Celebrity meditators in the post-apocalyptic court of Oprah Winfrey

1 Giant Mind | March 9 2014


Now that I have your attention; lets get down to business.

I assume that if you clicked on that ridiculous heading, you weren’t looking for a scientific explanation of meditation, yet you’re interested in what it is. To satisfy your curiosity, I’ve put together a list of notable meditators, our very own myth-busting meditation menagerie.



Russell Brand // Comedian, Actor, Author and Meditator.

“I’m quite a neurotic thinker, quite an adrenalized person. But after meditation, I feel this beautiful serenity and selfless connection.”

Russell talks openly about his spirituality. He’ll throw new-age spirituality into the mix wherever he can. Actually, he’ll throw everything in everywhere; limbs, insults, hair, cockney slang, metaphysical ruminations on our quantum-biological make up, more insults, more hair… But at the end of the day, Russell is a huge fan of meditation because it’s given him a clear view of himself and the world. 

Daniel Dennet // Philosopher, Cognitive Scientist, Author and Meditator.

“It is measurably good for my blood pressure and my clarity of thought. I highly recommend it. It has no more to do with religion than my 2+ hours a week at the gym.”

Daniel is a philosopher and one of the four fathers of New Atheism. Needless to say, he’s not into new-age spirituality. You don’t need to be into gym culture to go to the gym. You can simply go there and get fit.

You don’t need to be into new-age spirituality to meditate. You can simply do it and get mentally fit.



Leonard Cohen // Poet, Song Writer, Artist and Meditator

“There was just a certain sweetness to daily life that began asserting itself. I remember sitting in the corner of my kitchen, which has a window overlooking the street. I saw the sunlight that shines on the chrome fenders of the cars, and thought, ‘Gee, that’s pretty.’

Sam Harris // Neuroscientist, Philosopher, Atheist Author and Meditator. 

“There’s a subject and an object, and it’s possible to collapse that distance in a way that doesn’t require any psychedelic explosion, that is … from a meditation point of view … the centre of the bullseye.”

There’s more than one way to skin a cat (a strange idiom but I’m sticking with it) and there’s more than one way to talk about your experiences in meditation. How you interpret, rationalise or explain your experiences is your own deal. But know that experiences will happen when you meditate and they’re usually pretty interesting. 


Keep it to yourself.

Charles Bukowski // Writer, Poet and he meditated. 

A quote from his wife: “And that’s where he would sit 20 minutes a day, twice a day, and meditate. And man, it was something to see him there, because I knew the power. The power of his power was immense, as a being, a living being.”

Marshall MacLuhan // Cultural Psychologist, Author, and he meditated.


The Bukowski quote I found was by his wife, Linda. I could find numerous references to McLuhan’s practice but no quotes.

Most people keep meditation to themselves.

Perhaps they’re afraid of people judging them as hippies or perhaps they simply don’t talk about it because nobody asks, it’s just something they do. Like jogging, or being a rodent enthusiast. 


Meditation is for softies.

Madonna // Singer, Actress and of course she meditates.

“Meditation showed me how much energy silence has,” says Madonna.

Madonna was quite the lovable brat in her day. Nowadays she’s still lovable, but it seems she’s found that cocaine and champagne aren’t the only way to get high. Life is a journey and your past doesn’t have to define your future. There is energy in silence and a saint in every sinner. 

Martin Scorsese // Director, Producer and Meditator

“Of course a lot of drama is projected onto the screens of our consciousness, our minds, day and night—patterns that you learn from childhood, intrigues, resentments, hatreds, and terrors…. The common response is to tough it out. In other words, to suffer. Now, I’ve been a firm believer in suffering all my life. My pictures are kind of volatile, and they certainly can attest to that. Yet, recently, I’ve learned that you may not have to suffer as much to make them. It may not be the way it’s supposed to be.”

Meditation isn’t going to make you an emotionless zombie. Meditators get angry and sad just like everybody else… sometimes even more so. The difference? Meditators bounce back quicker.

Meditation is not about blocking or ignoring the the ups and downs of life. It’s about experiencing them, being fully present and aware – but also not crying about spilt milk four days later.



David Lynch // Director, Producer, Artist, Musician and Meditator

“Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper.”

Rick Rubin // Music Producer and Meditator

Interviewer: I was reading where you and Donovan heard the playback of the song, “Please Don’t Bend,” on his recent album ‘Sutras’ and something inside of you both said, “Ah, that’s the one.” Is this like an inner voice, and how does it play into what you do as a producer?

Rick Rubin: It happens often, and I do things like meditating a lot to stay open, and really listen.

Meditation helps your creativity. At least quite a few people say it does.


All of the things here I have said are pretty subjective.

Meditate daily for a while and find out for yourself.

Edward Mark is a meditation teacher and contributor at 1 Giant Mind, changing the way people think about meditation. He blogs at Meditation Minimalism.