TM for Women is pleased to present our November topics.
- Last month’s blog written by women for women
- THE WEEK reports that Transcendental Meditation®️ improves intelligence
- How the TM technique unfolds confidence and independence
- Q&A: What is the relationship between happiness and peace?
- What women say: a Miami psychologist talks about her TM®️ experience
Twice-monthly we post new articles on our blog. The posts are diverse topics considered in the light of the development of consciousness, including subjects such as gun control and menopause. You can visit our main blog page to search for any topic. If you haven’t read the October 2023 posts, the links are below.
Every day, thousands of women and girls search the internet for information about meditation. Sometimes they look for information about meditation generically, being unaware of the distinction between different types of meditation. Sometimes searchers type in “TM” or “Transcendental Meditation near me” when they have already heard about the TM program.
“Even the best approximation of proximity can’t contain the infinite, insurmountable distance between people.”– Clare Sestanovich, The New Yorker, August 2023
A few years ago, prior to the pandemic, 36 percent of those responding to a U.S. Gallup poll reported that they were struggling with “serious loneliness.” This year, more than 60 percent of adults in the U.S. report feeling lonely.
The Week Magazine: A Better Brain in 20 Minutes
THE WEEK is a highly reputable weekly news magazine published in the United States and the United Kingdom. In an article about the Transcendental Meditation program and Maharishi International University, a center for research into TM since its founding, the magazine reported benefits from the twice-daily TM practice. Those reported were slowing of the aging process; increased intelligence, self-esteem and creativity; reduced incidence of disease, hypertension and PTSD symptoms; and many more evidence-based benefits. How are these results attained? The article quotes researcher Dr. Fred Travis: “It’s all about the experience of transcending.”
Be More Independent, Self-Confident, and Self-Actualized
Every woman desires inner strength mentally and emotionally. Published research spanning thirty years highlights these essential qualities for women that arise from the regular practice of the TM technique.
One of these benefits—“field independence”—is characterized by the ability to rely and act based on one’s own information and inner awareness, rather than being distracted or influenced by environmental information.
It is known that women who are field-independent are less stressed, anxious, and submissive and they are more dynamic. Field independence means they are motivated from within, rather than being swayed by circumstances. They are capable of reflecting their full authentic nature in their thoughts and actions. This true expression of one’s nature is called self-actualization.
Self-actualized women are comfortable in solitude and also in the company of others. Being clear in themselves, they are unhampered by past information or the perceptions of others and are capable of spontaneous perception.
The TM program is different than other methods that attempt to produce self-realization
A statistical meta-analysis of 18 studies on 722 subjects demonstrated that the effect of the TM technique on increasing self-realization is significantly greater than mindfulness or other forms of meditation. (Psychological Bulletin, 2012)
An earlier thorough meta-analysis of 42 studies found that TM has a large effect approximately three times that of other forms of meditation and relaxation with substantial increases in self-actualization in the first three months.( Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 1991)
Demographics for these studies were in a broad range, from USA executives (The Permanente Journal, 2018) to disadvantaged at-risk women in Uganda (Health Care Women International,2018.). The study in Uganda found that after 3 months the women practicing the TM technique experienced decreased perceived stress and increased self-efficacy compared to controls.
Brain research on TMers suggests that self-actualization derived from the TM practice has its neurological foundation in improvements in brain function which correlate with less stress and more connectivity and integration in related areas of the brain.( Brain and Cognition, 2020)
We want to unfold our full potential with grace and authenticity. During the Transcendental Meditation technique, the inward dive of the mind to subtler states of thought and to the transcendent nature of the mind locates the Self. Regular practice of the technique balanced with normal activity then enlivens the experience of our inner Self until it is fully realized in our daily life.
Q: What is the relationship between happiness and peace?
A: In 1960, Maharishi, the founder of the Transcendental Meditation program and the foremost scientist of consciousness, said, “On the platform of Bliss, peace can be established in a permanent manner. Essentially, the state of happiness is the basis of lasting peace in daily life.”
This statement is true for all of us in life. We know from our experience that over time we encounter events that can disrupt or supplement happiness. When our happiness is endangered, we feel fear, anxiety, disappointment—and our peace is disturbed.
There are two ways to achieve permanent peace:
One way is to be so creative and powerful that nothing can obstruct the fulfillment of our endless needs and desires; we have all felt the peace of mind that comes with a sense of progress toward the achievement of our goals. (We’ve also all felt the frustration and lack of peace that comes with no progress.) We’ve also found that when one desire is fulfilled, another comes along, in a relentless pursuit of more and more happiness. More success, more wealth, a bigger house, a faster car, a prettier dress, another child… and so on. The TM technique allows the conscious mind to tap into the infinite resources of energy, intelligence and creativity residing at the source of our thought and infuses the mind with these qualities, enabling us to more easily fulfill our desires in daily life.
The other way is to achieve an inner state of contentment so profound that nothing further is desired. There is infinite peace at the basis of the mind, in it’s unbounded state. During the Transcendental Meditation technique, when we transcend the field of thought to where the mind is inactive yet wakeful in the most fundamental state of Pure Being—we are resting in the state of infinite peace. With repeated practice over time, more and more of that inner peace is retained 24/7 until it is permanently retained by the mind, even in the midst of hectic activity.
The nature of our inner Self is bliss, or intensified unbounded happiness. Having experienced it even once, the hint of bliss, peace, and happiness evolves and permeates all aspects of our life.
Nicole Valdez PhD is a psychologist in Miami, where she learned the Transcendental Meditation technique. On her website she writes:
“I had no idea what TM really was. I had previously attempted to do other forms of meditation without success because I couldn’t stop my mind from wandering. TM is a very simple technique…. I can say without a doubt that the technique brought me more mental clarity. I noticed that I am able to focus on one thing at a time with increased ease and this makes me feel calmer and more effective. Something unexpected happened in that I am able to tap into my creativity more easily, and there is no lag between idea and follow through. By this, I mean that often I had a good idea but something got in the way of the follow-through. With TM, I feel more of a “flow.” I am laughing at myself using this language because it is not really me to speak of things in these terms, but there is really no other way to describe it. In short, I recommend this technique to anyone who is feeling stressed, exhausted, or less productive.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org