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,
4 Replies to “My Year of Transcendence”
From my personal experience during the practice of TM and TM-SIDDHIS for so many years, I have realized that a natural communication link is formed between the meditator and the Divine.
This is like “tuning to a radio station”. Our mind, which was previously engulfed in thoughts and emotions of various kinds, is slowly taken away from the quagmire of dual qualities in material life, and elevated to a higher level of understanding.
The effects of TM and TM-SIDDHIS need not be elaborated since it is spontaneous and natural for all practitioners across the world.
The only problem faced by all TM practitioners is that they do not do it regularly due to various activities in daily life and too much of involvement in worldly matters.
The nature of the material world is such that it is very hard to abandon the luxuries and desires for the modern people.
Once a person gets involved in TM or TM-SIDDHIS due to regular and systematic practice, the Divine communication link becomes gradually stronger, and the life of the individual becomes self-effulgent.
The Cosmic Consciousness and all other higher levels of awareness becomes easily manifest in that individual and the Mother Nature is totally in favor of the individual.
The beauty and wisdom that a person is seeking in the outside material world is actually within–A regular meditator will definitely agree with this point.
Meditation and Prayer are said to have the same positive effects ( affluence) on the practitioner, which is why they are treated with much respect in all religions in the world.
Thanks for sharing my views, Dr.
I want to mention here about a very famous Sanskrit hymn from India:
That is Bhaja Govindam, which was written by Sage Adi Shankara.( It is available to view on YouTube also)
It clearly states that “youth does not last long: Time is all powerful and it destroys everything. Hence, do not get proud due to the possession of huge wealth and do not get carried away by beauty. Always sing the holy name of God–because that alone is eternal and ever lasting”.
The phenomenal world with all its myriad of colors and other attractions is only temporary: The Supreme Reality alone is permanent.
The Universe is like a film being screened on a cinema screen: Fire appears to destroy everything: Rain begins to bring floods: Everything happens because there is a seer. When the seer and the seen become one, there is Cosmic Consciousness.
This holy hymn holds good even for the modern society. Identifying oneself with one’s own body is a common mistake, which the ancient Sage Adi Shankra wanted to rectify.
It is worth mentioning here that the ancient Indian scriptures have a lot to teach for the modern generation.
But, what happens nowadays is that we all have neglected our ancient wisdom and given more importance to science,technology and procurement of wealth.
Louis,I had lost track of the years. It truly is hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since Todd’s death. But you and your filamy have turned Todd’s death into something that he would be proud of and grateful for. The scholarship fund in his name has now benefited dozens of outstanding musical theater students. Two compositions for (one for wind ensemble and one for chamber ensemble and solo baritone) were written in his memory and received notable premieres 10 years ago, adding valuable works to the repertoire. And now, through your work in Positive Psychology, you have touched countless people to enrich their lives. Light can come from darkness. You and your filamy are proof of that. There’s no greater tribute, no greater sign of love than what you have done in Todd’s memory.
I believe that we are all “tiny specks of intelligent matter” or “quarks”, and we have all emerged from the Supreme Being or God.
We all stay in this material world for a short time and when our part is over, we all have to merge into the Supreme Being—This is the Law of the Universe.
The individual ego of a person is called “Jivatma” and the Supreme Being is called “Paramatma” or “Cosmic Consciousness”.
The Universe is only a Cosmic Dream in which we are all like actors and actresses in a movie—God is vested with full powers to recall us into His Abode at any point of time….
Hence, we should be polite in our dealings as far as possible…