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Strength in Stillness

The Power of Transcendental Meditation



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About The Book

Instant New York Times Bestseller

A simple, straightforward exploration of Transcendental Meditation and its benefits from world authority Bob Roth.

Oprah Winfrey and Jerry Seinfeld. Ray Dalio and Ellen DeGeneres. Gwyneth Paltrow and Howard Stern. Tom Hanks and Gisele Bündchen.

What do they have in common? The answer is a Transcendental Meditation teacher named Bob Roth, who has spent the past fifty years helping many thousands of people access their innate creativity and power through this simple, nonreligious technique. Roth’s students range from titans of business and the arts to federal prisoners, from war-scarred veterans to overworked moms and dads.

Medical experts agree that the epidemic of stress is damaging our physical and emotional health at younger and younger ages. While there is no one single cure, the Transcendental Meditation technique is a simple practice that dramatically changes how we respond to stress and life’s challenges. With scientifically proven benefits— reduced stress and anxiety, and improved focus, sleep, resilience, creativity, and memory, to name a few—this five-thousand-year-old technique has a clear and direct impact on our very modern problems.

Once a skeptic, Roth trained under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the twentieth century’s foremost scientist of consciousness and meditation, and has since become one of the most experienced and sought-after meditation teachers in the world. In Strength in Stillness, Roth breaks down the science behind Transcendental Meditation in a new, accessible way. He highlights the three distinct types of meditation—Focused Attention, Open Monitoring, and Self-Transcending—and showcases the evidence that the third, Self-Transcending, or Transcendental Meditation, is a uniquely accessible, effective, and efficient way to reduce stress, access inner power, and build resilience.

Free of gimmicks, mystical verbiage, and obscure theory, Strength in Stillness offers a clear explanation for how Transcendental Meditation can calm the mind, body, and spirit.


Strength in Stillness INTRODUCTION
Picture someone who teaches meditation, and I am probably not that person. I am often dressed in a suit, for one, and my offices are in Midtown Manhattan. I am not at all New Agey. I am a natural skeptic, and I am even more obsessed with science than I am with baseball, which is to say, very. I am not into woo-woo stuff. My friends have a running joke about me: “How can a vegetarian be such a meat-and-potatoes guy?” I like things to be simple, practical, and thoroughly, unassailably logical.

And for more than forty-five years, teaching the Transcendental Meditation technique has been my full-time job. The technique comes from the oldest continuous meditation tradition in the world. There is no philosophy, change in lifestyle, or religion involved in its practice. For well over five thousand years, the TM technique was passed down from teacher to student, one to one: never in groups, never from a book. It has roots in the ancient noble warrior classes, where acting out of fear or anger brought disaster and defeat. Today it is for all of us who seek greater balance in life as well as more creativity, better health, less stress—and happiness.

Over those thousands of years, the TM technique has been honed to twenty minutes, twice a day: once in the morning, ideally before breakfast; and again in the late afternoon or early evening, ideally before dinner. You learn this meditation from a professionally trained teacher who will instruct you in a one-to-one session. He or she will give you your own mantra—a word or sound that has no meaning associated with it—and teach you how to think it properly, which means easily, effortlessly, and silently. You’ll learn that you don’t need to push out thoughts, or watch your breath, or monitor sensations in your body, or visualize anything. You’ll also learn that there is no need to sit in any particular position. You can sit up comfortably in a chair at home, at work, on a train or plane; on a park bench—basically, wherever it’s comfortable. The morning session wakes up your brain and gives you energy and resilience so that the demands and challenges of the day don’t stress you out. Then you meditate once again, ideally in the late afternoon or early evening before dinner, to start the next part of your day fresh. Twice a day, TM gives you a reset.

I have taught many thousands of people to meditate. My students are the leaders of Fortune 100 companies and are cashiers in small family shops. They go to private colleges and urban schools. They are Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, and Hindus, or they practice no religion whatsoever. They run the gamut from professional athletes to people living in homeless shelters. Whomever I am sitting across from—whether it’s a CEO of one of the world’s largest financial institutions or a single working mom with two young children at home or a veteran who hasn’t slept more than two hours a night for months—they have the same look in their eyes when they come to me to talk about meditation. They are ready for something better, they are ready for a change.

I was in their shoes once, and I was perhaps more skeptical than any of them. In 1969 I was a university student with a nagging sense that there had to be something more I could be doing to be happier, healthier, more productive. I saw far too many people who had acquired the things that are supposed to make you that way, and yet they were often too stressed with too much worry, and, too often, unhappy. A friend whom I trusted, who had observed my own spiking stress levels from too much school pressure, suggested I might like Transcendental Meditation. I balked. I wasn’t interested. Meditation wasn’t even a word in my vocabulary. I was (and am) a very practical, down-to-earth, active kind of a guy. My trajectory was to go to law school so that I could run for public office and ultimately become a US senator. I wanted to help change the world. (Yes, we thought those things then.) Sitting around “meditating” didn’t fit into my life view.

But I wasn’t sleeping well, and my memory was flagging, and I did respect my friend’s opinion, so I decided to at least give TM a try. Despite my initial reticence and skepticism, I found the experience to be marked, significant, real. It was astonishingly easy to do, deeply relaxing, and yet incredibly energizing, like nothing I had experienced before. From the very start, I knew that, somehow, I wanted to teach this to people; and, in particular, I wanted to teach it to inner-city school kids. A few years later, in January 1972, I took a semester off from my studies and enrolled in a graduate-level five-month TM teacher training course led by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, himself a university-trained physicist and the foremost meditation teacher of this generation. During the course, Maharishi and a team of brain scientists, physicians, and psychologists explored ancient and modern insights into the science of consciousness, as well as the impact of stress and trauma on the brain and nervous system. We learned the unique mechanics of the TM practice and the role of this meditation for unfolding the seemingly limitless creativity and intelligence within the human mind, as well as its ability to address effectively many of society’s intractable ills. Most importantly, Maharishi taught us the simple yet precise technique of how to personally teach any individual to transcend—to effortlessly access the deep stillness that lies within every human being—in a way that was tailored specifically for that person.

From his earliest days of teaching TM in the world in 1958, Maharishi focused on researching and understanding the science of Transcendental Meditation. He challenged doctors at Harvard, UCLA, and other medical schools to study the neurophysiological changes both during and after the technique. The results are abundantly clear today. Since then, more than four hundred scientific studies have shown the wide-ranging benefits of the TM technique for improving brain and cognitive functioning, cardiovascular health, and emotional well-being. These studies have been published in top peer-reviewed science journals, including the American Medical Association’s JAMA Internal Medicine, and the American Heart Association’s journals Stroke and Hypertension. (To be clear, it matters greatly that this research is peer-reviewed. Medical peer review means that experts are evaluating the credibility of the study, and also ensuring that the clinicians involved meet established standards of care.) The US National Institutes of Health has provided tens of millions of dollars to study TM’s effects on stress and heart health, while the US Department of Defense has awarded several million dollars to study its impact on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The change has taken time, but the Transcendental Meditation technique is now recognized as a powerful treatment and preventative modality for so many of the stress-based disorders of our time—as well as an immensely practical tool to markedly improve health and performance. In the same way that we now recognize the importance of exercise and eating healthy, the world has come a long way with regards to understanding the critical importance of meditation in general and Transcendental Meditation in particular.

That certainly was not always the case. When I first began my work, sometimes the fastest way to end a conversation was to say I was a meditation teacher. Now, if someone asks me what I do, they lean in as I say that I run a nonprofit that teaches Transcendental Meditation. The person’s eyes usually widen, and he or she says, “Oh, I could really use that.”

So what happened? Why is there so much interest in meditation? I attribute it to a perfect storm of three factors:

One, we are living in an epidemic of stress. We face more toxic stress now than at any other time in history. It compromises the immune system, stunts cognitive and emotional development, and raises blood pressure, the latter of which puts tens of millions of people at risk for cardiovascular disease—the number one killer of our age. Toxic stress also helps fuel a challenging range of disorders: eating, sleeping, learning, obsessive-compulsive, bipolar, and more. It speeds the aging process and shortens life spans. Day to day, stress fills us with so much tension and anxiety that it is often difficult to even enjoy the little things that used to make us happy.

I travel a lot for my work, and I can see this stress in the faces of people I meet. No matter who they are, what they do, or where they come from, they tell me that too often they overreact to small irritants, much less life’s bigger challenges. They admit recoiling from a cell phone’s incessant ring, and they awaken to a jammed email inbox with dread. It’s not their imagination: stress, in fact, heightens our sensitivity to new stress triggers. In other words, stress begets more stress. Without any exaggeration—and to be brutally blunt about it—stress kills.

And now we are in constant contact, living in a 24/7 plugged-in world that never, ever stops. We are glutted by information, demands, and sensory input. We are on an endless loop of requests to read, review, make a decision, keep, delete, reply, and move to the next request. The more success we achieve, the more high-stakes decisions we are forced to make.

Yes, a lot of people are seriously overworked, and yes, a lot of people don’t like their jobs. But I also meet people all the time who love their work and relish pressure. They wish there were more hours in the day to get things done. People at the top of their game love to be challenged. But whether you love or hate your job, you can still pay the physical and emotional tolls of stress. You can enjoy your work but still struggle to do it effectively if it’s hard to get out of bed because you wake up feeling worn out or dragged down by a relentless undercurrent of anxiety. Or maybe you wake up superenergized, but that energy wanes in the early afternoon, and even those cups of coffee don’t give you the buzz you need to get through the day. Things that hadn’t bothered you before are starting to bother you now. You don’t remember things like you used to. It’s harder to concentrate for extended periods of time. For the first time, you find yourself getting tension headaches or relying on sleeping pills to make it through the night.

It’s a downward spiral. You’ve read the diagnosis and the prognosis, and neither is pretty. Stress costs US businesses upward of $300 billion a year thanks to overworked employees becoming disengaged, drained, unfocused, and burned out.1 In the United Kingdom, stress is the most common reason employees take long-term sick leave—more than repetitive stress injuries, heart disease, and cancer.2 And in Japan, the government has officially classified toxic stress as a fatal phenomenon, with the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare collecting statistics on karoshi (death from overwork) since 1987.3

And we are starting our children on this path at younger and younger ages. I recently visited a classroom of second graders. I looked at all these little faces as I explained the work I do. In gentle terms, I talked about adults feeling stressed, and I asked casually, “How many of you feel stressed?”

Every single hand went up. Second graders! I was stunned. Stress doesn’t affect just those kids who deal with scarcity and violence and unstable home lives. Pediatricians are seeing more and more children from more affluent homes with adult levels of anxiety linked to performance pressure.

So we know we have a problem, and we know we need a solution. The second reason for the surge of interest in meditation is that there is no magic pill to save us from the epidemic. That’s usually where we go for the answer: to the medicine cabinet. Sure, there is a zillion-dollar treasure chest of drugs to manage all those crippling stress-related ailments. We take Ambien to sleep, Xanax to calm nerves, and Adderall to enhance performance at work. Or we go “over the counter,” so to speak, to mask the symptoms by drinking multiple cups of coffee to make it through the day. Then maybe several glasses of wine to slow down for the evening. And kids, at earlier and earlier ages, are already reliant on antidepressant and antianxiety medications and drugs to control attention disorders.

But, in truth, we get little from the pharmaceutical companies to actually prevent or cure toxic stress. The American Psychological Association concluded that its 2014 national study “portrays a picture of high stress and ineffective coping mechanisms that appear to be ingrained in our culture, perpetuating unhealthy lifestyles and behaviors for future generations.”4 The drugs from Big Pharma often prove ineffective—and those that do work can come with hazardous side effects. As the stakes get higher and higher, more and more people are naturally drawn to look elsewhere for a solution.

Which brings us to the third reason for the explosion of interest in meditation: science, science, and more science. There is so much evidence validating the benefits of meditation that even the most skeptical among us has to (perhaps begrudgingly) acknowledge that something significant, something important, is going on when we meditate.

But what does it mean to “meditate”? There is so much buzz about meditation and “mindfulness” in the popular culture, but there is also so much confusion. What is it, exactly?

When I talk about meditation, I use an analogy. I tell my students, You are in a little boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and for as far as you can see, there is an expanse of blue.

But all of a sudden, the water begins to get choppy, and you find yourself surrounded by huge, thirty-foot waves. You could easily think, “The whole ocean is in upheaval!”

The whole ocean? Not really. Because if you could look at a cross section downward, you would see that only the surface is in turmoil. The Atlantic is several miles deep, and at its depth, the ocean is very, very calm. Down there is an unbounded expanse of peace and tranquility, entirely undisturbed by the turbulence above.

Like the waves on the surface of the ocean, the surface of the mind can be active—even noisy and turbulent. Some characterize the surface of the mind as the “monkey mind.” I like to call it the “gotta-gotta-gotta” mind. The hyperactive type A mind is always thinking, “I gotta do this. I gotta do that. I gotta call him. I gotta call her. I gotta make a list. Then I gotta find the list. Then I gotta make a new list. I gotta slow down. I gotta get going. I gotta get to sleep, I gotta get up.”

Sound familiar?

Pretty much everyone knows the experience. And pretty much everyone has had the thought, at one time or another, “I’d like a break from the mental noise; from the constant mental chatter. I’d like some inner stillness, some inner clarity, some inner creativity, some inner focus, some inner peace.”

The operative word there is inner. And the question is, is there such a thing as an inner? And if so, how do we get there?

“How we get there” has been the domain of meditation since times immemorial. Meditation has long been associated with ideas of inner equanimity, clarity, focus, creativity, strength. But, again, there are so many different types of meditation. Are they all the same? Do they all work?

I have been practicing and teaching meditation for a very long time. In the early days of my practice, the words “I meditate”—if they were taken seriously—would often be translated to mean “I jog,” “I listen to soothing music,” “I follow my thoughts come and go,” “I breathe deeply,” or “I repeat a sound in my head.” Everything was grouped under the big-top tent of “meditating.”

But now that assumption no longer holds up. From brain science we know that there are basically three different approaches to meditation. This is because every discrete experience changes the brain in a discrete way: your brain responds differently if you listen to classical music or electronic music, if you watch a romantic comedy or a horror movie. In the same way, scientists have found marked, and important, differences in the way the brain functions during these different practices. Likewise, the cardiovascular, respiratory, and nervous systems each respond differently to each meditation technique.

Understanding the three approaches is important because each requires different degrees of effort and difficulty to practice; each impacts the brain differently; and each produces different outcomes for the health of mind and body.

These three techniques are Focused Attention, Open Monitoring, and Automatic Self-Transcending.5

Focused Attention includes the classic depiction of meditation in popular culture: someone sitting upright, cross-legged on a floor or pillow, eyes closed, and absorbed in a state of unwavering, deep inner peace. If you’ve ever gone to a yoga class, you’ve likely encountered this approach. Thoughts are seen as the disrupter of mental calm, so you are asked to minimize—or better yet, stop—your wandering “monkey” mind, to clear your mind of thoughts.

To return to the ocean analogy, trying to clear your mind of thoughts is like trying to stop every wave on the surface of the ocean. It takes moment-to-moment hypervigilance, and for many people, it is a lot of work. Some even give up, insisting, “I can’t do it. Meditation isn’t for me.”

How do Focused Attention techniques impact the brain? One way to tell is through electroencephalography (EEG), which measures the electrical activity of the brain. EEG readouts measured while test subjects practice Focused Attention show that these techniques enliven gamma brain waves in the left prefrontal cortex, the brain’s decision maker. This means that the electrical activity in the brain reaches a frequency per second of about 20 to 50 hertz (Hz), or cycles per second. You see a similar result when a student concentrates on a math problem—which makes sense, because gamma waves are found when one is engaged in a challenging task.

In contrast to attempting to clear the mind of thoughts, the second category of meditation, Open Monitoring, is about learning to observe thoughts dispassionately, without judgment, as they come and go. This is because thoughts themselves are not seen as the potential disrupter of calm, but rather it is the content or meaning of thoughts that can disrupt. So you learn to have thoughts about annoyances at work or a reoccurring grievance with a partner while remaining calm, unaffected, and present.

Back to the ocean analogy. Now you’re in that little boat, and instead of trying to stop the waves, you are observing them rise and fall without emotion. In the process, you’re generating theta brain waves, with the electrical patterns slowing to about 6 to 8 Hz, close to the onset of dreams. Theta waves are associated with creativity, daydreaming, and memory tasks. Several studies on mindfulness practices, many of which are included in the Opening Monitoring classification, also show alpha-2 brain waves (10 to 12 Hz) in the back of the brain. These waves are associated with turning off brain areas—in this case, the visual system—and beta waves (16 to 20 Hz), which means that you are actively engaged in directing your attention. In addition, neural imaging shows that such mindfulness practices activate the anterior cingulate cortices, which are involved in emotions, learning, and memory.

Open Monitoring can help you become more present and centered during stressful experiences. It can help calm your amygdala—the area of the brain that governs emotions and emotional behavior—so that you don’t overreact to a situation. You can take a few minutes, breathe deeply, conduct a scan of how you are reacting, calm yourself, and reenter the fray. For many, it is a useful and practical coping tool.

Open Monitoring is a cognitive process like Focused Attention. By definition, it keeps your attention in the present moment—on the level of attending to the surface thinking level of the mind.

I have been fortunate to learn Focused Attention and Open Monitoring from some of the best instructors, so I know firsthand that there is value to both practices. But the one that I have practiced regularly for nearly fifty years—the one that I find the easiest to do and that delivers the most immediate and long-term benefits to mind and body—is the third type: Automatic Self-Transcending.

Transcendental Meditation is in this category. Let’s return to the ocean analogy yet again: there are active, often turbulent waves on the surface, but there is calm at its depth. In the same way, we hypothesize that while the mind is active on the surface, deep within is a level that is calm yet alert; silent yet wide awake. The ancient meditation texts refer to it as the “source of thought” or “pure consciousness”—a field of limitless creativity, intelligence, and energy within. Scientists give it a more clinical description: a state of “restful alertness.” It is there. Deep within. Right now and at all times. Believe it or not. The problem is, we have lost access to it.

The purpose of TM is to open the door to this unbounded field. There is no concentration or control of the mind; nothing guided; no suggestion or passive observation. Instead, TM simply allows the active-thinking mind to settle down to its own state of inner stillness at the deepest level of awareness, one that actually transcends, or goes beyond, all thoughts and feelings. It is your own quiet inner self, before you start thinking and creating and planning and making lists and deciding and worrying and celebrating. It’s always been there, within you. It just gets lost or overshadowed easily by the constant noise and distractions of the day.

In the context of the ocean analogy, we don’t try to control those turbulent waves on the surface, and we don’t watch them dispassionately, either. We simply access the calm at the ocean’s depth.

It’s like a sprinter who decelerates from a fast run, to a slow jog, to a leisurely walk, to standing still, to sitting down. Same guy, just different degrees of activity. Easy.

EEG readouts and brain imaging reveal that Transcendental Meditation strengthens the neural connections between the different areas of the brain, including within the prefrontal cortex, to promote better learning and decision making. It calms the amygdala, the sensitive stress alarm center in your brain, which is important because a hyperaroused amygdala makes you overreact to both small glitches and big challenges in your day. Or it can immobilize you, making you shy away from new but doable challenges.

During TM practice, your brain wave signature shifts to alpha-1 (8 to 10 Hz), which is seen mostly in the front of the brain, the prefrontal cortex. Alpha-1 indicates that the mind is deeply rested, reflective, and wide awake. TM activates the default mode network, a large-scale network in the brain that is tied to improved creativity and decision making. It also acts on the nucleus accumbens, the brain’s reward center, which is associated with happiness and even euphoria. At the same time, there is increased blood flow to the brain, which means your brain is getting more nourishment. Finally, and uniquely, the body gains a profound state of rest and relaxation that goes along with heightened mental alertness. This means that TM provides more than just rest. It produces deep rest and inner alertness, together—or, as I said, a unique state of restful alertness.

The experience of restful alertness triggers a constellation of neurophysiological and biochemical changes in your body, including a reduction in high blood pressure; a decrease in galvanic skin response, which is an indicator of deep physiological calm; a 30 percent reduction in the stress hormone cortisol; and an increase of serotonin, which is the neurotransmitter, or brain chemical, associated with mood balance and happiness. Your body does this automatically as your brain functions in a more integrated, coherent style. And here’s the important thing: these effects are cumulative. The benefits of meditation last throughout the day, many hours after you’ve finished your twenty minutes.

My friend and student Dr. Peter Attia sometimes prescribes TM to those who come to his offices in New York City and San Diego. Dr. Attia was a surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, a surgical oncology fellow at the National Cancer Institute, and has been mentored by the foremost lipidologists, endocrinologists, gynecologists, sleep physiologists, and longevity scientists in North America. This ultrafit doctor is so consumed by his interest in human physiology that he wears a continuous glucose monitor 24/7 and a device to accurately measure his sleep quality through heart rate variability every night. He is his own case study in the pursuit of physiological excellence. His passion is his practice, Attia Medical, where his focus is the applied science of longevity and optimal performance. His clients are superstars in their fields; the kind of people working at peak performance. Now many are doing TM at his suggestion.

“I have this joke in my practice,” Dr. Attia says. “I don’t have anything against a Toyota, but I don’t enjoy tuning Toyotas—I want to tune up Ferraris.” The metaphor describes his patients perfectly. “When you are racing at the limit of the machine, like a Ferrari,” he says, “everything matters. It’s just sometimes more obvious when you make an improvement under high-stress conditions, and by stress, I don’t mean physiological stress. I mean aggregate stress, like the stress of the machine.”

Most of his patients, male and female, are total alphas who want to work longer and harder, start more companies, sit on more corporate boards—basically, change the world in one way or another. While the challenges that his patients thrive on get them on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, the accompanying stress of their work can kill them. “If the model is that the only way we’re going to fix someone is to prevent all the stressors, I think we’re playing a lot of whack-a-mole,” he told me. “A smarter strategy is, ‘Can we fix how you respond to stress?’ Meditation, broadly speaking, is a tool. And in my opinion, TM is a great application of that tool.”

Just about everyone I teach—the money manager navigating an unstable market, the parent holding two jobs to make ends meet, or the graduate school student feeling the pressure of an impending doctoral dissertation—says they want to continue to perform at higher and higher levels. At the same time, they don’t want to be stressed out, staying awake all night. Meditation, properly understood and practiced, addresses both of these concerns in one stroke by accessing the field of silence, creativity, and energy within. That is the strength in stillness.

You will see that this book is composed of three pillars. In the first, I explain exactly what the TM technique is, how it works, what it does, and where it comes from. The second pillar will take you through what you can expect as you learn the practice, and there we will go deeper into medical and brain research showing exactly how TM heals your body, improves your reactions to stress, and optimizes brain function.

The third pillar serves as an inspiration and guide as you start on this path to develop your full creative innermost self. In this final pillar you’ll meet people from all walks of life—CEOs, artists, veterans, and students—who have seen TM change their lives for the better. I will also share more of my own journey, and talk about what the TM technique has done for me. Throughout, I present Meditative Moments where you will hear directly from people about what it feels like to meditate, and more importantly, how it makes them feel throughout the rest of the day.


The Secret Weapon

Orin Snyder is not afraid of the word win. Considered one of the top trial lawyers in the world, Orin has represented Facebook and Bob Dylan, handled billion-dollar lawsuits, and earned his rep as an “attack dog” and the “deadliest lawyer in tech.” We met recently in his corner office at the law firm Gibson Dunn, high up in Manhattan’s MetLife Building, to talk about how TM has helped him become an even fiercer advocate for his clients.

I’ve always been active and athletic, but two years ago, I started weight training around the same time I started meditating. I see them as close relatives. If you regularly lift weights for forty minutes a day, you will develop physical musculature. That investment of forty minutes completely transforms your body. The same is true for TM: if you meditate for twenty minutes twice a day, you will develop what I like to call the “chill muscle” that right now is inert in so many of us.

I learned to meditate first and foremost so I could have more calm in my inner life. I wanted to worry less. Meditation delivered—and has been a game-changer in terms of my own personal happiness. But my regular meditation practice also produced unanticipated benefits in my professional life. TM makes me more effective as an advocate for my clients because it makes me less reactive and gives me enhanced clarity.

Across all industries and professional endeavors, meditation can serve as a potent secret weapon. I call it the X factor in achieving transcendence in your professional life. Transcendence in the workplace translates into winning. Whether you’re a hedge fund trader, lawyer, or ballerina, TM helps get you to the next level in your professional pursuits by strengthening your focus and resolve. I often hear people say that TM is only for people who are interested in a serene interior life or a world of communal living in some post-utopian society free of conflict or competition. That is a myth.

I’ll give you an example. I often have to fly to the West Coast for work. Last year alone I took fifteen or more trips. I usually have to execute a particular assignment on arrival, whether it’s a court hearing, board meeting, or client presentation. Oftentimes I’m exhausted, and I always have multiple demands on my time and on my mental focus.

Recently I flew to California for an important meeting. I woke up at four in the morning for a six o’clock flight, and for seven hours on the plane I worked intensely to prepare a presentation. I arrived, the presentation went smoothly, and I turned around and got right back on a red-eye flight back to New York that same day. I was utterly exhausted, but instead of sleeping, I worked to prepare for another meeting the next morning. I was cramming without much sleep, and while I landed at JFK at dawn prepared substantively, I was spent.

I went home to shower, shave, and put on a new suit. I got in a taxi uptown and headed to midtown for the meeting at my office. I could have fallen asleep right then and there, but it was obvious what I needed to do: meditate. I was drawn to it like a dog to a bone. Happily, traffic on Park Avenue cooperated, and we hit massive gridlock. Despite honking horns and cursing taxi drivers, I closed my eyes and meditated deeply for twenty minutes.

I remember the moment of getting out of the taxi vividly, even physically. I flung open the door on Park Avenue, and when I walked onto the street, I felt alive and rejuvenated in a way that startled me. I had been practicing TM for enough time that I had developed a stockpile of calm that I accessed when I went inward for those twenty minutes. And the dividends were immediate: my body rewarded me with energy and clarity. That reservoir of musculature that I developed through all of my meditations was there to be activated.

I nailed the meeting and was refreshed for that whole day. Critically, I did the second meditation that afternoon in an empty conference room. I needed more of a kick start, another dose of energy. I went home that night and went right to bed. But that taxi meditation was my source of energy, focus, and ultimately success. Now, I am not saying you have to keep my crazy schedule to benefit from TM. Transcendental Meditation is good for everyone.

About The Author

(c) Alexander Berg

Bob Roth is one of the most experienced and sought-after meditation teachers in the world. Over the past fifty years, Bob has taught Transcendental Meditation to many thousands of people, including billionaire CEOs, Hollywood celebrities, combat-scarred veterans, and inner-city youth. He currently serves as the CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, and also directs the Center for Leadership Performance. Bob is the host of the SiriusXM radio show, Success Without Stress, and speaks frequently about the science of meditation to industry leaders at such gatherings as Google Zeitgeist, Aspen Ideas Festival, Wisdom2.0, and Summit. He is the author of Strength in Stillness.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (September 13, 2022)
  • Length: 240 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781501161223

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Raves and Reviews

Praise for Bob Roth and Strength in Stillness

“Transcendental Meditation is the single most important reason for any success I have had in my life. Bob Roth’s Strength in Stillness masterfully distills the essence of this technique so that anyone can understand how it works—and why they should learn it.” —Ray Dalio

Strength in Stillness is a master class that makes Transcendental Meditation accessible for everyone. I love Bob Roth, I love meditation, and I love this book.” —Arianna Huffington

“I can’t say enough about Bob Roth and Transcendental Meditation. Stillness, true stillness, of both mind and body, is a gift. TM taught me how to access that stillness and open that gift every single day.” —Michael J. Fox

“Bob Roth’s Strength in Stillness is the simplest, most engaging, and easiest-to-understand guide to Transcendental Meditation—a technique I have come to rely on to help me navigate my wonderfully challenging, at times stress-inducing life.” —Gwyneth Paltrow

“People sleep better. People have better relationships. People interact with other people better. I am one-thousand percent better when I do it. Meditation Bob: He’s got it!” —Oprah Winfrey

“I’m so lucky Bob is in our lives. Anxiety is like my family plague. I come from a line of neurotic Jewish women who need Transcendental Meditation more than anyone!” —Lena Dunham

“My wife and I love Bob. He’s really helped us and our son, Oscar, who was a stressed, anxious kid. Now I see him blossoming and owning the things that make him unique. In many ways, Bob saved him during a difficult time.” —Hugh Jackman

"TM is so simple to learn; it's so simple to practice. Yet the amount of restoration that comes to you—the benefit across your life—well, it changes everything." —Cameron Diaz

“It is the only time that I have that stillness. It gives me this peaceful feeling. I just love it so much.” —Ellen DeGeneres

“The beauty of TM is that it’s so forgiving. You can’t do it wrong.” —Robin Roberts

“Bob Roth’s Strength in Stillness is so needed right now in history, to lend assistance to the way forward for all of us. Every single word written is a lesson that will enhance our lives.” —Stella McCartney

“Bob Roth taught me to meditate. He is a secular swami, a gentle evangelist of the transcendent. This book will guide you to peace. He is for real.” —Russell Brand

“In this well-argued book, Roth, a transcendental meditation instructor, explains that the mantra-based technique can reduce stress, raise productivity, and increase happiness. . . . Those looking for more information on this popular technique will find Roth to be an effective, lucid guide.” Publishers Weekly

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