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Transcendence: Author explains central concept of bestselling book
by Global Good News staff writer
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5 February 2013
What is transcendence?
Dr Norman Rosenthal posed this question at a medical conference at the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland.
Dr Rosenthal, a renowned psychiatrist and bestselling author whose books include Winter Blues and Transcendence: Healing and Transformation through Transcendental Meditation, spoke to the audience about his experience with Transcendental Meditation and with writing Transcendence.
Dr Rosenthal explained his initial skepticism about the concept of a unique state of transcendence.
He said, 'Initially people said to me there's a fourth state of consciousness; it's beyond waking, sleeping, and dreaming. I thought, you've got to be kidding. I've lived for more than 50 years. I know sleeping, I know waking, I know dreaming, but what is this fourth state of consciousness? If there had been one I would have experienced it already.'
But after learning Transcendental Meditation, Dr Rosenthal began to experience that fourth state, transcendence, for himself.
He explained that as you meditate, using the effortless technique of Transcendental Meditation, the mind settles down and 'you slip into a place where you're very alert, but very calm at the same time. You are conscious, but there are not necessarily any thoughts in your consciousness.'
Dr Rosenthal added that normally when we are alert and conscious, we are thinking about something. And when we are calm, we are often close to sleep, or ready to nap.
So this is a unique combination—being both alert and calm, he said. 'Boundaries seem to disappear, and . . . we're in a very blissful place.'
Bliss may seem a strange word, one that is not used often, 'but that's the best word to describe this particular state of mind; and as you'll see there are data as to what's going on in the brain when you experience this state of transcendence'.
See related articles:
∙ US: Integrative medicine conference at University of Maryland focuses on healing through meditation
∙ University of Maryland hosts medical conference on benefits of Transcendental Meditation
∙ Conference highlights Transcendental Meditation role in integrative medicine
∙ Medical database holds extensive research on mind-body medicine, meditation
∙ The story behind the bestselling book Transcendence
∙ Dr Norman Rosenthal talks about his early experiences with Transcendental Meditation
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