From all the reading I have done recently, this book made a pleasant change as its very “first person”.
Dan Harris is an American News Anchor, and the book is an honest account of his journey though stress, anxiety and panic, and then how he has found solutions in Mindfulness and Buddhist practices. However its no MacMindfulness book, and indeed, at places its both searingly honest, and a little disdainful of the fluffy edges of the mindfulness industry.
We meet Dan as a television reporter seemingly focused on his career above all other things. Early in the book he describes a date with Bianca, with whom he couples up and marries – the human interest was strong enough at this stage to flip out to Wikipedia and see if they are still together – they are – as you almost felt the tale of personal dysfunction he sets out meant the relationship was doomed to failure. We follow Dan as he confronts the tensions between advancing and protecting his career, and applying practical aspects of Buddhist principle.
Towards the end of the b0ok he concludes with his understanding of what he calls “The Way of the Worrier” -balancing career and mind:
- Don’t Be a Jerk
- (And/ But …) When Necessary, Hide the Zen
- The Price of Security Is Insecurity—Until It’s Not Useful
- Equanimity Is Not the Enemy of Creativity
- Don’t Force It
- Humility Prevents Humiliation
- Go Easy with the Internal Cattle Prod
- Nonattachment to Results
- What Matters Most?
You’ll have to read the book to understand how he elaborates on these!
In summary, an eminently practical and readable book, part memoir, part guide. If you don’t do fluffy spiritual books, then this ones for you. If you do fluffy spiritual books, then its for you as well.