Over the past 45 years, Bob Roth has taught Transcendental Meditation to thousands of people all over the world, and is the author of the 2018 New York Times bestseller, “Strength in Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation.” As CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, Bob has helped bring meditation to more than a million students in underserved schools in 35 countries, to military veterans and their families who suffer from post-traumatic stress, and to women and children who are survivors of domestic violence.
In the beginning of our conversation, Bob talks about the path that led him from politics and working for Bobby Kennedy to transcendental meditation. During his college days at Berkeley in the 60’s, Bob recognized that politics would never heal the soul of a deeply divided nation.
Bob explains how the practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM) works and how it varies from other forms of meditation. He says that TM recognizes “deep within every one of us right now is a level where your mind is perfectly settled, calm and wide awake.”
In the words of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who developed TM and brought it to the world 60 years ago: “do less, accomplish more; do nothing, accomplish everything.” For Bob, doing less and accomplishing more are like those times when you are in a flowing, relaxed state and everything just falls into place. He compares it to what athletes call “being in the zone.” According to Bob, TM gives access to your deepest, quietest inner nature which is in alignment with the larger Nature as a whole.
The motto of the David Lynch Foundation is “change begins within.” Bob elaborates: “Start with healing the individual…and that’s how I see transcendental meditation, a medical intervention, just like any medicine but much healthier, and give everybody those tools to heal their trauma and also to actualize the full potential of the brain.”
For Bob, if we want to disrupt the current health care or disease care system, then we must give people the tools to prevent illness and allow them to become resolutely and powerfully healthy.
While we can’t always control the stressors that come from outside, like losing a job or a loved one. We do have the ability to choose how we respond to that stress. In fact, so much of the stress response depends on how we take care of ourselves. For example, are we eating healthy foods, exercising, and meditating twice a day?
Later, Bob shares two poignant stories of individuals who have utilized the power of transcendental meditation to help heal their pain and trauma.
In the end, Bob says that it is no longer a luxury to bring powerful tools like transcendental meditation to people, particularly young people. He reminds us that suicide is now the number two cause of death among teenagers in America: “We’ve got to bring these interventions, violence interrupters, brain awakeners, stress reducers to everybody, but particularly children. We are in danger of losing an entire generation.”
You can learn more about Bob, the David Lynch Foundation and Transcendental Meditation right here: https://www.davidlynchfoundation.org/