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The universality of TM and Transcendental Consciousness - the basis of higher states of consciousness
by Cynthia E. Johnson
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4 November 2013
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'Some people are surprised to hear that many who learn Transcendental Meditation find a renewed interest in their religious heritage. This was my experience, and it led me to study at Harvard Divinity School, which delighted my father—a Protestant minister who had also studied there,' writes Cynthia E. Johnson, who holds a Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard and is a teacher of the Transcendental Meditation program.
'While Transcendental Meditation (TM) is not a religion—the practice requires no belief—it can enrich this area of life, as it enriches all areas of life. Among people who practice TM are clergy, monks, nuns and laypersons of Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, Christian, and Muslim traditions, as well as American Indian and other indigenous spiritual traditions. Recently I discovered that more than 3000 Buddhist monks in 100 monasteries throughout Southeast Asia have learned TM. This was a result of the work by a revered Japanese Buddhist monk who is also a teacher of TM.'
In this new essay, one of a series, Ms Johnson discusses the universality of Transcendental Meditation, especially in relation to religion, then gives an introduction to Transcendental Consciousness, the basis of the higher states of consciousness described by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Founder of the Transcendental Meditation program, in his Vedic Science.
The essay begins with a quote from Maharishi:
'The range of human life is not, as is generally thought, restricted to our various ways of living, sleeping, waking, playing, talking or behaving; these are only the gross levels of human values. The real, substantial value of human life is the bliss-consciousness that raises one to the high estate of eternal freedom while he is engaged in the day-to-day world of transitory values.' —Maharishi
'Fortunately,' Ms Johnson comments, 'we have an effective and effortless technique—Transcendental Meditation—for experiencing Transcendental Consciousness, the silent field of bliss, the unexpressed field of total natural law. Regular practice of this technique brings inner joy, life-supporting direction, and creative intelligence to fulfill our desires. We need not resign ourselves to a life of suffering and cramped limitation. There is so very much more to experience in life.'
Another excerpt from the essay:
'When I was at Divinity School I was invited by a fellow student, a Catholic priest, to attend a ceremony for the taking of vows. During the reception I met a group of monks (Trappist), and we discovered that we all practiced TM! I can still picture the radiant faces and warm, playful attitude of these delightful monks. They shared with me that since learning TM they experienced more inner stillness, allowing for more receptivity within their prayer and liturgical practices. One monk laughed and said he noticed he felt more tolerant and appreciative of his monastic brothers, who go through relationship challenges with each other, just as in families. They felt rejuvenated from the deep rest of TM, and experienced more energy and fulfillment in their rather challenging daily routine.
'As we stood talking—the Trappists in their monastic robes of rough material, belted with rope, and I in my modern dress—we appeared centuries and cultures apart. Yet we felt closeness in our commonality of experience. We found common ground in our experience of the deep silence within each of us, revealing a foundation that unifies rather than divides.
'The monks and I were sharing the experience of restful alertness, or Transcendental Consciousness—the fourth state of consciousness. This is the first taste of ''higher states of consciousness'' that Maharishi elucidated.'
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