Live Better, Live Longer: Transcendental Meditation
When I was around 13 some 39 short years ago my mother surprised my entire family by signing us up to do a course in Transcendental Meditation (TM for short). My mother informed my two older sisters, my father (who I still to this day give credit for going along with this) and myself that this was something we must do and practice. We took it very seriously going to this very hip house with beads and beautiful flowered fringe shawls splayed around as well as candles, incense and pillows. I don’t think the candles and incense where necessary but they certainly added to the atmosphere.
I was very excited at the time as we were each taken aside by the instructor, who may or may not of had a special title, so my apology to her if I am forgetting something important. At one point we all had a session alone with the instructor where we were given our very own mantra that was precious and individual for each person. A mantra, we were to keep to ourselves and treasure and definitely not to speak of to others.
Feeling very special I can remember us all sitting crossed legs on pillows with our backs comfortably against the wall while trying to repeat the mantras carefully in our heads to reach that stage of oneness. I can also remember giggling at the time and watching my father struggle to keep a straight face. At home my mother would remind us for quite a period after that it was time to meditate and away we would go to our respective bedrooms.
I can also recall months later after consistently meditating when the local paper published a story or expose on TM and had a list of all the mantras given out according to age. The shock and disappointment and complete disillusionment that I felt when I saw my precious mantra which was given supposedly only to me therein black and white for any 13 to _ year old to have, was staggering (at least to a 13 year old it was!). No one else’s reactions at this revelation comes to mind however I do think my mother was disappointed and I don’t seem to recall any other group enforced courses ever brought before us again. I do have to give her points though for thinking out of the box and pushing us out there as well!
And that as they say was that for Transcendental Meditation!
It wasn’t that TM didn’t work, that it didn’t relax me or I didn’t feel refreshed or better after a TM meditation session it’s that at that time, at that tender age I felt hurt and betrayed. So I tossed everything TM away, even the benefits! I stayed away from TM for about 14 years until one stressful situation arrived in my life and I dredged that old tarnished mantra out and gave it another whirl and have been doing so intermittently over the years ever since.
I am going reintroduce TM once more into my daily life, only 39 years after those initial sessions; my mom will be so pleased. I feel to help me accomplish everything I’d like to in 2012 I need to be as stress free, calm and centered as possible and I think Transcendental Meditation will help move me in that direction.
What I remember best about TM was the calmness you feel after, you do get centered and very relaxed, there were also times I fell asleep. While reciting your mantra over and over your mind can wander at times but gets pulled back into the rhythm of breathing when you suddenly realize your thoughts have drifted and you start repeating your mantra once more. I think this is a good thing when you realize where your thoughts have gone astray as it helps bring clarity to issues you hadn’t thought you needed to think about.
After a session you will be relaxed, refreshed and apparently in the 39 years since I have practiced TM daily there are respected new studies out encouraging the use of TM. The health benefits of daily Transcendental Meditation are now indisputable as Dr. Oz so eloquently discusses in a speech he gave.
As soon as I finish writing I am going to close my door, sit in my sun filled office, with my beautiful flowered fringe shawl splayed across my chair, close my eyes and bring forth that special mantra once given to my 13 year old self and reap the benefits hopefully for years to come.
Image courtesy of Creative Commons.
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