I By no means Believed Transcendental Meditation Would Profit Me
Excerpts from an essay by Barry Marenberg. Check out the full piece on Medium.com.
A year ago I was dissatisfied with the direction of my life. I was out of shape, overtired, and depressed. I only went through the movements of waking up, working, and sleeping. When I was awake, I wasn’t fully “present”. I’ve had financial, personal, and professional problems.
Once a week my family and I ate in a restaurant. At that time we always walked past a building that housed a Transcendental Meditation Center. There were signs in the window praising the benefits of this mysterious (to me) practice. I ignored these signs for months. Late that night, I navigated to the website for this Transcendental Meditation Center. The website was bright and full of easy-to-read information, videos, and testimonials from everyday people as well as athletes, celebrities, and well-known business people.
I watched the videos, read all the testimonials and FAQs. It sounded simple and it sounded like something that could help and change my life. I definitely had nothing to lose. I reached out to the Transcendental Meditation Center and asked for a visit and an interview.
After all that, I decided to enroll. The training consisted of classes on 4 consecutive days, with each class lasting around one and a half to two hours. Day 1 was a very short spiritual ceremony where my teacher gave me my meditation mantra, a two-syllable word that means absolutely nothing to me. The remainder of Day 1, along with Days 2 through 4, consisted of in-depth teaching on how to practice TM and included guided meditation sessions with the instructor. I found the TM technique very easy to learn and the personalized interactive guidance to be a valuable and fun part of the learning process. Practicing TM is a simple and fearless process. I don’t have to try to clear my mind and block out all thoughts. There is no need to sit in any particular way or place my hands in any particular place. If I have to scratch my nose during mediation, I scratch it. If I have to move my seat, I do. None of these actions interfere with my meditation.
What I liked about learning TM:
• If, like me, you are skeptical, the technique will work whether or not you are skeptical
• Practicing TM did not involve concentrating or focusing on my part
• I didn’t have to strain or struggle to control or clear my thoughts
What has TM done for me in the past year that I’ve practiced?
Will I be a completely different person a year later? Am I improved physically and mentally? I feel that I am I meditate twice a day every day. I enjoy it immensely and it makes a difference in my day and my life as a whole. I’ve lost a lot of weight in the past year. Not only is my weight loss due to TM, but my attitudes have changed for the better and my positive attitude has given me an increased incentive to change my eating habits and go to the gym regularly. As a result, my blood pressure has decreased significantly and my cholesterol level has improved so that I no longer need to take the blood pressure and cholesterol medications. For me this is a significant asset. I’m also calmer and more patient. My fear level has decreased significantly.
TM provided me with a tool with which I can handle the curve balls in a more controlled and positive manner.