Celebrities and Mindfulness: How Hollywood is Embracing Eastern Spirituality

Celebrities and Mindfulness: How Hollywood is Embracing Eastern Spirituality May 19, 2023

awakened celebrities
Photo by Rachel on Unsplash

Whether you flip through a tabloid or log into social media, famous folks have pioneered numerous wellness trends, such as Gwenyth Paltrow’s Goop or Kate Hudson’s partnership with Fabletics athletic attire. There’s also been an influx of spiritual celebrities embracing mindfulness practice. 

Celebrities’ foray into Eastern traditions and meditation makes sense. Their jobs are often demanding, with extended hours on set or spent on the road touring. As such, they must stay centered in their mind and body.

This article will discuss how mindfulness and creativity go hand in hand and highlight how different celebrities have adopted Eastern spirituality in their daily lives.

Mindfulness Fosters Creativity

The influx of spiritually-awakened celebrities may have many wondering whether meditation and mindfulness are simply fads. Nevertheless, there could be something more to it.

Actors and musicians may come from entirely different worlds, but they all have one thing in common: They are highly creative. For that reason, the widespread adoption of mindfulness in Hollywood makes sense.

Research shows that mindfulness practice can foster creativity by improving concentration and open-mindedness. Additionally, it aims to eliminate fear and a sense of being judged. This prompts a flow of thought, promotes risk-taking and encourages an uncommon response to different situations — all associated with creative tendencies.

Musicians need creativity to write songs and perform in front of audiences. Actors must use their imagination when playing a role. The same can be said for artists, authors and producers of all types. For them, meditation, sitting in silence and breathing for relaxation strengthens their creative abilities. 

6 Spiritually-Awakened Celebrities

Some big names are now recognized as spiritual celebrities. From Russell Brand to Jennifer Aniston, famous folks from all walks of life and at different points in their careers gain peace of mind through Eastern spirituality. Here are six celebrities embracing mindfulness.

1. Olivia Newton-John

Although the late Olivia Newton-John followed Christianity, she was interested in all religions, particularly Dr. Deepak Chopra’s writings. Her song “Let Go Let God” from her “Grace and Gratitude” album even touched on surrendering in search of strength. 

While listening to the song, you’ll hear the infamous Buddhist chant “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” by the monk Nichiren. The mantra sheds light on one’s ability to overcome life’s greatest challenges.

Newton-John’s awakened spirituality resulted from her breast cancer returning in 2017 and 2020. Breast cancer can be tricky to diagnose. While middle-aged women are more at risk of their breast tissue accumulating cancerous cells, women under 40 may still develop the disease. Therefore, scheduling annual check-ups and performing self-exams for abnormal lumps is essential.

2. Alicia Keys

Grammy-award winner Alicia Keys is another spiritually-awakened celebrity who’s turned to mindfulness. Keys adopted a Kundalini meditation practice, setting her alarm clock early for a grounding meditation as the sun rises. Kundalini requires you to develop and reflect on an intention or mantra for a few minutes.

Keys is so serious about her spirituality that she partnered with Dr. Chopra’s health company Chopra Global to develop a free 21-day meditation program. “Activating the Divine Feminine: The Path to Wholeness” helps listeners tap into feminine power, allowing them to find joy and live a more fulfilled life. 

Participants spend 20 minutes meditating daily through guided meditations and storytelling voiced by Keys and Dr. Chopra.

3. Russell Brand

When thinking about mindfulness in Hollywood, Russell Brand is likely one of the first spiritually-awakened celebrities that come to mind. 

Brand turned to transcendental meditation, meditating for an hour daily for nearly a decade to help himself overcome drug and sex addiction. Since then, he’s come out with a podcast called “Under the Skin,” in which he speaks to different people about all things mindfulness-related — living with intention, being happy, spirituality and wellness.

Brand has spoken about transcendental meditation several times, noting that his practice enables him to live more presently. Additionally, he explains how meditation has given him purpose outside of his work as an actor and comedian. 

“The aim becomes a kind of service of a higher or different good, not just contained within my materialistic or my individualistic, rationalistic needs. How can I relate to people differently? Is it possible that every interaction I have ends with that person feeling a little better?”

Transcendental meditation involves a silent mantra repetition to cultivate focus and intention. Practitioners often find that transcendental meditation relieves anxiety, depression and stress. Studies also show that using a mantra encourages emotional self-regulation in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

4. Emma Watson

Only a handful of celebrities have mastered getting in tune with their inner world like Emma Watson has. In 2014, Watson shared that she became a certified yoga instructor between film projects. She also once spent a week at a silent retreat in Canada.

Silent retreats are often days-worth of isolation, requiring you to unplug from your devices and honoring time for reflection. People from all walks of life — whether a newly-divorced single mom or a top executive of a company — attend retreats to separate themselves from the chaotic world.

Silent rumination is a challenging practice for many people. However, silence is conducive to healing and finding balance. When you sit in silence, you learn to let go of anger, hurt or other emotions to move ahead.

5. Paul McCartney

If you ask Paul McCartney about the key to longevity, he’ll likely tell you it’s vegetarianism, yoga and meditation. The Beatles singer practices yoga regularly, doing stretches each morning to start the day. 

A practitioner of Transcendental Meditation, McCartney stumbled upon Eastern spirituality in the 1960s when George Harrison’s wife encouraged the band to meet with spiritual guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. 

The Beatles helped popularize Transcendental Meditation afterward. Today, Jerry Seinfeld, Oprah Winfrey, Hugh Jackman, Cameron Diaz and Ellen Degeneres are all said to have adopted a practice.

6. Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston has used meditation to improve decades-long poor sleeping habits. Today, Aniston turns off her devices and charges them in a different room before meditating and going to bed.

However long she can give her meditation practice suffices — if that means she can only sit for five minutes, it’s just enough time to calm herself down. Depending on her needs, she may use a meditation app with a guided exercise or write down what she’s grateful for. For this reason, her spirituality becomes highly personal. 

Studies suggest that mindfulness may reduce sleep disturbances, although more research is needed as evidence. 

Spiritual Celebrities Promote Mindfulness for All

Celebrities significantly influence everyday people, particularly fans and younger generations who aspire to be like them. As such, their promotion of Eastern Spirituality and mindfulness encourages others to pursue the same. Of course, while many argue that celebrity trends aren’t worth following, this is one movement we might all adopt.

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