As I wrote in a previous page in this Meditation series, I received my mantra from Transcendental Meditation at their beautiful center in Los Angeles, California. (Left: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) I had returned from living in Sweden for many years and had already been meditating since 1970 since I began my studies with Eugenia Basilewsky in Stockholm. I knew about Transcendental Meditation in the early '60s when George Harrison publicized his experience with His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who brought the method from India. This has been practiced around the world for 50 years now! George Harrison (of the Beatles) was one of my favorite artists in the 1960s. I heard him speak about this form of meditation. I remember being intrigued by it, but I didn't do anything about it until I met my teacher in Stockholm. Even then, it was not this method. One of the major differences with the TM Program (that is what it's called) is that it is based entirely on scientific knowledge. It works even for those who are not spiritually inclined, but who want to find peace in their stressful lives. Of course, it is my opinion that everyone who begins to meditate also begins to see a new reality. This is one of the main reasons that the effects are so profound. It happens as you practice, and it just keeps getting better with time. There is a wonderful introduction on the official Web site for Transcendental Meditation. I googled and found 1,490,000 sites on this meditation method. So, you can do the same thing to learn much more about it. “The Transcendental Meditation technique is easy to learn, enjoyable to practice, and enriches all areas of life ... it is a simple, natural, effortless procedure practiced 20 minutes twice a day, sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. This practical, proven meditation procedure requires no effort or concentration, no special skills, and no change of lifestyle.
“The Transcendental Meditation technique must be learned personally from a certified teacher of the TM Meditation program. The technique cannot be learned from a book, video or audio tape.” There are centers all over the world, so it is easy to find a place to learn this. For more information, call toll free (U.S. and Canada): 1-888-LEARN TM (1-888-532-7686). To get all the details and view some great videos, go to the official Web site of Transcendental Meditation. (Be sure to bookmark this page as this link will take you off this site.) I will never forget when I took my mother there with a friend who was already a TM practitioner for years (which I mentioned previously). Mother, who had never been to such a place in her life, was quite intrigued. Of course, she fell in love with the jungle of flowers, parrots singing, and the peace that was felt everywhere. The silence. When we watched a short film with “the man with the long hair and the funny accent,” (my mother said later), it became quite clear that TM was an easy meditation technique. Anyone can do it. It doesn't matter what condition your body is in, you can do this meditation and derive benefits from it. Some of the benefits listed on the site (and there are hundreds) given here with scientific backgrounds www.tm.org/discover/research/charts/index.html include:
- Development of Intelligence
- Improved Memory
- Increased Use of Hidden Brain Reserves
- Reduction of High Blood Pressure
- Decreased Insomnia
- Reduction of Cholesterol
- Decreased Cigarette Smoking
- Decreased Alcohol Use
- Decreased Anxiety
- Improved Job Performance
- Decreased Crime Rate in Cities
There are only a few of the benefits. As you can see from this list, TM would be an incredible subject to teach children in school from a young age. This is the sort of education that would last a lifetime and that a child would remember. I will never comprehend why the education systems don't teach children how to be calm and focused so that they can also remember what they are taught. How much do you remember of what you learned in elementary school? And out of everything you studied, what do you use in your daily life that helps you deal with negative impacts and stress? Think of this when you look at your children and grandchildren. When I taught addicted teenagers in Stockholm, every single one of them stopped taking drugs. It works. It's a proven fact, over and over. I suggest that you go online and read about it to prove it to yourself. The facts are all there. A short note: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, died Tuesday, February 6, 2008, in Vlodrop, the Netherlands. He was believed to have been 91. We all feel his essence. Our gratitude for his loving presence lasts forever.