25 Years Meditating at 29, why Transcendental Meditation works for me
Date Posted:14 March 2011
NOTE: Repost of my original article posted Dec 2010 on the official Transcendental Meditation Blog to see original article there,
I celebrated my 29th birthday last week, also marking 25 years of practising Transcendental Meditation (or TM) since I was taught on my fourth birthday by my Father. With all this reflection on the past 25 years I’d like to share what the TM technique means to me and why I’m still doing it 25 years later, along with the challenges of not having a before and after experience that everyone learning TM in adulthood will have. Ultimately I do it because it’s a simple technique that makes me a happy person most of the time.
WHEW! Thats a long time! Yes, I said when I turned four. From four till 10 years I was doing the version of TM designed for restless young minds – I barely had the attention span to sit still for 2 minutes, let alone 20mins the TM technique takes. So it’s great that restless minds have a version catered to nourishing the fast evolving young. This has been proven so effective, particularly in education, that charitable foundations have formed here in New Zealand and overseas to provide funds for at risk youth to learn TM in schools, along with their teachers. NZ: (http://www.sfs.org.nz) INTL: (http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org/)
What benefits did I experience?
I felt quieter after practising, if I was hyperactive, it took the edge off, if I was bugging mum and dad incessantly, I cooled down or turned to something else. At school, I was lucky enough to have have the quiet time as part of the day, and the whole school would be serene, twice a day. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had that stillness, quietness at any public school! So that was me, till I turned 9 and was taught the Transcendental Meditation Technique in the same way, same words, same process as 40,000 other New Zealanders and over 5 Million people worldwide since it was brought to “The West”. It’s taught in this way to insure the specific technique and mechanics of its practice don’t get watered down like Chinese Whispers. It’s a scientific proven technique, and the science of course only holds up if its mechanics and process stay the same.
A mini AHA!
Learning the full technique was my first taste of before and after, and i loved it! Sitting down and spending 20 minutes twice a day focussing on myself was simply magic. I felt clarity, happiness, laughter, academic success and more – it felt like someone had turned the candle flame up. I started my love of art and literature, winning a spot in a UK national Poetry competition – The Roahl Dahl Wundercrump Poetry Award. But this was small fry – in my small class of 9 EVERYONE had won at least one national poetry award. Other schools perform, win competitions, but our school (http://www.maharishischool.com/) had no entrance exams to be enrolled, unlike the other top schools, so I can comfortably point a lions share to our point of difference – we meditated twice a day.
Where does this come from?
I’m a creative person, but the way I see TM is always in terms of myself – it’s quiet moments of simple and clear experience of myself, naturally examining the source of creative energy, the inner self. These are descriptive words to try and explain a very simple process of practicing the TM Technique – I don’t have to “get good at” or “take a while to get in the swing of it”, I close my eyes, and effortlessly start the process.
I finish refreshed, clearer, energised, happy, and this lingers with me through the day. Just like any other habit forming activity, you accustom your body to operating in this happy, clear state, and it starts to become your normal experience, day and night. Feeling happy or clear within is the building block for my interactions with others – I’ve worked in sales a long time, and it allows me to keep that fresh interest, genuine connection to all the people I come across. In personal life, I’m pretty sure it makes me nicer to be around – I live with a smile etched on my face, and when I’m happy it’s easier for me to nourish others around me.
Will Transcendental Meditation work for me?
This is common question – over six hundred scientific studies of TM’s benefits published in peer reviewed journals would say the science is sound, but I go by personal experience, and anecdotal of others I’ve interacted with. In New Zealand chances are your neighbours learnt, a friend of your parents, an aunty, an uncle, a colleague or boss – 40,000 other Kiwi’s taught, including more than a few home-grown celebraties. But don’t take my word, or their word for it, I encourage you to find out for yourself if it’s for you – come along to a free intro where you can ask all the questions you like and get them answered by your local TM Teacher, or post some comments or questions below!