Monday, July 11, 2011

Transcendental meditation

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/transcendental-meditation-were-the-hippies-right-all-along-2307898.html

A fascinating article that was very nostalgic. It is where I started as a thirteen year old.

My mother had learnt and her life changed. She was more relaxed, focused and forgiving. An evangelist she convinced my skeptical father. He began and together encouraged my participation.

I will always remember my 'initiation' at a house in Wellesbourne. A hot summer's day, the distant rumble of a lawn mower accompanying my faithful, poised repetition of my 'mantra' as I spent my first twenty minutes in silence.

Adolescence was woven through with an engagement with TM. We had introductory talks at our house. I went to compelling monthly meetings (even as I remained mostly silent) and weekend retreats and was befriended by our two teachers (then married) who were wonderfully engaging people.

It undoubtedly had an effect. Recovering from the sapping of confidence inflicted by a bullying teacher, I discovered a renewed resilience. A fact noticed by several of my teachers (without knowing what to ascribe it to).

More importantly it deepened my innate sense of spiritual inquiry: religion and philosophy at university followed.

It was at university I discovered an emergent rediscovery of meditative/ contemplative practice in Christianity and I slipped into it, developing a practice rooted in the prayer of the heart that has continued with me ever since, nurtured by several teachers.

But I recognize that TM remains a valid practice (even though its organization is over-elaborated and given to exaggerated claims) and the science here for its simple practical effects appears robust. Though similar techniques can probably be learned from a book preferably with the help of a capable teacher and so the justification for the 'costing' structure is a stretch!

A good place to start but not necessarily to end - and if it is good enough for Clint Eastwood!

1 comment:

  1. I have always used mindfulness to become part of
    the moment of doing something and fully engaging.
    For instance, when drinking tea or coffee, fully
    become aware of all aspects of the preparation,
    pouring, and drinking without thinking of
    something else. Just be present, its a great
    exercise and then return to the breath when
    needed.

    ReplyDelete

In God there is no forgiveness

Julian of Norwich, the fourteenth century English anchorite and mystic, writes that in God there is no forgiveness. This, on first hear...