I learned TM many years ago, but I never practiced after the course was over. A few friends have recently shared their beautiful experiences and I would like to relearn. How do I do that? I do not want to go back to my original teacher, as I didn’t enjoy the session. Also, do you ever do retreats?

First of all, I’m sorry that your initial instruction in TM did not satisfy you. The good news is that you can contact your local TM Centre and get up to speed again without extra cost. And certainly, you can request a different teacher this time.

There are several options for getting back on track. Since you’ve already been instructed, the first step is to schedule a meditation check-up. This is conducted in a personal session with a TM teacher, who will guide you step-by-step in the effortless procedure of Transcendental Meditation. This is not an intellectual process—the point of the checking is to have the direct experience of transcending, which many people describe as “peaceful,” “calm,” or “like taking a bath in bliss.”

Once your meditation practise is in place, you’ll probably want to enroll in a refresher course, which basically means reviewingthe three group sessions that you attended after your initial instruction. You’ll hear presentations by qualified TMteachers on the subtle mechanics and goals of meditation—and you can ask personal questions based on your continued practise at home. You’ll also be able to join ingroup meditation as part of the refresher course.

I’m glad you also asked about TM retreats. These are usually conducted in a quiet resort area and are a chance to let go of email, texts and obligations for a weekend of rejuvenatingrestand new knowledge. Many people find that TM retreats are a pivotal point in their growth to higher states of human development. There is nothing quite as life-changingas a weekend of deep, extendedmeditationin the company of friends.