When I first met Thilde Jensen she encouraged me to try TM to help with my obsession and depressive nature. We have been together for 2 years now and committed to each other last summer. Meditation has become a daily habit for both of us, one that I hope we will carry with us to the end of our days. This is not a sales pitch for TM, honestly I feel like it’s a total scam, I am promoting the medical benefits of any meditation not just a single ‘brand’. Although Thilde and I have settled quite comfortably into doing TM, there are a lot of different styles of meditation each with their benefits and drawbacks. This is a story of my personal path.
The TM style of meditation has been around since 1955 and seems to have changed very little throughout the years. The biggest change to the movement has been the price of the training. It has gone from being free to several thousand dollars for private instruction. So then the question becomes, why should I pay $2,500 for something that I can teach myself for free?
Once of the benefits of paying the course fee is that you are assigned a ‘mantra’ to use during your meditation. What your mantra is almost doesn’t really matter as long as it is not a word that you already associate with an image or thing. ie if your mantra is ‘ice cream’ then repeating that 40 minutes a day is probably not going to help calm your troubled mind and it might make you increase your ice cream consumption. A good and common mantra that is used and handed out is ‘Ohm’. Ohm wouldn’t work for me because all I would think about is an electrical unit of resistance measurement. When you are given a mantra you’re not allowed to talk about it to anyone, somehow that destroys it’s power. I can tell you my mantra that I picked using the power of google and it’s very long at 12 syllables and is pretty hard to remember. I recommend that you pick a mantra that speaks to you, do a google search for Mantra list and you will come up with plenty like this.
So how do I meditate? Don’t eat before you meditate, close your eyes, set a timer for 20 minutes and repeat your mantra. When you start thinking about other things (you will) just gently ease your mind back to your mantra. It’s really that easy. I do it first thing in the morning religiously and if I’m having a tough day I’ll do it later in the day before dinner. 95% of the time I only do it in the morning. Meditation allows me to focus my energy and it calms my troubled mind and obsessive nature. I frequently get stuck in unhealthy ‘ruts’ or ways of thinking and meditating somehow is like pushing your mental car out of a snowdrift.
Everyone can do it, it costs nothing, it can make you happier, more functional and get more of what you want out of life. What’s not to like?