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The TM initiate is told never to reveal her mantra under any circumstances, lest its magic be lost.
My instructor suggested that he had some particular insight into me in choosing my mantra, but this is utter nonsense.
Transcendental Meditation, that vestige of the 1960s fascination with Eastern-oriented enlightenment, is back with a vengeance. The celebrated filmmaker behind has made it his mission to spread the good word about TM through the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace.
Oprah recently devoted a TV show to the TM movement.
The technique, he assured the class, was easy to learn and could provide a lifetime of benefits for both mind and body. But at this point, I was already looking forward to my transformation. I rationalized that people paid far more than this for therapy in New York City, and after all, I had hard evidence from my boyfriend that the technique could have long-lasting effects. Over several courses, I learned to sit with my eyes closed and just let my thoughts flow until I began to feel a sense of peaceful awareness come over me.
We were invited to consider taking a beginner course, after which we would have access to a lifetime of “free followup and support.” Then came the kicker: the price of a beginner course was ,500. I had just landed a lucrative ghostwriting contract, and if learning TM would make me less stressed and more productive, it would be worth it, right? There was no need to concentrate or sit in any particular way, or refrain from scratching my nose.
Neither deadline nor meeting could distract him from his ritual.
After the completion of the course, there was a special "graduation" ceremony in which students were given individual mantras to use in our practice. I was told to bring an offering of flowers to meet the instructor, who now appeared wearing a robe.“Look, I took a course 30 years ago, and I liked the technique, so I stuck with it.Period." His daily practice, he assured me, had kept him grounded and sane ever since. I’ve always been a rather high-strung creative type, and at the time I was in the throes of procrastination on my doctoral dissertation and a struggle to figure out whether a career in academia or journalism would best cure me of a deep sense of futility.To achieve a similar result, some people take a nap. You could add all kinds of fancy components to a relaxing activity like walking, and call it Globally Conscious Perambulation or some such BS and require the muttering of special words and the donning of special attire, but it would still be a walk.Its primary benefits would still come from relaxing the body and mind, and if done regularly, adding some purposeful structure to the day.
Mindfulness meditation adds on the directive to be attentive to feelings of gratitude and not to be an asshole.