As co-anchor of ABC's Nightline and the weekend edition of ABC's Good Morning America, Dan Harris isn't the sort of guy that you would expect to have a panic attack but that is exactly what happened to the seasoned newsman 10 years ago — on national television. That attack took him on a path that led to meditation and eventually an evangelical spirit on the benefits of mindfulness and spirituality.
He shared his story with a sell-out crowd of close to 500 at the Jung Center's 29th annual Spring Benefit Dinner, held at River Oaks Country Club.
Harris' selection as guest speaker was perfectly in tune with the evening's honorees — J. Pittman McGehee, much beloved former dean of Christ Church Cathedral and Jungian analyst, and Pittman McGehee, Jr., a psychologist based in Austin. Both men are recognized for enriching lives with their insight and compassion and their efforts at encouraging all to live mindfully and meaningfully.
Chaired by Judy and Charles Tate, the benefit raised $220,000, which will contribute to the center's programming of classes covering a range of psychological, artistic and intellectual topics.
Despite the serious nature of his talk on mindfulness and meditation, Harris proved himself a talented and very funny raconteur, keeping the ballroom crowd in high spirits. His message on this evening and in his book, "10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in my Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works," was, as he says, "taming the voices in our heads."
Harris' audience included emcee Jim Reeder, Lois and George Stark, Emily Crosswell, Ann and Kenny Friedman, Clayton and Shel Erikson, Leslie and Shannon Sasser, Marie and Steve Evnochides, Andrea White, Lydia Dugan, Lucie Dunwoody, Patrick Dugan, Melanie Gray and Mark Wawro and Lynn Baird.