Idol Chatter

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Russell Brand and TM

posted by Donna Freitas

TM stands for Transcendental Meditation and apparently celeb Russell Brand is the newest poster boy for this spiritual practice. The Style section of The New York Times just did a big feature on Mr. Brand and his new agey ways, in Irina Aleksander’s article, “Look Who’s Meditating Now.” She writes of the comedian:

“It is jarring . . . to hear Mr. Brand, 35, speaking passionately and sincerely about the emotional solace he has found in Transcendental Meditation, or TM. Yet there he was in December, onstage at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (as his new wife, the pop singer Katy Perry, waited backstage), describing how TM has helped him repair his psychic wounds. “Transcendental Meditation has been incredibly valuable to me both in my recovery as a drug addict and in my personal life, my marriage, my professional life,” Mr. Brand said of the technique that prescribes two 15- to 20-minute sessions a day of silently repeating a one-to-three syllable mantra, so that practitioners can access a state of what is known as transcendental consciousness. “I literally had an idea drop into my brain the other day while I was meditating which I think is worth millions of dollars.””

Really? We are supposed to take spiritual advice from Russell Brand seriously? Like this New York Times reporter, the suggestion is jarring–at the very least. Brand has made his name for clownish, raunchy behavior, so he’s not exactly in line for spiritual guru on my list. I find the idea that we are supposed to follow celebs down their new agey roads to enlightenment rather outrageous, so I’m certainly not a good candidate for celeb spirituality in general. But this article–and the notion that Russell Brand is a good poster boy for TM–made me wince. Granted, it’s great when someone finds a practice that works for their life and spiritual path–I won’t deny anyone this. But when I read statements from celebs like Brand’s ridiculous little quip–”literally had an idea drop into my brain the other day while I was meditating which I think is worth millions of dollars”–it’s difficult not to feel a bit of scorn. Effective poster boy for TM he is not.



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