Author Archive

Oprah Winfrey

Sunday, September 13th, 2015


Oprah Winfrey has had many careers, from radio newscaster to actress, but she is most famous for her television talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah grew up in difficult circumstances; she was raised by a teenage mother in inner city Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Despite this, she provides a wealth of wisdom about meditation and mindfulness. She believes that by finding a connection to something greater to ourselves through meditation, we tune into what our purpose might be and reach it with more clarity and ease. “At this particular time in my life, I recognize that everything is about moving closer to that which is God,” she says. “I’m not talking about religion…without understanding the fullness from which we come, we can’t really fulfill our supreme moment of destiny.”

Whether or not you have found your purpose, meditation can bring your life into focus and keep you in touch with what matters to you. Listen to more of Oprah’s thoughts here:



Richard Gere

Sunday, September 13th, 2015


Richard Gere, an American actor famous for his roles in An Officer and a Gentleman, Runaway Bride, and the 2002 film adaptation of the musical Chicago, also practices meditation. Although Gere has been meditating for decades, he recognizes that meditation’s many forms have equal value. “Almost all forms of meditation are a form of looking at the mind,” he explains. “In the beginning you are almost amazed how much noise is going on there. You have no idea how much monkey stuff is going on, how cluttered it is. You look at that and you’re acknowledging what the mind is, you’re taming it, and when you have done that you have learned the power of concentration.” Gere believes that this mental focus and discipline translates to other areas of his life as well, from ordinary concentration to enlightenment. “The only thing that will get us anywhere on the spiritual path…is dedicating ourselves to a daily practice,” he says. It’s not easy, but with a little work, anyone can do it.



The Dalai Lama

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

The Dalai Lama is a position as the leader of the Gelug school, the newest of many schools of Tibetan Buddhism. As a spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama often speaks on the positive impact of meditation. “When we feel a sort of irritation [towards someone else], during that moment, if that person concentrate[s] fully on the breathing, nothing else…your mental state will be different, [a] little more calm.”

Whenever you struggle with a difficult coworker, overbearing boss, or frustrating family member, remember to call up your meditation experience and focus on your inhalation and exhalation as you move past irritation and toward a more productive, compassionate state of mind. Your friends—and your mental state—will thank you.



Warren Buffett

Sunday, September 13th, 2015


Warren Buffett is the most successful American investor of the twentieth century, and a proud meditator. He believes the art of being present increases success in a variety of ways. For instance, you may find yourself in a bad financial situation but not even realize it. “The most important thing to do if you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging,” Buffett says, and the only way to realize you are in this hole is to spend some time in contemplative silence.

Buffett also notes that being self-aware can lead to finding opportunities or solutions to otherwise-insurmountable problems. “I don’t look to jump over seven-foot bars: I look around for one-foot bars that I can step over,” he comments, remarking that it takes a certain presence of mind to spot these chances. So whether you are struggling with a difficult situation or just would like to work a little more efficiently, consider spending some time meditating, and see what kind of solutions you come up with.



Jerry Seinfeld

Sunday, September 13th, 2015


Jerry Seinfeld has being practicing meditation for forty-one years. “I don’t remember exactly how I started,” he remarks, but he has found meditation to be a grounding and energizing force in his own life. As a writer and actor, Seinfeld has had plenty of experience dealing with intense schedules, but he admits that handling them is not second nature. “I’m not one of these people who has crazy, boundless energy,” he says. “I’m just a normal guy. So when everyone else was having lunch [during the shoot], I would do transcendental meditation…that is how I survived the nine years [writing and filming the Seinfeld TV series].”

You don’t have to be an actor to reap the rewards of meditation. Set aside a few minutes to let your brain relax and recharge, and see what happens. What could you do with a little extra energy each day?



Russell Brand

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

Russell Brand

In our modern world, information comes at us quickly. From text messages to email notifications to world news alerts, we are constantly bombarded with images and descriptions on how we should look, act, and think. Sometimes, it can be too much for us to handle gracefully, and so we lash out in anger or sink into a state of pessimism or low self-confidence. Comedian and actor Russell Brand believes that meditation is a practical remedy for this modern state. Since he started meditation, “I’ve cultivated an ability to step back from the phenomena of my life,” he says. “[I can think] ‘Do I really want to lose my temper in this situation?’…The hypnotic power of the material world has decreased.” Do you find yourself hypnotized by the media or cultural norms? Perhaps, like Brand, you can find some relief through meditation.



William Ford

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

William Ford is the grandson of the founder of Ford Motor Company, and currently serves as CEO of Ford. Despite the economic downturn and its effects on his business, Ford uses meditation and other mindfulness practices to keep himself focused on the vision and the humanity he wants to promote. “At the end of the day, every business is about the people,” he says. Meditation is a way to break away from our focus on what other people think we should do and gain clarity and strength to do what is ethical. Perhaps, like Ford, you can find insight and the courage to follow your heart through the course of your own meditation practice.



Padmasree Warrior

Sunday, September 13th, 2015


Padmasree Warrior is the Chief Technology Officer at Cisco Systems, a global corporation that specializes in networking equipment. Despite her expertise and knowledge of technology, Warrior also realizes that it can be detrimental to our health—and that meditation can provide relief. In a previous position managing 22,000 employees, Warrior made time to meditate and go technology-free in order to clear her mind and manage her tasks with aplomb. “It’s almost like a reboot for your brain and your soul,” she said. “It makes me so much calmer when I’m responding to e-mails later.” Warrior practices meditation each evening, and spends each Saturday device-free. Could you adopt this CTO’s practices to improve your own life?

To read more about Warrior’s thoughts on our addiction to devices and her own “digital detox,” check out this link. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/24/technology/silicon-valley-worries-about-addiction-to-devices.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0


Andrew Cherng

Sunday, September 13th, 2015


Panda Express founder Andrew Cherng is infamous for not just meditating, but for encouraging his employees to do so as well. One now-famous account details how after listening to a nervous, rambling chain manager’s description of his restaurants, Cherng took the manager aside and told him that he meditation would help him become calmer and more eloquent. This article explains that Cherng believes that “Panda Express restaurants are successful because Cherng cares about the emotional well-being of employees.” It does not matter if that employee is a fry cook or a high-level manager; Cherng’s experience with meditation and willingness to share it with others is inspiring for meditators of all levels.



Robert Stiller

Sunday, September 13th, 2015


Green Mountain Coffee Roasters founder Robert Stiller may enjoy a strong cup of coffee, but he also appreciates the more subtle art of meditation. In fact, there is a special meditation room built into the Vermont headquarters of Stiller’s company! “Meditation helps develop your abilities to focus better and to accomplish your tasks,” he explains. “If you have a meditation practice, you can be much more effective in a meeting.” Focus, perspective, and calm under pressure have certainly contributed to both Stiller’s success and that of his company—benefits that far outweigh those of a stiff cup of joe!



Rivers Cuomo

Sunday, September 13th, 2015


Rivers Cuomo, the front-man for popular rock band Weezer, prizes his meditation practice for its effect on his memory. In fact, he once remarked that he was “about to go under this 45-day meditation retreat, and one of the things that happens to me in these courses is that my memory gets razor-sharp.” Whether you are a writer looking to tap your experience or a student preparing for a final exam, meditation can provide a way to clear out the mental fluff and bring what really matters to the forefront.

Cuomo also believes that meditation helps him overcome his fears. Learn more by reading this blog post from his personal website. http://riverscuomo.com/2010/09/09/rivers-cuomo-on-meditation/


Rick Goings

Sunday, September 13th, 2015


Tupperware CEO Rick Goings may be busy, but he makes time each day for contemplation. Goings tries to meditate for twenty minutes each afternoon, clearing his mind and refocusing on what is important in his life. He believes it relieves stress, but perhaps more importantly, helps him select and focus on the truly meaningful tasks in his life. For Goings, meditation provides a way to optimize his performance, and handle the daily stress of his leadership position with grace and confidence. How would your life be different if you knew what was truly important? Perhaps, like Goings, your meditation practice will yield some answers.

Learn more about Goings’ daily schedule and meditation background here. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d07095bc-727d-11df-9f82-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3PlGbPwkI


Gwyneth Paltrow

Saturday, September 12th, 2015


A great role model for new meditators is superstar actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Despite her acting roles in many blockbuster movies (including the Iron Man series, Emma, and Shakespeare In Love), Paltrow is relatively inexperienced when it comes to meditation. In 2010, she remarked, “My New Year’s resolution is to learn how to meditate. It’s always sounded like something I should do, but I don’t know how to. My friends who do it say it’s really freakin’ brilliant. They say you can’t know the peace/awareness/contentment until you do it. My brain drives me mental. I am going to start. Tomorrow.”Gwyneth’s story goes to show that you can start meditating even if you have never tried it before—and it can help with the stress of even the most fast-paced jobs.



What Meditation Means to the Successful

Monday, June 16th, 2014

What Meditation Means to the SuccessfulWe hear a lot about all the benefits of meditation. So why isn’t everyone meditating you may ask. Actually some of the most successful and accomplished people in the world are regular meditators and many attribute in part their success to the practice of meditation –the list is pretty surprising and quite long. These celebrities have realized that certain facets of meditation can help them tremendously in their personal and professional lives. However, meditation isn’t the same for everyone and different minds receive different benefits. For instance, Angelina Jolie does not “traditionally” meditate but prefers “meditation moments,” when she takes a moment out of her daily activities to contemplate peacefully. In fact, famous meditators today define meditation in widely diverse ways. Orlando Bloom said simply and poignantly, “The philosophies of meditation are very current today and are a way of finding some sort of peace.” Here are a few things other distinguished celebrities have said about meditation:

  • Ringo Starr said, “At the end of the day, I can feel totally wacky, because I’ve made mountains out of molehills. With meditation, I can keep them as molehills.”

  • Russell Brand said, “I’m quite a neurotic thinker, quite an adrenalized person. But after meditation, I felt this beautiful serenity and selfless connection.”

  • Gillian Anderson, famous for her role as Scully in the X-Files, said, “I mean the whole thing about meditation and yoga is about connecting to the higher part of yourself, and then seeing that every living thing is connected in some way.”

Not only are many celebrities inclined to meditate, but the business world has also taken note of the positive aspects that meditation can bring to the workplace. Many top executives and entrepreneurs are now embracing the practice in order to help themselves and their companies thrive. Here is a short list of business leaders who embrace meditation and its value in the workplace:

  • Bob Shapiro, former CEO of Monsanto, finds that meditation can improve listening skills and bolster creative thinking.

  • Oprah Winfrey said that meditation can offer a place of stillness in a world that is consistently on the move. It is in that space of stillness, she says, that her best work is accomplished.

  • Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, believes that there are personal benefits from meditation but goes further to state that meditating makes a corporation’s workforce healthier and happier as a whole. Huffington makes sure to offer classes at AOL and Huffington Post to provide employees with the opportunity to reap the same benefits from meditation that she does.

Meditation has clearly allowed some of the most prominent figures in contemporary society to find peace in both their personal and professional lives.

Well known meditators from the present and the past:

Albert Einstein (Scientist)

Alice Walker (Author)

Allen Ginsberg (Poet, Author)

Andrew Cherng (Businessman)

Andy Kaufman (Actor)

Belinda Carlisle (Singer)

Bruce Lee (Martial Artist)

Cher (Singer, Actress)

Clint Eastwood (Actor, Director)

David Lynch (Filmmaker)

Deepak Chopra (Author)

Elle MacPherson (Supermodel)

Frank Herbert (Author)

George Lucas (Producer)

Goldie Hawn (Actress)

Gwyneth Paltrow (Actress)

Harrison Ford (Actor)

Herbie Hancock (Musician)

Jennifer Lopez (Singer, Actress)

Jerry Seinfeld (Comedian)

Julia Roberts (Actress)

K.D. Lang (Singer)

Kate Bosworth (Actress)

Leonard Cohen (Singer, Songwriter, Poet)

Mark Wahlberg (Actor/Singer)

Melissa Mathison (Screenwriter)

Mick Jagger (Singer)

Nathaniel Dorsky (Filmmaker)

Oliver Stone (Movie Producer)

Oprah Winfrey (TV personality, business woman)

Orlando Bloom (Actor)

Padmasree Warrior (Chief Technology Officer)

Paramahansa Yogananda (Guru)

Phil Jackson (NBA Coach)

Richard Gere (Actor)

Rick Goings (CEO)

Rivers Cuomo (Musician)

Rob Cohen (Director)

Robert Stiller (Businessman)

Roberto Baggio (Soccer Pro)

Russell Simmons (Record Label Owner)

Sheryl Crow (Singer, Songwriter)

Steve Jobs (Businessman)

Steven Seagal (Actor)

Sting (Singer, Musician)

The Dalai Lama (Religious Leader)

Tiger Woods (Golf Pro)

Tina Turner (Singer)

various members of the Beatles (Singers/Musicians)

Warren Buffett (Investor)

Wayne Dyer (Author)

William Ford Jr. (Ford Motor Company)


Reduces Levels of Suicide

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Reduces Levels of Suicide

In a paper published in The Journal of Management & Social Science, practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM) was found to reduce levels of suicide. The paper focuses on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s TM-Sidhi program, developed to prevent war and terrorism. The program emphasizes that societal stress leads to war, terrorism, and crime, and hypothesizes that TM can decrease this societal stress, and as a result, decrease war-related consequences. Suicide, an effect of societal stress, was one of the positive changes found to result from the TM-Sidhi program. Military personnel who participated in the program showed noticeable reductions in suicides, suggesting the success of Transcendental Meditation in this area.


Fewer Car Accidents

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Fewer Car AccidentsAn article published in The Journal of Management & Social Science suggests that practicing Transcendental Meditation can reduce rates of car accidents. Focusing on the benefits of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation-Sidhi program, the article notes how its main goal is to prevent conflict, crime, and terrorism on a national and international scale. By striving to diminish the societal stressors that it claims lead to war, Transcendental Meditation is hypothesized to reduce war-related consequences. Fewer car accidents, which often result as an effect of such societal stressors, are one of the positive changes found to result from the TM-Sidhi program, suggesting its success in lowering the rate of car accidents.


Contributes to Fewer Crimes

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

meditation-image-4According to results published in multiple journals, meditation helps improve war-related effects such as contributes to fewer crimes. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi developed a military-focused Transcendental Meditation program called Invincible Defence Technology (IDT) whose goal was to reduce war-related conflict caused by society-wide stressors. IDT aims to reduce these large-scale societal stressors with the ultimate objective of reducing the war and terrorism-associated crime that is associated with those stressors. Upon completion of the IDT program, researchers found marked reductions in societal stress, resulting in diminished crime rates among the population. When administered to a population, IDT caused a dramatic reduction in war-related crime and conflict, demonstrating its crime-combating effects.


Decreases Crime Rates

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

meditation-image-5A paper published in The Journal of Management & Social Science indicates that practicing Transcendental Meditation has the potential to reduce crime rates. The study focused on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s TM-Sidhi program, which was specifically developed to prevent large-scale conflict and crime. Mahesh’s program is based on the belief that societal stress can lead to national and international conflict, as well as crime and terrorism. The study hypothesizes that Transcendental Meditation can reduce these societal stressors, and as a result, decrease the violence associated with those stressors, including crime. Researchers documented notable reductions in crime rates following the completion of the program, suggesting the success of Transcendental Meditation in decreasing crime.


Cultivate Selflessness

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

meditation-image-6According to a study conducted at the University of Missouri, practicing meditation can help cultivate selflessness. Neuropsychologists found that meditation helps people achieve spiritual transcendence, which is associated with acts of selflessness and helping others. Practicing meditation helps decrease activity in the right parietal lobe of the brain, a cerebral region connected to experiences of spiritual transcendence and selflessness. Religious practices such as prayer were found to have the same selflessness-causing effects as meditation. Researchers claim that regardless of culture or religion, anyone can practice meditation to achieve a transcendental state; they will all experience the same neurobiological processes that promote selflessness.


Makes People Nonjudgmental

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

meditation-image-7In a study published in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, meditation was found to make people less judgmental. In the study, participants took part in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program where they practiced mindfulness meditation over the course of eight weeks. At the end of the program, participants’ MRI brain images showed changes in certain parts of the brain associated with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection, causing the participants to become less judgmental of their own feelings and perceptions. Mindfulness meditation concentrates on self-awareness, or nonjudgmental awareness of sensations, feelings, and one’s emotional state of mind. Participants displayed improvements in all of these areas, suggesting that meditation can help people learn to be less judgmental.


Encourages Kindness

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

meditation-image-8According to neuroscientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, meditation helps to encourage kindness. Meditation trains individuals to foster a positive emotional state and cultivate positive responses like benevolence. Compassion meditation constitutes visualizing someone the individual cares about, then capturing those feelings of love and kindness, and extending them towards others, regardless whether one likes them or not. When exposed to stimuli like a woman’s screams or a baby’s laughs, participants in the study who practiced compassion meditation displayed increased activity in certain regions of the brain associated with understanding others’ emotions. The researchers concluded that regularly practicing compassion meditation could train people to take kindness felt towards loved ones and direct it towards anyone.


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