Author's Note


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8
How Do You Learn It?
Requirements to Learn

Chapter 9

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

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C H A P T E R 8

The Next Step: How to Start

My wife, Jane, started Transcendental Meditation before me, and I saw changes in her right away," recalls Barry Pitt, president of a large retail business in Redford, a suburb of Detroit. "She was happier and much more outgoing. So I decided to learn, too."

That was 24 years ago -- a year before Barry and Jane got married. At the time, Barry was a special education teacher in Detroit, teaching emotionally disturbed boys, 12 to 16 years old.

"It was a real stressful environment. My class was the last stop for those kids in the public school system. After that they went to Wayne County Juvenile Hall. Every morning when I would go to school, I would grab my keys, my wallet, and two aspirin. By noon I would have a splitting headache, and I would have to take the aspirin.

"The day I started meditating was the last time I ever took the aspirin. I never got headaches again."

Today, Barry runs a 25,000-square-foot hardware and automotive store with 120 employees. "A real pressure cooker," he says. All day Barry is talking with vendors about merchandise, attending meetings to set advertising and marketing programs, dealing with employees over personnel issues, and spending a lot of time on the floor working with customers.

Barry practices Transcendental Meditation twice a day. He says that it's part of his routine, like brushing his teeth or taking a shower. "It's essential. Physically, it keeps me strong, and mentally, it keeps me clear and alert. Because I meditate, I enjoy my life a lot."

In 1970 Jane Roman Pitt was a junior at the University of Michigan, studying education. She had heard about Transcendental Meditation from a friend, and when she saw a poster announcing an introductory lecture, she decided to attend. After the lecture she decided to start.

"At the time, I had been drinking about six cups of coffee a day just to keep going. I was in school and working full-time as a waitress. I learned Transcendental Meditation, and a few days later I didn't need the coffee anymore. And after I would meditate in the afternoon, I could study at night without falling asleep. It really made a difference. I felt much happier and more settled inside."

Today Jane is the mother of two teenagers: Jesse, 17, and Joanna, 14. She is also a composer whose works are performed by choirs and chamber groups around the country. Jane says the benefits of Transcendental Meditation are the same today as when she started 24 years ago -- "only much more so. The only way I could handle all the roles and responsibilities that I have as a working mother -- let alone enjoy them -- is through the deep rest, energy, and mental clarity that I get from meditating twice a day."

People start Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation for a wide variety of reasons. Some may learn the technique at the recommendation of their doctor, to help treat a specific stress-related problem, such as high blood pressure. Others may be quite healthy but decide to start because they want to use more of their mental potential. Others may start Transcendental Meditation because they want to improve their relationships or help create a more peaceful society.

Regardless of the reasons one has to learn Transcendental Meditation, with the regular practice of the technique, all of the overall positive benefits to the mind, body, and behavior naturally develop. Transcendental Meditation is one procedure that simultaneously strengthens all aspects of life. It's like watering the root of a plant to nourish the entire plant in one simple stroke.

How Do You Learn It?

The Transcendental Meditation program is taught through a seven-step course of instruction offered through hundreds of Maharishi Vedic Universities and Schools throughout the United States and the world. (Please see "MVU Locations" for NZ locations.)

The course includes two lectures that provide the necessary intellectual understanding to start the technique, and four consecutive days of actual instruction -- about 2 hours each day.

The course structure is as follows:

Step 1 -- An Introductory Lecture

The first step is a public lecture that provides an introduction to the Transcendental Meditation program and presents a vision of possibilities from practicing the technique. The lecture is about 90 minutes and includes:

  • Description -- what Transcendental Meditation is and what it is not.
  • Benefits -- the scientifically validated effects the technique has on improving mental potential, health, and social behavior, and on promoting world peace.
  • How to start the technique -- an outline of the seven-step course of instruction to learn Transcendental Meditation.

Step 2 -- Preparatory Lecture

The second step is also a public lecture, which provides an explanation of the mechanics of the Transcendental Meditation technique. It lasts about 90 minutes and includes a discussion of:

  • How Transcendental Meditation works.
  • Why Transcendental Meditation is easy to learn and effortless to practice.
  • How Transcendental Meditation is unique and different from all other techniques of meditation or self-development.
  • The origin of Transcendental Meditation.

Step 3 -- A Personal Interview

The third step, a personal interview with a trained teacher of the Transcendental Meditation technique, provides an opportunity to ask any additional questions you might still have and to make an appointment for personal instruction. The interview takes about 15 minutes.

Step 4 -- Personal Instruction in Transcendental Meditation

The fourth step is the actual instruction in the Transcendental Meditation technique, which is held on a one-to-one basis with a qualified Transcendental Meditation teacher. In this step you'll actually learn to practice the technique. Personal instruction takes about 2 hours.

Step 5 -- First Day of Checking Seminar

The fifth step begins a 3-day series of 2-hour checking seminars following your personal instruction in Transcendental Meditation. This fifth step is held the day after personal instruction. It is to review the mechanics of the technique and to verify and validate the correctness of your practice. This seminar is attended by all the other people who received personal instruction the previous day.

Step 6 -- Second Day of Checking Seminar

The sixth step is held on the second day after your personal instruction. In this session you get the answer to any new questions you might have, verify the correctness of your Transcendental Meditation practice, and discuss the mechanics of stabilizing the benefits of Transcendental Meditation.

Step 7 -- Third Day of Checking Seminar

The seventh step is held on the third day after your personal instruction. Its purpose is to answer any new questions you might have, verify the correctness of your practice, and gain a vision of the goal of the Transcendental Meditation program -- the development of full human potential in higher states of consciousness. The complete follow-up program is also outlined.

A Complete Follow-Up Program

Following these seven steps of Transcendental Meditation instruction, there is a complete, optional lifetime follow-up program that is available for every meditator. The program includes regular personal checking, advanced lectures and special seminars to ensure your complete understanding of the benefits. The seven steps, plus the follow-up program, are offered through Maharishi Vedic Universities and Schools located throughout the United States.

The Requirements to Learn

There are a few practical requirements to start the technique, including the time needed to learn the technique -- 2 hours a day over 4 consecutive days -- and a course fee. For details on both, please attend a free introductory lecture on Transcendental Meditation in your area.

"This is a large university, and there are a lot of very competent people here, so you can easily feel that your work doesn't matter," says Joelle Tamraz, 21, a third-year social studies major at Harvard. "It takes a lot of belief in yourself, a lot of self-confidence. Some students fall by the wayside when they're not given positive reinforcement. It also takes an open and flexible mind and discipline and commitment to your work to be successful."

Joelle is an A student. She is considering an academic career or public service, after graduation. Joelle started Transcendental Meditation, along with her mother and sister, in New York City after she graduated from high school. She has been practicing the technique for the 3 years she has been at Harvard.

"After I meditate in the morning, I go to my classes and out into the world, and I feel confident and calm. I feel more prepared for the tasks at hand, which are often difficult and many.

"And although my studies are extremely important to me, since I have been meditating I feel that my life has a deeper sense of purpose. The experience of my inner self has allowed me to put what I do every day into a larger, more meaningful whole. As a result, my relationships with people have dramatically improved. I've developed much more loving and profound friendships, which I trace to the growing balance and peacefulness I have from Transcendental Meditation. And because I meditate regularly, I don't feel a lot of stress even when I have a lot of work. I am able to put things in perspective."

To other students facing the challenges of high school or college, Joelle strongly recommends Transcendental Meditation.

"It will give you a greater sense of stability and happiness and make you feel that you can easily tackle your day-to-day challenges."

Jack E. "Woody" Barnes, 47, an insurance salesman in Birmingham, Alabama, had always wanted to develop the potential of his mind. He had read a lot of books, heard a lot of tapes, and had a lot of different ideas.

"Then I decided to learn Transcendental Meditation, and finally I had a direct experience of what I had been looking for all these years -- real expansion of consciousness. It's like driving down a road and suddenly the fog begins to clear. My mind is clearer now. I have experiences of unity in my life, whereas before unity was just a concept I had read about."

Woody started Transcendental Meditation along with his wife, Bobbie, an interior decorator, and his 17-year-old daughter, Frannie, a junior at Mountain Brook High School. The family has been practicing the technique for 6 months.

Bobbie: "I had bad hip pain. Whenever I drove for more than an hour, I had to stop and walk around. It had bothered me a lot for 2 years. My physical therapist said that a lot of the pain was due to stress. I remember one day after practicing Transcendental Meditation for a few weeks, I suddenly realized that the stress and the pain had completely gone away! And 6 months later it hasn't returned. My mind is a lot clearer and calmer now, too. And for me that's saying a lot. I am calm even when things around me are hectic. And because Frannie, who is my step-daughter, and I sometimes practice the technique together, I think it has brought us a lot closer."

Frannie: "I love meditating. It's really relaxing. It's like taking a nap, except that your mind is awake, and you don't feel groggy or heavy afterward. It's very refreshing and gives me peace of mind. It has also helped me in school. I am able to cope with things better and I am able to remember more and concentrate better in my classes. Before I learned Transcendental Meditation, I used to get mostly B's, but now I get B-pluses and A's. Transcendental Meditation has also made it more peaceful around the house. There was always a lot of love in my family, but now there is a nicer, quieter atmosphere."

Woody: "Learning the technique has been wonderful. The teachers of Transcendental Meditation are great people, and the follow-up program has been absolutely outstanding."

After This Book -- The Next Step

What do you do now, after reading this book, if you want more information about the technique? The next step is to attend an introductory lecture.

And if you have some questions about material covered in this book? Contact your local Maharishi Vedic University or School and speak to a Transcendental Meditation teacher. Or ask your questions at the introductory lecture. All Transcendental Meditation teachers have received extensive training -- up to a year of study -- to teach this very simple, yet very precise technique. They will be happy to answer all of your questions.

And just remember, Transcendental Meditation is easy for everyone to learn.

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