Q&A WITH RUSSELL SIMMONS

Forget the idea that meditation is for monks living on a remote mountaintop somewhere in Tibet. Meditation has gone mainstream, and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons is a huge advocate of meditation. Nicknamed “Rush,” Russell Simmons helps us learn to stop, look, collaborate and listen to the stillness that is inside of us all.

Russell Simmons owes his financial success to meditation.

Russell Simmons, the co-founder of the record label Def Jam, home to international superstars like Jennifer Lopez, Jay-Z, Christina Milian, and Ne-Yo, has an astute business acumen that’s made him one of the most successful magnates of the music world. With his prosper- ity, he has built an empire that spans a wide variety of industries, including fashion, film, digital media, and even financial services.

It’s his personal undertakings, however, that he credits to making him the man he is today.
So what does a music mogul do in his spare time? Yoga and meditation.

“I discovered meditation through my yoga practice. Meditation is the most powerful part of yoga. I started going to yoga because of the hot girls, and I got addicted,” Simmons laughs. “The idea of being present, and not being rushed, was so appealing to me. I was running around frantically at the time. Meditation, it’s benefitted me greatly. You can’t get no money when you’re living in the past or the future. You’ve gotta be present.”

For a man nicknamed Rush, slowing down seemed counter-intuitive — and counterproductive — to all that he was trying to — and did — accomplish. Yet Simmons stuck with it, and now credits his success to his ability to be still.

“It changes everything. It’s helped me with everything. Business — and life — is all about the choices you make. When emotions and emo- tional attachment to the world aren’t clouding your judgment, you can make better decisions. I’m twice as productive in half the time,” he explains.

In fact, says Simmons, when you are meditating, you are joining a community of successful people — such as his pals Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, and Paul McCartney, “who move through life on their own terms and maximize their potential.”

What started as a way for him to meet women gave way to a passion that changed his life — and he hopes, the lives of others. He recently published a new book, Success Through Stillness, his own breakdown of meditation made easy, accessible to anyone, anywhere, Russell Simmons style.
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