stuff I’m not paid to endorse: transcendental meditation

Note: this post has been updated. I follow the “vedic style” of meditation, not the transcendental style, or TM. There isn’t a lot of difference, but there is enough to cause contention and confusion. I’ve corrected this post to reflect things more accurately. 

I’ve tried just about every form of meditation. None of them really stuck. I used to get stupendously tense meditating, often reduced to tears…that’s how much they failed to “stick”. About two years ago I tried vedic meditation. I’ve said this before: when I get three reminders of something, I strike. That is, if three people mention the same thing to me, out of the blue, then I know I need to take note. And act. Which is what happened with meditation.

Meditation: finding the space between sensations
Meditation: finding the space between sensations

When the third person mentioned teacher Tim Brown to me, I signed up. I was down the beach at 5am, having not slept at all, distraught and lost. I was going through a grey time in my life. A random guy called Tom who I recognised from yoga came up to me, gave me a hug and said, “You’re in a tough place”. We met for tea that night and Tom talked up meditation and Tim.

I find meditation is generally presented to people in this way. Perhaps this post will be what touches you, it will be your third strike?

Meditation very literally Changed. My. Life. Tim promised it would. I was skeptical. But six weeks after I started, I landed the MasterChef gig. I meditated in the car outside before going in for my audition. The casting team said my certainty and poise got me the job.

There you go.

The vedic meditation deal in a few dot-points:

* VM works like this: you sit in a chair (no need for crossed legs) with your eyes shut for 20 minutes, twice a day. You repeat a mantra in your head that your teacher gives you over and over. You repeat it gently – you don’t “shout it”.

* If your mind wanders, you gently steer it back to the mantra. Always back to the mantra. That’s all you have to do. The mantra is designed to do the rest. It “drags” your consciousness down, down, down. The teacher chooses a mantra with a vibration that suits you.

* I meditate after exercise in the morning (my body is more open, which helps go deep), often down at the beach in the morning sun. At night I do it before I go out/have dinner. It’s great to shower first because when you meditate you produce an oil on your face which is REALLY good for your skin and has been shown to make you look younger….

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