I am not sure how to fully explain the changes in my life since beginning the Transcendental Meditation® program, other than to describe who I was before and who I am today.

Prior to learning the TM® technique, I was certainly seeking something, anything, to relieve myself from the constant, nagging self-doubt with which I had lived since childhood. Any venture into a philosophy, faith, or religion wound up soon discarded, leaving me with greater discomfort with myself. I simply was not good enough, faithful enough, intelligent enough to grasp the meaning of those ventures, and this left me in deeper despair. Then, to relieve myself of this additional burden, cigarettes, drugs, and/or alcohol became a handy remedy.

It has now been a bit over four years since I began TM. The change has been outstanding. I have found my Self.

This cycle ensued for many years. When I saw an advertisement for the TM program, I thought to myself, Why not give this a shot? What can I lose, other than the payment for the course? At least I was still trying to find my way out of the awful existence that was my life. I did not rush to TM right away. I argued it was a waste of money. I argued it was another path I would fail at. And then I argued I still needed something to relieve the pain.

It has now been a bit over four years since I began the TM technique. The change has been outstanding. I have found my Self. You know, the one that’s been cowering behind self-doubt, the illusion I was not as good or as pretty as the next person, that I surely could not be smart enough to contribute anything. And that handy arsenal of excuses for not participating in those wonderful opportunities life had to offer.


Practicing TM has provided the path of self-awareness. It has coaxed my true Self to step forward, to take chances, to speak my thoughts without fear of ridicule. To be happy with myself. I find my Self in every action that I now do. I am much calmer in turmoil, and that turmoil has greatly decreased. I am ever present in all that I do. More thoughtful in my responses. A greater kindness now emanates from me. I am as good as those around me.

Oh, the old doubts still sometimes creep up on me, but they become less and less as time passes. I have no doubt the answer I have been seeking is in the practice of Transcendental Meditation. And I now have no doubt in the value of my Self.

John Harvey is a retired facility manager for the U.S. Department of State who lives in Yacolt, Washington. The photo of John and Finn, his faithful golden retriever, was taken by Max Horn at Muddy Meadows, with a view of Mt. Adams, in Washington state.