Actor Ben Foster uses TM technique as a resource for energy & creativity

by Keith Deboer on December 12, 2010

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Ben Foster is recognized as one of America’s most intelligent, sensitive, and versatile young actors—and he is one of a growing number of performing artists who credits his daily Transcendental Meditation practice with helping him be creative.

From his popular role in the award-winning HBO series Six Feet Under to the gripping drama The Messenger, Ben Foster has shown the kind of creativity and intensity that critics and audiences love.

In his last three films, he’s played a cowboy, an astronaut, and an Iraq war vet, all to critical acclaim. Foster has done well choosing challenging dramatic roles that keep him from being typecast.


At 19, Foster worked with legendary director Barry Levinson, costarring with Academy Award-winner Adrian Brody in the movie Liberty Heights. In the years following this critical success, Foster shifted over to HBO, where many of us enjoyed watching him play the complex and mysterious character Russell Corwin in the HBO Original Series Six Feet Under (2003-2005). He won praise for showy parts in Alpha Dog (2006) and costarred the same year in a Hollywood blockbuster, playing Angel in X-Men: The Last Stand.

But it wasn’t until he appeared in the film 3:10 to Yuma (2007) that he really caught people’s attention and earned some Best Supporting Actor nominations. And like his character Charlie Prince, a saddle-slick sharpshooter, Foster came on screen with his acting guns blazing. In fact many movie reviewers felt Foster out shined the movie’s star, Russell Crowe.

messenger-ben-fosterHis next major project, the starring role as an Iraq war veteran in the film The Messenger, earned him two acting award nominations. The movie, conceived by acclaimed Israeli director Oren Moverman, was applauded by film critics. Foster made such an impression on his director that Moverman later said, “Whatever I do, it will be with Ben. I have found my actor. I have found the guy I want to work with.’’

Foster was born in Boston but moved with his parents to Fairfield, Iowa, at the age of four, where he attended the Maharishi School and learned the Transcendental Meditation technique. It was at this award-winning school, where all students and teachers practice meditation and yoga and have strictly organic food in their cafeteria, that Foster began his theatrical career by writing, directing, and starring in his own play at the age of twelve. Later he and his family moved to Los Angeles where he began pursuing his passion full-time.

Recent interviews with Foster suggest his meditation continues to be a regular and important part of his daily preparation for acting. It’s like “hitting a reset button. If my call time’s five in the morning,” Foster says, “I gotta get up at four. But what it gives me during the day is just a resource of energy and the ability to hear what I’m actually thinking, rather than spitting back what I’ve been told.”

I’m looking forward to watching this young man’s career continue to grow!


Related posts:

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  2. Meditation Creativity Peace: A Documentary of David Lynch’s 16-Country Tour
  3. Why is Stephen Collins in the 7th heaven?
  4. Getting better with age: Clint Eastwood and Transcendental Meditation
  5. Government leaders in England use TM technique to reduce stress, feel calmer, sleep better
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  • Tracy

    Although I have yet to see Mr. Foster’s films (i’m out of the loop) I totally agree with his comment that practicing TM on a regular basis is “like hitting the reset button”. It’s such an essential part of my routine and it really sets me up for the day. Also as a performer I know it has helped me respond and be present with more clarity, balance and calm.

  • Evolving Entirety

    “Generation after generation man is born anew. Each generation gives rise to new aspirations in life and brings a new quest for fulfilment.

    ‘Each man needs sound physical and mental health, greater ability in action, a greater capacity to think clearly, increased efficiency in work, and more loving and rewarding relationships with others.’

    ‘He needs enough vitality and intelligence to satisfy the desires of his mind and bring contentment to his life.

    ‘We have seen that all this can be gained through the regular practice of Transcendental Meditation.”

    – Maharishi

    – Science of Being and Art of Living

    Thank you for sharing this and all your posts on the endless innumerable benefits of Transcendental Meditation and All Good Luck and Best Wishes to Mr Foster for a succesful life and all his creative work as an actor.

  • Alex Campbell

    My mother liked TM when I started it in college for two reasons:
    1) I got my hair cut.
    2) I got along better with father.

    When it came to grades, she figured that TM hadn’t done that. After all, I had straight A’s in high school. She didn’t realize that I had to study in college where high school had been much easier. I liked TM because it was my ace in the hole when the pressure of college go to be too much. I still did it twice a day at the regular times, but it gave me something to build balance within me. It has now been over 35 years since I started and I still like having the balance to deal with life.

    • Keith DeBoer

      Hi Alex, It seems that we can add “shorter hair” to the long list of potential TM benefits! :-) Thanks so much for your comments.

  • http://countryofworldpeace michael e williams

    As a special education teacher and TMer of over 25 years I have found the TM technique to be of extreme benefit. It keeps me rested and extremely creative. Ican see why actors TM twice a day so it can keep them at the top of their game. It’s wonderful…….Dr. Michael E. Williams

  • Lillis

    I have noticed that through TM one as an actor can more easily find the character at the level of being. Instead of letting me, my ego, be a filter, go directly to the source and pick up the character there.

  • Donna M Nelson

    Creating lasting calm and serenity within the physiology cannot be done on the thinking level. The mind needs a tool to transcend thinking. To dive into an infinite ocean of calm, serenity, fully awake and full of all possibilities. That is why I have used Transcendental Meditation these past 40 years.

  • Keith DeBoer

    Thank you, everyone, for all of these uplifting and insightful comments!

  • Higher Balance

    Hey its really nice post. i got some important information about Transcendental Meditation. i think i should also apply it in my routine.

  • hihohnohihi

    what else is up

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