Posts Tagged ‘inner self-awareness’

Poets Kenneth Rexroth and William Wordsworth Experienced Transcendence and Self-Awareness

December 3, 2014

Transcendence and a self-referral awareness are described by great poets when they interact deeply with nature. In the process, they experience their own inner nature. Their poetic expressions describe a state similar to what practitioners of Transcendental Meditation experience, where the body is deeply restful, more than deep sleep, and the mind is highly alert, peaceful, unobstructed by thoughts, unbounded.

Kenneth Rexroth

Kenneth Rexroth describes this experience in his poem, The Heart of Herakles, (The Collected Shorter Poems of Kenneth Rexroth). Looking up into the night sky through a telescope, he sees the enormous constellations and soon loses his sense of self. “My body is asleep. Only my eyes and brain are awake. … I can no longer tell where I begin and leave off.” In this expanded state he becomes aware of different aspects of nature being collectively self-aware with an “eye that sees itself.”

The Heart of Herakles

Lying under the stars,
In the summer night,
Late, while the autumn
Constellations climb the sky,
As the Cluster of Hercules
Falls down the west
I put the telescope by
and watch Deneb
Move towards the zenith.
My body is asleep. Only
My eyes and brain are awake.
The stars stand around me
Like gold eyes, I can no longer
Tell where I begin and leave off.
The faint breeze in the dark pines,
And the invisible grass,
The tipping earth, the swarming stars
Have an eye that sees itself.

You can hear Kenneth Rexroth read The Heart of Herakles in this July 13, 1955 recording, from 27:36 to 28:13, posted by The Poetry Center.

William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth describes a similar experience of an inner physical suspension along with a deep seeing and joyful knowing while recalling a transcendental experience in his poem, Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour. July 13, 1798. Here are some excerpts from that long poem.

That blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened: — that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on —
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul;
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.

His initial experience of transcending within his own mind has matured as he recognizes that same transcendental essence throughout nature, thereby unifying his inner Self with the same Self of all conscious things.

And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things.

(more…)

Health India’s Editorial Team says Transcendental Meditation (TM) is taking the world by storm

January 14, 2014

Health India

Transcendental Meditation — a meditation technique that is taking the world by storm

Editorial Team January 14, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Meditation, a simple yet deep-rooted technique that helps you think better, control your emotions with finesse and even makes you a better person. First practiced in India, meditation is a method carried down through the ages. It was first mentioned in the Vedas and is well-known in India as a doorway to nirvana. But now the Americans have woken up to its benefits.

According to study carried out by Fred Travis, director of the centre for brain, consciousness, and cognition at Maharishi University of Management in the US, physiological measures and first-person descriptions of transcendental experiences and higher states have only been investigated during practice of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique.

After analysing descriptions of transcendental consciousness from 52 people practicing TM, Travis found that they experienced ‘a state where thinking, feeling, and individual intention were missing, but self-awareness remained’. A systematic analysis of their experiences revealed three themes – absence of time, space and body sense.

‘This research focuses on the larger purpose of meditation practices – to develop higher states of consciousness,’ explained Travis. With regular meditation, experiences of transcendental consciousness begin to co-exist with sleeping, dreaming and even while one is awake.

This state is called cosmic consciousness in the Vedic tradition, said the paper published in the journal Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Whereas people practicing TM describe themselves in relation to concrete cognitive and behavioural processes, those experiencing cosmic consciousness describe themselves in terms of a continuum of inner self-awareness that underlies their thoughts, feelings and actions, added the paper.

‘The practical benefit of higher states is that you become more anchored to your inner self, and, therefore, less likely to be overwhelmed by the vicissitudes of daily life,’ said Travis. TM is an effortless technique for automatic self-transcending, different from the other categories of meditation – focused attention or open monitoring.

It allows the mind to settle inward beyond thought to experience the source of thought – pure awareness or transcendental consciousness. This is the most silent and peaceful level of consciousness – one’s innermost self, said the study.

Wondering what it is? Here is all you need to know about the TM technique

Transcendental Meditation?

Also called the TM technique, Transcendental Meditation is a simple practice one does for 20 minutes twice in a day. All you need to do is sit comfortably and close your eyes. This meditation technique is not a religion, philosophy or lifestyle, it is simply a way to reach self-development.

This technique allows your mind to settle and gives you a chance to experience pure awareness, also known as transcendental consciousness. It allows you to experience the most silent and peaceful level of consciousness – your innermost self. It also allows your brain to attain deep rest helping you be more efficient and betters your cognitive functions.

Where did this technique originate?

About 50 years ago, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi introduced Transcendental Meditation to the world. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is considered the representative of Vedic tradition in our day and age. This form of meditation helped in restoring knowledge and helps people experience a higher state of consciousness. The most important aspect of this technique is that it is still practiced with the same technique and principles as it was when the Vedas were first written, giving it maximum effectiveness.

How do I learn?

The TM technique has local teachers who will guide you through the process. It consists of seven steps after which one can practice the TM technique on their own.

Benefits of the TM technique

The TM technique is known to calm your mind, directly affecting the stress that your brain experiences on a daily basis. According to the experts, practicing the TM technique regularly helps in developing total brain control, thereby making you more equipped to deal with every day stress. It indirectly reduces the production on hormones that are commonly produced when one is stressed and thereby stops the damage that is normally produced.

Apart from all this, a calm mind and body is the best way to protect your body from cardiovascular stress. The TM technique also has great benefits for students, it helps improve their memory, IQ and helps them fight stress.

With inputs from: IANS

Reference: Transcendental Meditation

Related: Transcendental experiences during meditation practice – paper published in @AcademyAnnals.

Health India also posts: Practice Transcendental Meditation to lower BP, heart and mortality risks.

See more news coverage: Transcendental Meditation and lifestyle changes both stimulate genes that reduce blood pressure and extend lifespan.


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