After several hundred articles and word-of-mouth recommendations, I finally got round to taking a class in Transcendental Meditation between Christmas and New Year.
At this point I assume you now fall into one of three camps:
1) Already doing it.
2) Not yet, but have given it some thought.
3) Not in a million years. Tree-hugging hippie bollocks.
To the first group: I’m sorry, but I’m going to go through the early-days basics for the people in group 2. As for the people in group 3: read on; you might find there’s more to it than you thought.
So I did this in about as wanky a manner as you could imagine: for four days in a row I got up early and drove my electric car to the Beverly Hills TM centre, where a soft-spoken man called Denny Goodman took me through the basics and gave me my mantra.
You can read more about how it works here, but it comes down to the idea that your mind is a kind of lawn sprinkler that gets little kinks and knots in the hose because of the general stresses of daily life. 15-20 minutes of TM unkinks the hose (so to speak) and leaves you clear and deeply rested. You are also able to access interesting areas of your mind that you may not yet have visited.
It’s hard to explain what that actually feels like until you do it, but it’s a piece of piss: you shot your eyes for a minute or so, then you start saying your mantra over and over in your mind. As you do this you kind of forget your mantra because thoughts pop into your head, the kind of thoughts that you think about all day. Then they kind of disappear and you remember to repeat your mantra again (only this time you might well do it slower as you’ll be a bit more relaxed). You repeat the process until you end up reaching this strange stage where your mind pops off somewhere quite cool and unusual (again, difficult to explain, partly because I imagine it differs for different people).
15-20 minutes later you stop thinking about your mantra for a few minutes then carry on with what you were doing before you were meditating, but completely refreshed.
Does it work? Apparently it does, to a enormous extent for millions of people, including school children and soldiers.
Does anyone who is incredibly successful do it? Well, from the link above you can see that David Lynch does it, but Clint Eastwood’s been doing it for forty years, as has Jerry Seinfeld:
So I’ve enjoyed the last week immensely, but I’d love to know what you think of it. Do you do it? Have you tried it and let it slip? Do you think it’s a load of bollocks?
Let me know. In the meantime I’ll leave you with my favourite Beatles song, which, coincidentally, is all about TM: