Posts Tagged ‘Starts at 60 Writers’

Bob Roth interviewed for Starts at 60 during Strength in Stillness book launch in Australia

March 6, 2019

Starts at 60 Writers is an Australian-New Zealand-based group of writers over sixty. Bob Roth did many interviews during his book tour there last year to promote his #1 best-selling Strength In Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation.

Starts at 60 did an excellent interview that resulted in two great articles published in their Mental Health section on Friday and Saturday, March 16 & 17, 2018: Transcendental Meditation saved Hugh Jackman’s family from anxiety and Transcendental Meditation takes off with over-60s.

Bob Roth effectively explains the differences between the two popular meditation approaches—mindfulness and transcendental. He described it as deep meditation, what Maharishi ​used to call it, which became Transcendental Deep Meditation, then Transcendental Meditation, or TM.

I also found it ironic that this was written by writers over 60 for their demographic—the generation that took to Maharishi and his teachings in droves in the 1960s. Obviously many have forgotten about that and may now be discovering TM for the first time, but from a more scientific perspective. So glad the pragmatic Bob Roth presents TM to the world in the down-to-earth way that he does! I corrected a few typos and capitalized Transcendental Meditation, as it should be. Here they are.

Transcendental Meditation takes off with over-60s

Mindfulness and meditation have hit the zeitgeist in recent years, with everyone from Oprah to businessman and housewives singing their praises and crediting the practice with reducing stress levels and anxiety.

While meditation is a term most people are familiar with these days, it’s a particular branch of the calming technique, called Transcendental Meditation (TM), that’s really piqued the interest of the world’s elite.

TM focuses on a deep parts of the mind and is said to be so effective that actor Hugh Jackman enlisted the teachings of TM expert Bob Roth to ease his stress and help his young son cope with anxiety.

Roth, one of the world’s leading experts in TM, recently spoke to Starts at 60 about the many health benefits of the practice and the thousands of people he has taught, including Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Paul McCartney and Gwyneth Paltrow, to embrace the calming technique throughout his 45-year career.

While there are many different types of meditation around, transcendental focuses on the deep parts of the mind, Roth explains.

“There are mindfulness approaches to meditation which are more on the surface, how to think, how to walk, how to talk, how to act, how to breathe, many different things like that,” he said. “Transcendental is deep meditation, it means it accesses a level of the mind, a quiet, calm level of the mind’s stillness that already exists within everyone.”

TM focuses on thinking inwards rather than outwards and through practice, people have the ability to overcome stress, tension and fatigue and anxiety.

While Roth admits that like many people he was sceptical at first when he first discovered TM in his youth, but quickly changed his mind when he began to see “immediate results”. He also cites “20 peer-reviewed studies that show that TM reduces high blood pressure better than anti-hypertensive medications, without the side effects of anti-hypertensive medications”.

“And that’s research that was published by the US National Institute of Health and research done at Harvard Medical School and published in the American Medical Association’s top journal. It’s very real, when we’re talking about TM, we’re not talking about something on the fringe. It may be an unusual word, but the reality is it’s an established medical tool,” he added.

While he has a black book filled with clients, most of Roth’s clients are ‘everyday’ people, many of them over 6o.

“So an older person who is either in retirement or moving towards retirement or can’t retire but is under a lot of pressure, it’s a wonderful tool to get rid of stress and wake up the brain so we have more energy to do the things we need to do,” he said.

He added that it’s important for people to work TM into their lives and not to use it as a replacement for medication.

“In the toolbox of an older person, there should be many tools that we can draw upon to help us deal with the very real, very deadly epidemic of stress, that we’re all living in,” he said.

“Let’s say you have high blood pressure, you wouldn’t just go online and say, ‘here’s some magic potion online and some recipe and I’m going to take it because it’s going to help my blood pressure’,” he said. “No, you look at stuff that works. Same as meditation, you should look at the research that shows that it works.”

To help the most sceptical, Bob recently released a book called Strength in Stillness. He said that he wanted the book to help people with questions and to make sense of something that people may not be familiar with. “I’m not pushing this on anybody. People should decide for themselves. I wrote the book so people could make an informed decision,” he said.

“The beautiful thing about Transcendental Meditation is you can be 100 per cent sceptical and it works just as well. You can be sceptical about electricity, but when you turn on a light switch, the light goes on.”

Strength in Stillness is currently available in book stores and as an eBook online.

Transcendental Meditation saved Hugh Jackman’s family from anxiety

In an age when mindfulness and practising the art of stillness has become more popular than a bowl full of kale, one particular form of meditation seems to stand out from the crowd: Transcendental Meditation.

The unique form of meditation, which goes beyond mindfulness to produce a deeper and long-lasting sense of peace, has been around for more than 40 years, but has recently shot to the top of the popularity heap thanks to a host of celebrity clients and a rock star teacher.

Bob Roth has taught the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Paul McCartney and Gwyneth Paltrow, but his favourite client thus far is The Greatest Showman himself, Hugh Jackman.

“Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborra-Lee Furness are just wonderful,” Roth told Starts at 60. “Down to earth, they have two children, I know the family well. I consider them my friends.”

Roth has been working with the Jackman clan for years and his teachings have been particularly useful for Hugh and Deborra-Lee’s son, Oscar, who suffered from anxiety.

“I taught Oscar to meditate,” Bob revealed. “He’s now 17 and I taught him when he was 12. They have a daughter, Ava, who I think I’m going to teach next year.”

Jackman has praised Roth’s work in the past and said his teachings on how to calm the mind did wonders for Oscar’s mental health.

Bob Roth pictured with Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness
Bob Roth pictured with Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness. (Getty)

Bob’s really helped us and our son, who was a stressed, anxious kid,” the actor said.

Slightly different to regular forms of meditation, TM focuses on the deep parts of the mind and accesses the quiet, calm and still parts of the brain that exist inside everyone. While it’s a hit with celebrities, Roth’s main clients are ‘everyday’ people, many of them over 60, who are looking for a way to ease stresses and invigorate the mind.

“They run out of energy and they just feel like they don’t have the energy they once had,” he said of his older students. “They’re more vulnerable to aches and pains and illnesses because the immune system is compromised, memory maybe isn’t as clear, and from a long life.”

He said there’s a strong correlation between the kinds of issues his regular students and more high-profile students face.

“Being known by a lot of people does not make you immune from worrying about a sick child or stopping you from staying awake at night because you’re worried about things in your career or your partner,” he said. “They have the same feelings, just like us. They have more money, to what? Buy more sleeping pills?”

Despite his popularity amongst some of Hollywood’s favourite stars, he said he owes his credibility to word-of-mouth. “You can’t seek out a celebrity. You can’t go, ‘I want to teach Tom Hanks’. They live in their own world and it’s almost like a bubble. And they talk to each other a lot,” he said.

More recently, Roth worked with Jackman’s The Greatest Showman co-star Zac Efron who was experiencing some personal issues on set. “So I’ve sort of become the go-to guy for meditation,” he explained. “But I should make a point – I’ve taught maybe 30 or 40 well-known actors. I’ve taught thousands of regular people.

“It’s not, ‘oh this is a 20-year-old veteran’ or ‘this is Hugh Jackman’, really and truly, I see in their eyes, they’re looking for something to help them navigate through life.”

Roth’s book Strength in Stillness is currently available in book stores and online.

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You can see Bob Roth’s global book launch with Hugh and Deboora-Lee introducing Bob about 26 minutes into the second video posted here. Bob also interviews comedian Jerry Seinfeld who has been meditating since he was a college student. The video starts with quotes from celebrity meditators, followed by Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos interviewing Bob about his book.


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