Trying to account for consciousness without reference to subjectivity and feeling is like trying to account for blood circulation without reference to heart contractions. – David Rudrauf and Antonio Damasio1
Transcendental Meditation works by transcending the finest value of sound. As it is an oral technique it cannot be learnt from a book or from the internet but must be taught by a qualified teacher of Transcendental Meditation. Moreover Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation can only be learnt from a teacher who has been trained under the guidance of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and continues to adhere to the teaching methods and principles laid out by Maharishi. The reason for this strictness is to ensure that pupils learn correctly and have the best possible experience and that no distortions creep into the method of instruction. An analogy might be to think of the game of Chinese whispers. One person whispers “send reinforcements we’re going to advance” but by the time it has been passed to a few people it becomes “send three and four pence we’re going to a dance.” This is fun when we are playing a game but when we learn to experience the silent transcendental value of our own inner Self we want to make sure we are taking the correct angle.
Seven Step Programme
There are seven steps to learning:
- Introductory talk – this explains the benefits of Transcendental Meditation in terms of four areas of life: mental potential, health, social behaviour and world peace.
- Preparatory talk – this explains the origins of Transcendental Meditation, the principles behind it, how it differs from other kinds of meditation such as concentration and contemplation and the specific mechanic of how one meditates.
- Interview – a private interview with a teacher of Transcendental Meditation.
- Day of instruction – this is always on a one to one basis and it is the start of direct experience.
- First day of checking – this covers basic practical points to ensure meditation is comfortable.
- Second day of checking – this covers the mechanics of the release of stress and the purification of the nervous system.
- Third day of checking – developing higher states of consciousness.
An optional follow up program is included as part of the course.
In most countries the Transcendental Meditation organisation is a registered educational charity and details of your local Transcendent Meditation centre can be found on the internet.
- Rudrauf, D. and Damasio, A. (2005). A conjecture regarding the biological mechanism of subjectivity and feeling. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 12 (8-10):236-262.