Dr. Norman Rosenthal on Celebs who Meditate
In his New York Times best-seller Transcendence, Dr. Norman Rosenthal (the renowned psychiatric researcher who pioneered the study and treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder) offers a definitive case for why Transcendental Meditation (TM) works, complete with a review of the recent scientific research showing its wide-ranging health benefits. In addition to discussing the technique with those who use it to cope with strenuous circumstances, Dr. Rosenthal consulted many celebrities to utilize TM including Russell Brand, Martin Scorsese, Moby, Laura Dern, David Lynch, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. He discussed their lessons with us….
Tarcher: What have you learned from celebrities about TM in writing your book Transcendence?
Dr. Rosenthal: The more I learned about celebrities, the more they seemed to me to have in common with ordinary people. When you take away the vast amounts of money, the fans, and the other trappings of celebrities, you are left with many of the same issues that bedevil us all – the stresses and strains of everyday life.
I was interested for example in listening to what the two surviving Beatles say about what TM has meant to them, how similar they sounded. Paul McCartney, for example, said, “In moments of madness, meditation has helped me find moments of serenity.” Ringo Starr echoes Paul’s words when he says of TM, “I think it gives you a break from the madness.”
Tarcher: Did any of the celebrities you interviewed share with you how TM has helped them in specific ways?
Dr. Rosenthal: Yes, Academy Award winning film director Martin Scorsese credits TM with helping him overcome some panic attacks he was having during the filming of “Shutter Island.” Celebrated comedian Russell Brand says of TM that it is part of his program of self-governance, which helps him keep his libidinous drives in check. And internationally renowned filmmaker David Lynch described how TM helped him get rid of his anger without him even knowing about it – his first wife pointed it out to him.
Dr. Rosenthal:Many things they said were moving, but I’ll share just one at this time. Laura Dern, that luminous actress who has captivated the hearts of millions, has done TM for many years. She gave me a description of how it feels to be in a state of transcendence that is one of the most beautiful I have ever heard. She compares transcendence to lying out on the beach . . . . but for the rest of the description, you will just have to read the book!
Read an excerpt (including Dr. Oz’s introduction) HERE.