How meditation relieved an award-winning journalist’s stress and depression.
In 2004, when Nightline co-anchor Harris filled in on Good Morning America, he suddenly suffered a debilitating panic attack during the live broadcast. That event was the culmination of years spent overextending himself personally, with recreational drug experimentation, and professionally, working for various news outlets across the country as well as stints in war-torn Iraq. The on-air meltdown spurred Harris to research nonmedicinal therapeutic remedies. Though Harris’ journalistic assignments would bring him face to face with influential self-help spiritualists Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra, neither dispensed the precise amalgam of assurance and credibility necessary to truly diffuse his afflictions. After his wife Bianca’s success with books by sage psychiatrist Mark Epstein, Harris found himself connecting with the good doctor’s Buddhist leanings, befriending him and swiftly embracing the art of meditation, instead of debunking it as the hokey “exclusive province of bearded swamis, unwashed hippies, and fans of John Tesh music.” For the author, the effects of meditation were evident almost immediately: “The net effect of meditation…was striking….It became a way to steel myself as I moved through the world.” After a 10-day retreat, chronicled in the book’s most entertaining section, Harris began applying this new calm, centered approach to his hectic livelihood in the media and began adopting a new attitude and approach toward instances of negativity and misfortune. That was soon put to the ultimate test during a precarious interview with Paris Hilton. Harris never loses his sense of humor as he affably spotlights one man’s quest for internal serenity while concurrently navigating the slings and arrows of a hard-won career in the contemporary media spotlight.
Friendly, practical advocacy for the power of mindfulness and enlightenment.