English comedian, actor, and author Russell Brand achieved what most people consider two of life’s precious goals—both fame and fortune. But like so many other celebrities, Mr. Brand’s rise to fame did not produce the kind of happiness people often expect.
Mr. Brand offered some honest insights during a recent event in NYC sponsored by the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace. He described how his experience of fame pushed him towards substance abuse and lifestyle excess. But he also described how the practice of the Transcendental Meditation program has helped him stay sober and achieve a healthy and stable sense of well-being.
“I used to be poor, now I’m not. I didn’t used to be famous, now I am,” Brand said. “And I thought that both of these significant transitions would bring a certain amount of satisfaction.” But Brand said in the end he was left unhappy.
Mr. Brand’s talk was part of a press conference launching Operation Warrior Wellness—an initiative to help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He described how the Transcendental Meditation program helped him change his lifestyle and experience a “deeper state of happiness which is very profound and absolute.”
“I felt separateness evaporated, this tremendous sense of oneness,” Brand said. “I’m quite a erratic thinker, quite an adrenalized person. But after meditation, I felt this beautiful serenity and selfless connection. My tendency towards selfishness—I felt that exposed as a superficial and pointless perspective to have.”
Mr. Brand who is currently featured in the movie “The Tempest” starring Helen Mirren, and plays the leading role in the upcoming rerelease of “Arthur” which will open in theaters this spring, added that it has been exactly eight years since he gave up alcohol and it has been the best period of his life.
Together, with fellow meditator Clint Eastwood, Mr. Brand is helping launch the David Lynch Foundation’s Operation Warrior Wellness, which aims to provide funding for Transcendental Meditation instruction for veterans suffering PTSD.