TM and religions
(This is a copy, with permission, of a page at the website of the Estonian TM movement, http://tmkeskus.ee/tm/tm&religions.htm)
TM is a mental technique that is compatible with all religions and beliefs. A nice expression of this are the positive statements about TM by priests and monks of various religions who have practiced TM since a long time and therefore have a deep and thorough personal knowledge and experience of TM.
English Anglican vicar
"For more than 20 years now, I have practised Transcendental Meditation and it is as a result of the regular practice of this innocent technique that I have come to a deeper awareness of the risen Christ and a profound awareness of his presence at the heart of the world, and in all its conflicts. The coherence and peace which is engendered by TM at a personal, corporate and global level, make this technique an invaluable resource for unifying and strengthening the voice of the church."
Reverend John Ansell, Anglican Vicar, London, UK.
Source: TM Scotland.
"Transcendental Meditation is like a daily vacation. It's a renewal for my body and calms my mind. I do a lot of writing and speaking, and it has given me a flood of creativity."
"I've always felt that Transcendental Meditation was an aid to my Christian growth. It never replaced my Christian growth, but it was an aid to it. In fact, I decided to commit my life to Christ after I'd been practicing Transcendental Meditation for 3 months."
"I would say to any Christian -- to anyone of any religion - that Transcendental Meditation would benefit your life. It's a technique, a simple process that requires no belief. It is not a religion. There are so many thoughts that clutter the mind, and Transcendental Meditation is like taking a bath -- it's very cleansing and very refreshing."
Reverend Dr. Craig Overmyer, pastoral counselor in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has practiced TM for 22 years.
Source: Robert Roth's book "Transcendental Meditation - TM".
I am an active 66-year-old Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago who has served 7 parishes in a 40-plus year career.
...The practice of TM has been among the highest priorities in my life since I began to meditate 33 years ago. I also became a Sidha by learning the advanced TM-Sidhi program, including Yogic Flying, 17 years ago. During this entire time span I have practiced these techniques faithfully, twice a day, 365 times a year, including all the secular and religious holidays...
The daily centering experience as a meditator and a Sidha has deepened my appreciation of the contemplative dimensions of mental prayer taught in the Catholic spiritual tradition. As a calmer and more centered person, my prayerful reading of the sacred scriptures is more profound and rewarding. Deeper meaning seems to surface as I read the various passages of the books of the Holy Bible.
...I certainly recommend Transcendental Meditation to everyone, particularly to those in the society who are responsible for the spiritual and intellectual growth of congregations and students.
Father Leonard Dubi
Saint Victor Parish, Calumet City, IL, USA.
To the whole quote
In my experience of thirty-nine years regular practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM), I have found it only strengthens and enhances the practice of my Christian religious faith. In fact, it is clear to me that growing more and more familiar with the simple state of inner awareness cultivated by TM opened my ear to the "still small voice" within, and paved the way for my vocation in Christian ministry twenty-two years ago.
...The technique of TM does not provide an alternative faith. The practice itself strengthens faith in God. So, my answer to those who wonder whether TM is a religion is that there is nothing to fear and everything to gain for Christians who wish to deepen and enrich their prayer life and faith.
Father Thomas R. Miller
Rector St. Gabriel and All Angels Church Fairfield, Iowa
To the whole quote
"After my very first meditation I was completely transformed. I experienced a level of silence, and depth, and lack of boundaries that I couldn't have imagined otherwise.
The TM technique provides a reservoir of calm throughout the demands of a busy schedule. It's like being anchored in the sea. There's always going to be waves, but if you have that anchor, you can rise and fall with the waves and not be overwhelmed.
I don't think I could be a successful Rabbi were it not for my meditation. It gives me insight."
Rabi Alan Green, at the Shaarey Zeedek Synagogue, Winnipeg, Canada. He has practiced TM for more than 30 years.
Source: Kanada Winnipeg Free Press 21 March 2006.
I was and am still amazed from the great peace and insight that I experience when I transcend. This experience showed me that life is not rigid—it has many dimensions and levels to it; and, how much of life we can understand and appreciate depends upon how much of the full capacity of our mind and heart we are using in daily life.
The experience of transcending makes one aware of the many mental layers we have, from the most active to the silent, infinite layer deep within us..
The great value of TM is that it deepens and expands one’s level of consciousness, so that one can begin to more fully grasp and live the deeper meanings and values of one’s own religion..
In conclusion, I would say that the Transcendental Meditation technique is like the cleaning the mirror and what you see afterwards has nothing to do with the actual process of cleaning. TM is not a religion and it does not in any way require individuals to change their personal beliefs or practices; yet, by promoting a clear mind and a clean, stress-free nervous system, it helps one to live the highest values of religious life.
In Sri Lanka and Thailand
During the last few years, Rev. Koji Oshima, a Japanese Buddhist monk, a TM-Sidha, who practices TM since 9 years, has inspired over 3100 Buddhist monks in Thailand and Sri Lanka to learn TM. Recently he has also been invited to Buddhist monasteries in Burma. One reason for the interest in TM is that it has recently become realized that a protocol from a meeting of lord Buddha with his leading boddhistavas supports the TM technique. It was discussed what technique was most effective for developing enlightenment. All kinds of techniques, many of which are still practiced today, were discussed. The conclusion of lord Buddha was that the principle of TM was the most effective for developing enlightenment. The picture shows Thai monks practicing TM.
- Global Good News, 24 January 2008.
- "The Teaching of Transcendental Meditation by Maharishi is an Eternal Teaching as Seen in the Surangama Sutra of Buddhism" at:
Windows media 56 kbit/s (modem), 300 kbit/s (broadband)
In the Himalayas
The world famous Budhist leader, His Holiness Bhikkhu Sanghasena, who practices Transcendental Mediation himself, has decided to introduce TM in the Schools and Monasteries of his institute as well as in other schools in Ladakh in the state of Cashmere in northern India. He visited the international headquarters of the TM movement in Holland in May 2008, and expressed great respect and appreciation of Maharishi and his vedic science, which he will start applying in Ladakh. His center has aroused attention in the whole of India as well as internationally, see: Mahabodhi International Meditation Center.
Source: "Founder of Himalayan Buddhist monastery plans to introduce Maharishi's programmes"
Differently from above, as far as we know, the great catholic priest mentioned below has not learnt TM, but through his position, he had access to information and experiences from catholics all over the world, including TM-practicing catholic monks, priests and over 1 million laymen.
Cardinal Ratzinger, (now Pope Benedictus XVI), signed, in 1990, a newsletter where TM, along with other eastern meditations, was described as helpful for the "praying person" to attain peace "even amidst turbulence".
Source: Herder Korrespondenz, Februar 1990, page 84.
At that time, Cardinal Ratzinger was the prime custodian in the world of the purity of catholisism, being the prefect of the Vatikan "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" whose mission is to oversee the doctrine of the Catholic Faith.
In other words, this recommendation means that the prime custodian of the purity of catholicism found that TM is not only compatible with catholic faith, but also helpful.