Russell Brand is a big advocate for wellbeing and mental health practices. He has a podcast named ‘Under The Skin’ which he uses as a platform to interview various types of people with different ideas on how to live life with purpose, embodying happiness and wellness. As well as bringing attention to healthy practices via podcast, Russell has his own YouTube channel with a playlist of advice on topics such as; how to stay happy, how to deal with rejection, stress, loneliness and grief to name a few.
In this post we will be talking about his recent video named ‘I Meditated Every Day & This Is What Happened To Me.’
Russell practices Transcendental Meditation twice a day, and has done so for the last eight years.
He explains the profound changes daily meditation has had on his life. “My assumption of who I am has been challenged because I have a daily experience of consciousness that is distinct from my individual sense of myself.”
While explaining that he practices Transcendental Meditation, he describes the method, “You think a word given to you by your teacher and whenever you notice you are not thinking that word, you return to it. Eventually, through the repetition of this word, the mind kind of syncs into a state of deep awareness where you are not continually involved in the structure of inner narrative.
Russell talks about what he’s learnt from his practice, “I noticed that part of the point of meditation is to return myself continually to the present moment. To watch how I have a tendency mentally to be thinking about something from the past, or projecting to something in the future. This kind of inability to just be present in the moment.”
Comparing the mind to a child, he explains how the mantra gives your brain something to do. Through this, a realisation is made, “It’s as if the thinking mind is not the ultimate self, almost as if there are many selves.”
Russell explains how this realisation has helped him out with his decisions in daily life. “Sometimes I am governed by different humours where my blood is up, I’m a different person. There are decisions I’ll make when I’m angry, or fearful, that I would never consider making otherwise.
Meditation means I am aware that I am the continuum, or in the words of Rumi, I am a guesthouse and there are many visitors – jealously, sadness, rage, anger, or love. I’m less likely to get involved in altercations, conflicts or problems that are a result of my thoughts and feelings. They still happen, but my relationship with them is changing – it’s getting easier.”
He expands on the extra benefits he has experienced from regular meditation, “… I’m more relaxed, more calm, less concerned about external things. I still care what other people think about me, want people to respect me and be attracted to me, but by having access to these ancient principles of meditation my perspective on myself and my life changes.”
“Meditation helped me to understand that I am not what I think and feel. I am witnessing what I think and feel.,”
Russell talks about his aspirations in his life and through meditation, “The true goal for me of the spiritual experience is to be free of caring about my professional duties, except as they bear on helping others. I have to be a comedian that’s useful to other people. I have to be loving in my personal relationships. The aim becomes a kind of service of a higher or different good, not just contained within my materialistic or my individualistic, rationalistic needs. How can I relate to people differently? Is it possible that every interaction I have ends with that person feeling a little better?”
“My journey, my intention, the map that I follow is one of transcendence.”
He believes the way forward for all of us is to “transcend the beliefs of who we are, then perhaps together we can transcend what our belief of a society is.”
“We are all heading in the direction of oneness, we are all heading in the direction of love. And meditation is an invaluable tool for facilitating that journey.”
Russell Brand is a big advocate for Transcendental Meditation and regularly posts on his social media pages about it.
As well as performing as a stand-up comedian, Brand has worked as a presenter (MTV, Big Brothers Big Mouth, The Russell Brand Show), an actor, (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, St. Trinian’s), and a voiceover artist (Despicable Me 2, Arthur).
Russell is now known as a public activist and campaigner, and has spoken on a wide range of political and cultural issues, including wealth inequality, addiction, corporate capitalism, climate change, and media bias. He has written books on a few of these subjects (Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions, Mentors: How To Help And Be Helped, Reloveution), and he runs a political-comedy web series called The Trews. A biographical documentary called Brand: A Second Coming was released in 2015 and is available to watch online.