Tuesday, April 22, 2014

10% Happier by Dan Harris

"10% Happier by Dan Harris"  is the story of how one man went on a journey to reduce stress in his life by searching out different religions and stress-relieving methods. He was able to do it from a journalistic standpoint since he was a news anchor for GMA and Nightline News. In fact, under Peter Jennings direction, he was given the job of researching religious stories despite the fact that Dan Harris himself was an agnostic.

If you are not familiar with the name Dan Harris, a few years ago, he had a major meltdown on National TV. Despite everything he had going for him, he had resorted to doing drugs to ease the stress in his life. Little did he know, that the drugs just made it all the more obvious to everyone around him how big his problems really were. This is when he decided that there must be more to life than drugs and getting high every weekend. He knew he needed to make a change in his life, but since he didn't believe in God or any type of religion, he had no idea what that looked like.

He soon began his journey of interviewing different religious types in an effort to find out what he was missing. He interviewed self-help experts such as Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra and eventually Mark Epstein, a Buddhist teacher. He found that meditation was the answer he was looking for, and began practicing meditation multiple times a day as well as going on "Meditation Retreats".

For a lot of reasons, I did not enjoy this book. However, although it was difficult at times, I did finish this book in it's entirety hoping that it got better near the end. It didn't. I found it ironic that he was a religious reporter despite the fact that he was an agnostic. At one point after delivering Eckhart Tolle's book to his boss, Dan refers to himself as "the crazy guy handing out religious tracts on the street." I found it completely absurd that he could criticize the same things he was reporting about and sometimes giving a good report on.

He writes about Christians as if they're nothing more than judgemental hypocrites, and writes about one evangelical Pastor who was so deeply into sin, that he lost his church, his riches (which were quite a lot as he was the Pastor of a mega church), and ended up living in a small apartment with his wife and children. This same Pastor openly criticizes James Dobson (Popular Christian book writer, Pastor and counselor) saying that Dobson is a hypocrite.

I am not a fan. I think Harris is an arrogant news reporter who uses his celebrity status to gain what he wants. I rate this book as 1 star. I received this book for free from Litfuse in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

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