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The value of Transcendental Meditation for our time

Scientific Research on TM, Volume 1    Translate This Article
1 January 2008

The Introduction to the Scientific Research on Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi Program, Volume 1 gives further information about the value of Transcendental Meditation for our modern times. It gives practical insight in to the difference in understanding between former concepts of meditation and Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation.

'...The word meditation has long been a familiar if vague symbol of inner development, involving in some usually ill-defined fashion a technique for penetrating to deeper levels of the mind for the sake of the 'expansion of consciousness.

' Before 1958, however, it would be fair to say that the popular associations evoked by the word meditation... were discouraging ones, to say the least. They might have been summarized as follows:

• Meditation was thought to involve some attempt to concentrate or control the mind. It was considered to be very difficult; hardly anyone was supposed to succeed at all, even after many years of practice.
• Meditation was supposed to be appropriate only for a few select individuals of specialized life-style, especially for the reclusive, the religious, the passive mystic with drawn from society.
• The purpose of meditation was considered to be an exclusively spiritual or religious one; its aim was associated with a state called 'enlightenment,' a condition probably thought of by the average educated man as an exotic one verging on self-hallucination and certainly having no relevance to the values of daily life or social progress.
• Meditation was not considered a very powerful or effective influence; hardly anyone in the world, including the yogis of India, knew of an actual contemporary instance of real and demonstrable progress having been made by means of it.
• The very idea of the 'expansion of consciousness' was considered wholly a metaphysical one, completely outside the realm of precise definition or scientific research.

Against this background, Maharishi's special contribution has been to supply a new reality and an unprecedented precision for the concept of meditation. The effect of his achievement, to which this volume of papers bears ample testimony, has been essentially to cause the reversal of each of the misunderstandings, both in the scientific literature and in the mind of the educated public. Specifically, he has demonstrated that:

The Transcendental Meditation technique is easy to learn and to practice; in fact, effortlessness is the very key to its effectiveness. Persons of every educational background can learn it successfully in a few hours of instruction and experience good effects, in most cases immediately.

The Transcendental Meditation technique is for everyone; it is an internal technology based on a highly valuable intrinsic tendency of the human nervous system that every man and woman possesses and therefore deserves to know how to use, regardless of his or her particular background, education, or way of life.

Learning the Transcendental Meditation technique does not require the acceptance of any particular philosophical system, nor does it interfere with any religious belief. The direction of development that results form the Transcendental Meditation program is not a strange or unworldly one; it is towards full development of those normal faculties of body, mind, and emotions that we already value in everyday life. What can be achieved by means of the TM program is the extension of the range of these normal faculties to their maximum possible value, a level of development rarely experienced by most individuals.

The Transcendental Meditation program is safe and effective, can be systematically and uniformly taught, and is quick to give results; moreover, all of these features can be demonstrated objectively Finally, and perhaps most importantly, through the Transcendental Meditation program the area of consciousness and its development has come to be recognized as a legitimate subject for serious scientific study.'

Copyright © 1977 MERU Press, Switzerland.

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