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

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Too busy to meditate? Can’t turn off your brain? Curious about mindfulness but more comfortable in the gym? This book is for you.

You’ll also get access to guided audio meditations on the 10% Happier app, to jumpstart your practice from day one.

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.

Harris found that meditation made him more focused and less yanked around by his emotions. According to his wife, it also made him less annoying. Science suggests that the practice can lower your blood pressure, mitigate depression and anxiety, and literally rewire key parts of the brain. So what’s holding you back?

In Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, Harris and Jeff Warren, a masterful teacher and “Meditation MacGyver,” embark on a gonzo cross-country quest to tackle the myths, misconceptions, and self-deceptions that keep people from meditating. It is filled with game-changing and deeply practical meditation instructions—all of which are also available (for free) on the 10% Happier app. This book is a trip worth taking.

Praise for Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics

“If you’re intrigued by meditation but don’t know how to begin—or you’ve benefited from meditation in the past but need help to get started again—Dan Harris has written the book for you. Well researched, practical, and crammed with expert advice, it’s also an irreverent, hilarious page-turner.”—Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

“The ABC News anchor, a ‘defender of worrying’ who once had an anxiety attack on air, offers a hilarious and stirring account of his two-steps-forward-one-step-back campaign to sort ‘useless rumination’ from ‘constructive anguish’ via mindfulness, along with invaluable suggestions for following in his footsteps.”—O: The Oprah Magazine

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (December 26, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399588949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399588945
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces

Customer Reviews

A great book for new or experienced meditators.

158 people found this helpful
 on November 25, 2017
By Out of the AmaZone
As a fidgety, former skeptic of meditation, I found this to be a very easy to read introduction to meditation, that takes a very straight forward approach to getting someone to meditate. It took me years to get into meditation, then with a different approach and perspective change, all of a sudden everything clicked for me. I am a believer now already, but I still look for different perspectives for myself and to help introduce others into mindful meditation, because it really does work. I appreciate Dan’s approach in this book, because I am fidgety and I was a skeptic. I wish I read this a decade ago or even more. It would have helped me so much at the time. This is definitely worth picking up for people who have trouble “getting it” or if you find your self “too busy” or too mentally active to get into meditation. Good for new and experienced alike. I have read about Dan Harris before, and knew a bit of his background and journey into dealing with anxiety issues, which combined with my interest in meditation led me to pick up this book. I am glad I did. I will be picking up Dan’s 10% Happier book as well, based on my like for this book.

If you don’t meditate and you appreciate flippancy, this book might get you to try

125 people found this helpful
 on January 21, 2018
By Gary Moreau, Author
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, so I’ve never seen or heard the name, Dan Harris, the ABC news anchor and correspondent behind the book. He is obviously witty, bright, high energy, very enthusiastic, and clearly sincere in his hopes for this project. And in many ways that makes him perfect for this book. He is a very good pairing with Jeff Warren, the professional meditator who represents the “let’s hug” branch of meditation that the mainstream associates with the practice, who is every bit as sincere and earnest as Harris. It’s a bit like pairing Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in Twins, but I make the comparison in the most positive way. Their strategy for taking meditation mainstream is to: 1. Make it effortless.

A wonderful ‘ordinary’ guide to meditation

64 people found this helpful
 on December 27, 2017
By H. Grove (errantdreams)
The whole attitude of the authors gives you permission to “fail” at meditation as many times as is necessary–by making it clear that it isn’t failing in the first place. The idea is that you learn to come back to focusing, and that return is success. It makes the stakes much smaller and easier to face. One of the parts that particularly appeals to me is the idea that if you’re dead certain you can’t spare five minutes (or sit still for that long), even one minute counts. There’s a ten-breath meditation that I’ve been doing every day since I started reading this book, and even I can manage that! Part of the idea is that you can’t control what arises in your mind, but you can learn how to respond to it. There are habit-formation tips, as well as an examination of the hindrances to meditation (such as boredom or restlessness). It’s nice that they acknowledge such barriers as legitimate and important and give us hints for how to handle them. The authors also try to avoid fancy or precious talk; they want to make meditation accessible to everyone, and I think they succeed. Even when they get touchy-feely (such as talking about self-compassion) they find a way to bring it down to earth.

Harris and Warren Shed Important Light on Mindfulness and Meditation

7 people found this helpful
 on February 26, 2018
By Cecil Yount
Having read and recommended Harris’s early book 10% Happier, I was eager to read this one upon receiving notice it had been released. I was particularly interested in hearing the feedback from “the field” so to speak as to the barriers faced by those folks who struggle to establish a consistent meditation practice. I was also interested in hearing more from those who couldn’t even get started. The book did a fine job of clarifying issues and putting forth solutions. I found the access to the 10% Happier app to perhaps be the best aspect of the book as it not only recounts the book in video format but actually provides the meditations in audio format. I sometimes had to drop back and figure out whether I was reading the voice of Harris or the voice of Warren. I believe the font and typeface changed when it was Warren. Most of all, I appreciate the demystification of Mindfulness and meditation that Harris has taken upon himself. I also appreciated his recounting of how he falls short of his own goals at times. As an addictions counselor, I frequently attempt to get my consumers to add these Best Practices to their tool bags for recovery. I have recommended both books to my clientele.

the mindful sits (or meditation they call it) are so good..

5 people found this helpful
 on May 16, 2018
By Nicole
bought the app and the other book too. Cancelled my head space subscription…the mindful sits (or meditation they call it) are so good…its like having a direct line to a meditation teacher! Very relevant and good secular sits…. I am training with mindful schools to be a certified trainer…and I was longing for lessons and sits like the ones I guide my students through…also, I am learning many different techniques to guide my own sits! I love the “welcome to the party” idea for thoughts as they come when sitting… I have a million books on mindfulness and this is my favorite!

Perfect title for an amazing book

5 people found this helpful
 on March 29, 2018
By Michael L. Uyyek
This book is perfect for people who have been curious about meditation , but, like the author, have an allergy to all things woo-woo and New Age-y. This book is approachable, it’s real, it’s common sense, and it gives you immediate access to trying these techniques and incorporating then into your life. I heartily recommend this book for anyone who wants to see if meditation can give them a little more peace, freedom, and calm in their life.