Ethan Nichtern – The Road Home – Ep. 12 – Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics w/ Dan Harris

Ethan Nichtern - The Road Home - Ep. 12 - Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics w/ Dan Harris

Journalist Dan Harris joins Ethan for a conversation about sharing the possibilities of mindfulness practice with skeptics and the secular world.

Dan Harris is co-anchor of both Nightline and the weekend edition of Good Morning America on ABC News. Before that, he was the anchor of the Sunday edition of World News. He regularly contributes stories for such shows as Nightline, 20/20, World News with David Muir and the weekday edition of GMA. Harris has reported from all over the planet, covering wars in Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine and Iraq, and producing investigative reports in Haiti, Cambodia, and the Congo. He has also spent many years covering America’s faith scene, with a focus on evangelicals.

After having a nationally televised panic attack on Good Morning America, Dan found meditation and then wrote 10% Happier, as a way to convince fellow skeptics to give the practice a shot. Learn more at

Show Notes

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics (Opening) – Dan talks about the difficulty most of have when it comes to establishing a new healthy habit, like meditating, which became the inspiration for his newest book – Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book

“Mindfulness happens to be based in Buddhism, but it is describing a capacity of the mind that is there in any human who has one.” – Dan Harris

Explore what devotional practices might have to offer skeptics on the Awakened Heart Blog: Religious Devotion for Skeptics 

What We Bring To Practice (18:30) – Ethan and Dan talk about some of the places that Western culture and Eastern tradition bump up against each other. They discuss some of the blind spots and biases that we all carry and how we get in our own way when it comes to practice.

Transparency and Action (37:30) – Dan shares his approach to the often delicate situation of introducing Buddhist practices to secular audiences. They talk about the role of Buddhism in political and social arenas.

“We meditators should be thinking hard about how we show up in the world and what we are doing to make the world – to be a little cliche – better. As Sharon Salzberg says, ‘We don’t meditate to be better meditators, we meditate to be better humans.” – Dan Harris

Ethan Nichtern - The Road Home - Ep. 12 - Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics w/ Dan Harris

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Images via Pura Botanica and Forbes