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Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  3,560 ratings  ·  470 reviews
ABC News anchor Dan Harris used to think that meditation was for people who collect crystals, play Ultimate Frisbee, and use the word “namaste” without irony. After he had a panic attack on live television, he went on a strange and circuitous journey that ultimately led him to become one of meditation’s most vocal public proponents.

Here’s what he’s fixated on now: Science
Published December 26th 2017 by Random House Audio
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3.87  · 
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 ·  3,560 ratings  ·  470 reviews

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Dan Harris, the ABC news anchor and Jeffrey Warren team together to narrate this fun book about meditation. They went, along with a number of others, on a road trip on a bus around the country, bringing the message of meditation to far-flung locations around the country. They alternate anecdotes about their road trip with discussions about the philosophy and practice of meditation, along with examples of meditation techniques.

For some reason, this book just didn't grab me. I do believe that medi
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book, by Dan Harris, Jeff Warren, and Carlye Adler, seemed ideal for me–I am a skeptic, and I am certainly fidgety (much like Jeff, one of the authors, I have ADD)! I’m impressed by how much the book makes meditation accessible, makes it seem like just another part of life, like riding the bus to work or brushing your teeth before bed. Just something you do because it makes sense and makes your life a little bit better.

The whole attitude of t
Julie Penner
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: happiness, brain-mind
I have been meditating for short intervals for about a year and a half, by no means a new meditator and yet not an experienced meditator either. I found the framework, the meditations, and the perspective of two meditators who have worked at building a practice, and struggled at times, to be very helpful. I particularly enjoyed the meditation “welcome to the party“ and lines like “your juicy animal body” certainly made me smile. I found Dan’s storytelling and wit funny, humble, and kept the book ...more
Anne Wolfe
If you are only going to read one book on how to meditate, this one is probably not it. But if you want to know how meditation works for different people while getting to know Dan Harris (and others), this will certainly give you an overview of both.

I was attracted to this book because of it's title and the fact that my own experience with meditation is hampered by both my fidgety nature and my inborn skepticism. The book did address both of these for me. Unfortunately, it's difficult to read th
Gary Moreau
Meditation has gone mainstream. And for good reason. It’s a great way to focus and energize the mind and body. I do it, and if you don’t, you should try. Simple as that.

Perhaps more than anything else this book is a testament to just how mainstream it has gone. That’s not a criticism. But let’s face it, a bus tour is pretty mainstream. Wanting to be 10% happier is very mainstream. And putting it all together in a convenient app is the essence of mainstream in the 21st.

I don’t watch television,
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: happiness
Dan Harris shares more thoughts about meditation and its benefits in this second book in his 10% Happier series. This time he teams up with Jeff Warren, a master meditator, and Carlye Adler, a writer, and the result is a clever and thoughtful look at meditation, especially for those of us who tend to think meditation might be too much work.

I took furious notes as I read this book. Some of my favorites:

There are hindrances in meditation (and life):
Desire (to do something, anyth
Jorrit Van der Meulen
OK. I liked the book, but it does remind me of books like Blink, Wisdom of Crowds, etc where a lot of the core concepts can be summarized in a few short pages. Yes, i get the irony of saying this given the title and contents (I also listened to it on Audible at 1.5x add that to the irony (hypocrisy?)). Anyway, i have been thinking about meditation more and more - and still doing nothing. This book has helpful tips that should get me started. If only I can find the time... :)
Wendy Jackson
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: living-well
A light read that aims to trouble-shoot the standard barriers to meditation - e.g., I do not have time; I will lose my edge; etc. I enjoyed Harris's first book ("10% Happier") and am a regular listener to his podcast, and - despite not being a skeptic (though I am fidgety) - I was keen to read the follow-up. I took away from it a few good tips, like being easy on yourself when you fall off the meditation wagon (the "begin again" mantra applies at all levels). Nothing earth-shattering in the book ...more
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While this was good, I don’t know that I’m the target audience. Since I’m already sold on meditation, some of the counsel offered here didn’t really resonate with me.

If you’re struggling or a skeptic I could see where this would be a great read. If you’re already convinced, pass this on to someone who isn’t! (yet)
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

Full review here:
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
tl;dr Review:

If you loved 10% Happier, you need this guide.

Full Review:

I first read Dan Harris' original 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 (he enjoys long titles apparently), in 2015. It came into my life at a time when I was in desperate need to do all of those things: tame the voice in my head, manage my stress, and find self-help.

I tabbed the book and have re-read portions so many t
Apr 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Dan Harris' attempt to not only demystify--but also de-stigmatize--meditation. It follows his 10 Percent Happier bus tour, a cross-country journey wherein he meets with everyday people such as cops, military cadets, recovering addicts, television and radio personalities and attempts to convince them of the benefits of meditation. He's helped in this endeavor by Jeff Warren, a meditation teacher. In fact, the book is set up as an ongoing dialogue between Harris and Warren, with each of th ...more
I loved Dan Harris's first book 10% Happier, so I was excited to see that he'd written another one. This book is just as great! It's both a primer on meditation and a buddy road trip story, about Dan's cross-country trip with his friend, meditation teacher Jeff Warren, as they travel around in a bus to tell people about the benefits of meditation. The combination of Dan's hard-nosed, anti-sentimental nature with Jeff's hippy-dippy love and compassion attitude makes for a delightful read. These a ...more
Megan Rosol
The book consists of 50% of Dan Harris's experiences (morning TV host and journalist) with the positive effects of mediation on his hyper-stressful lifestyle and 50% guided meditation mini-instructions by Jeff Warren, a hot-looking and completely convincing meditation teacher.
I found Dan's parts/his narration annoyingly glib and cheerful (I don't like morning tv) but absolutely loved the soothing voice and meditative content of Jeff Warren's teachings.
Still, I tried to control my annoyance at
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was good - I listened to it on audio and I just enjoy Dan Harris so much! Great examples provided throughout the book that are just a few minutes long - we all have time to meditate!
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I thought the first book was slightly better, this one has a lot of useful tips and silly humor to make you laugh. An enjoyable book!
Patrice Sartor
I've practiced yoga for many years, and I always felt the part of class where we just lay there during shivasana went on too long. Eventually I started bringing a Kindle to class, and would be still with my thoughts for about five minutes, then quietly turn over to read while everyone else remained still for another 10-15 minutes. If I'm not focused on something (and sometimes even during this time!), then my brain tends to go into overdrive with thoughts, worries, ideas, whatever. At the beginn ...more
Joel Bastos
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always wanted to know what the fuss around meditation and mindfulness was all about and scepticism was my primary drive.

You can find the story about how Dan Harris, after a panic attack during a live stream of Good Morning America, found in meditation a brand new and healthier lifestyle. Eventually, we're introduced to Jeff Warren, a meditation teacher who provided several guided meditations.

There's no bullshit throughout the entire book which is filled with in-depth explanations on what is me
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely the best beginners' meditation guide I have ever read, with wonderful insights, tips, and meditations for experienced practitioners, too. Dan Harris and his co-authors Jeff Warren and Carlyle Adler make a strong and convincing case for the benefits of meditation, which I've read in many books, but they are also so upfront about the challenges of meditation and how to handle them. Their honesty and vulnerability in sharing their own struggles with starting, growing, and sticking with a ...more
Brandon Woodward
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really neat book to help anyone (and everyone) get started meditating. If you’ve ever had any interest in meditation, whether it be to to help with stress, increase happiness, or just to see what the hype is about, give this book a shot. It includes a wide variety of meditations that you can do for any length of time, making the process quite accessible. A variety of common obstacles and reservations are discussed in detail to help you get over the hump.

The book was quite short, and the humor a
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent mindfulness primer, especially for people like me who have always been turned off by mindfulness culture. I knew for some time that practicing mindfulness might have its benefits, but I feared that doing so would force me into a culture that didn't appeal to me, turning me into, I don't know, one of those tofu-eating, sandal-wearing, "namaste" burbling types.

Dan Harris is the ideal teacher for people like me -- someone I can relate to, a neurotic career guy, a self-described "jerk.
Jul 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
3.5 Stars.
In this small book, Dan Harris and his friends offer you an approach to meditation. Think of story telling with instruction on how meditation works for different people. While some critics might see this book as an infomercial for the 10% Happier App. Meditation is helpful it just takes patience.
Jenni Clark
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very approachable one for meditation. I listened to the audiobook and the dialogue between the two authors was hilarious and made me want to hang out with them.
Laura Mckinney
Really 3.5 stars. Light-hearted, easy to read introduction to mindfulness meditation. I didn't realize this was Harris' second book, and probably would have helped to have read the 10% Happier book first.
Early in the book, author Dan Harris mentions that meditation has been the victim of the worst marketing campaign ever. I think that this book is not really for fidgety skeptics, it's for people who have trouble separating the practice of meditation from the idea that it's part of a lifestyle that is immersed in New age-y things that people find mysterious and/or silly. I'm fidgety and I'm skeptical, but this book wasn't really for me. It's probably most geared for people who are curious about m ...more
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This, together with 10% Happier by the same author, really helped me understand how meditation can be a helpful tool in navigating life. This book in particular helped me look past my own mental roadblocks and find a path that looks like it will work for me.
Lisa Butterworth
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brain-books
lots of good examples and advise. particularly for those who aren't into hippy dippy woo woo stuff or already on board the mindfullness train. found the "marketing" aspects of it kinda yucky, but it wasn't a huge problem.
I gave up about halfway through. I should have known that this would happen, because I couldn't get through his first book 10% Happier. But because I'm doing my dissertation on stress reduction in health professions students, and as part of that I'm developing a course that will likely involve meditation and a captive audience of students who will have mixed feelings about that, I thought this would be worthwhile.

There's something about his narrative that bugs me, and I don't know what it is. He
Jul 08, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As a longtime meditator who is not a fidgety skeptic, I'm not the intended audience for this book. But I was curious after hearing Dan Harris talk about it on NPR. I found this book pretty disappointing and can't imagine that it would help beginners start a meditation practice. It's way too complicated; there are too many different types of meditation given, rather than one simple method. Sort of like throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.

The worst parts of the book were the meditati
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Dan Harris is the coanchor of Nightline and the weekend editions of Good Morning America. He regularly reports for 20/20, World News with Diane Sawyer, and the weekday editions of Good Morning America. Before joining ABC News fourteen years ago, he worked for local news outlets in Boston and Maine. He lives with his wife, Bianca, in New York City. 10% Happier is his first book.
“As Mark Twain is reputed to have said, “Some of the worst things in my life never even happened.” 3 likes
“Here are some key attributes of the voice in my head. I suspect they will sound familiar. • It’s often fixated on the past and future, at the expense of whatever is happening right now. The voice loves to plan, plot, and scheme. It’s always making lists or rehearsing arguments or drafting tweets. One moment it has you fantasizing about some halcyon past or Elysian future. Another moment you’re ruing old mistakes or catastrophizing about some not-yet-arrived events. As Mark Twain is reputed to have said, “Some of the worst things in my life never even happened.” • The voice is insatiable. The default mental condition for too many human beings is dissatisfaction. Under the sway of the ego, nothing is good enough. We’re always on the hunt for the next dopamine hit. We hurl ourselves headlong from one cookie, one promotion, one party to the next, and yet a great many of us are never fully sated. How many meals, movies, and vacations have you enjoyed? And are you done yet? Of course not. • The voice is unrelievedly self-involved. We are all the stars of our own movies, whether we cast ourselves as hero, victim, black hat, or all three. True, we can get temporarily sucked into other people’s stories, but often as a means of comparing ourselves to them. Everything ultimately gets subordinated to the one plotline that matters: the Story of Me.” 2 likes
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