Posts Tagged ‘author’

Norman Zierold: Hollywood biographer, novelist, TM Teacher, member of Maharishi’s Purusha program, raconteur, publicist, beloved by all

March 9, 2018
Norman Zierold photo by Mary Drew

Norman Zierold: 7/26/1927–3/7/2018

A close friend and colleague, Norman Zierold, passed from this world early Wednesday morning, March 7, 2018. Beloved by all, he lived a long, culturally rich and spiritually devoted life.

Born and raised in the Amana Colonies, Norman enlisted in the navy, graduated cum laude from Harvard, and earned a master’s degree in English Literature at the University of Iowa. He spent two years in France on a French Government Teaching Assistantship, then a decade in New York City, where he taught at Brearley School, worked at Collier’s Encyclopedia, then Theater Arts Magazine and Show.

Norman wrote eight books: true crime novels, tales of Hollywood’s golden age, and science fiction: The Child Stars, (1966); Little Charlie Ross, (1967); Three Sisters in Black, (1968), which won a Special Edgar Allen Poe Award; The Moguls; Garbo; (both 1969); The Skyscraper Doom, (1972); Sex Goddesses of the Silent Screen, (1973); and his final book, That Reminds Me, A Conversational Memoir (2013).

In 1972, Norman began the practice of Transcendental Meditation. He became a TM teacher and taught the technique to hundreds in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He later joined Maharishi’s Purusha program and eventually moved to Fairfield, Iowa in 2002. Norman became part of a dynamic media team at Maharishi University of Management under the direction of Bob Roth. Norman’s accomplishments there were legendary!

Those of us who worked with Norman over the years were always impressed by his work ethic and ability to charm writers, editors, and producers into reporting on TM. Bob Roth, now CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, is fond of telling the story of how Norman inspired a national TV profile on the NBC Today Show for TM and the Nataki Talibah Schoolhouse in inner city Detroit.

A few years later, when Bob and David Lynch showed it to Ray Dalio in a private meeting, it inspired him to give the David Lynch Foundation a donation of one million dollars for more school projects. This was the start of an ongoing relationship with DLF, now in 35 countries, and led to millions more over the years for many at-risk groups. Bob feels the successful launch of the Foundation was largely due to Norman’s efforts, and prepared a special message about him for today’s memorial service.

Norman is survived by his sister Loretta Wolf, nephews Geoffrey and Mark, and niece Candice. A memorial service and cremation ceremony will take place Friday, March 9, 2018 at Behner Funeral Home in Fairfield.

Rustin Larson, published poet and MUM librarian, interviewed Norman Zierold on the publication of his book, That Reminds Me, A Conversational Memoir. Enjoy this interview, which took place in the MUM Library. There is a short separate introduction by librarian Suzanne Vesely. Both videos were posted March 2, 2013 on mumlibrary. Margot Suettmann posted a link to this video on Facebook when she found out about Norman’s passing. She also posted a lovely comment there about Norman that captures him perfectly. I’ve included them both below.

Margot Suettmann: I did not know Norman that well for a long time, but he left a deep impression on me as a very gentle, refined and also intellectual or let’s say: well educated person. I saw him often on the road walking up and down and doing his errands. He was tall and slim and his gait was very typical for him. He immediately learned my name – soon after I had arrived in Fairfield – and thus greeted me always with my name “Margot” which is something special. One feels appreciated and familiar with a person who takes the effort. I also knew he was a good friend of Ken Chawkin’s whom I consider a good and old friend myself. I knew Ken before I came to MUM. I also may have read some of Norman’s media press releases at times. He was working in the media department of MUM. I got to know him a little better at the memorial or obituary lunch for Sally Peden which Ken Chawkin had organized at Revelations as I happened to sit next to Norman. Of course we started to talk about different subjects and I noticed his refined personality and his rich educational background and the way he expressed himself verbally in a cautious and knowledgeable way. Probably what I appreciated most was his gentleness and his intuition for other’s feelings and handling them with caution and tenderness. I also admired his bravery how he mastered his life in his old age. He never complained and trod his way up and down the road unperturbed – and of course he loved and appreciated deeply to live in Fairfield. He was very independent in his inner Self and a noble personality in some way. And I remember most his kindness.

Linda Egenes sent this note. It says a lot! “Thank you, Ken. What a lovely memorial post of Norman! I think we all felt connected to him because he was so deeply settled in himself, and made everyone feel appreciated, loved and respected.”

Linda also sent this: Here’s a link to a “My Story” feature by Norman for Enlightenment magazine. It features a moving chapter from his book, about how he started to meditate and then why he became a TM teacher: From Utopia to Hollywood and Back.

“Today, I believe that omniscient Mother Nature remembered my youthful spiritual stirrings even when I did not, and also noted my disillusion with metropolitan high life and my attempts to find a better road to fulfillment.” —Norman Zierold

Related blog posts on Norman Zierold: The Chronicle of Higher Education: Notes From Academe: The Spokesman Who Kept CallingDiane Vance and Norman Zierold discuss his new memoir, That Reminds Me, at Revelations Café | You can read more lovely articles and listen to a few fascinating interviews with Norman about his book in this post by scrolling down to Articles, Interviews, and Update: That Reminds Me: A Conversational Memoir by Hollywood biographer Norman Zierold is now out!Norman Zierold: A Charmed Life: Celebrated Hollywood Author Reminisces on Six Decades of Extraordinary Encounters | THE REMARKABLE DAVID LYNCH FOUNDATION — written by Norman Zierold for Healthy Referral | Celebrating Norman Zierold’s 90th birthday at the Bonaparte Retreat Restaurant we met Marie.


Marianne Williamson to visit Fairfield, Iowa and speak on Consciousness, Democracy and Politics

October 22, 2015

Fairfield, Iowa: Internationally-acclaimed author and lecturer Marianne Williamson will visit Fairfield, Iowa to speak on Consciousness, Democracy and Politics (In Support of Bernie Sanders), Wednesday, October 28, 7:30 p.m. at the Sondheim Center. Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy will introduce Ms. Williamson.

Landman for WebMarianne Williamson has spoken for years on the significance of spirituality as a moving force in personal and social change. She has been a popular guest on television programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America and Charlie Rose. Six of her eleven published books have been New York Times Best Sellers, four of them reaching #1.

Marianne’s first book, A Return To Love, is considered a must-read of modern spirituality. A paragraph from that book beginning “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…” is considered an anthem by a contemporary generation of seekers.

Williamson put her high-frequency talk about the field of consciousness on the front line last year when she ran for the U.S House of Representatives, California District 33. She said of her campaign, “It was the most exhilarating thing I’ve ever done, but also the most brutal. I have great compassion for people who run for office, and I feel more strongly than ever how important it is to support the candidates we believe in, in every way that we can.”

This year, she dove further into the political field in support of US Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.

Ms. Williamson has a long history of translating her ideals into action. In 1989, Williamson founded Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels program that serves home-bound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area. Today, the program serves over 1,000 people daily. She also co-founded the Peace Alliance, a nonprofit that works on domestic and international peace building. And she serves on the Board of Directors of the RESULTS organization, working to end the worst ravages of hunger and poverty throughout the world.

Her upcoming talk in Fairfield was forged from 30 years of experience and all the knowledge contained in her bestselling books, translated into front-line, on-the-ground action in the field. For anyone who believes that consciousness can keep good company with politics, no matter who is running or who is elected, Marianne Williamson carries illuminating perspectives into the conversation.

Marianne Williamson said she was “delighted to be traveling to Fairfield, where so many people are aware of the deeper evolution of consciousness and what it can mean for politics and society.”

When asked what trends she has witnessed over the many years working tirelessly to raise consciousness in the political arena, she said: “What used to be considered a fringe movement is now a mainstream impulse in our society. Now you’re considered fringe if you don’t know what we’re talking about!”

A strong believers in miracles, Ms. Williamson was asked what miracle she would most like to see happen. She replied, “A fundamental change of heart. A turning away from economics as the organizing principle for our civilization, and an embrace of humanitarian issues as our organizing principle instead.”

Ms. Williamson will take questions from the audience after her presentation at the Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts.

Read the Fairfield Weekly Reader’s Q&A with Marianne Williamson.

Check out the interview Dennis Raimondi and Philip Goldberg did with Marianne Williamson on their new online program, Spirit Matters: Conversations on Contemperary Spirituality. Listen to this Spirit Matters Talk, and others, at

Read and listen to Matt Kelley’s interview with Marianne Williamson on Radio Iowa or click on Self help author visits Iowa to talk about politics.

Read Bob Saar’s interview with Marianne Williamson in The Hawk Eye.

Event organizer Michael Sternfeld wrote a followup piece for the November 12, 2015 issue of the Fairfield Weekly Reader: Marianne Williamson—Force of Nature: A Personal Review, parts one + two.

Sunday, November 20, 2015, 3 p.m., there will be a replay of Marianne Williamson’s talk at the Fairfield Public Library.

Still missed the talk? You can watch it now on YouTube. Marianne also posted it on her Facebook page.

Editor’s note: Some of my readers may find this post offensive, depending on their political allegiances, and because they usually expect articles related primarily to Transcendental Meditation. I myself am not a political person, nor do I wish to promote any candidates, especially since I am a Canadian living in the USA. I just volunteered to contact the press to help publicize this event, and since there was no where to link to the press release at the time, I posted it on my blog. I was told Marianne Williamson practices TM and is looking forward to coming to Fairfield where so many meditators are dedicated to uplifting consciousness for themselves and the nation. I am curious to see what she has to say about the topic—how consciousness, democracy and politics may be interrelated.

Some Reports on @JimCarrey’s Commencement Speech at MUM @MaharishiU #mumgraduation

May 29, 2014

“I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which, was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

This was one of many profoundly wise things Jim Carrey told the graduating class of 2014 at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa on Saturday. He was referencing his father’s choice in life, who could have been a great comedian, but chose instead to play it safe and become an accountant, thinking it would be a secure profession. But after several years he lost his job and the family had to do what they could to survive. In Jim’s case that meant leaving school to work at something he didn’t like to help support the family. But he also realized his father’s humor and love made people laugh, feel happy and forget about their cares. He soon realized he wanted to do that too and decided to become a comedian to make people forget their concerns. And he certainly succeeded beyond his wildest dreams!

Gazette writer, Diana Nollen, attended the MUM Graduation and heard Jim Carrey deliver his amazingly funny and deeply insightful Commencement speech. Earlier, during his introductory remarks, President Bevan Morris mentioned Judd Apatow’s story of opening for Jim Carrey in his early days, and after seeing Jim perform, decided to quit standup comedy. He said Jim is the number one funniest person on the planet.

So when Donna Marie Jones, the class valedictorian, was walking up to the podium we all wondered how she could follow such an act! Diana opens her piece quoting Donna’s opening remark, and then comments:

“Wow! What an honor to have Jim Carrey as my opening act!”

It was the best opening line to a valedictory speech, following the best commencement address ever.

Both were delivered Saturday at Maharishi University of Management, where about 1,000 people filled every chair and space in the Golden Dome to see 285 students from 54 countries receive bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees — and to hear what the veteran Hollywood funnyman would have to say.

Everyone, including Carrey, laughed at valedictorian Donna Marie Jones’ opening line. The mathematics major had the unenviable task of following Carrey at the microphone.

Read more: Jim Carrey wise beyond his wiseguy ways: Hollywood funnyman gives commencement address in Fairfield.

Sunday’s Hawk Eye cover story on Jim Carrey delivering the commencement address at Maharishi University in Fairfield was written by Bob Saar. He captured the joyful mood of Carrey’s wit and wisdom as he delivered a funny yet deeply powerful message of insight and encouragement to the graduates. Dr. Carrey (he received a doctorate in Fine Arts) touched the hearts and minds of the over 1000 people there in the dome with his understanding, humility and humor. Brilliant! To read this article, just click on it once, and then again after it opens larger. Other articles are available below as well. Maharishi U. grads celebrate with funnyman Jim CarreyOther Iowa media that reported on the MUM 2014 Graduation with Jim Carrey are: The Des Moines Register, Jim Carrey mixes laughs with advice at Iowa college graduation; The Gazette/KCRG, Jim Carrey wise beyond his wise guy ways, which is another excellent article, but with a slideshow and voice-over; The Fairfield Ledger: Carrey infuses graduation speech with humor; The Iowa Source article with photos and quotes: Jim Carrey Gives Heartfelt, Laugh-Filled Commencement Speech; and The Fairfield Weekly Reader for a personal glimpse from Michael Sternfeld of what it was like to see Jim Carrey work with the MUM and DLF crew to get his presentation in place: The True-man Show: Behind the Scenes with Jim Carrey.

FWR-Jim Carrey

Michael Sternfeld later had a longer version of this article published as a cover story in Australia’s largest holistic magazine, Living Now, on pages 12+13, with a mention by the editor in the middle of page 3:

National news coverage was by The Hollywood Reporter: Jim Carrey Delivers Commencement Speech, Receives Honorary Doctorate, NY Daily News: Jim Carrey gives emotional commencement speech at Maharishi University of Management, CNN: Jim Carrey’s inspiring commencement speech, USA TODAY: Hear what advice Jim Carrey has for college graduates; The Wrap: Jim Carrey’s Commencement Speech Warns Students of His Own Father’s Failure (Video); Time: Jim Carrey’s Commencement Speech Warns Against Playing It Safe; and many TV news shows like Today: Jim Carrey delivers life lessons in commencement speech, Good Morning America: Jim Carrey Reveals His Father’s Failure Inspired His Comedic Dreams; PEOPLE Magazine, June 9, 2014, page 8, under StarTracks; and many major publications running the story. WPTV 5 included a comprehensive review of highlights from various media in the Newsy report: Jim Carrey Maharishi University of Management graduation speech; Tells graduates don’t fail at what you don’t want. The international press ran the news all over the place. The Hindu later came out with, Choose between fear and love, including many highlights from Jim’s inspiring talk.

Also visit the TM Blog for some more good quotes: Jim Carrey in Iowa? University Featuring Transcendental Meditation Scores Big with Commencement Speaker. KTVO posted two reports: Jim Carrey Gives Memorable Speech at MUM Graduation and Inaugural David Lynch MA in Film class graduates. Visit to submit your work for a chance at a scholarship.

Here is a sample of the highlights on a b-roll sent to the media. It is included in the Washington Post article: Jim Carrey gives commencement speech at Maharishi University of Management, which seems to be one of the best articles so far. And CNN just posted a second news report: Carrey Gets Serious at Graduation, Says His Dad Paved The Way For Him. The news anchor was surprised at how serious he was and what he shared with the MUM graduates: “That’s Jim Carrey. Wow! Jim Carrey told the crowed that he got into comedy to free people from concern.” More to come. This just in: Paresh David of The LA Times just published Could these be the best commencement speeches of 2014? and Jim’s address is 7th in the top 10! This is followed by TakePart, which listed quotes from Jim Carrey’s commencement address 2nd out of the top 6 commencement speech quotes of 2014: Six Commencement Speech Quotes That Got It Perfectly Right. Jim’s was listed after Colin Powell’s!

MUM has now posted a report with this video and photos at From there you can also access Jim Carrey’s Commencement Address, his honorary degree award, as well as the Valedictorian and Salutatorian Addresses here. See MUM Valedictorian Shines Alongside Jim Carrey. See some Videos of MUM 2014 Graduation with Jim Carrey. Six months later, Jim Carrey appeared on Ellen. She asked him about his giving a commencement speech, and to date, over 60 million people worldwide have seen Jim’s inspiring talk.

Diane Vance and Norman Zierold discuss his new memoir, That Reminds Me, at Revelations Café

March 12, 2013
Norman Zierold, author of “That Reminds Me,” autographs one of his books for Peter Ecob Saturday at Revelations Café, after a book discussion. Freddy Fonseca, center, pushes in a chair after attending Zierold’s interview while Terry Weiss, seated, talks with others across the table.

Norman Zierold, author of “That Reminds Me,” autographs one of his books for Peter Ecob Saturday at Revelations Café, after a book discussion. Freddy Fonseca, center, pushes in a chair after attending Zierold’s interview while Terry Weiss, seated, talks with others across the table. Photo by Diane Vance

Fairfield author talks about recent work

Ledger staff writer
Tuesday, March 12, 2013

More than a dozen people attended a book discussion Saturday featuring Fairfield author Norman Zierold talking about his latest publication, “That Reminds Me.”

An Iowa native, born and raised in the Amana Colonies, Zierold has written and published eight books, but this latest, subtitled, “A Conversational Memoir,” comes 40 years after his seventh book, “Sex Goddesses of the Silent Screen.”

Those first seven books, beginning with “The Child Stars,” published in 1965, mostly deal with Zierold’s first-hand encounters, insights and research about authors, stars of stage and movies, his life and work in New York and Hollywood.

Zierold moved to Fairfield more than a decade ago and works at Maharishi University of Management.

“For about 50 years, people have said I should write a memoir,” he said. “I was always doing other things. I moved to Fairfield — though I’d been in and out of here before — and it took a couple years to begin writing.”

Having committed words to paper, he wasn’t sure how to get it all together in a readable fashion. He asked a co-worker and friend, Ken Chawkin, for help.

“Ken helped me get it all on my computer so I could manage it,” said Zierold.

“I always felt like I’d do a memoir; I knew I had one more book inside. Everyone has one book in them — everyone has ups and downs, traumas and experiences, and if presented well, it makes an interesting read. Everyone has a book,” he said.

So while Zierold happily drops names throughout his memoir, it is not about bragging or a “kiss-and-tell” expose.

Rather, Zierold keeps the little-boy wonder of the Iowa farm kid who spoke only German in his youngest years and relates everyday incidents, family dynamics and serendipitous meetings with the likes of Andy Warhol, Dylan Thomas, T.S. Eliot, E.E. Cummings, Anais Nin, Groucho Marx and many more.

Working for nearly a decade in New York City at Theatre Arts Magazine, Zierold’s job included interviewing Noel Coward and others, attending theatre productions and rubbing elbows with intellectuals, playwrights and celebrities at Sardis.

Even before his magazine job, his service to country and Navy uniform got him in to see performances of Ethel Merman, Edith Piaf and Mae West— including a back-stage meeting with her after the show.

Anthony Quinn hired Zierold to help him organize writing his autobiography. Part one took place around Los Angeles, with Quinn’s favorite retreat for working on his writing in California’s Death Valley. Part two took Zierold on a six-week encampment in Libya in 1979 while Quinn was shooting a movie on location in the Sahara Desert.

Zierold’s second book, “Little Charlie Ross,” published in 1967, is a true crime story about the first kidnapping for ransom in America in July 1874. His book landed Zierold an interview on the “Today Show” in New York, with Barbara Walters.

While studying for a master’s degree in English at the University of Iowa, Zierold was alone in a faculty lounge when the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas walked in.

“He was lecturing classes there for awhile, and he walks in and we have a visit, then I hear him again when he’s teaching the class,” said Zierold. “His reading of poetry is incomparable.”

Zierold is an avid reader. Before the book discussion began Saturday, he was perusing the biography bookshelves at Revelations Café while his audience gathered.

“I grew up reading, and especially liked Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemmingway,” he said. “Now I read biographies.”

He refers to Voltaire and Henry James as other favorites.

“I would encourage anyone to write,” he said. “Writing has a rhythm. Write without censoring yourself. Put it all in — you can take it out later. But if you leave it out and think you’ll go back to put something in later, it can interrupt the flow and not fit. It’s much easier to take something out than add it later.”

“That Reminds Me,” is a memoir, but it is not written in a chronological fashion. Zierold “puts it all in there,” and lets it flow as a conversation with a friend — this thought leads to another topic; that incident reminds him of another story.

Reading the slim paperback gives a full glimpse of a life, as he wrote in Chapter Five: “These digestible portions of prose will add up in time to a fully drawn portrait, just you wait and see. It will be like nature’s unfolding of a rose, petal by petal.”

Zierold writes about cocktail parties and gala weekends spent at various friends homes, at the shore or in Mexico. He writes about eventually asking himself if getting high, waking with hangovers and being witty at parties is all there is?

He relocates from L.A. to nearby-but-a-different-world, Laguna Beach. He describes the town’s peacefulness and incomparable beauty and power of the Pacific Ocean.

He sees a poster about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and decides to attend a meeting, where he meets young people who have learned Transcendental Meditation. At age 45, Zierold discerns meditation seemed to work for them, so he signs up to learn TM in 1972. It is a quiet, gradual transformation for Zierold that leads to transcendence, bliss and months of euphoria, then becoming a TM teacher himself. He adds more travels to his passport and continues learning.

One of the gems among the jewels in this book is Zierold’s story about his own father and their relationship as adults.

Zierold asks questions about life and offers some answers.

Posted with permission from The Fairfield Ledger. This article was featured prominently on the front and back pages.

Here’s an earlier announcement Diane Vance wrote Thursday, March 7 on the upcoming book discussion and signing at Revelations Café.

Author speaking about new book

Iowa native and Fairfield resident since 2002, Norman Zierold, will talk about his latest book, “That Reminds Me,” at 2 p.m. Saturday upstairs at Revelations Café in Fairfield.

Everyone is welcome to this meet-the-author session.

This is Zierold’s eighth book, which he’s subtitled, “A Conversational Memoir.” Reading it is nearly like having a conversation with him. He tells stories from his days of rubbing elbows with celebrities, including authors, artists, movie stars, Broadway stars, TV stars, news anchors and more.

Saturday provides an opportunity to have an actual conversation with Zierold. A time for questions and answers is planned.

Born and raised in the Amana Colonies, Zierold enlisted in the navy, graduated cum laude from Harvard and earned a master’s degree in English Literature at the University of Iowa.

He always wanted to write, but also travel, and he spent two years in France on a French Government Teaching Assistantship. After Paris, he spent a decade in New York City, teaching at Brearley School and working at Collier’s Encyclopedia before landing rewarding assignments with Theater Arts Magazine and Show.

His first book, “The Child Stars,” was published in 1965 and is available at the Fairfield Public Library. It features stories about the child stars of the 1920s and 1930s, including Shirley Temple, Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland.

Other books followed: “Little Charlie Ross,” in 1967; “Three Sisters in Black,” in 1968, which won a Special Edgar Allen Poe Award; “The Moguls,” and “Garbo,” both in 1969; “The Skyscraper Doom,” in 1972; and “Sex Goddesses of the Silent Screen,” in 1973.

His books run the gamut of true crime novels, tales of Hollywood’s golden age in the 1940s and 1950s, and science fiction.

Posted with permission from The Fairfield Ledger.

For more information and other articles and interviews on Norman, see: That Reminds Me: A Conversational Memoir by Hollywood biographer Norman Zierold is now out!

Cheryl Strayed, author of WILD, talks about the unique role of artists and writers in the world

January 10, 2013
Cheryl Strayed

“I think that artists are here, and writers are here, to be the truth-tellers of the human experience, the world we live in. And so, if you’re not going to tell the truth, don’t bother.” — Cheryl Strayed

I love this frank quote from memoirist Cheryl Strayed on the role of artists and writers in society during this CBC interview, Publishing phenom Cheryl Strayed, with Q host Jian Ghomeshi posted on Q Blog Monday, December 31, 2012. Here’s their description.

Cheryl Strayed had a banner year in 2012. Wild, her memoir of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail while working through grief, divorce, and a dalliance with drugs, was a bestseller. Oprah Winfrey even relaunched her book club for it.

Strayed also outed herself as the popular online advice columnist Dear Sugar, and published a collection of columns as Tiny Beautiful Things to rave reviews.  Back in September, she dropped by Studio Q to talk about literary success and what it really means to be a “fearless” writer.

From the Best of Q: Originally aired September 13, 2012

Listen: 16:47

Download and listen to the complete introduction and interview:

Watch the 15:38 edited version minus the formal introduction on YouTube: “Wild” author Cheryl Strayed in Studio Q.

See what other writers have to say about writing on The Uncarved Blog.

Found this interesting article: The Wandering Writer: A Tour through Inner Northeast Portland with Cheryl Strayed.

Cheryl Fusco Johnson interviews Philip Goldberg, author of American Veda: How Indian Spirituality Changed the West

November 8, 2012

Writers’ Voices host Cheryl Fusco Johnson interviewed author Philip Goldberg on American Veda: How Indian Spirituality Changed the West, at KRUU FM studios, October 12, 2012. The show is now available online:

Philip Goldberg, American Veda: How Indian Spirituality Changed the West by Cheryl Fusco Johnson

Philip Goldberg with Cheryl Fusco Johnson in KRUU FM studio  Photo: Ken Chawkin

Los Angeles-based author Philip Goldberg is a screenwriter, Huffington Post religious-issues blogger, novelist, and nonfiction writer. His book American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation, How Indian Spirituality Changed the West was named one of the top ten books on religion in 2010 by the Huffington Post.

The American Library Association’s Booklist Online awarded it the same honor in 2011. Philip has authored or co-authored nineteen books and has much to say about spirituality, publishing, and how both have changed during his lifetime.

From Cheryl’s Blog: Philip Goldberg: How He Became a HuffPost Blogger

Many people ask Philip Goldberg, author of American Veda: How Indian Spirituality Changed the West, how he became a religious-issues blogger for The Huffington Post. During our Writers Voices radio interview today, Philip explained what happened. Waiting at a bookstore to begin giving a book talk, he was thinking about how few people were there to hear him speak. A woman came into the store looking for something she thought she’d left behind. She noticed Philip standing by a sign advertising the topic of his talk and said, “You should be a blogger for The Huffington Post. My daughter’s an editor there.” Was this a lucky break? Or was it a just reward for the many years Philip spent researching spirituality and honing his writing and speaking skills through repeated practice?

Listen to an earlier show on KRUU FM where Dennis Raimondi interviews Philip Goldberg on Speaking Freely about his latest book American Veda, Nov 22, 2010.

Here is an article about Philip Goldberg and his book American Veda: ‘Vedanta and yoga perfect match for certain American values’.

And here are two related articles by Philip Goldberg: George Harrison: The not-so-quiet Beatle, article by Philip Goldberg in LA YOGA Magazine and Huffington Post: Transcendental Meditation: Topping The Bestseller List Since 1975

Red Dirt Report reviews both “American Veda” by Philip Goldberg and “Transcendence” by Norman Rosenthal.

Dana Sawyer, professor of religion and philosophy at the Maine College of Art, reviewed American Veda for tricyle: How Hinduism Seeped into American Soil.

My Empowered World also posted the tricyle book review adding photos: From Emerson to the Beatles. Watch a video of MEW’s Luzzette McDonald’s Interview with Author – Philip Goldberg about his books American Veda and The Intuitive Edge. Answering Luzzette’s final question about the one empowering tool he would recommend Phil mentions meditation. He says all the other practices are improved by having a good deep meditation practice. Phil mentions his TM practice, which he has been doing since 1968, and concludes saying he thinks of it as the empowering tool for all the other empowering tools.

See this related article by Phil on THEWORLDPOST: Beatles in India: The Retreat That Reverberates Across the Universe.


Norman Rosenthal spoke in Chicago on Light and Transcendence—alternative modalities to reduce stress, optimize health

September 11, 2012

Norman Rosenthal, M.D., was in Chicago September 5-7 to deliver a series of talks at various medical, educational, and public venues. His main theme was using Light and Transcendence as alternative approaches to reduce stress and optimize health. Dr. Rosenthal addressed 200 people at the University of Chicago Gleacher Center Wednesday evening, spoke on Thursday with staff and students at Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola, and talked with health care and other professionals as a guest of the Chicago Lakeshore Hospital at a Friday luncheon.

Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal is the world-renowned psychiatrist and author whose research in describing seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and pioneering the use of light therapy has helped millions of people. The New York Times best-seller, Transcendence: Healing and Transformation Through Transcendental Meditation, is out in paperback this month (September 2012), with a Foreword written by Mehmet C. Oz M.D., and a new concluding chapter, After Transcendence.

At the same time, Winter Blues: Everything You Need to Know to Beat SAD, which the New York Times called “a landmark book,” is being released in its revised and updated fourth edition. It includes a chapter, Meditation for the Winter Blues.

Stressful times affect health and happiness

Economic challenges, the feeble job market and information overload, not to mention the drought, conspire to stretch people to the breaking point. Everyone is experiencing some degree of stress and anxiety in their lives. In fact, the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) estimates that 40 million adults, one in seven, have some type of anxiety disorder.

Dr. Rosenthal pointed out the current epidemic of stress has resulted in cardiovascular disease as well as psychiatric disorders. It effects everyone from war veterans to the general public. “Having witnessed the mental and spiritual anguish of many hundreds of people,” he said, “I find the potential clinical power of this technique (TM) amazing.”

Transcendental Meditation—a simple effective solution

A Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School, Dr. Rosenthal was initially very skeptical about the effectiveness of the Transcendental Meditation technique for beating stress and anxiety. After examining the research, however, he said, “I came to scoff and remained to pray,” paraphrasing a famous line from Irish writer, playwright, and physician Oliver Goldsmith‘s poem The Deserted Village.

Dr. Rosenthal at University of Chicago Gleacher Center explained three different categories of meditation and how they effect the brain producing different results

The former NIMH researcher explained three different categories of meditation and how they effect the brain. He said having the right instruction in meditation can make a world of difference in the results.

Dr. Rosenthal described research examining the Transcendental Meditation program resulting in hard evidence not seen with other meditation techniques. He cited improvements in cardiovascular health, reduced drug, alcohol and tobacco use, reduced PTS symptoms in veterans, and studies showing significant reductions in health care costs and utilization resulting from twice daily TM practice.

Mr. Ulrich Sandmeyer, co-owner with his wife Ellen, of Sandmeyer’s Bookstore, an independent Chicago bookseller, brought Dr. Rosenthal’s books to every event. He does this service for speakers 3-4 times a week and has done so for 20 years.  He said that Norman Rosenthal was the most compelling speaker he has ever encountered. Coming from Mr. Sandmeyer that says a lot!

Thanks to Carla Brown, Ed.D., co-director of the Transcendental Meditation Program in the Greater Chicago Area, for organizing these events for Dr. Rosenthal and for sending us some highlights of the tour.

Click on Transcendental Meditation Visualized [Infographic] to see this new post on Dr. Rosenthal’s blog. He says, “The infographic below is brought to you as a resource and extension of the book ‘Transcendence,’ which features some of the main points about Transcendental Meditation that I highlighted in the book.”

Related posts on this topic

Dr. Norman Rosenthal gives an engaging talk to medical staff at Northern Westchester Hospital

PsychCentral reviews Norman Rosenthal’s book Transcendence: Transcendental Meditation: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Dr. Catherine Ulbricht interviews psychiatrist and author Dr. Norman Rosenthal for Natural Standard

A Transcendental Cure for Post-Traumatic Stress by David Lynch and Norman E. Rosenthal

Additional information on Norman Rosenthal, Transcendence and Winter Blues are listed below and available in his Press Kit.


Dr. Norman Rosenthal gives an engaging talk to medical staff at Northern Westchester Hospital

February 22, 2012

Dr. Norman Rosenthal addresses medical staff at NWH

Dr. Norman Rosenthal recently gave a wonderfully engaging talk on the Transcendental Meditation technique to the medical staff of Northern Westchester Hospital as part of their Health Education program.

Norman E. Rosenthal, MD, a world-renowned psychiatrist and author who described seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and pioneered the use of light therapy to treat it has improved the health of millions of people. His latest book Transcendence: Healing and Transformation Through Transcendental Meditation (Tarcher-Penguin, 2011) explores the value of this ancient meditation technique for healing and transformation in today’s modern world.

Dr. Rosenthal began his talk by highlighting the key themes of healing and transformation brought about by TM, and explained how certain parts of the brain are effected by stress and improved by meditation. He humorously described the conflict that exists neurologically in a stressed mind between the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala by using the simple analogy of the CEO of a company and the fire marshall. It made a lot of sense. Everyone got it.

Drawing on anecdotes from his best-selling book, Transcendence, Dr. Rosenthal’s relaxed narrative style held the audience’s attention throughout the presentation. He shared personal stories of how TM had improved the lives of those interviewed for the book, like Hollywood filmmaker David Lynch, actress Laura Dern, Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist Tim Page, neuropsychologist William Stixrud, as well as patients from his own practice.

A former NIH researcher, Dr. Rosenthal had looked into, and was impressed by, the volume of scientific research studies on TM in the fields of mental and physical health, education and social behavior. He cited some of these studies, including more recent ones.

Dr. Rosenthal also mentioned a published pilot study he had conducted on Veterans with PTSD that showed a 50% reduction in symptoms within two months. He posted an article about it on his blog, along with an emotionally-charged video of one of the Veterans and his mother:  The Case for Using Transcendental Meditation to Treat Combat Related PTSD.

He told the amazing story of Jim Dierke, principal of Visitacion Valley Middle School, and how he had transformed violent, stressed under-achieving, low-attending students to motivated harmonious academically successful ones with the highest attendance ever, after he had introduced the TM/Quiet Time program to his staff and students. The program was implemented and funded by the David Lynch Foundation. Here is a recent article, with a video of principal Dierke, posted on the TM Blog: Breaking the “predictive power of demographics”: SF principal talks about how TM helps his students.

Dr. Rosenthal also shared his own story of how he started TM as a college student in South Africa back in the 70’s. “As they say, if you remember the 70’s you probably weren’t there, but I was there,” he quipped, and giggled. Like most of us he was inspired by the Beatles traveling to India to study Transcendental Meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. But, he says, he was overwhelmed with his medical studies and didn’t take the time to meditate regularly. He dropped the meditation, yet returned to it decades later after one of his patients recommended he do it based on his own experiences. He went to the local TM center to refresh his practice. After looking into some of the research studies, and noticing subtle yet lasting changes in his own life, he was convinced that this simple, natural process could really make a difference in people’s lives.

Dr. Rosenthal swore he would never write another book; it takes too much time and energy, but after seeing how much of a difference TM was making in his life, and in the lives of his patients, he just had to write this one last book. He felt as compelled to write about TM as he had been about his earlier medical discovery. He was also pleasantly surprised with how enjoyable the whole process went, compared to earlier experiences. He felt the joy of being in the flow, of being in the moment, totally engaged in the creative process. He said the whole experience was very rewarding, uplifting and fulfilling.

He concluded his talk with the value of groups, organizations, practicing TM together, and the impact that has. As an example he mentioned Oprah and how she chose to give TM to her whole organization, and the amazing transformations that brought about. She wrote about it in her magazine, What I Know for Sure.

You can enjoy watching Dr. Rosenthal’s entertaining and informative presentation here on the Northern Westchester Hospital website:

Credit and appreciation goes to Sally Rosenfeld, a Certified Teacher of the Transcendental Meditation program, in Westchester County, NY, for arranging to have Dr. Rosenthal speak at Northern Westchester Hospital. Sally said it was a great event, with around 100 people attending from both the hospital and community. Several of them later came to the TM Center to learn how to meditate. Considering how progressive NWH is with their alternative offerings, adding the TM program to the mix would seem like a natural outcome of the meeting.

%d bloggers like this: