If you know me, and you’ve asked, you may have heard me talk about Transcendental Mediation (TM) before, perhaps even very enthusiastically. PS: I tend to get really jazzed about things that I believe hold the keys to change. TM is one of the things that hold the keys to the greatest capacity of change that I have come across, and I have been actively looking for over a decade. Let me put this story into reverse to give you a bit of a background.
Picture it, the year is 2008, the “financial meltdown” is on the verge of happening (or has happened, depending on exactly when during ’08 we are talking). I am dealing with some very severe issues, mostly resulting in extreme low-level anxiety, and situation induced full blown panic attacks. In other words, I feel that I am losing my mind slowly and feel powerless to it. The medication route is available, I know this, but I want another path. I have seen what meds can do to people, and I want no part of it. I have an “emergency” prescription of clonazepam in my bag for the times I really can’t bare it, but I try to suffer through it for the most part. I do not want medication as a daily companion, that was one thing I knew for certain. I spent many late nights unable to sleep, on the internet researching what on earth could have been wrong with me, and what I can do about it, to little avail but I didn’t give up, I continued my search and lived my life as usual (or as usual as possible). As fate would have it, one March day my brother was unable to give my mom a ride, so she asked me and I took her to a Transcendental Meditation introductory lecture my aunt had set up for her. After sitting in on the lecture a bit reluctantly and purely by chance, I knew I had to do it. I had all kinds of doubts swirling in my mind, less than no money to my name, but I had to try it, I had the distinct feeling it could change everything, and it very well did.
How do you do it? I get a lot of interesting questions on this topic. People often think that there are candles and the burning of incense, even special outfits. Others think there is meditation music and a special place designated for the technique. Probably the funniest and most outlandish thing I was asked before I was going to meditate was if I was going to levitate or something. I laughed, I’m not that good. So how do I do it? Wherever I am, I find a comfortable place to sit, with reasonable quiet, close my eyes and begin. When I am at home, I usually sit up in bed in the morning, and in the afternoon, I’ll use the couch. I do not sit cross-legged, nor do I connect my thumb and index finger to make a sideways or upside down a-ok sign. I know, it’s much less romantic than the ritualistic depictions people have in mind, but it gets the job done and what a job it does.
There are many myths about meditation that I won’t go into here, but what I will say is that far from being whoo-whoo, it is probably one of the most practical things you can do, and another thing, all meditations are not created equal.
My genuine interest in teaching others what I have learned that may help them in their lives is driven by the deep and dark suffering I have gone through. In those times, I felt so alone and if only I had a glimpse of hope or some semblance of a path, I know that would have eased my burden. So I am here to share that with anyone going through their darkness, be light or heavy.
Look forward to future posts about TM where I will go into more detail about why it rocks, and how it affects your life. A year before I learned, I read a New Earth by Eckhart Tolle and it rocked my world. The idea of “creating space between your thoughts” was so simple yet profound. If I could leave you with any thought at this moment, it is that. You can go to www.tm.org right now and learn more, or you could take a moment to create some space between your thoughts and bring some quiet to those loud thoughts.
Please feel free to ask me any questions about Transcendental Meditation, I’d be happy to answer. If you are too shy to leave a public comment, please email me at DonnaSayed@outlook.com.
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