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Discussion Question for 10% Happier - Meditation Challenge

At the end of his book, 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help that Actually Works – A True Story, Dan Harris includes section titled “Appendix: Instructions.” I like this section, because it feels as though you are left with an action plan. Harris wants to help you achieve what he achieved, so he provides realistic and encouraging suggestions for a number of options to try, as well as answers to questions he feels might arise as you make the attempt to incorporate meditation in your life.

Discussion Question for 10% Happier - Meditation Challenge

Question answered by Liz Wegman, Director of PTPI’s Global Chapter Network

At the end of his book, 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help that Actually Works – A True Story, Dan Harris includes section titled “Appendix: Instructions.” I like this section, because it feels as though you are left with an action plan. Harris wants to help you achieve what he achieved, so he provides realistic and encouraging suggestions for a number of options to try, as well as answers to questions he feels might arise as you make the attempt to incorporate meditation in your life.

Well, I tried. And am still trying, though I have not been that successful. There’s a sentence in the second-to-last paragraph of the appendix that begins: “Meditation is worth the work…” It’s interesting to consider working towards improving your happiness, to me at least. Perhaps I had always thought of happiness as something that should occur naturally, without a great deal of work. So, as I was contemplating my inability to carve out at least five minutes a day to sit and put into practice the techniques and tips that Harris recommends, I switched gears and started thinking about the things I do work to make time for in my life.

Spending time reading a good book and taking classes at the gym are very high on my list of weekly priorities. I started to think more about why those two things are important to me, and it dawned on me that both activities allow me to escape my thoughts almost entirely. I realized that through those two activities I achieve my highest level of mindfulness – I am almost completely present in the moment and the experience. And I am happy.

I have a quote by Mother Teresa taped to the wall by my desk:

“Be happy in the moment – that’s enough. Each moment is all we need – not more.”

So even though I’m not sitting down and meditating (yet), I love that reading this book caused me to look at some of the aspects of my life in a different light. It provided clarity in terms of the feeling I want to strive to achieve, and a frame of reference for what achieving mindfulness feels like.
 
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