Finding Contentment Through Transcendental Meditationby Sheila Julson
As people strive to achieve inner peace in a fast-paced, often-volatile world, Transcendental Meditation has emerged as a simple technique that allows the mind to effortlessly shift toward its most peaceful, inward levels, instilling a sense of pure calm.
“Transcendental Meditation is a simple mental technique that takes your awareness from the outward surface keel and downshifts the mind to settle down,” says Adrian Ionescu, a trainer with Transcendental Meditation Austin. “Picture yourself in the middle of an ocean with 40-foot high waves. The ocean is in upheaval, things are going crazy and the cross section of the ocean is a mile deep.
“While other meditation techniques such as focused attention meditation, which is concentration-based, tries to stop the waves; or open monitoring—a nonreactive way of experiencing different thoughts and sensations—is like floating on the waves, Transcendental Meditation takes your physically outward attention and powerfully turns it within,” Ionescu explains. “Your mind will start to downshift and experience finer levels of the thinking process until finally settling on the ocean floor.”
While some people have misconceptions that meditation involves retreating somewhere in isolation, or that the mind must be empty of thoughts, Ionescu notes Transcendental Meditation is not based on any religion or philosophy. Those that practice Transcendental Meditation sit comfortably in a chair and just begin the process. “They immediately feel this inward pull as the mind gravitates and goes to those deeper levels by itself, without being forced,” he says.
Practicing Transcendental Meditation twice a day allows the mind, and thus the body, to settle down, releasing deep-rooted stress and tension in the nervous system. “Most of us are in a constant fight-or-flight state, so when you’re ready to sleep, the body is still flooded with stress hormones,” he explains. “With Transcendental Meditation, the mind and body settle down, indicating a state of profound rest. After a session, you feel like you’ve woken up from a good night’s sleep. Your brain is clear, and you’re present and ready to go.”
Transcendental Meditation Austin offers free weekly introductory lectures. Courses consist of four consecutive days of one-on-one personal instruction and group sessions. Course fees also include a lifetime of support through follow up and regular group meditation. If someone moves to a different state, he or she can still access group sessions from Transcendental Meditation trainers and centers in those areas.
Transcendental Meditation Austin is located at 411 W. Monroe St., Austin, and 5716 Highway 290 West, Ste. 205, Austin. For more information, call 512-593-8938 or 512-328-0500, or visit TM.org/Austin.