The most successful, innovative men alive do it. Overworked, very, very busy (and insanely rich) hedge-fund managers swear by it. So the question is: Should you cross your legs, close your eyes, and join in?
Here are a few things Jerry Seinfeld and I have in common: We both wear sneakers far more often than grown men should. We both adore the New York Mets and thus subject ourselves to undue misery. And we both sit quietly for twenty minutes twice a day, attempting to calm our minds. Seinfeld, presumably, is far better at it than I am. He's been practicing Transcendental Meditation, or TM, for more than forty years. I've only recently taken it up.
Transcendental Meditation, if you're not aware, is having something of a moment. Despite being 5,000 years old and in the public consciousness at least since 1968 (when the Beatles traveled to India, took up meditating, and were so mind-blown that they wrote the White Album), TM spent most of the past half century out on the hippie fringe. If people thought anything about it, it was that TM was weird and maybe kind of cultish. But a dedicated core of reasonable people have been practicing it all along, and their ranks keep swelling, so TM is now following the path of yoga—another import from India, once marginalized as a trifle for tempeh enthusiasts—into the mainstream, where it can safely be sampled by even self-conscious, risk-averse people like me.
"You know how your phone has a charger?" Seinfeld said last year, during an appearance on Good Morning America. "TM is like having a charger for your mind and body." Russell Brand, who says TM helped him stay sober, calls it "a shower for your brain." And gray-pompadoured film director David Lynch—whose eponymous foundation is the driving force behind the recent boom in the popularity of TM in America, converting everyone from Oprah to Rupert Murdoch—says that his twice-daily meditations give him "effortless access to unlimited reserves of energy, creativity, and happiness deep within." (MORE)