Russell Simmons is best known as the flamboyant playboy who co-founded Def Jam Records back in the Eighties. But the matured hip-hop mogul would like you to know that his satisfaction in life now comes less through the sort of shallow materialistic trappings celebrated in the average rap music video than through the peace of mind, body and spirit offered by the relatively-modest practice of meditation.
As he puts it, "I had to do a lot of damage before I finally accepted that I liked early-morning meditation better than late-night drinking." And all it takes him is 20 minutes twice a day to find that state of bliss.
The good news is that you can achieve it, too, provided you're willing to carve out a little quiet space from your hectic schedule to sit in a chair with your eyes closed. Yes, it's as simple as that, according to Russ, although getting novices to try meditation isn't as easy as one might think.
Apparently, people allow lame excuses such as "I don't have the time," "I don't have a place," "It's against my religion," and "I'm not good at it" to prevent them from even getting started. For that reason, he's written "Success through Stillness," a how-to primer designed to make that initiation process painless.
Surprisingly, the author actually devotes more ink to advice about eliminating those negative thoughts than to instruction about the art of meditation. He also talks about its tangible benefits, which include improving your health, your eating habits, your ability to focus, even your career. Perhaps more important are the metaphysical improvements that accompany that new "sense of peace, compassion, and balance."
Simmons frequently refers to the ringing endorsements of meditation offered by icons ranging from Oprah to Ellen to Seinfeld to Paul McCartney to Phil Jackson. Consider this quote from Forest Whitaker:
"I went through two schools of acting, but I learned more about acting from meditating and my martial arts teacher."
A sacred cookbook for cultivating a satisfying, stress-free life.
"Why should you meditate? The answer is simple: to be happy. Which is the only reason you're here. That might sound like a very simple take on the meaning of life, but I believe it with every fiber in my body. Yes, I'm certain that if we strip away our egos, desires, fears, and insecurities, all that would be left is happiness...
"I'm here to tell you that meditation can take you there... The path that I will lay out in this book represents the simplest route between your current state and that happiness... This is a simple and straightforward guide on how to use the tool of meditation to get the most out of your life."
– Chapter One (pages 3-4)
"Success through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple"
by Russell Simmons