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 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
Your Craving Mind | Kevin Griffin
This is an episode about our craving, grasping minds. Whether you have struggled with a classic addiction or not, we all have addictive tendencies; we all wrestle with desire. I often think about a provocative question once posed by my friend, Dr. Jud Brewer, a Buddhist practitioner and addiction specialist: Are we all addicted? The implied answer is yes.
My guest today thinks about addiction in a similarly broad and compelling way. He talks about addictions to substances like drugs and alcohol, but also addiction to self and addiction to racism. Kevin Griffin is a longtime Buddhist practitioner and 12 Step participant, and is one of the founders of the Buddhist Recovery Network. He has trained with many of the legendary teachers we have interviewed on this show, including Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein. He has written many books, including One Breath at a Time: Buddhism & the Twelve Steps. His latest is Buddhism & the Twelve Steps: Daily Reflections: Thoughts on Dharma and Recovery.
This is the first in a two part series we’re doing this week on addiction. During the pandemic, we’ve seen alcohol use go up and drug overdose deaths rise. On Wednesday, we’re going to talk to a woman named Annie Grace, who has come up with what she believes is a powerful alternative to AA. But today, it’s Kevin Griffin. We cover a lot of ground here, including: How he connects the dharma to the 12 Steps, and a Buddhist list called the three refuges. But we start with what he calls the foundational addiction: addiction to the self.
Podcast Survey - We would appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to help us out by answering a brand-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/kevin-griffin-324
Forgive Yesterday and Reset | Bonus Meditation with Sebene Selassie
Sometimes we get stuck in yesterday’s mistakes. Reset by using the freshness of each new breath and start your morning with ease.
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.
Making it RAIN | Tara Brach
Today we’re going to talk about a massively useful acronym, which can be used both on the cushion and in your free-range living. The acronym is RAIN -- R-A-I-N -- and rather than explaining it myself, I will leave that to my guest, who has become one of RAIN’s primary proponents.
Tara Brach is an author, therapist, and meditation teacher. She has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, she founded the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, and she has written several books, including her latest, which is called Radical Compassion. We first posted this interview in January 2020, shortly after that book came out.
In this conversation, we talk about: What RAIN is and how to apply it in many areas of your life, including relationships; a Buddhist list called The Eight Worldly Winds; and whether most people harbor a suspicion that there's something fundamentally wrong with us.
But we start and end the conversation with a touchy subject. In my first book, I made fun of Tara a little bit, which didn’t go down that well with her, although I didn’t know that until this chat. I really respect how warm and open she was during this tricky discussion. Stay tuned until the very end, when we fully wrap that subject up.
Also: We would appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to help us out by answering a brand-new 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. Thank you!
Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/tara-brach-repost
Holding it Together When Things Fall Apart | Pema Chödrön
We’re now almost a full year into the era of Covid restrictions, and I suspect that many of you, as I am, are starting to internalize the fact that, notwithstanding the vaccines, there’s likely a ways to go yet. And the mental health issues are piling up: The depression, anxiety, and addiction. Moms, people of color, and elderly people who can’t see their families are among those getting hit especially hard. To inject a little sunshine, and perspective, and wisdom, we thought it might make sense to re-post one of our favorite conversations of the last year.
Pema Chödrön has seemingly been trying to prepare us for this pandemic for years, through a series of popular books, with titles such as When Things Fall Apart, Welcoming the Unwelcome, and The Wisdom of No Escape. But as you will hear, she is anything but gloomy. Like all of the great meditation teachers I’ve met, she has a lightness and a sense of humor about her.
She was born Deirdre Blomfield in Connecticut. She lived a conventional life, going to UC Berkeley, becoming a school teacher, and having a pair of kids. But after a rough divorce, she found herself adrift. During this time, she discovered Tibetan Buddhism, shaved her head, and became a nun. Now in her mid-eighties, she lives in rural Nova Scotia, where she is the director of Gampo Abbey. We connected with her — back in May — on an old-school landline. I was recording my half of the conversation from a closet in our erstwhile apartment in New York City, which at the time was the epicenter of the outbreak in America. We talked about how to actually welcome the unwelcome. We also discussed how to befriend your demons, sympathize without being stupid, lighten up in the face of fear, and embrace chaos as “extremely good news.”
One other thing: we would appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to help us out by answering a brand-new survey about your experience with this podcast. To do so, please go to https://www.tenpercent.com/survey. And thank you!
Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/pema-chodron-repost
You Are Not Alone | Bonus Meditation with Joanna Hardy
Use meditation to connect to how you’re feeling and to unlearn the habit of abandoning yourself when you most need to feel connected.
About Joanna Hardy:
JoAnna Hardy can talk about meditation to pretty much anybody. She not only teaches in traditional environments like retreat centers, but also in both schools and jails. JoAnna has been studying meditation for nearly two decades and she's done some amazing work ensuring that the practice is available to people who might not otherwise have access to it.
JoAnna teaches at the Insight Meditation Society, at Spirit Rock, and is a Founding Member of The Meditation Coalition.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I tell everyone about 10%
This podcast is first rate. Dan is such a skillful interviewer and thoughtful dude and the guests blow my mind - esp. Laurie Santos, Sebene Salassie, Ashley Williams and of course, the beloved Joseph. Dan and Team: you are putting really meaningful and useful stuff into the world. Please, keep it coming 🙏✨
Tara Brach re-post
A big THANKS!
Love your show, Sam
Must listen!! So refreshing honest. I am grateful for all you have done and shared.