onsdag 2. september 2009

Why I quit Transcendental meditation

My experiences and opinions on TM (Transcendental Meditation)

To make a very long story short:

I was first introduced to TM when i discovered that David Lynch (one of my favorite movie directors and idols at that time) had started a fund called the david lynch foundation. The fund is raising money to get TM teachers to learn students and teachers at school all around in USA to meditate. The schools in which the meditation is taught are schools that have students with poor grades and a lot of social stress. The meditation has apparently eradicated the social stress and the schools are now working better than ever.

I of course became interested in this so-called transcendental meditation, or TM for short. But it took me almost 2 years before I decided to take the course. The price for TM was at that time what would be 1 687 dollars in the USA. I was puzzled by such a high price for a simple meditation course, but research was done on TM that said that TM was more effective than other meditation techniques.
I also thought that I just had to actually experience the meditation in order to understand why the price is so high.

The TM technique is based around repeating a so called “mantra” effortlessly in your mind. A mantra is a verbal sound which the TM organization claims to be meaningless, but apparently they are names of hindu gods in sanscrit. Some are even short prayers.

Some things the TM organization promises about its technique is that it’s a simple, effortless, technique that requires no religious belief. The TM organization claims that TM has been researched by around 600 independent universities and/or research centers. Another reason for the high price is that when you do know how to meditate, it lasts for the rest of your life, and you can better yourself more and more by meditating each day. Other things are less addiction to drugs, better sleep, etc…

So, after 2 years of thinking, I decided to do the course. I did not care anymore, I wanted to get rid of this constant depression and anxiety that I had at the time, and I wanted to feel that “happiness” that every TMer was talking about. There was no TM-centers around where I lived, so I had to travel to the capital state of my country where they had one. At that time the TM organization had started a 50% sale for those who are students, meaning I only had to pay 843 dollars instead of 1687. That of course was a pleasant surprise.

The course was about 1 week. There was first an introductory lecture where all the participants of the course were. Then the next day I pay the fee, and then its was only me and my teacher, as everyone is taught individually. The teacher explain to me about the technique an its origins, and then the next day the teacher taught me how to meditate. She also explains that I must not tell my mantra to anyone, or use it verbally. She never explains what the mantra actually does to your mind, and that its a secret. I never questioned why they kept it secret even from me.

Before I received my mantra. The teacher carried out a ritual where the teacher singed a song in sancrit, and we both had to bow down to a picture of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the TM organization. She then gave me the mantra and then we sat down and meditated with it.

When I walked out of the TM center after meditating for the first time, I noticed that I had a certain relaxed attitude. What i noticed later that day was that my shyness was suddenly completely gone.

This was an incredible experience for me. It was like I was a new person. The person I always wanted to be. I could go around and talk to people and be myself much more than before.

So… was it worth the money? The disappearance of my shyness was a great thing. But at the time I didn’t really know what to think about that question. Some part of me suppressed it. I didn’t want to think about it, I just wanted to feel this great liberation that TM gave me.

Then the next time I meditated, I was at my friends house which I lived in at the time I was in the capital. I started getting headaches, depression and drowsiness, and first sign of a condition called “depersonalization” or DP for short. DP is briefly explained, a feeling of detachment from reality. My surroundings feel unreal and distant, and I still have this feeling (google it to find out more about it). I of course got scared because of this. The next day I asked the teacher about it, and the teacher explained that it’s probably a tension release, and its very usual when people begin to meditate regularly. Its not dangerous, in fact its means the meditation is working and these feelings will eventually pass. For some strange reason, I didn’t mention the DP (I didn’t even know at the time what It was called), I sort of suppressed that I felt like that aswell. I only wanted to feel happy.

The teacher had mentioned tension releases earlier, but that was AFTER I had paid the fee. I had never heard of such a thing called tension release before the course. Another thing I was introduced to after paying the fee was yogic flying, and a little thing called “enlightenment”. I’ll talk about that later. But anyways I became suspect of their tactics of not telling me these thing until after I’d paid the fee.

So then the course was finished, I thanked the teacher and headed back to my hometown. I then proceeded the days with 20 min. of meditation twice a day. First in the morning before school at 8 AM, and second before dinner right after school.

As a person who is usually getting up late from bed, It was extremely hard for me to get up so early to meditate. It certainly wasn’t as effortless and easy as they promised it was. But it was giving me a boost for the day, mostly. The shyness was still gone most days, and I was self-confident and usually very happy. But there were times when I wasn’t in that happy mood, and I also sometimes kept getting headaches, short depressions and drowsiness, and at these times I at once came to the conclusion that “the meditation isn’t working, and I’m doing the meditation wrong.”

I called my teacher, trying to verify that I was doing it right. All the teacher ever said in these conversations was: “Perhaps you’re not repeating the mantra effortlessly enough, either that or It could be a tension release, its hard to say. But these things will go away certainly.” That did not help me much, in fact it didn’t help me at all, and I was again puzzled by how little she could tell me about these things. The headaches didn’t prevail until months after I’ve started with the meditation. Before it prevailed my teacher suggested I should start taking some weird natural medicine pills she gave me for free. She also taught me some yoga but these things didn’t really do much good. The pills were a waste of time and did absolutely nothing good!

As the meditation was usually good, I thought I’d introduce this to my friends. I never really spoke of the times when the meditation didn’t work because I didn’t want to scare them away from it. I wanted them to start meditate as well, both for the fellowship and to acknowledge that “it was worth it”.

As you might understand I hadn’t really thought this through then, but I didn’t want to either. I didn’t want acknowledge that I Infact didn’t think TM was as great as I wished it would be. Besides I had paid a lot of money for the course, and acknowledging that the price wasn’t worth it, would mean all those money had gone to waste. Harder was it to aknowledge when some of my friends found out about another type of meditation called acem meditation. The course of acem meditation costs 124 dollars,

My friends invited me to a collective of people who meditated with acem meditation and I didn’t want to go because I was afraid of the truth. If I did, I’d probably see that these people manage to do it as good any TMer would do. My friends had commented on the inhabitants of the collective as very peaceful relaxed people, just like TMers.

I reacted to this with arguments like “TM is the most researched meditation out there. And it has been verified that TM is the most effective meditation technique, and therefore, worth the money “. I called my teacher and asked about acem and her argument was that acem hasn’t been compared to TM and that one wouldn’t know if it was just as good as TM.

At this time though my headaches had passed and I wasn’t drowsy or depressed, so I guess my TM teacher was right about the tension releases. I notice some people who have experienced tension releases ís using this as an argument against TM. But TM are in fact right about this. It will pass eventually, but of course its not easy to call TM an easy and effortless technique when this happens to you.

I finally started questioning the high price. I’ve been to an excellent yoga course in which the teacher asked for around 220 dollars, and the yoga teacher probably wore herself out more than the TM-teacher did.
The argument that “it last for the rest of your life” is also just stupid. I could say that about the yoga course as well, or any course that I’ve ever taken for that matter.

So I posted a thread on the facebook group “transcendental meditation movement” Where I said that “the price should be greatly reduced, because people with depression should be able to easily access this great phenomenon”.
I was polite, I didn’t swear or didn’t insult anyone. The thread was after a short while deleted by the administrator of the group. I sent him a message and asked why he deleted my thread, and at first he didn’t reply. I then after a few weeks asked him again. This is what he replied and I quote:
“do you meditate with TM?”
I answered “yes.”
He then answered: “ Then I probably have misunderstood you. I that case I’m sorry. To make a long story short, my opinion is that the price of the TM course should follow Maharishi’s will. I really mean that these things cannot be discussed. If you’ve meditated long enough, the price might as well be 15000 dollars or 2500 or 23 dollars, which is what I paid for the course.”

I replied:
“Well I can agree that the price was worth it, but a suggestion from me is that those who are depressed could probably have a hard time making money for the course. They should get an offer and pay less for the course than those don’t suffer from depression so much. When you have such a thing like TM that drastically help people so quickly and different from the other methods that are used, why not make it a goal to help them who needs TM the most?”
He relpied:

“I agree, and we had that kind of offers earlier but Maharishi changed the strategy completely. I don’t know why he decided to higher the price, but i trust that it’s a good reason for it, that put the whole development of humanity in perspective.
I don’t want to speculate in details, because its only Maharishi how knows the reason for the decision.”

I replied:
”Well don’t you think that’s kind of mindless to just follow Maharishis orders like that? Isn’t that what he is encouraging, to think for yourself?
I just think that its a bit scary when my opinion is deleted from the forum like that, it make it seem like I’m doing something wrong in thinking freely and saying what i mean.”

He never replied back to that last message.

At this point i realized how I was suppressing issues about the organization, and that I also wasnt the only one either. I was going to an extremely hard time of depression and confusion. On one hand I felt betrayed by the organization and my idol David Lynch, on the other hand, TM certainly had done at least some good things to me, and I didn’t want to loose it because of that, and because I wanted something good to believe in.

Later I took the course for Acem Meditation in my hometown.
It turns out that Acem (the name of the organization behind acem meditation) is actually an organization which was cooperating with the TM organization 40 years ago. Acem is an organization inside the norwegian academy, and it taught TM to students there. When the TM organization hightened the price, the acem organization was outraged and split from TM. Acem is now its own independent organization and is based purely on ideals, not on making money. The fee as i said earlier is 127 dollars, and instead of trying to connect meditation with quantum physics, they connect it with the obvious: psychology.

After taking the course I felt a huge liberation. I was free from the cult that is TM, yet i could still meditate once in a while if i wanted to.


Ive now stopped meditating completely even with acem. I still have DP. I also have a weird cronich coughing and sensation of having to urinate all the time even when i dont have too. These symptoms have stayed even long after i stopped meditating, which is about 4 months ago. I think the DP has started to wear off, very slowly. I’m left with a major spiritual confusion because of TM. I don’t know who I am anymore. Am I the ”new” me that came when i started with TM? Or is the ”real” me the person that was anxious, depressed and sad before i started with TM? Should i still love David Lynch for his great movies, or hate him for what he did to me? Does these questions even matter? Is it good to meditate or is it not? Should i call my TM-teacher and curse her to hell, or is it a waste of energy?

I could come up with a million more questions that has troubled me this whole year. Bottom line is, meditation is probably great for someone, TM is an overated, overpriced technique thaught by a fascist, cultish organization which tries to bring pease to the world with mindcontrol. But as Albert Einstein, the guy who first came up with the unified field theory which now the TM-organization now uses, once said: ”Peace cannot be kept by force, It can only be achieved through understanding.”

Thank you for reading.

35 kommentarer:

  1. Yoga is a way of life, a conscious act, not a set or series of learning principles. The dexterity, grace, and poise you cultivate, as a matter of course, is the natural outcome of regular practice. You require no major effort. In fact trying hard will turn your practices into a humdrum, painful, even injurious routine and will eventually slow down your progress. Subsequently, and interestingly, the therapeutic effect of Yoga is the direct result of involving the mind totally in inspiring (breathing) the body to awaken. Yoga is probably the only form of physical activity that massages each and every one of the body’s glands and organs. This includes the prostate, a gland that seldom, if ever, gets externally stimulated in one’s whole life.

    www.coomararunodaya.com

    SvarSlett
  2. You sound first of all a pessimist. Second of all, you feel depersonalized because you did indeed releive yourself of the stress that become your "life story". Thus, you don't know who you are anymore because you don't have that bullshit to hinder you with. What you're supposed to do is then rebuilt a new story to become your life. Perhaps if you were a more educated individual relative to psychology you would have understood this. The reason i say you're a pessimist is because even during the time you were doing TM you still had doubts about everything, only focused on the negative, etc. You did that with this entire blog, and personally i think it's hilarious. Some people won't let themselves get healthy, especially when they find something that's working, and you're the perfect example of it. Perhaps you were more comfortable with being that depressed person because atleast then you could tell yourself with confidence that "you knew who you were". Now you don't because you dont have that story running as a simulation in your head, because you wiped it out! You were supposed to then re-anchor new feelings and start all over! There are so many things i could say about this blog post in how that 900 was the best 900 you ever spent, but clearly you're too much of a pessimist to listen to that. Further, there's so many flaws in your analysis that it's unbeleivable. Don't worry guy/girl, with your state of mind you will indeed discover that depression again and perhaps feel comfortable with "who you are" and your "life story". Clearly you never should have gotten into this, because it should be linear with one's religious beliefs or atleast with someone who isn't a pussy to lose the self they've cultivated as to find their true self. Because THAT IS WHAT TM DOES: IT FINDS YOUR TRUE SELF, YOU NATURALLY STOP DOING ALL THE THINGS IN LIFE THAT YOU HATE, BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT HAS BEEN MAKING YOU DEPRESSED ALL ALONG, YOU'VE BEEN CONDITIONED BY SOCIETY TO THINK THAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING THOSE THINGS BUT DEEP DOWN IT ISN'T LINEAR WITH YOUR SOUL. Go listen to "The Power of Now" and "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle, and you will awaken, and want to do meditation again.

    SvarSlett
  3. I'm sorry you had so much trouble with meditation. In the UK we have independent TM teachers (see www.tmmeditation.co.uk and www,meditationtrust.com) who also split from the TM movement over prices etc. They charge according to what you can afford, so a student pays less than a doctor, for example. I've been doing TM for about 7 years now (I learned with one of these teachers) and I found it very helpful with stress when my parents died. I did get very tired when I first started, but didn't have any DP. On the free refresher meetings, I often meet (quite normal) people who have been doing TM for 15-30 years. So it does work for many people. I do hope you soon feel better.

    SvarSlett
  4. I was looking into TM Meditation myself, but was shocked at the cost, that something so natural, so resourcefully free, something that I feel should be a tool we can teach one another as a global society out of the goodness of our hearts, was being exploited with such a high price tag.

    After reading this I have decided to actively look into acem meditation.

    Your post has helped greatly.

    Kind regards,

    K

    SvarSlett
  5. dude, im sorry to hear about the things you experienced but you should continue meditating twice a day as you were told. it is possible that you have such a huge karma that it will take many more months and even years of tm practice before you clearly know who you really are and what you have to do. if you didnt do tm it would probably take many hundreds of years to clean up your heavy baggage. you should also go back to your teacher and do tm checking. it is very possible that you are not meditating effortlessly. dont even put any effort in making it effortlessly. you just wait for the mantra, pick it up and let it be. very simple. if you meditate correctly you will mostly experience good things but because of your previous stresses/tensions from this or past lives you will experience unsettling effects but keep practicing tm and they will go away. sometimes you meditate in the morning and then some weird thoughts start coming to your mind but after evening meditation everything is back to good and even better because it likely means you have released a lot of stress. even during regular meditation when you feel nothing a lot things are happening in the background, nature is working hard to harmonize you that you dont notice. also you should eat healthy, exercise physically and everything will be alright. you dont know how fortunate you are to learn tm. seriously this is the best thing that can happen to any living creature. all treasures in the world just cant buy the good long term effects that tm brings to the practitioner.

    SvarSlett
  6. That's scary... I'm attending Maharishi University in 13 days and I just learned TM. Before TM I practiced Vipassana meditation, and that has been nice. So far I haven't experienced any sense of what you call DP, but I normally have the experience of feeling unattached from reality. If you perceive it clearly, it's not a scary thing at all. Vipassana teaches that when you see a cloud in the sky, you are aware of it and thus you know it is not your self. You can follow the same thought process with your hand, your brain, your thoughts, feelings, perceptions... becoming aware of that is a step toward a more elevated stage of human consciousness.
    The symptoms you are describing, however, are exactly how I began feeling after I smoked Cannabis for too long. I've never had troubles with coughing, but sometimes, especially in the evening, I experience shortness of breath, muscle spasms, a sense that I'm walking around in a haze. I was so used to it that it took me a long time to realize what was wrong with me. I now think that it's a cognitive malfunction that's causing my contemplative mind and my body to act out of sync with each other. When I stopped using Cannabis and began meditating it began to go away for the most part. I've only been practicing TM for about a week now, but I've had some experience with pseudo-religious groups before... At 12 I was baptized as a Mormon, at 17 I enrolled in online classes that taught Scientology concepts, and at 18 I joined a Buddhist organization called Soka-Gakkai, which is as controversial in Japan as Mormonism is in America. And from these experiences, I can confirm that I get the same vibe from the TM community.
    I suggest you continue practicing with other forms of meditation. Some traditions might seem suppressive... because they're just trying to sell a technique. Meditation groups offered by religious organizations, like Vipassana (a form of "mindfulness" meditation in the Theravada Buddhist tradition), will be much more helpful because they don't need to make money from you to operate their organization and therefore they don't take the business-man approach to everything. I'm determined not to let the TM community brainwash me.... I will always practice Vipassana because despite the benefits TM promises, Vipassana is more spiritually fulfilling for me.

    SvarSlett
  7. I feel I should clarify, however...
    When I said that I normally have the experience of feeling unattached, I meant that on occasion that sensation will take place in my mind. It's not a sense of unreality, it's more of an awareness of the boundlessness of possibility and the realization that I am not a body, a mind, and a bundle of spiritual energies, *I am that which is aware of having a body, a mind, and a bundle of spiritual energies.*

    SvarSlett
  8. TO Michael Barrett,
    If you practice TM for a while longer, you will experience so many benefits you will continue. I've been practicing for 42 years and it just keeps getting better and better. My whole family learned in 1971. My dad's a strong Catholic and loves it too. It's not a cult, or a religion or a philosophy at all. It's just a technique and the benefits absolutely real.

    I got my literature degree and MA in Writing at MUM. Those were some of the best years of my life. The people in Fairfield are living proof of the benefits of TM. It's the nicest community I've ever lived in. President Obama has visited several times and loves. So has Oprah, David Lynch, Donovan and many others.

    Your fears are baseless. TM costs money because life costs money. All the fees go to help disadvantaged people, people in prisons, people in hospitals, people in the poor nations, homeless people, Native Americans, etc. It's a non-profit organization. All the profits are recycled.

    Good luck.

    SvarSlett
    Svar
    1. Sorry it just sounds like another money making org. The method may truly help people. But the method itself should be and is free. They have just packaged it in a slick container for the bourgeoisie. And people who could really benefit will never get the proper information. Luckily you don't need to pay exhorbitant fees to learn meditation, there is a wealth of information in books and on the internet as well as locally in temples and meetups for free if one simply looks for it. Many methods all valid just not so culty and money hungry.

      Slett
  9. Financial aid is now available in terms of scholarships and grants. For example, full-time students are eligible to receive grants of $1000 for this course.

    Grants for Full-Time Students:
Grants of $1000 are available for full-time students to help cover the cost of their Transcendental Meditation Course tuition.

    Scholarships for adults: 
$1000 scholarships are available for non-students who have substantial financial need. (Applications for these scholarships are now available at each Maharishi Invincibility Center.)

    There are also group rates for families and companies, etc.

    Many companies pay for all or part of the TM fee for employees. Ask your employer. Here's a partial list for the U.S.—
    US Post Office, IBM, Motorola, General Motors, Ford Motor Co., Toyota, Tower Companies, US Veterans Admin., AirTel, Bank of America, ESPN-Star Sports, Eveready Industries, GE Capital, Hero Honda, Hewlett Packard, Siemens, and Xerox.

    Some web sites for more info.
    http://www.TM.org
    http://www.DoctorsOnTM.org
    http://www.TruthAboutTM.org
    http://www.MUM.edu

    SvarSlett
  10. Not all meditation techniques are the same in effectiveness. In fact, more than 700 studies have been conducted on TM. It's the only technique proven to produce total brain coherence.

    A report published in the May/June 1998 issue of The American Journal of Health Promotion showed the Transcendental Meditation technique to be far more effective than all other forms of meditation and relaxation in the areas of anxiety reduction, blood pressure reduction, physiological relaxation, self- actualization, improved psychological outcomes, and decreased use of cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs.

    This report based on previous meta-analysis studies presented an overview of a total of 597 studies involving an estimated 20,000 subjects practicing TM, Mindfulness Meditation, the Benson Technique, Progressive Relaxation, Biofeedback, Zen Meditation, Self-Hypnosis and other forms of meditation and relaxation programs.

    Meta-analysis allows one to compare a wide variety of research designs and measurement scales by creating a standardized measure that can be applied to all the studies. It's like creating a "common denominator" for the research results from many different universities and research institutions. Then all the research on different techniques can be directly compared and grand conclusions can be drawn.

    Steele Belok, M.D., a specialist in internal medicine and Clinical Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School reiterates this point, "Some people may think that all techniques are the same - that if you practice one procedure for reducing stress or developing your inner potential you get the same results as any other, but this has not held up under the scrutiny of research."

    When evaluating meditation programs it is much better to spend a little more money and learn a proven, time tested, scientifically validated program from a trained professional, than it is to save a few dollars and learn something that is cheap and not as safe, effective or enjoyable to practice.

    Save yourself some time and get some real benefit.

    http://www.TM.org
    http://www.DoctorsOnTM.org
    http://www.TruthAboutTM.org

    SvarSlett
  11. That is the fitting weblog for anyone who needs to find out about this topic. You understand so much its nearly hard to argue with you MEDITATION.

    SvarSlett
  12. There are many many methods and philosophies of meditation. As much as I respect Maharishi, I agree with you that these techniques should be offered at a price that is reasonable for teacher and student as well. The benefits of simple meditation can not be overstated as it is a practice anyone can do to achieve peace of mind. It is a practice and I would recommend exploring all methods of meditation which you can easily do for free. Just sitting quietly is an amazing way to destress and relieve tension. Do as the buddhists do and simply sit quietly and allow thoughts to come and go, not focusing on any thought. The thai method is also a good method if you need something to focus on. The mantra method should be used only if you understand the mantra, you could make up your own mantra if you liked. It's your practice. Make it yours.

    SvarSlett
  13. If you want to find out who you are, what's your life purpose, then attend the courses of 'Awaken The Divine You'

    http://thegoldenspace.com/AwakenTheDivineYou%C2%AE.aspx

    SvarSlett
  14. ignore everyone telling you "you just didn't meditate hard enough!!!" or just spouting out what your teachers told you again and again. sometimes meditation is just bad for you, regardless of what other people's experiences with it were. find out some basic anxiety treatments and follow them, and your depression and anxiety (as well as dissociative symptoms like DP) will begin to wear off with time - but it WILL take time, possibly quite a bit, you jsut need to be prepared to accept it.

    just let time pass by freely, and all the problems that right now you don't feel like you can get a good grip on will resolve themselves. i've been where you are before (except with buddhist meditation) and things do just suddenly start to get better if you wait long enough.

    meditation is essentially an incredibly complex and theory-laden version of self hypnosis and often causes great confusion you're not even aware of, and it leaves you highly suggestible - especially since the technique sort of lowers your common sense a bit

    so just let time handle it, and if you ever want to meditate again, the current "mindfulness" type being promoted in psychology (not the buddhist kind, although the technique is sourced from hinayanist suttas) is probably the most harmless and least ideologically loaded - so in other words, the safest. but keep it at once a week, and don't do it until you feel a lot better because it's not a magic cure.

    SvarSlett
  15. I really like this post and it is very energetic for me to learn Online Meditation Courses

    I really inspired from this post.

    Thanks

    SvarSlett
  16. I really like this post and it is very energetic for me to learn Free Guided Meditation

    I really inspired from this post.

    Thanks

    SvarSlett
  17. I hope you got better since then.

    SvarSlett
  18. Thanks for making such a cool post which is really very well written.will be referring a lot of friends about this. Keep blogging.Yoga Sutras || sql tutorial .

    SvarSlett
  19. I read your complete post and it is really very good written by you and its topic was also good which you chose to share with online community. Meditation is also importent to get touch with God. We have only one alive God Jesus Christ and praise the Lord get Jesus Grace.

    SvarSlett
  20. I have lived in the movement my whole life. It is a dangerous mind control cult, that is obvious and not in question. The dangerous side effects you speak of are the tip of the iceberg in regards to the movement. Suicides after practicing the long rounding self deception yogic flying techniques are not unusual. Derealization, depersonalization, chronic disassociation, suicidal ideation, etc. etc. are some of the "benefits" of this cults deceptive techniques. They are basically converting you to a fundamentalist radical form of Hinduism without your consent!! Just imagine a Christian trying to convert you to Christianity without telling you about Jesus Christ or any of his teachings up front. First they get you to practice a trance induction technique and then brainwash you from there. It is a sick cult and some of the comments here are so pathetic I'm embarrassed for the writers and their "ignorance is bliss" mindset:(.

    SvarSlett
  21. The author of this piece is simply mentally ill. TM is not the causation for this persons issues, they need help. The final paragraph of your silly piece is enough proof that you are not well.

    SvarSlett
  22. ...if that is right, why the secrecy? Why the "short" information about the real origins of the mantra? Why the ritual chanting in sanskrit? Why the ritual of Puja? Why the ritual? (And please don't make analogy with some practices in martials arts like Aikido or others, because that's an ignorant absurd demagogy.)

    SvarSlett
  23. I don't know if you're still writing this blog but I think that you definitely did the right thing to question. Of course TM will benefit people, but so will any meditation. It just seems here that they're out to make money. I recently wrote a post on my blog thoughtbrick.com about the technique and was contacted by a lawyer of the organisation who told me to remove the post asap.

    SvarSlett
  24. I applaud your decision to question anything or "following" which claims to have peaceful answers, however taking an open mind as a doorway to your heart might be a good thing in TM or any practice which requires stillness, good for you to seek other options but keep your head up friend. I believe in variable cures, simply put, what works for someone else might not quite work for you.

    In regards to the cost of the TM course, I believe the $1,000 (which is the current cost 12/28/13) cost is right in line with any typical university class. The teachers for TM are experienced TM practitioners who offer the same wisdom as my history of film professor at Ohio University in a class which had 150 other people in an auditorium... tough to justify 1 on 1 time with those numbers :) The film class cost well over $1,500, true I had the class for 4 hours per week for 12 weeks, but the seeds of my time and attention yield the same fruit.

    In regards to keeping the mantra secret, this is absolutely necessary to maintain quality control. Look at TM as a product which needs certain initial guidance to know how to use their product. Imagine everyone getting a hold of a partially assembled Ipad and have Apple say, "well go ahead and make your solder connections, and give it a shot" Sure some would have the capacity to create a usable product, but then those who don't have the patience would say how crappy the product is and a defense to such claims is elicited, just ask Toyota about their faulty gas pedal claims a few years back.

    I believe TM ought to strive for spreading their message as a footprint of thought and not earth. When an organization such as TM has a product of thought and begins growing as an earthly footprint is when it can lose its way. TM is a decentralized business type which lends itself to small offices, limited overhead and maximum reach. I imagine the people who run the organization understand this point.
    When you start seeing large elaborate buildings built by the TM organization is when I would pass

    ((Just for relative thought: I'm a 33 year old man living in Ohio, USA who loves his life and wife. I have yet to take the course but I very much look forward to it in January 2014))

    Question everything :)

    SvarSlett
  25. Hey man, I'm in the same boat as you.

    My first TM course, I felt amazing. When i went home and continued the practice at my home i started to feel "detached from reality" as you put it. My uncle calls it feeling like an out of tune radio. I asked my teacher why I felt this way. I told her how i felt more irritable then anything and she replied that it was probably because i rushed into the meditation without utilizing the minute beforehand to prepare. With this in mind I tried again, but again I felt like a zombie.

    after session after session of this, and talks with my uncle, who I consider to be more enlightened then me, The effects of TM are based on your genetics... I know when I smoke pot i get super paranoid and not the desired effect most people get. Maybe TM is the same way for my genetic code?

    I am currently exploring mindfullness practices asopposed to mantra ones and am finding that i dont get that zombie effect. Its just a shame because I paid alot of money for the zombie effect. I dont regret it because it was still a learning experience, and I bet if you did some more research on mindfulness practices you'll be alright. Some people are TM effected,some people arent.

    SvarSlett
  26. Okay, I've never done TM but I have however suffered from depersonalization. My was without cause and started during college. I fell into a deep depression and am still fighting it today, 4 years later. It's a rare symptom associated with depression and I believe it's your mind simply lacking the ability to "care" about the outside world because it is completely dry of dopamine and serotonin. When you come out of this, which I hope you will soon, you will be a newer and better person that has found REASONS to live. That is the only think that keeps me going. Through my depression and DP i found reasons to continue living life and make use of it instead of feeling sorry for myself. I hope this helps, be strong. You will come out of this a more intelligent and meaningful person.

    SvarSlett
  27. What is these "mantras" really about?

    I believe they are just excuses to get 1000 dollars out of your pocket. I mean, how can we believe TM is good when you must say words you don't know the meaning of??? How creepy is that man. Or should I say crappy.

    SvarSlett
  28. Thank you so much! I have been wanting to try TM but always deterred by the issue of it being slightly religious and the high price. I'm going to contact ACEM right away. Thanks for sharing the alternative. Cheers!

    SvarSlett
  29. So you had all the depressions stuff BEFORE you started to meditate...you didnt mention that till the end.
    Well, that cant disappear immediately...TM washes out the stresses..biochemically. As the mind settles down chemicals are released into the blood stream and so on. (I first heard of TM while studying biochemistry by the way), Weren't you taught to drink lots of water, to give yourself lots of rest...this is a real cleansing process..it's biochemical..there's nothing creepy about it. It's a bioligical and scientific process..Mahrishi said..that if he'd realised what people were calling 'meditation', ...concentration..he would have called his technique something different! Even if you went for a massage to remove junk from your system and muscles etc..you'd feel pretty rough afterwards..sometimes and you'd be told to drink lots.
    TM is a way of digging out great clots of stress (these are within the nervouse system and often have a chemical basis. As the stress is removed it will naturally move into blood stream and need to be cleansed out. As a new meditator you might have experienced this ..as a long term meditator you would also hit times when this happens!....you do as the instruction says...you keep doing the technique..and give yourself rest if need..you make sure you don't come out of the meditation too quickly. etc. This isn't a fast solution to all your probs...Now that is 'religion'!!.go take a pill for that. ..this is something profound and VERY powerful and takes diigence, like training as a sportsman etc, or simply brushing your teeth twice a day....nothing cultish about it. Strip away anything to do with the Movement behind the technique and you still have a very powerful technique. ..The 'movement' is there I gather..to protect the technique..so that the teaching remains good and that we are reminded that it has come down from a long stream of yogis and an ancient tradition...Maharishi NEVER accepted any credit Tolle talks about the dimension of alert stillness and thats where the creativity resides...AND as you do the practise, this is exactly what TM cultivates..It's this dimension that TM allows you to access and with practise allows you to experience more and more...I don't know any massage parlour or exercise class, yoga, pilates.that tells you about the likely need to drink water, rest and possible rough feelings afterwards..temporarily!!!
    At the same time the technique cultivates and ever increasing awakened concsiousness..the more you dip in (to the med), and out into everyday life. As for religious !!! you are the one making it into a religion instead of a scientific technique.....!!!! you are expecting a miracle all at once!..TM is more like doing your ablutions every day..just do it. and live life the rest of the time. Smoke if you have to!!...what you'll find is that at some point you will decide not to smoke anylonger etc etc. There are no instructions to BE anything.....just use the technique and take care of yourself..sensible stuff like drink and rest a little more if need....drink lots..rest a little if feel more fragile..as you would after a really good work out...it all passes...just keep doing the technique.
    Change happens by itself. Increasingly you awareness of quiet alertness and expandedness will just develop by itself. RELIGIOUS i just have NEVER considered it anything like that...sprirituality is a science..and that includes enlightenment! Enlightenment is about a spiritual dimension...about the state of our nervous system etc It's merely a word to label a natural state of the nervous system and man's birthright...being aligned with life internally, a deep openess to the present moment...happiness etc. It's all about science.

    SvarSlett
  30. I have been meditation using the TM technique for 41 years. I can safely say it had nothing to do with your physical problems. It can not any more than sleep can. That said, if relaxation can bring on disease (dis-ease) not only is it contradictory but it is illogical. Something else must have spurred it on.

    I have to say that there were times when I felt that I was meditating too much. I became withdrawn and slightly lethargic. I reduced daily meditations to two or three times a week or when I felt stressed. Now it works beautifully.

    A most recent development is that I combine transcendental meditation with John Cabot Zinn's Mindfullness meditation. It is like breathing. The Mindfulness meditation is the inhale (waking alert and aware) and TM is the exhale (the silence, the stillness). The combination of the two is phenomenal! Give it a try and I hope you feel better.

    SvarSlett
  31. Okay first I just have to say how crazy this is. I looked up Depersonalization and it's actually due to prolonged stress over a long period of time that hasn't been dealt with properly, not by repeating words. You claim that the meditative words had something to due with it while similtaneously claiming that you actually had the stress in your life that would cause the symptoms of the disease you described, yet you don't blame the stress? smdh. Secondly TM is a sound practice. Literally it's all about focusing on the sound of your voice saying any words that bring you elation for a long period of time 10-20 minutes twice a day. You could literally use the lords prayer or Amazing Grace lyrics, anything just so long as you say the words effortlessly which helps with the release of stress process. Just because some quack took your money doesn't mean the entire system is faulty and no you don't have to use their mantras you can actually make up your own in english.

    SvarSlett
  32. Well The only thing I regret in my life is that I did not learn Transcendental Meditation since long time ago, and in order to feel fine I am looking for reasonable reason why was I late to do thatDid you learn the TM-Sidhi's "yogic flying"? What was your experience of it? Some readers have commented that when they learned it, they realized "yogic flying" was a fraud. When they "lifted off," they were aware that they were propelling themselves with their own muscles, similar to jumping or gymnastics.
    But other people report that their subjective experience was the opposite - that it really felt like they were defying gravity, and were being lifted up by something outside their own conscious selves.
    I hypothesize that there is a correlation between people's subjective experiences of "flying" and their speed of recovery from TM. I hypothesize that those who experienced themselves as truly levitating without muscular effort were more suggestible. Another way of saying that is that they were easier to hypnotize. Or one could say that their mind/body coordination was more disrupted than those who were able to accurately experience the procedure as a volitional muscle activity. So I am hypothesizing that their recovery from TM was more arduous.
    Mahesh Yogi liked to say that TM and the TM-Sidhis increased mind-body co-ordination. But I wonder if the opposite was true for some or all - that the "flying" may have disrupted the relationship between the mind and the body, because it trained one to not notice the mind sending instructions to the thigh muscles.
    So I am requesting readers to comment below. What was your experience of "yogic flying"? And did you recover rapidly from TM's brainwashing and its cognitive, emotional or physical side-effects ? Or was your recovery slow?

    SvarSlett
  33. Your story is a perfect illustration of the "sunk costs fallacy," the mental tendency humans have to defend something the more money and/or effort we've invested in it. We avoid questioning things we spent a lot for because we don't like to think we've been foolish...but the fact is that we are ALL foolish from time to time. It's just part of the human condition.

    In the end, much money did you actually waste? Sure, you could have paid the Acem prices, but not if you didn't know about them. As it is, you had a week of one-on-one lessons, and $800 or so, while definitely on the high end of things, isn't unheard of for that. So you paid a bit too much, but we all overspend from time to time. You've learned to do more research before spending large amounts of money, but you DID get something of value for it, just as lesser value than you'd hoped.

    As for TM itself...there is TM, the method, and TM, the organization who *teaches* the method. TM-the-organization clearly has major flaws that can be traced to the point where Maharishi Mahesh Yogi decided to raise the price (and had to increase the "sales pitch" and discourage questioning to compensate). It's sad that this wise man apparently gave in to his inner greed...but for someone who came from a land as poor as India to a land as rich as the U.S. and hung around with zillionaire superstars, it may be understandable. Even the greatest of us have flaws that can get the better of us.

    But you shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. TM-the-method was valid before the price increase, and, as the Acem organization shows, still just as valuable now. It helped with your shyness and depression...the fact that you lapsed back into them many times just means that perhaps meditation isn't ALL that you need. Meditation (of any sort) is not a magic cure-all. But it is a valuable tool for bringing mental and emotional wellbeing.

    As far as I can tell, you have legitimate reason to resent TM-the-organization for false advertising and using "hard sell" techniques...but most of the people you dealt directly with were probably true believers who didn't THINK of it as false advertising. You could resent Mahesh himself, but even he may have been self-deluded into thinking he was doing the right thing...anyway, he's gone now (no doubt working through whatever karma his decision brought him). You can resent him if you want, but why waste your energy?

    But you have nothing to "hate" TM-the-method for. You also have no reason whatsoever to have anything against David Lynch—he's simply another person who uses TM and wants to make it available to others, even as you did once before (the fact that he's a rich celebrity no doubt makes the price seem more reasonable to him now). And you CERTAINLY have no reason to avoid Acem or to associate what they teach with the flaws of TM-the-organization. They seem to have rejected all the bad associated with TM, while keeping the good (the actual method).

    Your symptoms most likely had little to do with the mediation. In particular, chronic coughing and feeling of having to urinate are serious physical symptoms that need to be checked out by a doctor! (I hope you did so, given the date of your post.) DP is found in people who have suffered severe trauma or years of stress and anxiety; true depersonalization is a dissociative disorder, and probably needs a professional psychiatrist to tackle. The rest of your symptoms seem stress-related, and meditation does help stress...though again, it's not a magic cure, so it's not always enough by itself.

    SvarSlett
  34. Meditation yoga pranayama and spiritual retreat about Tourné have always been marketed to implementing to attempting to keep stability. Stability isn't a perception to do with delightful gets, this is actually the mind and body are convinced that retreat participants should be able to practice. Understanding how to developed to be very much enlightening to carry on to be enlightening as part of confusing daily events is a nice boost.

    SvarSlett