Experts on Transcendental Meditation for celeb wellbeing as Lee Sun-kyun dies | Health

South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun from the Academy Award-winning film Parasite and acclaimed for his roles in My Mister, Sleep, Coffee Prince and A Hard Day, passed away at 48 after he was reportedly found unconscious in a parked car in Waryong Park, amid burning charcoal briquettes in his car that indicated suicide, according to a report from Seoul Seongbuk Police Station on December 27. Since October, Lee Sun-kyun had been under police investigation for alleged drug use and faced vast public scrutiny amid the drug case, leading him to withdraw from several upcoming projects even though a detailed analysis by the National Institute of Forensic Science, following a simple reagent test, confirmed the absence of drugs.

South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun of ‘Parasite’ dies by suicide. Experts on Transcendental Meditation for celeb wellbeing. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP)

He remained subjected to police investigations three times and even sought a lie detector test on the 26th. As we lose another actor to suicide this year, mental health experts suggest Transcendental Meditation to combat anxiety, social media pressure and the pangs that come along with the celeb tag.

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Celebrities who embraced Transcendental Meditation:

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Tony Nader (MD, Phd, Chairman of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace (GUSP) and Successor of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) and Dr Ashley Deans (Executive Vice President of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace) claimed, “Celebrities in Bollywood and Hollywood are increasingly taking to Transcendental Meditation (TM) – a simple easy-to-do meditation technique – to combat anxiety, social media pressure and the pangs that come along with the celeb tag. Among the Bollywood practitioners are Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anushka Sharma, Kareena Kapoor Khan, and Anupam Kher. In the early stages of Covid-19, after Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide, it was disclosed he had been battling mental health issues due to the pressure of fame. Although he knew about TM as a tool for stress relief, he never took the step to learn the technique, potentially missing an opportunity to alleviate his mental health condition. However, the list of Hollywood celebrities practicing Transcendental Meditation is very impressive.”

They revealed, “TM first became popular due to its association with rock band The Beatles during the 1960s, and then caught the interest of Academy Award winners Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood. Other celebrities who learned TM include Paul McCartney who sang the iconic song “Hope of Deliverance”, Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones, filmmaker David Lynch, American model Kendell Jenner and singers Jennifer Lopez (“Jenny from the Block”) and Sheryl Crow (“All I Wanna Do”). Others include American comedian and TV host Ellen DeGeneres, American actors Heather Graham and Jerry Seinfeld, Australian model and businesswoman Miranda Kerr, American singers and songwriters Eli Lieb and Lindsay Lohan, American actor Liv Tyler, Donovan and English former goal-keeper Ben Foster. Also in the list are TV anchor Oprah Winfrey and sports TV anchor Robin Roberts.”

What is Transcendental Meditation?

Dr Tony Nader and Dr Ashley Deans expalined, “TM is silent, non-religious meditation technique, typically practiced for 15-20 minutes twice a day. One need not sit cross-legged or go to the Himalayas; it can be done sitting comfortably with eyes closed at home, at the office, in an airplane or car—any safe environment. It is completely effortless and natural, requiring no concentration, contemplation, or control of the mind.”

Transcendental Meditation method:

The technique involves repeating a mantra or sound, with the goal of transcending surface level activity in the mind, thereby achieving a state of deep rest in the physiology. Dr Tony Nader, an MIT and Harvard trained medical doctor and neuroscientist leading the worldwide TM organisation, emphasised, “Transcendental Meditation is not a belief, philosophy, or lifestyle; it can be practiced by people of any religion, political affiliation, or social role. Through the release of stress, the technique enables profound transformation and fulfilment in life. It leads to the discovery of your innate nature, which is perfect happiness and health.”

For celebrities consistently under the spotlight and facing criticism in the age of deepfake videos, TM offers a much-needed retreat as stress among celebs is fuelled by lack of personal time, social media scrutiny and struggle to maintain reputation and status. The experience of deep inner silence during TM provides an antidote to the constant pressures they face.

Dr Ashley Deans asserted, “Transcendental Meditation (TM), derived from India’s Vedic technology, empowers every individual to live life to its fullest, attaining health, inner peace, and even enlightenment. Furthermore, group practice of the TM and TM -Sidhi programs contributes to peace, unity and prosperity on a collective level, as proven by over 50 empirical research studies.”

Anxiety, prevalent in the celebrity world, sees relief through TM, as supported by a 2014 meta-analysis. “Ongoing US studies, partially funded by government agencies, showcase TM’s efficacy in reducing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and cardiovascular risk factors,” shared Dr Stuart Rothenberg, medical doctor and National Director of Health Professional Training of Maharishi Ayurveda Association of America.

“Other studies have shown marked improvements in performance, creativity, heart health, longevity, and self-actualisation,” continued Dr Rothenberg. “These changes largely result from increased coherence in brain activity. This normalises overall physical and mental functioning and promotes peak physiological and mental performance.”

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