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Getting better with age: Clint Eastwood and Transcendental Meditation

People who age well are an inspiration—especially for me since I just turned 60.

Clint Eastwood is certainly a prime example. At 62-years-old, Mr. Eastwood won his first Oscar for the film, Unforgiven. Then, as many film-making professionals believe, he only got stronger and better with age, going on a stunning run of creative successes.

Eastwood is now 79, and since his first Oscar he has made 15 movies—three of which have been nominated for Best Picture. (His most recent movie, Invictus, had two Academy-Award nominations.) Mr. Eastwood has also been nominated for Best Director or Best Actor four additional times. And he often collaborates on the music for his films.

Of course I like to think that his Transcendental Meditation practice has had something to do with it. In a recent issue of GQ magazine Clint Eastwood was asked about his TM practice.

Do you still meditate?
Twice a day.

How does that work for you?
It works great. I’m religious about it when I’m working.
I believe in whatever self-help you can give yourself….
So meditation with me was just a self-reliant thing. I’ve been doing it almost forty years.

Eastwood went public in the 1970s about his daily TM routine when he appeared on the Merv Griffin Show with the founder of the Transcendental Meditation program, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He’s quietly kept enjoying his daily TM practice ever since.

I think it’s amazing how many people practice Transcendental Meditation every day, year after year. I think I know how they feel, and why they spend the time transcending every day–because it makes them feel more alive, more together, and better able to keep going and growing.

It reminds me of something Maharishi wrote in his book, The Science of Being and Art of Living:

“Expansion of happiness is the purpose of life, and evolution is the process through which it is fulfilled….
‘If one is not happy, one has lost the very purpose of life. If one not constantly developing his intelligence, power, creativity, peace and happiness, then he has lost the very purpose of life. Life is not meant to be lived in dullness, idleness, and suffering; these do not belong to the essential nature of life.”