Transcendental Meditation

Jim James: Finding the unifying force

Jim James from My Morning Jacket on the practice of Transcendental Meditation

Jim James performing with My Morning Jacket, 2012. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Jim James, the singer of the successful American rock band My Morning Jacket, told the Billboard magazine that he was ‘into meditation’.

James has been doing Transcendental Meditation since a benefit gig for the David Lynch Foundation (DLF) in 2009. Despite not always finding time for the twice-a-day routine, he is completely convinced in the fruitfulness of Transcendental Meditation practice:

“The whole point of it is you sit down on the cushion and you say this mantra and then eventually your mind starts going like, “Tuesday, I gotta take my dry cleaning and pick up this from the store.” The chatter that you have all the time starts rolling in, and when you realize that, you start thinking of the mantra again and you see it disappearing in the space of time between when the mantra ends and when your thought chatter begins again. That’s the line of transcendental consciousness where you have the same consciousness as a tree or a deer or a leaf or water or whatever, and to me that’s like the parallel of God or being lost in music or lost in love. You’re trying to get in touch with the force that is unifying every living thing. It helps in every aspect of life.”

To ABCNews Radio, James added:

“When I meditate, it opens up more room in my mind and makes me a more peaceful person. It’s almost like there’s more energy to go around and I have more energy to dedicate to everything in my life, not just music, but just life itself.”

In 2015 Jim James again performed for the benefit of DLF. Just before the event, he spoke of the effects of the practice of Transcendental Meditation in his interview to Rolling Stone:

 “I meditate every day. I think meditation is one of the most wonderful things a person can do because it gives you a chance to just quiet things down, quiet the world, turn off your phone, turn off your computer, turn off your conversations and just sit with yourself and try to feel what it’s like to be alive.”

When asked whether Transcendental Meditation influenced his song-writing, James declared:

“I think so! I think no matter what you do, [meditation] definitely makes life different. It creates more space for the things in your life. You take the time to sit with yourself and life seems to open up a little bit more. I feel like it’s a lifelong practice, and a lot of people who teach meditation or talk about meditation refer to it as a practice. It’s like learning to play the piano or something. It is a thing you have to do every day. It’s a thing that is sometimes frustrating, and you don’t want to do it or you’re in a hurry. It’s one of those things that’s like a practice or an exercise, but when you take the time to do it, I feel like it really does open up your life and open up your mind to more potential and more possibility because you’ve taken that time to sit with yourself.”