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#148: Thomas McConkie, The Mormon Meditator


Episode description

Having been raised in the Mormon faith, Thomas McConkie was feeling a little lost after he had a falling out with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, his family and his faith-based community. When he started going to a Zen meditation center in Salt Lake City, Utah, a daily practice became "a lifeline," McConkie said, and it eventually helped him make his was back to Mormonism, start a meditation center called Lower Lights School of Wisdom and launch his "Mindfulness+" podcast.

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#83: Josh Groban, Multi-Platinum Recording Artist, Actor (Bonus!)

June 9th, 2017


This a special pre-Tony Awards episode of the podcast with multi-platinum recording artist and actor Josh Groban, who is nominated for best lead …

#82: Cory Muscara, Mindfulness Teacher, Former Monk

June 7th, 2017


Cory Muscara, 27 years old, admits he first tried meditation because he wanted to impress his college girlfriend -- but it changed his life forever. …

Guided Meditation: Remembering Your Goodness (Bonus!)

June 5th, 2017


In conjunction with Sharon Salzberg's new book, "Real Love," the folks at the 10% Happier app recorded a series of six audio meditations that can be …

#81: Sharon Salzberg, 'Real Love'

May 31st, 2017


"I think people do things motivated by love, certainly more strongly sometimes, and more successfully, than when motivated by hate... I think love is …

#80: Bellamy Young, TV's "Scandal" Star

May 26th, 2017


ALERT: This episode contains "Scandal" spoilers! Bellamy Young, best known for playing Mellie Grant on ABC's hit show, "Scandal," said making meditation part of her daily routine has helped improve her sleep and process …

#79: Willoughby Britton, Jared Lindahl -- Does Meditation Have a Dark Side?

May 24th, 2017


Many of us get into meditation because we want to be calmer, less stressed and less yanked around by our emotions, but sometimes there are unwanted effects. Brown University researchers Willoughby Britton, an assistant …

#78: Lodro Rinzler, Meditation for the Heartbroken

May 17th, 2017


Buddhist meditation teacher Lodro Rinzler, who had been meditating for most of his life, found himself dealing with multiple, heartbreaking …

#77: Jen Kirkman, Comedian, Author

May 10th, 2017


Stand-up comedian Jen Kirkman was introduced to meditation at a young age and over the years has tried a bunch of different outlets, from 'body scan' practice to mantra to meditation classes, to help her deal with panic …

#76: Jeffrey Walker, Former JPMorgan Exec, Philanthropist (Bonus!)

May 5th, 2017


Jeffrey Walker served 25 years as the CEO and cofounder of CCMP Capital, the $12 billion successor to JPMorgan Partners, JPMorgan Chase & Co's global private equity group, the vice chairman of JPMorgan Chase & …

#75: Jon Kabat-Zinn, Creator of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

May 3rd, 2017


Jon Kabat-Zinn was on a meditation retreat in the late '70s when he had an idea to marry science with mindfulness and bring the practice into …

Guided Meditation: Jon Kabat-Zinn (Bonus!)

May 3rd, 2017


Want to give meditation a try? Here's a great place to start. It's a free, guided meditation from Jon Kabat-Zinn, the creator of mindfulness-based …

#74: Russell Simmons, Philanthropist, Entrepreneur, Author and Activist

April 26th, 2017


Def Jam music label founder Russell Simmons had his first experience with stillness at a yoga class -- which he admits he took because girls were there. “I went to class because of a lot of hot chicks. It's true,” …

#73: David Leite, Food Writer, Memoirist (LIVE!)

April 19th, 2017


In a special edition of the "10% Happier" podcast, Dan Harris leads a discussion with David Leite, author of "Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love and Manic Depression," in front of a live audience in New York …

Guided Meditation: Thoughts Are Not Solid (Bonus!)

April 17th, 2017


Life is always changing, and so are our thoughts.  In this free guided meditation, Anushka helps us become aware of our ever-changing thoughts, and …

#72: Daniel Goleman, Diving into 'Emotional Intelligence' (Bonus Episode!)

April 14th, 2017


"The human central nervous system and brain is designed the same around the world... and there probably is a lot of spontaneous rediscovery in …

#71: Sam Harris, 'Waking Up' Podcast Host, Neuroscientist

April 12th, 2017


Sam Harris, who has no relation to our beloved host, is a scientist, a controversial skeptic and the author of several New York Times bestsellers, including "The End of Faith," "The Moral Landscape" and "Waking Up" …

#70: Clair Brown, Economist, Author of 'Buddhist Economics'

April 5th, 2017


Clair Brown, an economics professor at UC-Berkeley and a Tibetan Buddhist, was teaching an introductory course when she asked herself, "How would …

#69: Jewel, Grammy-Nominated Singer-Songwriter, Actress (Bonus!)

March 31st, 2017


Jewel, whose poetic songs about relationships and heartache dominated the airwaves in the '90s, used writing as an outlet to deal with anxiety through a tough childhood and later, homelessness. She began looking for …

#68: Jerry Colonna, 'CEO Whisperer' and Founder

March 29th, 2017


Jerry Colonna was working as a venture capitalist in New York City during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and as he walked by wreckage of the World Trade …

#67: Colin Beavan, the 'No Impact Man'

March 22nd, 2017


In his famous book and documentary film project, "No Impact Man," Colin Beavan, a senior Dharma teacher in the Zen tradition, chronicled a year of …

#66: Profs. Holly Richardson & Matt Jarman, Virginia Military Institute

March 15th, 2017


Virginia Military Institute, a military college in Lexington, Virginia, was another stop on the cross-country meditation tour, where our host Dan …

Guided Meditation: Coming to Center (Bonus!)

March 13th, 2017


Here's a meditation from one of Dan's favorite teachers on the planet, Jeff Warren. In this simple practice, Jeff guides us in using the center-line of the body as an object of focus. The goal is to inch closer to that …

#65: Sylvia Moir, Tempe, Arizona, Police Chief

March 8th, 2017


During their cross-county meditation bus tour in January, our host Dan Harris and meditation teacher Jeff Warren stopped in Tempe, Arizona, to talk …

Guided Meditation: Shinzen Young (Bonus!)

March 1st, 2017


Want to give meditation a try? Here's a great place to start. It's a free, guided meditation from Buddhist scholar and meditation teacher Shinzen …

#64: Shinzen Young, Meditation Teacher

March 1st, 2017


Shinzen Young first became fascinated with Asian culture as a Jewish teenager growing up in Los Angeles in the 1950s. Now a renowned meditation …

#63: Billy Crudup, 'Jackie,' '20th Century Women' Actor (Oscars Bonus Episode!)

February 24th, 2017


We're offering a special pre-Oscars edition of the podcast this week with actor Billy Crudup. Best known for his role as 70s rock star Russell …

#62: Hannah Hart, Creator of YouTube's 'My Drunk Kitchen'

February 22nd, 2017


Hannah Hart is best known for her bubbly personality and boozy cooking mishaps on her mega-popular YouTube series, "My Drunk Kitchen," so many fans …

#61: Dr. Judson Brewer, Using Mindfulness to Beat Addiction

February 15th, 2017


Psychiatrist and addiction expert Judson Brewer was researching better treatment options for alcohol and cocaine addiction patients and found, …

#60: Matthieu Ricard, French Monk and 'World's Happiest Man'

February 8th, 2017


Tibetan Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, who is originally from France, earned the moniker "world's happiest man" after brain scans taken during a …

#59: Mary Karr, Best-Selling Poet and Master Memoirist

February 1st, 2017


Mary Karr has shared many dark pieces of her past in her memoirs, from a painful childhood, to a long struggle with alcoholism and depression, to …

#58: Elvis Duran, Morning Radio Show Star

January 25th, 2017


The host of the mega-popular Top 40 radio show, "Elvis Duran and the Morning Show," has never shied away from dishing out "real talk" to his millions …

#57: Jeff Warren & the '10% Happier' Road Trip! (Bonus Episode!)

January 20th, 2017


Canada native Jeff Warren was a "chronic over-thinker" who got into meditation sort of by accident while working as a science journalist and now he's an established meditation teacher. Warren and our host Dan Harris are …

Guided Meditation: Inauguration + Working with Strong Emotions

January 19th, 2017


The recent election has elicited strong emotions from people across the political spectrum. In this guided meditation from Dan's "10% Happier" app, …

#56: George Stephanopoulos, ABC News Chief Anchor

January 18th, 2017


George Stephanopoulos, the co-anchor of "Good Morning America" and the host of ABC News' Sunday morning political affairs show, "This Week," first …

#55: Soren Gordhamer, Being Mindful in Silicon Valley

January 11th, 2017


Soren Gordhamer is the founder and host of the Wisdom 2.0 conference, which is lauded as one of the largest gatherings of meditators in the world, but it also has been the target of controversy. Raised in Lubbock, …

#54: Vince Horn, Buddhist Geek on Struggling with Nirvana

January 4th, 2017


Vince Horn, the co-founder of Buddhist Geeks, says when he reached nirvana, he found it "disappointing" and "anti-climactic," which set him on a new journey to map his experience. A practicing meditation teacher from …

#53: Josh Radnor, "How I Met Your Mother" Star Back in Theater

December 28th, 2016


Josh Radnor, best known for playing Ted Mosby on TV's "How I Met Your Mother," started practicing meditation over a decade ago after he went through a break-up and never really stopped. Radnor's career extends beyond TV …

#52: Andrew Olendzki, Teaching Old-School Buddhism

December 21st, 2016


Andrew Olendzki is a Buddhist scholar of the Pali canon, the original, authentic teachings of the Buddha that have been passed down for centuries. He …

#51: Handling Holiday Stress (Bonus Episode!)

December 19th, 2016


From the pressures of buying and receiving gifts to surviving awkward office parties, the holidays can be a stressful time of year. On a special …

Guided Meditation - Holiday Stress: 'SURF the Urge'

December 19th, 2016


We all have urges that are hard to resist this time of year. Dan's got a little tool for you to SURF these urges without reacting to them during the …

#50: Joe DiNardo, Grief and Meditation

December 14th, 2016


Joe DiNardo, a businessman and attorney from Buffalo, New York, was married to his wife Marcia for 15 years when she was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. DiNardo used to his years of meditation practice to …

#49: Robert Thurman, Renowned Buddhist Scholar

December 7th, 2016


Bob Thurman, the father of actress Uma Thurman, was one of the first Americans to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk. He later gave up his robes …

#48: John Mulaney, Comedian Turned Broadway Star

November 30th, 2016


John Mulaney, known for his stand-up comedy and his work on "Saturday Night Live," first turned to meditation while filming a short-lived sitcom that …

#47: Jessica Morey, Teaching Meditation to Teenagers

November 23rd, 2016


Jessica Morey has turned what some may see as the impossible -- teaching teenagers how to meditate -- into her life's work. Morey, who attended her first meditation retreat at age 14, is the co-founder and current …

#46: Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Renowned Indian Yogi and Mystic

November 16th, 2016


Born and raised in India, Sadhguru says he spent his childhood and adolescence as a "super skeptic" who didn’t grow up "with anything spiritual or …

#45: Colin O'Brady, Pro-Endurance Athlete

November 9th, 2016


Fewer than 50 people have accomplished the Explorer's Grand Slam, a challenge of summiting the highest peaks on each of the seven continents and …

#44: Duncan Sheik, '90s Rocker Turned Broadway Composer

November 2nd, 2016


Duncan Sheik first made a name for himself in the mid-90s with the hit song, "Barely Breathing," and has since reinvented himself as a Broadway composer. He won two Tonys and a Grammy Award for music he composed for the …

Guided Meditation: Election Stress (Powers of Ten)

November 1st, 2016


This election has been brutal on the American psyche (on both sides of the aisle). In this meditation from Dan's "10% Happier" app, Jeff Warren leads us in a guided practice to gain perspective and find a bit of …

Guided Meditation: 'Driving'

October 28th, 2016


It can be tough to carve out time for meditation. That's why we recruited Alexis Santos to teach us how to apply mindfulness 'On The Go.' In this …

#43: Judge Jeremy Fogel, Using Mindfulness on the Bench

October 26th, 2016


About 20 years ago, Judge Jeremy Fogel was serving as a superior court judge in California. But when he felt that it was causing him a lot of stress, he started looking for a way to center himself, and found meditation …

#42: Sebene Selassie, A Life of Service While Fighting Breast Cancer

October 19th, 2016


Sebene Selassie's career has taken her all over the world. An Ethiopian immigrant, Selassie grew up in the Washington, D.C., area. Her father left her family in the '70s to go back to Ethiopia and became a guerrilla …

#41: Robin Roberts, "GMA" Anchor, Cancer Survivor (Bonus Episode!)

October 17th, 2016


"Good Morning America" co-anchor Robin Roberts has more than 30 years of experience in the radio and television business and said it was her "GMA" …

#40: Election Stress Special (Bonus Episode!)

October 16th, 2016


In the midst of what some are calling the ugliest election ever, millions of Americans say they're feeling more stressed, anxious and just plain exhausted from it. One therapist even coined a term for this: "election …

#39: Jason Stirman, Ex-Twitter, Medium Exec Turned App Entrepreneur

October 12th, 2016


Jason Stirman went to his first meditation class when he was working at Twitter. An early employee there, he eventually quit Twitter with founder Ev …

#38: Eileen Fisher, Fashion Icon

October 5th, 2016


Eileen Fisher weaves mindfulness and social consciousness throughout her multimillion-dollar clothing company and in her personal life. After being …

#37: Tony Wright, Exonerated After 25 Years (Bonus Episode!)

October 4th, 2016


Tony Wright spent 25 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. This past August, a Philadelphia jury acquitted Wright of the 1991 rape and murder of an elderly woman after his lawyers, including two from Innocence …

#36: Spring Washam, Meditation and Dharma Teacher

September 28th, 2016


Spring Washam was selling timeshares and struggling with depression when she decided to embark on a journey to work on her mind. After looking into …

#35: Alan Cumming, Actor, Author, Activist

September 21st, 2016


Alan Cumming is an award-winning actor on the Broadway stage and on-screen, a New York Times best-selling author, director, comedian and activist. …

#34: Elizabeth Vargas, ABC News Anchor

September 14th, 2016


Elizabeth Vargas has been known throughout her 30-year career for her strong reporting around the world, her tough interviews and her steadiness during breaking news coverage. But now for the first time, Vargas reveals …

Guided Meditation: 'The Training Ground'

September 9th, 2016


Want to give meditation a try? This is a great place to start. Meditation can seem simple, even trivial. But the mental muscle we exercise in beginning again (and again, and again) is an excellent training ground for …

#33: Chef Eric Ripert

September 7th, 2016


Chef Eric Ripert, of the famed Le Bernardin in New York City, is one of the world's best chefs, an Emmy-winning cooking show host and a cookbook author. But while Ripert was building a name for himself in the heat and …

#32: The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus

August 31st, 2016


Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus have been through a lot together. They grew up together in Dayton, Ohio, both in families that struggled to make ends meet. They went on to climb the corporate ladder together …

#31: Dr. Michael Gervais, Sports Psychologist

August 24th, 2016


Mike Gervais is a high-performance sports psychologist who works with athletes, most famously as the mindfulness coach for the Seattle Seahawks, on …

#30: Jesse Israel

August 17th, 2016


A few years ago, Jesse Israel was a sophomore film student who had just signed an up-and-coming college band to a record label he co-founded out of …

#29: Dr. Richard Davidson

August 10th, 2016


Dr. Richie Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and founder of the Center for Healthy Minds, has been meditating for over 40 years. But it was the Dalai Lama himself who convinced Davidson …

#28: Oren J. Sofer

August 3rd, 2016


Oren J. Sofer, a former child actor turned longtime meditation teacher, was a 19-year-old college student in New York City when he said he felt …

#27: Mingyur Rinpoche

July 27th, 2016


Mingyur Rinpoche, the author of "The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness," is a study of contradictions. On one hand, he's been formally recognized as the reincarnation of two Tibetan meditation …

#26: Dan Ryckert

July 20th, 2016


Dan Ryckert works in an industry where you wouldn't imagine there would be a whole lot of meditation: Video games. Ryckert is a senior editor at the …

#25: Claire Hoffman

July 13th, 2016


Author and journalist Claire Hoffman has been practicing Transcendental Meditation since she was 3 years old. When she was 5, she and her family …

#24: Dr. Amishi Jha & Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt

July 6th, 2016


Dr. Amishi Jha, a neuroscientist and an associate professor of psychology at the University of Miami, and Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt of the U.S. Army …

#23: Mario Batali

June 29th, 2016


World-renowned chef Mario Batali has 28 restaurants, 10 cookbooks, a daytime cooking show, a food emporium in New York City, and now plans for a food theme park. He also -- somehow -- finds time to keep a daily …

#22: Dr. Mark Epstein

June 22nd, 2016


Buddhist psychiatrist and author Dr. Mark Epstein has for years written about the overlap between Western psychotherapy and Eastern Buddhist philosophies. Epstein sat down with Dan Harris to talk about the impact …

#21: Arianna Huffington

June 15th, 2016

Arianna Huffington has a multimillion-dollar media website that reacts to world events by the millisecond, she's a mother of two -- and yet she says …

Guided Meditation: 'Dictators of the Mind'

June 13th, 2016

Want to give meditation a try? Here's a great place to start.

When left unchecked, our thoughts exert enormous influence over our lives. But when we become aware of them, we realize that they are little more than …

#20: Adam Shankman

June 8th, 2016

Acclaimed movie producer and director Adam Shankman is best known for his upbeat, family-friendly movies, including "Hairspray," "A Walk to Remember" and "The Pacifier," but behind the scenes, Shankman says he spent …

#19: Emma Seppala

June 5th, 2016


Success and happiness: Can you have one without the other? Many may assume that these two things are at cross purposes but Emma Seppala, the science director of Stanford University's Center for Compassion and Altruism …

#18: Chade-Meng Tan

June 1st, 2016


Chade-Meng Tan was employee No. 107 at Google. But the software engineer's career took a turn when he began teaching meditation to the company's …

#17: Chodo and Koshin

May 25th, 2016


Thinking about death can be supremely difficult. Many of us try not to think about it at all – until we have no choice. But two Zen Buddhist monks …

#16: Ali Smith

May 18th, 2016


Ali Smith goes into some of the toughest neighborhoods in one of the toughest cities in America, and teaches yoga and meditation to troubled and …

#15: Gretchen Rubin (Our Long-Lost Pilot Episode)

May 13th, 2016


In our pilot episode, which we recorded back in January before we moved into a fancy radio studio and had any clue what we were doing (this part hasn't changed much), Dan invited author and speaker Gretchen Rubin over …

#14: RuPaul

May 12th, 2016


When he was 28 years old, RuPaul Andre Charles found himself broke and living on his little sister's couch in Los Angeles. "It was a really, really, …

#13: Steve Armstrong

May 11th, 2016


Enlightenment (or, more specifically, exactly how one gets enlightened) has become a somewhat taboo subject. For years, American meditation teachers have largely avoided discussing what's known as "the progress of …

#12: Thupten Jinpa

May 4th, 2016


Thupten Jinpa may be best known for being the Dalai Lama's longtime English-language translator. But now Jinpa is working to get his own message across. In his new book, "A Fearless Heart," Jinpa touches on the course …

Guided Meditation: 'Struggle as Feedback'

April 29th, 2016


Want to give meditation a try? This is a great place to start. If you're struggling, it means something is going on that you're not accepting. The struggle is the feedback. Instead of pushing through, ask yourself "What …

#11: Lama Tsomo

April 27th, 2016


Lama Tsomo is one of the first American women to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist lama, or spiritual teacher. Born Linda Pritzker, she is part of the family that built the Hyatt hotel chain. But Lama Tsomo embarked on …

#10: Leigh Brasington

April 22nd, 2016


Leigh Brasington has been practicing meditation for decades and is one of the most prominent American teachers of Jhana meditation. The Jhanas are a set of altered states of consciousness associated with profound …

#9: Margot Bingham

April 20th, 2016


Actress and singer-songwriter Margot Bingham has moved from playing the role of jazz singer Daughter Maitland in HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" to a …

#8: Sharon Salzberg

April 13th, 2016


A towering figure in the meditation world, Sharon Salzberg is part of a small group of people who helped bring meditation over from Asia to the United States. Growing up in New York City, Salzberg had a traumatic …

#7: George Mumford

April 6th, 2016


George Mumford has taught mindfulness and meditation to some of the greatest athletes of all time: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, …

Guided Meditation: 'Simply Begin Again'

April 1st, 2016


The three most important words for a beginning meditator may be, "Simply Begin Again." This short episode is a bit different. It's a guided meditation from the 10% Happier: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics app, featuring …

#6: David Gelles

March 30th, 2016


The author of "Mindful Work," New York Times reporter David Gelles is a self-described "sporadic meditator." During the day, Gelles says he uses …

#5: Amy Cuddy

March 27th, 2016


Amy Cuddy has created a bonafide sensation in the world of happiness and well-being. A social psychologist at Harvard Business School and a New York …

#4: Dr. Jay Michaelson

March 23rd, 2016


Dr. Jay Michaelson is a lawyer, a rabbi, a legal/religion columnist for The Daily Beast, an LGBT activist, a professor, and an author of six books. …

#3: Brian Koppelman

March 18th, 2016


The filmmaker and co-creator of the TV show "Billions" talks about his practice of Transcendental Meditation.

#2: Weezer's Rivers Cuomo

March 11th, 2016


Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo has been writing and singing hit songs for more than two decades. But this Grammy-winning rocker, whose lyrics about relationships, promiscuity and drug use helped Weezer become what some …

#1: Dalai Lama

March 11th, 2016


How can you live a happier life? In our debut episode, Dan Harris sits down with the Dalai Lama and Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist and founder of …

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