Simplicity, the key to the unique
effectiveness of TM
Jaan Suurküla, M.D.
Experience of transcendental consciousness has, in oriental traditions, been known as an important means for human development and a requirement for achieving the highest stages of self actualization. The ability to regularly experience transcendental consciousness, has however been very rare since many hundreds of years because adequate techniques were lost. The knowledge how to achieve this was restored by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi 50 years ago.
Maharishi explained that transcendental consciousness is a completely natural state of perfect peace, balance and harmony, the least excited state of consciousness. He explained that the technique for experiencing transcendental consciousness has to be completely effortless and that any effort to focus the mind or influence any bodily function would be counterproductive.
Brain research has confirmed that Maharishi is right:
Unique brain wave patterns
It has been established that in the state of transcendental consciousness, the brain waves (ElectroEncephaloGram or EEG) are very orderly and synchronized all over the brain in a unique way, not seen in other states of consiousness. This evenness and coherence is illustrated in the EEG diagram below. Brain research has found that such a highly coherent state can only arise when there is no focussed mental activity. This is because even the slightest effort, or focus, or attempt to influence any bodily organ or process, activates some part of the brain, and this immediately disrupts the state of perfect evenness and balance in the brain characteristic of transcendental consciousness.
A fatal misunderstanding
Prior to the modern age, the fatal misconception arose in eastern spiritual traditions that that applying effort in meditation (focussing, strenuous concentration, etc) or using complicated meditation procedures should be a more effective way for experiencing transcendental consciousness.
Brain research has confirmed that concentration and focus prevents the experience of transcendental consciousness, while TM brings it about effectively. This research is most welcome, because adherents to the effortful and complicated techniques have, understandably, had difficulties in accepting Maharishi's thesis that a simple and effortless method is a superior way to expriencing Transcendental Consicousness.
Regular experience of transcendental consciousness through the practice of TM brings about all the aspects of higher states of conscieouness spontaneously in a natural way through the development of increasing integration and balance at all levels of the body.
Oriental traditions take up TM
Fortunately, people in the oriental traditions are starting to realize the mistake, and for example, thousands of Buddhist monks are now abandoning their techniques for TM, see "TM and religions".
Actually, recently an ancient protocol has been found about a discussion of Budha with his bodhistavas regarding the most effective means for enlightenment. All above mentioned and other methods were mentioned. The conclusion was that the technique of TM is superior, and was so recommended by Budha, see video broadband version, or modem version.
The famous vedic sage Shankara in India likewise emphasized the value of transcendental consciousness.
In his book "Viveka Chudamani", he wrote that the regular experience of transcendental consciousness (which he called nirvikalpa samadhi) is "infinitely superior" as a means for achieving enlightenment.
Maharishi revolutionized the field of spiriual development by restoring the proper understanding of the nature of transcendental consciousness and thereby he was able to restore the effective and unique vedic technique for experiencing it regularly. And most importantly, he explained that this state has a powerful developmental effect, even in the beginner. This has been confirmed by extensive research, see eg "A new approach to human development".