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An acquaintance once told me that whenever his life had hit some rough patches he felt that his sessions of Transcendental Meditation each day were like visits to an old friend who would never let him down in terms of providing comfort and renewal. This is a very good analogy and one which almost everyone who has learned TM can relate to. The suggestion of ‘visiting’ however implies that one has ‘gone somewhere’ during TM, so where and what is it?

‘Transcendental’ is a very important word in understanding this process because to transcend during meditation means to ‘go beyond’ all mental activity and conscious cognition while still remaining awake and alert. The activity of the mind naturally and easily settles to the point where there is not even a sense of individual identity (ego). In doing so, individual mind identifies with the pure field of potential energy and intelligence at the basis of all life, known by quantum physics as the Unified Field. Being able to transcend the thinking process itself and to experience this deepest level, which is also the source of all thought, is what makes TM unique and fundamentally different from whatever other systems may refer to themselves as being ‘meditation’.

Many practical benefits to mind and body from regular experience of such transcendence have been verified by scientific research, but from a philosophical point of view the overall gain to the individual may be referred to as the achievement of wholeness.

Wholeness means everything put together … all the parts that come together to make a human being actually create something which is more than the sum of those parts. Similarly when we add together all the elements of life around us – trees, buildings, animals, galaxies etc we get that wholeness of existence which is the totality of life beyond its specifics.

The totality of natural law underlying all manifest creation is that ‘happy place’ that TM gives access to, and as my friend said it is always there and will never let you down. With regular practice of TM, one’s daily conscious awareness becomes more and more established in this blissful level resulting in holistic personal development in which there are improvements to all aspects of daily living.

By definition then, the person who is established in wholeness is happy because that is the nature of life. To have wholeness is to achieve what life is about which is more happiness and more growth. To some it is puzzling to think of happiness existing in its own right and not being the result of something tangible like buying a new car, but if you focus only on the specifics then you are losing the whole value of the specific and creating a trap for yourself.

What prevents happiness are the fears and anxieties born of limited perceptions from being stuck on small values. These are removed naturally when awareness becomes more expanded through regular contact with the unbounded basis of all life through transcending, and consequently a sense of wholeness pervades everything. When life is whole it means that you experience oneness in existence … life is balanced and has a meaning. With this comes the security of a sense of confidence, fulfilment, achievement, and this is why you get to feel happy naturally.

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