“Women in the Media Who Meditate” Luncheon Raises Funds to Teach TM to At-Risk Women and Children
“There doesn’t have to be a trade-off between performance and actually tapping into a place of peace, strength and wisdom within,” said Arianna Huffington, the chair, president and editor-in-chief of Huffington Post to an audience of 450 women business leaders who attended a luncheon roundtable on the benefits of Transcendental Meditation (TM) on Thursday, April 16, in New York City. Proceeds from the luncheon are being used to teach TM to women and children in New York City who are survivors of violence and abuse.
The event featured a panel of women leaders from the media who meditate, including Robin Roberts, anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America; Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; Cynthia McFadden, senior legal and investigative correspondent for NBC News; Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, Lenox Hill Hospital heart specialist and host of “Focus on Health,” Dr. Jennifer Ashton, senior medical correspondent for ABC news; Lesley Seymour, editor-in-chief of More magazine; and Perri Peltz, award-winning HBO producer and director.
“My friends are all really busy playing multiple roles as wives, mothers, business executives, raising money for charity—there’s a whole range of things,” said Cynthia McFadden, who recently reported on the success of the TM-based Quiet Time program in California public schools. “I think that meditation is something we do for ourselves. For me, TM has helped me be more effective in the things I most care about. I don’t know how it works but I know it does: there is a combination of pleasure from both energy and calm.”
Patricia Harrison, who oversees both PBS television and NPR radio, values her meditation time because she considers it an essential. “It isn’t a question of how do I find the time for it. Rather, I look forward to it. TM is a oasis, a life-preserver. It strengthens you.”
Robin Roberts found TM to be invaluable in maintaining balance during her lengthy and highly publicized battle with breast cancer. ”There was one component that was missing during the healing process and that was having equilibrium, which has been tremendous in my recovery. Boy, does TM help you on the recovery process,” Robin said.
Meditating twice-a-day helps Lesley Seymour’s outlook on life. “I found the ability to settle down, to go underneath all the noise, was actually quite easy. If I don’t get my twice-daily meditation, I’m a really cranky, mean person. You have to let me go meditate and I’m a really nice person when I come out of it,” she said, smiling, and drawing laughs from the audience.
According to Dr. Steinbaum, the benefits of TM for women extend beyond mental and emotional wellbeing: “In 2013, the American Heart Association put out a scientific statement that said TM is the only proven form of meditation to reduce blood pressure, and for a doctor or clinician, TM is the only meditation that is ‘prescribable’ for stress-reduction.”
Dr. Ashton added that until recently the primary focus in health care has been physical fitness—but it’s not enough. “I thought, ‘God, I’ve got this down. I lift weights, I do my cardio. From the neck-down, I’m completely healthy.’ It was from the neck-up that I really needed help. And it was a ‘doctor heal thyself.’ We need to remember that there’s a head attached to the body.”
The event closed with a touching testimonial made by a mother and son who were victims of domestic violence and who have healed their hidden wounds of trauma through Transcendental Meditation.
“After I learned TM, I realized that it was an incredible tool to help me be calm and at peace—so my son learned too. From that child who was so broken three years ago, today he is someone who in the past year received five scholarships for private schools which have special programs for physics and genetics.
“TM is incredibly empowering and I can’t thank the David Lynch Foundation enough for this opportunity, and for the work they are doing for women who are dealing with the aftermath of violence.”