10% Happier-Book Summary


My advice: Read the book, listen to the podcast, download the app, and START MEDITATING! And no, I’m not getting paid for this. lol

Meditation makes you smarter, happier, more focused, and improves your well being. It helps you to respond, instead of just reacting without thought. I am taking mediation very seriously seriously with 10 minutes minimum a day and continued reading/research.  

Dan Harris, the author makes a great comparison to meditation as exercise for the brain.  He brings up the idea that if you told someone in the 1940’s that you “went running,” they’d ask, “who were you running from?” And just like the health and exercise revolution of the mid 20th century, many people, myself included, think and hope that a meditation revolution is coming soon!

Mediation will be part of my life until I die. Before or during reading this book, I suggest you download the 10% Happier App and start with the free interviews and meditations. It will teach you an extremely valuable life skills in less than 10 minutes a day.

Here is a little background on why Dan wrote the book:

A couple of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Meditation is not about feeling a certain way. It’s about feeling the way you feel.  Not letting go, letting be.”

“You can’t help what we feel, only how you respond.”

Below is a ROUGH DRAFT of my notes. I’m not going to take the time to edit them b/c I working on outsourcing my editing, but please read through them & do some research if you have interest in meditation.

People to research:

  • Mark Epstein
  • Jon Kabat-Zinn- MIT trained microbiologist who designed MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction), an 8 week course that taught tens of thousand people secularized meditation. This replicable meditation protocol made T easy to test effects on patients. A Harvard MRI study showed that gray in matter associated with self-awareness and compassion actually got thicker, and stress areas shrank. I’m
  • Janice Marturano of General Mills
  • Rivers Cuomo of Weezer- cured his stage freight
  • Eckhart Tolle- Author of -A New Earth, The Power of Now,
  • Deepak Chopra
  • Dr. Jud Brewer- Yale grad who invented a real time neuron feedback mechanism- tell you when you’re shutting down the DMN (default mode network). It tells you if you’re meditating correctly so you waste time doing it incorrectly.
  • Sam Harris

Truth value of our thoughts- just because we’re thinking something, doesn’t make it it true. Particularly self assessing thoughts are not true.

  • example- my mind is wandering, so I’m a bad meditator- that is not true, that is very normal and part of meditation. The Practice of meditation involves the mind wandering, and simply, beginning again.  
  • example: I will never be good enough to earn a scholarship or play professional basketball because I’m not the fastest and can’t jump high. To sum it up even more, because I’m not black and only 6’2, I’m at a insurmountable disadvantage in the world of competitive basketball.
  • I’m not Less fun when I’m sober
  • I won’t have fun/be comfortable unless I get drunk in certain atmospheres

RAIN acronym



Ch.6. The power of negative thinking

  • Respond, don’t react- become the calmest person in the room firing heated meeting: “superpower”
  • “I want to know you”- one of the nicest things ever said to me
  • Acceptance is passivity

Ch.7- Retreat

Ch.8. 10% Happier

“Everything we experience in this world goes through one filter-our minds-& we spend very little time bothering to see how it works.”

“Our life is the manifestation of our minds.”

  • Joseph Goldstein

The pursuit of happiness becomes the source of our unhappiness. -Dan

Ch.9- the new Caffeine

  • continuous partial attention- humans only have 1 processor, so multi-tasking is IMPOSSIBLE. Multi tasking is a computer derived term
  • Mindfulness breaks or “purposeful pauses”- DO ONLY 1 THING AT A TIME. 1 hr per day to check email, watch your breath while your computer boots up, don’t take out your iPhone while you walk, just enjoy and know you’re walking. Janice Marturano of General Mills
  • “Boundless compassion seemed out of reach.” -Dan

Ch.10- the self-interested case for not being a dick

  • “Practice of compassion is ultimately benefit to you. So I usually describe Describe: we are selfish, but be wise selfish rather than foolish selfish.” – Dalai Lama
  • Compassion meditation can actually make you nicer. -Richie Davidson- more empathetic, spent more time with others, laughed more, and said “I” less
  • Metta
  • “I instituted a make-eye-contact & smile policy that turned out to be genuinely enjoyable” -Dan
  • Anger, which can be so seductive at first, has a honeyed tip, but a poisoned root”- Buddha

Ch.11. Hide the Zen

  • Mudita- Buddhist term for sympathetic joy
  • Non Attachment to results-don’t spend time envisioning some vague horribleness awaiting me in the future. If it doesn’t work, I only need the grit to start again.
  • Buddhism- “advanced common sense”
  • Meditations best effect- ability to respond instead of react
  • Non attachment to results + self compassion = a supple relentlessness that is hard to match.


  • if you give yourself enough mindfulness, it will eventually create a self-reinforcing spiral, a retreat from greed & hatred that could potentially lead to the uprooting of negative emotions.
  • Jeff Warren call meditation ” the next frontier of human exploration”
  • Care & not to care

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