In recent years, meditation has gained massive popularity amove the masses. It has gone mainstream among everyday people. While this is a new practice for many of is, the ancient mental exercise of meditation seems to have been a recipe int the success of many of the most influential people in modern society for decades. This list is just some of the endless and ongoing count of successful individuals who meditate daily. In his book Tools of Titans, Tim Ferris states that meditation is quite possibly the most consistently shared practice among high achievers.
One of the largest promoters of mindfulness in the mainstream media is Oprah Winfrey. Oprah has openly stated that she is a daily meditator, a practice that allows her to perform at a high level. Looking at just how productive this woman is, it’s not surprising she is receiving a little help from this powerful practice to help her accomplish as much as she does.
Another high performing executive and creator, there is no mystery behind the performance of Arianna Huffington. Again, the answer is her meditative practice. Arianna Huffington totes meditation and mindfulness for her ability to stay sane, rational and productive while diving into uncharted business territory on a regular basis.
As the newest face of advertising for the Calm meditation app, Lebron James is widely known as a meditator. As many athletes often find, Lebron has toted meditation for its benefits both on and off the court including rational decision making, cognitive performance and the ability to perform and persevere under pressure.
In his own words, Novak says he meditates because the practice provides him with the optimal state of peace and calm while simultaneously contributing to happiness and joy. The emotional balance has done wonders for his game and life both on and off the court.
Madonna reportedly subscribes to a daily dose of transcendental meditation. Between this and her distinctly ayurvedic diet, Madonna has said time and time again how she believes these two elements of health bring her the perfect balance of mind-body connectedness and balance.
Jeff Weiner – CEO of LinkedIn
Jeff Weiner has publicly recognized his daily use of the Headspace meditation app. This man has started one of the most successful resources on the entire internet, attributing much of his ability to perform under pressure to his newfound ability to think clearly through meditation.
The late Kobe Bryant was one of the most dedicated and talented basketball players to ever grace the court. His work ethic made him a high performer in nearly every aspect of his life, including business post-retirement where he was also well recognized for his contributions. Kobe was first introduced to meditation from the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson. In the words of Bryant, “I think it’s important because it sets me up for the rest of the day. It’s like having an anchor. If I don’t do it, it feels like I’m constantly chasing the day, as opposed to being controlled and dictate the day.”
Russel Simmons is the man behind Def Jam Records, the label that made larger contributions to hip-hop over time than any other. Since those days, Russel has become a huge ambassador of meditation and has published a book called Success Through Stillness.
According to Paul, “In moments of madness, meditation has helped me find moments of serenity – and I would like to think that it would help provide young people a quiet haven in a not-so-quiet world. It was a great gift that Maharishi gave us.”
As with Kobe Bryant and Lebron James, it seems most of Basketball’s greats were daily meditators. Michael Jordan reportedly stated to have meditated every morning because it allowed him to avoid distractions and focus on the court. This focus provided him with a flow state that made him virtually unstoppable when charging his opponents with or for the ball.
Jerry Seinfeld is most well known for his starring role in, as you’ve probably guessed, Seinfeld. As the star of the show and the executive producer, Jerry was handling a lot, to say the least. He reported utilizing meditation each and every morning to get through it all, keeping the practice alive long after the end of the last season.
On his personal blog, Gates reported that he recently started meditating after coming across the written works and Headspace app created by Andy Puddicombe. He was reportedly drawn in by the research shared in the lessons. It was the legitimacy of the benefits that encouraged him to take up the practice.
Kendrick Lamar has been known to drop hints about meditation in many of his songs and interviews, leading many people to the conclusion that he must indeed be practicing it himself. Here is one of the many lyrics you can find where he makes sure to pay his respects to the ancient practice: “Meditation is a must, doesn’t hurt if you try. See you thinking too much, worried about your career, ever think of your health?”
In 2013 Ellen Degeneres came out on her show stating that she has been practicing transcendental meditation daily for 3 years and that it has changed her life. Since that time she has interviewed many famous meditation teachers on her show.
In the past few years, Joe Rogan has become one of the most influential people on the planet. Interviewing a wide range of guests on his podcast, he not only discusses his own practice often, but he also pulls information about the practice of many other influential creators on a very regular basis. As it turns out, many of them have a practice of their own. Joe often totes the benefits of practicing meditation in float tanks, encouraging many of his guests to give his personal tank a try right after their recording.
Although best and mostly known for his acting, Will Smith has recently become a very large presence in the personal development space. With regular motivational and mindset/mindfulness tips videos, he has recently been promoting meditation regularly and strongly across YouTube as well as his other channels.
It has never been a mystery that Tim Ferris is a regular meditator. In his books, podcast episodes and articles he is very regularly found discussing his own exploratory meditation practices. Fun fact, Tim Ferris was the first person I ever heard talk about meditation in the public realm. He most certainly was not first, but he made major contributions toward the modern and public awareness of the benefits this ancient practice provides.
Katy Perry is a well-known advocate for transcendental meditation. In 2011 she first started openly discussing her practice and all of the personal and professional benefits that came with it.
In 2011 Scorcese shared the details of his practice in an exclusive interview with wellness personality Ray Dalio. He share the following sentiment among many others: “For the last few years, I’ve been practicing Transcendental Meditation. It’s difficult to describe the effect it has had on my life. I can only mention may-be a few words: calm, clarity, a balance, and at times — a recognition. For me, meditation has made a difference.”
In his biography, Jobs mentions meditation time and time again, discussing the subtle but critical contributions it provided in his thought process throughout the creation of his company. One of his most famous quotes was the following: “If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things – that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It’s a discipline; you have to practice it.”
George Lukas has reportedly been meditating for almost 40 years. There are even rumors that ‘the force’ in his Star Wars series is a secret reference to the pure consciousness achieved when one has put in the work and time to become a master at meditating.
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One of the many joys of living in a big city is that you can find a community for anything. In Toronto, this is certainly the case. As the third-largest city and economic hub in North America, our city has a heck of a lot to offer, especially in the way of mindfulness, meditation and yoga. Although you can find meditation classes in almost all corners of the greater Toronto area, here are some of the top places to meditate in the city. These locations offer high-quality courses, resources, and classes, and you really can’t go wrong with any of them. For anybody looking to explore meditation classes in the city, I would recommend giving several of these a try. Get to know what you want to learn more about, what kind of practice best suits you, and go from there in narrowing down your preference.
Consciousness Explorers Club
The consciousness explorers club is a nonprofit meditation organization originally founded by internationally renowned meditation teacher and author Jeff Warren. Since the groups founding over a decade ago, the club has grown tenfold in popularity, now hosting a wide variety of different meditation events and classes. Well known for their pay what you can (between $10-30 recommendation) “Monday night sits”, the CEC is well established as one of the best places to hone your practice in the GTA. If you are looking for a little more education on meditation than simply showing up for a sit and getting on with your day, this is definitely the place for you. Discussion, lessons, and experimentation are some of the best aspects of meditating with this group. Currently hosting their events at Mosaic Yoga in Brockton Village, the CEC is one of the most welcoming and open meditation classes you can visit.
Meditation has recently become a widely used and widely known tool to enhance cognitive performance. Utilizing concentration and focus techniques throughout a wide variety of classes, Mindset is the perfect place to train your brain for further peace, performance, and compassion. Mindset Brain Gym is one of the few and far between studios actively offering Wim Hof breathwork classes as well as classes harnessing the brainwave measuring power of Muse headbands. If you are curious about trying out some of the newest techniques and tools in the mindfulness space, visit Mindset Brain Gym in Yorkville and give their membership a trial run today.
Located right in the heart of the downtown core, Hoame Meditation is a studio with the aim of making meditation and mindfulness accessible to both newbies and gurus alike. Whether it’s a guided meditation class or a visit to their relaxing salt cave and sauna, Hoame meditation has you covered for all aspects of both relaxation and zen alike. In addition to their range of classes and services, Hoame offers training courses for both mindfulness and meditation teachers alike. Visit them online and sign up for their newsletter to receive 10% off your first purchase.
Good Space is a neighborhood meditation and yoga studio located in the Parkdale west end of the city. This place has loads of character while simultaneously running a whole set of great classes run by an amazing team of teachers and staff. Aside from their regular class offerings, Good Space also hosts regular workshops and one-off events for breathwork, new moon meditations, kundalini yoga/meditation and many more modalities than I can list in one sentence. Visit this space for a relaxing, comfortable environment and top-notch classes.
Although Meditation Toronto does not actually have a studio of any sort, this website and organization is an amazing resource for online tools, lessons and lists of events and classes one can find all across the city. If you are looking to explore the meditation community in your area, or any other neighborhoods this website is the resource for you. Find retreats, audio resources and anything else you need to get started on their website.
Hridaya Yoga is a studio in the downtown core focused on the ancient traditions of yoga and meditation, focusing on the expansion of spiritual power in our everyday lives. Subscribing and sharing the teachings of Yogini Mangala Anshumati, this studio offers a great variety of meditation and yoga classes. This studio is a great location to visit for anybody living downtown looking to not only practice but learn about the art of meditation on a whole.
The Shambhala Meditation Centre of Toronto is part of Shambhala, an international community dedicated to recognizing the innate goodness of all and manifesting that goodness in society. Although offering a wide range of meditation teachings from how-to classes to advanced techniques, Shambhala Meditation Centre mostly features teachings based upon the concept that enlightenment and the innate good of all people has the potential to truly solve most challenges. Visit Shambhala Meditation Centre for lessons and content with more of a historical origin than you are likely to see in most other studios across the city.
Although Soul 7 is not a full-fledge studio, their location in Yorkville is the home of the NeuroFit Bootcamp, a system designed by one of their founders to neuro-hack the mind for greater performance, resilience, and equanimity. Between sound therapy, the powerful experience of their solo meditation pods, or any of their other mind-boosting offerings, Soul 7 should be on top of the radar for anybody looking to enhance or understand their own cognition, or understanding of how their mind works. Visit their website to explore the wide range of services available.
Focus Mindspace+ is a relatively new studio in Toronto, located on Ossington near Queen in the heart of Trinity Bellwoods. This cozy studio is beginning to take off, hosting true Wim Hof breathwork classes, a whole host of meditation classes, events and yoga. Visit their website to learn about upcoming events and classes. While in the area, make sure to stop by one of the many one of a kind cafes and restaurants in walking distance. If it’s summer, cap off you class with a visit to Trinity Bellwoods park and keep your zen going into the night.
Contrary to its popular understanding, modern mindfulness is, in fact, a topic that dives much deeper than the simple act of meditation. It’s a holistic view of mental wellness, rooted in the physical health of mind & body, meaningful living, and becoming conscious of the messages flowing through our mind. Learning to consciously guide or allow them, without providing them enough power to dictate our actions. It is human nature to experience reality in the form of emotions, although it is in the understanding that we are greater than these thoughts and feelings where our human power truly resides.
“We’re addicted to our beliefs; we’re addicted to the emotions of our past. We see our beliefs as truths, and not as ideas that we can change.” – Joe Dispenza
In our world, there is no problem that can be solved from the same level of consciousness as it was created. A change in results requires a change in approach. Being mindful of this reality is the starting point of change. It is a special form of awareness which we can then follow with action and intent. Without first developing an awareness for who we are, why we do what we do, and why we think what we think, the search for true purpose and meaning will remain an uphill battle. This special form of consciousness alone is a proven contributor to happiness and satisfaction. Slow and steady progress toward reinforcing new patterns, new beliefs, and new habits is how true transformation takes place. This is how we learn to live in accordance with our true purpose, following our intuition before succumbing to the influences in our external reality.
How To Practice Mindfulness
You can blend mindfulness into your life through a variety of methods. The only thing you have to do is choose one, or a set of them that is right for you. The following is a simple list of some of the top practices to help any individual person foster consciousness in their life, living more mindfully along the way:
Meditation. For myself and many others, this is #1 for a very good reason. It is the most powerful and direct way to become conscious of our thoughts. Forcing ourselves to slow down provides the opportunity to listen to our thoughts free of distraction. It’s an activity that over time, will strengthen our ability to then control and acknowledge these emotions, experiences, and states of being. In recent years, the physiological, as well as mental benefits, are beginning to become very clear, now backed by the science of health and wellness. Just like anything else, meditation is an art and a skill. Be patient with yourself and you will slowly but surely observe noted improvements in your practice. Improvements that will benefit all areas of your life.
Sport and activity. Being physically engaged, especially in any kind of intense activity has a special ability to lock our attention to the present moment. Sports bring our mind into a flow state where we can process information incredibly quickly. It’s a state where we are free of emotions, feelings, and attachments that reside in the past or future. They wake us into where we are in the ‘here and now’. As a general rule, if you practice any form of true presence often, your life will transform. Wherever you are, truly be there. Focus on the turns you are making while skiing, focus on the weights you are lifting at the gym and focus on the people you are with instead of the people on your phone. Presence is powerful, your brain and relationships will thank you.
Journal and foster self-awareness. Perhaps the best thing any person can do is work to understand and master who they are. Learn why you do what you do, and the patterns in your life you may be blind to. As humans, we truly are creatures of habit, and our thoughts are indeed the result of this aspect in our nature. Learn your habits, and learn how to change them. Teach your body and teach your mind what you want it to learn. Everything in life is a choice, choose who you are going to be by understanding who you are and where you are at.
Express yourself. One of the easiest ways to love yourself is to be yourself. We live in a world where distractions are abundant and they are everywhere. Expressing who you are and living in alignment with the things that truly make you happy is a really special thing. People who live like this are loved and appreciated for who they are, all while exuding rare and authentic energy. Whether you enjoy sport, community, art, or any other form of hobby, embrace your personal form of self-expression. You will learn to appreciate your inner guidance system and truly love the lifestyle of your choosing. Passions boost us in so many ways, and there is never anything wrong with indulging in a healthy activity of self-expression.
Manager your circle of influence. You become are the sum of the greatest influences in your life. Whether consciously or not, the people, the activities, and the idols you choose in life WILL rub off on you. Become conscious of how you spend your time. Who do you communicate with? How do you spend your day? What consumes your energy? Each of these will be important when choosing how you want to be as an individual. For myself personally, this process has improved my life in ways I could never describe with words. Cutting negative forces from people to time on social media can elevate your mindset in ways you previously thought to be impossible.
Although this list is certainly far from exhaustive, it is a great starting point when it comes to transforming your thoughts, beliefs and your mind. So often in life we believe we are at the effect of the world. I personally know this to be untrue. We, as individuals, are the cause of our world. Our thoughts shape our intent, our actions and our energy. Great things come to people who exude great energy. Focus on being happy and healthy and you will draw more of this toward. Mindfulness is not an end, it is a means to an end. Use it as a tool to living your authenticity and embracing your purpose. The science is out, mindfulness is good, and because of this, it is growing.
To sum all of this up, I think there is one question that lays this out very simply and effectively: if there was one thing you could do for a few minutes every day to change your life, would you? And if not, why?
“Our life is shaped by our mind, for we become what we think” – Buddha