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  • CHRIS MORROW: Well, thank you.

  • Thank you for having us.

  • We thought we'd actually start with a couple questions for you

  • guys, and then we'll get into our rap a little bit.

  • Just with a show of hands, we're curious,

  • how many people here might consider themselves meditators?

  • OK.

  • How about, how many people have tried it, but thought

  • it quote unquote "just didn't work,"

  • or they weren't good at it?

  • OK.

  • And it's all right to be honest, how many people

  • are skeptical that it works, haven't tried it?

  • All right, so not a lot of skeptics going here.

  • RUSSELL SIMMONS: They all read and shit.

  • These are smart people.

  • The research is crystal clear.

  • So it does work, obviously.

  • CHRIS MORROW: It does work.

  • RUSSELL SIMMONS: Yeah.

  • I mean, well that's what the neuroscientists are saying,

  • right?

  • Everybody's saying that.

  • And they say the greatest gateway

  • to happiness, right, meditation.

  • You hear it, and you hear it enough, you kind of believe it.

  • But if you have faith in something, you do it.

  • Right?

  • You have total faith, absolute faith, you do it.

  • If it makes you happy, you do it.

  • Meditation makes you happy, that's what they say,

  • that's what the research says.

  • Meditation gives you greater brain functionality.

  • You people work at Google, you're all brainiacs, right?

  • Greater brain functionality, greater memory,

  • calm nervous system, get rid of your ADD, lower

  • your blood pressure, all that stuff.

  • You know all that, because you're sitting here.

  • You probably studied it quick, like the quick studies

  • that you are.

  • So you already know what meditation is for,

  • and what they say it does, and you kind of believe it

  • because the proof is everywhere now.

  • CHRIS MORROW: Well let's rewind it for one second,

  • because when we asked if some people had tried it and thought

  • didn't work, a lot of people--

  • RUSSELL SIMMONS: But the skeptics, no one would say--

  • CHRIS MORROW: No one's a skeptic, all right.

  • But the people who said they tried it, and it quote

  • "didn't work?"

  • RUSSELL SIMMONS: We're going to teach them, that's easy.

  • CHRIS MORROW: Well let's address that.

  • Is it possible to do meditation wrong,

  • or is everyone doing it right?

  • RUSSELL SIMMONS: Well, yeah, wrong if you don't-- the one

  • thing you everyone has to have in order to be a meditator is

  • patience.

  • You have to have a bit of patience.

  • You know, my name is Rush, so I can meditate.

  • And my kids, they didn't want to meditate,

  • and their mother said, sit your [INAUDIBLE].

  • They became meditators, they said, don't move,

  • you know, and you sit there.

  • And the mind's crazy, like a monkey.

  • It bounces around in the head.

  • It's like, go to the refrigerator,

  • get something to eat, hit her before she breaks out,

  • she's gonna leave, get her this morning.

  • All kinds of stuff.

  • And you're sitting there, and your mind's

  • telling you, stop, stop.

  • And you're saying, I can't stop until the alarm goes off.

  • I can't.

  • The alarm goes off, so you can scratch,

  • you can do whatever you want, but you can't go nowhere.

  • So the mind is bouncing around like a monkey in a cage,

  • and then it settles, and you say to yourself, oh shit,

  • I'm meditating.

  • And then it bounces around some more,

  • and it transcends the thoughts even more.

  • And as the nervous system calms, the mind always goes after it.

  • That's the process.

  • It's simple, right?

  • The reason that we wrote this book is to demystify it,

  • meditation.

  • It's something I've been so passionate about for 20 years,

  • and I want people to do it.

  • I want kids in schools to do it, I want adults to do it.

  • I want the world to become a better place.

  • And if I could get more people to do it,

  • then I would lift the vibration of the planet

  • just a little bit, and I'd really

  • have contributed something besides entertainment.

  • Really contribute to the happiness of the planet,

  • or to the planet's ability to get along with each other

  • or love each other.

  • And so that's why this book is so important to me,

  • and I really have done a lot of work [INAUDIBLE].

  • Chris, you're watching me.

  • You're kind of surprised, right?

  • CHRIS MORROW: What am I surprised about?

  • RUSSELL SIMMONS: That I'm busting my ass, I'm everywhere.

  • CHRISMORROW:Oh no, he's working for this, it's true.

  • RUSSELL SIMMONS: I mean, I give the money to charity

  • for my books, I don't make any money on them.

  • I've been working, the book's been on the best seller list,

  • like seven weeks.

  • I've been consistently working, and it's going to continue.

  • I want to put it in schools in Chicago,

  • where the most violence is.

  • I want people to watch the reduction in violence,

  • and see the schools' vibrations change.

  • I want to see that happen with people watching,

  • not like the schools we have all the country

  • where it's going on, where the research is clear.

  • But I want everybody to watch us do it in Chicago,

  • because I want to make it happen everywhere.

  • That's just a big ambition, and so that's why I keep pushing.

  • CHRIS MORROW: Well, let's take it

  • back a little bit for the people who haven't read the book yet.

  • Talk a little bit about--

  • RUSSELLSIMMONS: No one's read the book.

  • CHRIS MORROW: Or for everyone who hasn't read the book yet,

  • talk about your own journey to meditation.

  • What led you there?

  • RUSSELL SIMMONS: Well, I went to yoga

  • a little over 20 years ago, because there

  • was no guys there, just girls.

  • All just beautiful girls.

  • They didn't have Lululemon see-through,

  • no shit like that, just shorts.

  • You know?

  • And I went to yoga, and there was a gay guy or two there,

  • but no guys, you know.

  • So anyway, I went to class.

  • And when I came out, I was high as hell.

  • I was like, oh shit, if I keep doing this,

  • I'm not going to make any more money,

  • because-- little bit of freedom.

  • And I used to think that-- the neurotic kind of person I

  • was, the noise that was always in my head, the rethinking

  • and rethinking, and the insomnia,

  • and the things that I was afflicted--

  • that those things were part of the formula for success.

  • That working, overworking, overthinking,

  • was part of the process.

  • And so I came out, I was a little worried,

  • because for a moment there was a little freedom from that.

  • And I learned since then that the seconds of stillness

  • are the only time you can ever make an informed decision, be

  • creative, or ever, never happy in the future or the past.

  • So the fluctuations of the mind are

  • the cause of suffering and sadness,

  • and the stillness of the mind causes happiness.

  • You know, every prophet has said it in every language,

  • and it's promoted throughout all religious dialogue, always.

  • But we have not embraced it.

  • And now all the doctors are saying it,

  • and they have all this proof, and so we should embrace this.

  • This idea of quieting the mind, consciously

  • working to quiet the mind.

  • Everything that we do, really, is geared towards this.

  • Everything we do-- take drugs, dumb the mind down,

  • get the noise out.

  • So it's cloudiness or clarity, are the two choices.

  • CHRIS MORROW: But haven't you always been looking for that,

  • even before you understood what meditation was?

  • RUSSELL SIMMONS: Before I took drugs?

  • CHRIS MORROW: Well, yeah, because I remember

  • there's a famous story that Rick Rubin tells--

  • RUSSELL SIMMONS: I started taking drugs very early.

  • CHRIS MORROW: Yeah.

  • But from that era--

  • RUSSELL SIMMONS: I took drugs really early.

  • Before that, I didn't think about it much.

  • Did I misunderstand the question?

  • CHRIS MORROW: I didn't even get the question out.

  • But I mean, what I'm saying is, he tells a story about-- this

  • is probably like early '85 or mid '80s whatever,

  • living in NYU dorm rooms.

  • RUSSELL SIMMONS: Are you on the [? past ?] steam room story?

  • CHRIS MORROW: Yeah, the steam room story.

  • RUSSELL SIMMONS: We all do-- I mean everything--

  • CHRIS MORROW: Do you guys know the steam room story?

  • RUSSELL SIMMONS: No, they don't [INAUDIBLE].

  • Everything is geared towards quieting the mind.

  • We don't realize it, we make the mind

  • go crazy while trying to quiet the mind.

  • We want the mind to be still, because that sunset--

  • the basketball players, we want to be in the zone.

  • You want to see the ball coming, catch it with this hand,

  • put it around here, and hand it to your man

  • so he can dunk the ball.

  • Right?

  • That's what we want to do, right?

  • Ball players, and they want to see it coming.

  • When the mind is fluctuating, you can't even catch the ball.

  • But when the mind is still, the rim is as big as this room,

  • you can't miss.

  • That expansive mindset is what we're all looking for.

  • In a car accident, everything's moving slow,

  • because you've carved out the past and future, everything's

  • oh shit.

  • That's the way the world is really

  • moving all the time, that slow.

  • It's the fluctuation of your mind keeping you

  • from seeing all the miracles as they unfold.

  • All the stuff given to you, all this beauty,

  • you don't see any of it because you've

  • got the noise in the mind.

  • We want to quiet the mind.

  • And when we quiet the mind, we see it all.

  • You've read this stuff-- because you're all smart people,

  • you've read-- it's true.

  • And having faith in it gives us more opportunity

  • to move towards it.

  • That means you have the tools available to you--

  • you have meditation, you have do-good karmic work,

  • all the shit.

  • All this stuff goes together, but the meditation--

  • of all the tools, of all the eight parts of yoga,

  • of all the religious teachings.

  • Of all the things that are meant to quiet the mind

  • to give you this consciousness, this heaven on earth,

  • no tool is greater than quiet time.

  • Because in here, is where it all is.

  • CHRIS MORROW: All right, but there

  • are a lot of different types of meditation.

  • The type that we talk about in the book

  • is mantra based meditation.

  • What brought you specifically to that style, or that approach?

  • Or did you to try other ones first?

  • How did you settle on mantra?

  • RUSSELL SIMMONS: I think I've tried a lot since,

  • but I mean I started out, my first teachers

  • taught me to let go.

  • It's good, it's a good mantra.

  • It's a mantra based meditation.

  • And then they taught me candle gazing.

  • That's good.

  • They taught me concentrating on a thing.

  • On a thing that won't move.

  • You ever been in the water in a pool,

  • and you're just chilling right?

  • You want the water just to like--

  • and you're just chilling, that's meditation.

  • You just feel the fluctuation.

  • So concentration is a good tool for meditation.

  • Single pointed focus-- read a book,

  • and you forget to breathe-- that's still.

  • That's why when you like to do your work-- you make music,

  • my god you make music, and in between one

  • snare drum and the other like is a lifetime, the melody it's

  • beautiful, it sucks you all the way in.