Russell Simmons is an American entrepreneur, the co-founder of the pioneering hip-hop label Def Jam, and creator of the clothing fashion line Phat Farm. His groundbreaking vision has influenced music, fashion, finance, television and film, as well as the face of modern philanthropy. Mr. Simmons has been named by USA Today one of the “Top 25 Most Influential People of the Past 25 Years.” He has also been named a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.
In this video, Mr. Simmons talks about the value of the Transcendental Meditation technique for young people and adults:
“Meditation has been a great help to me in so many ways. It basically is the core of my existence. That freedom that you get from meditation is the kind of consciousness you want to operate from.”
“I want to be awake during the day. I don’t want the ‘noise’ to separate me from the greatness that is in here. I want to be able to operate from that space.”
“You want to have your head on straight…. When you are awake, things become easier. From a practical standpoint, you just want to be awake. You want to be able to operate from that awakened state. And meditation gives you that.”
“Meditation promotes gratefulness. You want to be grateful. You want to operate from a grateful space. The person who is grateful is really attractive. It allows you to be a good, good giver. And good givers are great getters!”
“You want to be able to see. You can’t create anything except when the noise disappears and you can see what’s beautiful. A good joke makes you present. A good song makes you present. Meditation helps you to keep that presence. It teaches you and your brain to operate from that presence.”
“You can’t learn anything if your brain is running. The thoughts have to settle so that you can learn. You have to have a settled mind, and meditation is the process for settling the mind.”
“Stillness is critical for young people. More often than not, it is the lack of stillness that separates a kid from a good education. This is something we have to give kids. Teaching them to meditate is like teaching them to learn. It makes it easier for them to learn.”
“Kids are growing up in a world that is full of stress. It’s full of anxiety everywhere. There is pressure to succeed. There is this overemphasis on things on the outside. There is a de-emphasis on things on the inside. It’s a difficult place to grow up.
“Teach kids to be calm so that they have a shelter, a refuge from the noise, from the threats, from the ‘false world’—bring them in to the inner world. Let them operate from this true self, which is a happy, joyful self. Meditation is about connecting the young person or adult to their happy, joyful self.
“The kids job in life, their only pursuit should be happiness, and meditation promotes happiness.”
Alcohol and Drugs
“Kids get on alcohol and drugs and these things so that they can promote a bit of silence. With a dim or cloudy mind there is no noise, so you can’t think—there’s no thinking. But when you let your thoughts settle (through meditation), there is no thinking, and there’s a focus.
“So there’s a cloudy way of relieving the noise, and there’s a still way of relieving the noise. When we are still and we operate from the core of our spirit.
“That’s what I want people to do. They need a chance to look inside. When there is so much emphasis on the outside, let them look inside and find all the answers, and a way to deal with whatever noise is on the outside. Take refuge inside, twice a day at least—at least two times a day they should have a chance to reconnect. It makes all the difference in the world.”
Russell Simmons is currently a member of the Board of Advisors of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace which has funded instruction in the Transcendental Meditation technique for hundreds of thousands of at-risk students.