Author Topic: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?  (Read 1257 times)

redrocker

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Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« on: September 04, 2018, 10:38:45 AM »
A forum search came up pretty sparse, which I kind of expected.

I thought this would be an interesting community to pose the question of who's tried TM considering the pricetag and what I would characterize as a pretty wide consensus here to avoid spending money for its own sake, particularly for something that could be described as approaching fad status.

There is quite a lot of celebrity chatter about TM, which both keeps it as a curiosity to me and also fuels a lot of skepticism. I like the idea of one-on-one instruction. I don't like the idea of paying a significant amount for something that ideally should be accessible to all. I understand TM's counter argument that they need to pay for their instructors' time and other overhead and that the fee helps them to provide TM instruction to certain chosen demographics.

I tried David Cain's Camp Calm when it first came out. I don't regret that but I also couldn't get the practice to stick. Perhaps that reflects much more on me than his program. I'm still curious about TM and if there's similar meditation techniques that are less...monetized and trademarked.

What I find most interesting about TM is that there doesn't seem to be a lot of detractors. The cynical side of me thinks that maybe the ones with buyer's remorse don't want to admit publicly to being taken, while the curious side of me wonders if the vast majority of participants sincerely do believe it was a good value for the money.

So anyone here have experiences with TM (good or bad) that they'd care to share? Anyone have experience with similar techniques for clearing a noisy mind that they've had success with?

mxt0133

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2018, 01:00:13 PM »
Like you I, when I was first introduced to meditation and it's potential benefits, I did not feel comfortable shelling out money at first.  So I did the mustachian thing and read up as much as I could on the subject (Meditation in plain english), starting with mindfulness then the various meditation practices.  I also tried guided meditation videos on youtube to help me start sitting down for 5, 10, 30 minutes without my mind going all over the place.  Once I got the jist of it, I can now meditate for a hour and feel balanced throughout the day.  My awareness of the present moment has significantly improved and my anxiety levels are much lower.

I also have a free meditation center where I have been going just to get a more group experience but they are focused on a chakra focused meditation which I am having difficulty with.

Overall I haven't spend a dime on my meditation practice for the past two months, but I do plan on going to a meditation retreat that I know will cost a few hundred for two or three days, hopping to experience a new level of awareness and state of mind.

redrocker

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2018, 07:05:48 PM »
I also tried guided meditation videos on youtube to help me start sitting down for 5, 10, 30 minutes without my mind going all over the place.  Once I got the jist of it, I can now meditate for a hour and feel balanced throughout the day.  My awareness of the present moment has significantly improved and my anxiety levels are much lower.

Curious which type of meditation ended up working for you?

mxt0133

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2018, 10:00:01 PM »
What I found worked for me was Vipassana meditation because it was the simplest one I found and one of the first ones I tried.  I am trying chakra with the meditation group but focusing on the various chakra points is still challenging for me.

redrocker

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2018, 09:15:14 AM »
Trying to get a feel for the legitimacy or success rate of a particular form of mantra meditation on the internet has been much less fruitful than researching any particular product.

It seems there are at least a handful of meditation techniques that borrow heavily from TM, some allegedly developed by former TM teachers. Among these are Natural Stress Relief (NSR), Conscious Mental Rest (CMR) and Advanced Yoga Practice's Deep Meditation (AYP DM). I've seen conflicting statements about whether Vedic meditation is a spinoff of TM but it seems similar.

TM stresses that there is a personalized mantra given to you based on a teacher's assessment of what best suits you.
NSR has a single "for all" mantra
CMR doesn't even use a mantra
AYP DM seems to have a single mantra but also allows for modification
Vedic, similar to TM, apparently has a teacher assigned mantra

Reading a couple of (non-MMM) forum threads from individuals who don't seem to be intentionally promoting one form or the other seems to indicate that the mantra itself may not matter, as long as it is something that doesn't have a meaning (as in, something that would distract your mind). Obviously, the TM organization would challenge that. Just an observation from looking around.

There's a "free" TM information session locally that I've signed up for. I'll be a skeptic in attendance. Of the forms above, I will probably choose an alternative that doesn't cost somewhere between $500-1000, and give that a trial for a few weeks/months.

Still looking forward to input from anyone here who has had experience with TM, good or bad.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2018, 09:17:29 AM by redrocker »

Cranky

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2018, 11:19:42 AM »
I knew lots of people who did TM in the 70s. Itís expensive. Nobody I knew ever floated.

lbmustache

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2018, 11:29:17 AM »
I don't have anything specific to add about TM, but I do a few guided meditations via youtube videos, and usually as an extension of yoga (which I am currently obsessed with) and I find them to be great. I meditate at the end of my yoga practice every single day :)

BicycleB

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2018, 11:44:25 AM »
I have investigated meditation before. The practice did not stick with me, but I respect it. It's one of several practices that have strong proponents and mixed records of reliability. I highly suspect TM is not worth paying money for. The scientists who say meditation is helpful do not say TM is helpful. I knew a 25-year TM devotee who swore by it. The effects I saw were similar to several other people who regularly performed other spiritual or meditative practices. My best guess is that meditation may have some intrinsic value, but a significant portion of the benefits come from the persistence effect and the effect of any support community. Persistence is free, support in most cases involves time and money and interaction. Both are investment situations IMHO - wisdom and effort pay off. I suggest paying in effort, time and kindness but not money. You can lead your own meditation group for free if you want a group. The other people are selling confidence, not answers (sorry!).

You can meditate for free, just close your eyes and focus on your breathing. If you were going to pay $, I'd pay for a book on the topic... but first I'd try borrowing it from a library, writing down the suggested exercises on a piece of paper, and returning the book. Free!

I just googled "meditation science". All four of the first links were reasonably informative. They include book suggestions and more articles. Information is not the key, through - just read enough to recognize a free, independently doable practice that either has some evidence behind it or at least seems reasonable to you. Then do that practice.

(article by pro-meditation Ph.D who sells a book on the topic)
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/feeling-it/201309/20-scientific-reasons-start-meditating-today

(Scientific American article stating that most scientific studies of meditation don't find a benefit, but that 9% of the studies do. Some discussion of the reliability of the studies...significant if you want to know what works in a provable way.)
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/wheres-the-proof-that-mindfulness-meditation-works1/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research_on_meditation

(includes a clear definition of meditation. You could just read the "What Is Meditation?" paragraph and use it as a recipe for your meditation priactice, no need to pay the TM people a penny.)
https://nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm



« Last Edit: September 08, 2018, 11:50:18 AM by BicycleB »

koshtra

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2018, 11:51:41 AM »
Unless you're really out in the sticks, there's no reason in hell to pay for meditation instruction. Any Zen, Tibetan, or Vipassana center will teach you for free. And nobody will try to convert you or anything, though of course they all have their take on why it works and what it is.

Really, TM is just one particular method. Virtually all longstanding traditions have some version of mantra meditation that's more or less identical. Don't pay for the brand name.


FIRE 20/20

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2018, 01:23:40 PM »
I would avoid TM.  I haven't done much research into it, but the little I know suggests that there isn't much there that isn't available for free in many, many other formats (books, apps, podcasts, local groups (sangha), etc.).  I've seen a lot of criticisms of it as well; I'm surprised you haven't. 

I am a deeply skeptical person and didn't give much thought to meditation, but started to see it popping up in some of the science/atheist/skeptical books and podcasts I follow.  I'm now convinced by the weight of the scientific evidence as well as personal experience that there really is something to it, although for me the effects are what I would label mild-moderate. 

For me, mindfulness meditation has stuck pretty well.  This is largely due to two factors; first, I spent a *lot* of time researching the science behind meditation and it convinced me that there is both evidence supporting its efficacy as well as some plausible biophysical mechanisms for those effects and second, it seems to have completely cured my lifelong depression.  For me the critical step was the abundance of research that's showing benefits, although there's a lot more research that needs to be done.  I don't know what would make it stick for you.  For some people having a community helps something like this stick, but for me it's a detractor.  I have not found any remotely like-minded people in my local meditation community and honestly am really put off by the Buddhist/spiritual mumbo-jumbo that many meditators espouse. 
If you want it to stick, I would google "how to form a new habit".  There are plenty of tricks you can use, like doing it at the same time each day, making a 30-day or 6 week or whatever commitment, etc.  The only things that I would say are unique about meditation are that most people have a very incorrect view of what meditation actually entails, people think you need to do a huge amount to get benefits, and people don't realize that there are many different styles of meditation that have different benefits.  There's evidence that just short periods of time (5/10/15 minutes per day) provides benefit, so don't kill yourself trying to meditate for an hour.  That would be setting yourself up for failure.  I would then try to target the benefit you're trying to get from meditation.  If you want to "clearing a noisy mind" as you mention at the bottom of your post, then I think mindfulness meditation is probably what you want.  Sometimes mindfulness meditation is mis-characterized as Vipassana which is actually insight meditation, but because Vipassana usually starts with mindfulness as a first step before really getting into Vipassana itself you can sort of use the two interchangeably at the beginning. 
My favorite book on the subject is Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness.  Dr. Smalley is a Biologist who (as she describes in the book) was a hardcore skeptic about meditation so it really spoke to me.  I like that there are a number of exercises you can easily find depending on what you're looking for. 

In my experience, most people who I know who have started to meditate have seen some benefits starting after about a month or six weeks of 10 minutes a day.  That aligns with a lot of the studies that have been done as well.  I'd suggest doing some research into how to meditate, and maybe download an app.  I like Joseph Goldstein's 5-60 minute "Mindfulness Meditation" on the 10% Happier app (mostly pay, but that meditation is free) or Tara Brach's "Vipassana (Basic) Meditation" on the Insight Meditation Timer app (free).  Both provide good, simple instructions. 

Feel free to ask more questions on this thread or send an IM if you prefer. 

We be free if we try

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2018, 12:06:05 AM »
I meditate daily, and have tried many types, but not TM. Spending money is completely unnecessary unless you want to go for longer retreats. For me it was helpful to try different types, Buddhist and otherwise, on YouTube or through teachers' websites or by visiting centers, as they peaked my interest. There's so much available, just wade in and see what happens. When I first started, I found guided meditations helpful, to keep me focused.

worms

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2018, 12:14:40 AM »
Yep, all said above! Insight timer and free music from YouTube for me.  Start with five mins and work up.  Donít worry if it doesnít come naturally the first couple of times, youíll get there.  One of the free, guided sessions on Insight Timer might be a good place to start.

(Iím not the earth-mother, knit-your-own-yoghurt type, but meditation has well proven benefits and is arguably also the underlying principle and beneficial part of most religious practices).

DreamFIRE

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2018, 10:14:12 AM »

I'll try to save you some time:


https://www.cbsnews.com/news/adam-grant-mind-your-meditation/

From the article:  "But a recent study concluded that the science is spotty. And an analysis of 47 meditation programs in a major medical journal found zero evidence that meditation was better than exercise or relaxation."

FIRE 20/20

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2018, 12:05:19 PM »

I'll try to save you some time:


https://www.cbsnews.com/news/adam-grant-mind-your-meditation/

From the article:  "But a recent study concluded that the science is spotty. And an analysis of 47 meditation programs in a major medical journal found zero evidence that meditation was better than exercise or relaxation."

Ugh.  We've gone through this before.  You have to look at the studies that the author is citing to get the full picture.  OP - follow DreaFIRE's link, read the article, and click on the links in the article that the author cites.  You'll find the author of that article cites a study that describes the benefits and limitations of meditation:

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1809754

Evidence Review  We identified randomized clinical trials with active controls for placebo effects through November 2012 from MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, PsycArticles, Scopus, CINAHL, AMED, the Cochrane Library, and hand searches. Two independent reviewers screened citations and extracted data. We graded the strength of evidence using 4 domains (risk of bias, precision, directness, and consistency) and determined the magnitude and direction of effect by calculating the relative difference between groups in change from baseline. When possible, we conducted meta-analyses using standardized mean differences to obtain aggregate estimates of effect size with 95% confidence intervals.

Findings  After reviewing 18 753 citations, we included 47 trials with 3515 participants. Mindfulness meditation programs had moderate evidence of improved anxiety (effect size, 0.38 [95% CI, 0.12-0.64] at 8 weeks and 0.22 [0.02-0.43] at 3-6 months), depression (0.30 [0.00-0.59] at 8 weeks and 0.23 [0.05-0.42] at 3-6 months), and pain (0.33 [0.03- 0.62]) and low evidence of improved stress/distress and mental healthĖrelated quality of life. We found low evidence of no effect or insufficient evidence of any effect of meditation programs on positive mood, attention, substance use, eating habits, sleep, and weight. We found no evidence that meditation programs were better than any active treatment (ie, drugs, exercise, and other behavioral therapies).

Conclusions and Relevance  Clinicians should be aware that meditation programs can result in small to moderate reductions of multiple negative dimensions of psychological stress. Thus, clinicians should be prepared to talk with their patients about the role that a meditation program could have in addressing psychological stress. Stronger study designs are needed to determine the effects of meditation programs in improving the positive dimensions of mental health and stress-related behavior.


Note that this is using only research through November 2012.  There's been an explosion of research lately, and some of the strongest evidence has come out since 2012.  Incidentally, this study found no benefit from mantra practices (like TM) but did find benefits from mindfulness meditation (like Vipassana):

In our efficacy analysis (Figure 1A), we found low evidence of no effect or insufficient evidence that mantra meditation programs had an effect on any of the psychological stress and well-being outcomes we examined. Mindfulness meditation programs had moderate evidence of improved anxiety (ES, 0.38 [95% CI, 0.12- 0.64] at 8 weeks and 0.22 [0.02-0.43] at 3-6 months), depression (0.30 [0.00-0.59] at 8 weeks and 0.23 [0.05-0.42] at 3-6 months), and pain (0.33 [0.03-0.62]) and low evidence of improved stress/distress and mental healthĖrelated quality of life.

Again, the point of the article DreamFIRE posted is that meditation isn't for everyone, and there are other options if you don't like meditation.  That's definitely true.  But one should not take away the idea that it's a waste of time or that it has no benefits.  There is simply no question that, even with limited and poorly designed studies there is overwhelming evidence of at least mild to moderate benefits associate with mindfulness meditation. 
« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 12:15:34 PM by FIRE 20/20 »

BikeFanatic

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2018, 02:55:07 PM »
I woulnt pay 2K but 500 $ is resonable for a meditation course. I really can not say anything about TM though. I  took a MBSR course ( Mindefulness based Stress reduction) They have these courses all over based on work by Dr. John Cabot Zinn. It is a meditation course and everyone I know that did the work, felt that it changed their lives. I took the course twice and I have found an inner peace that I did  not have before and it may not be measurable. I found it Well worth the money ( I believe it was 500$ for 6-8 weeks). I also found a benifit meditating in a group, I have one at work I go to one per week.

 

Pennycounter

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2018, 04:28:35 PM »
You can also try the Headspace app. It's free for the first ten basics sessions. It is paid after that but they run specials to get it for like$50/annually.

I looked into TM as well but for the same comments from friends on the cost.

redrocker

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2018, 01:28:47 PM »

Really, TM is just one particular method. Virtually all longstanding traditions have some version of mantra meditation that's more or less identical. Don't pay for the brand name.
That's a great perspective!


I've seen a lot of criticisms of it as well; I'm surprised you haven't. 
I've seen two sites that delve into accusations and alleged shady history. Both have a primitive presentation that isn't unlike some of the more conspiracy theorist sites I've stumbled across. I haven't seen any major media publisher put a negative piece on TM. There seem to be a lot of people who practice and it surprises me to not see a prominent voice speaking out about whatever is wrong with it.


Note that this is using only research through November 2012.  There's been an explosion of research lately, and some of the strongest evidence has come out since 2012.  Incidentally, this study found no benefit from mantra practices (like TM) but did find benefits from mindfulness meditation (like Vipassana):
Thanks for the post. That was more analytical than I expected this to get. My problem is I've tried mindfulness meditation. I may try it again but from what I've read about mantra meditation it may be helpful for me to focus on something besides the breath.

redrocker

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2018, 01:35:32 PM »
I woulnt pay 2K but 500 $ is resonable for a meditation course. I really can not say anything about TM though. I  took a MBSR course ( Mindefulness based Stress reduction) They have these courses all over based on work by Dr. John Cabot Zinn. It is a meditation course and everyone I know that did the work, felt that it changed their lives. I took the course twice and I have found an inner peace that I did  not have before and it may not be measurable. I found it Well worth the money ( I believe it was 500$ for 6-8 weeks). I also found a benifit meditating in a group, I have one at work I go to one per week.

I've read his book Wherever You Go There You Are. That's a good recommendation, thanks.
FWIW, and this is what renewed my interest in TM, they currently charge $500 if your household income is under $40k. Since that likely applies to many POST-FIRE folks I was just wondering if anyone had taken the bait.

DS

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2018, 01:44:49 PM »

I'll try to save you some time:


https://www.cbsnews.com/news/adam-grant-mind-your-meditation/

From the article:  "But a recent study concluded that the science is spotty. And an analysis of 47 meditation programs in a major medical journal found zero evidence that meditation was better than exercise or relaxation."


Quote from: CBS
"I have nothing against it. I just find it dreadfully boring.

"But Steve Jobs meditated!"

Yeah, and he also did LSD -- do you want me to try that, too?"

Garbage article.

koshtra

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2018, 02:22:08 PM »
My brother and his wife have done TM for a zillion years. Through the glory times (when the Beatles were doing it) to now, when it's a little passe. He claims to be able to float; I believe that he believes it :-)

I think it's done a lot for him: he's someone who had a lot of problems and needed a lot of structure. He's also poor, having donated a fairly sizable inheritance to the Maharishi. It can be a bit cult-like, but nothing like, say, the Rajneeshis. I myself don't care for the claims (like floating) that require abrogating the laws of physics.

You can use LOTS of different "objects of meditation" for mindfulness practice. The breath is just one of them. Mantras are another. You can count breaths -- some people go up to ten over and over. You can use a visual object instead: just look at something, and when your attention goes off it, bring it back. Or a sound. If you've had trouble before a teacher might be able to do a lot for you. Often people think that they're doing it wrong when in fact they're just encountering the difficulties everybody has -- encountering the difficulties is kind of the point.

I've practiced in the Tibetan tradition for decades. They have all kinds of methods. What's done the most for me though is pretty basic, what Tibetans call shamatha or shi nay, and the Zen people call zazen, and the Vipassana people call vipassana. You just place your attention on some object of attention, and when you discover that your mind has  wandered away, you bring it back. It's as simple as that, and as hard as that :-)
« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 02:23:43 PM by koshtra »

CindyBS

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2018, 03:57:01 PM »
I meditate regularly, but I do it in a cheating sort of way.  I put in earplugs to block out sounds and cover my eyes with a towel.  I lay in bed in a comfortable position.  Those 3 things make it easier for me to block out stimulus.   Then I concentrate on my breath and internally think breathe in 1, breathe out 1, then do 20 breaths.  Then imagine a wave of relaxation going up my legs and covering my whole body.   When your mind wanders, go back to the breath.  Then I spend 10 minutes or so meditating on a topic.  I'm not sure if that is an "official" method with a name, but it works for me.

I'm not sure what your goals are, but have you considered a sensory deprivation tank?  Sometimes called relaxation or float tanks?  They kind of do the same thing as deep meditation or taking a psychedelic like magic mushrooms.  One session in those can really clear the mind and focus thinking. 

Dee

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2018, 06:13:30 PM »
I posted about TM several years ago in a thread about the most anti-mustachian thing I'd ever done:

When I was in my mid-20s and going through a bad break up, I got really down. Like really down. For several months. During that period, I did probably the most mustachian and least mustachian things of my life.

The break up was in the fall. I had been a smoker for 7 years or so, keeping it more or less in check but after the break up, my smoking increased and had gotten to more than half a pack a day and rising. On New Year's, I decided to quit. I was already miserable and I couldn't imagine being more miserable so it seemed like a good time to quit. About 3 days into the quit, I'd had terrible insomnia and was extra cranky. I realized that I never wanted to feel that bad again. And that if I smoked again, I would have to quit again and so I would feel that bad again.  So I really committed to the quit. And I have stayed quit since. So mustachian.

But some months later, by spring, I was still feeling really down. I felt I needed to do *something* for myself, to start feeling better. So I learned transcendental meditation. Which is truly not anti-mustachian in itself. But the pricetag was. I believe it was in the range of $1300. Which went on my credit card. And was really more than I could afford, given my circumstances at the time.

Eventually, I did start feeling better. The meditation certainly didn't hurt (not sure how much it helped). But man was that ever overpriced!!! I got 2 - 3 sessions with a teacher who assigned me my own mantra and told me how it's done (basically just clearing your mind and repeating the mantra, twice a day, 20 mins each time). So quite anti-mustachian.

I don't have much to add. I don't engage in TM at all anymore (but I could anytime I wanted to) and I didn't use TM much even at the time where I was looking for a lifeline. So for me, it was really not good value for money, I don't think.  Then again, I was pretty desperate at the time, and taking action by learning and paying for TM may have been a key thing that made me regain my will to live. Hard to say.

psyseed

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2018, 12:52:56 AM »
1 + Vipassana, I've been doing it for years. Look for a center close to where you live.  They are all over the world, always free and all run on former students donations.   
To start you have to do a 10-day silence retreat were they teach you the technique.  That was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. 
After you can practice on your own all you need is a timer. It helps me and countless studies confirm it's benefits are massive. Any technique is good as long as you practice. I get turned off by the price tag and culty vibe of TM.

Minnowstache

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2018, 04:42:32 AM »
A colleague in the 80s did it (i was very young :)). She spent thousands of dollars on it and was always bejng encouraged to pay more for the next course/level. It seemed pretty culty to me. I have done various types of meditation - you can go to a buddhist temple and do it for free and i have always found Buddhists wont try and convert you in any way - I enjoyed Theravada and zen meditation - you can make up your own personal mantra if you want. There are also books and apps such as Headspace. I would be pretty sceptical of TM or any organisation which charges large sums of money to learn meditation.

Roots&Wings

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2018, 02:14:45 PM »
A friend did the formal TM training a few years ago and advised against paying for it. Basically, they prescribe two 20-minute sessions per day engaged in mental repetition of a mantra to clear your mind while sitting with eyes closed and your face pointed to the north. As a result, the thoughts that give you stress, anxiety, and depression momentarily leave your head, and you calm and your blood pressure lowers. Free meditation works just as well.

They try to entice you into paying with the secrecy.

In addition to what has already been mentioned, I've also found Raja Yoga meditations helpful: http://www.brahmakumaris.org/meditation/how-to-meditate


BigHaus89

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2018, 05:02:24 PM »
You can also try the Headspace app. It's free for the first ten basics sessions. It is paid after that but they run specials to get it for like$50/annually.

I looked into TM as well but for the same comments from friends on the cost.

+1 to this. Headspace uses many different techniques. I have been using it daily for 2 years now and it has definitely made a huge impact on my life. I guess this suggestion is a bit off topic, but it's something to look into anyway.

redrocker

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2018, 05:07:02 PM »
I watched the documentary(?) David Wants To Fly last night and it would be a great piece to show anyone with a curiosity about TM.

David Lynch gives interviews to the film maker and the TM organization lets him behind the scenes for a bit. I would guess they will never allow a camera in again with what is portrayed in the movie.

At one scene, he goes to India to interview a disciple of Guru Dev who disputes the Maharishi's qualification. His words, which I think will resonate with most of the commenters here so far: "Gurus don't sell their knowledge."

One of the scenes the film maker captured was the altercation in Germany that was written about here:
http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1684582,00.html

I had intended to go to a "free" information session on TM  that was this morning just to see ask some questions and see how their response to skepticism. After watching this movie, I decided I had better ways to spend 90 minutes today.

Erick

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2018, 06:51:21 PM »
I practice a weekly secular buddhist meditation that is by donation only. My teacher josh has a podcast that you can find on podbean (Dharma Punx). While I can't speak on TM having never done it myself, (which is due almost entirely to its cost) I will say that having in person guidance is invaluable if you want to actually make progress. While it shakes out to being a relatively small cost for me I would say given its benefits its worth a lot more than I'm currently paying for it.

FLBiker

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #28 on: September 17, 2018, 11:41:26 AM »
I am a member of a local sangha that practices in the Plum Village tradition, although our teacher is also well verse in Japanese Zen and Tibetan Buddhism (Dzogchen) so we do a fair bit of that, too.  It's donation only, although some classes cost $50 to $100 for a few months (and include biweekly small groups, special dharma talks, reading / practice assignments, etc.).  I've found the structure of practicing with a face to face group to be essential.  I've been going there for about 5 years, and have had a daily meditation practice for 3.  It has been tremendously beneficial for me in terms of depression and anxiety, and just generally feeling OK.

It's relatively cheap as a hobby, although I do go on a few retreats a year, each of which probably costs $3-500 dollars.

hegemony

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Re: Who here has tried TM / Transcendental Meditation?
« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2018, 06:45:17 PM »
I'd echo what a lot of people have said here - I don't think it's necessary to spend much (if any) money on meditation, barring the odd retreat or course.  There are so many resources out there are that are freely available and I actually found it quite helpful to try a lot of different things to find out what worked for me.

One thing that was really helpful for me was the Insight Meditation Centre, which offers a course at least once a year on mindfulness meditation.  They provide weekly talks and meditations along with prompts and questions to think through, but the best part is that you also get one-on-one time with one of their teachers, either over phone or email. 

The other thing I did was put the Insight Timer app on my phone.  They have a huge range of meditations and the tracking feature made me not want to break my streak by missing a day.