Author's Note


Chapter 1
What TM is
What happens

What it does
Deep Rest
What TM is not

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

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C H A P T E R 1 

Transcendental Meditation at a Glance

A Harvard graduate student asked his instructor, Ronald David, M.D., about meditation. What was it? What did it do? Dr. David, Lecturer in Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, offered to find out. He called the Transcendental Meditation Center in Cambridge, and the next week a speaker addressed Dr. David's class. Fascinated, six students, along with Dr. David, started the technique.

It's now 18 months later, 8:00 a.m. on a Tuesday -- one of the busiest days of the week for Dr. David. He sits in his office, notes for today's lectures piled on his desk. But before he starts to review them -- and before his office turns busy -- he turns off the ringer on his telephone, closes his eyes, and begins his morning practice of Transcendental Meditation.

"I finish meditating and I start the day feeling alert, creative, energized, and much more organized," Dr. David says.

Later that morning, after going over his notes with a colleague, Dr. David, a noted pediatrician-turned- policy analyst, will lecture to 42 graduate students on "Risk and Resilience in Childhood: Implications for Public Policy." After lunch, he will make final preparations for, and then teach, a 3-hour afternoon seminar.

"At the end of what has normally been a hectic pace and before I get on the train to go home, I close the door to my office, again turn off the ringer on the telephone, and meditate. I wind down from the tension of the day; it leaves me completely refreshed and alert for the train ride back, so I can do something I enjoy, such as read a book, rather than just fall asleep."

As a health policy analyst, Dr. David sees significant applications for Transcendental Meditation.

"We have focused too long and too exclusively on the medical model of management," Dr. David says. "I am impressed with the emerging data on the role of Transcendental Meditation in the treatment of intractable hypertension, reduction of recidivism in prison inmates, and recovery from drug addiction -- particularly among African Americans.

"For me Transcendental Meditation is much more profound than simply a physiological way of relaxing. It's a way of becoming whole, of experiencing our own deep inner connectedness as human beings. That experience gives a far greater capacity for health and healing."

What exactly is Transcendental Meditation?

And what is it not?

What are the benefits? How does it work?

The first thing to know about the Transcendental Meditation program of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is that it's easy to learn and enjoyable to practice.

Second, scientific research shows that the benefits of Transcendental Meditation can be seen immediately and accumulate over time.

Third, it's simple to understand.

What Transcendental Meditation Is

Transcendental Meditation is a simple, natural, effortless, easily-learned mental technique practiced for 15 to 20 minutes twice daily, sitting comfortably with the eyes closed.

To elaborate:

  • Simple -- Transcendental Meditation is not difficult or complicated; it is a simple procedure.
  • Natural -- there is no manipulation or suggestion, such as in hypnosis.
  • Effortless -- Transcendental Meditation is easy to practice and requires no ability to concentrate or control the mind.
  • Easily learned -- anyone beginning from age 10 can learn Transcendental Meditation easily.
  • Mental technique -- it requires no physical exercises, special postures, or procedures.
  • Practiced for 15 to 20 minutes twice daily -- Transcendental Meditation is practiced for 15 to 20 minutes: once in the morning before breakfast, to start the day with alertness and energy, and once again in the afternoon before dinner, to eliminate the accumulated stress of the day and as a basis for an enjoyable evening and a good night's sleep.
  • Sitting comfortably -- no awkward or cramped positions are necessary to practice Transcendental Meditation. You can practice the technique anywhere -- in your office after work, riding the subway, sitting in a plane, or even in your car parked at a highway rest stop. But it is usually practiced in the comfort of your own home.

What Happens During Transcendental Meditation

During Transcendental Meditation the mind settles down to a silent, yet fully awake, state of awareness -- pure consciousness. At the same time the body gains a unique and profound state of rest and relaxation.

To understand the experience of the mind and body settling down during Transcendental Meditation, we'll take two common occurrences.

Excited mind: It's Friday, 2:00 p.m. It's been a busy day and a long week. You're late for an appointment. You race to your car only to realize that you've forgotten your keys. You find your keys, and then you have to battle traffic and road construction before finally making it to your appointment -- only to discover that you've left behind some important papers. Your mind is speeding, and your heart is pounding.

Settled mind: It's Sunday afternoon and you're heading home from a long weekend vacation, rested and refreshed. You feel contented, relaxed, happy. Your mind is alert, calm, clear. You begin to think of new ways to make things better at work and at home -- good, practical ideas.

Both of these experiences -- of greater and of lesser excitation of mind and body -- are already very familiar to us.

Now what does Transcendental Meditation do?

Transcendental Meditation is a systematic technique that allows mental activity to settle down to a silent state of awareness where the mind is calm, collected, yet fully expanded, fully awake.

This state is the simplest form of human awareness. It is pure consciousness, a state of "self-referral" awareness open only to itself -- open to its own full potential. And as we'll see in the next chapter, it is the unified field of natural law, which modern physics describes as the source of the infinite creativity and intelligence of nature.

This settled state is completely natural to the mind. It has always been there. It was there 10 years ago, it's there right now, and it'll be there tomorrow. Only it has been lost from experience, lost from use, because of the constant noise and pressures and excitations of daily life.

Transcendental Meditation allows the mind to experience pure consciousness easily, effortlessly, and enjoyably. At the same time, extensive scientific research has shown that while the mind settles down during Transcendental Meditation, the body gains a state of profound rest and relaxation that is far deeper than any other technique of meditation or relaxation produces.

Benefits of Transcendental Meditation

What are the benefits of this experience?

Pure consciousness is the source of the unlimited creativity and intelligence of the mind. Research has shown that the twice daily experience of pure consciousness during Transcendental Meditation makes the mind more alert, creative, and intelligent throughout the day.

And the deep rest provided by Transcendental Meditation eliminates the build-up of stress and tension; improves health; and provides the basis for more dynamic, productive, and satisfying activity. (more...)

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