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Russell Simmons makes meditation into mainstream magic

Celebrities talk about meditation.
Celebrities talk about meditation.
Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

If you think of meditation as something reserved for a small fringe element, Russell Simmons has a message for you: Meditation is for everyone. He talked with Queen Latifah on her Monday talk show about how you can change your own life through the power of meditation.

Known as a hip hop mogul and entrepreneur, Russell is famed for founding Def Jam Records and guiding musical artists to success. But now he has a new mission: Bring meditation to the attention of everyone with his new book: established the careers of some of music’s most successful artists.

Now Russell is on a mission to take meditation to the mainstream with his new book "Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple." After practicing meditation and yoga for more than 15 years, Russell feels that the inner calm and focus these tools provide are integral to fulfillment.

In addition, he feels that meditation "is going to make you happier and more connected to the world," he wrote in a recent Entrepreneur column. When it comes to defining success, Russell advises focusing on the process of your work rather than the results.

His prediction: "You will find yourself becoming much more focused, balanced and creative. Traits that will transform you not only internally but also transform your relationship with the world."

Russell isn't the only famous person to embrace meditation and recommend it to others. Co-anchor of "Nightline" and weekend editions of "Good Morning America," ABC newsman Dan Harris recently came out of his own meditation closet to proclaim its benefits.

"I always thought meditation was uniquely ridiculous and annoying. It was for people who live in yurts or collect crystals or listen to Cat Stevens," he joked in an interview with USA Today.

But when he set aside his skepticism and tried meditation for himself, Dan found it helped alleviate his tendency to worry 24/7. It made such a difference that he even wrote a book about it: "10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story."

Just like Russell Simmons, Dan feels that meditation helped him redefine success. And his message also is similar: Practicing meditation has the power to transform you from within as well as change how you interact with the world.

Studies show that meditation "does everything from lowering your blood pressure to boosting your immune system," said Dan. "It can produce significant changes in your brain, like doing neurosurgery on yourself, in a positive way."

Other celebrities who have talked about their own practice of meditation include Jack Dorsey, Congressman Tim Ryan from Ohio, Phil Jackson, the new general manager for the New York Knicks, George Stephanopoulos and Diane Sawyer. "Dancing with the Stars" host Tom Bergeron is such a believer that he even wrote his own book about it: "I'm Hosting as Fast as I Can!: Zen and the Art of Staying Sane in Hollywood."

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