Strength in Stillness: Bob Roth On The Power of Transcendental Meditation & Bringing Calm To The Center of Life’s Storm

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“The more we understand the deadly impact of stress, the more we’re looking at alternatives to just a pill.”

Bob Roth


Long-time listeners know well that meditation is a recurring topic of exploration on this podcast. Today I continue this tradition with a man who has played a very large role in pioneering meditation, specifically the practice of Transcendental Meditation (“TM”) throughout the West.

Meet meditation legend Bob Roth.

Bob first discovered meditation as a freshman at Berkeley during the height of the 1960’s – ground-zero for the anti-war movement and the many cultural changes that were sweeping the country at that time. Once a skeptic, he was soon hooked, ultimately training under the tutelage of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the legendary albeit controversial meditation guru made globally famous by the Beatles. Every day since, he has meditated twice a day every day, devoting his life over the last 45 years to teaching what he has learned to millions of people across the world.

Today, Bob is one of the most experienced and sought after meditation teachers in America. A proper meditation teacher to the stars, his student roster includes such recognizable names as Oprah, Russell Brand, Jim Carrey, Jerry Seinfeld, Martin Scorcese, Ray Dalio, Howard Stern, Tom Hanks, Hugh Jackman, and countless other notables.

But Bob would much rather talk about his work as the executive director of The David Lynch Foundation, where he has helped bring TM to more than 500,000 inner-city youth in underserved schools in 35 countries, as well as to veterans and their families suffering from PTSD, and women and girls who are survivors of domestic violence.

Bob is also the national director of the Center For Leadership Performance, another non-profit which introduces meditation to Fortune 100 companies, government organizations and non-profit charities. And he has spoken about meditation to industry leaders at such gatherings as Google Zeitgeist, Aspen Ideas Festival, Wisdom2.0, and Summit.

In addition, Bob penned the authoritative text on the subject of TM, a book aptly titled Transcendental Meditation, and recently released his newest book, Strength in Stillness – an accessible meditation primer that breaks down the science behind TM and provides a simple, straightforward roadmap for reducing stress, accessing inner power and building resilience.

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As you might expect, this conversation is a 360-degree primer on everything meditation.

We delve into Bob’s introduction to meditation as a young Berkeley student as well as his experience training under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

We discuss how TM differs from other types of meditation.

We talk about his work with the David Lynch Foundation, as well as his personal experience with the quirky, brilliant film director himself.

And we cover the many scientific benefits of meditation, including how and why a consistent practice can transform your life by reducing stress and anxiety while simultaneously improving everything from focus, concentration, sleep, creativity, acuity, and productivity to emotional and physical resilience.

But most of all, this conversation redresses the excuses that prevent you from meditating while empowering you with the tools and inspiration to finally begin a practice and make it stick.

A bit briefer than my typical chats due to Bob’s hectic schedule at the time (we recorded this some months back), don’t be fooled by it’s brevity — it’s packed with gems.

It was a great honor to spend an hour with Bob. I hope you enjoy the exchange as much as I enjoyed having it.

Peace + Plants,

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SHOW NOTES

Check out Bob’s latest book: Strength in Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation*

Background, Context & Reference:

Notable People Discussed in today’s podcast:

  • David Lynch: filmmaker, painter, musician, actor, photographer and David Lynch Foundation founder
  • Dan Harris: journalist, ABC News correspondent, Nightline anchor, author of 10% Happier* and (2x) podcast guest
  • Sharon Salzberg: teacher of Buddhist meditation practices in the West, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society, New York Times Best selling author and podcast guest
  • Bobby Kennedy: 64th U.S. Attorney General from Jan. 1961 to Sept. 1964, and as a U.S. Senator for N.Y. from Jan. 1965 until his assassination in June 1968
  • Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: was an Indian guru, known for developing the Transcendental Meditation technique and achieved fame as the guru to The Beatles, The Beach Boys and other celebrities
  • Jai Gurudev: was the name used by Tulsidas Maharaj, a religious leader in northern India. He was imprisoned for 20 months during a period of political unrest in 1975 and led the Doordarshi political party in the 1980s and 1990s, unsuccessfully campaigning for election to the Indian national parliament. He died in 2012 at an unconfirmed age of 116

Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy:

Thanks to Jason Camiolo for production, audio engineering, interstitial music. Video, editing and graphics by Blake Curtis and Margo Lubin. Theme music by Ana Leimma.

*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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