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Transcendental meditation

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libertygrl
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Posted 02/24/12 - 9:37 AM:
Subject: Transcendental meditation
This is for Thinker, but for everyone too, just curious to know if you have thoughts on TM. I see from doing a search on the Couch that Starjade mentioned it briefly.

I have friends who grew up in a cult that practiced TM, so they have very negative associations with it. Just came across this youtube video where David Lynch talks about TM, so I'm curious now about it. Any thoughts?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2UHLMVr4vg
Thinker13
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Posted 02/24/12 - 12:12 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
This is for Thinker, but for everyone too, just curious to know if you have thoughts on TM. I see from doing a search on the Couch that Starjade mentioned it briefly.

I have friends who grew up in a cult that practiced TM, so they have very negative associations with it. Just came across this youtube video where David Lynch talks about TM, so I'm curious now about it. Any thoughts?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2UHLMVr4vg








Thanks Lib. I have read some of the views from people in the Lynch club. Actually nothing bad if you promote a type of meditation, however, it becomes a bit of a 'cult', when people practicing it, who have not really tried other types of meditations, start asserting that it's the best meditation.

If you read through Lynch's websites, you will find many claims that Transcendental Meditation is best over any other meditation. Well, if you ask for my personal opinion, it happened so that Lynch came across Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of India and learnt meditation from him and this meditation contributed in a vital way in his creative make-up and life. That was a chance event in my opinion. I think that Lynch has not tried all other types of meditation.


Those who put TM over all other meditations are in a way like religious fanatics (just with a bit different 'taste'). They have not really tried all other meditations, nor they have actually understood what meditation is. What do I mean by it? I mean following two things:

1. When you really understand what meditation is, you become capable of creating your own knacks and techniques and that gives you something of your own, which is almost always better than anything borrowed.

2. You never nourish and nurture a belief that the way you practice is the only way or the best way. Such beliefs arise out of sheer ignorance. If you practice a lot of types of meditation you would realize that. I am not suggesting in any way that you should just keep on experimenting--as not each one of us has same amount of free time available to do so. Similarly at times it's better to stick to a method for long than to just keep on switching between the methods. But idea is not to turn yourself into a fanatic just because you came to choose a particular type of meditation over the other. I have often emphasized the importance of attention on breathing, because, in my experience that seems to be a very easy meditation with very high effectiveness, however, it would be utterly rubbish if I started suggesting that it's the best type of meditation.


I don't really find studies supporting TM very convincing. TM has been marketed properly and sold cleverly. It's not a great meditation. It's just a tranquilizer, similar to a sedative. Nothing bad about tranquilizer and it's very much possible that those who have practiced it for long have attained great heights of consciousness, but believe me there are so many vital meditation methods available. Moreover, once you get the creative mode you can invent your own techniques of meditation.


Will you believe that Shiva has described 112 techniques of meditation in his very old esoteric treatise called 'Vigyan Bhairava' on which there have been beautiful commentaries by Indian mystic Osho? Many experts believe that it covers all types of meditations but I don't think so. I just think that there is no limit possible for fundamental variations possible for meditation techniques.


I have practiced many techniques including TM. TM is much hyped in my opinion. TM is a symbol of 'eastern things repackaged by western minds' tradition and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi along with his group used their business mindedness to sell a very simple and potential of 'placebo' level of meditation to millions. The so called Guru-mantra is kept secret! Bullshit. There is nothing secret about TM.


No matter who comes selling you techniques for meditation, have an open mind and try to investigate on your own about efficacy. I see advertisements, Oprah Winfrey and David Lynch etc supporting it, but I don't let my view get clouded by my affinity for Lynchian cinema.

In the end, any meditation or method or technique is a clutch in the path of what you call liberation or enlightenment. Clutches can help you walk for a while but like any other Guru or meditation or technique, whatever technique you have adopted for increasing your sensitivity, awareness and attention, has to be given up finally. Only then enlightenment happens or say when it happens it’s inevitable that you would give up all methods and Gurus and techniques. But then another strange thing will happen: The enlightenment towards which you had strived so hard all through your life will not be important for you.
libertygrl
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Posted 02/24/12 - 12:57 PM:

thanks for sharing your thoughts, thinker. very informative. as soon as i heard about TM, my very first thought was, "i'll learn what it's about first and then i'll customize the technique to better suit my needs". because as you describe, after learning various meditative techniques, i have consistently found it more satisfying to do it my own way, or in other words customizing it after incorporating what i learned of the new technique. i will look into it then, and see what benefits i can glean from it. thumb up

thedoc
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Posted 02/24/12 - 1:42 PM:

I would recomend you just look into meditation in general and a basic form would probably do just fine. I believe Thinker is correct that the 'transendental' label is just for hype and not necessarily for substance.

An interesting aside, many years ago I studied Isshinryu Karate and would attend tournaments as a spectator. Several different styles would be attending to compete, and different styles sometimes had wildly different Kata's. But I noticed when it came to the Kumite the different practicioners might strike a different pose to start but as soon as it started they all fought the same, the kumite all looked the same no matter what style they came from. So possably like meditation when you get down to the actual effective practice it's all the same, just with different window dressing.

One very important thing you need to do is to determine what it is that you expect to accomplish, If you think it will make you a better person, volunteer charity work may accomplish more. For inner peace, I find a nice glass of wine makes my very peaceful.
thedoc
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Posted 02/24/12 - 2:17 PM:

This thread has started my thinking, and I have been intending to start a form of meditation, but it seems that the time I could spend doing that get taken up by other very important things. I have found that a nice nap in the afternoon feels really good. And thinking about that reminded me of something I posted a few years ago, as a joke,

NOTICE, This weeks meeting of 'Procrastinators Anonymous' will be postponed till next week, - sometime, - maybe, if we can find someone to type up the new schedule. Thankyou for your patience.
libertygrl
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Posted 02/26/12 - 3:20 PM:

i've been practicing meditation for many years. i do it mainly for health and healing. i've ordered a book about TM, am curious to see what it's about. some insist that you can't really learn the technique from a book, still, i'm interested in reading about it.

i may join procrastinators anonymous someday, if i ever get around to it. j/k
Thinker13
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Posted 02/26/12 - 3:47 PM:

thedoc wrote:
This thread has started my thinking, and I have been intending to start a form of meditation, but it seems that the time I could spend doing that get taken up by other very important things. I have found that a nice nap in the afternoon feels really good. And thinking about that reminded me of something I posted a few years ago, as a joke,

NOTICE, This weeks meeting of 'Procrastinators Anonymous' will be postponed till next week, - sometime, - maybe, if we can find someone to type up the new schedule. Thankyou for your patience.



laughing
Thinker13
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Posted 02/26/12 - 3:48 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
i've been practicing meditation for many years. i do it mainly for health and healing. i've ordered a book about TM, am curious to see what it's about. some insist that you can't really learn the technique from a book, still, i'm interested in reading about it.

i may join procrastinators anonymous someday, if i ever get around to it. j/k



Glad to hear that. I will be most willing to hear about your experiences with the book and the practice. smiling face
libertygrl
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Posted 03/02/12 - 11:56 AM:

Efforts at practice of TM. Day 1.

Book came on order from Amazon. It does not teach how to practice TM, although it does explain the basics of it in summary. Effects of TM were described from a neuroscientific point of view, which was useful information.

The author, together with many who practice TM, believes that TM cannot be taught properly from a book, that you must learn it from an instructor. My thoughts on this are that it is probably easier for most people to learn from an instructor. However, for me, being primarily autodidactic, find that written instruction makes things much easier to grasp. One website likened it to learning to ride a bicycle, insisting that guidance is needed to make it happen. However, I taught myself to ride a bicycle, so this analogy merely confirmed to me that what is true for many is not necessarily true for me.

I selected a Vedic mantra from a list of suggestions found on a website. I closed my eyes and began repeating the mantra in my mind. I felt various tensions in my face begin to relax. My breathing began to reflexively deepen. I began to feel the sensation of "brain coherence". The sensation lasted for a few minutes. I began to experiment with other mantras, to see if there might be another more suitable one. I kept coming back to the one I chose first, feeling that that one was the most comfortable.

I tried another session later in the evening, this time finding that the session made me relax to the point of being keenly aware of my foot and ankle pain, to the point of distraction. I had to stop and take some ibuprofen.

I definitely feel an immediate improvement on my breathing as soon as I begin the mantra. Will continue to make efforts at practice.
Thinker13
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Posted 03/02/12 - 2:44 PM:

lib wrote:

The author, together with many who practice TM, believes that TM cannot be taught properly from a book, that you must learn it from an instructor. My thoughts on this are that it is probably easier for most people to learn from an instructor. However, for me, being primarily autodidactic, find that written instruction makes things much easier to grasp. One website likened it to learning to ride a bicycle, insisting that guidance is needed to make it happen. However, I taught myself to ride a bicycle, so this analogy merely confirmed to me that what is true for many is not necessarily true for me.


Interesting. Anecdote: I learned bicycle on my own, in one go, without falling at all and had virtually no accidents. I learned driving motor bike with minimal of guidance from my friends and contrary to their anticipation ( fear) I did not damage anyone or anything.



lib wrote:

I selected a Vedic mantra from a list of suggestions found on a website. I closed my eyes and began repeating the mantra in my mind. I felt various tensions in my face begin to relax. My breathing began to reflexively deepen. I began to feel the sensation of "brain coherence". The sensation lasted for a few minutes. I began to experiment with other mantras, to see if there might be another more suitable one. I kept coming back to the one I chose first, feeling that that one was the most comfortable.



Hmm. Was Gayatri mantra in the list? Gayatri mantra is considered to be most scientific and powerful mantra by experts of Science of mantras. TM schools create much ado about 'secrecy' of mantra and stuff. This is nothing but a continuation of ancient tradition of India in which 'Secret is Sacred' or 'Sacred should be kept secret' has been much stressed upon.



As an aside: I recall that there used to be gossips and rumors in my childhood days, about Maharshi Mahesh Yogi, that he became so rich, just because he had stolen the secret rosary of his Guru. This rosary was supposed to make its holder very rich because it was allegedly blessed by the goddess Laxmi(goddess of prosperty in Hindu mythology.) laughing



lib wrote:

I tried another session later in the evening, this time finding that the session made me relax to the point of being keenly aware of my foot and ankle pain, to the point of distraction. I had to stop and take some ibuprofen.

I definitely feel an immediate improvement on my breathing as soon as I begin the mantra. Will continue to make efforts at practice.



It goes two ways in my opinion: Mantras and meditations alter breathing. Altering breathing in certain patterns induces meditative states and finally trances.


Ana-pana-satti uses both attention on breathing and meditation together without trying to alter it. Breathing does change as you get deeper but you don't intentionally try to change it. It happens.
thedoc
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Posted 03/02/12 - 4:37 PM:

libertygrl wrote:

The author, together with many who practice TM, believes that TM cannot be taught properly from a book, that you must learn it from an instructor. My thoughts on this are that it is probably easier for most people to learn from an instructor. However, for me, being primarily autodidactic, find that written instruction makes things much easier to grasp. One website likened it to learning to ride a bicycle, insisting that guidance is needed to make it happen. However, I taught myself to ride a bicycle, so this analogy merely confirmed to me that what is true for many is not necessarily true for me.



There are many practices that the "Experts" will tell you cannot be learned from a book, but as you have had some experience with meditation, you are merely exploring different techniques and styles. This also makes me think of other advice by "Experts" for some activities, they say you should start small and work your way up, such as riding a mororcycle, shooting a handgun, flying an RC airplane (Where they say you should start with control line?). The one thing to remember is that "One Size Does NOT Fit All". Each individual person is just that, an individual, and each learns in their own way.
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Posted 03/03/12 - 1:25 PM:

Efforts at practice of TM. Day 2.

I came home from work and tried to practice TM while sitting in a chair. I was extremely uncomfortable and discontinued the session after about 5 minutes. It is my preferred position of meditation lying down. Some people discourage this because they say you are likely to fall asleep. Nevertheless, it's what I prefer.

I then decided to do it lying down. I set my alarm for 40 minutes later in case I did fall asleep. However, I did not fall asleep, that I know of, lol. If I it was the case that I did fall asleep, then all I know is that the mantra was still repeating itself throughout the entire dream, and ended about half an hour later, before the alarm went off. When I opened my eyes, my body felt extremely relaxed but my mind felt sharp and lucid.

After the meditative session, I watched a film and felt during the film that my sense of awareness was heightened. I felt myself repeatedly able to predict how a given scene was going to proceed in terms of script and editing. Perhaps this is because of familiarity with the director (Michael Mann, the film was "Public Enemies"). However, I have many favorite directors and have never had this happen to me repeatedly during a movie by any other favorite director. So I attribute it to the meditation.

After I went to bed and fell asleep, I had a dream about meditating, during which a different mantra occurred to me from the one I was using. It was similar, but different in a way that suggested a different meaning to me during the dream, and I felt very certain that this new mantra is the one for me to use. So, I'm looking forward to trying it again today with my new mantra.
libertygrl
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Posted 03/03/12 - 1:31 PM:

Thinker wrote:
Hmm. Was Gayatri mantra in the list? Gayatri mantra is considered to be most scientific and powerful mantra by experts of Science of mantras. TM schools create much ado about 'secrecy' of mantra and stuff. This is nothing but a continuation of ancient tradition of India in which 'Secret is Sacred' or 'Sacred should be kept secret' has been much stressed upon.

i don't recall if it was on the list. maybe i will give it a try sometime after i become more familiar with the one i've chosen.

i like the idea of keeping one's mantra secret. it does, for me, sort of give it a special value.

thedoc wrote:
Each individual person is just that, an individual, and each learns in their own way.

absolutely.

you know, after reading very much about TM online, i feel that this attitude that people have that you must learn it from an instructor is a bit cultish and may even be evidence of brainwashing, i don't know. not a single of them even considers the possibility that someone could learn it on their own. i found one website that says that during the 7-week course, they teach you a lot of different things, not just TM, such as how to levitate and make yourself invisible, etc.

it seems crazy to me that you have to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars to learn this technique. the instructors claim that if you don't take their certified courses, then you are not really practicing TM but some other thing. very well, that's fine. this is my first foray into meditation using a mantra and i'm finding it very useful. i think i'll call it mantra meditation instead of TM. i'm getting the impression this TM certified course thing is a bit of a racket and makes me think of scientology.
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Posted 03/03/12 - 2:13 PM:

lib wrote:
not just TM, such as how to levitate and make yourself invisible, etc.


laughinggrinlaughing
thedoc
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Posted 03/03/12 - 9:57 PM:

libertygrl wrote:

i found one website that says that during the 7-week course, they teach you a lot of different things, not just TM, such as how to levitate and make yourself invisible, etc.

the instructors claim that if you don't take their certified courses, then you are not really practicing TM but some other thing.



WOO !
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Posted 03/03/12 - 10:00 PM:

libertygrl wrote:

they teach you a lot of different things, not just TM, such as how to levitate and make yourself invisible, etc.



Do they also supply a monogramed tinfoil hat and a Moped?
libertygrl
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Posted 03/06/12 - 8:36 PM:

lol. it's really too bad they have all this cult stuff tied up into it. as a meditative technique it's been helping me a lot. going on a week now of practicing mantra meditation every day and feeling very rested, refreshed and lucid. it's going to be a very productive spring for me.
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Posted 03/06/12 - 11:27 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
lol. it's really too bad they have all this cult stuff tied up into it. as a meditative technique it's been helping me a lot. going on a week now of practicing mantra meditation every day and feeling very rested, refreshed and lucid. it's going to be a very productive spring for me.



Great going lib. thumb up
libertygrl
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Posted 03/07/12 - 10:48 AM:

thank you hug
libertygrl
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Posted 03/31/12 - 1:12 PM:

not much to report.

i was sick with a cold for a week and found it difficult to meditate during that time, mainly because trying to facilitate my breathing only worsened congestion from the cold virus. after the cold passed, i was able to resume mantra meditation without difficulty.
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Posted 05/15/12 - 11:35 PM:

1.5 more months since I asked you about your experience with TM. nod

So:

1. Are you able to practice regularly?

2. Any new findings you want to share with us?

3. New experiences?


Are you enjoying your sessions?


Thinker13
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Posted 08/29/13 - 3:21 PM:

There's a reason why you cannot learn TM for free because you have to pay to be taught it and this can cost a great deal of money (as much as $2500) yet if you google "free TM mantras" these expensive mantras will be free. Why are they free you might ask is because TM is really a cult instead that sells the idea of enlightenment. Many ex-TMers have quit because of suffering ether from the meditation or the cultish nature of the tm organization. More about this is at http://minet.org/Documents/TM-FAQ

I learned TM back in 86 and since I was a Beatles fan (this is how I first found out about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) I bought into the hype. Paid my $250 went though their 4 day program and got my manta. I always sensed something was odd about the TM org and they were always trying to sell me on updating to the advanced programs but I couldn't afford the fee.

Yet I did find that the meditation did work for me although it really didn't seem all that powerful. Sure it helped me to relax but I also did more thinking into how to rework my own reactions to life. I found more help though Buddhist and bushido studies really. I found their ideal of surrendering harmful feelings did attract blissful feelings instead. I have also found that amplifying blissful experiences acted like mantras as well.
henry quirk
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Posted 08/30/13 - 9:17 AM:

jo,

Yep...it's horsehit.

Go take a walk, go lift and carry 50 pound bags of 'whatever', so swiming...anything physical that works the flesh and focues the head on sumthin' other than its 'self' works.

Siting, with legs bent into odd positons, chanting nonsense words: horseshit.

Don't be a lotus eater.
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Posted 08/30/13 - 9:43 PM:

thedoc wrote:

One very important thing you need to do is to determine what it is that you expect to accomplish, If you think it will make you a better person, volunteer charity work may accomplish more. For inner peace, I find a nice glass of wine makes my very peaceful.



If I might add, for inner piece I find that laying down on the couch and having my 3 year old grandaughter lay down with me is very peaceful. If she goes to sleep I can get a nap too, but if she stays awake, she will not let me sleep. She's just a bit ornery that way, but it's still very peaceful and plesant.
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Posted 08/30/13 - 9:43 PM:

thedoc wrote:

One very important thing you need to do is to determine what it is that you expect to accomplish, If you think it will make you a better person, volunteer charity work may accomplish more. For inner peace, I find a nice glass of wine makes my very peaceful.



If I might add, for inner piece I find that laying down on the couch and having my 3 year old grandaughter lay down with me is very peaceful. If she goes to sleep I can get a nap too, but if she stays awake, she will not let me sleep. She's just a bit ornery that way, but it's still very peaceful and plesant.
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