Transcendental Meditation

Many years ago, a Saturday morning in early May 1972, I learned Transcendental Meditation (TM), as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It was a house in Leeds. I forget my teachers name (Claire?)

I came to it from a bad place. Several months earlier a friend slipped me some LSD in my beans on toast. He had been trying to persuade me to use it, but I always said no. I had tried cannabis a couple of times, and got a mildly pleasant feeling followed by several hours of discomfort. I just wasn’t interested. Within a shortish time – I do not know exactly how long – I was hallucinating severely in Baker Street tube station. It left me frightened. I had no understanding of what had happened or how. My explanation now is not something which occurred to me until several weeks later.

So, come that May morning I felt terrified of letting go. I was trying hard constantly not to let my mind wander. I feared where it might go. I had considered TM for a couple of years, and then a very good friend, Mas, learned it, and recommended it to me.

I was instructed to do the very thing which terrified me – to let go – to leave my mind entirley free to go where it wanted, without my learned constraint. I had decided that I could no longer allow my life to be ruled by the fear I felt. It was a leap into frightening, completely unknown possibilities. Instead, within rather less than ten minutes of actually starting, something astonishing happened. The deepest relaxation I had ever felt simply overwhelmed me. In an instant, I knew I had found a home.

Fifty years later, I still meditate (TM) every day. It has had an enormous and beneficial effect on my life, and I will continue. In the early years I became more committed to TM, and learned several advanced techniques and much theory. Each time I willingly gave a promise to keep what I had learned to myself. At the same time, it is many years since I have had any close contact with the movement – several years before Maharishi died. We had a family tragedy which put a hold on many elements in our lives and we never got back to some former interests. I would not have got through that without TM, but the advanced stuff fell by the wayside. I still get emails, but they reflect a very different movement to the one I first entrance. I do not deny it, but it does not attract me.

I willl not therefore do anything which I consider to be a betrayal of any of my promises, but my own understanding and feel for how this works has changed a little. I want to set that my present understanding out, in the hope that others may be encouraged to try something for themselves.

For clarity, I am not teaching TM. TM comes from a background I respect immensely, and I wish to very clear that I make no pretence of understanding the tradition. I am not a Hindu, or any variant of it. TM says that such an association is not integral to the movement. Well it did, but whether it persists with that assertion I do not know.

This will not be TM under another name. I anticipate that TM texts giving full details of the teachings, guidance, practice and mantras are available on the net. I do not speak as to their accuracy. I think that I know and respect the boundaries.

I had an extraordinarily good introduction to TM. Some people, more that I would wish, do not get the same instant results, and do not persist as I think they should. I do not blame them – we are all time pressed. I paid a tiny amount to learn. Nowadays it is a much more significant sum. That sum would have been worth it for me but, I simply would not have been able to find anything like it at the time.

To be continued.