stuff I’m not paid to endorse: transcendental meditation

Posted on July 22nd, 2010

Note: this post has been updated. I follow the “vedic style” of meditation, not the transcendental style, or TM. There isn’t a lot of difference, but there is enough to cause contention and confusion. I’ve corrected this post to reflect things more accurately. 

I’ve tried just about every form of meditation. None of them really stuck. I used to get stupendously tense meditating, often reduced to tears…that’s how much they failed to “stick”. About two years ago I tried vedic meditation. I’ve said this before: when I get three reminders of something, I strike. That is, if three people mention the same thing to me, out of the blue, then I know I need to take note. And act. Which is what happened with meditation.

Meditation: finding the space between sensations

Meditation: finding the space between sensations

When the third person mentioned teacher Tim Brown to me, I signed up. I was down the beach at 5am, having not slept at all, distraught and lost. I was going through a grey time in my life. A random guy called Tom who I recognised from yoga came up to me, gave me a hug and said, “You’re in a tough place”. We met for tea that night and Tom talked up meditation and Tim.

I find meditation is generally presented to people in this way. Perhaps this post will be what touches you, it will be your third strike?

Meditation very literally Changed. My. Life. Tim promised it would. I was skeptical. But six weeks after I started, I landed the MasterChef gig. I meditated in the car outside before going in for my audition. The casting team said my certainty and poise got me the job.

There you go.

The vedic meditation deal in a few dot-points:

* VM works like this: you sit in a chair (no need for crossed legs) with your eyes shut for 20 minutes, twice a day. You repeat a mantra in your head that your teacher gives you over and over. You repeat it gently – you don’t “shout it”.

* If your mind wanders, you gently steer it back to the mantra. Always back to the mantra. That’s all you have to do. The mantra is designed to do the rest. It “drags” your consciousness down, down, down. The teacher chooses a mantra with a vibration that suits you.

* I meditate after exercise in the morning (my body is more open, which helps go deep), often down at the beach in the morning sun. At night I do it before I go out/have dinner. It’s great to shower first because when you meditate you produce an oil on your face which is REALLY good for your skin and has been shown to make you look younger….

* VM has been scientifically proven to be up to five times deeper than sleep.  20 minutes of meditation is equivalent to 3 to 4 hours sleep.

* I don’t fret about where I do it. I do it on planes, in my office, in my car. In fact, the more “inappropriate” the place, the better. The slight discomfort makes me focus more. I’ve written about this before, the idea of finding happiness “in spite of” mess or pain or chaos.

* When I was hosting MasterChef I used to meditate in the toilet cubicle (the only place I could get some peace) while my curlers set. On Mondays at Sunrise, I meditate in the wardrobe. No one seems to have a problem with this…I don’t think (!?).

* Catalyst on ABC ran a feature last week: Transcendental Meditation: Hocus-pocus or healthy practice? Worth a watch.

* VM costs about $1000 – for a course over 3-4 nights. Once you’ve been “initiated” you can then attend weekly group meditations for free. I reckon this is great value. For Tim, like all VM teachers, teaching meditation is his career. He has a family to feed. He’s not a monk sitting in a cave living off donations. Yep, you can learn meditation for free by volunteers. But – and this is an odd concept – I think the act of handing over $$$ for the service makes people like me respect the service more, and apply myself more fully to it. Hey, it’s the world we live in!

This is what meditation feels like (for me):

* You know that sucking feeling when you stick a Mac powercord in the socket? That’s how it feels when you slip into the meditative state – like it all fits snugly, nothing is missing, things are firm and certain.

* Sometimes I feel my body expanding, like I’m the Michelin man. This is, apparently, my consciousness expanding beyond the experience of my body. Other times my head spins around on it’s own. Some people collapse forward on to their laps.

* Mostly, meditating is a jittery, thought-filled experience. BUT, the important thing is that when I come out of it after 20 minutes I’m 2938473 times calmer. This is what counts. Not what you do in meditation, but what happens after. Everything feels sweeter.

The three things I dig the most about vedic meditation:

* The soukshma/sookshma principle: while repeating the mantra, practice soukshma, which- as Tim teaches – roughly means innocent, faint and effortless. That is, come to the mantra innocently, faintly and effortlessly. This, for me, is the beauty of VM…it instills soukshma into your very being. So that out of meditation, the innocence, gentleness and effortlessness continues. It imbues. Infuses.Soukshma, soukshma, soukshma…!

* Thoughts are good: It doesn’t matter if your mind starts chattering. Thoughts are little bubbles of tension that surface as we sink deeper. Thoughts release tension. They are good. They also remind us to return to the mantra. Thought pops up; cue “return gently to the mantra”.  This constant steering things gently back to the mantra is key. Because, when you return to real life out of meditation, it sets you up to gently steer things to calmness whenever your mind gets cluttery. It’s practice. It flexes a “steer to calm” muscle.

* It’s just stringent and organised enough: I’ve stuck with VM because I belong to a community that sticks to it. We meet every Monday night just to meditate and chat. I see VM’ers around town, meditating down at the beach and in parks. Feeling like I belong to a crew of meditators makes me do it twice a day. A bit like living in a society where brushing your teeth day and night is normal, expected. So you just do it.

* It makes me look younger. I know this is vain, which is not very balanced of me, but HTG (honest to God), part of the appeal of VM is it’s anti-aging properties. My skin has changed over the past two years. The muscles on my face have released, relaxed and opened up. HTG.

Tim Brown with a nice anecdote about meditation:

Tim-Brown-Meditation2_CBA37 Meditation is not about withdrawing from life but learning how to access that space within oneself where we are able to enjoy the experience of life without being overwhelmed or consumed by it.

It’s a bit like when you go to the movies, get there late and get stuck in the front row. The screen is in your face and difficult to watch and the sound is way to loud. Far from having to leave the cinema all we need to do is get back a few rows.

Now we don’t want to go to the back of the cinema, that is no good as then the screen is too far away and the sound quality is poor – this is no more satisfying than being in the front row.

The ultimate place is in the middle of the cinema. That’s where the screen is at the right distance and the surround sound is the best. You can sit and be taken and engaged by the movie while still maintaining an awareness of yourself in the seat. This is what we call the “Goldilocks Phenomenon” – not to hot, not to cold, just right – or not to close to the experience to be consumed by it, not to far away so as to be disconnected from it, but just right in the sweet spot where the experience is engaging without being all consuming.

This is what we are looking to achieve through meditation. The rigors and dynamics of day to day living are drawing us further and further into the business of life which is causing us to become too enmeshed in it – as a result the experience becomes overwhelming and uncomfortable. This is the basis on which people find life stressful and all consuming, it is the basis for all suffering, discomfort and dis-ease.

This is exactly what meditation, or the “art of transcending” is all about – “moving beyond” ones current experience and gaining a greater perspective on the whole of one’s experience – this is what I call “conscious altitude” and it makes all the difference to being able to see things in context and brings greater stillness, clarity, creativity, energy, intelligence to the mind and prints out in the body as greater physical wellbeing.It’s not rocket science, and it’s been know for thousands of years how to trigger this response in the mind and body and the importance of doing so. The pressures of modern day living is causing people to reinvestigate meditation as an option – much to the benefit to themselves, those around them, their society, their country and their world – thank goodness!

Tim is based in Paddington, Sydney. You can contact him here.

Tim also lists other VM teachers in Australia, America, UK and NZ.

David Lynch on meditation:

Are you a meditator? What’s your favourite, or “sweetest” observation about being in a  meditative state?

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • Stephen

    I learnt TM when the Natural Law Party ( a political organisation) was offering free courses in the early nineties. The NLP was closely associated with TM. While TM is valuable in teaching meditation I do not think that people need to outlay a huge amount of money to learn how to meditate or to acquire a man tra There are a lot of a lot of types of meditation on offer nowadays including the traditional sitting quiet in a spot using a mantra or focussing on the breath and others that have you listening to a cd through headphones.
    All of the benefits ascribed to meditation are accurate. More and more research is being done on how meditation can lead to changes in brain functioning and the benefits that ensue from that.

    Check out Rick Hanson’s “Buddha’s Brain.”

    [Reply]

  • Carmen

    Hi Sarah,

    Great post! TM meditation is very close to my heart.

    I learnt 2 years ago from one of Tim’s friends Gary Gorrow (garygorrow.com). Since that time I’ve been on two of Gary’s retreats which have been transformational. It’s something I feel very blessed to have in my life.

    My sweetest observation about the meditative state is the peacefullness it brings to my mind and body. However, I think David Lynch is absolutely right when he says you just do it and watch things in your life get better. That has certainly been the case for me. I couldn’t count all the ways it has changed my life, it just has.

    For anyone interested in learning (and this may sound strange) but loose your expectations about the meditation itself, what you might experience. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you do it consistently and that’s all – the other changes in your life will just happen without needing to try anymore.

    Yah, love these posts, so inpsiring to know other people are getting so much out of this technique too :-)x

    [Reply]

  • Brown

    I’ve been practicing TM for 1 year now, and can’t praise it’s benefits enough. I tried other forms of meditation before TM, however no other techniques prove to be as effective. For me it just makes everything in life a lot easier, everything just seems to flow. I used to binge drink quite often, but after becoming a meditator I pretty much lost the desire for alcohol. I still enjoy the occasional drink, but will stop at 1 or 2.

    I would have to say that for me, like Sarah, it has changed my life also. I’m in control of my life now, rather than being pushed and pulled due to social pressures.

    I have to say that I balked at the $1000 price tag, but since doing it I think to myself why didn’t I do it sooner? In fact, since then I’ve gone on various meditation retreats, and further Vedic courses. Your initial TM course will be the start of a great journey!

    Love the column Sarah, it really resonates with me.
    JGD

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  • James

    Meditation for me is very much like spirituality, it means something different to everyone and there doesn’t seem to be any right or wrong, choose what works best.
    I struggled with meditation in early days, experimenting with different techniques. I have found a particular meditation technique that seems to work for me as the benefits over the past year have been unquantifiable.
    The most valuable piece of advice I received when struggling with meditation was ‘let whatever happens happen, don’t resist, watch with curiosoty.’ When I started to let go and practise this meditation for me changed, I didn’t feel so agitated. I built up to meditating an hour a day over time, at first it was soooo difficult….my legs twitched and my mind would try to find ways to stop by lining up things I needed to do.

    Over time my mind has slowed so that I can, more often than not, watch what I am thinking and thus why I feel the way I do. It has allowed me to deal with situations that used to baffle me. It hasn’t taken away the pain or suffering, quite often watching what’s going on in my head has caused me some pain and suffering, but it has allowed me to view the suffering differently. More often than not I view it as a learning curve where I learn more than just bopping long day to day. Winston Churchill once described life as ‘one damn thing after another.’ It doesn’t need to be like that, it’s an attitude and it requires work, change and awareness. I seem to go through stages in meditation and something is shaken in my awareness and it causes emotional upheaval, I try to let it pass as best I can at the time, but when it is over an imaginery bar is lifted each time and my threshold increases to those things that baffled me, the things that I thought were the cause of my pain & suffering drop away as I take responsibility for me.

    Sarah…….I believe that we (as humans) have times in our lives when windows of opportunity open a little in our awareness, these occur during times of pain and suffering (while you were sitting on the beach), and they don’t usually stay open for long as we get over our pain in one way or another (usually dysfunctionally……..take substance abuse as an example) but if we open the window a little further and investigate amazing things happen. It seems scarey at the time but that’s just our mind creating the fear I believe. You’ve opened the window…..fantastic and good on you.

    Meditation has absolutely changed my life. If anyone’s sitting on the edge, throw yourself off, be patient with yourself and please let whatever happens happen. Let the emotions happen, whether wanted or not. It will change your life to watch your mind with curiosity…..hmmmm.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.givingbackgirl.blogspot.com Lisa

    You just have the knack for putting the right words together, “Mac power cord in the socket”. Got it! Love it! And I’m half over the line on the TM (but the cost? ouch!). Another great post. Thanks Sarah!

    [Reply]

    Sarah

    Sarah Reply:

    Oh good! Glad that one made sense to at least one other person!!

    [Reply]

  • Natalie

    Hi Sarah,
    I was reading this book ’50 ways to find a lover’ by Lucy-Anne Holmes. The book is hilarious, Lucy is based in London. Her second book is out next month.
    Anyway I tweeted one day saying how much I love this book.
    And Lucy-Anne Holmes, out of nowhere tweeted me back saying thank you.
    Anyway I followed her in tweeter. Then one time, she tweeted, asking which music is good for writing, to get inspiration?
    And I tweeted her saying the tomato tik-tok sound, and I asked her to refer to my blog. And to check your website.
    and she did. And she got to know how amazing you are.
    And she must hv read this post
    Because she Just tweeted thatbecause of you (and one other person) she’s going to try meditating.
    Isn’t it amazing what Twitter (and your column) does?
    X

    [Reply]

    Sarah

    Sarah Reply:

    Nat, I’ve included this as a post tomorrow, hope you’re ok with!

    [Reply]

  • Natalie

    This is a fantastic post and I am now keen to try TM.
    I’ve been practising, um, ‘regular’, meditation for a few months and I’ve only reached the real meditative state twice, so I feel like it might be time to move on because sometimes it’s a little frustrating. Though, I know it’s natural for that to occur to some extent.
    Meditation makes a world of difference to everything though. You certainly don’t need to reach some strange feeling or place to get the benefits. It’s just the most beautiful change to your lifestyle and I’m so glad you wrote about it for the world to see. I hope it inspires many readers…
    Nat x

    [Reply]

  • Merewyn

    I wonder if different personality types can meditate more easily? I went to hypnotherapy about 14 years ago to help with my grinding teeth while i slept. I can now self-hypnotise that I would call meditating. I find it relaxing and i can usually go down very easily.
    I also can put my recliner in a comfy position, put some really lovely music on and have 30-60 minutes of complete relaxation before the kids arrive home from school.
    I also tend to completely relax at the end of yoga, i can start snoring very quickly.
    I think maybe I am more of a relaxed kind of person? I know that I can use deep breathing when dealing with stressful situations, including child-birth, drug-free

    [Reply]

    Sarah

    Sarah Reply:

    Hey Merewyn, I started with self-hypnosis, too. For insomnia. It’s a VERY similiar technique. In fact little separates the two. There is nothing too “magical” about meditation. you just do it. It feels good. The end.

    [Reply]

    Sarah

    Sarah Reply:

    Hey Merewyn, I started with self-hypnosis, too. For insomnia. It’s a VERY similiar technique. In fact little separates the two. There is nothing too “magical” about meditation. you just do it. It feels good. The end.

    [Reply]

  • Isobel

    There is nothing that distinguishes TM from the traditional Buddhist meditation practices. You don’t need to pay thousands for a mantra–you can use anything you like. There is nothing special about TM that is worth paying the money for, unless, as you say, the act of spending money is more likely to make you focus. All you need for success in meditation is the dedication to set aside the time every day.

    [Reply]

    Sarah

    Sarah Reply:

    I agree Isobel, but I find the structured community of TM helps me. Also, the relationship with my teacher is slightly shifted because he lives a life like I do…he doesn’t live on a hill, or in a monastery. He gets modern life, if you know what i mean

    [Reply]

  • Essie

    Crying shame that it costs so much.

    I went on a quest to find a guided meditation that would help me and turned out having a fantastic session using one that had Theta brainwaves in the background. My whole body was tingling near the end. The most spiritual experience I’ve ever had outside of a church setting.

    [Reply]

  • http://lifebeautylaughter.blogspot.com Laura

    I never thought I would try meditation but, after reading this post, I am definitely going to have a go… Any recommendations for TM in Perth?

    [Reply]

    Lauren Kaplan Reply:

    Hi Laura,

    We would love to teach you! We are certified teachers of Transcendental Mediation program for women in Perth and are giving a free introductory talk on the 25th of August in Floreat. For more information please email: laurenkaplan@tm.org or call 0413 957 287

    Best wishes,
    Lauren and Brooke

    [Reply]

    [Reply]

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  • Claire

    I thought I’d jump on here to add something to this post – although an old one.
    After reading your blog Sarah about TM/TIm Brown I decided to commit to it this year. Having said that I just couldn’t find $1100 to spare without causing an issue. As life turns out I was delivered an alternative option.

    Her name is Carolyne Gowen. She practices and teaches a style pretty much EXACTLY the same as TM called Primordial Sound Meditation – developed by Deepak Chopra inconjunction with vedic masters in India. Carolyne is so warm, calm and real. You don’t get that ‘untouchable/unreal’ sense from her, you feel like she is an exceptional human being but someone that you can easily relate to and understand.

    Similar to TM you work through a 4 class course where you are issued your personal Mantra based on the universal sound vibration at the time/day of your birth.

    It is considerably cheaper – so because of that I thought I’d share. I’m in no way taking away from Tim Brown/TM and I would’ve done that in heart beat if I could but money is money.

    If anyone is keen, please go to http://stillyourmind.com.au

    I highly recommend her and the course!

    [Reply]

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  • Anthony Porter

    I started TM when I was at uni and have carried it with me since, or more so, it has carried me. Though I was getting enough sleep at uni, my brain and body was processing and reliving day while I was sleeping. TM was the circuit breaker and still is, that gives me a total break. If you are rock bottom with your finances and cannot afford the cost of Tim’s course, there are some good books freely available in libraries, or for a small cost at good bookshop.

    [Reply]

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  • wayne

    TM does good for some people but its not for everyone, for me it left me cold. I started it but did not complete the course. Unfortunately i educated myself better about it after i had committed. It is big business and has smart marketing. I suggest you educate yourself on not only the benefits of it but also what people have said against it. Personally i believe all meditation knowledge should be free and open to the world as in vipassana budhist meditation which uses breath instead of a mantra. And there are many other meditations – its all about whether you want to do it – rather than having the big $$ incentive to do it.
    If youre interested this is my story..
    Before i did a TM course i had been told and read of all the benefits of it. I would get a mantra that would be personal to me, would be mine and that i would keep to myself. As i understood, it would be special, ‘unique’. So i paid my big bucks, went along, and got my mantra which was just seemingly chosen from thin air not a question was asked about me, about who i was to maybe match a mantra to me. I found this strange. Straight away i thought what an odd sounding word, a word that just didn’t ring with me. I even mentioned this to the teacher and put it if words sounded like colours this word was yellow, one of my least favourite colours. So I get home and in the evening i repeat this word mantra in my head over and over expecting it to be this key to moving deeper, transcending, but it slowly dawns on me that i am repeating something that feels like saying say ‘lollypop’ or “bippity boo” over and over. It just left me cold, hollow. After time i started feeling ‘this is the wrong mantra’, and this ironically started feeling like my mantra. It was not helping me journey deep, be relaxed. This mantra irked me, annoyed me. I sing and play guitar for 30 years and the sound of this word just did not resonate with me at all. After half an hour of trying i found myself looking up on the web ‘transcendental meditation wrong mantra’ which led me to numerous interesting accounts on TM. The thing is your mantra is found via what age you are and are a list of Maharishi ‘s ‘personal gods’. Yes if i were maybe 2 years younger i could get a different mantra. This seems crazy to me. Yet you are told whatever mantra you get is the right mantra. So even if you get one aged 16 you will still keep it even if you are 40. So overall for me i couldnt get past this. When i tried to tell my teacher of this she said i had the right mantra that negative stuff was happening because of stress in my life, food i ate, pot i had smoked years before. So it became an impasse that i could not move forward with. All this sounds very fickle and it is because if i had been a different age and got a mantra that felt right to me maybe i’d still be doing it. The thing is the mantra problem initiated me educating myself further on TM; what it is, who started it, the marketing behind it. I personally in the end felt deceived and taking the expense on the chin (ouch) let it go – though i am in the process of trying to get some compensation for the fact i did not finish the course. So good luck but

    [Reply]

    Anonymous22 Reply:

    My mantra has also felt wrong from the very second I got it, as I experienced horrible anxiety as soon as I tried to transcend. It ruined my whole day. I continued to experience anxiety with this mantra every time I meditated. At first I thought maybe I was doing it wrong, but even though I did the 3 minutes no thinking, mantra comes in, another 3 minutes afterwards no thinking, it still left me feeling anxious. It also seems to be picked by my aged, as I looked it up, and sure enough there it is for my age group! I have little faith in TM now, at least I would like them to admit that perhaps its not for everyone, rather than blaming the individual. I don’t think its releasing stress/anxiety, I think its causing more of it.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.derailedgaming.info/forums/member.php?u=184204 Delaine Kalis

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  • lisa

    hello to “wrong mantra” peeps,
    I took the AOL (art of living) meditation course, and had mantra problems.
    same deal, went to teacher, wanted a different mantra, and “no can do” , that was my mantra… blah blah blah..
    so good to read I am not alone with that.

    [Reply]

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  • shafiek

    Hi Sarah

    I have been practising tm now for about 3 months but i cant seem to get the technique right. My tm teacher said to say the mantra effortlessly and allow it to come without any effort. I have been trying to do it that way and I end up sitting there without saying the mantra as I am waiting for it to come to me.

    Do you wait for the mantra to come to you or do you gently repeat the mantra softly?

    Thanks
    Shafiek

    [Reply]

  • joe

    I learned the 1st TM mantra circa 1993 & an advanced technique (an additional 2 syl-able mantra; the 1st mantra was reduced to 1 syllable). The techniques are ok but I can not compare because I am ignorant of other techniques. I also visited Fairfield,
    Iowa for 4 months. I may someday learn the TM-siddhis?

    I would like to respond to some of the comments here by Mrs. Wilson & others. “For Tim, like all TM teachers, teaching meditation is his career. He has a family to feed…”
    Are there not many musicians, painters (artists), aspiring actors etc. that work
    @ least part time “day jobs” to survive? The cost of TM is far greater to a super-
    market cashier than to a TV celebrity!

    To be honest, I never could comprehend the TM Organization. Where did it find the
    money (in the past) for a TM presidental candidate, J. Hagelin? Who paid for those
    new ayurvedic structures @ Maharishi U., Vedic City (near Fairfield), the luxurious
    health spa the Raj & the late Maharishi’s residence in Holland? Wikipedia reports
    that “In 2007, the GCWP (affiliated w/ TM) purchased the American Bank Note Company
    Building near the New York Stock Exchange…” How much did that cost?

    I have done TM residence courses (meditation retreats), read & en-
    joyed “The Science of Being and Art of Living”, yet there should be more transparency
    & financial accountability by the TM Organization!

    [Reply]

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  • ananda

    Gostaria de localizar um blog, site ou email do Prof Raja Jose Luiz Alvares Rosset, sou meditante e uma amiga espiritual que perdeu contato, caso alguem tenha contato, faz 20 anos que nos perdemos.

    [Reply]

  • Lakshmi

    Hi, just to point out that it looks to me that Tim Brown is not actually a certified teacher of Transcendental Meditation® from the look of his website. He says in the video his meditation is transcending type which is not the same. I’m glad you had some good experience with what you learned Sarah but I encourage everyone to learn from a bona fide certified TM teacher. To take advantage of all the advanced courses & residence courses of the TM movement one needs to learn from a certified teacher from that organization. To be sure to get the benefits shown in all the scientific research on TM one is wise to learn the real thing my a teacher committed to teach the standard effective course. There are many knock off versions around. Be sure you are getting the real thing. Contact the official TM organization in your country & ask for your nearest TM teacher to be sure. There are so many other beneficial courses that you a can take that need to be based on the correct practice of TM that will be unavailable to you otherwise.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.meditationforwomen.org.au/ Lauren Kaplan

    We are certified teachers of Transcendental Mediation for Women in Perth. For more information, please email Lauren at: laurenkaplan@tm.org or call 08413 957 287

    [Reply]

  • http://www.meditationforwomen.org.au/ Lauren Kaplan

    Correction: Number to call is: 0413-957-287

    Thanks,
    Lauren

    [Reply]

  • https://www.facebook.com/michael.soos Michael Soos

    Dear Sarah,

    I concur with Lakshmi above that you have NOT learned Transcendental Meditation (TM) but a knock off, non-authentic practice that Tim Brown and his fellow teachers (all of these are NOT authentic re-certified teachers of TM at http://www.timbrownmeditation.com/AffiliatedTeachers/tabid/2520/language/en-US/Default.aspx) call “Vedic” Meditation.

    They have all been allegedly at the wrong end of legal processes relating to plagiarism and infringement of trademarks and copyrights relating to TM.

    Despite their alleged protestations to the contrary, Maharishi himself (and I have heard him say this directly – I have been practising authentic TM for 41 years since 1971 and I am myself a re-certified Teacher of Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation) has said that what these type of teachers and others of their knock-off ilk supply is NOT authentic and as such not effective to give the results that authentic TM provides as per personal experience and as per the 600 or so items of research often erroneously quoted by them as supporting their “Vedic” meditation techniques.

    That said, more important is the actual experience of meditators who started “Vedic” meditation and then, when they found out it was NOT authentic TM after all, then learned the authenitic Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation from a re-certified Teacher of TM (see http://tm.org.au/pages/where-to-learn-transcendental-meditation).

    What they found when they learned authentic TM from a re-certified TM Teacher was that the experience was a lot deeper, better, more blissful and peaceful and a quantum leap better than “Vedic” meditation. So, evidence by personal experience proves it is NOT the same technique.

    Also, having learned authentic TM, you have the re-assurance that you have the enormous depth of experience and weight of the authentic organisation supporting you in almost every country in the world (http://www.tm.org/) and access to, as per your choice, any or all of the follow-up programs you can choose from to make your life better in every way, from health to spas and retreats and Maharishi Schools and online education via http://mum.edu/ and the knowledge that you are doing the same authentic technique that Paul McCartney, Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Ringo Starr, David Lynch, Clint Eastwood, Jerry Seinfeld and many others are doing (they do not do Vedic Meditation, despite what Tim et al may say).

    To this point, you have made your choice and if you are happy with it, good luck to you.

    However, in light of the above comments (not just from Lakshmi, but I would suggest that all those people above who have made positive comments about TM are probably doing the authentic TM technique, thinking that you are too, which you are not), if you would like to experience more bliss, happiness, fulfilment and peace and avail yourself of the enormous resources the authentic TM movement has, please consider learning actual authentic TM from a re-certified TM Teacher via http://tm.org.au/pages/where-to-learn-transcendental-meditation

    You will be so glad you did, truly.

    All the best, cheers and enjoy.

    Michael
    https://www.facebook.com/michael.soos

    PS – Just in case you are wondering, if you so switch, you will have to learn authentic TM as Vedic Meditation is different and there will be a fee for this (same fee as a new person learning – ie no financial credit for learning VM), and it will probably be more than you paid for VM, and yes, it is expensive. You get what you pay for, and unlike VM, part of your fee goes towards not-for-profit projects in developing countries to teach TM and set up Maharishi Schools there to bring their peoples out of poverty and hunger through both material aid and through following that basic principle of education “give a man a fish, you feed him for a day: teach him to fish, you feed him for a lifetime” – we teach consciousness based education to these countries so that their children and parents can grow in creativity, intelligence and resourcefulness, use more than the 10% or so of their full mental potential that psychologists say we are using, and consequently bring their country and the whole world out of poverty, suffering and hunger as a first step to create a true Heaven on Earth for all peoples everywhere. Compare these goals to those of the meditation group you are with at the moment. Cheers and enjoy. M

    [Reply]

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  • tammy h.

    Life is bliss, meditation is great and all that but: Transcendental Meditation and “vedic” meditation are two very different practices. The “vedic” meditation teachers are teaching a facsimile of TM, plain and simple. They call it “vedic” meditation so they can keep all the money from teaching and not help support the organization that Maharishi created to keep the technique in its pure form. It’s important for people to know that when they learn “vedic” meditation, they have not learned the authentic TM technique as taught by Maharishi. The “vedic” meditation teachers have altered the practice and its effects in ways they don’t even understand. Here’s the best explanation I’ve seen on this topic: http://meditationasheville.blogspot.com/2010/01/vedic-meditation-and-other-facsimiles.html

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  • John Pattrick

    You mean they were right about Meditation Australia teacher’s course, they told me the same benefits of meditation. Now after reading this I’m sure gonna join their classes. Thanks for motivational post.

    [Reply]

  • Kathy

    My partner of seven years is leaving me because he wants to practice more TM around like-minded TM-ers in a TM Community, such as Fairfield. Tell me, is this what TM would endorse… abandon family, commitments and run away to practice a deeper, longer meditation each day in a TM Community? He never asked me to practice TM, but I always respected and supported his beliefs and practices. Doesn’t seem like good karma to me.

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    More of us need to take the time to meditate. Thanks for the post.

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  • fortyminstofive

    Not sure about TM but I normally start with ~12 double breaths followed by 1, 2 maybe even 3 rotations of body awareness from the hands to the pelvic floor, the back again. Then it’s deep, slow breathing for the remainder of the time. Found using the body in this way can lead into stillness quite effectively, and paying attention to deep breathing helps to focus the mind while you’re in there. Works sitting or lying down. No mantra, your attention IS the mantra. A little basic Yoga at the start for opening up the chakras doesn’t go amiss either x

    [Reply]

  • david edwards

    Cashing in on something that should really be free.

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    disqus_AX8bciXpM0 Reply:

    There’s a 10 minute Anapana meditation session with Goenka on Youtube. Anyone could listen to that and set an alarm for 20 minutes.
    Similar results, but the mantra gives the meditation a bit of flavour.

    [Reply]