How many of us feel that despite all the advances in technology, and the advent of the internet that makes the world seem so much smaller and well connected, we are still working way too hard, and the rewards are just not big enough in proportion to the effort we put in? This applies both to our personal lives, as well as our professional lives. Perhaps we should take a closer look and find answers that are at once within our reach, easy to incorporate, and efficient in their outcome.
If we look around us, we find all of Nature functioning in perfect order - the galaxies are in their place, progress is all around us, and intelligence is at work, e.g. an apple seed will ALWAYS yield an apple tree! The same intelligence that manages the Universe, is also at work in individual lives. We grow from infancy into adulthood, and while we have myriads of choices in almost everything we do, the real miracle of life unfolds inspite of us, not because of us. To those that have known the secret of success, the solutions to life's problems have been simple. They have known that the wise gardener does not expect his garden to thrive on the basis of fragmented attention to the different parts of his plants - the leaves, roots, bark, or flowers, but rather accomplishes the good of the whole by attending to the roots. By the simple procedure of watering the root of his plants, he ensures the general well-being of the whole. This is skill in action. Simply put, it means that by doing less, we accomplish a whole lot more.
The application of this for individual life comes to us from the Bhagavad Gita: Yogah karmasu kaushalam, (Ch. 2, vs. 50) or, yoga, is skill in action. Yoga, which means 'union', of the conscious thinking mind, with it's own silent source. This can be experienced through the technique of meditation. The silent depth of the mind is where Nature functions from, in Vedic terms referred to as 'Atman'. By making contact with this field, we are able to infuse the conscious thinking mind with it's attributes - perfect order, intelligence, and unboundedness. This is like watering the root of the tree of life, to ensure that the rest of it flourishes. While there are many types and forms of meditation, they mostly come under the categories of either concentration, or contemplation. Both these forms, by their very nature keep the mind at it's surface thinking level, because both concentration and contemplation require thought.
The one form of meditation that differs from these and actually allows even the novice to experience the vertical direction of activity of the mind, settling down to it's own source, is Transcendental Meditation (TM), a very simple, natural, effortless, mental technique that can be practiced in the privacy of one's own home for twenty minutes twice a day. Anyone who is able to think a thought, is capable of practicing TM, which has been learnt and practiced by children as young as five to older adults from all walks of life, all over the world.
Research conducted at independent laboratories all over the world has established numerous benefits that accrue from this practice. They range from reversal of aging, lowered blood pressure, neutralization of stress, better productivity, better inter-personal relationships, and, for students, better academic performance, to name a few.
Perhaps the most fundamental of these findings is the release of stress that occurs during the process of TM. We know that over 90% of today's diseases are 'psychosomatic' or originating because of stress. We know that the only way to neutralize stress is through rest. That is why when we are sick, we are told to rest. Rest allows our body's own healing mechanisms to function optimally, as well. That is also why after a good night's sleep, we are refreshed, and much more effective in everything we do, not to mention how much better we feel as result of the rest. But come evening, we begin to feel fatigued, anxious, irritable, etc. This is because the rest of the night
was enough to neutralize surface level fatigue, but we hadn't been able to find a way to neutralize the deeper stress that we accumulate day after day, all throughout our lifetime. For that, we need a technique that will provide this much-needed deeper rest.
Research has shown that in twenty minutes of practicing TM, the mind and the body experience almost twice as much rest as one would with six hours of deep sleep. This ensures that the deeper rooted stresses that accumulate throughout our life, that later give rise to so many ailments, are allowed to be released. Through the technique of TM, this is easily and readily accomplished, and has been validated by scientific experiments.
To all intelligent, independent, thinking individuals, these findings present a unique opportunity to become productive, successful people, without having their success take a toll on either their health, personal life, or their professional life. At the same time it offers to those who wish to have an edge over the competition, an effective tool to be vastly better and greater successful individuals in every area of their lives - physical, emotional, mental, spiritual-- both in their personal and professional lives.
Transcendental Meditation is taught in Centers all over the world, in a seven-step course, taught for an hour each day, over five consecutive days, by trained teachers.
Anjali Mahaldar is founding President of Shivani.com. She has a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and Microbiology. She has lectured widely both in the US and abroad on various aspects of Vedic Science, including Ayurveda, yoga, and meditation, of which she has been a life-long student. She has taught Transcendental Meditation to people in several parts of the world, and has been a student of it's founder, His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, all of her adult life.