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Mantra Meditation

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Postcript: About Transcendental Meditation

Maharishi Mahesh YogiJust about everyone has heard of “Transcendental Meditation,” to the extent that it’s often the first thing people think of when the word “meditation” is mentioned.

Transcendental meditation is simply mantra recitation, although the mantras are typically much shorter than those you have been introduced to here. TM is loosely based on the Hindu religion and was brought to the West in 1959 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who was a devotee of Swami Brahmanand Saraswati Maharij, a well-known and highly respected Indian guru.

In the 1960’s the Maharishi gained substantial publicity by attracting some famous followers, most notably Mia Farrow and the Beatles. TM has now grown into a substantial movement that makes some rather grandiose claims about the effects of their practice, including the claim that TM can help you to levitate. They formed a political party — the Natural Law Party — which sought to establish world peace through the spread of TM. The party folded in 2004, but seems to have morphed into what is called “The US Peace Government,” organized by the same person who had founded the US Natural Law Party.

The organization now has its own University and its own town — Maharishi Vedic City in Iowa.

The TM organization is rumored to be worth between $2 and $3 billion.

The TM movement claims that its secret mantras are chosen specifically for the individual, who must not reveal his or her mantra to anyone else, or even discuss their meditation practice. However, there are web sites revealing all the TM mantras, which appear to be allotted by means of a simple formula based on the age and sex of the student.

Initially, (in the early 1960’s) there were only two TM mantras, “Ram” for males, and “Shiriram” for females. There are now around 16 of them, as well as some “advanced” mantras, such as “shri shri aing namah namah.” These mantras invoke the names of Hindu deities.

A complete list of the “secret” TM mantras can be found here.

The Transcendental Meditation movement has often generated controversy. In 1977 the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, in the case of Malnak v. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, ruled:

That the Science of Creative Intelligence/Transcendental Meditation and the teaching thereof, the concepts of the field of pure creative intelligence, creative intelligence and bliss consciousness, the textbook entitled Science of Creative Intelligence for Secondary Education–First Year Course–Dawn of the First Year of the Age of Enlightenment, and the puja ceremony, are all religious in nature within the context of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, and the teaching thereof in the New Jersey public schools is therefore unconstitutional.

In addition, New Jersey education authorities were “permanently enjoined”

From the practice of Transcendental Meditation or of the puja ceremony as heretofore practiced or performed (or the substantial equivalent of either)

Many scientific studies that have examined the effects of meditation have used TM, partly because TM is a commonly-known form of meditation and possibly because the TM movement naturally sees scientific studies as bolstering its credibility and has heavily promoted them. Many studies have shown TM to be beneficial, although some tests have reportedly shown negative or neutral results.

The mantras in our site are from the Buddhist tradition rather than the Hindu tradition, and are not related in any way to TM.

Comments

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Comment from Arpad Joo
Time: December 15, 2007, 11:30 am

The origin of the TM Bija mantras (seed sounds) are to be found in the so called “Hoda Chakra” which is printed and reprinted in virtually all the published astrological almanachs in India. The Hoda Chakra lists 108 seed sounds, each one allotted to the 4 padas of the 27 star constellations (Nakshatras).All this is well known in India. Mostly it is used in the selection of Names,based on the Moon’s position in a particular Nakshatra Pada. In an advanced version of the TM, this astrological information (position of the Moon at birth) is used also for selecting the seed sounds.Actually, what is known and practiced as the TM is part of the a large and complex system. Perhaps less than 1% of this has filtered through the contemporary TM movement.

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Comment from Pearl Cawley
Time: June 9, 2008, 9:24 am

I took the TM course back in the early 70s. I thought the method miraculous. Practicing TM changed my attitude and therefore my life in many ways. I don’t think I hallucinated the energy, patience and clarity of mind that followed after my initiation. However, it did bother me that I had to pay anything at all to learn such a simple technique. I paid $125.00 –which involved being given my mantra and guided as to relaxe as I “thought” the mantra repeatedly for 2 20 minute periods. The time after my very first meditation was unforgettable. I rode the subway home feeling free, self assured and eneragized. This feeling went on for around three years, during which time I quit my job, got my GED diploma and went to a community college and eventually earned a BA in English. I ate healthier, excercised and was in great shape.

Unfortunately, the “magic” dissipated. It stopped working. Every now and then I try to meditate using my old mantra, but I don’t even feel relaxed afterward. In fact I am more irritated and impatient than I’ve ever been before. So I wonder. Was I somehow brainwashed during the initiation period which took less than a half hour? I don’t think so. In fact I volunteered at the TM center in Manhattan and witnessed “before” and “afters” in most initiates. I was the receptionist at the front desk, taking payments in cash from new initiates who sat nervously in the waiting room. The TM teachers and those who over was in charge left me and the other person who worked there pretty much in charge of the place and the money. I had opportunity to steal the cash, since we were not at all monitored. The point I’m leading to is that before learning TM, I would have taken the money and run. I also smoked pot and took acid and stopped those activities entirely. Notably, I was very trustworthy with the cash flow in the place. As were the other volunteers. The relaxation technique works. That part is or was not a load of bull in my experience. I got friends into TM. They too had positive beneficial results. There is somehting to it. Today it costs thousands to learn a very simple method. The method should be free and available to everyone instead of being run by such greed and exaggerated claims–such as levitation. As far as world peace goes, the truth is, if world leaders felt as clear and energetic and pateint as I did in the early days, then such a thing would ideally not be so impossible.

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Comment from Bodhipaksa
Time: June 9, 2008, 9:33 pm

Hi Pearl,

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I have no reason at all to think that TM doesn’t work — in fact common-sense would suggest it does, for the simple reason that if we’re not engaged in our normal unhelpful (anxious, angry, craving) thinking then the mind is going to quiet down. Like you I’m suspicious of the large amount of money they charge.

It’s interesting that the technique stopped working for you. I could only guess why that might be.

All the best,
Bodhipaksa

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Comment from Mike Traster
Time: October 21, 2008, 10:15 am

Around 1972, I took TM in Boston Ma. The instructor was very encouraging, and I got a great deal from the technique.
I found the peace that came with the meditation to be a wonderful surprise. How could one know that such a thing resides
within ones self and was created by God… like our hands and feet?

Over a period of perhaps 3 to 5 years, I found that the meditation ceased to be easy to do.
Checks were less and less helpful, and finally didn’t seem to really work very well . My last check was about 4 years ago
and I think it lasted a day or so.

MY impression is that the mantras are designed to work with the spirit and central nervous system at
a certain age, and as we move into another age group they are less and less appropriate.

As far as the advanced techniques and siddhis program, I looked into them and to me they
seem incredibly misleading. For example the siddhis/powers are said to enable students to
achieve “levitation” . This seems to be quite a full LOAD! The photos I’ve seen involve students
“floating” in the air… but their hair it flying wildly… they are in fact bouncing on their backsides
on a bloody TRAMPOLINE!!!

Nearly all of the TM practitioners that I’ve been around embrace a far left wing political philosophy
as a part of their identity uniform. The number seems very skewed. I have found a lot of these
folks to take on a tragic air of “superiority” which really speaks poorly of the TM organization
and culture. The thread of intolerance for other points of view is tragic.

So, my basic thought… the initial training is good.. research the net and find your own mantras
and keep up with them by age. The “training fee” last time I looked for even the basic “technique”
is outrageous…from my point of view.

The real meditation is natural, good, and already within us and we need to find a way to get to it.

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Comment from Cat33
Time: November 19, 2008, 5:20 pm

I have been meditating for 30 year and, not unlike a lot of the people who posted comments, I have had experiences of profound bliss. But, at least for me, the real result of TM is seen in daily activity. Over time I have become more settled, more peaceful and calm, I can handle stressful situations without been overwhelmed. And when I begun practicing the TM-Sidhi program, I discovered that this effect increased manifold. I felt more blissful, calm, was more successful in my daily life. To me, the impulses that come from such depth while practicing the technique are just so incredibly powerful, healing, creative. Our potential, as humans, is incredible, and achieving it is our birthright. It’s no surprise to me that the TM-Sidhi program is practiced by over 100,000 people around the globe; and, by the way, though no one has claimed to be levitating yet, actual levitation is no stranger to many cultures and religions: St. Teresa of Avila and St. Joseph of Copertino, to name a few, but there have been recorded instances in virtually every major religion.

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Comment from Ed McGuigan
Time: February 16, 2009, 3:42 pm

I learned TM in the early 90s. As others have suggested the initiation ritual was quite a powerful psychological experience but I also remember thinking “AIM – that’s it, that’s what I paid you 180 pounds sterling for.”

TM helped me out of a major depressive hole but I was uncomfortable with the cultish nature of the organization and the Maharishi did spout a load of absolute nonsensical twoddle. I remember watching videos with devotees thinking “Is it just me or does this guy not make any sense at all?”

What bothered me what that they made no mention of the breath and I found that my mental repetition of the mantra fell in with the breath. Since they would not acknowledge this as correct I felt conflicted about the technique.

Bottom line is that sitting quietly in one place and focusing the mind on something simple is going to be good for you, so I totally accept that there is a validity in the technique. The down side is that I was left very suspicious of all Eastern techniques and organizations and was kind of shocked that Buddhist teachings are so straightforward and accessible.

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Comment from Pearl
Time: February 18, 2009, 5:11 pm

To Ed McGuigan: When I learned TM in the 70s, they mentioned breathing, in the sense that breathing settled down to a pacified quietude while thinking the Mantra. At the time I did not find it cultish. I was not pulled to change my beliefs or lifestyle in any way other than taking time out to meditate. I understand cultism as something that pulls one away or separates one from society. You sound conflicted in that you are suspicious, yet you don’t deny it was of benefit to you. As other have stated in this blog, TM is derived from Hinduism. I agree that Maharishi made no sense and bounced with much giddy laughter–Laughing from the millions I guess. My problem is the expense for a technique that should be free and available to everyone. I mean Catholicism doesn’t charge to teach the Hail Mary. Also, the problem for me and friends with whom I was initieated , is that after a while the benefits of TM seem to dissipate. The chocolate loses its taste. After the first few years, I no longer got the burst of energy, nor the patience that made practicing TM so initially convinceng. I do try to meditate on occasion, but I come away feeling angry and impatient and not at all energized. Still, I can’t deny it changed my life for the better. I got a GED diplopma, went to college and got my degree. Which led me to get better paying jobs , where I met mys husband of today, had 2 beautiful kids and wrote a book that will probably never be published–but–I completed it! I ascribe that to the disciplinary changes derived from TM. Or perhaps I just matured. Who knows?

Don’t see why you’re shocked that Buddhist teachings are accessible. Religious teachings of all major religions are straightforward and accisible if one takes the time to study respective doctrines.

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Comment from Brian Hanson
Time: June 22, 2009, 9:57 am

Just a few comments as a meditator (not a TM meditator):

Pearl, the “magic” not working is probably a sign of what Buddhists like to call “obstacles.” I hope you’re still meditating, as this is a normal part of the purification process.

Also, to all with comments about the improbability of levitation, we should be cautious to dismiss it as impossible. It’s commonly listed as one of the siddhis (powers) associated with spiritual practice. Tantric Buddhists speak about it quite openly, although they stress the common siddhis aren’t important except insofar as they help you along to the ultimate siddhi, full enlightenment.

My view is that the TM technique is simply a form of manasik japa (internal, silent mantra repetition) using bija mantras, which are highly efficient. Although quantity isn’t stressed here, it’s worth noting that your average practitioner probably repeats their mantra at least 1 million times per year. I think it can’t help but effect some substantial changes.

Of course the price is absurd! I’m not defending that aspect.

Final comment — thanks for bearing with me if you’ve made it this far. There is some debate about the origin of the bija mantras. Clearly they’re a part of Hinduism now, as well as a part of Tantric Buddhism. But some say they pre-date Hinduism and later become associated with the qualities of certain deities. Who can really know?

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Comment from Shaas A. Ruzicka
Time: March 9, 2010, 8:23 pm

Dear Friends,
I sure hope this article is not representative of the results of Buddhism, esp. the advertised Wildmind Meditation Supplies mp3 “Developing Loving Kindness” by Bodhipaksha.
All the rumours and guessing does not really inform. There are over 600 scientific studies done on Transcendental Meditation. Majority of them have been published in peer-reviewed reputed scientific magazines. The studies have been performed at over 150 different research institutes and universities over the world. Report on such objective findings, not about rumours.
TM is just simple natural mental technique to experience deep rest and expandion of awareness. Any one can do it without changeing or accepting a system of belief. Millions of all religions have started to experience more strength in their respective faith!
My own experience was excellent: better health, more friendliness and contentment. More openness towards myself, others, and … God.

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Comment from Bodhipaksa
Time: March 10, 2010, 12:47 am

Hi Shaas,

The article above is representative only of the person who wrote it. I’m not sure what you mean by “all the rumours.” As far as I can see, there’s only one rumour reported above, and that’s the net worth of the TM organization. The other points you make are all about the effectiveness of the technique. Mantras work to still the mind. I’ve no doubt about that. At the same time there’s also no need to spend large amounts of money (as is usually the case with TM) to learn a mantra. They can be learned for free.

As for the “over 600 scientific studies,” Trancenet has an amusing breakdown. This is from that site:

Many of them are review papers, theoretical papers, or simply fantastic visions. The latter include (for example) paper #99, #101, all the articles between #412 and #430, and all the ones reprinted from the journal “Modern Science and Vedic Science”, which are considered pseudoscience by the scientific community: Dr. John Hagelin lost his international credibility in physics due to paper #429 and #430. As another example, articles about “yogic flying”, such as paper #102, #103 and many others, are actually considered unscientific by the scientific community or by the general public. Other striking examples of unscientific papers are #324 (supposed effect of yogic flying assemblies on the weather), and the many papers (such as #330) about the supposed effect of yogic flying assemblies on stock markets.

Generally, the dozens of articles on the so-called Maharishi Effect are controversial and have been criticized by many scientists. In any case, they cannot be considered reliable studies on the effectiveness of TM.

Other papers are simply translations of existing articles from English to other languages. For example, simple translations comprise most of the papers in German (#167, #169, #172, #174, #175, #187, #189, #290, #338), both the papers in French (#341, #343), one of the two papers in Italian (#342), and the one in Danish (#344).

Of the remaining papers, the total of articles that have been actually published in peer-reviewed journals is around 150, and many of those are quite trivial, such as #43 (about the supposed effect of TM on stutterers), #66 (measuring Rotter’s Locus of Control in students interested in learning TM, which has no follow-up checking), and others.

I haven’t checked the veracity of their claims, but what they say directly contradicts your assertion that the majority of the studies have been “published in peer-reviewed reputed scientific magazines.”

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Comment from Hans
Time: February 10, 2011, 8:43 am

I learned the TM deep meditation 1984. I have ever since my first taste of the pure still consiousness and fell in love with the that Self also called Atman in sankrit. TM has it’s roots not only in the Vedas but also in Sri Vidya and Maha Vidya both Tantric shastras (scriptures) The bija mantas are indeed sounds for each Deva/devi…For help in day to day living called ‘Grace’ sometimes…It’s unfortunate that MMY keept this secret and that he charged money for these mantras and initiations (diksha) – seen as a free gift and can not be bought with money in this tradition that he belongs to…It is the Self itself that is the main thing here and not the means by which it is realized. It can be realized by many, many means but the Self Atma is one and the same….and it’s garantied for free…Atma Vichara or self inquiry works as well or even better…?

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Comment from John Burman
Time: February 13, 2011, 2:05 pm

The underlying question here seems to ask whether Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was, to put it crudely a ‘con man’ or genuinely enlightened. Most agree the TM techniques deliver positive results. I trained as a TM teacher in the early 70’s and have been using them for nearly 40 years with many benefits – whether free or for sale is surely not an issue. Academic knowledge is for sale in universities and we don’t question that – there are institutional costs and profits involved, however we should question the value of it. The problem is that the TM organisation is run as a financial and power pyramid – its ‘my way or the highway’. There is no transparency so we will never know how much is pure profit.
Also much of the propaganda makes claims it cannot verify – ‘the means justifying the end’ as far as truth goes. So how much do we believe or reject – I don’t know the answer. I think from my experience interacting with him that MMY was a genuinely enlightened man with ‘supernormal abilities’.
However I have learnt not to blindly swallow everything he stated. I would say be very cautious when dealing with anyone, yogis priests etc. who claim to own the “truth” about everything and believe only what you can verify – but don’t deny that there may be miraculous ideas out there or you may miss opportunities to expand your world. Its difficult, there is no simple truth.

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Comment from Christine Breece
Time: April 11, 2011, 9:03 am

I started meditating in the 70’s and became a teacher of tm. I don’t know how to explain this. I was meditating and Krishna appeared in my awareness… It still bothers me after 30 years, I still witness him. Krishna appeared not as just a man but, his upper half was man and his lower half was as a boar.

Remember these were my only mental visualizations. I’ve given my last name as it was before because I have a feeling each mantra stands for 1/2 man 1/2 creature.

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Comment from Bodhipaksa
Time: April 11, 2011, 10:57 am

Sometimes these visionary experiences take place. My own Buddhist teacher once had a vision of the Virgin Mary! We don’t tend to place much significance on them, in the sense that they’re not taken as being visions of something ontologically real (my teacher was not going to suddenly convert to Catholicism and, besides, he’d also had visions of Buddhist figures) but as symbolic imagery thrown up by the subconscious. Sometimes of course our subconscious perceptions can be accurate, but other times the images we’re presented with are less meaningful. This particular vision may have been an expression of a growing doubt about your TM mantra (or the organization) rather than anything inherent in the mantra itself.

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Comment from John
Time: April 14, 2011, 4:01 pm

I started TM in 1971. I was never interested in the scientific studies; I just to find God. I went to residence course a few times (great results) and, in 1974, went to work at MIU (Santa Barbara/Goleta, California). We were told that for every two days we worked, we would earn one day toward teacher training (TT). After a few months, we were informed that the ratio of work to TT was “being changed to 3:1″ instead of 2:1 respectively. A few of us protested, of course; a deal is a deal. Our protests were not heard (comparatively, there were only a few protesters–composed of an “underground”– and we generally referred to movement yes-people as “fluff bunnies”). I and some of my peers tended to gag on “the movement’s” airy-fairy pretentiousness and complete lack of realism. For not being willing to go along with all the fluffy nonsense and generally just doing what the hell we pleased, some of us were branded as troublemakers, avoided by the elite, and points we made in meetings were generally dismissed as “unstressing” (this was 1974 and, in those days, that was the favorite method of dismissing or invalidating someone who expressed anything one didn’t agree with). Then came word that MIU had bought Parsons College in Iowa, and everyone started preparing to migrate. I remember helping to load large trucks with office furniture and all types of other material.
When we arrived at Parsons, I was assigned to be the “athletic director” and was asked to create a system of intramural teams for various sports. It was a fiasco, due to many dynamics (one of which was that no one wanted to waste breaths because “each person has only a certain number of breaths for each lifetime), and efforts to get people to sign up for teams failed miserably. Quite funny in retrospect, but I felt like I was failing Maharishi at the time (he had to write a letter specifically telling the fluffs to play sports).
In those days, there was a type of “caste system” of three groups (I’m sure it’s much worse now). There was administration, which audaciously lorded it over everyone, considering themselves the elite; there were students and “forest academy” participants, who were generally unmolested; and the workers, who were the scum to be trodden on. No one but we scum would ever say this; everyone else was pretending these classes didn’t exist. The final straw for me occurred during a meeting in the theater with about 100 people–many of which were “staff/workers”–when Al Bruhns, who was the sole occupant of the stage, said proudly: “At MIU, we all work together in a spirit of cooperation and equality. Here there is no upper or lower class, and–” I couldn’t take it anymore. I had held back and silently tolerated the lying and pretending up to this point! I stood up and raised my hand respectfully and said, “Excuse me, sir, but that’s not true. We do have different classes of–” I didn’t get to finish, as, to my surprise, the place literally erupted! Everyone started talking at once, and some people were yelling. It was like a dam bursting; I think I said something that many people present (especially the scum) wanted and needed to say but wouldn’t. Even the fluff bunnies (who generally acted like they were above ordinary mortals) joined in and argued. It was a monumentally cathartic incident. I don’t believe, however, that the sheer inertia of the general atmosphere of pretense was even slightly altered.
I finished out my six months (the original time I agreed to spend working for the three months of TT), but was never able to get even a forest academy for that time spent, let alone TT. Oh damn! I just realized this is too long. I need to stop now. Suffice it to say I haven’t thought much of “the movement” since MIU.

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Comment from John burman
Time: April 16, 2011, 7:32 am

In response to John’s comments above. I have heard similar stories and its an issue I have grappled with – not just in TM. For example the Vatican is basically a huge bank with the raw political power to make or break governments, so what does this have to do with the saintly people who emerged within the religion – we don’t know.
All religious structures in this dualistic mind world will be flawed and this is the danger in setting up a TM organisation – but if you don’t then you cannot spread what are useful and profound techniques (among all the others) for helping us “go home” to our true non dual state of consciousness. We need to understand this and let it be for now – maybe it will become different.

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Comment from Michael Linden
Time: April 20, 2011, 2:11 pm

I think it should be noted, in regards to TM Yogic Flying, that to the meditating individual, it may very well feel exactly like flying. Our sense of time is irrelevant at that point, and our sense of “me” and “here” is changed. With the eyes closed and the mind “afloat,” the split second you spend mid-air may in fact feel like flying. How should I know? I don’t even meditate very well right now. But, rarely can the benefits of any spiritual teaching be taken on magical terms. We can’t expect miracles. In at least some way, how we *perceive* the results is what’s important, isn’t it?

I have all my own doubts regarding TM, it’s pricing, the goals of those who run all that money, etc. However, many things begin with good intentions. I won’t pay for it, but I won’t say it’s a load of bull. I’ll find my answers through myself and through those who teach for the sake of teaching–not for money.

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Comment from John burman
Time: April 21, 2011, 5:44 am

OK. This is going to be my last comment. When I was teaching TM we always had one or two people who had an issue with what they learnt. We often heard later that it was about the money – maybe the real reason was that the technique resulted in a little discomfort for a while as stress got released, so they gave up. I mean who would go to a psychologist and not expect to pay. Yes its spiritual but money gives you the power to do things in this world – so its necessary, and TM never claimed it was not merchandising enlightenment. Anyone who thinks they don’t pay to be part of some religion has to be joking – the cupped hands are always out even if they pretend that its charity. There is only one question – is it worth it. I have never regretted anything I ever paid. Furthermore I am convinced that this profound knowledge in this form was not available to the man in the street before TM came to the west in the early 60’s.

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Comment from lad
Time: April 22, 2011, 6:14 pm

It’s a simple fact – the high cost of the TM technique made people value, want and commit to it more. If it was handed out for free, it would be taken for granted and not seriously applied.

The whole puja ceremony, no doubt, set up a suggestible, hypnotic atmosphere for the initiation. This, coupled with all the expectations accumulated by the introductory lectures, made for a possibility of self-hypnosis with positive effects.

Some can argue that there is something more that a mere psychological or hypnotic effect from all the spiritual (or occultic, if you will) window dressing of the TM movement. I guess you can leave this up to your world view – maybe the “gods” are at least as “real” as our minds – and they couldn’t “exist” without your mind to begin with.

I got into TM in ’75, when all the “scientific” evidence was promoted in the lectures. But, after a few years of the Sidhis at MIU, it is unquestionable that it mostly a Westernized, Vedantism with word substitutions.

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Comment from Randall Suit
Time: May 17, 2011, 8:10 pm

Jai Guru Dev….I started Tm in 1968 and worked for the movement till 1975 in LA….then my life fell apart till I got into AA ..I tried to resume TM but could not…I now say the Jesus Prayer and my life is good…Take care be careful what you pray for and too…

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Comment from kantibahivyas
Time: July 29, 2011, 11:38 pm

As far as TM is concern it is effective but the part which has made this unpopuler is the way this organisation functions.Exept for the few of maharishi’s relative mean nephews and one niece are having control over the entire funds,In India it is controlled by Maharishis nephew Prakash who is a person always behind money.The organisation in india is a bigg flop because of the policies.there is no sceintific accountibility of so called 600 researches.It is only said but once you pay a hefty fees to learn and sign all types of undertakings no body feels interested to go for return or any legal battle with them simply because osf money power.your evaluation seems to bre quite near to the truth.

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Comment from Ron Gego
Time: September 19, 2011, 12:42 am

TM can work for those who apply it consciously and don’t jump into anyone’s directions without careful “fitting” it on themselves first. ANY technique can work for you if you feel it suits you and you achieve something through it. Basic of ALL meditations is to go inwards into the dimension of mind, spirit, silence, emptiness.

For me, Zen-meditations worked best. I don’t believe that “enlightenment” of any kind can be physically transmitted on you by “super-guru” if you didn’t achieve some clarity and spiritual breakthrough by your own.

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Comment from sonia
Time: January 27, 2012, 4:57 pm

I am sure I fell into the trap. And this was a very expensive trap since I had to pay R$1.000,00 to be admitted in the course and receive a “secret” mantra, which I had already forgotten but now just found it here :)

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Comment from Ron Gego
Time: January 28, 2012, 12:55 am

TM has turned quite cultish as I can see. To pay hundreds and thousands for a measly mantra which I myself can get online for free??… No one can tell you what you need better than yourself.
As for MM.Yogi, I’ve read a book where Osho relates a story of bumping at him in the airplane and harshly talking him off as a conman. It was like MMY offered him a flower and Osho was like: ” what the hell?! Go away you fraud..” Interesting..:)
As for authorities, please stay away from ALL authorities whoever is claiming themselves to be and especially when they are making themselves non-accountable to their followers (true sign of a fraud cult!). And then go and watch very popular recently mr. Tony Parsons videos on Advaita (on Yotube)- he will quickly ruin all your dreams and stories about enlightenment and “spiritual gurus”. They call him “Guru terminator”. Quite fun to listen.

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Comment from John burman
Time: January 28, 2012, 7:41 am

Following my previous comments. I was trained in the 70’s as a TM teacher and still meditate with the Sidhis technique every day. I left the organization many years ago as I became too “brainwashed” and needed to think for myself again.
I also sometimes use other meditation techniques, Zen, Tibetan, Daoist, which help me live comfortably in my mind and body. If I can understand how it works and see good results I will use it. The results don’t come quickly – its a lifetimes “work”. The changes are subtle but deep. I have great respect for TM techniques – which are profound ancient knowledge. I don’t agree with spilling guts on the supposed mantras, because like all others who learnt, I agreed to keep a secret, and if you cannot be trusted to keep an agreement – then what does it say about who you are?
If money is an issue then rather go buy a Fiat, TM is an expensive BMW – we all have different budgets and different values nobody is right or wrong. In the west we developed technology to conquer the world. In the east they developed consciousness to conquer themselves. I believe we need both. Keep up the work.

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Comment from Bodhipaksa
Time: January 29, 2012, 4:30 pm

I’ve appreciated the various comments on TM, but I think it’s time to draw a line under the topic, and I’m going to close the comments on this page. (I think I can do that without all the comments disappearing, but we’ll see!)

Thanks, everyone!