10% Happier by Dan Harris – An Agragape Book Review

Most people probably recognize the name Dan Harris as an anchor for Nightline. I did not. It has been a long time since I had cable or kept up with mainstream news. The overwhelming amount of editorial it contains is difficult for me to swallow. I was a newspaper man at one point in life. Once you care about truth in journalism it becomes difficult to sit and watch opinions labeled as fact. If you want to give me opinions I am very thankful for that. That’s what I do here all the time. What you are doing should be called “opinion or review” though, don’t try to trick me. You are not as good at it as you think.

My slant towards “anti-mainstream journalism” started to worry me as I found out what the author did for a living. However, his writing was so disarming. I picked the book up at a time in life when the stress of my job and the hurt everyone around me was going thru was destroying my joy. I was at a very low point. I was willing to try anything. I picked the book up because my last straw was meditation. I found as I was reading that Dan made me feel like this wasn’t his journey for help, he made me feel like I was right there with him. This book became our journey. I could easily sit down and have a cup of coffee with this guy.

Thru telling his story of searching and understanding meditation Harris was able to help me grasp how it can help us to live happier and more fulfilled lives. As a Christian (which I am) I was taught from a young age to be careful of meditation. If I were to empty my mind of all things then Satan would rent the room out and throw a house party in my skull. It is amazing what passes as theology when well-meaning people repeat what they have heard as if it was fact.

The reality is that meditation is actually one of the most basic of the Spiritual Disciplines that Christians are suppose to practice.

I found that the practical steps that Harris outlined in his book were foundational in my understanding of how to add meditation to my own spiritual journey. Harris doesn’t approach it in the book from any particular religious slant. Buddhism is talked about. It’s hard to talk meditation or to research it without one of the religions that is well known for the practice being a jump point. By the end of the book I found it helped to deepen my faith as a Christian. I can’t tell you how much different life is when you learn to take those moments of quite to make sure you are truly focused on the right thing. I honestly think 10% happier is a very conservative estimate. I’d say I’m at around 30%.

Mr. Harris, if you happen to see this out there in internet land, thank you so much for sharing the journey.

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Author: John Edgar


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