Author Topic: Transcendental Meditation  (Read 14083 times)

Geovicsha

Transcendental Meditation
« on: October 26, 2011, 06:28:35 AM »
Hi everyone! New member and relatively new to meditation.

What is the celebrity fascination with Transcendental Meditation? I have been practicing Vipasanna/Insight meditation on and off for over a year now (and doing it daily for about a month), but have an interest into the concept of TM? Is it not just mantra meditation? Sometimes I either internally or externally chant a mantra when meditating, but usually just observe the thought. I found a site which examplified different areas of the brain activating depending on the different type of meditation.

I don't know an overall great deal about the varying differences of mediation practices; I am an avid Alan Watts fan and the majority of my information has been due to him.

Thanks. Peace. x

Stefan

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Re: Transcendental Meditation
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2011, 12:08:54 PM »

The different types of Vipassana meditations focus on "seing as it really is" without external help of any sort .... there's only "you" and awareness ... I like to call this "standing on your own two feet". Mantra meditations use an external stimulus (the Mantra) which in some cases can bring quick results. But the external help is like a crutch, like a stick to lean on. So, it might be easier to stand up with a crutch, but you don't train your own balance since you lean on a walking stick.
anicca

Andrew

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Re: Transcendental Meditation
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2011, 01:52:28 PM »
Hey mate, fellow Aussie here, welcome!

I don't know anything about TM as a technique, but I do know that it was really popular in Hollywood so I think that may be where it picked up the celebrity tag. I remember watching that Jim Carey movie "Man in the Moon' about Andy Kaufman that has some funny scenes with about TM.

What are your goals with your meditation?

getting it done

Morning Dew

Re: Transcendental Meditation
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2011, 04:26:39 PM »
The goal of most people would be to calm the "self" and for this "self" to find peace. Until there is "self" there wont be peace.
Mantra is no more of an issue in meditation than following the breath or focusing on the nose. The most important thing is to see the Impermanence, Suffering and Non-self in all phenomena which arise and pass away.
Plungeing into Insight without Concentration can lead to an unstable mind. Reality might roll around loose its poles, shifting sides.
Start with calm concentration first. Once you can sustain a one pointed concentration on your mantra or breath for 2-3 minutes one will have more stable awareness/mindfulness.

I would suggest you to follow this book if you are willing to practice Insight.
http://www.interactivebuddha.com/Mastering%20Adobe%20Version.pdf

Be well

DerDomi

Re: Transcendental Meditation
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2011, 08:15:06 PM »
Let me introduce myself, I'm the Shinzen Young robot - my task is to spam his interpretation of meditation into this forum. ;)

Joke ;) I'm a bit frightened of pushing his teachings onto people too much.

Anyway: Here's an article that might clarify things for you. It made sense to me, here's the link:
http://www.shinzen.org/Articles/artMantra.htm

Jeeprs

Re: Transcendental Meditation
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2011, 06:02:26 AM »
Hi everyone! New member and relatively new to meditation.

What is the celebrity fascination with Transcendental Meditation?

Well, you might not know the history, but Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was 'the Beatles Guru'. I'm guessing this might have been before you were born, but I am sure nevertheless you know who the Beatles are. Anyway, they were all very impressed with him, and all went to his Ashram in Rishikesh, with an enormous entourage of reporters in tow. (Ringo Starr came back early. 'It was like Butlins [holiday camp in Blackpool],' he said 'but I didn't like the cooking'.) Maharishi made the cover of Time Magazine. And he knew how to capitalize on this attention, he built a very effective movement on the back of this publicity, and got a number of famous practitioners.



Some of the gloss came of TM, though, when he announced 'The Siddha Program' in the 1970's, to stir up a bit more attention. 'Siddhas' are the legendary psychic powers that advanced meditators are supposed to acquire, and the one that he concentrated on was (drum roll) yogic flying! Yes, this really was the idea that the body could levitate - defy gravity! -  whilst sitting still in the lotus position.  The TM organisation actually promised that this would be demonstrated. Of course, the press just went completely nuts over this, would have been the story of the century. In the event, though, what we saw was some athletic looking yogins, all dressed in white, bouncing up and down on foam mats whilst in the lotus position. It was entirely ridiculous, and turned a great many people off the whole idea.

Nevertheless, the Maharishi did have a huge impact. It was TM, more than any other organisation, that really introduced meditation to the mainstream of American culture, and regardless of the shenanigans, we all owe him a debt of gratitude.

Jeeprs

Re: Transcendental Meditation
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2011, 06:14:13 AM »
I too love Alan Watts books, but it is also important to understand his life and times as well. He was an excellent writer, and had a genuine and profound understanding of Eastern philosophy, but he was never really committed to 'walking the walk' and died a premature death due to alchoholism. There is an excellent bio of him by Monica Furlong called Zen Effects which is definitely worth reading. Brilliant, but flawed. I suggest, as an ideal complement to his writings, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, by Shunryu Suzuki, who founded the San Francisco Zen Centre. He really did walk the walk.

Billymac629

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Re: Transcendental Meditation
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2012, 06:45:06 PM »
Is it not just mantra meditation?

Yes it is just a mantra meditation that uses hype to try to distinguish itself as more than what it is (in my opinion)..  Imho any meditation tradition that costs thousands of $, you should be weary of.
Nothing in this world is to be clung to as I, me, or mine...

DarkNightOfNoSoul

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Re: Transcendental Meditation
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2012, 07:38:56 PM »
Yes it is just a mantra meditation that uses hype to try to distinguish itself as more than what it is (in my opinion)..  Imho any meditation tradition that costs thousands of $, you should be weary of.

I agree, and would go as far as saying that anything that offers enlightenment in return for large amounts of dosh should be immediately rejected. The world is full of organisations and individuals trying to rip you off, and TM is just one of them. Just because some gullible celebrities have been sucked into it doesn't give it any more credibility. And if the $2,500 entry fee doesn't make you a wee bit suspicious, the hilarious claims of "yogic flying" (complete with doctored photos of levitating yogis!) certainly should!

There's an amusing German documentary called "David wants to fly" that does a fairly nice exposé on the corruption at the heart of the TM industry. One review here:

http://stillinmotion.typepad.com/still_in_motion/2010/08/david-wants-to-fly-the-hard-knocks-of-getting-enlightened.html

Disclaimer: My opinion only, I could well be wrong.

Matthew

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Re: Transcendental Meditation
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2012, 09:59:10 PM »
ANY system that demands money or sells CD's or quick routes to enlightenment (or whatever) is a corruption.

My Dharma/Dhamma teachers gave me the teachings for free - as it should be.

It's why the costs of running this website are met by member donation according to each individual's ability and willingness to give, without pressure or expectation.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Hazmatac

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Re: Transcendental Meditation
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2012, 07:28:05 PM »
Quote from Matthew: "ANY system that demands money or sells CD's or quick routes to enlightenment (or whatever) is a corruption."

I disagree. Just because some people do not charge for giving lessons does not mean that all will not. Some people don't look at meditation in terms of religion / buddhism / selflessness and can make a valid product which can help on CD, and put a price on it. With greater knowledge comes greater efficacy in everything, so depending on what you mean by enlightenment there can be quicker and slower routes to it.

-Robert

Matthew

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Re: Transcendental Meditation
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2012, 11:53:38 PM »
People acting from true compassion give the truth away for free. It is quite obviously criminal to do anything else with it.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Hazmatac

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Re: Transcendental Meditation
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2012, 12:48:33 AM »
Well, the person may be acting in compassion or not. I mean, a person can give away an orange or sell it at a price, but in the end, the orange is still being given which you can eat and have it be of value to you. I don't think it is criminal not to always be in compassion or to not give it away for free... what if it is your only means and you want to act in compassion for your kids who don't have enough for whatever reason at the moment?

Billymac629

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Re: Transcendental Meditation
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2012, 01:41:32 AM »
I think what Matthew is saying is that someone who is selling dhamma is clearly someone who doesn't understand the dhamma.. There are other ways to make a living... Like you said, sell oranges.. I live in New Jersey which is right next to New York, one of the biggest cities in the world, and I know there are people who paid rent by selling pencils on the street in New York..  There are many other ways to make money instead swindling people with false dhamma..

With metta
Nothing in this world is to be clung to as I, me, or mine...

Andrew

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Re: Transcendental Meditation
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2012, 12:40:37 PM »
can someone sell love?  ???
getting it done

Matthew

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Re: Transcendental Meditation
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2012, 06:44:14 PM »
can someone sell love?  ???

I'll give you a bucket-full for $20. Send me the cash and I'll PM the link.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Hazmatac

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Re: Transcendental Meditation
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2012, 08:46:07 PM »
In terms of selling some CD for meditation, or with a teaching on it, do you consider that it can take a LOT of money to make and mass produce something like that? So it means that someone is not acting in love because he does not make all of this stuff himself out of his pocket because that would make him go broke? That is not acting in love to the SELF if he WOULD take all the money out of his pocket.

Andrew

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Re: Transcendental Meditation
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2012, 12:06:17 AM »
Fair enough point Rob, but in context, we are talking about not just one or two CDs or a book, but a whole system advertised and marketed under the guise of enlightenment. Funny though, there is a lot of grey before it goes completely dark!

Writing that I'm reminded of 'buddhism' as a whole being like a brand which people do cash in on. Some with less than good intentions. Because there is a lot of grey, it wouldn't be correct to say there is no benefit in it, but the best stuff is still free.

If someone is asking $10 for a CD plus postage, it is hardly a get rich scheme, but generally it doesn't stop there. I think that most teachers simply repeat themselves alot, making me wonder how many CD and books does a person really need to write before it is simply a business?

You can still eat an apple that is rotten on one side, though we all like fresh fruit if we can get it.

getting it done

rob

Re: Transcendental Meditation
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2012, 12:45:44 AM »
I think that most teachers simply repeat themselves alot, making me wonder how many CD and books does a person really need to write before it is simply a business?

Case in point: "Practicing the Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. All the same info as the first book, just rephrased. And in all fairness, a lot of Thich Nhat Hahn's books are the same story.

Buddhism presents an attractive marketing opportunity. You've got a semi-mysterious Eastern philosophy that doesn't have the same sordid history most "Western" religions have AND offers answers without the requirement of unflinching devotion to some deity.

Because the messages are not step-by-step instructions like an AA program, newcomers will seek out book after book after cd after video... and because you can wrap the more simple concepts in your own language with various buzzwords, it's easy to package as "your own".

Full disclosure, I'm cynical because marketing is what I do professionally.

Cilla

Re: Transcendental Meditation
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2012, 01:27:55 AM »
I haven't yet come across any free tibetan buddhist teachings. The tibetan teachers ask lots of money and they don't share much unless you've paid your entry fee.

I really respect those teachers who follow the dana principle. Its risky but if you are any good, people will pay.

In my view, teachers should not get into debt so that they can build centres where people can come. It would be better to resume the practice of getting on your soapbox to teach and using hte public spaces or private homes.

but this is what has happened in my town where we have effectively only one buddhist centre.

Matthew

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Re: Transcendental Meditation
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2012, 03:33:26 PM »
Here are some free Tibetan Buddhist teachings.

Here's nearly four hours of the Karmapa teaching:

His Holiness Karmapa teaching during Karmapa 900 - Delhi; Tibetan & English Part 1 of 2

His Holiness Karmapa teaching during Karmapa 900 - Delhi; Tibetan & English Part 2 of 2

And yes ... you might say to me .. "no I mean in the flesh.

Well, it's perfectly possible to study with Tibetan teachers without paying or paying a significantly reduced sum.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

 

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