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Russell Brand: I am an Addict

Posted by David H Shapiro on August 27, 2018


Comedian Russell Brand explains: “The reason I became a drug addict is that all throughout my life I felt this sense of irritation, agitation, this emptiness…

I found every progressive drug: cannabis, LSD, crack, heroin. Each of them is greeted as tiny little powdery prophets, solutions to the problem of my inner angst.

None of them work.” ( )

Today we have a crisis in drug addiction care: less than one in five Americans with drug abuse problems receive any help ( ). Little do they know, all the rest can get rapid, available, effective and affordable tools to escape these painful, costly and even life-threatening attachments.

According to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 20.1 million people (7.7 percent of the U.S. population) aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem in 2016. Only 3.8 million (19 percent of those who needed treatment) received any substance use treatment in the same year. ( ).

According to US News in December, 2016, ( ) the Surgeon General reported that in 2015 the United States had a staggering $442 billion dollar loss to its national economy from drug and alcohol abuse.

According to National Institutes of Health, the average treatment (for veterans) for substance abuse costs $3,754 with a 75.0% chance of being effective.

Some people start drugs for a new “high,” others to overcome pain or discomfort; some athletes use drugs to enhance performance; others take up drugs out of curiosity. For whatever reason one tries and becomes addicted to drugs, the addiction is considered a brain disorder that can change the structure of the brain and how it works, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse ( ).

If one has been in a traumatic event, drug and alcohol “self-medication” often accompanies Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It can also be understood as one of the symptoms of PTSD. (For more stories and information on our projects to reduce the pandemic of PTSD across Africa, go to )

Without support, drug addiction often leads to harmful behaviors, and mental and physical health debilitation. The Surgeon General explained that “Neighborhoods and communities as a whole are also suffering as a result of alcohol- and drug-related crime and violence, abuse and neglect of children, and the increased costs of health care associated with substance misuse.”

According to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse ( ), the 20% who do get support use a variety of approaches:

● behavioral counseling

● medication

● medical devices and applications used to treat withdrawal symptoms or deliver skills training

● evaluation and treatment for co-occurring mental health issues such as depression and anxiety

● long-term follow-up to prevent relapse

The goals of these approaches are to first become drug free, then stay drug free, and over the long-run be a happy and productive member of family and society.

There are many complementary and alternative (CAM) approaches that with help change the quality of life and achieve the above goals… including exercise, diet, and better patterns of sleep. Other common approaches are special diets, probiotics, and mineral and vitamin supplements, breathing exercises, and acupuncture.

However, what is first needed, before standard treatments or CAM, is a tool that directly allows the addict to experience clearer thinking, discriminating and feeling. This process gives control back to the addict to then be able to take control over his or her life and act in a way that leaves him or her not only “feeling” in control of his or her life, but actually creating a life that then works for them to create a more powerful and productive future. This gives him or her greater purpose in life and a direction to start living a more fulfilling life.

Transcendental Meditation is one such evidence-based way to do this. Having gained more control, the individual can choose the useful tools to change his or her lifestyle to substitute positive activities for drug or alcohol addiction habits. He or she may also choose to receive psychological counseling and/or pharmacology to support this change in patterns of behavior.


A 2007 study showed that the most commonly used CAM approaches were natural products, breathing exercises and meditation, according to NIH Center for Complementary and Integrative Health ( )

One effective, evidence-based meditation for drug abuse reduction is Transcendental Meditation. ( )

Transcendental Meditation (TM), has been taught the same systematic way over the past 60 years, and is now practiced by over 7 million people in every country around the world. TM is a simple, effortless mental technique that employs the principle of rest and release of stress. The meditator experiences quieter, more silent and more restful levels of thinking, and the body gains profound rest and release of fatigue and stress. With increasing coherence of mind due to more silent and orderly thinking gained in meditation, after meditation the practitioner has more freedom from the influence of past decisions and he or she can then more easily choose to stop the destructive behaviors of drug and alcohol abuse.


Over 10 peer-reviewed studies ( and then go to addictions link) show that TM produces a very significant reduction in drug and alcohol abuse. For example, one meta-analysis of 70 drug rehab study results (Alcohol Treatment Quarterly, 11: 13-88) showed that TM was significantly more effective than either peer support or prevention education.

Russell Brand comments ( “The thing is that what I have learned, what I was looking for all the time, was a sense of union, a sense of connection.

Why for us is there the subsequent misery? Because for us these flimsy scraps are never going to be enough. We want the real connection. We want the absolute connection. And the thing is that connection exists. And, it’s possible to find it. And it’s possible that you in fact could find it now. First you have to remove the chemicals and the substances. You have to get rid of them. I believe in abstinence based recovery. I believe in harm reduction when necessary to get you to abstinence-based recovery, but I believe that if you are a drug addict of the nature that I am, you have to remove drugs from your life.

Transcendental Meditation (TM) will give you access to peace. It will give you access to a (new) consciousness that is not entirely defined by your self and your conditions as you understand them. It will give you sanctuary and serenity. That is what it’s done for me. An integral part of my life as a recovering drug addict is TM.”

Russell Brand risked his career and his life with drug dependence and addiction. Twenty-three million Americans suffer each year from drug and alcohol abuse. Only one in five gets treatment. Here are available, affordable, and effective tools to help people around the world suffering from drug and alcohol dependence and addiction take control of their drug and alcohol intake for a clearer, more effective and happier life.

As Russell Brand said: “Through TM I felt this beautiful serenity and selfless connection. There are those with great privilege and luxuries that can have access through TM, but there are people who are in extreme states of suffering who can benefit from it too.” (

About the authors:

Dr. Scott F. Terry, Ed.D., M.A., IL.-L.M.F.T., IL.-L.C.P.C., IA.-L.M.F.T., IA.-L.M.H.C., Ch.T., and AAMFT approved supervisor. With 25 years of practice as a doctoral level clinician, supervisor, professor, clinical and executive director of five large mental health organization practices, including the Ardent Counseling Center, and a radio show.

David Shapiro, B.A. cum laude chemistry, M.A., is an author of two articles published in Journal of Traumatic Stress (April, 2013; February, 2014) on Transcendental Meditation and PTSD; the founding President of PTSD Relief Now and its African PTSD Relief projects and Alliance for PTSD Recovery (both are 501C3 charities) ; author of a third article, in submission, on rapid reductions in PTSD in South African college students; and an author of numerous popular articles on PTSD published throughout the world. His previous articles in Elephant Journal include: Is Meditation the Answer to Trump’s Goal to Reduce Veteran Suicides? and The Simple Technique that dramatically Reduced PTSD Symptoms in Refugees. Thousands of refugees, at-risk students, military, abused women have received support from PTSD across Africa from PTSD Relief Now Corporation. To get updates on research and projects, sign up here

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What we see depends on how we see

"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." 
--Dorothea Lange
The artist and the photographer are in the habit of noticing, in detail, 
their environment. 
They observe with intent. They remember details and record them. 
The colours, shapes, textures, compositions--they notice the contrasts of light 
and shade and the infinite number of colours and combinations of colours. 
When these colours and combinations are 'just so' they trigger a blissful response 
in the brain chemistry. I can remember being very moved by the colours 
in my Mother's silk scarves and the jumpers she knitted--beautiful earthy tones 
to sooth the savage beast..
Its all too beautiful--the plain grey background showing off a flashy feature, 
an autumn leaf, the feel of a thing, the happy sky above..
Because of this practiced observation the artist's perception becomes refined and, 
with the addition of TM to their tool-kit, perception becomes more celestial.
They fall in love with the delights nature offers up and they want to re-create them 
in order to own them, immortalise them, and share them.
They pour all their attention, in the form of love and joy, into their re-production--
and this love, once it goes into the work, stays there forever--it is locked away.
Their fascination with that little law of nature, once recorded on canvas or film, 
fades somewhat, and they move on to other loves. They keep painting picture 
after picture--one fancy after another. Its a trip. Nevertheless yesterday's 
painting remains as full as it was in the freshness of the artist's conception 
and is always ready to welcome new eyes to appreciate it--that same love 
that went into it initially now inspires and uplifts whoever sees it 
(to the extent that it can--it enlivens that level from whence it came).
Thus the artist practices and, in the natural tendency of more and more, 
his standards rise and reflect more of the divinity he wants to express. 
He pictures reality, makes a little imitation of reality and reminds us of the 
subtleties of life--it is the lie that tells the truth. He is packaging God 
and making it available to others. All he has done is to draw attention 
to something he has noticed--he has framed it, published it, and says,
'this is to be looked at'.
A guitarist makes music out of noise and brings harmony and joy to others. 
A wordsmith writes to entertain and to educate. Parents raise children on 
a diet of love and affection and these divine qualities multiply and expand 
generation after generation.
Whatever we do in life it is therefore necessary to first contact the home of 
unbounded love and bliss so that we have it to give in the first place. 
The artist can only express what is inside--if he tries to fake it, makes something 
beautiful when he is not feeling beautiful, it does not ring true. 
Some intangible X-factor is missing.
The artist is saying, by his many works, 'God is here', 'God is there', and 
'God is also there'. God is everywhere if you look well. 
So his is a life of celebration of the highest order. 
We can all get high doing things we love. 
The Vedic artist is a yogi first and an artist second--therefore he seeks 
God twenty four hours a day.
He sees a tree with a regard for its aesthetic beauty. When he looks at the old oak tree 
he transcends and worships it. He then paints it in such a way that others can see what 
he has seen--he creates some sublime feeling of awe and grace to fulfil his purpose.
When a carpenter or a wood merchant sees the same tree he looks at it in a different 
way according to his calling. A hungry man is looking for fruit, another man wants 
shelter from the elements--we see it differently. We can see it in any way we want.
Jai Guru Dev
Richard Barnes

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Creating Peace in Lebanon: One Woman’s Story

by Linda Egenes | Jun 28, 2018

Inner peace is not just something that Susan Hamza talks about—it’s something she lives on a daily basis.

“When I meditate I feel a sense of peace, a total absence of disturbance on the level of emotions, and that carries on throughout the day,” she says. “It’s now a time of my life when very little can disturb my inner peace. It’s a great blessing.”

This statement is even more impressive when you find out that Susan and her family live in Lebanon, a country that has survived a civil war, terrorist attacks, and invasion from neighboring countries in recent decades.

What is Susan’s secret to staying calm in turbulent times? She has been practicing the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique for 45 years. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing her about her experiences.

Susan laughs when she describes her motivation for starting TM in the first place. “It was 1973 and hippie time, and I was interested in meditation,” she says. “My dream was to go off to Japan and be bidden to enlightenment by a monk in a silk robe!” …

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Newspaper Article on the Purusha Capital in West Virginia


The Hampshire Review, the local newspaper in Romney, WV, has published an article on the Purusha Capital. You can read the article at the following link:

Hampshire Review Article
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