Transcendental meditation

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Have any of you ever practiced transcendental meditation? People do TM for many reasons: to relieve stress, to calm down, to deal with anger, to quit smoking, to lose weight, to free up energies to accomplish long-dreamed-of goals.



I used to do TM, and can tell you that it *REALLY* works - though it can take a while to get the hang of it. If you never have tried or read about TM, it involves sitting in a quiet, comfortable spot and repeating a word over and over in your mind for about 20 minutes.



When you notice your mind starting to drift away from repeating the word, you gently return to doing so. This process, once you get the hang of it, clears the mind of all stressful thoughts. The person goes into an alpha state, in which the brain waves are alpha waves - different from those when awake or asleep.



It took me a while to learn to meditate, but eventually I could sit down, think of my word, and the muscles of my body would start to relax immediately, a conditioned response. The sensation was almost like a feeling of falling down a set of relaxation stairs. It was sorta jerky. The alpha states I eventually reached were so deep that it took a conscious effort to 'come back out'. I could hardly move, and my pulse/breathing rate slowed down to the barest minimum.



Anyway, the whole point of meditation is that it gives incredibly deep, refreshing relaxation. It frees up one's energies, so that tasks/chores that once seemed like ordeals to be dreaded are taken on and dealt with easily.



I keep meaning to start meditating again, but somehow haven't managed to remember to do it.



So have any of you ever tried anything along the lines of TM? If so, what did you think of it, and would you recommend it to others?



What made me think of TM, is that I believe people these days have a lot of anger that they stuff down inside. It's not good to 'stuff' anger, but acting it out isn't so great either - frowned on by society, etc.



So for anyone here who has anger seething inside them, anger you can't really express or vent fully, TM might be worth a try. Plus, as I said above to help with weight, smoking, insomnia, stress, etc.



PS - forgot to mention that I used to play hypnosis tapes sometimes when I meditated...tapes that give positive suggestions. That works too, by the way.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member


    So did you have to, you know, get training from one of the Maharishi's accredited centers, or can you just sort of take it up? IIRC, at one time there was quite a bit of training/money involved to get to the point where you got your mantra whispered to you.



    I could certainly do with some stress reduction/rage dissipation, since the last time I checked I am in fact not allowed to simply hack my boss to pieces with a machete.
  • Reply 2 of 12
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    I've considered doing meditation. I find most of the alleged benefits interesting (relaxation, awareness of yourself and your surroundings, self-manipulating your body and mind functions). I haven't tried yet.



    What do you recommend as sources of information - books, organizations? I only know one place around here where some kind of meditation is taught (a Zen school). All books on the subject of meditation I've browsed in bookstores have given me a bad impression (various reasons: lack of information in general, lack of how-to and theory in particular, frequent implicit assumptions due to ties to some cult or religion).



    I'm not religious. If the source is, but there is solid information in there as well, the religious part doesn't bother me.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    carol acarol a Posts: 1,043member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by addabox

    So did you have to, you know, get training from one of the Maharishi's accredited centers, or can you just sort of take it up? IIRC, at one time there was quite a bit of training/money involved to get to the point where you got your mantra whispered to you.



    I could certainly do with some stress reduction/rage dissipation, since the last time I checked I am in fact not allowed to simply hack my boss to pieces with a machete.








    Hahahaha. Yeah, machetes (with hostile intent) just 'might' be frowned on at your average job site. (...and thanks for giving me a good laugh as I pictured your scenario. Not that it's *really* funny...but you know what I mean. )



    Well, I think having to pay to learn TM is BS. Though I can see that some people only follow through on things for which they have coughed up big bucks...so there's 'that' aspect of it.



    But assuming that people don't have to play these little games with themselves, you can learn all you really need to know in five minutes. In fact, I've mostly described TM in my original post.
    • * if possible, do TM daily at a regular time (just to get in the habit)



      * don't do TM after a meal, because you're trying to get all your physical processes to slow down; so you don't want the digestion of a meal to be going on during TM.



      * Pick a two syllable sound that appeals to you. Avoid picking a word that 'means' something. My ex was given the mantra "aman"; I was given something like "she-reeng". Eventually, I switched over to the word "loose" - and my muscles would relax like magic (after a few months practice).



      The point of TM is to move your mind away from everyday thoughts completely; so you don't want a mantra that calls up any distracting ideas. You want essentially to empty your mind. It's tricky, and takes a while to learn; but you CAN do it, and the benefits are beyond measure.



      * I had trouble getting the hang of TM, because I'm the type of person who tries TOO hard to do something correctly. The irony is that 'trying too hard' is just the opposite of the process of TM, more or less.



      When I didn't seem able to go into an alpha state, I would get distressed - which is totally counterproductive wrt deep relaxation. So, just accept that you WILL eventually learn how to do TM, and don't fret if it takes a while. If you begin with that attitude (i.e. "patience with yourself"), it will speed up the process.



      Concentrate on the word you have chosen for yourself. When you notice your mind drifting off to work problems, etc, GENTLY bring your focus back to the word, being kind to yourself in the process, realizing that learning to bring yourself back to the mantra gently is a key learning process.



      * Don't lie down for TM. You don't want to fall asleep. Sit upright in a really comfortable chair, maybe in a darkened, quiet room. If there are distracting noises around, it would be nice to have white noise going on (loud fans, humidifiers, anything that makes a steady, non-varying sound to cover up distracting noises), or a tape with ocean sounds, or something - NOT music (too distracting, and brings up thoughts of other things).



      * Try for twenty minutes each day. Don't stress out if it doesn't seem to be working. If you stress out, you'll delay the learning process. Your body and mind have to learn to do TM together - well, mostly the mind, but the body has to cooperate (and WILL do so, eagerly, eventually).



      * Don't drink alcohol or anything like that before doing TM, because you'll just fall asleep, and that's NOT TM. Remember, the brain waves during TM are alpha waves - different than when you're asleep.

    I know I'm forgetting something. Let me just say that the very first day I did TM, and even though I didn't do it right, my behavior right afterward showed immediate change. I went right out and did some things I had been dreading doing. I did them easily and quickly. No procrastinating. Oh, yeah. PROCRASTINATING (my greatest downfall) might be one of the things you quit doing after a while of practicing TM. Cool, huh?



    Also, addabox, I imagine there are plenty of books on the subject. I never read any because I didn't feel I needed to. You could check one out of the library, and not spend a dime to learn to do TM.



    Oh, yeah. The hypnosis tapes. I played those sometimes, because they gave me all kinds of positive suggestions while I was in a trance state. That *wouldn't* be something they'd mention in a TM book, but who cares. Whatever works, right? I'll add that I didn't hear the tapes with my conscious mind.



    I may even start up doing TM again this evening. Once you learn to do it, it's addictive, in that your body will crave that intense relaxation. It's truly wonderful. I hope you will try it, addabox. PM me if you want. It could change your life forever.



    Oh yeah. Don't do TM right before bed, because it can energize you. Do it earlier in the day/evening.
  • Reply 4 of 12
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Really interesting, Carol.



    I particularly perked up at the mention of decreased procrastination. It's my bete noir, more or less. (In fact, posting here is what I'm doing instead of doing the laundry...)



    It's funny, I used to know people who did TM back in the "you are forbidden to tell anybody your mantra" days and it seemed to be really good for them, but I had kinda just forgot about it.



    Thanks for the reminder!
  • Reply 5 of 12
    carol acarol a Posts: 1,043member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Gon

    I've considered doing meditation. I find most of the alleged benefits interesting (relaxation, awareness of yourself and your surroundings, self-manipulating your body and mind functions). I haven't tried yet.



    What do you recommend as sources of information - books, organizations? I only know one place around here where some kind of meditation is taught (a Zen school). All books on the subject of meditation I've browsed in bookstores have given me a bad impression (various reasons: lack of information in general, lack of how-to and theory in particular, frequent implicit assumptions due to ties to some cult or religion).



    I'm not religious. If the source is, but there is solid information in there as well, the religious part doesn't bother me.




    Hi Gon -



    I think I've mentioned everything you need to know in my message to addabox. TM is just incredible. Especially for people who are stressed, extremely busy, unhappy, depressed. Put anything you want in the list of ailments, TM will help reduce/eliminate them all.



    Honestly, it really is true that if everyone did TM (or some close approximation of it), the world would be a completely different place. This ONE thing could change the world. But it'll probably never happen, because many people are too non-accepting to give it a try.



    I'm NOT into religion at ALL. In fact, I have little good to say about any religion. I suppose I really should study Buddhism, though - just out of curiosity.



    TM is a process of learning to free up the mind - to sort of 'detoxify' our mental processes. Like many/most/all (?) other things, people in the East have been aware of this stuff for aeons.



    I know there's a book by a physician named Herbert Benson called The Relaxation Response, which includes information about scientific studies of TM - studies conducted at Harvard (iirc) and other reputable places. I imagine amazon.com might have some titles to suggest.



    Before I forget, in one experience of TM I had, my state of relaxation was so deep that I wasn't sure I'd be able to come out of it. It was as deep as you could ever possibly get, I would imagine.



    Another experience I had during TM was like an "ecstasy" - a bliss so intense that it was transporting. I imagine it's something like I've read extremely holy people have felt - i.e. the ecstasies of the saints.



    Well I am no saint, and would never want to be one. But I did have one experience of ecstatic joy.



    Please ask me anything you want about TM. I personally don't think anyone really needs to read a book about it. It's a simple process. It just takes practice to learn, like anything else.





    PS - I do hope guys who break remote controls in half will read this thread and try TM. Those who love you will love you a thousand times more; and you will love yourself a thousand times more, too. You know who you are. Oops. Hope that isn't Strike Three. (eek!) 8)
  • Reply 6 of 12
    carol acarol a Posts: 1,043member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by addabox

    Really interesting, Carol.



    I particularly perked up at the mention of decreased procrastination. It's my bete noir, more or less. (In fact, posting here is what I'm doing instead of doing the laundry...)



    It's funny, I used to know people who did TM back in the "you are forbidden to tell anybody your mantra" days and it seemed to be really good for them, but I had kinda just forgot about it.



    Thanks for the reminder!




    I could probably write a book on the horrors procrastination can cause. I *do* find that when I have stuff I really dread doing, laundry and housecleaning suddenly seem magically appealing and in need of urgent attention. Ah, yes.



    I've read that people who procrastinate are perfectionists. Have you read that? I think there might be some truth in that contention.



    Let me know if you decide to try TM, addabox. As I said, I think I'm going to start up again myself in a few hours. I seem to have talked myself into it with this thread, and I'm *really* looking forward to it. Yeowie! It's exciting!
  • Reply 7 of 12
    xionjaxionja Posts: 504member
    What the thing about repeating a word. Is it supposed to be a specific word? Or meaningful to what you are trying to accomplish?
  • Reply 8 of 12
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by xionja

    What the thing about repeating a word. Is it supposed to be a specific word? Or meaningful to what you are trying to accomplish?



    Shhhhh... don't disturb Carol......she's in a trance.....
  • Reply 9 of 12
    existenceexistence Posts: 991member
    b^(-a) - a^2 = c



    a,b,c reals.



    Solve for a.
  • Reply 10 of 12
    carol acarol a Posts: 1,043member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by xionja

    What the thing about repeating a word. Is it supposed to be a specific word? Or meaningful to what you are trying to accomplish?



    The point of mentally repeating a word is to have 'something' on which the mind can focus. If there's nothing to focus on, the mind will begin casting about for something to occupy it - since that's what minds are built to 'do'. It's kinda like giving your dog a bone to keep him occupied and busy; but in this case, you're giving your mind 'a bone' to keep it busy. (I like that analogy. heh)



    The point is to empty the mind of all worries, concerns, anxieties, etc. If you focus on a meaningless word, and KEEP focusing on it, your mind will automatically start abandoning all the "worry tapes" that people play over and over in their minds.



    Pick a two-syllable SOUND that has NO meaning to the meditator. You don't want a word that will cause you to 'think' of anything. You want a word to focus on that will not be distracting in any way.



    Like "she-reeng" was the mantra I was given. Why not use that one if you can't think of one of your own. It's a mantra for a female. Perhaps that makes a difference. Who knows?



    My ex was given "aman" - a mantra for a male. Guys could use that one if they wanted.



    NO! Don't use one associated with what you are trying to achieve. You want to EMPTY your mind of all thoughts. You DON'T want to be constantly reminded of your goals. That would be counterproductive completely.



    I switched to the word 'loose' because that helped me go into trance faster. But I already knew what I was doing by then, and it wasn't a distracting word for me.



    Regarding playing tapes:



    I would try to get the hang of meditating before messing with tapes. Just my opinion, but I think the tapes would be distracting for a beginner.



    When *I* played tapes, I went into an alpha state quickly and never actually *heard* the tapes with my conscious mind. When I came out of trance, if someone had asked me what was said on the tape, I would not have been able to tell them one single thing. But my subconscious mind would have known everything on the tapes. I hope this doesn't sound mysterious. I probably should never have mentioned the hypnosis tapes at all. Tsk. Too much information at once.
  • Reply 11 of 12
    carol acarol a Posts: 1,043member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by addabox

    Shhhhh... don't disturb Carol......she's in a trance.....



    I'm not now, but I will be in about three hours.



    Remember, TM is a 20-minute-a-day thing. Don't try to do two hours, thinking you'll learn faster. That would be counterproductive, and would probably actually 'slow' the learning process.



    Your mind and body have to learn the process. Be patient with them, and with yourself. Or you WON'T learn. It's that simple. This is something you can't force. *I* should know, because I tried WAY too hard to learn this, and it didn't work. You have to be patient.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    sammi josammi jo Posts: 4,634member
    The only costs of meditation are a good manual by a reputable author and perhaps a cushion. The most difficult part is clearing the mind, stopping the random noise and chatter of thoughts etc. If you find yourself thinking about washing the dog, or what to cook for dinner....etc...you are not meditating. A mantra, either silent, or out loud is a good starting place. You don't need to go to the mountains, or find a silent or beautiful place. It works in almost any situation or place where you can be alone...except driving! 10 minutes is a good starter, then work up to 20, half an hour or more, depending on how much time you have. Its free, far better for you than any drug, more entertaining than television and you can schedule it at your leisure. It's amazing that more people don't indulge!



    Just beware of some born-again Christians who may tell you that that yoga/meditation techniques are "Satanic" practises..(since they are used in eastern faiths, philosophy and disciplines).







    For some lighter reading try Sri Swami Beyondananda

    http://66.221.137.237/



Sign In or Register to comment.