Meditation Teacher Bob Roth’s Top Habits for Success
New year, new start! For many of us, January is a time when we set the goals and intentions that will guide us toward success in the new year. In that spirit, we recently had the opportunity to sit down with Bob Roth—one of our country’s most experienced and influential meditation teachers—and ask him what lifestyle habits bring him the most success each day.
Over the past 45 years, Roth has taught Transcendental Meditation to many thousands of people 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, he has helped bring meditation to more than one 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. Roth also helps to direct the Center for Health and Wellness, which is bringing meditation to companies, government organizations, and nonprofit organizations. Roth is the host of the SiriusXM radio show “Success Without Stress” and has spoken about meditation to industry leaders at such gatherings as Google Zeitgeist, Aspen Ideas Festival, Aspen Brain Conference, Wisdom 2.0, and Summit.
He’s also one of the brightest, most energetic and enthusiastic people we know! Below, Roth explains how meditation, yoga asanas, and a daily Ayurvedic routine keep him on track.
vpk: Given that you’re one of the most experienced meditation teachers in the world, we’re pretty sure we know the answer to our first question! What’s your top secret for success, and why?
BR: Fifty years of Transcendental Meditation twice a day, since I was 18 years old, has given me the resilience, the sustained energy, the clarity, and the inner happiness so that I’m able to maintain a youthful enthusiasm for everything that I do.
vpk: Wonderful. Your book, Strength in Stillness, explores the different types of meditation and breaks down the science behind the Transcendental Meditation technique. How is TM different, and why do you love teaching it?
BR: According to science, there are three basic types of meditation. The first type, Focused Attention, involves clearing the mind of thoughts or concentrating on a thought. The second is called Open Monitoring, which trains the person to dispassionately observe their emotions, feelings, and concerns. Both of those are what are called “cognitive processes.” They attempt to control or alter these cognitive processes, hopefully to our advantage.
Transcendental Meditation, in contradistinction, recognizes that there is a vertical dimension to the mind, that there’s a transcendent level to the mind, a field of silence that lies at the source of thought deep within every human being. And this technique gives effortless access to that inner reservoir of silence, creativity, and energy.
The reason why I’ve been doing this for 46 years is that it’s so satisfying to teach someone to meditate. It’s so easy for people to learn and practice it. It’s enjoyable. People look forward to it, because it wakes up the creative centers of the brain, sharpens the mind, and gives the body very deep rest and relaxation. And during these stressful days and times, there’s nothing better than that state of deep restful alertness that comes from 20 minutes of TM.
vpk: Given your whirlwind schedule teaching TM to everyone from celebrities and at-risk kids to veterans with PTSD, are there other things you do to stay rested, fresh, and upbeat?
BR: Oh yes. I follow a very comfortable Ayurvedic routine, which involves going to bed early, exercising, doing yoga asanas, taking vpk’s Amrit Kalash and Digest Tone, and trying to eat my main meal during lunch. I hate going to bed on a full stomach! Also, I love what I’m doing every day.
vpk: That’s kind of amazing that you’re able to observe so much of the daily dinacharya, or Ayurvedic routine, given your hectic schedule.
BR: It’s the only way I can maintain the schedule. It’s not even a choice; it’s not even an option. Whenever I meet someone, whenever I’m speaking publicly, I want to be as clear, focused, open, caring, and compassionate as possible. And for that, I have to take care of myself. But it’s not a difficult regimen—it’s a pure joy.
vpk: That’s a beautiful way of putting it. I’m sure all of us at vpk would agree! For our last question, what’s the one piece of advice you’d offer someone—anyone—looking to up their game and find more success in life?
BR: Many of us are already doing things to take care of our health, but often what we’re doing is from the neck down. We exercise, we eat properly, but we don’t pay enough attention to the three-pound organ which runs everything: the brain.
So my advice is: to be healthy, in addition to your exercise and diet, add Transcendental Meditation to your routine. It allows all the different parts of the brain to naturally communicate together, to integrate—it wakes up the whole brain. And when you have your whole brain awake, and you’re eating properly balanced Ayurvedic meals, and you’re exercising, doing the work you love, surrounded by people you love, and you’re also giving back to your community—service, I think, is very important—then you’re on the path to living the life that every human being dreams of. Which is the full development of your heart and the full display of your unlimited creative potential. And there isn’t anything better than that!
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