My Views On Transcendental Meditation

The Introduction

You may already be aware that Transcendental Meditation is associated with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

TM was incidentally my first exposure to any form of meditation. Previously I had not explored any other types of meditation.

Curiously enough this was one form of meditation that I participated in, which yielded some noticeable result. It was also the simplest of them all.

It was in the mid eighties that I got the opportunity to check out TM. There were many enthusiastic people who attended this presentation.

At first we were shown some slides of a university dedicated to Transcendental Meditation and pictures of some people associated with it.

It was made clear that an initiator is needed for the launch. The two instructors fulfilled the task for an audience of around thirty.


The Method

The simplicity of this exercise is that the meditator has to just sit in a comfortable place, preferably a room where there is not too much light and which is not totally dark either.

Although there are no breathing exercises involved, an airflow is also considered important.

The main task is to repeat a "Mantra." A Mantra is a word, just one word, whether it means something or not is not important.

In the initiation the instructor whispers the Mantra into the student's ear.

Then the repetition is done by the student, only in the mind and not aloud.

My instructor said to me that a student should not divulge his Mantra to anyone. He also revealed that a different Mantra is given to every student.

I did not ask him if there was a criteria that he follows, which enables him to select the right Mantra for a particular student.

I simply assumed the instructor "feels the vibes" and selects a Mantra accordingly.

There was no mention of the need to keep the spine straight, like the requirement when performing yoga breathing exercises.

Once you are comfortably seated, you've got to shut your eyes and let thirty seconds pass. You need not actually count up to thirty, you just have to be conscious of the required length of time.


Practicing

Once thirty seconds elapses from the time you shut your eyes, you've got to start repeating that Mantra. Go on repeating it for twenty minutes.

For the first few days, when you feel your time is up, you may need to gently open your eyes to glance at your watch to check out if twenty minutes has elapsed.

Amazingly, after about a week of practicing you will get the knack of it and automatically stop repetitions when that required length of time is up.

When your time's up, stop repetitions and stay still for another thirty seconds and then gently open your eyes.

During the session you should not deliberately entertain any thoughts.

However it is certain that in the initial stages various thoughts will tend to seep into your mind. When that occurs, you should not forcefully repel them either.

There is absolutely no need to force yourself to concentrate on the Mantra either.

All you have to do is, while repeating the Mantra, just try not to notice the thoughts that are likely to interfere. That's all.

You should not expect anything unusual to happen either. In fact, you should just do it, without any expectations.

Whilst you are involved in the repetitions, if you happen to fall asleep, do not resist. Just let go.

When you waken, all you have to do is assess the duration of your involuntary nap and continue repetitions for that period of time.


Two Sessions Per day

Two sessions are required daily. Once in the morning and once in the evening. The ideal would be if they are twelve hours apart.

A couple of weeks after I started this, I began to feel a little more relaxed during the daytime.

The feeling of calmness was notable, although not to the extreme.

I was probably beginning to reap the benefits of meditation.

Since I was not participating in any other similar activity, I attributed this to my TM program only.

Unfortunately I could not continue Transcendental Meditation as certain changes occurred in my lifestyle which interfered with the schedule I had set. So I was compelled to discontinue.

Other relaxation techniques came my way later on in life that did produce some kind of results although these techniques did not compel any consistency in order for them to be effective.

Transcendental Meditation, I was told requires a continuity and a uniformity in the method in order to yield favorable results.

The fear that a fixed schedule cannot be maintained is what put me off completely.

Had I continued TM for a period of one and a half to two years, I believe I would have been able to reap some of the benefits offered by this system.

Probably my senses would have gotten sharper. I would also have been able to assess situations from a better viewpoint, and with greater accuracy, and even would have been able to make decisions with greater ease.

Probably all these would have happened, but I do not know.

The possibility also exists that repelling negative thoughts or keeping them at bay would have been far easier, enabling the full versatility of POSITIVITY to take effect!


Mantra Yoga Or Transcendentl Meditation?

Having heard previously of mantra yoga which involved the repetition of a mantra to achieve mental clarity, I did not see much of a difference. Probably TM is a simplified version.

Much later on, having checked out mantra yoga I discovered that their mantras were longer and consisted of more than one word and had some sort of a meaning.

Transcendental meditation mantras, to my knowledge consists of only one word and varies from student to student.


My Latest Update! - August the 28th, 2011

About one and a half months ago I resumed Transcendental Meditation just the way I had done it when I first started practicing it.

Having resumed TM after a spell of many years, I continued for about a month with two daily sessions. While I was at It, I was expecting positive results in some form. Hopefully some additional vigor mentally or otherwise.

But I failed to notice any difference even after a month elapsed. So, I discontinued.

What I have stated in this article is that when I first started TM many years back I experienced some difference for the better.

However this time I noticed nothing different! So ... I assume my first experience would have been purely psychological! ... So, that's it! That's the way Transcendental Meditation works or that's the way it does not!

Conclusion

Well, I have related to you the story of my involvement in Transcendental Meditation as accurately as my memory did permit.

The result that I claim to have noticed could have been psychological or for real. I would not know at all since I did not continue this practice for a reasonable period of time.

Although I have practiced this form of meditation and have revealed the method in my essay, I did not intend it to be a set of instructions.

It is up to you to do your own research and use your discretion and assessment abilities if you have developed an interest by reading this article.

However simple the method may be, I would like to stress that this article was only meant to satisfy the curiosity of a beginner, and not to instruct, or recommend anything in any way.

Good luck to you!

... concluded

Source

Your Own Experiences in Meditation

Have you had any experience in any form of meditation? If so, please tell us what effect it had on you and what exactly it was.

  • No I have not had any experience at all. It is just because I do not believe in these things. Thanks for asking, anyway.
  • Well I did, and I am not sure if I benefitted or not. I shall mention it briefly in the comments section.
  • Oh yes! I do meditations and have benefitted immensely. I am going to tell you all about it in the comments section below, and I am sure you will not mind if it is lengthy!
See results without voting

© 2008 quicksand

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Comments 22 comments

cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 7 years ago from North Carolina

I went through a similar experience, so I can relate to it :), it was as if my experience. I found them really useful I did it at various stages and still finding it useful. Only thing is the mantra is the same for different students I found out the hard way :), when my friend somehow pried it from me. TM is an excellent concept, even if you can do it once a day, the benefits are immense.


quicksand profile image

quicksand 7 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment cgull. LOL, the Guru in the video reveals that one's mantra can be just any word!


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

I visited their university in fairfield. Nice hub about TM.


quicksand profile image

quicksand 7 years ago Author

Thanks countrywomen, did you also try TM?


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Actually we accidentally happened to visit. It was a nice place with all buildings east facing. Also the local currency was Ram which is equal to 10 $. Plants growing on listening to Gayatri Mantra.

I haven't tried TM but saw in India in some veda channel some sort of flying yoga people trying to jump up in padmasan poses I felt it was meditation + asana mixed together. I have tried other forms of yoga but haven't continued anything for a long time.


abibakar profile image

abibakar 7 years ago

Thanks, meditation seems like relaxing and release the pressure


Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 6 years ago from Sydney

@qjuicksand, I practiced TM for 17 years. You've described the process accurately. It's a shame you let the worry about scheduling put you off. It's certainly ideal to meditate for 20 minutes, twice a day - but the whole point of TM, as originally taught by the Maharishi, is that it's a "householder's meditation" and designed to fit in with a householder's commitments. Do what you can, when you can, it's fine.

I used to meditate on the train or bus on my way to work - you don't need to be in a silent environment to do it. And even though you haven't done it for years, if you still remember your mantra, you can start again any time.

I found TM transformed my attitude to stress, I was a very highly strung person before I took it up, and it gave me a bullet-proof shell - to the point where one of my bosses referred to me as "the calm in the eye of the storm"!

In the end, I gave it up because I felt that bullet-proof shell was repelling good stress as well as bad - so I never felt sad or despairing, but I also wasn't fully appreciating the highs of life. Plus I felt that as Maharishi got older, the people taking over the movement were distorting his teachings in ways I didn't like.

As for the mantra being any word - some people say that, but others say that some words can have "bad vibrations" so you shouldn't choose just anything. And it's absolutely critical that the word is meaningless to you.


quicksand profile image

quicksand 6 years ago Author

Hello Marisa, you do have a great point about the selection of a "mantra." I faintly remember an article written by some guru which contained guidelines on selecting the right word as your mantra, a word which is more likely to tally wth your personal vibes. This involved juggling around with consonants and vowels ... but I did not bother much as I already had my own "mantra!"

Thanks a lot for sharing your views. :)


Kevin Davis 6 years ago

I took TM instruction in the early 70's. During the mantra transmission ceremony when I was alone with the TM instuctor I experienced a strange and powerful feeling that centered around my forehead. It felt as though a cord had been wrapped tightly around my head and pulled like the starting rope on an old lawnmower. This became more powerful over the next few minutes and I felt as though I was extremely stoned. I never mentioned this to anyone because I just assumed this was an idiosynchractic reaction with me stimulated by my own imagination. However, almost 40 years later now I've learned, after discussing this with a close friend who'd taken the course a year earlier, that he had experienced the exact same powerful senstion. Was this a coincidence or does it occur to everyone or had we secretly been given a drug to enhance the ceremony?


quicksand profile image

quicksand 6 years ago Author

Hello Kevin, this sort or thing did not happen to me although I continued practicing all by myself for a period of time after the instructors left.

I have not heard of this before from anybody else either. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Cheers!


mantra yoga 5 years ago

Interesting views on TM! Thanks for sharing them.


Ron Gego 5 years ago

Hi Quicksand, I was researching about TM for some time and came to conclusion that this isn't something new (as probably anything else in history of mankind). The principle of "going into altered state of mind" by repeating meaningless word/s has long ages behind it. it was practiced in ancient Greece mysteries as well as by Christians of the 1st-2nd centuries AD who were using so-called "glossolalies"(not sure if spell it right here) that were referred to as "Speaking in tongues" when adepts were filled by Holy Ghost. It is also often practiced by Shamans.

I teach about the same principle along other important ones and expand it by presenting totally NEW meditative tehcnique in my new book which will be downloadable online soon through the site myguidetimeditation(dot)com, probably in 1 week time from now (Sept,19).


quicksand profile image

quicksand 5 years ago Author

Hi Ron, thanks for posting your views here. Best of luck with your book too. Cheers!


Demystifier 4 years ago

First I want to state that I am not against meditation at all. As a matter of fact, I know from personal experience, that meditation and other forms of opening yourself towards the spiritual side of your existance can have unexpected and sometimes even very concrete results.

Nonetheless I don't like it when myths are created where simple answers are possible and I also don't like the commercialization of spiritual topics. Some people here wrote in their comment, that selecting an individual mantra would be part of the TM. Well, it's not. I do not own or maintain this website, but take a look at the following link and maybe you're gonna find your own "personal" mantra there. Because the process of selecting "your" mantra is in fact quite simple.

Again, I am not saying that meditation does not have any positive effects. But why pay someone for something that is quite simple? Here is the link:

http://www.minet.org/mantras.html


quicksand profile image

quicksand 4 years ago Author

Demystifier, thanks for the link. I checked it out and I feel it may interest some readers.


FadyAgeeb 4 years ago

Great hub

meditation is so useful and every one can do it keep it on

i love meditation and need to read more about it and i wrote some hubs about meditation


Chuck Bluestein profile image

Chuck Bluestein 2 years ago from Morristown, AZ, USA

I have been doing a meditation that is not TM for decades. It is called Self-Knowledge or Knowledge. It is capitalized since it is about learning about the Self. This Self is the Divine or God that is within you.

Before I started doing it, I had a thorough understanding about what I was getting into. I have articles on meditation but I do not tell what benefits I have gotten from it. After reading this I wondered why.

It is because when I compare the 2, I do not like what I was before. But that is why people do self-improvement. I have never had a problem with weight. But if a woman is thin and beautiful and has been that way for many years, she my not be eager to say that she used to weigh 750 pounds. It is insulting to her.

But I can say that emotions go together! No one is ever going to say that they feel much happier and more peaceful but are more unhappy and worried than ever before. No one is going to say that they feel lots of peace but are very sad.

No one is going to say that they feel lots of hate but are very happy and peaceful. So let us say that TIED to happiness is love, inner peace, contentment, lack of anger, fulfillment and all the feelings that you like to feel.

I have read a 500 page book by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (I like to read). Now using my definition of happiness that includes all feelings that you want to feel, here is a quote from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. "Life finds its purpose and fulfillment in the expansion of happiness."

Again I do another meditation, not TM. You said above that he is associated with TM. Actually he and now his estate owns TM and Transcendental Meditation. Both are trademarked names now.

Also the Beatles were into lots of drugs-- big time. Like Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds-- LSD. They learned TM and Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr still practice TM. Dr. Oz, Oprah Winfrey, Jerry Seinfeld and many other celebrities do it. But I also believe that everyone does what is best for them at that time. They learn from it.


quicksand profile image

quicksand 2 years ago Author

Hi Chuck! I understand that the idea you are conveying is that the dose and method should fit in to the requirement of the individual, and the individual also has the responsibility to "customize" the methods he has chosen.

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts here. I appreciate your visit very much. :)

BTW - I will be adding an update to this article about a recent discovery involving TM. It's long overdue and not too much in favor of TM!


Chuck Bluestein profile image

Chuck Bluestein 2 years ago from Morristown, AZ, USA

You can let me know when you do that. But here is something to keep in mind. Jesus in no longer around and look what people are doing in His name. Christians have killed more people than any other group. Jesus did not teach that.

The founder of TM is no longer around. The founder of Scientology is no longer around and some Scientologists have rebelled against Scientology.

Here are 2 sayings. "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." "When the cat is away, the mice will play." I guess this video will not have videos by Oprah and Dr. Oz talking about how good TM is.


quicksand profile image

quicksand 2 years ago Author

Thanks again Chuck! You will be informed of the update. Cheers!


The Old Firm profile image

The Old Firm 2 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

Hi quicksand, good to hear from you. All the best to you, too.

Cheers, TOF.


quicksand profile image

quicksand 2 years ago Author

Hi TOF, thanks for your visit! Take care! :)

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