My gateway drug to spirituality was Transcendental Meditation (TM). I learned the TM meditation technique about 6 years ago, which is when my spiritual awakening really began. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, I just knew I wanted to know more (about life, about death, about universal intelligence, about god, about our consciousness, about religion, etc.). In short, TM teaches you how to effortlessly transcend, which simply means going beyond the surface level of your awareness.
What was so powerful about TM for me, was that it gave me a framework (along with the time and space) to explore all these questions. TM does not ask you to quiet the mind and silence the thoughts, but rather allow them to come to the surface, play around a little, and then get effortlessly released. There is no controlling of the mind here. It’s an easy and effortless practice designed to release stress, increase brain function and cardiovascular health, and yes, to help you transcend.
After six years of twice a day, daily practice (note the 2X daily here!), I have been able to reach different levels of consciousness. For example, you know those thoughts and voices in your head? Who is that talking? Is that you or is that a different part of you? Who is answering when you ask? By practicing TM, it helps you separate these two voices into a subject/object relationship. You are no longer the being having the thoughts, but the being witnessing and observing the thoughts. You move beyond (and behind) yourself to another space where you can simply be – no judgement, no stress, just pure peace and joy.
Okay, I know I’m starting to get a bit deep here. Meditation and spirituality is probably one of the most difficult things to talk about, because you can’t really explain the intense feelings of joy and feeling of going beyond yourself to someone who hasn’t experienced them before. It is like trying to explain color to someone who was born without the ability to see. There is just no frame of reference.
What I can tell you is this: meditation (specifically TM) has changed my life and allowed me to fully realize my potential as a spiritual being having a temporary physical experience. Because I was able to go beyond and get right with my internal self, everything in the external world (my business, my relationships, my fitness, etc.) became that much more easy and effortless. It doesn’t mean that I don’t still set massive goals (because I do). It doesn’t mean that I don’t crank up the intensity when I have to (because I do that too). It doesn’t mean that I don’t still want material things (because I definitely do!). It simply means that I approach all of these external experiences and things from a totally different part of myself – a part that isn’t attached to the outcome, a part that would still feel love and joy even if those things didn’t happen. And like with anything, the harder you hold on to something (to your identity, to your money, to relationships) the more the universe tests you and tries to take it away. When you stop resisting and let go (of your identity, attachment to money or a relationship), then the universe rises up to support your non-resistance and even more good things seem to just flow your way. It can be a vicious or a virtuous cycle. It’s your choice. TM can help get you there faster and more effortlessly.
On a more practical note, TM is practiced twice a day, once in the morning and once in the early evening, for 20 minutes each time. It seems like a big commitment up front, and it is. When your days are packed and you’re just trying to get from one project or meeting or kid’s activity to the next, stopping to meditate seems virtually impossible. Whether you practice TM or some other form of meditation, or simply have a favorite breathing exercise, stopping to meditate IS the meditation. Saying no to doing more, more, more, and allowing yourself to stop for five, ten, or 20 minutes is usually the hardest thing you can do in that moment. Yet it is the one thing you can do that will have the most impact on your long-term health, mental and emotional fitness, and overall success.
Once you start to practice meditation, specifically once you start to STOP in order to meditate, you will start to feel the effects in all areas of your life. You are calmer, more present, more joyful, more at peace, and have a clearer mind. When you operate from this space, everything becomes easier. This isn’t to say you won’t still do hard things (like an Ironman, or firing someone, or dealing with a family emergency), it simply means you will be equipped with the inner peace and emotional fitness to make decisions and do the work (yes, the hard work) more easily and more effortlessly.
In this fast-paced, external achievement oriented world we live in (especially us business owners), having the ability to stop and a tool (such as TM) to use each day is instrumental in creating a life and business that fuels and fulfills us. Transcendental Meditation was that first step for me. What was your’s?
If you’re interested in maximizing your outward growth by working on your internal self, then Project|U is a great next step. All participants are trained in TM along the way and we do a deep dive to align your outward goals with your true purpose in life. For more information on Project|U, contact Hallie at firstname.lastname@example.org.