If you dismiss meditation as something new age or trendy and not for you, let us spell out the best part right at the start. Regular meditators are found to have higher levels of “Alpha brain waves,” which reduce feelings of anger, sadness, stress, and help gain a more positive outlook on life. What’s not to love about that?!
Multiple neuroscience studies have found that one’s grey matter in the brain associated with learning, memory, and emotional areas becomes denser as one practices mindfulness. It’s no wonder people have been talking about the ancient practice of meditation for eons. Many celebrities and successful people, who are continually running high on adrenaline in order to meet their back-to-back targets, know all too well the benefits of meditation. Let’s find out what some of these famous individuals from around the world have to say about meditation.
Also, one meditation that is practiced by millions across the world—Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa)—has been shown to reduce anxiety, increase peacefulness, as well as improve mental and physical well-being. Unfortunately, such a peaceful and traditional practice—one that entails following the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance—could land you in prison in modern-day China.
That sounds pretty unbelievable, right? Now, of the list of celebrities who practice meditation that are listed below, see which ones practice Falun Gong. As well as bringing attention to the benefits of Falun Gong meditation, they are also raising awareness of the abhorrent practices that the Chinese regime is subjecting practitioners of Falun Gong to. It’s hard to believe that people can be killed for their beliefs, especially by their own government.
1. Hugh Jackman
Hugh loves to meditate. What do you do to unwind when you are feeling stressed?
Hugh Jackman, 50, could be the “Mr. nice guy of Hollywood.” He reveals why he likes to meditate daily.
“Everybody benefits from meditation, everyone I’ve ever met. It changed my life. It’s available to every single person, you don’t have to be talented at it. It’s literally the simplest thing on the planet. For those people who are really struggling and seeing no way out of it, it is life changing,” he told tmhome.
“I’m not saying I’m never frightened anymore or that I don’t have stress, but … I like the analogy of a glass of water when you first pour it it’s cloudy. When you’re stressed, that’s what your mind is like, it’s kinda cloudy. And after I meditate all that sinks to the bottom and the water is clear and the energy is finer, and the decisions you make are more authentic, and I think you’re more economical with your energy, with your time, in every way. You’re more able to listen to other people. And as an actor, that’s all you got. Your only tools you really have is being present, being clear, and listening. So it helped me in every way, I mean, immeasurably,” Jackman said.
2. Clint Eastwood
Hollywood legend and superstar 88-year-old Clint Eastwood has just made a comeback as director and star of “The Mule,” which since its release in December 2018 has grossed over US$171 million. Not bad for a star who is approaching 90 years of age! Where does Clint get all his energy from? Meditation could have played a role.
In an interview with the David Lynch Foundation in 2011, Clint said: “I’m a great supporter of Transcendental Meditation. I’ve been using it for almost 40 years now—and I think it’s a great tool for anyone to have, to be able to utilize as a tool for stress.” Keep going Clint, the world needs your talent.
3. Chuck Norris
Chuck Norris, 79 years old, is a master of the martial arts, with several black belts and championship titles to his name. Having spent most of his life studying martial arts, this Hollywood action man has many words of wisdom, such as: “Exercise, prayer, and meditation are examples of calming rituals. They have been shown to induce a happier mood and provide a positive pathway through life’s daily frustrations.”
“I make it a practice to meditate for ten minutes every morning and in the evening, when the day is done. Before going into difficult business meetings I always meditate for a few minutes whenever possible,” said Chuck.
4. Gabriel Georgiou
This Greek-Australian hairstylist, who is in great demand in both Bollywood and Hollywood, leads a hectic life. In the 90s, he made his way into Hollywood, and was quickly thrust into the limelight, with the likes of Keanu Reeves, Jessica Alba, and Drew Barrymore beating down his door. He went from Hollywood to Europe and then to India, where he is a hairstylist extraordinaire to many Bollywood superstars, including Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, and Deepika Padukone, one of India’s hugest stars. He is the man behind Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma’s amazing wedding hairstyles.
Georgiou has received many awards, including from Vogue and Elle. He was working on a TV commercial in Australia in 2002 when he was first introduced to Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) by a makeup artist who followed the gentle meditation. “‘When the student is ready the teacher will appear.’ Everything comes to us for a reason and I felt that I had to give it a try,” he said. Georgiou has continued with the practice, and when asked the secret to his success, he told NTD: “Falun Gong meditation is part of my life as it keeps me calm, positive, happy and full of energy. With the long working hours in our industry and dealing with lots of people and energies, it keeps me focused balanced and with peaceful vitality.” The meditation practice also keeps him grounded, “Staying true to one’s self and not being deluded by the industry,” he said.
5. Albert Einstein
He was a genius whose incredible insights, including his theory of relativity, formed the basis for modern physics. With such an active brain, it is no wonder he gravitated towards meditation.
“The really valuable thing is intuition. Through meditation I found answers before I even asked the question,” Einstein said. He was able to develop new theories by taking time out to meditate, showing just how powerful such a simple thing can be. Remember, when the mind is cluttered with all sorts of thoughts it is very hard to find a solution to a problem, write an essay, a piece of music or whatever it is you hope to achieve.
6. Ivanka Trump
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A politician in her own right, Ivanka, 37, is a businesswoman, author, and fashion designer. She also happens to be President Trump’s daughter, and is a devotee of meditation. Could that mean the president has also given meditation a go?
“Meditation is one of the most important things I do each day. I meditate for twenty minutes, ideally twice daily. Sometimes I miss the afternoon session, but I always make the morning one. It’s been invaluable in terms of calming my mind and allowing me to think more clearly. I recently treated my team to an intensive transcendental meditation course. It’s proven to increase productivity at work and cut down on stress,” said Ivanka on mymorningroutine.
7. Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves, 54, has a great onscreen physical presence and is often accused of having a huge heart, as well as being a great talent.
While shooting the movie The Little Buddha in 1993, Reeves spoke with Buddhists in Nepal and Kathmandu, and he learned some very valuable life lessons as well as meditation.
“Over there, I have learned to meditate; I have also discovered aspects of suffering, of identity, as well as the significance of the phrase “phenomenal existence”. The personal experiences that I learned from meditation have helped to change the way I live my life by modifying my perception of myself and of others. What I remember most, is that we must conquer our fears. I’ve been trying to do that ever since,” said Keanu to whoaisnotme.
8. Sterling Campbell
Sterling is an American musician and songwriter who has worked with numerous high-profile acts, including The B-52s, Duran Duran, Soul Asylum, Cyndi Lauper, Gustavo Cerati, and David Bowie. He is an amazing drummer.
Campbell was walking through Riverside Park, New York City, one day in 1998, and as he passed a group doing peaceful exercises, he felt drawn to them.
“I saw some people practicing Falun Gong from the side view of my eyes, and I went over,” recalled Campbell. “I talked with the practitioners. I didn’t know why I was interested in this, but I was attracted.” The rest is history, and Campbell has been practicing Falun Gong ever since.
“After taking it up I stopped smoking, drinking and drugs within three weeks. I just didn’t do it anymore. I’ve raised my standards as a person—you learn to consider others before yourself. It’s completely about your heart,” said Campbell.
9. Nicole Kidman
Nicole is a Hollywood A-lister and producer from Australia and has made meditation part of her daily life for over the past 20 years.
“I like to meditate, Transcendental Meditation usually. I took it up in my early 20s and I learned the benefits. I try to do it every day. A typical session is 20 to 30 minutes. I even use a meditation app on my phone that has a timer and also shows you on a map all the people that have logged in that are meditating at that very moment,” said Nicole in an interview with InStyle Magazine.
10. Jan Becker
Jan competed for Australia in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics as part of the silver-medal-winning freestyle relay team. Meditation is a part of her daily routine. “I have been practicing Falun Dafa for over 20 years. I was drawn to the practice initially by the exercises, which are very gentle, but have amazing energy,” says Jan, now 75.
“Just six months into the exercises I made the decision to put all my faith in my practice, and follow the principles of Falun Dafa—Truth, Compassion and Forbearance, and my body has experienced amazing changes,” she said.
11. Paul McCartney
Paul at home in London, 2018. Photo by Mary McCartney #EgyptStation #ThrowbackThursday #TBT
Paul McCartney of the Beatles first learned how to meditate almost 50 years ago along with the rest of The Beatles—John, George, and Ringo. They were personally taught by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of TM, and then the following month, the famous four went to India for further instructions with him. “We had little chalets, little rooms, which were very simple but adequate. And you would just sit and you would meditate,” said Paul on TM Blog.
“The times when we weren’t meditating we had our guitars with us, so we did quite a bit of writing. It was inspirational. It wasn’t all about meditation, it’s just you were focused—but yeah, there were very blissful moments,” he added.
12. Jerry Seinfeld
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld, 65, has been doing meditation for more than 40 years. He explained in an interview with the David Lynch Foundation: “With the Seinfeld, I was doing a TV series in which I was the star of the show, the executive producer of the show, the head writer, in charge of casting and editing, for 24 episodes on network television—not cable—for nine years!”
“And I’m just a normal guy. But that was not a normal situation to be in… So I meditated every day. And that’s how I survived the nine years,” said one of America’s most funny guys.
13. Russell Simmons
When you practice meditation, it not only helps you, but it helps the world around you too.
We’ll leave the final quote on meditation to Simmons, 61—entrepreneur, author, and the co-founder of hip-hop music label Def Jam. “You can’t serve the world unless you take care of yourself first. I find time for meditation every day,” Simmons told The Huffington Post.
Simmons meditates for 20 minutes, twice a day, and has been doing so for more than 20 years.
“Meditation has been a help to me in so many ways, it basically is the core of my existence,” said Simmons.
“The first, most important thing about meditation is happiness. You become a happier person when you meditate,” he said.
Meditation, after just a few weeks of practice, can result in some remarkable changes for you. It has been demonstrated that some areas in the brain improve or change with meditation—reducing anxiety and depression, improving memory, improving blood circulation and blood pressure—and much, much more. It is also said that regular meditation can slow the aging process—what are you waiting for?
For those who are interested in learning about Falun Dafa meditation, here is a link. It is free for everyone, and you can watch Master Li Hongzhi demonstrate the exercises online.
“Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong) is an advanced self-cultivation practice of the Buddha School. Falun Dafa was founded by Mr. Li Hongzhi, the practice’s master. It is a discipline in which “assimilation to the highest qualities of the universe—Zhen, Shan, Ren (Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance)—is the foundation of practice. Practice is guided by these supreme qualities, and based on the very laws which underlie the development of the cosmos,” according to the Falun Dafa website.