Three months ago (today!), on October 28th, I learned one of the most important things I’ve ever “studied” in my life. I learned transcendental meditation (TM).
I alluded to this in my “be brave” post on NYE – that I had done a lot in 2017, including learning meditation – but I never followed up on the details of why I decided to dive into TM, how I do it, and what I’ve noticed since starting.
Yesterday, I received an email from a dear friend from my hometown who had recently learned TM and was wondering if I had done the same. It made me realize that I should share my experience with you.
So last year, with all my busy-ness, I was finding my mind buzzing, racing, jumping from one thing to the next without feeling grounded in my thoughts, creativity, execution, and focus… I wasn’t feeling like my self. I didn't even really know what that meant.
Mid-October, I was having lunch (at Cafe Gratitude - plant-based yum x 10) with a new friend, and she mentioned something she learned from her “meditation teacher.” I was like “uhh… I want a meditation teacher. What do you mean, your ‘meditation teacher?’” So, she went on to describe her meditation practice: twice daily for 20 minutes, which she had practiced for over a year at that point.
My jaw dropped: twice a day for an entire year? Forty minutes of your life every day just... sitting there? She quickly followed my skepticism and disbelief with “Oh my gosh. I’m so much more efficient with my day. I get so much more done!” Plus, she had some other added benefits that she shared with me in confidence.
I asked her for her teacher’s phone number… I may have stalked him a bit to get a response about when I could go through the training with him. I went to the free orientation meeting the following week, and I learned TM starting the next Saturday… October 28, 2017.
Now, having worked in and studied integrative medicine for about 10 years now, so I know the principles (and evidence-based benefits) of various meditation approaches. I had “practiced” meditation before: sat there cross-legged for a while, listening to my breath, checking out of one eye to see how long I’d been meditating. Nothing had ever stuck…
Since that Saturday in late October, I have practiced TM nearly every day, twice daily. I have told family, friends and clients, “Doing TM is the calmest I’ve ever felt while still awake.” It’s also led to some of the most productive spurts I’ve had in a long time. I’ve noticed my creative mind coming back to life (after being bludgeoned during grad school). Without having the words to fully describe it, it’s been incredible.
According to an intro video (20 minutes, below), here’s what TM is:
Here’s what TM is not:
- A philosophy
- Religious (I promise you)
- A change in diet/exercise (really)