When was the last time you had a really great day? How did you feel? Maybe you noticed more inner silence, a peacefulness that brought balance to the activity of your day. Or a greater appreciation of the wonder and beauty of our world. Or perhaps a feeling of more connection to the people and things around you.
We’d all like to have a great day, every day. So what can we do to help make that happen? First of all, practice TM® regularly, twice a day. Then go out and enjoy your activity.
Why We Meditate
Most of us were looking for some specific benefit when we learned Transcendental Meditation®. We may have been seeking to gain relief from stress and anxiety, lower our blood pressure, or sleep better at night. Or perhaps we were hoping to increase our creativity, enjoy more success at work, or improve our relationships.
No matter why we decided to learn TM, we are also gaining the benefit of developing higher states consciousness.
Thanks to the effortlessness and effectiveness of the TM technique, we are able to gain the relief and enjoy the success we seek, often within the first few days or weeks after learning. And yet, no matter why we decided to learn TM, there is one more valuable benefit that everyone is gaining—the development of higher states consciousness.
So what are higher states of consciousness, and how do we know when we get there?
Outer Depends on Inner
There are two aspects to life—outer and inner. We’re all familiar with the outer aspect, a field of dynamism and activity. This includes three states of consciousness: waking, sleeping, and dreaming. The inner aspect of life is a field of silence, pure consciousness, unboundedness. We experience this inner field when the mind transcends during our practice of TM.
Outer depends on inner. This means that dynamism arises from silence. The world of activity and boundaries has its source in the silent, unbounded field of pure consciousness.
There’s more to life than waking, sleeping, and dreaming. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has described four higher states of consciousness.
Waking, Dreaming, and Sleeping
We all experience the waking, sleeping, and dreaming states of consciousness. In waking consciousness, our mind and body are both active. In the dreaming state our body is at rest while our mind remains active, yet this activity of the mind is noticeably different from the waking state. In the deep sleep state of consciousness, both our mind and body are at rest, regenerating and refreshing for the coming day.
But there’s more to life than waking, dreaming, and sleeping. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has described four higher states of consciousness.
When we learn the Transcendental Meditation technique, we allow our mind to experience a fourth major state of consciousness, Transcendental Consciousness. When our mind transcends the thinking process completely during our TM practice, there is no mantra and no thought. This is the experience of deep inner silence, the source of thought. It’s a field of unlimited energy, creativity, and intelligence.
Research shows that in Transcendental Consciousness, our brain becomes highly orderly or coherent, and the wavelength is in the Alpha 1 region, which indicates deep rest together with alertness. Even if we don’t notice transcending during meditation, we still gain the benefit of experiencing this field of inner silence. Plus, the deep level of rest allows our body to release accumulated stress. After meditation, we return to activity with a more settled mind, increased energy, and a feeling of inner peace.
The value of experiencing Transcendental Consciousness during meditation is that we begin to bring this more coherent functioning of the brain out into our activity. In fact, it’s our activity during the day that stabilizes the inner silence we gain during TM.
Many new TM students notice that they do begin to feel calmer, more settled, and less reactive, even during the four days of their TM course. This is the first taste of the development of a fifth state of consciousness—Cosmic Consciousness—where the silence of Transcendental Consciousness coexists with the waking, dreaming, and sleep states of consciousness. We begin to develop a cushion of inner silence that we carry with us throughout the day.
Cosmic Consciousness is the coexistence of silence and dynamism. In this state, we enjoy the experience of unboundedness even while living within boundaries. There’s a continuum of silence available to us at any time and in any place. Silence becomes so firmly established that it is not lost, even when we are engaged in dynamic activity.
Refined Cosmic Consciousness
In Cosmic Consciousness, the experience of inner silence starts to change our perception of the outer world. We begin to perceive more refined or celestial values of the world around us. As our consciousness is able to appreciate subtler levels of creation, the heart is enlivened, and feelings of devotion begin to swell. It’s almost like we’re falling in love with the beautiful creation in which we dwell. This leads us to a sixth state of consciousness, Refined Cosmic Consciousness.
As Refined Cosmic Consciousness continues to develop, the silence of transcending and the dynamism of activity begin to move closer toward each other, toward an ultimate unity of all life experiences. When this integration is complete, we perceive that outer and inner are just two aspects of one unified wholeness.
Even living amidst pairs of opposites—light and darkness, heat and cold, joy and sorrow—we perceive an underlying unity that is the source of all the diversity in this world. And when our awareness opens completely to this reality, we have achieved the seventh state, Unity Consciousness.
We all have the ability to transcend, and we all have the ability to develop our consciousness.
“Meditate and Enjoy”
No matter what benefit we may have been seeking when we learned the TM technique, we also set out on the path of developing our consciousness. And every benefit that we gain from our daily TM practice moves us one step closer to living higher states of consciousness.
We all have the ability to transcend, and we all have the ability to develop our consciousness. It just requires regular meditation followed by regular activity during the day. This is the formula to support and stabilize the natural development of higher states of consciousness.
How do we begin living our full potential? It’s simple. Learn the Transcendental Meditation technique. Practice it regularly. Then go out and live your life to the fullest.
As Maharishi said, “Meditate and enjoy.”