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Don’t Worry … Be Happy!

Don’t Worry … Be Happy!

Don’t Worry, Be Happy! That title of a popular song some years ago summed up the ideal of human existence. But for many people in the modern world a life lived in various degrees of anxiety is an everyday reality. Anxiety is a state of inner unrest or uneasiness... read more
Unfolding Inner Potential

Unfolding Inner Potential

The great psychology pioneer, Abraham Maslow, caused a stir when he suggested that the average person used only 5-10 percent of his or her mental potential. A good deal of mental potential, of course, includes our ability to be a creative human being and increased creativity is one of the notable researched benefits stemming from the regular practice of Transcendental Meditation.

In an age of escalating technology, the human brain is still the most important piece of hardware that we should be concerned with … TM and its associated Vedic technologies should be seen as vital tools in upgrading that hardware. When we refer to “unfolding creative genius” that means going within and enlivening the mind through contact with the silent levels of creation at the basis of ourselves. Regular contact with this unified field level brings steady growth of all aspects of our consciousness including creativity.

Although we are all born with different…

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Appreciating Wholeness

Appreciating Wholeness

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…

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Recovery From PTSD: Life Experience, Meditation and the Brain

Recovery From PTSD: Life Experience, Meditation and the Brain

What the beloved Bard William Shakespeare referred to as the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” are traumatic experiences in life which can happen to anyone at any time. Even though the circumstances of such experiences can be over and done with, such as someone returning to the safety of their home after being in a war zone, a dysfunctional impression can be left on our most precious asset, the brain. Someone suffering too much from bad experience is said to be in the grip of PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, in which a part of the brain called the amygdala becomes more active.

The amygdala is the brain’s fear centre so it creates a veil of fear through which an individual experiences the world. The brain is the interface between our inner and outer experience and the quality of brain function determines what we see and hear and how we respond to that. Therefore someone affected by PTSD becomes hyper-vigilant and vulnerable, thinking that people don’t understand them, all because of what their brain is now telling them. Additionally the amygdala is turning on the ‘fight or flight’ response which itself turns off the front part of the brain, the normally dominant sector which makes rational decisions.

According to Dr Fred Travis, director of the Centre For Brain, Consciousness And Cognition at Maharishi University Of Management, a person with PTSD needs to turn off….

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Overcoming the Tyranny of Addiction

Overcoming the Tyranny of Addiction

Addictive behaviour is one of the aspects of human life that is the hardest to understand. Take cigarette smoking, for example, where intellectually virtually every smoker must know these days just by looking at the terrifying warnings on the packet that they are slowly killing themselves with the habit … but on another mental level so many of them are compelled to keep lighting up and inhaling poisons into their precious bodies.

A good explanation of this anomaly comes from George Ellis who has had a lifetime of professional experience working with emotionally disturbed people in rehabilitative institutions in California. According to Dr Ellis all people want love, respect, health, happiness, inner peace and freedom from stress. If any of these fundamentals is missing from a person’s life, that person becomes vulnerable to many types of disease including substance abuse.

Dr Ellis maintains that all his life experience has led him to…

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What, Me Worry?

What, Me Worry?

Anxiety is one of the most crippling conditions that can affect any human being. A “state of uneasiness or tension caused by apprehension of possible misfortune or danger”, the mentally tense state of anxiety is often accompanied by physical tensions and distortions in bodily functioning. Sadly, getting into a mild panic about some situation will not improve outcomes and the detrimental effects of anxiety are in fact likely to worsen our ability to deal with daily issues. Too many people spend much of their lives in a state of constant worry about ‘possible misfortune’ and a lot of these become ‘pill poppers’ in order to try and cope with everyday life.

It would certainly make sense for such people to practice Transcendental Meditation. In my experience as a TM instructor over the past forty years I can say that a drop in anxiety levels is one of the first things that people experience, even only days after starting the practice. Situations remain the same but the response of the individual to them is entirely different because internally they have more stability. The immediate benefits of greater calmness go hand in hand usually with physical benefits such as improved sleep and normalised blood pressure……

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TM Under The Microscope

TM Under The Microscope

It is well-known in scientific circles that Transcendental Meditation has been more thoroughly researched than any other procedure or product in the health market today, with the hundreds of studies published in reputable journals around the world. Let’s consider what an exciting yet daunting prospect it must have been to design and carry out the first experiments which took place at the end of the 1960s.

The initial encouragement had come from TM founder, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who felt that objective validation of his programme was the necessary and appropriate basis for public acceptance. Main credit for taking up this challenge in 1968 goes to a young graduate student, Dr Robert Keith Wallace, who was attached to the Department of Physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr Wallace designed and carried out research on individuals who practised TM regularly, leading to a Ph.D. thesis entitled The Physiological Effects of Transcendental Meditation: a Proposed Fourth Major State of Consciousness (1970). It covered both the measurable processes that occurred while the technique was being practised and the beneficial results of that practice in daily life….

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Insomnia Problem?… Let’s Sleep On It

Insomnia Problem?… Let’s Sleep On It

Often one of the first things that people notice when they learn Transcendental Meditation is that their quality of sleep improves considerably, even if they thought it wasn’t that bad to start with. Poor sleep is commonplace throughout the Western world and our fast-paced lifestyle has quite a lot to do with it. When our minds and bodies become stressed, even this simple basic nightly function of the nervous system is disrupted, and there are consequences.

Sleep deprivation can lead to more serious problems than just being dull and unproductive the next day – among them are obesity, high blood pressure and diminished resistance to infections. Sleep is critical to good health and wellbeing. It rejuvenates body and mind enabling us to function at peak levels during our waking hours. During these waking hours however it is natural to accumulate fatigue in the system which is why nature has structured the 8 hour cycle into the daily routine for it to be dissolved by the sleeping process.

Impressions on the nervous system caused by overwhelming experiences are deeper-rooted than fatigue and such actual wear and tear is known medically as stress. (In common parlance the word ‘stress’ is often used to refer to the pressures which caused this damage in the first instance such as ‘workplace stress’). Stress causes imbalances of all kinds including sleep disruption but you cannot remove accumulated stress with drugs or surgery … only a level of rest much deeper than sleep will allow the natural repair mechanisms to do the trick. This is where TM comes in…

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About Me

Learn Transcendental Meditation in New Zealand with an Officially Certified Teacher. The first step is to come to a Free Introductory Talk. Click here for a full list of talks happening near you.

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