The Sunday New York Times carried a lengthy feature highlighting America’s rising interest in the Transcendental Meditation program. The article noted that this popularity has been spurred, in part, by the outspoken support offered by meditating celebrities, such as award-winning filmmakers David Lynch, Clint Eastwood, and Martin Scorsese, as well as performing artists Jerry Seinfeld, Russell Brand, Katy Perry, Laura Dern, Ben Harper, Sheryl Crowe, and Moby.
The article opened with Mr. Brand’s experiences with the TM technique. The British comedian, best-selling author, and actor who is starring in several major films this year, including the recent version of Shakespeare’s Tempest and the remake of Arthur (he co-stars in both films with Dame Helen Mirren), as well as the family movie Hop, says, “Transcendental Meditation has been incredibly valuable to me both in my recovery as a drug addict and in my personal life, my marriage, my professional life.”
The NY Times also points to the growing volume of published research documenting the beneficial effects of daily TM practice on the mind, body and behavior as a key element in the rising interest in the TM program. Published research on TM’s impact on brain development has shown that it increases brain wave coherence and improves the functioning of the pre-frontal cortex. The National Institutes of Health have also funded large numbers of studies that have found that the TM program reduces high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and the risk of cardiac events including stroke, heart attack and congestive heart failure.
Endorsements for the Transcendental Meditation program have been rising in the medical community, including, for example, from the distinguished psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal, M.D., a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School who spent 20 years as a senior researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Rosenthal will publish TRANSCENDENCE: Healing and Transformation through Transcendental Meditation (Tarcher/Penguin June 2011), which is a thoroughly engaging, science-based exploration of the TM technique for a new generation of readers.
In addition, Mehmet Oz, M.D., the prominent cardiac surgeon at Columbia University Hospital and Emmy-award winning host of “The Dr Oz Show,” recently described the need to meditate—and the relief that comes from his TM practice: “Imagine the waves on top of an ocean—and I’m in a rowboat, reactively dealing with the waves and water coming into my boat. What I need to do is dive into the deeper solace, the calmness beneath the surface.”