Friday, August 07, 2009

Transcendental Meditation and an Interrupted Life

Sometimes young adults make plans for what they intend to do with their lives. If you are a middle-class American, your plan may have looked something like this: attend college in my teens and 20's, attend graduate school in my 20's, start my career in my 20's, get married in my 20's, buy a home in my 30's, have children in my 30's...." Or maybe you had a different set of plans for your life.

Some people had a plan set up, and then TM came into their life, and somehow, their plan changed. Some people put their plan on hold or gave up their plan, and became deeply involved in TM (perhaps by becoming a TM teachers, or by working for the movement full time as a volunteer).

Some people who became deeply involved with TM have been satisfied with the life choice they made. But others spent a few - or many - years of their lives in the TM movement and then decided they wanted to leave. Some of them found that their time in TM caused a disruption in their life plan. For some, their originals plans were simply delayed by the years that they were involved in TM. For others, the rent in their lives lasted long after they gave up TM (for example, if the time spent in TM was followed by years of post-cult trauma syndrome.) For others, the original dream had to be modified due to the time spent in TM (for instance, if the person's life dream was to become a full professor, but after leaving the TMO they were now behind others their own age on the career ladder, and only made it to assistant professor.) For others, their dreams were not just deferred but now unobtainable, (for instance, by delaying raising a family for the sake of TM, and when they left the movement, being past child-bearing age.)

So, some of us have a great deal of grieving to do over the losses in our lives and of our dreams that we sustained due to our involvement in the TMO.

You may find that it helps you move through the grieving process and get on with your life by sharing some of your personal stories here - the life plans you once had, and how your goals were delayed or rendered impossible to achieve due to your involvement in TM. Even if you left TM many years ago, you may still have unfinished grieving to do. So, if you'd like, share your personal stories in the "Comments" section below. These stories may be very personal, so take care of yourself, and feel free to write anonymously.

(This post was inspired by John Knapp, the founder of TM-Free Blog, who has written about the losses we sustain due to time spent in a "toxic group"; and by Karina, one of TM-Free Blog's regular readers and commenters, who suggested this as a good topic for a post. Thanks, John and Karina.)

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