Top Benefits of Transcendental Meditation (TM) from Research:
- Reduced blood pressure
- Increased insulin resistance (useful for preventing diabetes)
- Slowing of biological aging (People who practice TM actually extend their lives!)
- A 48% reduction in the rates of heart attack, stroke and death
- Treatment of PTSD
Day 1 of Instruction:
Finally, the day has arrived! Today is the first day of the rest of my life, practicing TM that is. I’m back at Green Square Integrative Medicine and I’m ready to begin my 1st day of instruction.
Again, this place isn’t really my cup of tea, but I’m excited and eager to learn so what the hell.
We take care of the payment and we immediately get into it. Then I am hit with a strange request. I am sworn to secrecy about the ceremony and the instruction I receive each of the next four days.
This mean I won’t be able to provide you any specific details of each session. What I can tell you is that I am given my mantra and we immediately start the meditation process with instruction.
I now realize how effortless this form of meditation is, no need to concentrate, have expectations or a fear of “doing it wrong”.
We begin meditating. Now of course it’s a bit awkward sitting in a room with my eyes closed with a stranger but I soon get over it.
After the first five minutes I find my groove, but about 10 minutes in I have an urge to check my watch for the time. I get back into it and then around 18 minutes I check my watch again.
The instructor soon alerts me the meditation is over and to take my time opening my eyes.
From now on I need to practice TM twice a day for 20 minute each session.
I leave the building feeling relaxed but the more overwhelming feeling is of excitement that I get to bring this home and begin practicing twice a day.
Meeting with instructor
I hear the familiar but maddening sound of my alarm. I hit the snooze button, but only once instead of the normal 2 or 3 times. Maybe this is a sign of progress with my TM practice.
I rinse my face at the sink, organize the clothes I will wear for work, but I avoid eating, because I plan to meditate, and digestion will only get in the way.
I sit down on a chair in the center of our spare bedroom. I begin the meditation. I downloaded an app to help with the timing so I can focus on the meditation instead.
Each session the time goes by a bit faster and I notice I’m more comfortable and my mind isn’t constantly analyzing whether I am doing it “right” or not.
Instead of this unfamiliar road, it is beginning to feel more like one that is well-traveled.
I will meet with my instructor again tonight.
I am starting to see the benefits of this practice. I have a clearer mind, my thought processes seem to be functioning at a higher level, and I even find writing this journal today that much easier.
Each day it feels as if I am slowly cleaning out an old engine of its years of built-up gunk and grime, finding new crevices each day and polishing them like new to help my mind run more efficiently.
My final meeting with instructor
2 Weeks In:
The practice is bringing more organization to my life. The routine in the morning and evening help to balance my day.
The practice is perfect for charging up in the morning and recharging my energy in the evening.
Other benefits I have found include patience, improved irritability, less fatigue, and more motivation.
I am still working on improving my mental clarity and focus, but feel that it may just be a byproduct of the change to an early work schedule.
Exercise is awesome, but what exercise are you doing for your brain? I believe everyone should have a way of destressing their mind and body through a form of daily mindset training.
So far, I feel that meditation is the best form for me.
A problem with meditation is that there are so many forms and then different ways of practicing each of those methods.
The benefit of TM is that it is standardized. Meaning that it is taught and practiced the same way throughout the world.
No matter the instructor you have, you can be sure you will learn it the identical way as a person 10 or 20 years before you or someone in another country.
This is the first form of meditation I have been able to perform routinely each day and for longer than 15 minutes without going nuts.
As I mentioned before, it is a simple and effortless form of meditation in which you will feel immediate improvements.
The drawbacks of this meditation are simple.
- The cost can be substantial
- You must commit 4 consecutive days to meeting with your instructor
- Time consuming: Two twenty minute sessions a day
If these three things do not appear to be draw backs and you are looking for a way to improve nearly every aspect of your life and the people’s lives around you, then you need to start transcendental meditation.
If you are looking for a cheaper way to get started with meditation, the download the app headspace and start with their free take 10 program. These are guided meditations and are a great introduction to mindfulness and meditation.
To get started with TM, visit www.TM.org and search for an instructor in your area.
A quote from a fellow TM meditator sums it up best:
“After many of years of TM, and watching the difference between friends and family that do TM, and those that say they don’t have the time, or the money, etc. the conclusion is this: NOT practicing TM is the single most expensive thing I could ever do.”