares deeply about you, our listeners, and we are always looking for ways to improve. Please go to https://www.tenpercent.com/survey. And thank you.
Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/pete-docter-326
Freedom Anywhere | Bonus Meditation with Joseph Goldstein
In this guided meditation (which you can do anywhere), Joseph helps you relax the habit of personalizing everything, so you can live with more ease.
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.
A New Way to Think About Addiction | Annie Grace
The stereotypical depiction of fighting addiction makes it seem highly unpleasant: White knuckling, sweating it out, detoxing, going cold turkey–you get the picture. This applies to classical addiction, and also to the less dangerous (but nonetheless nettlesome) unhealthy habits and compulsions that we all wrestle with. My guest today takes a very different approach. She aims to harness the pleasure centers of the brain as a way to handle addictive habits—and, controversially, she doesn’t believe you need to go cold turkey on alcohol, which is the main intoxicant she has targeted.
Her name is Annie Grace, and she is the author of a very popular book called This Naked Mind. (Shout out to my friend and colleague Steve Baker, the executive producer of Nightline, who has gotten a lot out of Annie’s work, and turned me on to her.)
This episode is the second in a two-part series we’re doing this week on addiction. If you missed it, go check out Monday’s episode with Buddhist teacher Kevin Griffin, who has worked to combine the dharma and the 12 steps. Speaking of the 12 steps, many people in the AA community are quite critical of Annie Grace, and she will address that in our conversation. We also cover: Her personal story, and why she now drinks as much alcohol as she wants to–which is none at all; the connection between her approach and Evelyn Tribole’s “intuitive eating”; and her thoughts on working with other addictions, including nicotine, gambling, shopping, pornography, and video games.
Also: We would appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to help us out by answering a new survey about your experience with this podcast. We want to hear about your experience with our show, because we care deeply, and we are always looking for ways to improve. Please go to https://www.tenpercent.com/survey. Thank you!
Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/annie-grace-325
Customer ReviewsSee All
Pema and Dan
Thank you for this podcast. It opened my heart to my glass being half full. Pema alwAys brings me Calm. Thx as always Dan!
Our friend Dan
I just texted the following to my friend so thought I’d share:
I was thinking about Dan Harris and the podcast and it’s like having that podcast feels like a friend. Like Dan feels like my good friend.
She replied: Yes! Like a really really good friend! It’s such a great support system.
It’s so true. We feel like you are there for us! Life just has a lot of hard parts and this podcast and the 10 percent app are a consistent comfort. We get so much from them. There’s no adequate way to say thank you to Dan for his determination and dedication to do this for all of us. Still - Thank you!!
Making fun of older women
My wife loves ur podcast but often comments on her feeling of ur male superiority. “It’s not embracing.” What I’ve heard when I’ve listened in comes across well intentioned but has a very clear elitist air to it.