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Tuesday
Nov292011

Transcendental Meditation Benefit Attracts Celebrities

ULTRA F/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Russell Brand, who credits Transcendental Meditation for helping him stay off addictions to alcohol, drugs and sex, will do a stand-up comedy show Tuesday night at the Palace of the Fine Arts in San Francisco to benefit the David Lynch Foundation.

Brand has said publicly that meditation had helped him find a “deeper state of happiness.”  Other celebrities -- including Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres -- are devotees of TM.

Brand, who is best known for his films Get Him to the Greek and Arthur –  and for being the husband of pop star Katy Perry – gave up alcohol nearly a decade ago. He has said,  ”I was really, really committed to that drug addiction.”

The David Lynch Foundation, the brainchild of the filmmaker of the same name, has been committed to helping those who suffer from trauma since 2005. The often dark and abstract director credits his creativity with 37 years of meditation.

Their meditation programs have helped those in the military, who are at higher risk for post-traumatic stress and in schools where students grow up in a climate of fear with bullying, violence and substance abuse. They also work with other at-risk populations like Native Americans and the homeless.

The Lynch foundation now teaches 70,000 students for free in 350 schools around the world; 15 of them are in the United States.

Brand learned TM at the foundation headquarters in Fairfield, Iowa, during a time when he was making a  documentary on happiness with directors Oliver Stone and Albert Maysles.

David Lynch Foundation president Bob Roth asked Brand if he wanted to learn TM. “I have all the time in the world,” Brand responded, according to foundation spokesman Ken Chawkin. “He taught him and he loved it and came back a second time.”

On Dec. 4, Brand will join actress Ellen DeGeneres and Def Jam’s Russell Simmons in Los Angeles for another benefit performance. The foundation will webcast from their website a live global news conference on Dec. 2 on its gift of $1 million to teach veterans to meditate, as well as the celebrity event. 

Various studies funded by the David Lynch Foundation have shown that those under stress, particularly ethnic and racial minorities, can reduce their stress levels by 36 percent by practicing TM. Students in “quiet programs” that include meditation have also shown higher rates of achievement.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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