« Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

#74: Russell Simmons, Philanthropist, Entrepreneur, Author and Activist

Def Jam music label founder Russell Simmons had his first experience with stillness at a yoga class -- which he admits he took because girls were there. “I went to class because of a lot of hot chicks. It's true,” Simmons says in our interview. Simmons, who practices and teaches Transcendental Meditation, has worked to bring meditation to schools to help lower their violence levels and increase students’ learning abilities. He explains why being a vegan has dramatically changed his health for the better and what his relationship with President Donald Trump is like today.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
For maybe see this is a ten percent. Have your podcast dinner. Hey welcome to a special edition of the ten percent. Have your we got. We got big get this time so Russell Simmonds, Thee, philanthropists entrepreneur and active. they'll get. How did I get all the time I've been there? I wish you'd die, that's good, thank you and also author of such books as super rich success through stillness and a happy Regan you would you initially really burst onto the scene. As somebody who was a hip, hop but you really evolved into things like yoga and meditation inveigled ISM I did that happened in the first place and how does it go down with your core audience? Oh, yes is a popular american, maybe ass in the practice of physical breaks. The veto is very poor.
Yeah you're, the new hit wreck it up all my girl do yoga. I thought I'd love item culture and it is, but I dont think I did it. The separation between new, the goddess near Goddess always operate inside out, especially the writers, these poets they operate from an inside and that's where we all. Seeking like music, not a yoga yoga sound. It brings you to presence, and all of us are seeking every single one of us is seeking the same thing, a comfortable seat or a happy seat, and I come from a quiet mind. There is a science of quieting, the mine. Anyone know a little bit about. It know that Old right along with any artistry, because Addis have to operate from a quiet, mind, definitely seconds a presence, because no creativity ever happens. Unless the mind is
and so they go hand in hand. I think I read your book. I think success through stillness, that you would naturally got into yoga because there were girls they're up. It's funny you gotta know. My first teacher teaches for me now at Tendresse. Tendrils is a school of young excised than I in a layer, my debt by the so called building actually very trendy place night, two hundred sunset, the tanker school tee. the t r. I s. Yes, so I went to class because a lot of checks is true and my first teaches Steve. Ros teaches there now and Steve Ross would say I was Buddhist last struggle he said everything else you. I asked him. If you want my sophomore year, I've been practically twenty four years or so I said Steve. You know I practice everyday and I feel like I know you feel enlightened. Acting like I'm out of class, you feel present and awake and all the things they talk about in scripture. You feel that you are live.
embodying that thing. You said, but Stevie, not a girl in front of me man, I still couldn't help. Keep my my offer like death, the last struggle he said, and I got it that they really Thea, though it's ok, but I wouldn't be a girl to a long story to get back to you, I what those so many girls back then no guys practice yield said is true. For years, yet no guys! What now what happened? I got you into meditation law is an extension. You know you start to practise yoga, and this teaches Steve Raw slip me a copy of the youngest sutras, which is that science book six thousand years old or so no, I know for sure so book would threads that promote happiness. Yoga, the science of happiness is well acquired, mine is bliss, a noisy mine is sick. In saying this. That is now in scripture, but that's reality. A totally still mine than a corpse at sunset are both beautiful
a noisy mine and everything makes you sick and said so. These extremes are real, and so I doubt I took you yet I just got me from moving meditation to sitting meditation to reading scheme Jan and realising it whenever the netbook resonated with me. Would resonate with anybody cuz. What's in that scripture and within all of them the religion are things that are edged inside us, so. What we do know I self we could write scripture. We could tell us what all the things it Mode happiness and well being were because inside us there that instruction, so you that kind of meditation you gravitated heard is called transcendental meditation, where you get a mantra that you
eat, silently in your yes, and then they tell you to do twenty minutes twice a day. I do you do it. I do get twenty minutes twice a day, but what I teach in the tender school is a mantra base meditation, but only different. I think, besides the fact that eulogies practice the physical Asta Yoga, so they can sit, comfortably without affliction, the TM people say sit. However, you want because it dealing with Americans who have to fit. However, they can, but this idea of sitting straight to string pulling you up. That's your that's a yogic kind of instruction, so that, and also we do a collective mantra We give away a mantra. Rum, Maya of an app meditation made simple and we give way to say mantra. Rum, solid, tantrums, A form of meditation is what a collective mantra and it's about sitting erect like yogi, do and loudly instructional stuff is
based and stuff. I learned from the Marie she who is the founder of tea and that's right, or is it the inspiration for tempted today- view you as a competitor now that you're giving away a mantra because most people pay for their mantra. I paid a lot of money for my mantra yet but you're. Given this collective mantra out, I was a different means. The difference. The money doesn't go to tat all the time they get money, I'm happy to pay them. They found. station that I work with them in the schools in the hut in Chicago animals, violent schools with turning around level of violence goes down dramatically dip kid Billy to learn goes up dramatically, you know so there's a lot of benefits to giving meditation to school. In an David Lynch Foundation is giving tonnes says no cursing yet put up a sigh. Your deep edging. Will you people use it? I dont know how to talk without carcinogenic, eventually got out to be, me, I just should tell the listeners it there's a glass wall right here
control room on the other side of the studio which wrestler our sitting right now, they just put up a sign that said: live no cursing live on Facebook there yes, except for where owned by a little company called Disney and so that we have our own station that one should stop eating animals. Everybody on the planet stop closing the worst comic disaster in the world. I think we'd, that's why meditation is important so that we can make choices and formed by the Spirit, and when one a rabbi out a month or a mom priest, tell you to do things you can assess for yourself whether with the proper instruction Vincent a Christian who reads: dominion over the animals and still takes part in the abuse of twenty billion animals debut. Twenty billion animals every year, only the cause, tremendous sickness and restructure structure the planet. It seems that That is a tremendous. No, no! Your christian they need animals not now not in the current. Do
If we do it now, new shouldn't be part of that. So in a temple, the idea of eating stake. Vincent's, you know if you eat before, and you ve heard this probably Is the thirty a protein slight twenty cigarettes a day. You don't want to give you kids, twenty cigarette today, so what they tell you is not the norm like dont curse, you think about whether it really is calling the harm your clothing. When you go alone, program, Donald, the programme? A lot of people are fences. On top of all that the non vague and take up a hundred times more space on this planet, and I do for you and retired, most Baithanus plan that's really under complete stress. What do you think vaguely you ve really taken this on. As a as an activist struggle. The organism, why do you think it hasn't caught on
a bigger way I mean? I know it is, moreover, its growing very quickly, and I think that the new products are coming but is also have to realise that the worse, both terrible threat we're facing beside for nuclear threat, which you see now it's all over the nose to threats that people, but besides that, must be factory farming, What causes more harm than factory find? What starves more people interlinked poisons more people when poisons the plant more than the cows, gas, Just go save interlinked with climate change, which I would argue, with an existential risk along with all of it, but people still do it like it's normal so I do not think everybody should meditate and come up with better answers will arrive at some of the same decisions like we should not be part of this factory farming industry. We should not feel along with all the other industry, though destroying the planet and poisoning the p
And pointing the minds of the people, but but but specifically the factory farming industry and what is doing you Cavan, buying, stuff tat we sell here in Amerika selling cars you can't buy, it said stuff you're right, you can't buy the the chicken that would provide the antibiotic subsided, growth hormones, steroids, Prozac, that's all the chicken illegal in South Africa. There was a right there recently over that trying to sell american chicken. You can't sound Russia UK so in China nowhere in Europe, can you sell american Factory farm meat because its poison, but America Saellvertu? So it's it's?
count intuitively. Tell me: I can't curse, and yet you feed is poison to the children and destroy the plant, doing it and cause sickness and cancer everything's, and also the comic disaster. Mostly people listening can't choke a chicken. Yet you can be involved in the slaughter and the horrible abuse of children abuse chicken. We had a great favor, you have as opposed to the wave chickens or treatment plant. So it's struggle with this personally, because I on the merits. The argument for vision as it is in an unimpeachable, the animal, guilty argument alone? Never mighty environmental argument. I have no, I cannot move is any any factual arguments against of You know my wife not happy and we have to your old norm yet icelander meditate middleweight. We will not achieve ass every yoga practice and we say born again leave. What's not
Serving you on the mat. Leave the animal products make a choice. Does so many they have a new p protein burger. Oh, my god is that whole foods in the meat section by company caught beyond meat and beyond, org is phenomenal and another one, the impossible Borg if that out yet so, but that beyond Berger is available, no one tells the difference. It bleeds if everything else, but only thing that can give you cholesterol, but all the other stuff. They come from any animal breeding thought all the cancer right and the sickness that come from eating the animals, not in the protein bar, We were talking before when on the air that your your fifty nine yeah you do not look. Fifty nine alliance I've already sixty. I believe you, but you you're great. You think a lot of this has to do with not only the yoga station, but also the vision that clause. You are what you eat, Peter you at least I mean if just are. Would you eat follow while over
everytime, you absolutely what you. In other words, you change your diet to take animal products out data, be no animal products in you write soon an end that is important. Who wants to have that suffering that sickness that poison in them? For what reason did nothing good people, drink milk, and I think that getting calcium but in fact destroys the calcium in your body right. You know that right destroys the calcium. I haven't researched it to the Orient, you know. Well, that's it destroys the calcium in the body. It is. It breaks down the calcium breaks down, trying to get the calcium, headed milk and its fact, but yet we still tall it's a fool. Whoop would be after, I think, as individuals. We have to make better choices or choice that I informed through not only our meditation but a little better research, good things coming out all time I and end if many companies,
who exploiting you are look into to shift to keep shifting information back to a good argument which are, as none of you just suggested, have no argument that that promotes eating animals Perhaps you could put question about and meditation it's. My nominate give my opinion on that here, but I've been in the meditation world in one way or another for maybe eight years and in my view, just based. on what I've seen when my own two eyes that largely speaking meditation is kind of stuck in this world of upper middle class white people why do you think that is and what can be done about it wont. Let me say about your view about meditation that might be partly true, but about the vague and diet african Americans, six percent vague and where the rest of America's one
percent what you had best. What are you gonna recent button? Cultural, because if data a culture western in communities in and that have affected them, the mindset of african Americans also the sickness and the disease that come from the animal pride is more prevail in the african american community until when they have a hint of what they could be doing from cultural elements in the community. They use that and ate it make choices so percentage of people rather than the diabetes in the cancer and the things that their relative about their fighting today. They do something to combat it and that's one of the things that are prescribed more opted in that community in the rest of mainstream America. Interesting fact now about them Station were putting it in schools everywhere in the herd in Chicago is my greatest, I think, but we are Oakland's Golden the delay in Yemen in New York sums
but really having it spread into places where needed we needed to most and I've been. many prisons and taught children in prison and adults in prison. How to meditate and they are really easy. You know at the problem with the Goldman Sachs people don't take answered still while they ve already learned a lot of the habits you know of of Your nickname is a kid. Was rush ahead, these habits to right I mean still carry a lot of it. I mean I'm not enlighten us struggle all the time, but you know I know better. It's just some extent. You know what I mean. You know better. You do better one hundred percent of time, but you know better instinctively. You agree that what scripture tells you is true that what you're promised in the scripture that you believe when you read that if you follow these instructions- and sometimes it takes a little bit of restriction, what do you follow these instructions? You'll be happier and all of us to speak
same thing to be happy right to all the time and great. I thought yoga meditation all these tools our way out of this suffering. You re a man from what I can tell of real ambition yard. You got a lot of stuff go on and on many fronts, personal flat philanthropic business activist. Does How does and you wrote a book called success through stillness or how does meditation and yoga help with actually handling business? While you are, operate from a place of meeting nothing. My book super rich is in some way the prosperity book, but super rich
is that state of needing nothing in this state of yoga locked me, the goddess. It was a dd that we used to teach about the self in our Tantra school Lakshmi is steam, giving diamond everything out of shooting out of her my hands, but that defeat she's piled up with riches, because good givers are great get is the operate from a space of giving Jesus taught to sermons? Want his disciples, give without expectation that pay the Romans attacks on time, but they had then they did and then he taught to the masses, give and good give us a great get us that I gave and they were focused on a giving enough so that they had to make paid, a moment's their taxes, the disabled, never work.
Because they had more money to pay of omens, more taxes and the reason of this phenomenon exists could if you are present and awake and if you work and if your work is not were full of worry and anxiety, then you present, and you can only do good work when you hear, Your mind in the future in the pass separates you from good work. and almost an enlightened state of fully present just giving, without any expectation, piles up to riches at your feet. So I say that to people worry about holding onto stuff give an and be a good get a because of it very young person whose amber just trying to come up and come up in the world, and you don't have much because you just starting out the idea
having sounds counter intuitive and maybe even danger. Gotta give what you want to receive your money gotta give money to give something that makes money to get money. You have to give what you want in every case. You know. That's all reality. You noted the cycle of giving that were born into giving in receiving is a cycle you can't get without giving you can't give without getting that cycles. Continuously to begin to begin giving you have no job to go to the store and you go out front the store and you can't get in to buy because I got no money start sweeping from the store. If you don't give me my next next, the next guys a complete with then you go inside you give you.
Do you start to show them how to arrange the shelf that you study their craft and you go to register you put the rubber band around money for the first time? It's that's neat humanity store. Then you run Walmart whatever it is you ascend by giving and that's just the law, some in every scripture taught by every profit over and over again the same lesson, and so I saying this lesson not because I know it so I'm so clear about it is that I have faith in it enough faith to share it, and I do it as much as I am capable and more capable. I get the better off. I am and the more I give the more. I get you when we were talking earlier about how well preserved you are at fifty nine. You said if you, if you look at pictures of me thirty five years ago, I look like I was almost about to die. So what was going on in your life? Well, I didn't have the same lifestyle practice yoga twice a day or meditate twice a day and I didn't drink a bunch of green juice
Eda I'd animal product. I did a lot of stuff. That was, you know hurtful to me, including did drugs. It was time an era where people the drunk Gabby one about already mentioned, was Angel Angel July. That is not very good, but you know you have to learn to love yourself enough to take care of yourself and you do sometimes. If you're lucky get a chance to to change your life, but people you were running with back then, where they still around all summer dead, some are in jail in some survived, mostly deadening, jail saw him very lucky, yeah and ate. It may all have started with wanting to be around good looking women and that got you into yoga class. I did go to class bigger, did I'd. Tell you already yeah lava holder like them at the time of the eyes, could have been saved, in some way, I guess so, quick quickly before we before I let you go. You are worthy of things you talk about in success through stillness is the value of failure,
What do you mean by that? What I defined it is failure only for the people who are reading the book experiences you learn to tribal Univee Bob to ease, and so but you learn in any experience, helps you provide contacts and direction. to what you want to do is other words. If we want to build something, you don't get it right, the first time you learn a lot about how to get it right in that experience so you all Uline, but you know who doesn't work at the very least, so you learn from experiences like that top experiences values funny, because you can't fail until you quit. So if you're still doing it, you didn't fail. Just learned something, that's good for me to hear cuz. I got a lot of things that I worry about. the time and book there was. I forgot. One thing I do want to ask you about was pointed out to me by my producers that another of your boy Do you twelve laws to access the power in you to achieve happiness, a success? actually, I'm tired
I got nothing wrong with evident obese. Would long subtitles included one of my own book, but you had a forward by Donald Trump, be forwarded to books about so the for my life story, which twenty years ago and then he followed it for this book. Do you about how many of you are probably ten. What's yours with him now what you think about how is doing as President well written about this extensively, I like him as a friend. I don't like him either president. I don't like the choices made by the people, you've, children and to put in different positions. I don't like the agenda to empower rich and and of access to services to the poor. I don't like the warmongering. I don't like the treatment of the environment, hiring a person of them believe in protecting the environment and critical time could be on his
watch that with a scientist discover that is no way around us all dying that if planet could die and it could be. A scientist could tell us that during his his tenure while he is continuing to destroy the plan allowing people new access to two M harmful activities that they were denied in the recent past to go backwards on the environment harm are you guys, don't believe system law and order, putting more people in jail where you have our aid worth criminal justice system? A lot of what he is saying is so hurtful it's unbelievable in american support Are you still in touch with him or haven't spoken to him in a while? I spoke to him of his head of HUD recently about stuff that we could do in the projects to help people it was through his office, but I have not spoken to him personally since he ran- and I said, I'd rather Kim Kardashian
present hand like men like it much, but so we were friends for very long ass. A guide at your friends with you wreck easy easy is the. Is he different? Now I get along with pretty much everybody, I want some, about a rally that wasn't it wasn't so heavy providing such mean stuff out of progressive sign and then remember him in his daughter, his daughter with the progressive and he was, open mind to let her talk about things no. He didn't believe with me and we sat there and he's a nice enough guy for the most part site. I felt badly do what I wrote the message to Hell with him and everybody. You know I mean people are very angry. I, along with Roger Ales I'd along Rupert Murdoch don't know I'm well a new Roger, but I get low. Everybody have yet to question. No, it was equipped. Just curious to see what did you know if you, if the guy you were folded Trump, you know yet had my point. Yes, Donald was fine. Is it good
and is very nice is very supportive of me in many ways, and nice to my family. Fly Reverend run down to MAR legal. Every weekend I went would amount to Mohammed weakens, but he was by Rev run every weekend and his family tomorrow, Lago on his plane and he's just very nice, but his belief system is not one that I am for the most part, almost anything he says I don't agree with before we close just run down cause people after her Listen to the servant. I want to know where to find more about you. What what where she would you send people to learn more about you check out the things you're Europe to live, one people to my my new yoga studio notes only and allay right now, Tantalus, it's a school of the obvious signs and, One is for yoga to change just enough. The asana practice should include young people should learn the compassionate practice,
so that it can be more than just a physical practice and that's what we teach at the school in allay, but also What am I gonna learn to meditate? Didn't we have an app meditation made simple. You can get its free and inform people of Timor impassioned, while loving I want them to be weakens the. I say, the happy being simple book. You give away the money for these books have not for my charity for my money, but it's just people should be vague and they should not an individual should not take up five hundred times more place, only four hundred to five hundred times more space on this planet, and I do it shouldn't so they can cause themselves sickness and destroy the plan and and its and so people can starve for that takes up all in resources and destroying the plan naughty boy but usable
The ozone layer and global warming is also a direct result of the animal products we, so we should stop. We should think about what means we don't want to die at sixty out. I wanna get cancer. My friends have kept it wants, it didn't die. Many of my getting cancer is from their diet. Racism Thank you very much. Thank you at my pleasure. ok, there's another edition of the ten percent happier podcast. If you liked it, please make sure to subscribe rate us, and if you want to suggest topics, we should cover a guess. To bring in hit me up on Twitter at Dan be Harris. I also want to thank heartily the people who produce with Pakistan really do very much out of work. Nephron Josh, Cohansey Ramos, Sarah AMOS Steve Jones and Jones, and the head of ABC use Digital Dan silver to you next Wednesday,
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