ABC News anchor’s journey with meditation

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) — Dan Harris can be seen each weekend morning on Good Morning America, and yes, he’ll tell you he’s a happier man these days.

He was in Louisville recently to talk about his journey at Kentucky Country Day.

It’s all in his book “10 percent Happier” and it’s a New York Times Best Seller.

It’s a journey that began with an on air meltdown in 2004.

Harris said he had a panic attack and drug use contributed to it.

That panic attack coupled with a new assignment from his boss Peter Jennings would change everything.

His new beat would be faith and spirituality, which eventually led him to meditation and he realized he wasn’t in control–but his inner voice was.

Harris said it helped explain his panic attack, even depression.

The self-medicating didn’t work–but maybe meditation would, and it wasn’t easy.

He says it’s like working out at the gym, if it’s easy, you’re cheating. And if it’s easy meditating, you’re either enlightened or dead, it’s a new skill.

But he kept at it, realizing it was exercise for the mind. He began focusing less on useless worry and more on being constructive.

He was past the stereotypes of meditation–his colleagues, not quite yet.

But when he told one colleague it made him 10 percent happier, she seemed intrigued, so that became his shtick. Harris now takes his shtick on the road, talking about his book and meditation, and how it’s helped him.

He’s introduced it to Louisville’s own Diane Sawyer–and many of his colleagues.

Dr. Rich Besser, George, and Robin are all active meditators.

ABC News now has its own meditation room. Other businesses are following suit because of the health benefits.

Harris said physical exercise was the first real health revolution. He believes mental exercise is next, and says it will have significant impact on the way we treat each other.

Harris said his wife still reminds him he’s 90 percent moron–but even she agrees he’s a happier person, less stressed.

If you can say that about a reporter who’s a skeptic, it may be a pretty good endorsement for giving it a try.


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