Russell Simmons, hip-hop pioneer and co-founder of Def Jam Records and Def Comedy Jam, along with cognitive neuroscientist David Vago engaged in a on-stage conversation about the benefits of meditation and how it affects the brain at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. The event was apart of the Museum’s Brainwave: Mind Over Matter program schedule. Walking into this, one can only think about what can be expected. However, the conversation was both enlightening and enthralling as these two gentlemen of completely different ends of the spectrum discuss meditation and science and how each intertwines. Russell Simmons has a new book out called Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple that dives into how meditation can help everyone live a calmer, healthier and happier life.
The conversation delved into yoga, Buddhism and clarity of the mind with Russell interjecting to discuss how meditation affects his personal life by allowing him to have an empty mind and “claiming the noise.” Vago explained the intricacies of the brain and what part of the mind mediation actually works on using his wealth of knowledge and practice in the field. Now the two did bump heads on some occasions on different theories, but nothing outrageous. The crowd was filled with teachers, scientist and yoga enthusiast who we’re all curious in what Simmons means by success through stillness. So he demonstrated with the crowd. For 10 minutes, Uncle Russ instructed the audience to participated in mediation to help clear the mind, which surprisingly was very effective. The event transitioned into a Q & A then a book signing. Later on Russell sat down with XXL to discuss his book, why he wrote it and what does having a “comfortable seat” mean.