10% Happier

1850579610% Happier by Dan Harris

I read it as an: audiobook

Narrator: Dan Harris

Source: My own collection

Length: 07:50:00

Publisher: HarperAudio

Year: 2014

Dan Harris, the anchorman for Good Morning America, had a panic attack on national live TV and decided then and there that he might need to consider making some changes. Perhaps not doing cocaine anymore was one change. Learning about mindfulness and meditation was another. However, like me, Harris is a super skeptic and he gave meditation a hard side-eye. Eventually, he came around and realized that it is actually a thing that works, and which has scientific studies to back it up, and was able to get his shit together.

This was an ok book. I don’t know that I find Harris an interesting enough person in and of himself to have had a burning desire to listen to this. I got it when it was an Audible daily deal and it was the next in my queue. He really is kind of a dick, though good on him for trying not to be a dick so much anymore. I do really like his concept of how meditation makes him just 10% happier. I think that’s a really important point to make. Meditation (or medication, or religion, or shopping, or whatever you want) really isn’t a cure-all for anything in life, and it’s up to each individual how we choose to respond to a thing. You can’t expect something to make you purely happy, nor should you go looking for such a thing. To do so will surely make you 100% miserable. I think that’s something a lot of folks still need to figure out.

Overall, this was an all right book. I’m glad I had the time to listen to it mostly in one go because I didn’t think it was that interesting and I might have DNF’d it if I had had to listen to it over several days.

Happiness

32722015Happiness by Thich Nhat Hahn

I read it as an: audiobook

Narrator: Edoardo Ballerini

Source: library

Length: 4:13:00

Publisher: Blackstone Audio

Year: 2015

This is the first book I’ve read by Thich Nhat Hahn and it will certainly not be my last. What a gentle and wise soul he is! I have wanted to read some of his works since I frequently use a short article he wrote in one of my classes. It is called “God is a Flower,” and is all about tolerance and loving everyone, and how if a thing exists, it is because it was created by the Creator and since there is a relationship between Creator and Created, then an element of everything is in the Creator. Therefore a flower can say God is a flower, God is a Lesbian, God is Black, God is Native American, etc. Usually it either blows my students’ minds or pisses them off. The ones who get bent usually are the ones who could use more mindfulness practices and tolerance.

ANYWAY. This was a sweet, short book about incorporating more mindfulness practices into daily life. Many things I cheerfully admit I will never do, like carrying a bell, or even keeping one at home to ring. But others, I totally dig and fit in well with Stoic practices that I gravitate towards, like being present in the moment, being grateful, taking responsibility, and enjoying what you have rather than worrying about what you do not have. These are all lessons I think everyone can and should learn, regardless of creed, religion, lack thereof, or whatever.