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The Long-term Benefits of Transcendental Meditation

A Vision of Wonderful Possibilities

In your TM course, you were probably surprised by the simplicity and effortlessness of the practice, which results from the nature of the mind to seek happiness. It is therefore spontaneously drawn into the bliss of silence, like a river flowing towards the ocean. We just go with that flow. We don’t look for silence (that would be counter-productive) we only have to ‘let it be’ (be innocent) and silence naturally overtakes. This is known as the process of Yoga or integration of life.

Nature’s Stress Management

When the mind finds silence, the body gains deep rest, enabling release of accumulated stress – even the deepest traumas. Stress is a physiological imbalance caused by the body’s inappropriate response to life, the so-called fight or flight response, (as a result of our lack of Self-awareness). The opposite happens in meditation.
Jobs, relationships and other challenges are not in themselves ‘stressful’, as we discover with time thanks to our meditation refining our perceptions. Release of stress positively affects every area of life, and you have probably already noticed at least the beginnings of some aspect of the wide range of mental and physical benefits which result from regular meditation.
And if you prefer to leave it there, and regard TM as simply a method of stress-management, that’s fine. The benefits will come automatically with regular practice and contact with your teacher if you have any problems.
But if meditation practice is continued regularly over time, preferably with the help of meetings and retreats, we begin to realise that the mental and physical benefits are occurring spontaneously as a side-effect of a more profound, fascinating and exciting process – the awakening of spiritual (inner silence) qualities which will nourish and enrich every moment of our life. (This spiritual process differs from religion, which involves acquisition of knowledge or belief via some external source, rather than our own intuitive, subjective experience).

Dawning of a New Reality – Higher States of Consciousness

Before learning to meditate, most of us have experienced just three states of consciousness – Waking, Sleeping and Dreaming – very limited states of constantly changing, time-bound and space-bound realities where everything has a beginning and an end. But a few have had maybe one or two glimpses of an underlying reality, mental immersion in a field of blissful, eternal silence, beyond the boundaries of space and time. This is the constant that maintains the fluctuations of the other three states.
Einstein in the last decade of his life proposed that there must be a single ‘unified field’ underlying physics’ four energy and force fields, then to be considered to be the basis of everything. Physicists have been attempting ever since to prove this theory mathematically and their experiments have shown that the finest sub-atomic particles spring in and out of existence from ‘nowhere’.
But this ‘nowhere in space or time’, the ‘spiritual’ aspect of reality has been known about for thousands of years. The Yogis of ancient India, emerging from the depth of their meditations, described as the ‘fourth state of consciousness’ (turiya chetana) the pure silence which is the source of and maintainer of the other three states, much as the silent depth of the ocean is the basis of the constant activity of the waves on its surface.
And as we continue to meditate we start to realise that we are not only gaining deep levels of rest in meditation but also glimpses of a more profound, expanded, silent reality that is not an emptiness but a fullness of pure potentiality, infinite possibilities. By diving into meditation and returning to the surface on a regular basis we begin to integrate these inner ‘spiritual’ qualities throughout our physiology and into every aspect of our lives, as silence (the present moment) becomes the backdrop to all our experiences.
Some of these are even noticed during the three days of the TM course, notably calmness which many on every course are aware of. Some notice that along with the calmness is a clarity, a ‘restful alertness’, wide awake but still, which is a far superior replacement for the nervous tension many feel they need to perform at their best.
As the fatigue experienced by many in the first days of the course (while meditation flushes tiredness from the body) begins to fade, energy, creativity and happiness gradually start to manifest themselves along with subtler qualities of nature;
Spontaneous Right Action: Nature’s organising power, which effortlessly structures the whole universe, begins to be felt in our lives. Meditators faced with a ‘crossroad in their lives’ find anxiety fades as decisions seem to start taking care of themselves without our agonising over them as we used to. So life gets easier.
Law of Least Action: Nature accomplishes everything with maximum conservation of energy. We notice we get more done with less effort, especially expenditure of mental energy. Scientists say we have around 60, 000 thoughts a day, about 97% of them the same as yesterday! A tremendous waste of energy which decreases, as the useless thoughts decrease with meditation and we are left, as time goes by, with just the thoughts that are useful to a settled mind.
Spontaneous Fulfilment of Desires: At the subtlest level of live where our thoughts emerge from silence as impulses of Nature’s desire to grow, built into their very emergence is the means for their fulfilment. This gets lost in its expression through a stressed physiology. As we meditate, the resistance dissolves and we find life getting easier as we think more and more from the subtle levels and even our faintest desires start to find fulfilment. These are not small ego desires but our deepest soul desires, our reason for being here (our dharma), so fulfilment in life is automatic.
We are assured by the Yoga tradition and Maharishi that the qualities ultimately become permanent as Self-awareness is spontaneously and permanently maintained. A state of life Maharishi described as Cosmic Consciousness (100% of inner life with 100% outer life). Buddha called it Nirvana, and it is the automatic result of regular meditation. We don’t think about our cosmic status in activity, as some meditation schools would have you do, we just carry on as before. Integration of inner and outer life is a spontaneous, natural process.
Nor do we give anything up. But some old habits and needs will disappear as we grow. As children we needed our toys. But we grew out of them. As teenagers we had other needs and grew out of those. As adults many of us stopped growing spiritually and attachments became fixed. Meditation allows growth to restart as we return to Nature’s flow. Without giving anything up, we spontaneously move on to more refined and powerful levels of enjoyment.
The flow of nature’s evolution is the flow of the Self’s awareness towards itself, like the flow of Love. During our meditation we are like a new-born baby in the arms of its mother, innocent. In response to that situation, the mother has only one desire, to give the baby what it needs. If in our meditation we do not look for anything, ask for anything or expect anything, then ‘Mother’ Nature’s Love will flow through us to nourish us and all those around us.
Keep up your meditation. TM, pure yogic meditation, is the most powerful of all meditation techniques because it is the simplest and most natural. The results are automatic but the really big ones come gradually for most of us.

  • Emma
    Great to be reminded of the long term benefits of TM. TM has changed my life step by step, subtly and gradually over time. Yet when I look back at the overall difference before and after, the change is profound. Not only this, I have met truly inspiring fellow meditators who are enriching my life. I would urge anyone to go along to any group sessions. Thank you Meditation Trust!
  • Paul
    Really useful piece. Two weeks post the course in Pimlico, I'm getting huge benefits already and feel like a new person.
  • Xavier
    Thank you for introducing me to TM, Scott :) I'm so grateful to you as it has definitely changed and greatly enhanced my life. I'd recommend this course to anybody and everybody :)
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