A Conversation for The Transcendental Meditation Movement

Transcendental Meditation article comment.

Post 1

Y

I have been practising Transcendental Meditation since 1991.
The BBC article on this subject has at least one significant flaw regarding whether Transcendental Meditation is a religion or not, fundamentally it is not.
The practise of Transcendental Meditation alone is all that is needed to gain all of the benefits mentioned in the books on the subject.
All religions are based on faith, speach & related books.
Transcendental Meditation is practised within the mind using a simple thought mantra process and is therefore totally personal and totally different to religion. It is neither a cult or other similarity, it is non-denominational and the name given just guides you to know what it is, nothing else is needed to be said with the exception of the mantra given by a trained teacher. From there the individual just practises the mantra and asks questions of the teacher if required over time.
Transcendental Meditation is a a non complicated and benificial process for anyone, look it up! GBybrook.


Transcendental Meditation article comment.

Post 2

Z

Thanks for your comment

I was the author of this article. By way of background I grew up in Skelmersdale and learnt TM in 1991, when I was 10 years old. Both my parents were heavily involved, and I have a great deal of involvement with the movement. I don't need to look it up.

Transcendental Mediation, the 20 minute twice a day technique is not a religion, not does it require belief. However there are far far far more things to TM than the transcendental meditation technique, and a lot of those other things certainly have common features with religions.

There's the siddhi programme, where grown men claim they can fly (look you can't, it's just boucing), that involves reciting passages from Hindu Holy books, and then there's the fact that the Ancient Vedic knowledge is presumed to be true just because it's vedic. The whole movement has huge religion-like properties. In fact if TM was a religion I would probably still be a member. I left because I couldn't believe the pathetically awful science the TM movement put out


There are other opinions on TM:
http://www.suggestibility.org/religion.php


Transcendental Meditation article comment.

Post 3

Y

I am amazed at your reply and astonished that you have taken the trouble to stay ready in touch with this website to cross comment on TM. You sound very sore about your experiences and that is sad.

The fundamental basis of Transcendental Meditation is reaching the transcendental state of consciousness, that very fundamental state which is at the very basis of everything known about TM. Without reaching that transcendental state of consciousness everything available in TM would be useless. The value of practising TM alone is priceless without the sidhis, the books the speaking etc, etc.
I find you have over concentrated on these things and lost sight of that which is most important, basic transcendental meditation, its experiences and quiescent state of mind whilst fully alert in transcendental consciousness.
TM must be the most important discovery known to mankind and always will be.
Although I have been practising TM for 20 years and the Sidhis for 16 years I never lose touch with the fundamental essential knowledge. The other things you talk about with some firvour and negativity I might add, are secondary to the above as they are not delivered in the transcendant state! I rest my case!

By the way, TM (the technology remember?) is not a religion whatever you say, it just cannot be because TM and other programs begin in the mind only in the state of transcendental consciousness. The relative state of life in wakefullness and its vibrations are very weak compared to TM as expressed above. Please reconsider your personal position and feeling about TM and recover the import basics. Best wishes, GBybrook.


Transcendental Meditation article comment.

Post 4

Z

Well firstly the reason I've stayed on h2g2 is because I like the website, it's a special site that keeps someone subscribed and active for nearly 10 years. It's not because of this article! The other reason is that as a result of this article a girl messaged me and asked me to contribute to her project on 'belief' I wrote this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A876594

And to cut a long story short I married her 7 years later.

I have been on a long journey about TM and I can now look at it rationally and see its good and bad points.

I'm not bitter about growing up in the movement, but it isn't the religion for me, I'm not a spiritual persoon, and I don't need enlightenment. No one at Maharishi School could ever tell me what enlightenment actually was..I prefer the enlightenment from the first age of enlightenment when it was about science and fact not vedic waffle.

I agree that TM itself is a useful relaxation technique that works for some people. It didn't work for me, I don't enjoy it, I don't feel relaxed when I do TM just bored, I find that going for a run relaxes me more than doing TM. You cannot seriously believe that it's the most important discovery known to mankind, really!! What about general anaesthetics, surgery, space flight, so much more. It's a relaxation technique, that's all.

But the rest of it is very veyr similar to a lot of religions and the way the movement functions with the lack of questioning, the dogmatic belief, the reverence for ancient knowledge, well that's a lot like a religion isn't it?


Transcendental Meditation article comment.

Post 5

Y

Dear Z.
I am impressed at your zeal to reply to my messages, it shows you need to release your feelings about TM and perhaps consider TM is a waist of time. Two different schools of understanding through different experience, fascinating! I would like to continue this discourse if you are willing. Yes the website is good as I have had a good look around, very interesting, it is my kind of website too.
I have found this 'different schools of thought' phenomena occur many times before and have considered a long time ago that the TM movements message overall is somewhat ambiguous and misleading , it can also be too easily misunderstood and I have told my teacher so, and he has agreed, but kept quiet about it! I consider that when people in the movement are saturated with the Veda and other texts they will want to sing there praises but these are not religious doctrines or dogma, as they are developed and absorbed in the mind whilst resting at Transcendental Consciousness. You must drop the idea that TM is just another religion, as it has no relationship whatsoever with their doctrines. If I thought it was a religion I would have dropped the whole thing from the start. This is not to say religious people are not welcome to TM because they are and will always be welcome, to their benefit.
Another serious misunderstanding about TM is that it is just another offshoot of 'Indian Philosophy', in fact it is the other way round! TM was discovered more than 5000 years ago, of course then another name, much later. TM was drawn into Indian Philosophy which was totally wrong for the very reason 'Indian Philosophy' is a religion in its own right. Nowadays very few people of this religion affiliated with Hindu of course, do not practise TM, because TM to them comes from the books produced by the philosophy. This information of course means not a lot as it is not practised via TM! All very strange, but this is what happens over a long history.
The 'Veda' is definitely not waffle! I am sure you remember some years ago TM created the 'Natural Law Party' which turned out to be a failure, well in that time they published in all the main newspapers what they called 'The Constitution Of The Universe' which was a reveal of the exact relationship between Modern science and Vedic science based on the first verse of the Rik Ved and the Heterotic Superstring of modern science. This set of sounds or more correctly vibrations appear identical, proving that what was known over 5000 years ago via TM has been verified by modern science fact and mathematics today. This means that the Veda vibrations are real and proven through TM. This astonishing news rocked the modern science faculties throughout the world. This is significant proof of the capabilities at the transcendent state of consciousness during TM.

Answer to Enlightenment: Enlightenment is when someone's consciousness is fully established in natural law and the individual gains the support of natural law permanently.

Z can you say that you have no problem transcending? Have you had good experiences whilst at the transcendent state? Are you aware of the gaps following the mantra?
It is a fact that some people are not suited to take up TM for various reasons I cannot explain. How does your wife get on with TM?

Consider this to clarify what they mean about the significance and real relevance of TM: A recluse lives in a cave in total loneliness. One day he has a visitor from out of the blue, seeing the visitor for the first time it gives him great pleasure to meet him and invites him to be seated and partake of food and water. They talk, soon about all things worldly and find some common ground between them. The recluse gets round to asking the visitor what he does for a living, the visitor says, I teach Transcendental Meditation, oh says the recluse, what is that all about, I have never heard of that before, the visitor explains in some basic detail. Oh no it's not for me, says the recluse, I prefer peace and quiet and I look after myself, he retorts, I have lots of thoughts though, he says, sometimes I bewilder myself with them as I don't care to share them and that makes me irritable, I don't socialise, never have done, I hate the world you see, he laughs shaking his head. The teacher has listened intently, I could help you make a difference for yourself if you wish, he says. How so, says the recluse shaking his head. I could teach you how to gain greater happiness and loose worries from the past, says the teacher. It must be complicated and difficult, replies the recluse, do you think it would suit my lifestyle? Yes, said the teacher, you have already said you are a thinker and only one special thought is needed to make an improvement in your life without disturbing whatever you do in the rest of your day. Don't I need books and lots of teaching to improve my life, no says the teacher, I will spend a few days with you and explain about the workings of TM, I will give you a 'mantra' the special word which has no meaning in your language. From there you continue the practise, 20 minutes in the morning and evening. During your day continue normal life and forget thinking about TM. What else do I have to do the recluse asks, nothing, replies the teacher, just trust the mantra and allow the mind to do the work and stay totally innocent during the practise, only when you find yourself thinking normal thoughts again, gently turn your mind to the mantra and continue. There is no need to believe in the TM program or the mantra just follow the teachers words and that is it. I will visit you again and see if you have had any pleasant experiences during your TM program. END.

Z This little story identifies the basic and significant simplicity of TM and its benefits without trying. The TM program mantra takes the practitioner to the source of thought deep in the mind where worry and stress is relieved and improving happiness is found in a very natural way. Most people find profound rest which is unique to TM. This little TM program is all that is needed for any human being to practise without resort to any other information available through word of mouth or books to gain improvement in your life. TM is the essential foundation program if you wish to add advanced programs later but remember TM is the seed for everything to be gained.
I look forward to your comments on my little treatise to see if we are coming closer to a common understanding.
Yours, Y.


Transcendental Meditation article comment.

Post 6

Z

I'm enjoying this discourse as well. It's not often I get to debate with people about TM. Back in Skelmersdale people get upset if you question them. Which is a shame because I love debating with irrationally, it improves your critical thinking skills.

I want to take the time to answer you properly, and I don't have time to do that at the moment. It's quicker for me to answer the parts about about my own experiences. I'm not bitter about TM, but I am curious. I have examined the facts, and the science and come to a rational decision that it was basically nonsense.

I'll post my personal experiences first of all.

My own experiences are that TM was disappointingly underwhealming. I was a big fan of TM all through my childhood, I loved being at Marahrishi school. You couldn't learn TM until you were 10, and as I was the youngest in my class I was the last to learn. All the time I was 9 I was so jealous of the other boys and girls who did the grown up meditation. And then I learnt. I was so excited, my parents had to pay £300, which was a lot of money but we gave up a holiday that year so I could learn. I grew the flower for my initiation from seed.

And then, I got my mantra, and mediated for the first time.


And nothing happened.

Nothing. I couldn't transcend. Nothing at all happened. I just sat quietly for the few minutes the teacher walked out of the room. I thought it must be me, so I kept trying, and trying and trying. I got 'checked' lots of times my 10 different TM teachers, I talked to even more TM teachers than I could image. My parents wasted more money on Ayru Veda. I managed to transcend once or twice but it wasn't that good. It was ok. But not that good. It was really difficult to do and it wasn't that good.

After a year of trying I gave up mediation. A year's a long time when you're 10! But I just didn't find it that good. My parents tried to make me meditate, but I just couldn't transcend very often and I didn't get any benefit. I gave up in the holidays but I had to carry on at school. I tried to pretend to meditate at school, and just read a book quitely under the table, not disturbing anyone. But that wasn't good enough and I had to leave.

I did come back to TM when I was 21, and had worked through my teenage rebellion. It was ok then, I could transcend a little easier and it was relaxing. Fairly relaxing, not as good as going for a run. But ok. Then I started to read the science put out by the TM movement and the vedic stuff around it, now with a science degree I could see that it was all basically really flawed science. Sadly I concluded I couldn't be a scientist and practice TM.

To answer your question about my wife, when we met she enjoyed other forms of meditation but since I introduced her to science and critical thinking she doesn't meditate any more either.


When I have a little more time later I'll answer more about the debates with the philosphy. It all comes down to how you define religion.


Transcendental Meditation article comment.

Post 7

Y

Dear Z. The first thing I must pickup on which is crucial, is that you were trying with TM. If you try to do TM you will fail I am afraid.
Before you started with TM at Skelmersdale you should have been told that you never try to do anything when practising TM. From the very beginning you were trapped in missing this most critical instruction, you have been let down, this is very sad and I feel very sorry for you.

Some TM tips before and after practise:
If you have been doing strenuous activity mental and or physical activity, allow mind and body to settle down for a while before TM Meditation.
Allow at least 30 minutes for a large meal to go down before starting TM. Preferably eat after TM is finished.
Sit in a quiet room without tv, pets or other noises.
Sit comfortable in a chair with the back up fairly straight for at least 5 minutes before meditating
Close the eyes for 30 to 60 seconds or when you are ready and begin the mantra, do not try to force it and think it gently, it does not need to be clearly and perfectly thought all the time, let it slur, as you feel as the mind wants you to do. The mantra will fade naturally as it wants to do.
When you have approximately finished your 20 minutes stop the mantra and rest for a couple of minutes with eyes still closed, when you are ready slowly open the eyes. You may feel you have had a good rest, feel quiet and very comfortable, a slight numbness is very good news, so rest a few more minutes before returning to gentle activity, and build up slowly as required.


I need to put the problems you were having into rough time order:

At the age of 10 you were taught how to do TM and transcend using the special thought mantra. Nothing happened at all.
You thought it was you so you kept trying and trying.
You had been checked many times by 10 different teachers.
You managed once or twice to transcend, but not that good, It was really difficult to do.
After 1 year I gave up meditation.
My parents tried to make me meditate, but I just could not transcend very often and I didn't get any benefit.
I gave up during the holidays.
I tried to meditate at school and just read a book under the table, but that wasn't good enough and I had to leave.
I came back when I was 21 years old and you could transcend a little easier and it was relaxing, not as good as going for a run.
Then I started to read the science put out by the TM movement.
Now with a science degree I could see that it was all basically really flawed science.
Sadly I concluded I couldn't be a scientist and practice TM.

Z this is a liturgy of misguidance by the teachers and a serious misunderstanding by yourself. You had the ability to gain a science degree which is a credit to you, but you have not been able to sort your problems out in a balanced way.
Your parents were very wrong to try and make you meditate.
All in all your overall experiences have done you no good whatsoever and this has spoiled any chance of successful TM experiences. However you could recover from this by approaching a fully qualified TM teacher, outside well away from Skelmersdale, and tell him/her your story in full, ie, get a second reference about TM in detail and clarity.
Quite clearly you still keep thinking about TM because you wanted to be successful, so it still hurts, I am sorry.
You have really talked yourself out of TM and created an unnecessary negative onslaught on to the movement and its creative technologies, I implore you to cease doing this as it is not good for you.


I have given you as much help as I can for your immediate benefit and I hope you take the time to read it carefully.
Reply to me with the completion your previous message and your decisions for the future.
Best wishes from Y.


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