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10 Celebs You Didn’t Know Who Practice Mindful Meditation

blog meditation mindfulness Jan 27, 2022

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open.”

 – Frank Zappa 

 

The simple words of musical virtuoso Frank Vincent Zappa are short and sweet but open the door to the true essence of mindfulness. 

Being open to tackling your negative thoughts non-judgementally and treating yourself the way you would handle a friend or family member you love can relieve the stress and anxiety you feel. 

For example, I woke up this morning worrying about taking the animals to the vet, changing the car battery, cleaning the kitchen, prepping dinner, buying a new charger for my phone, getting a COVID 19 booster jab, worrying about my weight, and finishing work. In retrospect, it isn't a lot of things to do if you take it one step at a time but staring at your to-do list at 7 am on a weekday can be very stressful, especially when the cold English winter months make it so hard to get out of bed! 

I put on my headphones, turned on R I S E, a blissful EP by Willow Smith and Jahnavi Harrison inspired by Bhakti-yoga and devotional messaging, and practised a couple of mindful breathing exercises. The whole session lasted around 15 minutes, and after I had finished, I was ready to take on the day and its challenges with a calm mind. I guess that is another point for mindfulness!

Over the last decade, yoga, meditation, and mindfulness have become more mainstream and a part of the social zeitgeist. No longer are they stigmatised as hippy and spiritual nonsense but are recognised as a valuable method to improve physical and mental well-being. So it is great to know that some of our favourite celebrities have been cultivating consistent mindfulness routines to maintain control over their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. 

If you haven't been listening or read the title above, it is time to get excited! Sit back and relax as I show you 10 Celebs You Didn’t Know Who Practice Mindful Meditation. Let's go!

 

10. Beyoncé

American singer, songwriter, and actress

 
 
 
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Queen B doesn't need an introduction! If you're reading this list, you already know who she is. The chart-topping, award-winning musician began her career with the R&B group Destiny's Child and later transitioned into a solo artist. 

She is also the most awarded and most nominated female artist in Grammy history. I mean, the woman has been nominated over a thousand times for various awards and has won over five hundred! Not to mention 11 Guinness World Records.

In an interview with ELLE magazine, Knowles-Carter talked about her self care:

"After having a difficult pregnancy, I took a year to focus on my health. I have researched information on homoeopathic medicines. I don’t just put any prescription in my body. My diet is important, and I use tools like acupuncture, meditation, visualization, and breathing exercises."

Well, when life gives you lemons, make Lemonade!

 

9. Lebron James

American professional basketball player

 
 
 
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King James has been the face of the NBA for the last decade, collecting four NBA championships and two Olympic gold medals. He is one of the greatest players in NBA history and is frequently up against Michael Jordan as the greatest basketball player of all time. 

James partnered with Calm, a meditation app, in 2019 to produce guided meditations and stretching routines.  

In an interview with Mark Medina of USA TODAY, James said: 

 

"Meditating helps a lot for me personally with taking a lot of deep breaths, closing my eyes and just centring myself and listening to my inner self and talking to my kids and my mom. That definitely is something that keeps me sane in the bubble."

 

8. Jhené Aiko

American singer

 
 
 
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The singer, away from recording certified platinum records, finds time to meditate and release mantra and meditation-inspired tracks such as Trigger Protection Mantra and Wisdome.LA, involving sound bath meditations. She has joined Jay Shetty on his podcast to discuss her relationship with wellness and spirituality. 

It's refreshing to hear her experiment with acoustic instruments such as Tibetan singing bowls to enhance the feeling and vibrations of her sound.

 

7. Oprah Winfrey 

American talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist

One of the most influential people in the World, Oprah Gail Winfrey, the Queen of Media stole the hearts of her viewers through her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which ran for 25 years. Winfrey has featured segments on her show that dealt with mindfulness and self-improvement, not being afraid to delve into her process of maintaining wellness. 

She has spoken with Jon Kabat Zinn, scientist and author credited with popularising mindfulness education within the West; and even brought a meditation teacher to Harpo Studios to teach her employees meditation practices and implemented two breaks within the workday for them to meditate.   

Oprah also launched a free 21-day meditation experience with Deepak Chopra to alleviate stress and find joy. 

In a post written by Winfrey for Oprah.com, she writes about her goal to be more mindful and how meditation has impacted her life: 

 

"I wake up to the sound of birds now. Before getting out of bed, I pause for a moment to acknowledge and appreciate the sound. And even in New York City, waking to the grinding of garbage trucks, I note and appreciate that the city's coming alive, that another day has dawned and, choice by choice, we get to live it.

So, although I'm a big proponent of formal meditation—for the discipline, joy, and calm it brings—I'm moving into an even greater phase of being fully present all the time.

It's a heightened state of being that lets whatever you're doing be your best life, from moment to astonishing moment.

The outside world is constantly trying to convince you you're not enough. But you don't have to take the bait. Meditation helps you resist."

 

6. Kobe Bryant

American professional basketball player

The basketball phenom trailblazed through the NBA (National Basketball Association), dominating the league, winning five NBA Championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and two Olympic gold medals for Team USA.

Sports fans, players, and analysts regard Bryant as one of the greatest basketball players and athletes of all time, behind only Michael Jordan. His work ethic and dedication to his craft set him apart from his peers and truly transcended the sport of basketball. 

With his short film, Dear Basketball, released in 2018, Kobe became the first African-American to win an Academy Award for the Best Animated Short Film. He is also the first former professional athlete to be nominated and win an Academy Award within any category.

Reading the Black Mamba's resume may convince you that he was a literal superhero. I mean, for any kid growing up in the 2000s and 2010s, Kobe pretty much was better than any superhero that Marvel or DC Comics could cook up! That is why it’s great to know that Bryant was an avid meditator and used mindfulness techniques to improve his well-being and further his self-development. 

Kobe worked with George Mumford, a mindfulness and performance expert who is the author of The Mindful Athlete: Secrets to Pure Performance and The Mindful Athlete: Inspiration and Meditations for Pure Performance. Mumford also worked with NBA stars Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal. He stated that:

 

"George helped me understand the art of mindfulness. To be neither distracted or focused, rigid or flexible, passive or aggressive. I learned just to be." 

 

In an interview with Arianna Huffington, Bryant said:

 

"I meditate every day, and I usually do it for ten or fifteen minutes in the morning, as that prepares me to face whatever comes next."

 

We thank him for all he taught us. May he and his daughter, Gianna, rest in peace.

 

5. Russell Brand 

English comedian, actor, and radio host

 
 
 
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The eccentric, exciting entertainer turned grounded educator and thinker sites meditation and other mindful activities in drastically altering his lifestyle.

He regularly leads guided meditations via his youtube channel and other social media platforms and collaborates with others within the wellness sphere.

 

4. Will Smith 

American actor, rapper, and film producer

The Fresh Prince has been entertaining the masses ever since he first hit the scene with partner in crime DJ Jazzy Jeff, one of the best DJs to come out of the bustling 80s hip hop scene. The four-time Grammy Award-winning rapper may be most known for his role on the iconic tv show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or his stellar legendary film career but recently has shared his commitment to self-improvement and education through interviews and his recent memoir, Will, book tour. 

In an interview with Jay Shetty, Smith shares his experience with meditation; and the guidance Shetty has given him. 

Tomorrow, when I sit down for my daily meditation, I will remember to get a little jiggy with it to spice things up!

In an interview with the New York Times, Smith talked about how he spends his mornings including meditation and reading: 

 

"I've been letting go of outcomes. I used to be wildly goal- and target-oriented. But my intention is still really firm. My life is pretty structured. I'm always up from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. reading and meditating on specific things or dreams and ideas that I want to put into the world. I'm very organized in that way. I guess the illusion of control settles my mind. I hope."

 
 
 
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3. David Lynch

American filmmaker, painter, visual artist, musician, and writer

A true Renaissance man. Naming the filmmaker's many creative efforts would take too long to place into this blog. Many of you may know him for the television series Twin Peaks, but he has also dipped his toes into the visual arts and music World. 

Lynch has been an advocate for Transcendental Meditation and has been practising for around 50 years.

In an interview with the LA Times, David spoke about how TM meditation enhances creativity:

 

"You want more ideas, you want more energy to do the work and more happiness in the doing - where are all of these things? They are within... I think ideas are out there, and you catch them like how you catch fish. The more consciousness you have, the deeper you can catch those ideas." 

 

He also wrote in a post for the David Lynch Foundation UK about his history and connection with TM meditation:

 

"I started Transcendental Meditation® in 1973 and have not missed a single meditation ever since. Twice a day, every day. It has given me effortless access to unlimited reserves of energy, creativity, and happiness deep within. This level of life is sometimes called 'pure consciousness' — it is a treasury. And this level of life is deep within us all."

 

2. Jahvani Harrison 

British musician and visual artist

 
 
 
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The musician was raised in a family of Bhakti-yoga practitioners at Bhaktivedanta Manor and performs sacred music involving kirtan call and response mantra chants with her violin. 

She has an album under her belt, the 2015 project, Like a River to the Sea, recorded music for Mantra Lounge, and has recently released a collaborative EP with Willow Smith called R I S E, heavily inspired by Kirtan music and mantra. Harrison featured on the Grammy-nominated charity album Bhakti Without Borders in 2016 and co-founded Kirtan London, a call-and-response musical meditation centre.

She regularly posts mantras and guided meditation on her youtube channel. Her sound baths are a great way to relax after a busy workday, trust me!

 

1. Jay Shetty 

 English author, former Hindu monk, and life coach

 
 
 
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The former Vedic monk is a prominent advocate for meditation and improving well-being. He has worked with many influential figures within the self-improvement sector and other notable people, such as Will Smith, Jhené Aiko, Kobe Bryant, Russell Brand, and Oprah Winfrey.

He released the number-one New York Times Bestseller, Think Like A Monk, in 2020 that focuses on reducing stress and takes its influence from Shetty's journey of rebelling from the norms of day-to-day life and finding true meaning and happiness in everyday moments.

In this Instagram post made by Jay, he explains his evolving relationship with meditation: 

 

"I remember the first time I meditated. I didn’t know how to start or if I was doing it right or wrong. It was only when I received guidance from the monks that meditation started to make sense. If it wasn’t for them I would have missed out on so many amazing benefits that I have gained through meditation. Above all, the habit I have learned the most is knowing how to respond to emotions and feelings that are uncomfortable or unknown. We often want to avoid them or distance ourselves from them or start to beat up ourselves up for having them. On the Daily Jay, we will work together to work through our emotions, understand our feelings and train ourselves to respond instead of react.⁠"

 

Catch him on his podcast, the Jay Shetty Podcast, where he interviews influential thinkers, creatives, and notable figures, discussing topics ranging from daily struggles to wellness and health routines. 

 

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