I’ll begin by saying that the Transcendental Meditation technique sounds more complicated than it really is. It’s been four years since I was gifted a TM course in New York City, and I’ve found it simple and easy to practice.
At first, I was reluctant to learn TM for several reasons. As an avid practitioner of yoga, I had read many books and taken many courses on meditation. So I was certain that I knew what meditation was and did not feel it would really benefit me.
Well, that’s the mind for you. You find a precious jewel and then toss it away because you feel you have enough or perhaps already have exactly the same thing. But now, given my experience with Transcendental Meditation, having actually practiced it, I can say it has not only changed but also saved my life.
Now, given my experience with Transcendental Meditation, having actually practiced it, I can say it has not only changed but also saved my life.
A Challenging Childhood
I grew up in Nebraska on a farm, living a sheltered life in the heartland. However, there were many things hidden by my dysfunctional family. Some of these things could be seen, while others, only felt. My father and his alcoholic behavior were the most obvious. Mostly he was verbally abusive, although there were occasions where the abuse became physical. My mother was very co-dependent and also abusive at times.
I was 14 when my parents split. I was caught in the middle, took on much of my family’s pain, and suffered the consequences. My home life became even more unstable as I was shuffled around, living with my mother, then my elder sister, and eventually my father. Ultimately, I finished high school while living at my grandparents’ house.
As if it could not get any worse, a few years later I lost my younger brother in a car accident. I was 22 at the time, and I could not have anticipated the enormity of losing a loved one. I suffered everything from eating disorders to a sleeping disorder. I battled with drinking and depression. I moved some 80 times in the 30-plus years of my lifetime.
Single Mom in New York City
Over time, I met a wonderful man, or at least I thought he was wonderful. We had a child together and moved to New York. However, his true colors emerged, and the abusive partnership led to bouts with the police, jail, court, and my beloved son being placed in foster care.
As a single mother living in New York City, I was left to care for my traumatized child as well as myself. I had no family support or financial assistance. I had Child Protective Services constantly watching me and tried to survive each day.
I remember taking my son to pre-school, and if I didn’t have to go to work, then I would go home and pass out from exhaustion. Despite the exhaustion, there were also numerous occasions that I could not sleep at night. The daily hardship of life took its toll on me.
Calming the Tiger of Post-Traumatic Stress
Whenever I could, I would go to my yoga class to help alleviate the stress and regain my failing health. However, many times I would simply lie on the yoga mat crying in class, thinking that I could not make it. Truth be told, I almost didn’t make it. If it were not for certain “angel friends” who cared enough about me, I would not be here writing this right now.
It was during this turbulent time in my life that a friend introduced me to Transcendental Meditation. I was apprehensive at first, but after my first meditation session, I noticed a significant difference. My mind appeared to have calmed down, and the tiger that always seemed to be chasing me—a symptom of post-traumatic stress—that tiger was gone, at least for a small amount of time. My sleep also gradually improved over the course of time.
Of course, things don’t change overnight. Creating change requires time and dedication. But practicing Transcendental Meditation has allowed me to re-focus my life on what is truly important.
I now have my TM practice to bring me back to my core self, to stop the racing thoughts and anxiety, and that has been extremely beneficial.
Becoming a Whole Person Again
Today, I can honestly say I am a whole person again. I do have relapses, as the past resurfaces every now and then, and feelings of inadequacy arise. Nonetheless, I now have my TM practice to bring me back to my core self, to stop the racing thoughts and anxiety, and that has been extremely beneficial.
Moreover, as a writer, I have been able to be consistently creative. The benefits I’ve received from the TM technique have allowed the art to flow through me, instead of encountering frequent blocks or feeling pressure.
Most importantly, my quality of life has changed. I feel that I can actually enjoy life and my connection with my son as well as others around me. I no longer isolate myself when I feel overwhelmed or like nobody understands.
It’s amazing how life can be a blessing, and I have Transcendental Meditation to thank for that. I would love to see TM become more available for people everywhere, especially children in schools.
Peace begins from within, and the more each one of us can become a peaceful person, the greater chance we have to achieve world peace and a sustainable future for all.