We live in a hectic, fast-paced world and it’s a challenge just to keep up, let alone thrive. It seems that every week there is something new beyond our control to worry about, such as the pandemic, global warming, our job security, inflation, the list goes on. How can we keep calm in the midst of all this chaos? Is it even possible?
The fact is that we can’t stop what is going on in the world; it will continue to be a rapidly-changing place. The secret to staying calm is to find your inner silence and to be so secure in that silence that it is never overshadowed by the chaos outside.
It starts with the mind
How do we find our “inner silence”? It starts by settling the mind. But again, how do we do that? The mind is full of a multitude of thoughts all day long and sometimes all night long, thoughts that are often conflicting and hard to control. How can we possible calm all this down?
Meditation expert Bob Roth uses an analogy to give us a clue as to how we can find mental calm.
“You are on a small boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. And suddenly your boat is being walloped by massive forty-foot waves. Alarmed, you might think the whole ocean is in upheaval. Maybe, but not the whole ocean. Because if you could see a cross-section of the ocean, you would realize that even when its surface is engulfed by these forty-foot waves, the ocean in reality is over a mile deep. And the depth of the ocean is virtually silent.”
The secret to calming the mind is to move beyond the active, surface-thinking level of the mind to the silent source of thought within. This is what Transcendental Meditation does. TM is a technique that takes the mind from the active, surface level of the mind to the silent depths.
Many forms of meditation try to quiet the mind while remaining on the surface- thinking level, but that is difficult, if not impossible. The surface level of the mind is by nature supposed to be active. But TM is different. With TM, we effortlessly move beyond the surface-thinking level of the mind to experience the deeper, quieter levels of thought. Finally, we go beyond all levels of thought altogether, to experience the source of thought, a level that is, by its nature, a field of pure, silent, inner wakefulness, or transcendence.
This transcendence is experienced as a “restful alertness”, where the body is deeply rested, yet the mind is fully awake, expanded, and alert. Dr. Fred Travis, in speaking about transcendence, says, “It’s a very different kind of rest than sleep. It’s rejuvenating and healing, as evidenced by a wide range of clinical studies, while at the same time it allows the person to experience deeper mental states.”
What is this experience of transcendence like?
Dr. Craig Pearson, in his book The Supreme Awakening, quotes a new meditator on their first experience of transcendence:
“I will never forget the first experience I had of the Transcendental Meditation technique. I closed my eyes, began practicing this simple, natural technique and spontaneously began to laugh. The movement of my awareness from the active level. . . to the field of silence within myself. . . was like diving into a pond of pure joy. I find so much happiness.”
The secret is that if you practise TM regularly, the joy and bliss found at the silent depths of the mind start to come to the surface of the mind and that blissful, coherent silence stays with you even in the midst of lively activity. Eventually, the silence becomes a permanent living reality. With the experience of transcendence permanently established on the surface-thinking level of the mind, one finds it is easy to deal with the chaos of life.
Calm the body as well
Because the mind and body are so intimately connected, when the mind begins to settle down during TM, the physiology also settles down, and we experience a very profound state of rest. This allows the body to heal itself and repair the damage caused by over-work and over-exertion. Studies show that TM significantly reduces stress, anxiety, depression, heart disease, and blood pressure. TM can also balance our sleep patterns.
Over time, TM helps us maintain a state of 24/7 physiological and psychological calm, so that stressful situations do not create new stress or anxiety within the body or mind.
Model Claudia Mason has this to say about TM:
I recently learned the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique, and oh, how sweet it is!
Transcendental Meditation gives me a blissed-out feeling – the best high ever, I swear! TM also recharges me besides deeply relaxing me, and it happens to be good for our brain cells as well as for every other part of our body.
Through regular practice of TM, the mind can stay settled and blissful even in the most chaotic of situations, while the body remains stable and stress free. What could be better than that? Come on, world, bring it on.