Ellen Degeneres is probably the most famous talk show host in America after Oprah Winfrey. She also shares a unique similarity with Oprah – her love for meditation. She along with Oprah are into Transcendental Meditation (TM), the unique style of meditation developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. TM has millions of followers around the world including many celebrities such as director David Lynch, Clint Eastwood and Hugh Jackman.
Ellen developed interest in meditation because she wanted to “maintain permanent connection with the intelligence that runs the universe.” She found the peace and stillness in her life and was also able to sleep well. In her otherwise demanding and hectic schedule, detaching herself for those 20 minutes, helped her gather her energies and reconnect with herself. She was able to reap many other benefits such as improved focus, creativity, memory and resilience. Meditation is an invigorating experience, more than what one gets after a deep sleep.
“And something about TM, something about having that mantra, it is the only time I have that stillness. It’s the only way I’ve ever been able to sit long enough… I open my eyes and I’m sad that it’s 20 minutes later. I actually love, and I never had that feelings before” – Ellen on TM
Ellen believes that everyone should meditate now, more than ever, with all the stress that is going on in the world with the pandemic amongst other upheavals. Stress undermines our immune system, digestion and memory.
“I like to use the analogy of an ocean—there are choppy, turbulent waves on the surface of the water. You could think the ocean is just upheaval, but when you go deep within the ocean, it’s silent. Our mind is the same way.”– Bob Roth, CEO, David Lynch Foundation
The ancient practice of meditation originated in India thousands of years ago. As part of Hatha Yoga, it forms the limb of “Dhyaan”. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s TM movement had a huge impact on the cultural history of the west, when the Beatles famously became its proponents. Paramahansa Yogananda was another pioneer who helped spread Meditation and Yoga in the west.
Ellen forms a part of the large number of celebrities taking up meditation and Yoga to overcome stress of the daily grind and find a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in their lives.