My Year of Transcendence
It is about a year now since the hardcover version of Transcendence was published, and what a year it has been!
I had never considered myself a meditative sort of person – more outgoing than contemplative; more interactive than reflective. Had I visited a fortune-teller who told me that I would write a book about retreating into the self, I would have demanded to see her certificate of clairvoyance! But she would have been right – a testimony to the surprises that life delivers with wonderful regularity.
As I look back on how I came to write Transcendence, it feels as though I followed the clues in a treasure hunt. A patient of mine tells me that Transcendental Meditation has changed his life. I tell him I learned TM long ago, but dropped the practice. He encourages me (nags me, really) to get back to it. So I do. Then it transforms my life, makes me calmer, happier, more creative. So I do research on it – and it works. And I recommend it to patients – and it works again. Before I know it, I have broken a resolution not to write any more books (what are resolutions for anyway, but to break?) and, voila! Transcendence.
It has been such a thrill for me to see people read Transcendence and say, “I should learn TM myself; what do I have to lose?” And see the changes that has brought to their lives. I should take a moment to thank all those who have offered feedback about the results of Transcendental Meditation in their own lives. They bring joy to my days.
New York Times Best Seller “Transcendence” [Video 2:43]
Take my insurance agent, Please! No, seriously folks, this is the greatest insurance agent you could ever find. He has helped me with insurance for 32 years and we have not had one cross word or disagreement in all that time. In a conversation a while back, he asked what I was doing and I told him about the book. He obtained a copy, read it, got trained in TM and says it has changed his life. Here’s what he has to say about the matter after eight weeks of practice.
Anxieties are essentially gone.
I feel true joy, natural and unforced, coming from within
I have clarity of thoughts with a pro-active and enthusiastic vision toward the future
I experience real or perceived increased mental acuity and sharpness
I feel relaxation and peacefulness that lasts through the entire day
I have increased comfort/confidence in virtually all matters of the day
I feel like I am being “real,” perhaps for the first time (a scary thought) and it feels fantastic!
I have always been considered by others to be a very positive and well-adjusted person. Now, I feel that I really am that person.
It is hard to get me upset about anything.
I feel like a different person… someone I like very much. My wife doesn’t know quite what to make of all this yet. Interestingly, I am not as concerned about what she thinks about things as I used to be… and I mean that in the kindest way.
This sort of thing happens all the time. Just yesterday I was talking to a fellow psychiatrist, who read Transcendence and is now practicing TM and recommending it to his patients. “It’s just so pleasant,” he said, echoing my own surprise that something that has been so good for me and others could also be so pleasurable. I commented that when you visit a place inside yourself that feels so pleasant, it is natural to begin to think, “I can’t be such a bad guy after all if there’s such a happy place inside of me.”
These, then, are some of the greatest rewards that writing Transcendence has brought me – the knowledge of passing along something that can be so helpful and, in some people, transformational. I am happy also to report that Transcendence received a 2012 Nautilus Book Award silver medal in the category of religion and spirituality. I am honored at this acknowledgement, especially as I read the distinguished list of past winners:
Now let me find that fortune-teller I was talking about. I am eager to discover what the next year will bring.
Wishing you Light and Transcendence,