A new magazine, Upside News, came out on Dublin’s north side in Ireland. Their website is still under construction, but here is a description on their Facebook page. They asked someone for an article on Transcendental Meditation.
Since Christine Ryan was the contact person, John Burns, Communications Director for TM in Ireland, persuaded her to write about her experience of the technique. John said he sent the editor an article he had written along with Christine’s TM experience and told him he thought what she had written was so good that he should use it instead if space was an issue. The editor got back to John and said that he would print Christine’s piece.
Good decision; it’s a fantastic personal account! When I asked John to tell me more about the author, he said, “Christine is training to be a school teacher. She is just someone who really appreciates her TM.” I asked John to send a picture of Christine, a PDF of the magazine article, and a link when it’s posted online, which I’ll add when they’re available. Here’s what she wrote:
“As a twenty-four year old trying to find your place in the world, weaving your way around the many forks in the road that separate all of the possible paths down which to venture, it can be hard to tease out your own true voice in an increasingly noisy world.
I am an introverted, intellectual, always-something-to-think-about child of the technological generation. It seems easy to assume I would have trouble turning my awareness away from words on a page, the lure of the internet, my mobile phone, the radio buzzing and the drilling noise vibrating from the neighbour’s house a few doors down where a posse of hard-working, bellowing construction workers are knocking down two walls in her house only to put six back up. But TM is natural and it is effortless, when you learn how to do it.
What TM gives me is stillness and silence. For twenty minutes twice a day, I go to a place of silence that already exists within me. It happens effortlessly and spontaneously. As a helpless analyser of all things, this initially seemed impossible for me to swallow but I very quickly discovered its truth. The noise of the world disappears and I arrive at a place of beautiful quiet.
TM is like diving into a pool of light that washes away dirt and darkness, and emerging fresh and invigorated. During my TM practice, I feel my body settle into a deep state of rest and an overwhelming sense of calm and stillness pervades it. I feel free from the shackles of stress and exhaustion. I experience a sense of unity and peace. Without any resolve to do so, this sense of wholeness and calm lingers on when my meditation has ended; the effects of my TM practice spontaneously ripple forward into my activity.
Almost seven months into my second year of practising TM, I feel greater clarity in my thinking; as a busy thinker this has been such a profound change that TM has brought me. My relationships are infused with a sense of ease now. My thinking is sharper, ideas flow more easily, and my energy is lasting and productive. I feel less uncertain about decisions to be made and a greater vibrancy in my creative endeavours.
As I continue to meditate, the effects grow stronger. My wonderful TM teacher, Ann, put it simply: “It’s like going to the gym,” she said. “You feel great for the first few weeks that you’re going, but if you stop going, you’ll lose the benefits bit by bit.” I may not get to the gym (or exercise for that matter!) every day, but sitting in a chair in my sweats, with messy un-brushed hair, allowing my mind to simply settle down to a place of profound stillness and emerging twenty minutes later energised and renewed—now that I can do!
I was never one to easily identify with, or apply, the principle of “go with the flow,” but as I continue to practise TM I edge all the more closer to fully understanding exactly what that means. TM has resigned stress and anxiety to a state out of tune with the natural rhythm and flow of my body and mind. It puts things into perspective. To connect with that constant centre of calm and stillness that lies within me, regardless of what is happening in my life, and to find that stillness lingering during activity has been one of the greatest joys of learning TM.
Visionary filmmaker, veteran meditator, and prolific speaker and activist for TM, David Lynch, said it best when he said: “TM is for human beings.” The truth of his words find significance in the shared experiences of the benefits of TM by meditators around the globe, young and old, from all religions and all walks of life, from those behind bars to those raised high on a platform called “celebrity.”
In the monthly group meditation meetings I meet meditators of all ages: veterans to novices, students to retirees and everything in between. In a world that breeds so much disconnection and discord, it is a joy to practice a simple technique that allows for an awareness of the integral similarity between us all.
TM recharges me mentally and physically. My morning and evening TM practice have become the pillars onto which I anchor my day. I can hear my own inner voice more clearly again and those forks in the road don’t loom quite so ominously now.”