My husband, Bud, and I learned the TM technique in 1984. We first heard of TM in the 60’s. A great deal of scientific research was done on the TM technique in the 60’s and 70’s. Frequently we would notice a news article about the remarkable scientific findings related to the practice of this technique. We would comment to each other that the research was interesting and didn’t this TM stuff sound great. We hoped it was helping a lot of people! We had no interest in learning ourselves until 1984.
In the winter of 1984 a respected friend told us of his experiences with TM. Our friend encouraged us to learn. We listened to him, thought his comments were interesting, and promptly forgot the conversation. Several weeks after this conversation, our friend who lived in LA at the time, called. He said a conference on TM was going to be held at the Renaissance Center in Detroit. He urged us to attend. Since our friend was planning to be in town attending the conference we decided to go as well.
I think our experience of hearing about TM, not doing anything about it, hearing of TM again, and forgetting what we heard is typical. Most of us need to hear of something new a few times or even several times before we embrace it. It is also human nature to embrace a new idea when we hear it from someone we know and admire rather than from a stranger. I think, too, that the media bombards us with information about a myriad of things we should or can do to improve our well being. After a time we begin to discount information.
My husband and I did attend that conference with our friend, and I remember the experience well. I remember the room where the conference was held, and I remember specific conversations I had with people there. I believe I remember my thoughts and feelings, experienced that long-ago evening, because I sensed we were learning about something that would dramatically alter the success of our lives. It was an extremely important event for us.
At the conference we were impressed by the presentation of a voluminous amount of research on the TM technique. It seemed that there was no reason to turn our backs on the opportunity to learn. Our only concerns regarded the time commitment of 20 minutes twice a day, but we gleaned from the speakers the information that we would not be giving up time. We would be gaining time. The researchers told us that the practice of the TM technique would help us to be more energetic, to think more clearly, perhaps to sleep less, and to be able to accomplish more not less. Over the years we have learned that this is true.
Immediately after we learned TM, we realized that this technique was extraordinarily powerful. We realized immediate effects and we clearly sensed that the benefits would be cumulative. We realized this but neither of us thought much about it. We simply meditated. Meditation became a regular part of our lives. A few months after we began meditating, Bud and I noticed changes in each other. When we commented on these changes we both realized that we did feel quite different from how we had felt in the past.
The experience of ourselves is what we know. How we feel, how we experience ourselves is our reality. When the experience of self changes, and changes significantly and permanently, it changes by degrees. Because we are changing from within, we do not have full realization of the change until it is so profound that it is noticeable to others.
In our book Healing Depression the Mind-Body Way Sandra and I discuss several ways that the TM technique is helps us to change. Transcendental Meditation has the following proven benefits.
- Dissolving Deep-Seated Stress
- Providing Deep Rest
- Alleviating Anxiety
- Expanding Awareness
- Increasing the Internal Locus of Control
- Enhancing Physiological Adaptability
- Enhancing Psychological Adaptability
- Purification of the Mind
- Integration and Personal Growth
Each of these benefits translates into a holistic change in the mind-body. For instance, when we expand our awareness we acquire a wide-angle lens with which to view life. Expanding awareness opens the “shutter” in the mind’s eye. When we have a panoramic view of an event, our understanding is enhanced. This deeper viewpoint gives us more flexibility in the face of change, allowing the stress of life’s transitions to roll off our backs more easily. When stresses roll off of us more easily then we are not inclined to be reactive to others. Our relationships improve and we don’t integrate stress into our physiology. Our health also improves. These are profound changes.
The TM technique has been shown to increase physical, emotional, and psychological resiliency. What can be better than increased resiliency? To be able to roll with life’s punches and spring back to action without integrating stress into the physiology is a great gift.
I hope you are not going to be like Bud and me and have to hear about TM over and over before you decide to take the plunge. Positive research on this technique is still being reported in scientific journals and the technique is available for all interested parties. Google TM.Org to learn more and locate a teacher in your neck of the woods.
Our family is delighted to welcome a new meditator into our fold this week. Blessings to Ivy, age 13. She recently decided to learn TM. The TM technique will provide a natural basis for Ivy’s formation of her adult identity. It will give her increased energy, self-confidence and a general feeling of well-being. She’ll be able to recognize how people can be identical at their core and yet uniquely different in their personalities. This recognition will help her to have positive relationships throughout her high school experience and beyond. We believe that practice of the TM technique will help Ivy sail through adolescence unencumbered by the stresses many teen agers experience. She’ll be able to access her internal wisdom, rid herself of stress, and reach her full potential! Bud and I are filled with joy for her! We hope all of you decide to learn TM too!
As always, Sandra and I send our best wishes for health and happiness,