If you vowed to be healthier in 2016, then why not start by targeting stress? I think most health professionals now will contend that stress is the root of most (if not all) disease and illness. Keep reading today’s guest post by Stephen Jeske for four types of meditation and famous people who practice them!
Did you know that Sting does it? Apparently so do Jennifer Aniston, Richard Gere, and Lady Gaga.
Never mind the wine, women, and song. Meditation is how the rich and famous beat stress in our modern day hyperconnected world.
Granted, the present day life of your average North American is challenging. But the well-known and well-to-do suffer even more. The demands made by others on their time is extraordinary, and it only increases with their rise to fame.
So it would seem that meditation does the trick, just like it has for the many that have come before them. Meditation is, in fact, an ancient practice whose roots date back hundreds if not thousands of years.
Here is a look at some of its more common forms, as practiced by this century’s top pop icons.
Zen is one of the better-known forms of meditation, practiced by both Dalai Lama and Hollywood legend Richard Gere. The 900-year-old tradition is steeped in tradition and ritual. The Matcha Tea blog reveals that Buddhist monks prepare this particular tea with great care and reverence. They only consume it at the moment they are ready to meditate.
Apparently, this type of tea contains a slight amount of caffeine, allowing the monks to remain calm while meditating. Unlike coffee-guzzling North Americans looking for an energy boost, these monks seek enlightenment through a calming of the mind. The aim of Zen meditation is to sit simply and let all ideas, images, thoughts and words flow through the mind without judgment or involvement.
Other notable Zen practitioners include Orlando Bloom, Leonard Cohen, and Tina Turner.
The Beatles popularized Transcendental Meditation back in the 1960’s with their highly publicized trek to India. It was here that the four lads from Liverpool studied the technique under renowned guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
According to WebMD, Transcendental Meditation promotes “a state of relaxed awareness." It’s a form of meditation based on the ancient Vedic tradition of India.
The basics of this meditative techniques are quite easy to perform. Just sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and repeatedly vocalize your personal mantra. Everyone practicing Transcendental Meditation is assigned their own mantra by a certified instructor, based on Vedic tradition. It’s a sound that is devoid of meaning.
If you’re wondering why Katy Perry and Russell Brand look so young and fit, it might be because they too practice Transcendental Meditation. Some studies suggest that meditating wards off the effects of aging.
Huffington Post calls it the “yoga of awareness." Part exercise and part meditation, Kundalini is great for those who like their physical exercise along with a side order of spiritual enlightenment.
According to Kundalini Research Institute “The primary objective [of Kundalini] is to awaken the full potential of human awareness in each individual." This type of yoga increases body strength while releasing energy located at the spine’s base.
Although the exact origin of Kundalini is unknown, evidence shows this practice was mentioned in writings as early as 1,000 B.C. – 500 B.C. However, it remained virtually hidden from the Western world until 1969, when Yogi Bhajan revealed Kundalini in public for the first time.
Kundalini remains relatively unknown to this day. But it’s fame will undoubtedly grow as more Hollywood stars like Demi Moore, Reese Witherspoon and Cindy Crawford become interested.
Don’t let the name fool you. There’s nothing noisy about Primordial Sound Meditation (PSM). It’s actually a silent practice where you silently repeat a personal mantra, attempting to gain a deeper spiritual awareness.
Maybe that’s why Lady Gaga is such a fan of this form of meditation. PSM co-founder Deepak Chopra, states that “it’s about experiencing the silence that’s already there and making it a part of your life."
Modern culture continues to discover the many physical and mental benefits of meditation, touching many lives of the rich and famous.
About the Author
Stephen Jeske is a freelance writer and editor who thinks meditation may just be the ticket to his 15 minutes of fame. Follow him on Twitter @stephenjeske where he regularly tweets about the interesting and unusual.