Friday, May 04, 2007

Trancing Out

Do you believe that Transcendental Meditation is a form of self-induced trance? I believe that it is one of three things; It is either self-induce daydreaming, self-induce trance, or self-induce peaceful passive mind state.
If it is trance, then it is no wonder that people who practice it seem one step removed from the rest of us. They enjoy the trance and return to it on a gestapo like basis, if done regularly, as instructed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. This regularity is key and I think a topic worthy of extensive discussion, as TM is not treated like other forms of Buddhism meditation that I have heard of, where one is not put on a rigid program as if taking medication for a heart condidtion. Trance leaves a person open to suggestion, doesn't it? "I believe in the Field of Creative Intelligence" is one such belief programed into the mind of a TM meditator. The belief is that whilst meditating, one is accessing this wonderful place which is the source of Creative Intelligence.
If TM is daydreaming, I think there's not much harm, execept that it can become habit forming, and if it interferes with your concentration, then it is a problem. Daydreaming is fun, after all. I, as a former meditator have a hard time weaning myself from the daydream state, although I've always been a dreamer. It's hard to tell how much is caused by the mantra revolving around in my head and how much is just plain spaciness due to a habitual modem for eluding stress or just an born nature.
If TM is just a quiet passive mental state, it would seem harmless and in fact beneficial. Isn't it a good thing to empty your mind and be in the quiet peaceful center of ourselves? I think the idea is a good one, but I don't think that TM really leads us there. It leads us to a quiet place alright (considering it is a GOOD meditation), but I am not convinced that that place is inside of ourselves.
I think it leads us to a quiet place apart from ourselves, similar to the peaceful feeling one might get from using drugs. Is that peaceful place inside of ourselves? I think the peaceful place inside of ourselves brings much more peace than any amount of TM. The peace that you get from doing something right or relieving the pain of someone else; those kinds of feelings of peace are a far cry from the peaceful feelings induce in TM. I don't actually believe TM is centering; I believe it is centrifugal in nature and has the effect of spinning us out of ourselves all the while seeming to bring us closer to the home of who we are. It creates an illusion of centered peace, but it is a decentered peace.
If some people feel a benefit from the practice, do you feel differently about yourself than you did before you started meditating? How did you used to feel whan things happened? Do you miss any part of the way you were before beginning the praactice?

No comments:

Post a Comment