Oprah and David Letterman talk meditation, mantras


Oprah Winfrey is awfully fond of giving things away -- cars, trips to Australia, cruises -- and in her first visit to “The Late Show” in eight years Thursday night, she shared something truly priceless with David Letterman: her mantra.

Winfrey, in town to promote “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” -- the movie formerly known as “The Butler” -- spent much of the interview touting meditation. As she explained, Winfrey brought meditation to her company in 2010 “because it makes for a better environment when everybody is focused and of one mind and doing well.”


That’s why the former daytime queen was excited for a meditation challenge she and Deepak Chopra have organized.

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“What kind of challenge is it? It’s not like track and field, for God’s sakes,” Letterman wondered.

“No,” Winfrey replied calmly, “You go online,, and you can sign up and it’s free because I want more people to meditate.”

Letterman claimed that he too had enlisted a guy known as “Meditation Bob” to teach his staff to meditate. “It was like four nights and a thing and then now I can meditate any time I want,” he said.

Winfrey remained skeptical, but then the host began prying about her mantra. At first, she refused to divulge hers, insisting it’s meant to be kept private, but Letterman continued to lay on the pressure: “That’s, you know, that’s not for show business people.”


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Winfrey eventually caved, or at least decided to play along, whispering her mantra in Letterman’s ear.

And, wouldn’t you know, it turned out they had the same mantra, or so Letterman claimed.

Again, Winfrey wasn’t buying it. “He” -- presumably Chopra -- “gave it to me personal,” she said.

“Well, so did Bob,” Letterman replied.

Perhaps the mantra-sharing is a sign these two broadcasting legends have finally put their strange history behind them. In 2005, Winfrey and Letterman buried the hatchet after what had been a 16-year, possibly one-sided feud that began over a dinner misunderstanding in 1989 and escalated with Letterman’s infamously unfunny “Oprah, Uma” bit at the Oscars in 1995.

Apparently their mantra is “forgive and forget.”


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Twitter: @MeredithBlake