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  • Writer's pictureThe James Kennedy Podcast

#48 - BOB ROTH - TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION 101

Bob Roth is the Executive Director of the David Lynch Foundation, best selling author, podcast host and charity director as well as one of the most sought after meditation teachers in the USA. He has personally taught thousands of people the practice of Transcendental Meditation including many celebrities such as Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey, Russell Brand and Hugh Jackman. Here he chats with me about what Transcendental Meditation is, the science behind it, why we could all benefit from it and shares some practical tips for improving your practice. Hear our conversation at : https://linktr.ee/jameskennedypodcast


TRANSCRIPT


Hey, what's up? Welcome back to the James Kennedy podcast. What's been happening? Hope you're all feeling awesome and chilled and low stress. And if you're not fear not because I got you covered today we're going to be talking all about something that I've tried and failed at many, many times, but something that when I actually put in the effort and stick with it has always had a profound impact on my mental health, my stress and anxiety and my clarity of thought. But the problem for me is I'm a naturally high stress best dude who lives a very fast paced life and is constantly juggling way too many different places at the same time. And I make very little time, if any, for that essential self care recharge time. Sound familiar?


And then the meditation or yoga or exercise regimen or eating healthy or whatever it is gets gradually pushed further and further out of my life as I blast on face first towards my own inevitable destruction. Now we had James Watt from Brew on last week, who spoke very strongly about the importance of making time for self care in whatever form it takes for you and how, rather than hindering his stressful role as a successful CEO, it is actually paramount to improving it. And if he can find time to do these things, then surely I and I'm guessing most of you can also do so as well.


So this week we're focusing on the aforementioned meditation, baby. As I said, I personally find it practically impossible. But in those times when I've really stuck with it, the effects have been absolutely undeniable. I've slept better. I've been calmer, My mental health has been better. My mood has been lifted and I've got way more mental clarity. And I've worked better and worked faster. So why or why do I keep falling off the wagon? I hear you ask. I got no idea. But I am desperate to climb back on the saddle and get back in the Zen Zone because I really, really need it right now.


So today we're gonna get into exactly what is meditation. How does it work? Why does it work? Why most of you definitely need it. And what you can do to get started now, As you know, I don't mess around on this podcast, right So if you know if I'm gonna do something, we're going straight to the top, right? So if we're gonna talk about meditation, we're gonna do it with the best in the land.


So we are extremely lucky to be joined today by Mr Bob Roth. Not only a man who has personally taught meditation to thousands and thousands of people in all walks of life around the world, from military vets and school children to celebrities like Tom Hanks, Hugh Jackman, Oprah Winfrey and Russell Brand. But he's also the executive director of the renowned David Lynch Foundation For Transcendental Meditation, a best selling author on the subject. A podcast host on the subject. A charity director and one of the most sought after meditation teachers in the Western world. So do not tell me that I am not good to you guys. Bob, this is a real honour. Thanks so much for doing this, man. How are you doing today?


BOB ROTH: I'm doing great. And it's really it's an honour to be on your show. So thank you for having me.


JAMES KENNEDY: Oh, you're too kind and welcome any time. Of course, Bob. Well, I know I don't have you for as long as I would like to today, so I'm just gonna jump straight in and get down to business. If that's OK with yourself?


BOB ROTH: Let's go for it.


JAMES KENNEDY: Awesome. Well, I suppose we should establish at the start that you specialise in a form of meditation called Transcendental Meditation. So it would be, I think it would be good to set the stage here at the start of the conversation, to establish for the listener who doesn't know anything about this at all. What is Transcendental Meditation? And what are the benefits that it brings to the people who practise it?


BOB ROTH: Well, it's a simple, natural, effortless technique. This just the nuts and bolts here practise for about 15 to 20 minutes twice a day, sitting comfortably in a chair with your eyes closed. And during that 20 minute period, according to science, your active thinking mind noisy, active thinking mind has a chance to settle down inward to a state of inner calm and equanimity. At the same time, your body, because they're so connected, gets a state of rest deeper than the deepest part of deep sleep, and that deep rest, according to science is miraculous. It reduces stress, anxiety, depression, burnout. It promotes resilience, better health, focus, creativity. That's why all the people that you are mentioning and the 10 million others practise T M for its it's it's very real. Benefits, right from the start.


JAMES KENNEDY: Yeah, well, I can vouch for that personally from my own experience. 1 100%. And it's good to know that I think it's becoming more popular now. I think more people are open to the concept of meditation. It's not seen as such a kind of Taboo or esoteric kind of, concept any more, thanks to the popularisation of, you know, meditation, apps and things like that. But how does the ancient form of Transcendental Meditation that you specialise in differ from some of these more increasingly popular types of meditations, such as, you know, breath work and guided meditations or mindful or mindfulness or any of the, you know are out there?


BOB ROTH: Well, it's a wonderful question, and I want to step back for a second and just sort of give a model or an example of of the mind and what the different meditations do. So I like to think of you're on a little boat. You're in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean and all of a sudden you get huge waves, 20 ft waves in your little boat. You could look up and see these giant waves and you could think, Oh, my God, the whole the whole ocean is an upheaval. But that's not really true, because if you did a cross section of the ocean out there, you'd realise, OK, the waves are 20 ft 20 ft high, The ocean is miles deep and at the depths of the ocean, it's pretty darn calm.


So use that as an analogy to the mind, the surface of the mind, the waves, the, you know, torrential waves. Some people call it the monkey mind. I like to call it the gotta gotta gotta mind. So I gotta do this and I gotta do that. And I gotta call him and I gotta call her and I gotta make make a list and I gotta find the list and I gotta get make a new list and I gotta gotta get to sleep, and I gotta get. It's all the goddess and everybody's got that. And so it's a natural desire. I am gonna answer your question about meditation in a minute. I just wanna I just wanna put this in perspective because it'll do a better job of answering so into the field of meditation. Everybody wants inner calm. Everybody wants inner equanimity, inner power in her creativity.


But so there's different meditations, and there's tonnes of different meditations. But according to science research on all the different meditations, it comes down to basically three. James. Ok, are you still with me, or is this too long of an answer?


JAMES KENNEDY: Oh, 100%. I'm loving it.


BOB ROTH: Ok, OK, so it's it's, it's, you know, it's so three basic meditations, and they look at it by measuring brain wave patterns. What's going on in the brain through, MRI scans and ECG. The first of the three is something called focused attention, and that's where, OK, you got a monkey mind your mind is filled with thoughts, so you focus. You focus your attention on your breath. You focus your attention on some part of your body. You focus your attention on a mantra, a sound. The idea is just focus. And when we do that, it it to try and clear the mind of thoughts.


It's actually very difficult thing to do. But what the research shows is that creates something called gamma brain waves, and gamma is 20 to 50 cycles per se. We're working really hard. Fast, hard, hard, hard second type is called open monitoring. Many mindfulness techniques are like this. Many breath work techniques are like this. Open monitoring teaches us to dispassionately observe our thoughts and our moods and our feelings. We're not trying to push them out, just dispassionately observe them. Don't be in the past, when you if you know a guy named Joe and 10 years ago, Joe did done you wrong and now you he he's coming to town.


Well, that was 10 years ago. Be in the present moment and in the present moment isn't equanimity. There's no equanimity in the past, and it's just worry in the future, in the present moment and so that it is open monitoring. And that's another group of meditation techniques. Those are both called I'm giving You a mini master class here. Those are both called cognitive approaches to meditation. Cog means pertaining to your thoughts, your moods, your feelings pertaining to the waves. Stop the waves.


The third is Transcendental Meditation. Now James gets an answer to his question. The third is trans Transcendental Meditation and transcendental meditate. The word transcend means go beyond and in Transcendental Meditation, we recognise that you, all of us, have a vertical dimension to our mind. We feel things deeply. We love deeply. We get hurt deeply. We also have an intuition. Somebody says, James, I got a great idea where you should put your money into this and it sounds great. And then you're with yourself quietly and you go. I don't think so, Jack, And he asks why? It doesn't feel right. So that's a deeper level of the mind in Transcendental Meditation. Far beyond.


Far deeper than that, there's a level of our mind that's already perfectly calm, expanded, unbounded, the source of our creativity, the source of our energy. This is what they say in the books. So Transcendental Meditation doesn't care about the waves. Doesn't doesn't try to try to stop thoughts. It goes to the source of thought. And when that happens, we have something called alpha one. Brain waves completely different to what you see from others.


And I said, Your body gains a state of rest deeper than sleep according to research at Harvard and then a whole galaxy of benefits that are wonderful for not just surviving life, but thriving in life more than you see in with any of the other meditations. I'm not putting them down. They all have their purpose and people love them. But the research stands pretty strong.


JAMES KENNEDY: Awesome. I appreciate that wonderful explanation and tour of all the different types of meditations there. Bob, I really appreciate that and that that makes a lot of sense. You mentioned the galaxy of benefits as well that that T M short for Transcendental Meditation brings to the person practising it. Could we list some of that galaxy and jump into that ocean of consciousness that you mentioned there and and explain? What exactly does it bring to people's life as a result of, you know, even short term practise?


BOB ROTH: Well, so you have on the phone a guy who love who loves science. I mean, I love everything art, music and everything but science. And because I'm by nature a fairly sceptical person. And so I you know, I don't want to just just because some branding agency came along and said, Something is great. I want to show me the evidence before or I do it. And the research on Transcendental Meditation showed one thing that's very important if your listeners or any of us have degrees of anxiety in our life about things we all do.


Anxiety is driven by a hormone called cortisol, and cortisol is secreted in the adrenal glands that sit on top of the kidneys. Whenever we're under pressure, anxiety and cortisol, Shuts has a very bad effect. Shuts almost too much of it shuts down the immune system. That's why if a person's sick, they're more likely to get. I mean, if a person's stressed, they're more likely to get sick. So if you get a good night's sleep, cortisol too much of a bad thing drops 10% in 20 minutes of T M. Cortisol levels drop 30 to 40%. Wow. And that is huge because nothing else does that other research shows, we're doing research right now with veterans and who have PTSD. And there's a huge amount of research showing that TM is excellent antidote for veterans and first responders and actually anybody, all of your listeners who have ever had traumatic experiences in their past and that traumatic experience continues to haunt them. T M is incredibly effective for reducing and healing trauma on the other side of the coin, there's studies that show increased creativity in the creative process.


The creative process isn't just having good ideas. As you know, it's the ability to take those ideas and make them happen. A lot of people could say, I'm gonna start a podcast, but look what you're doing James, you started. You know, you started a podcast, a lot of work to do it. But that's the creative process is both the innovative idea and the ability to focus to make it happen. And so there's a lot of research on TM for enhancing creativity, intelligence and the ability to focus, and I'll say one last thing and also second last thing.


There's 100 million Americans in America with high blood pressure. The numbers are probably just as high in the UK high blood pressure and you can take medicines and it just and it saves lives. But it doesn't stop. It doesn't get to the root cause. So the National Institutes Of Health in the US is given $26 million to study the effects of T. M on high blood pressure. And you know, the results are amazing. And I think in a couple of years, we're gonna have our NAT National Health Insurance is gonna cover T M and reimburse for it for all these different benefits.


JAMES KENNEDY: That's incredible. Yeah, I mean, you mentioned cortisol there. I mean, cortisol is a killer because, you know, cortisol is the, the catalyst to so many other illnesses and problems and stresses within the body and the mind, you know, which which can lead to a whole range of physical illnesses and cancers and all sorts of things. So that reduction in cortisol there is massive across the whole health spectrum, isn't it?


BOB ROTH: Oh, yeah, Absolutely. I mean, I I I really think there's such a change going on in the health care system right now. They they have to move away and and insurance companies, you know, in the US we have a lot of private insurers and also medic Medicare, which is a national insurance. The, they're going through a huge change because modern medicine doesn't understand the cause of so many mental health issues. So many people suffering from anxiety, depression, insomnia, burnout. And and then it goes further.


Bipolar disorder, eating disorders. They don't know that they don't. It's called pathology. They don't understand the cause. And if you don't understand the cause foundation, then you can't have a you know, a solution. Like we we know that if I if I cut my arm and it gets infected, they know what that is. There's germs, and there's bacteria and I got an infection, and I get antibiotics.


Well, if a person is depressed, they don't know. They really don't know the cause. And so and so they throw a lot of money at different pills, and it helps some people, but not everybody. So here comes the long Transcendental Meditation. Simple technique, not pharmacological, non-invasive.

Anyone can do it. A few minutes in the morning and a few minutes in the afternoon, and it has a galaxy of of benefits. Not just it doesn't just reduce high blood pressure. And that's it, as I said, reduces high blood pressure, burnout, anxiety all in one shot.


So it's a new time that's coming. And it's not long before TM and other evidence based, non integrative practises are part of the health care system because the current one is bankrupting everybody.


JAMES KENNEDY: Oh, 100% Yeah, and could you imagine if they had this in schools? You know, I've often thought that so many societal and personal problems could probably be dealt with better in school. You know, for many kids, fortunately, school is the safest place that they've got. You know, there may be trauma at home, so I think to be taught this tool at such a developmental age could probably nip in the bud. So many psychological and as a result, you know, physical problems that whether we like it or not affect all of us in society.


BOB ROTH: There's a lot of I mean, there's a lot of schools in the US and I, I imagine, also in the UK that are incorporating some forms of meditation or breathing or something because, if a person is 26 or 27 they start showing signs of bipolar disorder, it started when they were five or six. It didn't just, you know, bang. And so those ages, those developmental ages are crucial to give them something to manage and deal with the 24 7. They feel it too. Social media bullying online. I mean, I'll tell you something that's pretty shocking. The fastest rise of numbers of of people going to emergency rooms with suicide, suicidality threats of suicide. The fastest growth rate. Children 5 to 11. Wow, children 5 to 11. I, I could not believe it like when I was a little kid.


Yeah, I'm gonna go out and play kickball or football or basketball or whatever. Spend the night at Joey's house. Now it's a different world, and girls in particular, the high levels of stress in their early teens. It's frightening. We're in. We're in danger of losing a generation to stress. You're right and meditation, and I think they're starting to recognise you can't ignore it. We're gonna give everybody, medicine. You know, Valium, every child. Valium. It's not sustainable. It's not scalable. It's not humane. So it's not long before you're gonna see T. M and other other techniques being made available in the schools to save the children.


JAMES KENNEDY: Wow, that is staggering, man. I had no idea that that was the situation. And it's fascinating to me that one of the more effective tools that we have in the fight against some of the things you just mentioned is this practise that has been around for, am I wrong, thousands of years? Is that right?


BOB ROTH: Over six over 6000 years old. Yeah, predates, Buddhism predates Judaism, predates Hinduism, predates everything. I mean, as as is yoga. Yoga is also predates it. It's not like you had to be a Buddhist or Hindu to do yoga. It was long before that stretching, transcending it was just accessible. And then religions come along, whatever. And then they may incorporate it into their practise into their religious belief. It's something useful, just like a religion could say that you need to do jumping jacks or, you know, doesn't make jumping jacks religious, Catholic. It's just a technique. So that's what happened with meditation. It got it degrees of it got adopted around a religion but in and of itself has nothing to do with religion. It's just a tool.


JAMES KENNEDY: That's a great point to point out as well, because I approached, Transcendental Meditation when I did my, training in it with the same level of scepticism that you alluded to earlier. I'm from a scientific interest background. I mean, I consider myself to be an atheist, and I was a little bit put off by what I consider to be some of the religious aspects surrounding it. But that was just down to my own misinformation. As soon as I got into it, I realised exactly what you said. That this is This is a powerful tool that is, not aligned with any kind of belief system or anything like that. So, for people listening to this who may have been falling into the same misinterpretation as myself, this is, as you just said, is not connected to any kind of faith or belief system. This is just a practical tool that, as you said, can bring you that galaxy of benefits.


BOB ROTH: Yeah, and 10 million people of all religions have learned it all educational backgrounds, all cultures. And what I love is the work that we're trying we're doing right now to get insurance companies to reimburse for T. M so that any, you know, a mom who's on welfare? Single mom, she goes to her doctor. She got two kids stressed out of her mind. The doctor can say, Well, you know, I can give you, you know, this Valium, this anti anti anxiety medication, and I can also give you write a prescription for you to learn TM. That will be so great because some people don't want to live their life on drugs. I think one of the interesting things is I've received calls from some of the top pharmaceutical firms in the US wanting to offer T M to their employees for the stress because it's it's so all pervasive right now, it's just all pervasive, and it's not going away.


I also tell people I say, You know, maybe 20 years ago, the idea of taking 20 minutes out to do TM to meditate was a luxury, you know, for rich people or something, it's not a luxury any more. It's It's an essential tool in your toolbox to not just as they say, survive but actually thrive. And, it's It's just it's It's not long before it's widely available. It's not long. I call it the democratisation of meditation. Everybody should have equal access to these tools. This is not just for somebody who, who this or that everybody should have equal access. It'll make a huge difference.


JAMES KENNEDY: Well, I think, yeah, it exactly what you said. We we're living through a a growing stress epidemic at the moment, which which causes a whole spiral of other physical and mental illnesses and ills in society at large. And it all comes down to the growing stress that we're feeling, You know, time times are hard at the moment and getting harder. So, to to have this tool that's so powerful available to us, I think, is a real gift. And it's ironic that we're coming back to something, a practise that has been around for thousands of years in the modern age, isn't it? You mentioned yoga as well. I find that quite interesting.


BOB ROTH: There's also research on some Chinese medicine. There's really it's just they they knew a lot way back when, they knew a lot.


JAMES KENNEDY: That's interesting. Chinese medicine still falls into the camp that I described earlier where I treat it with some scepticism, am I wrong in that as well?


BOB ROTH: Oh, no, you should be. That's fine. I'm just talking about There's research now on aspects of Chinese medicine. There's research on aspects of Ayurveda, which goes back to, you know, the Vedic with yoga. Just research. I I'm I don't adopt or believe just everything wholesale altogether. But there's elements of something that they knew and the same with Chinese medicine. There's there's some research showing that some of the herbal compounds can work more effectively than our high tech medicines because ultimately, what? What are what?


The human body is the same human body for thousands and thousands and thousands of years and thousands of years ago. Maybe they, you know, they're growing their foods without pesticides and without all that stuff, and we grow with it with so much of that now and our human body can't metabolise it can't just process it. So I think a lot of some of the diseases is can be due to just not The body doesn't know how to handle these medicines. The body doesn't know how to handle these these these chemicals and so we can look back to Ayurveda or Chinese medicine at yoga to see if they have some wisdom.


Then they could be relevant today. But I think I think there's a difference between scepticism and cynicism. I would be I always tell people I'm a sceptic. If I was a cynic, I'd never get out of bed. But I'm a sceptic. And that and the sceptic is not, you know, disbelieving. Just show me the evidence and that's why I love T M. There's just an enormous body of research and more coming out all the time in New York City where I'm calling you from, we're in.


We're offering TM for free to in 50 hospitals to doctors and nurses and health care providers who are on the front lines. We're on the front lines during Covid and now the front lines with the violence that's happening in our cities, and we're in 50 hospitals, and we'll be in 1000 hospitals in a year or two because the demand is so great.


JAMES KENNEDY: That is absolutely incredible. What great work you're doing as well. I mean, you've been doing this for decades now, and, you know, to thousands and thousands of people. I mean, you know, when you when you look back at the lives you've you've changed and the lives you've saved. I mean, do you feel a sense of reward or is it are Are you still looking at the mountain ahead of you?


BOB ROTH: There's two things. It's a wonderful question. By the way. You're an excellent interviewer. Really Good.


JAMES KENNEDY: Not bad for a dumb ass rock musician?


BOB ROTH: Yeah. Yeah. Really Good. Really good. Really good. Ask me the question again.


JAMES KENNEDY: I was just saying on a personal level, I mean, do you feel a sense of reward?


BOB ROTH: Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, I yeah. I'll tell you, I want when I was a kid, I always wanted to change the world. I worked for Bobby Kennedy. Senator Bobby Kennedy when he was when he was trying. Yeah, let's talk about the ancient when he was trying to when he was when he was running, wanting to get the Democratic nomination for president. And I saw him speak, in San Francisco with 2000 people in June, and I thought, we're gonna change this blank, blank world, but we're all together. And then five days later, four days later, he was assassinated and it was very devastating to me, and I decided I was gonna go to college, went to University Of California At Berkeley.


I would study law, and I would become a a US senator like Bobby Kennedy. Change the world. Well, it didn't take me long to realise even then, going to school at Berkeley that politics was not gonna heal the soul of the nation. I mean, look what's going on. And I thought maybe education. My mom was a school teacher. Maybe I I said, write an educational curriculum and change kids one at a time. And then I learned to meditate.


I started, you know, sceptically. But I learned it and one of my first thoughts after I learned was so relaxing, I thought, Maybe this is a tool I'll I'll bring to those kids in South San Francisco and in Oakland, California, where there's a lot of crime. And now when you ask that question, you know that was June the 28th, 1969 you know, all these years later. Now I run a foundation that's brought T M for free to a million kids all over the world. And we're working with veterans and police and firefighters and, you know, emergency, technicians, you know, drive ambulances.


And we're working with school teachers and inner city school kids and frontline health care workers and women who are survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. And it's growing. And we're in, you know, New York, and our main centres are New York, Los Angeles in Washington DC. But that's just because we're pouring all of our resources to demonstrate and how effective this can be, and then other. Then we'll make it available all over the country and all over the world. So, yes, it's very satisfying on the one hand, but on the other hand, I still see the mountain top, and there's still more work to do so.


I don't stop. I I don't stop ever. People are always saying, Well, just bask in your achievement and I say No, it's more fun and more. I love challenges and it's more fun to to go to go for the top and the top is and the top is in medical insurance companies covering TM so everyone has equal access.


JAMES KENNEDY: That would be amazing. That would be amazing. Well, I mean, for people listening in the UK. You know, obviously that's a strange concept to us, but in America I can appreciate just how powerful that would be.


BOB ROTH: Well, it's gonna happen. I'll tell you, I I in the UK your your insurance. Your your health care system is getting riddled and beat up by the same stress. Drug abuse, violence, you know, every it's the same. And when it's demonstrated here, it won't be long before the UK they they have to do it because they're losing money and they're losing. More importantly, they're losing lives.


JAMES KENNEDY: Great point. Yeah, great point, Well made. And when people talk about you, they often focus on the fact that you've taught Oprah Winfrey and Russell Brand and Hugh Jackman and all these celebrities that you you're the guy that that taught the celebs. But you know what does normally get mentioned in that same conversation? It's the fact that you've taught thousands upon thousands and thousands of people personally from a very different walk of life

from, you know, military vets to survivors of domestic abuse, trauma victims, people with PTSD. And I'd be really interested to know what you've seen personally happen to those people as a result of beginning this practise of Transcendental Meditation. You know what improvements or changes did you see in these people personally, And how long did it take before those changes became known as a result of doing this practise?


BOB ROTH: Really good question. So when we we're talking about like veterans or police, I I'll give you an example in the US may be different the UK, but a person in the US will have will experience or see, on average, 3 to 4 traumatic events in their lifetime. Just something car crash something in their family, 3 to 4, a first responder, a firefighter or police 100 and 80 wow, 100 and 80 of traumatic experiences. Imagine what that does to your brain and your nervous system and your, you know, obviously your emotions. So what they find with T. M? Because it's so easy to learn and the veterans love it, you know, And and we tell them it's It's roots are It's, It's It's actually a Warriors meditation. It was practised by the Warriors Early on, I said, not a bunch of hippie dippy, but it was like, you know, by Warriors.


I said, This is your meditation and within a few days, having learned it, what we find is veterans who hadn't slept more than an hour or two because of nightmares and night flashes. Now they're sleeping for a week, 16, 18 hours, and then after a week, they're just back to normal. But the body gets it gets such a degree of re rest and relaxation that now they can sleep. There's such a sleep debt. So the Veterans Administration is very interested in the benefits of T M because it shows like within a few weeks, research shows a reduction in in in PTSD, which is post traumatic stress disorder, a reduction in anxiety, a reduction in insomnia. They start sleeping better and there's a transformation.


And within again, we don't teach him a philosophy we don't teach him. Oh, you should have a positive outlook on life. You should be happy. You should be happy you're alive. Now we just give them the tool. The technique takes about an hour a day over four consecutive days to learn from a certified teacher you want. You don't want a bogus teacher, a certified teacher and that teacher will teach you how to meditate. And that teacher will be available to support you or other teachers for the rest of your life. And so now I'm gonna answer your question about a 30 to 40% reduction in symptoms of PTSD. about a 50 to 60% reduction in sleep disorders. Very significant.


And right now there's a they call it a phase three trial that we're doing at Stanford University Medical School, University Of Southern California Medical School, Columbia University Medical School, Mount Sinai Hospital on T M and veterans with PTSD. And the results of that study will be used to get coverage by the insurance carrier for veterans, to cover T M for, you know, as part of their health care system. So all my talk about this, we're not far away. It's not just talk. It's very, very close.


JAMES KENNEDY: That is incredible. And when that happens, you know what an achievement that will be for you personally to have been part of the Movement that made that happen.


BOB ROTH: No, it it's really will be great. And and it's, you know, it's, The thing is, the need is so great that people are stepping forward. Let me help. Let me help. Let me help Let me help. We've launched something in New York City called Meditate New York, and in a couple of months there's gonna be billboards all over the city just telling people. Look into meditation, not just T M. Look into meditation. Educate yourself no more, Make your decisions. And the mayor, Eric Adams of New York City. I taught to meditate 12 years ago, so he's a co-chair of Meditate New York. It's really going well, really going well.


JAMES KENNEDY: That's amazing, man. Well, I think with all this information and science and galaxy of benefits and stats and everything that we're talking about. I think it's important at this point to remind people that essentially the practise itself is very, very simple. Essentially, it's just sitting still. With your eyes closed for 20 minutes once or twice a day, it doesn't require any, equipment or Yeah, no, No apps.


BOB ROTH: No, you have a sound, a simple 123 syllable sound that you think quietly, and the teacher teaches you how to how to think it. So you're not making effort, you're not straining. So the whole process is profoundly relaxing. And that again, all the stuff we're talking about comes about from that deep relaxation in the body and also the brain. The brain is bathed in this very calming soothing. It's called alpha one. So afterwards that deep rest is not doesn't make you exhausted. It's energising. You have more energy, more focus, more resilience. You're more yourself. You're just more yourself. That's it. You're more. You're not the stress self. You're more yourself.


JAMES KENNEDY: Well, God knows I need a lot more of that in my life because I currently have, I've been recently diagnosed with PTSD and, a little bit of nervous system dysfunction due to some recent trauma that I had, so that I need to be getting back on the saddle with this.


BOB ROTH: When we're done here, we're gonna connect, and we'll set up some time for a follow up, and I'll help you with that.


JAMES KENNEDY: Oh, thank you so much, Bob. Yeah, that that's music to my ears. I'll fill you in a bit more on the details when we speak. Thank you so much for that. You're very kind that that segues into to the next section of the conversation. I'm gonna try and squeeze in here before I take up too much of your time, which is somebody in my situation that does have training in in TM and does understand what it's all about and what it entails, but is still struggling to actually make it a habit in their life. What tips could you give us now, as somebody who is, you know, work done this with thousands of different types of personalities in different situations from all sections of society? What general? Habit forming tips could you give to someone like myself who's making a lot of excuses.


I get up in the morning. There's coffee. I want to, you know, I want to exercise before I get up. You know, I don't have kids, But if I did, that would be my distraction. There's work. There's the commute. How do people when they're juggling so many things in an ever more stressful and ever more time constrained life? Find time for this?


BOB ROTH: Well, first thing I say is James, there's 1440 minutes in your day. And if we can't, if you can't find 20 out of that or 40 out of it, some priorities here, buddy, because because because because the trajectory that we're all on. And if you have PTSD and you know it's another thing, it is called complex PTSD, where you just gather. If you're just living, then you it it's not getting any better on its own. So number one there is time to be available. You could just get up 20 minutes earlier, and the 20 minutes here's another point. It doesn't take away from the sleep the benefits of sleep because the rest during TM is deeper than sleep.


So you're not. It's not like you're getting up and losing 20 minutes to exercise. You've already doing the exercise. You get up 20 minutes earlier to get a state of rest deeper than sleep. That's going to allow you to sleep better the next day. And and I so And the fact is for the brain to establish new neuropath ways this way, saying new habits. It takes anywhere between three and 67 weeks for that to happen three weeks and six or seven weeks for that to happen. When I learned T M, I decided I didn't know any of this stuff. I decided, OK, I'm just gonna do the meditation. As my teacher said, Do it twice a day for 20 minutes. I'm gonna do it for a month and then if I'm there, but I'm gonna do it. And then after a month, then I I'll decide if I want to do it.


But I have to give it a chance if if you if if someone says Oh, here, here's a beautiful plant. No, if you have, it is a beautiful orchid, But there's no orchid, still young. But if you water it like this, you can have beautiful orchids and then you water it half as much. You said Ah, there was the flower Wasn't any good. The orchid wasn't pretty, but you didn't give it a chance. You didn't water it so And also I hear from people saying, Well, I meditate when I get really stressed. And I said, That's like watering your vegetable garden when the leaves are, you know, the lettuce is about to die. You know that's not gonna do any good water. The stinking vegetable garden. Take care. Take care of yourself. Take care of yourself. So to you and to others, I'd say.


All right, I'm gonna do this for a week, Twice a day. All right? I'm gonna re-up it for another week, but you gotta do it. And if you don't, then you got nobody to blame but yourself.


JAMES KENNEDY: Love that answer. I feel like I've been told, and I shall do as I'm told. So thank you, Bob. Well, for people that have a bit more discipline than myself and you are really putting in the time and the effort here to make this work. What general tips Have you discovered over the years of doing this on such an extensive level that help people along the way to to form to form this habit or to maintain this habit or to make it a little bit easier along the way? Because it is it is difficult. I mean, the practise itself is very simple, but it can also be very difficult because it's so at odds with the nature of our internal world, isn't it? Our internal world is so noisy.


We've got that internal dialogue which never shuts the hell up for two minutes. So just calming all that and silencing all of that is, is is, can be quite difficult to to to fall into a groove with that. So what general things have you discovered over the years that help people to stick with it and to make it a bit easier?


BOB ROTH: Well, it's a good question. And the fact is, when I told you about those three different types of meditation focused attention very hard to do because you're trying to stop the wave, you're basically trying to stop the waves on the surface. You're trying to stop thoughts, which is very hard because the mind naturally thinks about a zillion different things. The open monitoring, a little easier. You don't have to stop thoughts. It's just living in the present, you know, and then T M I have to say no effort. And that's why I want to refresh your practise. Because if you're making effort, it's not TM.


So I would, but I would. For everyone, I would say Just be sure you're doing it right if you're doing the focused attention, and that's your choice and you want that that difficult sort of thing. But you like it. Then connect with your teacher or find someone and just be sure. Just be sure you're whatever you're doing. Be sure you're doing it right. And so that's what I'm saying to you, James.

You wanna be sure you're doing it right and you're gonna find that it's not difficult.


I promise you you're gonna find that it's comfortable and easy and relaxing, and that so I just tell. My advice is to anyone just be sure you're doing it right. And if you're not happy with one meditation, try another because they're not all the same.


JAMES KENNEDY: Great advice. Well, Bob, as we come towards the end because I know unfortunately, I've gotta let you go, even though I'd like to keep talking to you for the next two hours. Everyone that's been listening that wants to get involved and start their meditation journey. How do they start? Where do they go? What do they do and how does it all work?


BOB ROTH: Well, two things you can go. I just know that in the US you can go to TM dot org and then they'll tell you that there's a place to find out where the UK or you can just go online and just, you know, Google Transcendental meditation UK. I'm also gonna do something here. I'm going to give out my actual email address. This doesn't go to someone else who goes to me. And if you have any questions about the meditation or you want help in finding a teacher, you can email me and it's Bob at David Lynch Foundation dot org Bob at David Lynch Foundation dot org. That is my personal email address, and I'm doing it because James is such a good guy.


JAMES KENNEDY: I'm not gonna take any of the credit for that. That's very, very kind of you, Bob. I hope you're not going to get inundated now with questions.


BOB ROTH: If I am, that's fine. If people genuinely want to know, then I'm happy to answer that. That that's fine.


JAMES KENNEDY: Oh, you're a true gent. That's really kind of you. Thank you, Bob. And I can I can assure you that none of my listeners will be contacting you with anything, dubious or irritating because they're all of a supreme intellect level. Hence why they listen to my podcast. Of course. Bob can also be stalked on Instagram and Twitter at meditation, Bob. And as I mentioned in the intro, he is also the executive director of the David Lynch Foundation, which can be found at www dot David Lynch Foundation dot org dot UK. So check that out. And if you're interested in hearing more from Bob, Bob has done thousands of interviews which you can hear on podcast form or on YouTube as well, talking more on this subject. So definitely go and check that out and get yourself started.


BOB ROTH: Wonderful. And you're great. And and next time I'm gonna interview you about your rock musician and how you got interested in all of this and what you're doing, But that'll be another call.


JAMES KENNEDY: Yeah, I look forward to that. I tell you what could be interesting is maybe if I get back on the meditation saddle and we could have a catch up, conversation. Maybe, you know, six months down the line or something to see how my life has changed. What I did differently to maybe stick with it this time with more success and what benefits I'm feeling as a result, Perfect.


BOB ROTH: Sounds great to me. I thank you very much for having me on your show. It's an honour. And, and I really enjoyed it a lot.


JAMES KENNEDY: Oh, well, the honour was all I was, Bob, Honestly, thank you so much for, for doing this today. We really appreciate it. It's been a fascinating conversation, and hopefully you know, we'll speak to you again really soon.


BOB ROTH: Ok, take care. You too. Bye. Bye. Thank you, Bob.


JAMES KENNEDY: Take care, mate. Speak to you soon. Bye. Bye.


Bob Roth boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, put it together for him. What a kind and cool guy. Absolutely does not need to be taking time out of his busy schedule to come and talk to me when he usually frequents. You know, the biggest talk shows on the planet. But, did it nonetheless gave us his time.


He even gave us his email address, which is crazy. So don't take advantage of that, right, guys, don't let me down now, Don't go. And like in in it with stupid questions, You know, Don't be like I got your email address off the James Kennedy podcast. I'd like to ask what your opinion is on the underground bunkers that the alien lizard people control us from, You know, keep it exclusively meditation based and specifically to do with Transcendental Meditation. And I'm guessing to do with where you can find a teacher in your nearest town. Keep it limited to that. Please don't take the piss.


But I hope you enjoyed the conversation. I think it's fascinating stuff, and I can personally vouch for the fact that it honestly honestly does work. And I've only done it a handful of times and the fact that I haven't stuck with it is to do with me not to do with the practise itself. It's It's clearly a wonderful, powerful thing, which has been proven consistently by science.


So give it a go man. Just give it a go. Check out the the links that I mentioned earlier. They'll be copied into the description as well, so you can click straight through, check out the David Lynch Foundation and just type in Transcendental Meditation and followed by in the name of your home town and see if you can get yourself a local teacher and, just give it a go man. Just give it a go.


And if you're not meditating in any form whatsoever, there are loads of apps and things you can do just to get just to dip your toe in just so you can get a feel for how it all works and stuff. It's that simple. You don't need any equipment. Like Bob said. You can just do it. Sitting in a chair, you can just sit in the garden.


You can just sit in a bus stop if you need to be, you know, and in these ever stressful, ever noisy, ever anxious times. Just being able to shut your brain off just for you know, 5 to 10 to 20 minutes is really invaluable honestly, for your entire nervous system. So give it a go, man, you know, and see how you get on with it.


Some people take to different things better and quicker than others. You know, you might really fall in love with it and be like, how did I ever live without this? You know? And when that happens, you can thank me, but mostly Bob, as always, remember to subscribe to the podcast because we bring in new bangers like this every single week, baby.


So wherever you get your podcast, whether it's Spotify, apple stitcher cast box, even on YouTube, give me a follow. Give me a subscribe Hit the star rating button. Let the algorithm know that people are interested in these conversations, so they push us out there for more people.


That's not a lot to ask, is it? For all this free goodness? As for me, you know exactly what I'm gonna go and do now. I'm gonna go and get my Zen on, baby So I will see you next week. Take care of yourselves. Have a great one. And I'll catch you on the next one. See you guys.

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