At the start of this new year, our TM for Women nationwide family wishes you joy, good health, and fulfillment on the path to higher states of consciousness in the unfolding of human potential.
In this January 2023 issue of our monthly mini magazine, you’ll find:
- Blog posts from December written by women for women
- New Year’s resolutions: planting seeds
- Brain wave coherence and exceptional performance
- TM Abroad: South Sudanese refugees in Kenya learn TM
- What women say: a doctor who specializes in women’s health
In case you missed them, below are links to the two posts that were published on our blog in December. To see previous posts and to search past posts by topic, please visit our archives at tm-women.org/blog/
TM is the Game Changer: A Conversation with Laura Eiman, Gold Medalist in Olympic Weightlifting and Women’s Certified Mental Toughness Coach
I recently had the opportunity to ask Laura Eiman about her amazing story. She told me, “I loved sports and I loved watching Olympic athletes.” That love served her well when the sport of Olympic Weightlifting literally found her ten years ago. She not only mastered it, competed nationally and internationally, and won a gold medal, but also found balance, joy, and the satisfaction of living a healthy, productive life.
Be Kind—More Important than Ever in Today’s World
The whole world is hurting these days. People are fearful due to the war in the country of Ukraine and the devastation caused by the recent pandemic. Our politics have become polarized, whereby people can’t talk to each other. Social media is rampant with unkind, even cruel statements that are not helping our national dialog but are degrading it.
New Year’s Resolutions: Planting Seeds
Why do people make resolutions? What is the value of having good intentions and translating them into resolutions when most people don’t follow through and most resolutions aren’t achieved?
According to Forbes, statistics show that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days and only eight percent accomplish them.
So, why do we bother, year after year?
Intentions are a concrete positive step in the direction of correcting a perceived problem or fulfilling a desire. Even a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.
An intention is a directed impulse of consciousness that contains the seed form of that which we aim to create. Like real seeds, intentions can’t grow unless the fertile field is plowed. This is analogous to what happens during the Transcendental Meditation technique. We experience thought systematically and effortlessly at subtler levels of activity and then the mind disengages from thought and rests in the calm, collected state of pure consciousness. Consciousness is the least excited state of our mind but is the source of all our thoughts. Like a fertile field, it can give birth to infinite possibilities. When we transcend, our attention enlivens or stirs consciousness. Thoughts that sprout from that level are healthy and can grow and bear fruit.
According to the National Institutes of Health, for an intention to be effective it is essential to choose the appropriate time. Living beings are synchronized to each other and to the earth and its constant changes of magnetic energy. It has been shown that the energy of thought can even alter the environment.
By setting our intention, the environment has a magical way to ensure that opportunities to fulfill that intention appear in various, even unexpected, ways.
We are the designers of our lives. By transcending every day, we are designing a better life with fulfilled resolutions. This is a spontaneous benefit resulting from effective thinking that comes from expanded consciousness and from being more in accord with the environment.
Relationship Between Brain Coherence and Exceptional Performance
EEG brain wave coherence is correlated with exceptional functioning in activity. From athletic performance to job performance, an increase in your brain’s orderliness will translate into more success. Published research shows that the Transcendental Meditation technique generates the degree of coherence necessary for outstanding performance.
Harvard Medical School Professor of Psychiatry Robert W. McCarley said “Synchronized [brain] rhythms characterize conscious thought, perception and problem solving” and that “our brains need a coherence of firing to organize perception and analysis of data from the world around us.”
There is a dramatic increase in brain wave coherence during TM, even at the beginning of the practice. This results in the style of functioning and clarity of thinking that we often characterize as “breakthrough” thinking or the “aha” phenomenon.
During the effortless practice of the TM technique, the mind automatically settles into a more conscious yet restful state. This shift of consciousness is accompanied by changes in electrical brain wave patterns—increased brain coherence. A pattern of global brain coherence is created—neurons in all regions of the brain fire in synchrony. This coherence is particularly pronounced in the pre-frontal cortex which is responsible for planning, impulse control, and executive functions. One of many studies on businesspeople indicated that increased brain coherence was associated with greater levels of accomplishment and organizational responsibility.
Whether engaged in business, athletics, the arts, or education, every activity can reflect more superior orderliness in the brain.
Dr. Randy Lee, an associate professor of psychology and assistant coach of a girls’ college squash team, explained that for the athletes, “The most important squash is played on the six-inch court between their ears.”
“Before I wasn’t able to focus completely on the game and was distracted by external factors like the audience,” says Nour Bahgat, a student athlete. “TM really helped me to get into the zone. Being in the zone is very important to an athlete because that’s the point where you can perform at your best level, so it was a great thing to learn.”
TM Abroad: Program for South Sudanese Refugees in Kenya
Statistics from May 2022, indicate that 100 million individuals have been forcibly displaced worldwide. This includes 2.5 to 3 million South Sudanese who have fled their homes, of whom Kenya hosts hundreds of thousands. Sixty-three percent of South Sudanese refugees are younger than 18 and the majority are women and children.
Beginning in 2015, Kenya’s TM teachers have been instructing South Sudanese refugees living in Nakuru, the largest urban center of the Rift Valley northwest of Nairobi. The number of refugees learning sharply declined during the pandemic but now the number is rising again.
The TM teachers report that the Transcendental Meditation technique has provided welcome relief for those who have been able to learn so far, providing them relief from stress, fatigue, and depression.
Nancy Lonsdorf M.D. was trained at Johns Hopkins and Stanford. She is a specialist in women’s health with patients throughout the world. She is the author of The Ageless Woman, Woman’s Best Medicine, and The Healthy Brain Solution for Women Over Forty. According to the Chicago Tribune, Dr. Lonsdorf is “One of the nation’s most prominent Ayurvedic doctors.”
“I have recommended many healthful practices, but across the board, Transcendental Meditation is the one thing that inspires my patients to say, “This changed my life.” I hear it over and over. There’s nothing else that is so deeply influencing them as their TM practice. I just want to encourage anyone who hasn’t learned Transcendental Meditation to go for it.”
Editor’s note: We’d love to hear your comments on the benefits you’ve received from the TM practice. And, with your permission, we’ll publish them here for other women to enjoy. Send your comment to email@example.com