Russell Simmons

Sit. Breathe. Be a Better Leader.

Tatiana Serafin: Harley Murphy, who heads the Ireland operations of BNY Mellon, used to lie awake at night unable to sleep because of an avalanche of problems facing his division during the banking crisis. “I’d go to the office each day feeling exhausted and was beginning to feel miserable,” says Murphy. He found it difficult to think clearly and make confident decisions. He looked for ways to get back on track and then, as part of a leadership training session, took a meditation class. After 30 minutes, he began to relax and focus. “I couldn’t believe it,” says Murphy.

Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons meditates…

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Russell Simmons on money, bliss and veganism

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The message of music mogul Russell Simmons’ latest book, “Super Rich: A Guide to Having It All” (Gotham), may seem contradictory: A person can become “super rich” by reaching the state of needing nothing.

Simmons, the self-made millionaire often credited for putting hip-hop on the map with Def Jam Recordings, is one of the wealthiest black Americans in the country, but he argues a person can become rich not by obsessing about money but by giving to others.

Being rich is about finding the happiness inside, he says.

Slender and with a kind smile, the 53-year-old still looks youthful, part of what he attributes to a strict vegan diet he embraced 10 years ago.

“The last book helped change so many people’s lives. I wanted this one to do the same,” he says of the new book he co-wrote with Chris Morrow. (His previous one, “Do You! 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success,” also co-authored by Morrow, became a New York Times best-seller upon its release in 2007.)

The following is an edited version of our interview:

CNN: What does it mean to be rich?

Russell Simmons: The idea of “Super Rich” is likened to a state of yoga, being in a state of needing nothing. There is this space where you are awake, a heightened awareness, and this kind of space is very attractive.

The title is a little deceptive to some. It certainly is the road to having success in the world, having the toys, the trappings people refer to as rich. (It’s also about) those people who are good givers and feelers — the book practices to bring you toward a more enlightened state.

CNN: Has your definition of rich always been this way?

Simmons: No, I think “Super Rich” is a fun title, and I think I couldn’t call the book “Christ Consciousness.” It’s really about being in a blissful state, and I think all of us are looking for that.

CNN: What is that blissful state?

Simmons: I think the idea is we want to be happy, and happy is something that is not based on the outside forces. It’s something from inside. And when you’re calm and you’re in a state of needing nothing, it’s a place of operation and of abundance.

CNN: Do you think you’ve reached that state?

Simmons: I certainly can’t say I’m enlightened. I have faith in the process.

CNN: Why did you write the book?

Simmons: This is my second book on the subject. The last book was a big best-seller. It was fun bringing all the scripture together and making it simple and putting the book out. I never expected it to be so big. So many people from the last book — “Do You!” — came up to me and told me that my book changed their life.

I wrote this book more as a “how to” book but with a greater intention. It was not just — can I bring these teachings together but can I really make it an offering.

CNN: What are some of these teachings people can incorporate into their everyday life?

Simmons: The idea of giving. Wake up in the morning and decide on what you are going to give. Those people, who are selfless servants, always are successful. Many of my interns from Puffy, who you could put your left hand out and there would be a cup of coffee. … If you make someone better, then they keep calling on you to make them better. Then one day you’re their president, and they look to you for inspiration.

CNN: What are the ways you give?

Simmons: I run many charities. I make music. I have a financial service company that is very special.

CNN: The book talks a lot about being focused and awake. How can we do that?

When I say you need nothing, it’s a state of awareness so you can be focused on your work. People are sometimes focused on their results, and it can be a distraction. Be focused on the action, the work, and that’s what we want to teach people.

CNN: People can often link success to material objects, perhaps a new car or house. How do you break away from that belief when so many people are inundated with material objects?

Simmons: There is a simple chapter on meditation to watch your thoughts just a bit — to not to be a sheep through that practice and other practices. You start to think on your own, and you can check what society is telling you, whether the collective unconscious behavior is your behavior or your future. Do you have to do what everyone does?

As you come to meditate and look inside, you can make your own choices. And entrepreneurs absolutely have to think outside the box, don’t they? You want to have the creativity and a spacious mind. The book is about creating that kind of mind-set so you can be a better entrepreneur.

CNN: Meditation is one way to achieve that clarity. Are there other ways?

Simmons: Take stock in yourself. When you meditate, you take inventory before you transcend the thoughts. As you come to know what they told you is true … when you hear the truth, it rings a bell. This book is written in such a way that many people who might not hear it from their mother, their preacher, their prophet or their scripture, they are hearing it in this book.

CNN: Tell me about being vegan.

Simmons: I’ve been vegan for more than 10 years. It’s maybe the worst disaster in human history — 15 billion suffering farm animals. And I don’t want to participate in it. I’m 53 years old, and do I look sick to you? I don’t eat animal or animal products, and I feel fine. I feel pretty healthy.

CNN: What are your favorite dishes?

Simmons: I like this spicy tempeh dish. I like that a lot. People ask my favorite stuff, and I say the thing in front of me a lot. Right now if I weren’t on a liquid diet, if I had an avocado roll and some soy sauce, it would be that.

CNN: What can people learn from your book?

Simmons: I hope people become more compassionate and happier, and I guess the fringe benefit is they will be successful in the world.

Original article no longer available

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Russell Simmons expounds on the transition from materialism to meditation

Russell Wendell Simmons was born in Queens, New York on October 4, 1957, the middle of three sons to bless the marriage of Daniel and Evelyn Simmons, a public school administrator and NYC parks administrator, respectively. Russell and Rick Rubin co-founded Def Jam Records, the legendary hip-hop label, in 1984.

Russell parlayed his success in music into several fashion lines, most notably, Phat Farm and Baby Phat. Meanwhile, as Chairman and CEO of his umbrella organization, Rush Communications, he also ran an ad agency, produced movies and TV shows, and published a magazine.

Forbes Magazine recently named Simmons one of “Hollywood’s Most Influential Celebrities.” And USA Today dubbed him one of the “Top 25 Most Influential People of the Past 25 Years,” calling him a “hip-hop pioneer” for his groundbreaking vision that has influenced music, fashion, jewelry, finance, television and film, as well as the face of modern philanthropy.

From creating his seminal Def Jam Recordings to writing his New York Times best-seller Do You! 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success, Russell is recognized globally for his influence and entrepreneurial approach to both business and philanthropy. Since giving back is of primary importance to him in all aspects of life, he has consistently leveraged his influence in the recording industry, fashion, television, financial services, and jewelry sectors to advance the interests of a host of charitable causes.

A devoted yogi, Russell also leads the non-profit division of his empire, Rush Community Affairs, and its ongoing commitment to empowering at-risk youth through education, the arts, and social engagement. Furthermore, he serves as UN Goodwill Ambassador for The Permanent Memorial to Honor the Victims of Slavery and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

Here, he talks about his new book, Super Rich: A Guide to Having It All, a how-to tome which champions meditation over materialism as the path to true wealth.

Kam Williams: Hey Russell, thanks for the time. I don’t know if you remember me, but we met at that party you threw for Soledad O’Brien. I came over and told you I’d been trying to interview you for years. Thanks for finally hooking me up.

Russell Simmons: My man! Of course I remember you. I felt bad. How was that possible?

KW: A lot of publicists have never heard of me.

RS: Well, it’s great to talk to you. What’s going on, baby?

KW: I didn’t get to tell you that I grew up in the same neck of the woods, in St. Albans, which is right next to Hollis.

RS: Yeah, same thing.

KW: What gave you the idea to write the book?

RS: Well, the last time I wrote a book (Do You!), I got a chance to pull together all these teachings and frame them in such a way that I could share them with other people. But honestly, I can look back on it, and admit that my motivation was a little bit selfish, because I needed to do this for my own evolution. It was a sort of a cleansing process. I expected that I could get the stuff out of me, and frame it, so I could understand it. But I didn’t appreciate the book’s potential to touch the lives of others until Oprah praised it. She was my first interview after it came out, and made it go to the top of the best-seller list. After that, people would come up to me and say that the book changed their lives. What could be more gratifying? So, that inspired me to write this book, with a little more selfless intention. This book is about remembering to remember, and the mantra to be a good giver. Good givers are great getters, and I just wanted to share that with people in a way that they could really digest it.

KW: I told my readers I was going to be speaking with you and they sent in plenty of questions. The first is from Attorney Bernadette Beekman, who gives you a big shout out as a girl from Hollis! She says: many people are so busy working they do not have time to breathe deeply or be present on a daily basis. In fact, I was speaking to a friend who is a yoga teacher-in-training yesterday and she said quite often, when she is at her full-time job at a nonprofit, she realizes that a whole day has gone by without her having breathed deeply. Russell, how, from a practical perspective, can people with worries and everyday jobs still seek a higher path?

RS: The whole book is about being conscious, and is filled with practices to bring you to presence. The book is dedicated to that mantra, that state of consciousness. We wish we could live in a state of nirvana, or a state of Christ consciousness, or a state of yoga, or Samadhi. All of them are one and the same: to be awake, to be present. That idea of Heaven on Earth is what I mean by Super Rich, and the ease that comes with needing nothing. Yoga can be defined as a state of needing nothing, and that’s what we’re looking for. So, this book is about moving towards that enlightenment.

KW: I learned a long time ago that happiness doesn’t come from the accumulation of material things.

RS: You can only sit your ass in one seat at a time.

KW: FSU grad Laz Lyles asks: What experience prompted the transformation of your personal ideas about wealth and got you on a spiritual path?

RS: We all want to operate in order. Sometimes we have to go through struggle to realize that. Your birth in the physical form is to teach you to operate in order. I think that’s the experience. Struggle is your great teacher. I’m an older person. I was a drug dealer. I was a gang member and a lot of other things. My evolution has been gradual. When I first started practicing yoga, I remember feeling really free of anxiety momentarily. So, my journey began when I found the easing of anxiety through the physical practice of yoga. Then, the yogi scripture taught me things that I knew in my heart were true, because the study of the scripture is really the study of the self. Then I saw that what’s in the yogi scripture is also in the Bible, the Koran and the Torah, and that these practices do bring us to a more easy place. Yoga is defined as a state of needing nothing. And union with God happens, when the noise is gone.

KW: Children’s book author Irene Smalls asks: When you were growing up what did you want to do?

RS: I didn’t know what I wanted to be. Remember The Message by Grandmaster Flash? [Sings] “You see the drug dealers counting twenties and tens, and you want to grow up to be just like them.” I saw people hanging on the corner. I didn’t know any better. I was lucky enough to go to college and start to feel differently. There, I developed the courage to do something original that I was passionate about, which was music and hip-hop. I started throwing parties, and became an entrepreneur of sorts. It just kinda evolved. I didn’t have a drive to be anything in particular until I found a passion, which is what this book is about. Finding a dharma, a way to really give. But I wasn’t fortunate enough to have something I wanted to be all my life, until I started to achieve it.

KW: Harriet Pakula Teweles says: Jerry Lewis used to sing a song that said, “Money isn’t everything … unless you’re very poor.” How ‘easy’ is it to give this kind of spiritual advice when you’re rolling in dough?

RS: Well, there’s a story in the book about a guy who lives in a shanty house. He knows he’s got to find some bread and water each day, yet his mind’s at ease. God always provides, and he lived to be 100. Then, by contrast, there’s the anxiety-prone billionaire who’s always worried about the stock market and ends up dying in his fifties. So, you have to ask yourself, “What do we want money for? What does it do for us?” If you say money makes us happy, then examine that. Is it the toys? Is it the simplicity, the ease that money can provide? That’s not the ease that we’re seeking. It has to be to calm the mind. I say this because, when you need nothing, you can operate from abundance. Jesus taught two sermons. One for the masses, which said, if you act in accordance with these laws, then God will take care of you. The second one said, “Operate from abundance if you can.” So, the anxiety-filled followers were able to pay their taxes by listening to Jesus. But His disciples only needed to put their all into service. I have so many illustrative stories I could relate, like Puffy’s, who on the way up wanted to make sure he was doing everybody’s job. He enjoyed the work, but not because he was going to get this or that. That’s the real rap.

KW: Larry Greenberg asks: Do you have any advice for an aspiring film maker living on ramen?

RS: Larry, stay on your hustle. You ain’t gonna starve no matter what happens. Living on ramen! My guess is he’s most likely overweight. We suffer from neediness, when in fact we already have everything. If he’s focused on being a filmmaker, and not anxiety-filled and worried about living on ramen, he will make headway. And in no case will he starve. What is he looking for?

KW: Filmmaker/Author/Professor Hisani Dubose asks: What is the most effective way to raise money for indie movie projects in 2011. What does someone like him look for before investing?

RS: Big buzz. Shoot a good little pilot to get it off the ground. Everything requires that you do the work. And if you do good enough work that people start to be inspired by it, then they join on. No one signs on just because you have an idea.

You have to keep building any business, to make it attractive. If you throw a record out the window and it don’t stick, you gotta keep pushing it. Then, one day, it’s on the radio, listeners start requesting it, and people come looking for you. You can’t chase people down with your idea; you have to turn it into equity first.

KW: Kristopher Seals asks: What are some ways a person can start up a business with little available capital? What are some of the biggest obstacles facing minorities looking to enter the business arena?

RS: I can tell you that there’s something about black culture that’s infectious, that crosses all boundaries, that gives you an edge. If he’s open to integrate, then give him a job. No company that markets any product can operate without input from black people. There’s a void, a white space. Fill that. Don’t carry the burden. A lot of time black people only speak to each other instead of to the whole room. We gotta get out of that habit.

KW: Dante Lee, author of Black Business Secrets, asks: What was your most fatal business decision? And what is the biggest business lesson you’ve learned?

RS: I learn from every bad decision, so none of them are my worst. When I lost the Beastie Boys, I learned that you have to have patience when you’re developing artists.

KW: Ola Jackson asks: “How does your spirituality and belief in Buddhism conflict with the opulent lifestyle of self-indulgence and materialism associated with rap music.

RS: I think rappers are truth-tellers. I don’t think mainstream American culture is any closer to the simplicity that I’m advocating. I’m not a Buddhist, by the way. Long before there was a Buddhist faith, there were the Yoga Sutras. Those teachings are more prescriptions for happiness, than religious dogma. As you know, I’m not a religious man, although I do work promoting dialogue among all religions as Chairman of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.

KW: Legist/Editor Patricia Turnier says: In the past, we saw more rap songs about socially-conscious themes, such as MC Lyte’s “Eyes Are the Soul,” Tupac’s “Brenda’s Got a Baby” and Queen Latifah’s “Ladies First.” What needs to be done to bring back this type of hip-hop?

RS: Well, I think the climate changes in society. Themes come and go, and rappers are only reflections of that. Right now, we’re very fearful, because the economy is very bad…People are struggling…and that’s fertile ground for some of the negativity that you’re hearing on some of the records.

KW: Professor Mia Mask asks: Isn’t there a contradiction between the messages in your book and the messages in rap music?

RS: Why does she think I’m an ambassador for rap? Jesus hung out with the wine bibbers, but his message wasn’t advocating getting drunk. I have one foot in pop culture and one foot in the real world, which is spiritual. I know what’s real, and I know that pop culture can be frivolous. But I think American culture, in general, is frivolous. And I certainly don’t think that rap culture is any more frivolous than mainstream American culture. I don’t think hip-hop is as unconscious either. Rappers may say things that shock you, but I think they are poets who hold a higher moral ground than the rest of American society. That’s my opinion. Just because Kanye West said “George Bush doesn’t like black people,” doesn’t mean it’s true, but it does mean that a lot of people shared that thought.

KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?

RS: No, I just go to work everyday, and I try to give and be a servant, although I might forget at times. But I know my mission. Through meditation and prayer, I find myself present, awake and giving for some part of the day. The most I can hope for is to become a better servant.

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

RS: That’s a good question. I’m not quite sure. Different things at different times.

KW: The Tasha Smith question: Are you ever afraid?

RS: Yes, I guess I’m afraid sometimes. But I generally rid myself of it. I don’t carry a lot of fear around with me.

KW: The Columbus Short question: Are you happy?

RS: Yeah, I can say I’m mostly happy. Compared to what? Am I eternally blissful? No. But do I find moments when I’m ecstatic about being alive? Yes! And I have those moments more and more often the more I meditate, practice yoga, and live by these principles.

KW: The Teri Emerson question: When was the last time you had a good laugh?

RS: A few minutes ago being interviewed by Sean Hannity. He says such things. You have to learn to laugh all the time. It’s a practice of life. It’s a practice of happiness. In yoga, you smile and breathe in every pose.

KW: What is your guiltiest pleasure?

RS: I’m on a liquid diet, but I’m going to have some popcorn at the movies.

KW: The bookworm Troy Johnson question: What was the last book you read?

RS: An Offering of Leaves by Lady Ruth, who is a yoga teacher. I also read Soledad O’Brien’s book, and Decoded by Jay-Z.

KW: The music maven Heather Covington question: What are you listening to on your iPod?

RS: Krishna Das’ Greatest Hits. And I’ve been listening to a lot of Public Enemy.

KW: What is your favorite dish to cook?

RS: I like to put spinach on top of olive oil, and just let it wilt for a second. And then put vegan chicken nuggets on top of it. I’m not a big chef.

KW: The Uduak Oduok question: Who is your favorite clothes designer?

RS: It still is Tommy Hilfiger, even though he’s not hot right now. He still inspires me the most.

KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for?

RS: World peace in spirit.

KW: The Ling-Ju Yen question: What is your earliest childhood memory?

RS: I don’t know. I don’t have one.

KW: The Flex Alexander question: How do you get through the tough times?

RS: I don’t miss my prayers and I don’t miss my yoga. Those things are important to me.

KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

RS: Keep your head down and put one foot in front of the other. That’s how I got where I got.

KW: The Cornel West question: What price are you willing to pay for a cause that’s bigger than your own self interests?

RS: I‘m not sure. I should say my life, but I don’t know. I can’t say my life right now.

KW: The Tavis Smiley question: How do you want to be remembered?

RS: As a philanthropist, as a giver.

KW: Well thanks for the interview, Russell. I really appreciate it.

RS: It’s been a real pleasure speaking with you. You have my number now, Kam, don’t hesitate to call if you need anything.

Original article no longer available…

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Russell Simmons: Green juice and twitter prayer

Russell Simmons, 52, hip-hop pioneer and founder of Rush Communications, helped bring the rhymes of Public Enemy, LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys to the masses as a partner in Def Jam Recordings. He injected his hip-hop sensibility into clothing with Phat Fashions and moved into television with “Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam.” Mr. Simmons recently created GlobalGrind.com, a Web site for the hip-hop community. A native of Queens, he has since migrated to a penthouse in Lower Manhattan.

MORNING MEDITATION I usually wake up about 7 on Sunday. I take a steam and a shower and I meditate. Some mornings at 8, the monk comes by. I call him the monk. He’s a T.M. (transcendental meditation) teacher, Bob Roth. He’s renunciative. We meditate, at least 20 minutes.

IN FRONT OF AN ALTAR? My crib, the whole thing’s an altar.

COMPUTER TIME I play on the computer and see what headlines we have up on Global Grind. We don’t do anything negative on there. If I see something negative, I pull it down immediately.

BIKE OR STROLL For breakfast, I have a shake. My nanny — I call her that, the woman who takes care of the house — makes it. I go bike riding up the West Side Highway. I go up to the 50s, then down past the World Trade Center, then go back up a bit to Liberty Street. It’s not exercise. I go slow. I have a little toy bike, a girl’s bike. It’s not a racing bike. I ain’t racing nowhere. Or I walk aimlessly around SoHo, looking at art, the people, stop at Cipriani, Da Silvano, Liquiteria, where I have the shake and have a green juice or two. I bump into 100 people.

CHANTING AND SWEATING I go to Jivamukti. Sunday I can pick what class I can go to. I’m free. There is a lot of chanting and praying and sweating like a slave. With Jivamukti, the teachers have studied the texts of yoga, the psychology, the anatomy; they have studied Sanskrit. They do chanting and discussions every month. They do the yamas, the social law, and teach the asanas, all eight parts of classical yoga.

VEGAN, MOSTLY I became a vegan about 10 years ago. Every so often I have fish when nobody is looking. I try not to. I do it for compassionate reasons. I don’t want to put anything in my body to obstruct justice. If I wanted, I could drink Coca-Cola. I just don’t want to. It tastes toxic.

MOVIES, IN OR OUT After yoga, I see a movie or something. I have a movie theater or I go to the movies. Michael Moore recommended one to me recently on Iraq, with Matt Damon. “Green Zone.” It was a thousand times better than “The Hurt Locker.” It was amazing. Everyone in the theater was going crazy. “Death at a Funeral.” It was so funny. “Hot Tub Time Machine.” It was really silly. I like those.

COMPANY CALLS It’s nice to have people come over. I’m not a big dinner kind of person. I like small stuff. We have popcorn and stuff. Vegan pizza from Viva Herbal Pizzeria. They have a veggie-based cheese. It’s not rice or soy cheese. It melts like crazy and it’s amazing. On 11th Street and Second Avenue.

TWEET PRAYERS, THEN TO BED I put on those striped Gap pajamas. They are like seersucker-looking things. I play around with the Bhagavad-Gita. I tweet a lot of prayer, quotes from the Bhagavad-Gita or the yoga sutras. I’m in bed by 12, if I’m lucky.

[via New York Times]
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Harlem renaissance

Russell Simmons has a knack for bringing underground urban culture into the mainstream. During the mid-1980s, as co-founder of the Def Jam record label, he helped launch the first hip hop megastars–LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Run-DMC, and The Beastie Boys. A few years later, he created the clothing label Phat Farm, turning street wear into runway fashion. His Def Poetry television series brought local slam poets into the national spotlight on HBO.

Along the way, Simmons has been helping everyday urban residents make their voices heard through the Hip Hop Summit Action Network, an organization that teaches inner city youth about financial credit and political involvement. Last August, Simmons turned his attention to homeless men in Harlem, a particularly invisible and powerless population. But instead of teaching these men how to speak out or take action, Simmons offered them inner peace through Transcendental Meditation.

“You’re alive for a simple reason, and that’s to be happy,” Simmons told a rapt audience at Ready, Willing, and Able, a program that helps homeless men find jobs and housing. The program recently added meditation to its toolbox, through funding from the David Lynch Foundation, and brought Simmons in to help inspire the men to learn. Simmons himself has been meditating for years, and he told The Atlantic about his efforts to bring stillness to New York City’s most restless population.

Meditation doesn’t seem to be a basic need like food or shelter. Why should homeless men learn to meditate?

Well, food and shelter are pretty good, too. But right up there with food and shelter is peace of mind. There are many roads to peace of mind. But some roads have so much proof that you know you’re definitely on your way. Transcendental Meditation has really got so much research, so many examples, so many people who have become calmer and more peaceful–even enlightened. It’s hard to get around how valuable meditation can be.

How is meditation different from religious faith? I’d imagine a lot of these men grew up with prayer in their lives.

Praying can be a good aid to promoting presence, but praying for something you don’t have doesn’t always create stillness. In the Yoga Sutras, it says Yogash chita vritti nirodha [“Meditation is the individual discipline that leads to the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind”]. You can go to church and listen to a preacher who will remind you that Jesus Christ said to be still. Consciousness comes from lots of different sources.

But when you meditate, the noise is gone and there’s only bliss. Pure happiness. Look, it’s all good. But when people say meditation is a direct route, I believe they’ve got something. My own meditation is the best part of my day, like a mini-vacation. People fly away somewhere on vacation and they drink and create more stress. I sit in my room and release lots of stress. I like that better.

When you spoke to the men at Ready, Willing, and Able, you emphasized the importance of happiness. Why do homeless people need to hear this message?

Because these are people who have been made to feel that they’re less than, or their chances for happiness should be less than. They’re never going to change their situation until they find happiness within. I believe that happy, hard-working, spiritual people are really attractive and draw good things toward themselves.

What do you think causes homelessness in the first place?

I can’t give a simple answer to that. But it’s certainly the poverty mindset that is the greatest problem for so many homeless people. Meditation gives you a rich mindset, a mindset that makes you happy with what you have. There can be a happy person living in a shanty house. Even if he has nothing, inside he feels like he has everything.

And there can be an unhappy person living in a penthouse. The other day, I spoke to a billionaire’s son who’s running a big company. He told me he goes to India and sees all that poverty and feels guilty that he’s so rich and so unhappy. He really thinks that ’cause he got shit he should be happy! I told him he’s got nothing to feel guilty about.

Have the men told you specific stories about how meditation has helped them?

I’ve heard good ones. One guy who used to be homeless learned TM and immediately had an experience of “I am That, you are That, all this is nothing but That.” People in yoga studios try to achieve that experience and pass around books about it, but this guy got it after a month! So it’s pretty amazing that these people now have a way to transcend. Certainly meditation has got to be the number one thing that I can give someone.

[via The Atlantic]
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