« Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

#161: Matt Gutman, The Boys in the Cave

ABC News Senior National Correspondent Matt Gutman is, unfortunately, no stranger to tragedy, both in his career as a journalist and his personal life. He learned the practice of meditation at just 12 years old, mere months before his father would be killed in a plane crash. And now, nearly 30 years later he's reporting on how meditation played a role in the miraculous rescue of 12 boys trapped in a cave in his new book, "The Boys in the Cave: Deep Inside the Impossible Rescue in Thailand." He opens up about his own personal tragedy and gives a riveting account of that rescue in this week's conversation. Have a question for Dan? Leave us a voicemail at 646-883-8326.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hey guys before we get started a little heads up on something coup for a long time, friend and colleague of mine, my former co host the weekend edition of Good Morning America before she abandoned me, Paula Ferris has a new podcast that really at a very ambitious, and she has great guests. The first three episodes are. Up right now, they're going up today, on the day that were posting. This and issue The package is all about how p oh lean on their faith in trying times how people get through life, with their faith in Spirit Quality and policies, a woman of deep and abiding faith. She and I have been arguing about issues in polite, ebb and fascinating ways for years, a wee wee texts about
the illogical issues. All the time I'm I like to refer to myself as a respectful agnostic, He grew up in any event ethical family and raises her kids in that way. So he's. Got this. She had this idea to do a podcast she's been talking to me about it for a long long time. And finally, here it is in the first we episodes are up, as I said, one of them with our own Robin Roberts, here at ABC she's, been on a ten percent happier Pike S as well. Another is with two big stars. Of country music. This is the weak when the country music awards air, Hilary, Scott and of of Lady Anti Bellman look Brian and the third is with a fascinating iguana. One again on this podcast to his name is Ben Shapiro is a conservative pod stir and a really interesting figure in the media landscape. These days in at an orthodox jus as well, it's called journeys of faith the hosts ferris. You can get it where we get your pike S, go! Look for check it out! Knowledge, judicial
for maybe see the ten percent happier vodka in her. Hey guys very excited about our guess. This week is a long time friend and colleague. He also to mice prize is a long time meditate written of new book about the the rescue of the Ty boys in that cave was an awful story that turned to an incredible story. A lot of you treated me about the fact that the boys who were stuck in a cave there there, the coach, who was with them, taught them how to meditate. We have a lot more information about that the story man has just written that was over there in Thailand when the story broken, is just written this great book about the stories behind the story that we didn't know until now in and part of that is meditation, and so we will not only talk at about his meditation career, but also the meditation that took place in that cave and and It's so interesting to know that my friend mad who suffers with the loves If I suffer with a you know why
related anxiety in this high pressure career that we share. That meditation has been helpful for him in all these years. I didn't know: ok, mats come. but first I want to take your voicemail before that too quick point of business Diana Winston, she has not yet been on this podcast but she's a fantastic meditation and she is now one of our new teachers on a ten percent happier app she's, the director of mindfulness education at you. The allays mindful awareness, research centre, So she not only knows how to teach meditation has been practicing and teaching since the nineties, but she's also has a real scientific mind and I a lot about using meditation children and so she's gonna be an incredible resource for the episode. Another reason to go check it out. I got to new meditations up there right now, Diana
some will be on the shore at some point. Soon, I hope. Ok, let's do your voicemail seasonable hike in mining is key. I started on this practice having the last three to six months. I you would it help me to call upon my mind down, and
I just kind of curious about what's your thoughts on that, I've only tried it a few times in the morning and I find guided meditation help me the most to cutting given the stone. I guess there are some night where I dont do it, because I think I'm too tired to or I'll probably be ok, but yet I think it would be better for me to do it on a more regimented schedules. I guess I just can't watch your thoughts on what you think about doing it for sleep, though Hopefully that makes them. Thank you so much. My brilliant producer, rain Kessler chose the voice males wisely this week, because we're talking about meditation for sleep with our guests this week, a MAC Gutmann who's been using it for that purpose. So big
guess. I think it's a good idea in initially I was reluctant about meditation. Firstly, because meditation is designed to wake up in the end grandest sense of that phrase, the Blue, it means you know the awakened one all point to wake up to the reality of your existence, stop sleep walking through your life, etc, etc. But look if you can we have successfully. You do need to sleep. You do need to sleep. You need to have rest or you're not going to be able to function well and I have found in my own experience actually recently, oddly enough, where I have actually been adding some meditation before I go to bed had not not even module because I'm lying down, but I actually have started every night before going to bed stretching and I ll talk about Matt you'll, hear we talk about now about this with Matt Stretch and then sitting for a while, and I have found that combination plus a few little practices
do as I'm lying down in bed to be really helpful. There I'm. As you know, I'm not a big fan of panic. is magic bullets and all its after. I don't think it's anything like that, but I do that, it's a really good thing, and you know I know just Now- is up buddy entrepreneur with this little company that that we have an app that I talk about on the show the view we are the demand we see among our users force leap related meditations is ongoing, I so much so that we now have a whole tab holes section- that's prominent That's filled with sleep meditation, so so I think yes, it's great, right thing to do. Obviously, I'm a pretty big problem meditation. So I think it if you wanted to try it in the morning or other times as well, It gets more more the better as long as it's not mess up your life, but yeah, unreserved. Yes, try meditation before bed and and like you, I too, have experienced on the night where I feel it
when we find without it and then dont do it, then I get in bed and unpleasant and turn it keep it here's number two wondering you, Barbara caught you GM and it's still waiting to practice. Banks like give this answer short. Not yet in this up in that Bob's fault, Bob's stand and offered to teach me at the M has been out there on the table for years. Actually, before I had a mother podcast, and I actually do. I promise I'm not lying plan to take him up on this and I have tea Amazon practice whatever you think, I'd be! No. If you go back and listen my interview with with Bob, we have a very forthright- and he was not defensive about this. I thought admirably not defensive. There are critics of the team organization, but whatever you want to say about the organization you eat, you can quit her. I don't think there is much to be said about yeah. I know there is a strong argument for the disutility of of the basic practice that they take
Auntie EM, which is millennia old as it millennia old malaria. Whatever has been around for thousands of years time. It listed in this vague mantra. station and specifically whatever innovations they ve come up with an ATM school, so yeah. I do want to do it, I'm just you know. I don't know lazy over scheduled one of the two. Both but we should say that our guests today, Gutmann does practice to Yemen, has and you're gonna hear historic. He has for a long time, so we'll get to him in just a moment. First, though, I want to give you, are number for voicemails, it's six thousand four hundred and sixty eight eight hundred and thirty, eight three hundred and twenty six six hundred and forty six, eight thousand eight hundred and thirty, eight three hundred and twenty six give us a shout so the guests this week, As I said at the top, I've known him for a long time. I've always been incredibly fond of MAC. Gutmann he's just a great person a great reporters, a senior national reporter?
here at ABC News he's been doing it for quite a while before that he was at ABC News, radio and he's written a book called the boys in the cave, which is about the rescue of those tie teenagers, it turns out. It was much more perilous than men. Even knew and, of course, there's a big meditation subtext to this story. I apologize outside, because you're gonna have to listen to a little bit of a love fast, because every time and I get together- that's just how it is, but he's his personal story, about which I knew very little is really powerful and then the story that he uncovered from the cave is also incredible, so he would go. Here's MECCA my man great to have you pack has helped to be her handsome banks, Thanks for the listeners had been calling MAC government. My man crush for more than a decade first met you when you were in when you are radio reporter in Jerusalem, for the ABC New Bureau,
and here you are your bigtime correspondent since tat, since this is the place for rapid holes on vehicle down a couple inevitable the four so I've seen dandy. Some amazing things. First, we met in the north of Israel actually because Israel was bombarding his. I think two thousand five or six six and Dan anchored. The first time I saw him anchor and entire what news without a prompter off the top of his head, I didn't yeah and, as is only me as a as you know, a guy who just started in radio. It was a print rapporteur. It was an entirely different skills that I didn't know even existed and I just couldn't believe that somebody could do that without him, hiding, Harding and and then how can you do the same thing from Haiti after travelling with you, then? tire Sunday in watching just going through the rubble. and seeing the bodies that we saw and the pain,
and the suffering that we saw and put together this cogent, beautifully written show in about ten minutes, was one of things. It inspired me to really push to go from radio tv because I realized it was so much that can be done Side of you know the very confined spaces of network radio. There was working in Zimbabwe, How do you say I recall having sex the time with you in isn't that in Haiti and then so just seen you around and ABC or Miami, but you occasionally come to New York. Brow reading you all the time, both in the field and in the office you gotTa tv and you are always like shy about it, and then you know the oil spill happen in the Gulf young. Then you were often running and you never look back yeah pretty much. The court was your resignation, I actually. There is a very good reason. I tried at one point but an exam, give it abc. Who is no longer here, told me, I looked heavy on tv. What s true?
Recent podcast some of listeners may never have seen the euro you're likeness before I exhorts listeners to go to Google image urge on you heavy would be the last word, but I may have weighed about tenor. involves more than braver. I had I your head is: are you now like upset obsessive, Erlich dieting and exercises accounts, but now I was always obsessed with exercise. I was arrest Lord High school, I believe all I did was baseboard, so I was a meat head, but yeah so anyway, it happened, and I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to report for ABC on multiple forms, including ABC News, radio we're sitting right now right now and the radio which offer me the platform to do the kind. This idea, which, as you know, hardened reporting and really getting into the meat of a story at the Gulf oil spill in is through that actual reporting that the tv side pick me up and said: hey that. Guy's, not only a good reporter, but you know he looks
Let's put em on air, and so I can Diane Sawyer was first person to put me on. What news and David European World this weekend shows us very lucky gave you know being exposed to people like you early on who you know just thought: yeah give it a shot, offer encouragement Ivan to adding. We now established. We know each other for a while. I ended there is great faction. For all of you watching that clearly, listening listening this anybody watching, don't oh people in the other room, watching as we should state is again there's a glass. Wall between us and the and the control room and in their is mats, wife. Daphne, who was a producer for ABC News and was, driving around in the war zones of Nord Northern Israel. With me, when I got you exactly remember saying after meeting you, ok yeah this you share this guy. You have my permission known those kind of shit in really care what I found it
testament to her anyway. Here would anybody thinks she's, tough cook, long way of saying I've known you for a long time, and I didn't know until we spoke on the phone recently that you actually had a reasonably were long relationship with meditation. So how did that combat. when I was twelve years old, my parents does this summer of nineteen, eighty nine and my parents they were hippies. They grew up in the generation of the late sixties and early seventies. My father got lucky and out of Vietnam in the lottery, my mom, the Bennington College. You know and they'd always been. trusted in doing things that are different and I think it is Ross going through a crisis in their marriage in and we're living in, suburban New Jersey and they wanted something different and so aches state. They hoped that may be
doing tm transcendental meditation was something that the whole? U family could unify around. and find a sense of togetherness with maybe would make us happier saner, healthier people and so I did I forgot how on the course is, but I went to Madison New Jersey. Were he now We did the whole Maharashtra ire Veda. Course- and I learned About- the the so accorded conscious the unified subconscious. What's it called once again, I am not an expert tm, the unified Thee together the unifying field anyway, basically unified field. Something like that. I was twelve, so it's been a while the current about we ve had a lot of GM folks on this package of you want to learn more about a good lesson. Bob Roth episode is the head of the David Lindh Foundation, big mercury muck within TM. So anyway, when I'm counting on you for an encyclopaedic, Nedda had charge of the tradition, but what stayed.
thirty years later, is my truck, and you know that the very specific which is very a specific method of getting into the meditation right. So in auntie EM, you don't want to be on a beat or a cadence when you are seeing your mind, you wanted to be almost a rhythmic, just a supremely difficult thing to do, because Naturally, everything in our bodies is almost rhythmic. Right are breaths, our heart beat on everything we do- has it beat or rhythm so I've always struggled with that in my practice, and I have also adopted more mindfulness methods and so depending on how much time I have. I do different things if I have oh half hour, which almost we're happens anymore or twenty minutes. I will do old school tm, so I do a called minutes to breed into it, and then I do my mind. Which are not allowed to tell anybody in the world. That was one of the things that can I got me so
up about it is you know it's a secret. Only. You know your mantra and auntie em. They make a hole. Ceremony about review, into your mind. Try and it's you know handed down aren t you from the mahars she himself or his people or whoever some data base- I don't know, but it was really cool the time and you know I I remember once like twenty years later. I do you never told like your wife, my mom, my wife does no indeed Odo now my mind does because she was the one who really was meditating body at the time. Ok instills were the only child. No I've been older sister. he's already often college. She was she's borrowing at five years, older, ok, so She wanted no part of it and went off to school, and I never did he em. So You took you even though you were twelve years old and your parents were kind of forcing you to do it. You actually took to it. We did it together and then tragically actually was that and the end of that summer. My father was killed in a
crash argue miles after we did this course altogether. and so that was my mom actually really encourage me to keep meditate in as away, not lose my mind entirely, because we are all very close to complete man best. With grief and mourning and so we meditated a lot. Sometimes you know it it summers later. My family members made fun of me a little bit better. I can't do it and it's a white one in an economy, because it was so odd in over a twelve thirteen fourteen year old to periodically meditate. Take a few minutes, and you know this is the very early ninety nineties and its deal today. If you had your fourteen year old kid go to Reuben quietly said meditate. People would accept it and probably encourage it, but Then you know what you're doing with conventional family members. That is so weird man when he don't know you're out ahead of your time. Yeah it sounds like the habit was forged in some really
hence emotion do you know what's funny that idea until this podcast tell you what I sat down and iraqi associated the two things didn't remember, because I buried a memory of my father's death in so many different layers of grief and mourning the two periods were so closely linked in time. It is really only a month and a half or two between the July August, that I took this course and September twenty fifth when he was killed of night, an idea for a twelve year old boy. That kind of thing has to be incredibly difficult and I imagine Sorry actually didn't know that story for a forty year. Old man is still difficult. Yet you never you never get over. That kind of grief You feeling emotional now, because it's funny that Dan Harris sitting here with me, then who had for years could actually we feel emotional about something that is almost thirty years in the past
every time you look into something even to a moment of grief and mourning like that and to survive. her trauma in it way it can illicit emotions. You didn't expect you'd stumble up I would just guessing, but there's it's gotta be fatherhood for you has to be, an interesting endeavour. Gotta you have to kids and daughter the poignancy asked I would imagine, is there given what you enter yeah absolutely and am I'm only months away from being the age my father was when he was killed, which is also kind of a mind trip. He was How do you use the anger, almost forty one and he was barely forty, two so yeah and you know I also have a daughter whose five and a half almost six years older than my son similarities between the kids are amazing, because my daughter, like my sister, is more interesting,
shy. My son is a total extrovert, an outgoing and walked up the street there's four years old I, too, am I like your shirt wives laughing in the other room, yeah, so its money, but you know the meditation thing it's morphed into different things. the older. I got an indifferent time periods, but it's in some the touchstone that always come back to that I've had other experiences that brought me back to it. So well, a lot of people two on the who who start meditating young, the Ark that I often hear is you know it. it's part of their dna because they started so young and, I think Effingham your case proudly party or dna nano because started young, but because, as we have established a kind of introduced such an testimony, your life, but all, but often come in and say you know it
longer time we're I'm elapsed, meditate her, but it doesn't mean that the effect is gone. Is that is that similar to what happened with the absolutely but it's it's another another arrow and my quiver, because I'm what in my dna is being a complete spaz. anxious I m self, conscious, I'm nervous by nature. I am high energy. and everything that meditation is not, which is why It's so good for me when I do it right we live in a year average tv reporter I mean. Did you know you One of your similar seminal experiences was having a panic attack on air and I've. Never this to anyone, certainly not a broadcast. But since it's, u, I still have panic attacks all the time when I'm good life, really, how do you I've never seen you get nervous near only God. I have full on Pulse racing no vision, while
palpitation, how how'd you get through it fear. I don't know, I dread greater. I dont know what it is. Sometimes I stumbled and that's the only thing the causes me to stumbles, not because I dont know what I mean to say it's because, I get so nervous that you know I can't control it even now. Yes, absolutely so I bought it. I get nervous. I have to tell you that I will not say with any judge, moves and said with sympathy, empathy more all of it. It's such a weird feeling one of the things that I think you re one of the few people would understand what I am going to attempt to say is that you, but there is pursuing you're in the field and it just your stuff There is no real surroundings over you and like a board, camera crew and maybe you're producer, is looking at her phone or his phone, and a sudden, the anchor of the evening news or good morning, America says here's ABC Matt Gutmann, and then it's just you with. The role of the national airwaves and you can have-
terrific outburst. You can do whatever you want and all of this little imp comes into your mind and starts. Given you terrible suggestions, start thinking about how many people are watching, but you can't see them in, but you know they're watching and your bosses are watching and like all that stuff, just courses through your mind and then for me often it turns into the very difficult mental experiences so they're they're too impulses right, there's the impulse, it just say You know you already know how to say it. And the other one is Dormice up, don't mess up, don't mess up and the dough miss up one often is more powerful than the other. And for me it's not just show you that that many people are watching it's the expectation of perfection right. If you have fifteen seconds to speak or national tv and the great David, your who is truly a savant incompletely unflappable,
Casas Youtube. All it says Matt, and you know that you got to be perfect. Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos or any of the greats are Dan Harris for me. That's the hard and one of the things that I've actually tried to call myself before not tried? A lot is, is mindfulness. You know there of different methods, but one of them I have is Actually, somebody who is a hypnotist taught this to me As you know, imagine you have a string and under five nothin You re, then, at the top of five and you exhale slowly, you can t get to four and then in hell again it for an exhale to get down to three and so on and so forth. You go hide behind the tree when you're doing this. No, I don't actually hold the string. You do it in your mind, but you're doing the breeding yeah but, just do what you can do it and keep your eyes open and just were of imagine it. You know, and that's why medicine she might. Foreigners are not a panacea me, that's what you describe. It makes your life better, but it's like us,
every problem, and it doesn't always help me, but it's dead. Something that I tried. It doesn't always work, but I do try to swerve call myself through breathe. Even before this, and sometimes I'm totally vine and like I got this But sometimes you never know when you start to get really nervous. Does the hard, maybe impossible question answer since there is no control group here, but you have a sense of what your life would be like. If you didn't have these practices? No, and I really don't I don't I don't it's been so long that had them mean. Could I be any more of a spanish? That would be a scary thing. If I had was right by more anxiety and nerves, and I am now, but maybe That's that would be the case. I don't know how consistent are you you're about to save me? I apologize I
the squire. No, it's just you know we're talking about either. You know that the tools in your arsenal or the weapon on your arsenal in terms of meditation of the other thing, is it. When I can't sleep, you know I just deployed in all sorts of different methods. I dont have in a very consistent practice, but when I can't sleep, that's where I go, I began, to meditate and as anybody who practices knows the best ways to fall asleep is to start practice. Yes, sometimes very inconvenient right and as a super. Exactly so, when you're having her alongside you go to the Monterrey, you do a mindfulness sort of awareness of breath type practice. It depends how urgent my sleep requirement is, but which one is better for sure fire way to get there is to do my whole practice, so you do the breed up and then I start doing the the mantra, but in general
two impatience and, like I'm just gonna, go straight for the mindfulness indecent breeding exercises. Either vote were I've. I have trouble sleeping, sometimes and sometimes I'll use medical intervention, But one thing I found really helpful because I don't like to take medicine is, I will stretch, and then I was sick meditate and I will, if it's not uncommon for me after stretching and then meditating to get real sleepy and then as I lay down to bed, I will do this exercise taught me by a guy, Sean a core ach o r, who was on the progress couple weeks ago he's mark I've written up much of books, and he says if you spend every couple minutes every day, reviewing in your mind, the things that you are grateful for that happened to day. I found that the combination of those three things, nothing is sure fire, but that's about as close as I've found
those three things and an Albanian for sure. Yes, and, as my dad used to say when as little and unable to sleep in we're coming to complain to him. He would say: bend over and run as fast as you can into the wall It had a child. The one thing that's great that, but I want you to go back for what sector remind me in, and maybe our listeners, your listeners, so it's Remember how many good things and and how many things you grateful grateful for that happened today. He says that three just do three. I think he says three It's really just listing off in your mind is the key. Variable. I actually had a my little things that I made up, which was as I he's going to bed every night. I would come to do this cheesy thing of list off the things I'm grateful for there are always the same things and how I feel that it did help me sleep. As Sean said, the research shows has done some of this research shows,
Actually in order to have a true measurable benefits on general populations, it really helps to focus on things that happened today because then a trains the mind the brain to be short of scanning for good news. I love that for a couple of reasons, one because its super easy to apply that something that I am going to use for. Sure it's also something I can see myself teaching to the kids, because it so easy yeah right a ten year old could totally do that because she could never fall asleep and even If it doesn't help her fall asleep, it reinforces the things that she's grateful for and will lift her spirits But I really like that- I mean I wish I could take credit for its been, were very useful and I've just aunt Shaw and for us all- and I will actually, I'm kind kind of forcing him to be my friends, well that, but I think for you as a grown up those three practices mush together, because, Your rushing option has become expense. when I rushing to go to sleep, is almost
guarantee? I will not and so pushing those three gather inches deliver slowing down, saying ok how's, mostly by get I'm gonna get. I can't control it, but I can do these three he's together and I think I'll up my odds of sleeping- is this about sleeping at similar, falling asleep at similar to meditation, which involves letting go and ass a sort of surrender and show you. I am often attention here, but I found that those things are useful might be for you. I'm gonna go in another tragedy: we're talking about another, that I use not that anybody cares and unluckily I'm like the worst meditate her. I know everybody out there I mean, and we don't judge, but nothing that I use that I just talking about things are grateful for that, actually, just makes me happy- and this is not getting to a more relaxed place. Whatever it is in this sort of happens organically to the image of my children smiling faces comes into my mind.
And I sure of meditate on that- and that is one of the most joyous thing whenever I am feeling really down- and maybe that is granted to things- because I am grateful for them so insistent beautiful image. It just makes me happy in my core after will actually also, if there's a way to kind of formalize what you're describing theirs I just did a nine day, silent, meditation, retreat of a specific up, an utter laughing ridiculous, but if a kind of meditation got a Buddhist name M e t t a matter which is often translated into the soup. Primly annoying word of loving kindness, but who can actually translated into different word, which is friendliness. Friendliness is incredibly valuable skill and it should be on directional now the arguably the most important person you should be friendly to. Is you because that will impact
You show up in every other place in the world, so this practice again twenty six hundred years old. The way it's often taught- and I was taught on this retreat- I just did- was you visualize people, including yourself, your children, difficult people neutral people, everybody and send them good vibes through their mental repetition of phrases like may be happy may be safe, etc, etc. The trick is the way we called on the retreat is start with an easy person, so your already doing that you're, starting with your kids and you actually can it by starting with your kids and sending and sending them these phrases kind of explicitly in your mind, and that is is that kind of juice is built up. Job you put in a picture of MAC Gutmann and send it to me government and change your inner, whether in that
sting and then you can try. You can grow from there to maybe your wife or a difficult colleague or some a neutral person who you overlook all the time of the dry cleaners, and then me, we send it to all living beings everywhere. This is a classical progression within the booty, within the Buddhist, take tradition so easily. kind of like doing the first step of this. That might be an interesting thing for you to. I found it to be an incredibly useful practice because as goofy and gooey as it is on some level. One of the things that I really notice about my own personal practices is its suffused with a version, so you can mindfully note. The arise anger or impatience or restlessness, and or is it supposed to be non judgmental, but if actual you're paying close attention, you can't just want that thing to go away and
if you can change your inner, whether to a friendly environment where anger arises here I come up with hug it up you and anger or hugging it out Metaphor: guy got it. Then you are show not owned by the anger and the difference in the multiplier effect. Our fact back and have in the how you show up in the world is, in my mind, just incredible So far as Daphne is no mean longer than I've. I've known you dive no longer than I've known you and she's another room. Listen, she must be thinking what happened to the zoo like you used to be cool, nobody I wanted just and there a couple things. I want to talk about him, what you said, because that was very brilliant Dan asked and that was sort of the quintessential dad, but they're also some practical benefits to doing that to meta which you translate as friendliness, My general behaviour is super friendly, like barely overlook, and I'm not saying this is not the kind of person
overlooks anyone know, that's true, I can, but I say hi to everyone rescued right and that's like my thing we can talk about. The various psychosis is involved with my oh craziness about that, but there is a practical benefit When you are nice to people good things do happen to you. If you are to a cab driver, which I typically am and you for something in the car they are more likely to stop I give you your wallet or your phone, that you ve left in there, all over? And you know it is this loving kindness it? It does reverberate back to you but think about so thoroughly. think about what you said before about the two voices in your head, when you're doing alive shot one of them saying what would you say what you wanna say, what you know and the others saying don't screw it up, don't screw it up and shooting, how friendly you are to yourself, and that, I think, is the value of this project. I think that was beautifully. Put, Many of us are not friendly enough to ourselves and, yes, that would be wonderful,
if I were friendlier- and I will work on that- I have a question- book it's among them? Talk like you. Well, I will give you the perfect, secular, ok, so is at the same thing has been possible because ok well, because when you wouldn't in Thailand. I suggested this book right in which are going to introduce an insect, but they said repast night is loving, kindness like that's how they define it yeah. I spoke to you soon, so I not sure what I am about to say is accurate, so the Pastrana meditation. I think that Bosnia translates into incite. I think that I'm worried about this, and traditionally, within the buddhist tradition in Thailand, their part of what's called terawatt Buddhism Old School books for a sort of their sex school of Buddhism said the terawatt as the oldest school and in that where I come out of two to the I generally, when, as I
her standard. When that term is used, it means insight meditation, which is basically, you know. There are many ways practice if one the primary ways practices watch your breath coming in and going out and every time you get distracted, you start again, but- is often paired with Mehta practice now I dont know if matters is considered, not the person or its considered to be a part of a package, but the two are taught together in the treaty. At least the one that I have grown up in and there's a reason for that, especially in the west, where we are really harder and ourselves in meditation, there can be an unfriendliness that creeps and in a very prominent way, and so taking the edge off that through matters really important. Also, it's very hard to be happy if you're being a jerk Alla time. Well, just what you're saying you know why, our so judgmental in our society, and we are so success obsessed here,
right, so that, even when we meditate, we feel that we have to meditate. Well, yes, totally the freedom where we feel like we have to win, and you have experience here, you end and it's just a losing proposition more ten percent happier after this. So you woke up. Your phone is lighting up with headlines and push notifications, a text from your mom saying. How do I click this? Ok, maybe that's just me, but if you want get up to speed check out the new podcast from ABC News start here. Literally, the ground was shaking I'm bride milking and every morning we're gonna. Take you to the stories that matter with fast fresh in silo rubber, Mahler, Michael Cohen, calling only twenty minutes start here: listen for free and apple podcast, or your favorite podcast app. right now. My colleague, maybe she's man, let's decide what island. So you are you. I can't believe how fast you wrote this book, and I want to talk about the process in a second
You ve written a book about an event that feels like a hundred years ago, given the speed of the new cycle these days, but has actually was like just a few months ago, one of which is the rescue of those adorable boys in the Thai K right now You're right. Therefore, I want hear everything right early July twenty this this summer, twenty and eighteen fills eccentric opened its not these twelve you soccer player and their coach? So thirteen people, on all words, covered having been maroon got lost in this cave. They had been there for ten days. These two middle aged pasty white. wear black socks with sandals british divers, who happened to be the very best in the world at cave dive, rescues and who happen to have all, their training in the miserable murky dark, cold type of conditions that were and in this particular cave in Thailand, so they were perfectly suited,
discovered the boys are like oh alive and that triggered this believable rush of journalists to Thailand, because everybody thought they were dead, I mean became the story the summer and over them. next week, or so those divers high government. U S special forces and others rack their brains to figure out how the hell. You gonna get them out and nobody really knew how the prison cells once they saw how deep in the cave they were, which was like over a mile and a half which has seen that far. But a mile and a half of of scuba diving in you know times. The cave was no higher than this table rights there till it three, no like two and a half feet while yeah I mean basically, you think about a two year old, basing the height of a two year old in their so their squeeze
through these things and their stalactites and tightens lag, mites and jagged rocks that are tearing at them, whack in their heads and I just can't believe how far into the cave these boys were what happened is that monsoon range head, but this year in Thailand, because of climate change, Each was whether the normal about three feet wetter and the mountain, which is called the sleeping princess which normally absorbed these kinds of monsoon rain. that type of that time of year couldn't absorb any more. So, instead of sponging it in it expelled water, the water goes coursing through the main Kay outside the cave in coursing into it, forced by poverty and by all these little slits the mountain and the boys had gone, in two about two and a half through miles in on their way: out. It was a like team building excursion. They gone away out, something we see that their exit is blocked and they had no way of knowing that they would be.
Ruined inside this cave, nobody knew where they were. I took a lot of figure it out anyway. As forward a couple of weeks, they ve been in there. These british guys find them. There is hope, or international effort to try to rescue them, and it was much more complex and even we knew when we were reporting about it on the ground, and may we can get to how they did it a little bit later? But you know it is for me kind of I loved the story because it it presents rescuers within unbelievably challenging problem. There also had no solution. and somehow was ultimately solved, but just the complexity of the issue, national nature of it? The forerunners of it was it's just the makings. Everybody knew at the time it You can either go really really well or really really badly. Yes, yes, and you know part of why I wanted to talk to. You- is one of the coping mechanisms that the coach for those twelve kids introduce
in that in that awful scenario was meditation. So what was it? What what kind of meditation was he teaching them? Do we have somehow it impacted. The kids showed the boy said. so. It's really interesting and I did notice at the time, but this is through the reporting that did in the book I was actually report in the book, not free BC news. It's incredible. The degree to which the Temple was a part of these boys line of food is TAT, the Buddhist Temple, what it's gonna watch in in time, what Doyle one, and so it's almost something that they do on weekends it it's like. You know like a church almost like a synagogue. Happy they go in there. I meditated more, like a cultural centre. It's a culture sent. but they all learn how to meditate, and many of them had been apprentice. Monks even before they went into the cave, and you know- long for a couple days or at a time, but they do.
learn the rudiments of meditation until Furthermore, any new mindfulness inbreeding when they went in but with the coach did, who had spent a decade as a buddhist monk, honing, meditation, honing, the craft and practice what he did? Is he realised that they were totally screwed and Pro only facing death, and so he kept them active them digging and trying to find an alternate exit, even though he knew it wouldn't happen, and every night and day he would gather them together and he would lead them through mine its breeding and meditation and sometimes would be with chance, and sometimes you just be mindful I didn't know he had been a monk for a deck. A decade is young guy five years old, it's kind of his head. George he's one of the people who, in Thailand or as a whole segment society. There are stateless in there a people that lives in.
Just the original golden triangle and the golden triangle area between me and MAR Thailand and Louse active in the drug trade active in the drug trade Liam Opium that's. Why was originally called the golden triangle by the CIA in the fifties and Sixtys Thailand really crack down on the opium trade. But what has flourished said is human trafficking, and so now the biggest trade applied is women and possible slaves from them much poorer countries into Thailand, and then elsewhere, Asia, and so everywhere, and would aggressing. But all along the route from Mesa, which is the town where this cave is, which is snug up against the border with Myanmar. Twenty miles south. Are these checkpoints and that's what they go and for their looking for human smugglers? and in the human traffickers with their their cargo clinic. What with it
you said there were some sad story about him having become a monk, so he became so thank you for bringing about my job as his job is good at it. coach egg is he's known, was part of it stateless minority living in northern Thailand and his parents were pretty poor and a plague, and we still don't know what swept through his pledge when he was ten years old about fifteen years ago, and it killed both his parents and his brother. and so within weeks he was orphaned and his. Took him in and ass happens a lot in that part of the world, especially in Thailand. Families feel that their children, especially through poor, can get a better education if they well, then a monastery as monks. Then they could why? Because otherwise they have to be forced to work always and not go to school at all. So coach egg was into this monastery where he spent the better part of a decade
He was twelve and not you know he? U duped. really awful menial jobs, but they also teach you language. Rithmetic, meditation. there is also a practice which helped them, which is part of the whole priests in Thailand, which is really I think it's. It is the original older version tradition of Buddhism wishes that desire, is one of the root of all evil. Obviously, right in and see, if you can curb desire, you can better work on your practice of men. Haitian and Buddhism in general, so they ate they didn't eat, asked a big noontime meal. They had an early morning breakfast and then a noontime meal, so all of the monks, including coach We used to eating one meal and then being hungry the rest of the day. So for a decade he'd spent life under
standing hunger and once you understand hunger after awhile and basically temporary fasting, you can control it because you're used to it. and so I believe in This is what we know is that it helped heads were to understand what they were going through in the cave. Although ITALY and Buddhism. You know depth, patient to certain degrees, okay, but they don't deal with real terrible self flagellations. He wouldn't starve yourself for ten days like they did, but at least he had A basic understanding of what it's like to endure a little bit his suffering. He probably knew what a lot of suffering lessons he lost. His parents and you know, had worked really hard since an early age in the monastery. So the coach was held be criticized during all this for leading the kids into the what could have been a death trap? Is it your view after having done all of this reporting and writing that that he got a bad rap? my reporting, I learned it by the I just remembered I'm sorry, folks, all those listening
I was on air with Dan when, first boy was rescued threat, Hallo from New York, I'm Andrea Harris alongside Paula Ferris, and we are coming on the air with great news about the rescue operation to save members of that young soccer team in their coach trapped in a key, even Thailand for more than two weeks still, it's gotta ABC Mac government on the scene and Chang Right, Thailand. It was this independence day for these people dead and policies, and it is one of the happiest your site. We rule also. We couldn't believe it had happened and it was happening on air and dance show on GM may, on my show, but I'll show that I'm involved and yes he's the host these anchor and it was one of the great moments I've experienced a tv. awesome happening lived, it was good, news! Yes only half, and it was you know- certainly something to write home about, but we digress. So even at that time, when the boys got now, everybody was highly critical of the coach, but what we have learnt, listen, whether or not
Coach should take twelve kids alone into account. Miles in without a learning their parents, probably not the best idea, but this Something people did in these parts right they would. They would explore those It was a right of passage, especially for high school kids. At the score, these kids went so kids did do it, not that sort of graduation thing, but it was definitely. Bite of passage in the park rangers with whom I spoke all knew that this kind of thing happened. but of course they didn't register with the park before they went in the coach. Didn't have a kids till her parents where they were going. He does does deserve a little bit of criticism for that. However, Man who knew the cave best in the world is a bread known as Verne answers, Vernon owns Worth, fell in love, he's a cave, raise a potholes from land. Mr England, who is to explore the shared dales, which is a an area laced with caves and potholes
as the british call them and all sorts of very drifting, geographical and geological features and he's now sixty three and he's been caving. His whole life he had fallen in love with a woman who happen to live in a village called, may side moved in with her found out about this cave and began exploring it back in twenty thirteen, an initial survey had been done of the cave back in nineteen. Eighty, seven by a pair of french surveyors Buddy really been dealt with since then, and Verne committed himself. He was in love with his girlfriend tick. He was obsessed with a cave and he had committed himself to learn. this cave along with a partner of his better than anybody else in the world. He read it all of those surveys. He was supposed to go and finish One of these surveys the day after the boys went in and he did though there, but as a rescuer that morning, rather than as a cover and so they were very lucky in that
a person who knew the cave best in the whole world happened I'm going in then very next I was ready to go zero, stuff, ready and happened be in may say at the time that they were lost and was to give rescuers at need at least initially a pretty good, the idea of where they might be- and it turned out ultimately was exactly where they were. Let me it backwards a little bit. Why do I bring up Vernon's worth because Verne told me I could at will What happened to me the way the cave, is shaped like a. Why, basically, you go in there a couple of different branches. They went to the letter, which is the longer branch were were there is more to explore. That's what he would have done. and there was no way to know that the cave was flooding once you ve passed a certain. The only way to know is what you retrace our steps to go back out to the exit of the cave Then you realise that the water flows in from the entrance basically and cut you off, so he said Matt could have happened to me. You know I'm as an experience,
however, as a reason, the world I've been doing it for forty years. It would have happened to me: it's not the coaches fault. So That's the view of the coach. Now in Thailand, after we ve had time. Do you know? Is he still kind of a goat? There were two people or people more sympathetic, Lionize Erle, he's great yeah. Everybody is put that behind them he's the guy who kept the kids alive through meditation through discipline, through morale, these regarded very highly The kid say about Oh, the various techniques he used, including meditation to keep them com and motivated and hopeful that what how did they described You know how this stuff helped them I'll give you an example they loved Kojak before he was nobody's favour coach, because he was a young guy. He taught the under thirteen team, taught coached and so on. I was up there. It was one of the boys birthdays work,
wait you're wherever they was, but we went to go, see coach ache. We went to the monastery cause, he's gone back. to be a monk again in order to say his thanks to the spirits the cave and the God will not the gods but the spirits of the cave specifically, and so he did his period of service All of those kids showed up to be with him every time they celebrate anything, it's with him. They basically credit him with saving their lives all that stuff and they don't do it, it. It's the whole package of this young guy sticking with them, making sure they don't freak out giving them the instruction to keep digging, rational lights, and you know that they drank and protect themselves stay together to keep warm. They basically credit him with everything and their lives now revolve more around the Temple and Buddhism, but specifically coach egg than they ever have until it's really sweet to see the other amazing thing to all your parents out there
I mean if something like that had happened to my kids, we- would not let our child out of sight, But in may side there is such a sense of community that an end in a sense that the boys need to be boys, that when I went there- and it was five weeks after they ve gotten out of the cave and that night all the boys had ridden their bikes. at night to coach eggs in the monastery up the hill, and around may say they do an overnight bike ride around in the area just a few days before? some kids were riding mopeds like their parents, and I talk to one of the mothers about this little. How What what's the secrets like? If I don't, let him be a boy, I'm gonna lose him, and so it's interesting. I it's is very different from our society. Also it safe there Nobody knows them in everybody knew them before and theirs real sense of community in the small town, everybody was poem, For these boys
and everybody was so elated when they got out, but I also Ruby I understand that they need to keep doing these things, or else, though, recover now. I think that's right just in our remaining time here. There's two things I want to ask you about: one is you said it before and I dont want to give away the book, but you know you you you indicated that in your reporting it it became clear that the rescue, which was amazing to all of us in real time actually was even more amazing a more complicated. Can you just give us a sense of what we didn't know the rescuers we're all convinced. Now we didn't know this is reporters, but the rescuers will all convinced that there are two options right. The first option which the thai government wanted to go with was to wait out the monsoon season and let the boy simply walk out the way they came in the proper without was, as the original divers realized. There was already only Fifteen percent oxygen
in chamber nine, which was this enclosed base, which is probably around the space, the size of space, it you and I are in right now- fifteen percent anything lower than that, you start to lose cognitive ability. Your lips turn blue already it. fifteen to seventeen percent you're losing some function. And it was only going down the divers realized, these Women was so arduous. They wouldn't be able to re supply them with food They also realised that the water was fluctuating and rising in the hadn't even hit the peak of muslim season. So One day the? U S, special operations group, which is part of the air force and the divers and was getting late, told the high government are like listen. I know you want the zero option that can happen if we don T, the boys out now before this next monsoon rain comes there all gonna die and if they, die in this monsoon rain, there were sixty two death. It's good
slow strangulation and if that doesn't happen, they're gonna starve to death, because we can't feed them for a hundred days. You have to pull them out and he got pull them out. Now you have thirty six hours before those rains come gotta get this mission going. If you don't, they will die. Ok. How many can you save some What do you mean son? The die, first themselves. They didn't tell the thai government explicitly, but when they first started doing the plans they thought eighty percent would die during next. action. Eighty percent means You know nine out of the twelve boys, why I mean how big only their only basically for people in the world. It turned out to be six who could actually complete this dive in and out without getting to serious trouble. The tiny be seals who did it now get one of them away, one of them one of them die, but in a different part of the dive, but the other guys ran at air because you can't supply
there's nothing in there. It is literally like being on an alien planet. In fact, the EU especially ops, airforce guy was like it would be easy. To communicate with people on the moon. Then it would be too The boys in anybody else in chamber nine, there was no. took away on the planet to pass. The message that deep into a cave that far into the earth, so they were literally marooned as far into the world, as you could possibly imagine. no wait or resupply them so the divers themselves, barely made it in and out and how you gonna hall. and twenty pounds a kid the kids working to be able to swim because they could barely swim. So they hadn't knock them out, they sedated them so heavily that they could have appeared. Didn't arm and the kids would have noticed while that's really improper followed closely given ketamine
Proper, follow out risks death, as we know from Micro Jackson. Next explicitly talk about that in the book, so they gave them ass was his ketamine buys a horse drawing work, Catherine foes with one of those it is, but it It's a very commonly used drugs, an emergency rooms as well. It's also they commonly available in developing countries like Thailand, so they had to figure out. Not. what they could use, but what they could find in time, so they dose them up on Ketamine, that's what they would do and then hall them out now their wings, face mask but, as I described earlier, the space there working in sometimes was you know knee high into the kids man, we're getting bumped around, but they couldn't even tell because it was so dark, you wouldn't be able to see. So they were terrified that these kids were drowned to death on the way out, so that every was conspiring against them. The thai government like all right? Well, what do you see a successful mission and he was major who was based We running the operation with the help with yet the british and
foreign divers as the actual people implemented, he said listen we get one boy home to his parents. I personally would consider that a success, aren't you. The thai government was telling the whole country in the world that there offering a zero risk option, which means all the boys would be rescued. And they're telling them that success would be one live boy, so the I were convinced they could get themselves out of the cave. They were convinced they could get the boys physical bodies out of the cave, they were not convinced they could get the boys out of the cave alive, so glad at work and glad tat, I do not have a child in a cave so did crazy mission. You wrote the book and how many weeks I wrote the first manuscript in twenty four days, well, yeah
Ah, it's California acerbity, has little guest house and down my family went off on the vacation that we were supposed to go. Judah Vermont with family the dog I moved out does little office and I slept there and I took my meals there and for twenty four days I didn't leave. The house accepted, the dog and- and I call because it was our reporting and I don't know any everything that you just heard. I did not know until I started writing of English twenty four days. Yes, sir, your writing and reporting its incorrect. That's even crazier! Yet so I was I conversations with Thailand, and sometimes I dare, translate or on the phone simultaneously, which was a nightmare, but thank you ah to what's app and to line, and all these other applications out there, because otherwise we couldn't do it. I'm talking Malta, where there was one diver, Great Britain, Belgium, Finland, Australia,
where else o n, my guy in Israel who travelled to talent, I wrote the manuscript, and then I went to Thailand to do my third trip to report for for the book First trip was for ABC. Second, what was also I did reporting then, and then I went again for a third reporting trip and and I verily was feeling in blanks I would do the interviews I jumped back and rewrite like a car as I'm going to assume more intense, and then you know, people probably dont, know better. Multiple pass. So you you basically do for versions of the book and you keep updating and refining. As you go along generally I want you to be done by the first or second version, but you know I kept getting new stuff and the more the more I came exposed to people who are involved. The more connections I made, and so I ended up having this network of dozens of people and that it will. amazing. For me, it was so it was
we think that is different from what we do on the nightmare. Who's your GM may or those stories were so much gets left on the cutting room floor case. Nothing did and I could get as deep into the gizzard of people's lives and their stories, as I possibly wanted, and I could every single juicy deep down, I loved it. I revelled in every minute as an agonising twenty. Our day I was going to say, is what you are describing: how horrible to me, not that not the product, but that the process did you any time to meditate during those one effort is I did. I did mindfulness breathing, I wouldn't say meditated but I was so exhausted when it was over. They took me how, on baby month, it's all I wanted to do asleep. I have never been so attired in my entire life. I was in our collective well, congratulations and what's the name of the buggy and the boys in the gay, the boys in the cave, deep inside the impossible mission in Thailand, rescue possible rescued Thailand messing up my own,
that's right or others have the boys in the gay people on Amazon available everywhere. Congratulations them seriously! It is incredible achievement and you were a great test. So, thank you for creative, really fucked me too, ok that does it for another edition of the ten percent happier podcast. If you liked it, please take a minute to subscribe rate us also. If you want to suggest topics, you think we should cover or guests that we should bring in hit me up on twitter at Danby. Harris importantly, I want to thank the people who produce this podcast Efron Josh cohesion and the rest of the folks here at a b c, who helped make this thing possible? We have tons of other projects. You can check them out at every single pod casts dot com. I'll talk to you next Wednesday, there's not a person in America who hasn't been impact it in some way by the corona I was pandemic, but it every community there are pockets of people who were soon.
every day. This is my Monday, last day of the cylinder stretch, photos from one about these or America's essential workers, the people who are keeping moving. I turn into a homespun mom and now in a new programmes from ABC News you gonna hear from damage. Was she went back to my office on cybercrime because he is not here and making sure that our community hostility smiled faintly Lorraine. This is the essential inside the from the emergency room, the police cruiser to the czech outline. You hear what this pandemic sounds like the people putting themselves norms, which is always a risk. Your brain is home to re. Kids are my husband or my appearance listened to the essentials inside the curve on Apple podcast, River podcast, him.