"I discovered trascendental meditation in 1980... Within a week I stopped drinking, the last habit I picked up under the p weeks later I quit smoking...I didn't need the taste, I began to feel extraordinarily well. I remember being so taken with bewildered happiness that I said "it's true!"... just that."
"Stress is not something that happens to you - that is challenge. Stress is the residual physiological imbalance caused by your interpretation of that challenge and the effect that has on your body ("the stress response"). This is then the cause of the whole spectrum of mental and physical illnesses."
Imagine - if just sitting quietly in a comfortable chair for a few minutes of very enjoyable deep relaxation every day could leave you feeling physically and mentally refreshed, with a calmer and more alert mind, increased energy and clearer thinking. And as a result you found that that you could achieve more with less effort, that your deepest desires began to find fulfilment and that work, recreation, and relationships were more rewarding.
These are just some of the wide-ranging benefits gained by more than six million people worldwide practising Transcendental Meditation ("TM").
During the mental silence of meditation the body gains very deep rest, much deeper than in sleep, (called by scientists a restructuring state') which allows the body's natural healing mechanisms to function fully.
Deep-rooted stresses and tensions are spontaneously dissolved, bringing relief to a wide range of health problems. Mental health is improved as the conditioning caused by past experience is dissolved and we spontaneously begin to live with joy and freedom in the present moment.
"If trascendental meditation were a drug, it would be hailed as a major breakthrough."
Chris Greathead, the Trust's teacher in the North, explains; "Eliminating stress not only affects health. Wide-ranging benefits of trascendental meditation on all areas of life have been validated by more than 650 scientific research studies, conducted during the past 40 years at 230 research institutes and universities in 24 countries."
Benefits indicated by scientific research include:
(Read about research into the physical benefits of transcendental meditation in this article from 'Proof!' magazine.)
Sensory experience is enhanced. Artists report increased appreciation of colour and musicians an extra delight in sound. Many others report taste and smells coming to life. Increased enjoyment of sex is common and fertility has been known to improve.
People of all professions rediscover their natural ability to remain calm under pressure, free from tension and fatigue and at the peak of their mental clarity and performance, which has encouraged companies such as Sony, General Motors, IBM and Toyota to make transcendental meditation available to their staff.
"The overall benefits of regular transcendental meditation are so staggering as to be almost unbelievable - in one 5 year study, half the number of inpatient admissions to hospital (87% fewer for heart disease and nervous system disorders) ... These findings are remarkable."
Mike Sampey, another of the Trust's teachers, sums up: "transcendental meditation is a very ancient technique, a restoration of the spiritual heart of the Yoga tradition of integration of life. Known as "Vedanta" or Supreme Knowledge, it is not a religion, but the science of subjective self-awareness, the most spiritual of practices, without which objective knowledge is of limited value."