ABC News Anchor Shares the Benefits of Practicing Meditation

Steve Adubato goes one-on-one with ABC News Anchor, Dan Harris, about how an on-air panic attack led Harris to learn how to practice meditation and how he hopes others will see the benefits in this relaxation technique with his new book, “Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics.”

3/27/18 #2122






"The public television family and our FiOS family is also pleased to welcome Dan Harris, author of Meditation For Fidgety Skeptics and also 10% Happier, and also co-anchor of Nightline on ABC News. Good to see you. Right across the street. Right across the street? Right across the street. It is right… Long commute. Thank you for coming over. I'm fascinated by your work. I'm a fan, but I'm also fascinated by your candor. One of the first things you talk about, and I read in the book, was the experience, I believe in 2004, that you had. And I encourage folks to go online, check it out. You literally had a panic attack on the air? Mm hmm. Sorry for jumping right into it. No go for it. And I've had my own experiences. Oh you have? Yes. With panic? It didn't manifest itself exactly like yours, mine was the whole sweating thing. Uh huh. Because I thought the room was too close and it... whatever, either way it doesn't look good, it didn't feel good, and the fact that you put it out there, wrote about it, said it, and then did a report... what is the connection between that panic attack that you experienced... network national television, and the whole meditation thing? It set me off on a weird and windy journey that ultimately led me to meditation. It was sort of, as they say in the movie business, the inciting event. So I had the panic attack in 2004 on Good Morning America. I was reading the headline… Charlie Gibson was there right? And Diane Sawyer? Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer were on the set. We were in Times Square, and I was doing my thing, reading some stories off of the teleprompter. Right. I was looking into the camera reading some stories, and I just lost it. I just couldn't breathe anymore. My lungs seized up, my heart was racing, my palms were sweaty, and I said I had to bail, right in the middle. You did? You just stopped? I just stopped, but more embarrassing than that was actually what caused it. And what caused it was some very dumb behavior in my personal life. I had... I'd arrived at ABC News, again, right across the street in 2000, the year 2000. I was 28 years old and I was really ambitious and idealistic. You made it? I had made it. You had, you finally... I felt like I... You were at the dance? Except I got to ABC and I realized I hadn't quite made it, because I needed to compete with, and hold my own, in an environment where..."