I did not even know the word, meditation, back when it came to some fame when the Beatles fell upon transcendental meditation in the late 70’s learning under the great Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
But as an adult, learning more and more about yoga, I became open to the benefits of meditation – trying to calm my relentless monkey mind which enjoyed stirring things up with its incessant editor always second guessing my words and its unique ability to take a small snow ball and build it into a careering, frightening preview of what was surely next to come.
And it was never good.
I tried though. Be quiet, monkey mind. Concentrate on your breath. Chase those thoughts away. (Try doing that for over five seconds). Meditate. Meditate. Finally, I just choose to use Savasana at the end of each yoga class to simply lie still and try to keep my mind from making the to do list.
And then a few weeks ago, twice in concession, someone mentioned Transcendental Meditation. Not just for a calm mind. But for its innumerable health benefits. Studied relentlessly for years and endorsed by such reputable organizations such as The National Institute of Health, The American Heart Association and The American Medical Association, TM is making a big comeback for psychological and health benefits, too.
Fighting stress, high blood pressure, fatigue, and migraines, I decided to take the plunge and see what it was all about. Right behind me, refusing to be left out, was Honey and off we went to Asheville for our four days of training with official trainers, Jeanne and Tom Ball.
Sixty five days later, I can report that I have had not one single headache, migraine or regular, a huge drop in blood pressure, a feeling of relaxation that is incredibly welcome and unusual, more energy than I have had in years and a calm that is close to bliss.
TM is practiced twice a day for twenty minutes each – first thing in the morning and sometime in the afternoon before dinner. I know! I did not think I had that kind of time either. But in fact, I now have more time with my increased energy, my wakefulness and my new more stable take on everyday life happenings.
TM often likens our minds to an ocean. Roaring, petulant, never the same and dynamic, it is always moving. But at its depths, lies a beautiful stillness. A stillness that actually charms and woos our minds when we are quiet enough to give it a shot.
And do other thoughts come up? Yes, but they are quickly released as the practitioner favors a simple, syllabic mantra that is repeated throughout the meditation. No judgment.
All sorts of folks are signing up. It is finding its way into schools, prisons, hospitals, and corporate offices, private homes and homeless shelters.
TM is giving me a place to rest deeply. Not a religion. Not a belief. Just a simple way of slowing down to embrace peace in a turbulent world. Just want you to know that my journey has been greatly enhanced by this new venture and at least two more lives (mine and Honey’s) are finding a way to stop the earth at least twice every day. And by the way, our little dog, Finlay, is getting the hang. He settles down and stops every time we meditate.
Google it. It will be the best search you will do all day.