After having a panic attack on national television in 2004 (he was filling in as the newsreader on “Good Morning America” at the time), ABC News anchor Dan Harris sought to find out why it happened.
When he visited a doctor, one of the questions he was asked was, "Do you do drugs?"
"I had spent a lot of time in war zones as an ambitious young reporter," Dan recalls. "I was in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was my job."
"I had come home and gotten depressed, and I very unwisely self-medicated with drugs, including cocaine," he continues. "And that -- even though I was not high on the air -- according to my doctor, artificially raised a level of adrenaline in my brain and primed me to freak out on national television."
As a result of that wake-up call, Dan turned to meditation.
"[I learned] the hard way," Dan admits. "I don’t recommend you try it that way."
After finding solace in the practice, the ABC News anchor wanted to tell the truth about what happened to him, how much meditation has helped him -- and let other people know that they can do it, too!
"People think they need to clear their minds in order to meditate," Dan tells Rach. "But the good news is clearing your mind is impossible."
"If you have cleared your mind," he goes on, "you’re either enlightened or you’re dead."
In fact, Dan insists that noticing that you’re getting distracted while meditating doesn’t mean you’ve failed!
"Noticing that you’ve become distracted is a win," he stresses. "It's a huge victory."
Because as he puts it, if you recognize the distraction, it doesn’t own you. YOU own IT. ?
Now, if you’re still doubtful, you're not alone!
In fact, Dan's first book 10% Happier, was met with more skepticism than he expected when it was released in 2014.
But he didn't give up!
And his follow-up book that came out in late 2017, Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, also has an accompanying app to make people’s journey to meditation success even easier.
"We teach you how to meditate with a sense of humor," Dan explains.
The app includes 8 sessions of free content, with guided meditations ranging from 1 to 25+ minutes -- so there’s truly something for all types of lifestyles!
(If you want unlimited access to the app’s content, you can choose a monthly or annual subscription.)
Plus, there are even professional meditators on hand to coach you and answer your questions at any time. So cool!
But wait, it gets even better!
Dan created a special guided meditation called "Cooking Mindfully" just for YOU -- the fans of our show -- to use while you're whipping up a meal! (There are 5, 10 and 15-minute versions.)