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The Six Major Benefits I've Experienced In The Four Months Since I Learned Transcendental Meditation
by Matthew Poulton
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27 March 2015
Since learning the Transcendental Meditation technique just four months ago, my life has changed in many ways. As a full-time college student with a demanding course load, there has been a lot of stress weighing down on me. Before TM, I was struggling to handle all of the stress that life was throwing at me (work, school, family, social life, etc.). I found myself only able to truly succeed in one aspect of my life at a time—at the expense of other parts. Now that I meditate twice a day, this is no longer the case.
Though there are many more benefits that come along with the regular practice of TM, the following are the six major benefits I have found through my personal experience.
1. Recharging my mind and body
I experience somewhat of a peaceful ''natural high'' in which there is minimal mental activity. It is an incredible natural resource to have access to. Jerry Seinfeld described TM as being similar to recharging your cell phone battery, but instead you're recharging your mind and body. This is very accurate and has been a major benefit for me. Being on campus all week for 10 plus hours a day, I used to hit a wall of fatigue about halfway through each day. Now, I meditate in the library for twenty minutes, and feel even better than I would if I had just gotten eight hours of sleep. I then go to my next class fully focused and mentally rested. There is no comparable resource; no amount of money could buy you this kind of rest.
2. Being less ''in my head''
Before TM, I suffered from moderate anxiety and fear-based action. I would constantly analyze and label every single thing that happened in my life. What I thought of myself was being derived from my interpretation of what was happening to me externally. I truly was a prisoner of my mind. (I have a feeling I'm not the only one.) It wasn't until learning meditation that I even knew that there was another way to live. By calming my mind twice a day, simply put, I don't think as much. No longer do I feel the need to label and analyze. I see things for what they truly are, and I also see how the mind creates f.e.a.r. (false evidence appearing real).
3. Being less egocentric
Since learning TM, I'm finding myself to be more grateful for my life situation. By being in constant connection with my true nature, I realize that beyond surface-level diversity, we are all the same. This has added a large amount of gratitude into my life, knowing that my situation could be MUCH worse. Knowing that we are all the same, I no longer need to seek approval to feed my ego/social mask. I have also found myself to be more compassionate towards others, almost as if I can feel the energy charge that other people's emotions carry. I now find immense happiness by helping others in need, for no apparent reason.
4. Being more ''present''
Learning the TM technique has allowed me to distinguish thoughts as they arise. I can then choose whether to continue to think them or not. Before TM, I would spend hours upon hours each day encapsulated in thought; either dwelling on past situations or in anticipation of the future. I was rarely ever ''present''. I now realize that what we think about is a choice. If I find myself becoming lost in thought, I simply interrupt and dismiss the thought pattern and focus on the present moment and what really exists.
5. ''Culturing your nervous system''
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi does a beautiful job describing what everyday meditation does to your nervous system over time. He compares daily meditation followed by activity to dipping a white cloth (normal state) into dye (pure consciousness) and drying it out in the sun (activity). Over time, the once white cloth will become more and more saturated with the dye. I have found this to be true, and would go as far as saying that I am a very different person than I was this time last year.
There is an added dimension of inner peace and calmness that didn't exist before practicing TM. Everything I do now seems to be easier, with less expended effort, yet more creative and efficient.
6. Experiencing and living as my true self
It may be somewhat of a spiritual topic, but by ''shutting down'' and transcending mental activity, you will experience what's left—who you really are. Call it what you will, the more you experience and tap into it during meditation, the more profound it becomes during everyday activity. By tapping into the source of thought during meditation, you gain access to unlimited creative potential.
Once you arrive at the point where you start living without labeling everything around you, it's almost as if you are reborn into the world and you are experiencing things for the first time. Without the constant irritation of the mind, you will soon see the world as an incredibly beautiful place.
I understand that these may seem like exaggerated claims, so I challenge you to find out for yourself!
The above was written by Matthew Poulton. He is 23 and currently lives in Clementon, New Jersey, USA.
Copyright © 2015 Maharishi Foundation USA
See related article: Transcendental Meditation Helps Students Cope with Adult-sized Stress
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