Transcendental meditation?

Ive heard about this technique called transcendental meditation, wich is said to be a very powerful and useful technique. However I have not heard much about what exactly it does, and how the technique is performed. Is there anybody here how can tell me a bit about it? Im really interested in this!

I think it’s very similar to regular meditation. You repeat a mantra with your eyes closed for 20-30 minutes. They say, however, that only trained and skilled teacher can teach you how the procedure’s done. It costs $2,500 to join a course, so it is pretty expensive…

That sucks, I don`t think there are even people in my hometown that can train people…

Don’t worry, Childhood - I don’t think TM is any more effective than many of the other types of meditation. If you are interested in having tuition, I’m sure there must be a yogic centre or other meditational school near where you live. :wink:

The $2500 thing is basically a scam that has been running since the 70s.

It’s like going to a rock concert and having to pay $20 for a bottle of water…

I’m sure some clever googling would get you it for free. (If not TM, then something better.)

Haha, My dad learned that during the 70’s in college. Seeing as he was eating top raman for lunch every day, i doubt he paid that much for it. I don’t think theres that much to it, just practice, becuase he said that you had a few lessons with an experianced person, and then they let you do it on your own. But it is a rather useful type of meditation, he even said that he’s projected with it a few times…by accident.

But what is the difference between transcendental meditation and other forms of meditation? I found this site on the web:
David Lynch is working with other people to make the schools in america use TM on their students, because it helps them to learn, furthermore it helps them consentrate and it kills depression. There must be SOMETHING special with TM?

That may be true.

But, Draginvry’s Meditation does the same thing.

Unlikely. Meditation is only as good as the person practicing it.

TM is simply meditating with some sort of mantra that is given to the student. It’s a great way to make mony if you can trick people into thinking that you have a secret mantra that will skyrocket their meditation abilities. Anyway that’s what I got out of it from the research I’ve done.

i have been to course when i was like 10 with my family. the only different thing is that they give you a special mantra.

Thanks for clearing that up that’s what I thought.

Dont try it. It almost ruined my life.

ehm, would you care to explain that a bit more in detail?

There’s a site available here that provides an TM FAQ produced by dissenters of the practice. TM is allegedly a very expensive religion based on Hindu mysticism. Here’s an excerpt from the page:

You can find every TM mantra online for free, if interested. I suspect that they are not especially useful, based on my reading of TM.

Yes. TM is a cult, not a simple meditation technique. It basically sais that it is so that it can drag people into it without them noticing. Its wasting peoples lives and money and should be at all costs avoided, and it should be told to the public that its dangerous to you and not good at all. I wrote down my personal story on my computer that is now being repaired. Ill post it here, but its a long story though.

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 its actually names of different hindu gods, and some longer mantras are even prayers that translates to “I bow down to such a deity”.

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, or check out my topic “RL feels constantly like a dream). 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”.

Enlightenment is described by Mahari$hi mahe$h Yogi like this:
“Enlightenment is the normal, natural state of health for the body and mind. It results from the full development of consciousness and depends upon the perfect and harmonious functioning of every part of the body and nervous system. When one is using the full potential of the mind and body in this way, every thought and action is spontaneously correct and life-supporting. This is life free from suffering, life lived in its full stature and significance. The goal of the Transcendental Meditation Technique is the state of enlightenment. This means we experience that inner calmness, that quiet state of least excitation, even when we are dynamically busy.”

You know who Andy Kaufman is? The controversial comedian from the 70’s. He apparently practised TM, and he died of cancer early in his life! If regular practise of TM gives you near perfect health, then how could he die of cancer?

And then there’s that yogic flying crap. If you take the TM-sidhi course, which cost A LOT more than the regular TM course, you can learn to master the laws of the universe. Litteraly. You can learn telekinesis, telepathy, and levitating in the air. My teacher actually said that she had seen someone fly. This of course confused me alot. Was she lying? Or telling the truth? If she told the truth? Was she actually seeing someone levitate, or did someone hoax her? Maybe the levitator she saw was hanging from strings that were barely visible? What would these strings be made of? Are they really willing to go that far into blackmailing people?

David Copperfield managed to give people the illusion that he is flying with an entire audience looking. What is most probable? That they’re actually managing to levitate, or that its a hoax?

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 headless 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 NOT GOOD FOR ANYONE!


that sucks! lemme know how you doing…
I read your story… the only thing I can say is: why would you pay 800 dollars for a meditation course? Ok, you gave your reasons, but still, it´s just absurd…

I hope you can overcome your problems Childhood!

Yeah its strange. I thought i was the kind who didn’t fall for such things, but apparently i was. At least now I’m much more questioning of things like this. I’m recovering from depersonalization and other symptoms TM gave me, and I’m starting to don’t really think so much about what happened. Thank you for you concerns!

I was 20 years old when I developed high BP and had to undergo medical treatment. The medication prescribed to me brought my BP under control but I wanted to get better without medicines. During this period I came across an advertisement that said that TM (Transcendental Meditation) will help normalize Blood Pressure.

I went to the TM Green Park Center in New Delhi in winter of 1989 and met a teacher / guru who gave me a mantra which was not to be recited like ordinary chanting but had to be stressed; for example, Ram was to be chanted as Raaaaaaam. This was to be done with eyes closed and recited mentally. I went to this TM center for 4 days, each day reciting for 15 to 20 minutes. On the last day the teacher told me that I should practice this routine daily: morning and evening for 15 to 20 minutes and come back for a follow up after a year. He did not mention that there would be harmful consequences if I exceeded the time limit.

I did not practice TM for 5 years after that. Then in March 1994 I started chanting the TM mantra the way I was taught. By the 3rd day I did not feel relaxed so I increased the time to 1 hour in the morning and evening and by the end of the week I was chanting 2 hours morning and evening. Even during the day, my focus would be on chanting while carrying out my daily activities.

I was practicing TM innocently since I thought that meditation cannot be harmful. What had started to happen slowly was that thin fiber like structures which are actually nerves had started to move upwards in my brain and had begun to suppress my brain. I did not realize all this while I was chanting, at that point I felt I was getting energy and getting stronger physically, mentally and emotionally.

6 weeks after I started chanting I started bouncing like a frog. I thought in innocence that I was getting stronger and that this was a good sign. I continued to chant but one fine day during meditation I had an erection and I immediately stopped. After that each time I would sit and chant within 14 to 20 minutes I would have an erection and would discontinue. After 3 months of intensive meditation I realized something was wrong and stopped consciously chanting the mantra but by then it had become automatic; my brain and my mind had started reciting the mantra by itself.

Between July 1994 and Dec 2005, whenever I would sit and chant the mantra for 5 to 10 minutes I would get an erection and had to stop. In Jan 2006, the mantra started to flow at a great speed automatically and there was intense pressure in my brain and head which kept increasing at a great pace during 2006. All I could feel throughout the day was that there was some movement and pressure building in the brain at great speed. It felt as though the brain was crushed from all sides. I went to different ashrams and gurus including TM but no one could provide an answer.

Then in Nov 2006 I suddenly woke up and saw my breath flowing in the same pattern in which I was chanting the mantra and within seconds my head would get heavy. So I deliberately began to hold my breath to break the automatic cycle that had developed.
As the cycle began to reverse, I began to realize what had happened. Due to the chanting that I was taught, nerves fine like hair had moved into my brain causing emotional and mental trauma. My brain has become hyper active causing a lot of mental and emotional discomfort making me suicidal. Though the reversal cycle started in Nov2006 and I feel the nerves coming down, it is a very slow process.

Since June 2014 this reversal process became acutely painful. My brain currently feels much suppressed and there is a lot of emotional and mental discomfort as I cannot enjoy anything. I don’t know whether I will come out of it or I will commit suicide since I think of committing suicide 50 times a day. Every minute I keep regretting joining TM; why did I chant for more than 20 minutes. Why did the teacher not tell me about the harmful consequences if I would increase the chanting time? And more than anything else, why does TM teach meditation in a wrong way when by and large meditation is taught by focusing on breathing which is safe and secure.

I have been to several neurologists, psychiatrists, ayurvedas, faith healers, acupressurists, TM teacher, yoga and meditation teachers no one could help.