I started the Transcendental Meditation® (TM®) on August 11, 1970. I had read numerous books that talked about enlightenment and tried a bunch of different “meditation” techniques, some of which gave me a brief glimpse of relaxation.

But the first time I did the TM technique I thought, “This is it!” The peace that swept through me was the thing I’d been looking for. I haven’t missed a day since, and every time I practice, I still come out with that feeling.

Swept Along into the Best Possible Situations

There’s also the dramatic experience of “support of nature” that has accompanied my TM practice. I could tell a million stories of how things just seem to pull together to fulfill my desires.

To take a mundane example, the last few months I’d been  thinking I should get a new pickup truck. One day, I saw a nearly brand-new, beautiful truck for a ridiculously low price parked in front of my office. The next day I got a call to buy a great boat for, again, a ridiculously low price. It turns out the truck is the perfect truck to tow that boat!

Michael Funk with a young patient on a 2010 medical mission in Guatemala

More important things, like my current employment, have also been effortless. Actually, I’d have to say more than effortless—I seem to be just swept along into the best possible situations. All I have to do is relax and let it happen.

Giving Has Become the Most Natural Act

As a direct result of my TM practice, my understanding and experience of the underlying interconnectedness of the universe and, more specifically, of all the people and other life forms here on Earth, draws me to want to know more about the vast diversity of our unique corner of the universe.

TM has expanded my capacity to love, value, and appreciate the diversity of people, places, and things. Giving has become the most natural act.

I’ve been on numerous medical missions to Central and South American and African countries. The picture of me with the children below was taken in a small village that required a long ride in the back of a pickup and then a long walk into the mountains in central Guatemala.

The peace that swept through me was the thing I was looking for. I haven’t missed a day since, and… I still come out with that feeling.

Avoiding Burnout, Maintaining Equanimity

In my medical practice, I tend to work in areas that are underprivileged and underserved. Many people I care for have no financial means, but the people I work with don’t look at that. We only see someone who’s looking for help.

Michael with two new friends in Guatemala on a medical mission in 2004

It can be very taxing emotionally and physically in these situations, but TM offers the ability to maintain equanimity along with being able to give the support required even in the most demanding situations. Having a technique that allows me to sit down and completely relax and recharge twice a day has been invaluable.

Burnout is a very common problem with medical professionals. But for me—and I completely attribute this to TM—I am excited to go to work every day, even now at level 68. (I think “attaining level 68” sounds more badass than saying I’m 68 years old.)

Exploring the Vast Diversity of Our Corner of the Universe

I love my medical work, but I also make time to enjoy scuba diving, which gives me an opportunity to see an ecological environment of Earth that not many people experience firsthand. I have been places underwater that, quite literally, no human has ever been before. The diversity of life is astounding. The picture above was taken by a friend at a local dive site called Davis Bay off St. Croix.

I hope sharing my story may stimulate someone else to take steps onto the path of effortless success, happiness, and fulfillment. Every day of my life has gotten better since that first day I learned TM. It’s the single most important decision I have made.

Every day of my life has gotten better since that first day I learned TM. It’s the single most important decision I have made.

Michael Funk is a physician assistant and an Assistant Professor of Medical Education at Barry University, St. Croix. A master scuba diver, he lives in Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands.