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TM: Meditation or Sedation?



I'm a primal therapist. I used to do TM meditation, but dropped it and started Dynamic Meditation.

     With primal my methods will suit very well because they are complementary to each other. TM was just out of the way. A person who is functioning as a primal therapist will not be benefited by it because your approach is not of tranquilizing the mind but of expanding it, to make it more alert and aware, to know it more, to go beyond it.
     Transcendental meditation is a sort of drug. If it works at all, it gives you good sleep, that's all. It calms you down, but even that calming down is not very positive; it is more like dullness, lethargy. It will help you to be less tense, but then you will become less intelligent also and less alive, because it slows down the whole process of your being. It is a tranquilizer – tranquilization through sound, mantra.
     If you constantly repeat a certain word, it creates a certain chemical effect in the mind. The constant repetition creates a constant vibration; the same vibration – "Rama, rama, rama" – creates a chain of the same vibration. The mind feels bored by and by, dulled; it goes into a sort of sleep. It is refreshing, as all sleep is, but it has nothing to do with meditation.
     To call it meditation is a misnomer. It is a drug. Somebody is agitated too much, on the edge of his nerves, so we give him a tranquilizer. He sleeps well, he sleeps it off. By the morning he is a little better, calmed down, quieted down. But this is not meditation.
     In fact, meditation is just the opposite.
     It is not dropping tensions but using them.
     One should remain very very vibrant and alive and yet not tense. Then it is beautiful. If you lose your intelligence, if you lose your aliveness, the cost is too much. Then you are falling into a sort of stupor and you will become more stupid than you were before.
     Stupid people always like TM. In the East, many methods of that sort have existed for centuries and they have made the whole East stupid. It is nothing new. For centuries the East has been using that trick to tranquilize the mind, but then the mind becomes non– intelligent. That's why the East has not been able to create any scientific society. The very scientific mind has disappeared from the East, because to be scientific you need to be very intelligent, very alert. Now the problem is that when you are very intelligent you become tense. When you are tense, you start feeling worried; the very stress of it starts killing you. An intelligent mind is followed by tensions.
     So there are two ways: either you drop intelligence and the tensions drop, or – and the second is more difficult to work out – you become so aware and alert, become such a watcher on the hills, that you remain alive even more than before, and you allow all sorts of tensions because they are challenges of life and they give you tone; they give you shape.
     A life without tensions is almost death. One should be alive – tense, yet not stressed, tense, yet not worried, tense, yet not tense – making all the effort that is needed and yet remaining effortless... doing all sorts of things and yet remaining a witness and remembering continuously, "I am not the doer."

     Now, it is very easy to drop the peripheral activity of the mind and feel tranquil; it is easy. The opposite is also easy: to let the activity enter into the center, and to become worried. Just in the middle is the greatest peak of humanity: becoming the center of the cyclone. At the center everything is quiet, unaffected. On the periphery one is in the marketplace and one works hard with the mind but the mind is no longer the master now.
     All my chaotic methods are basically to give you this balance.
     It is a meeting of the East and West. It is the meeting of the religious mind and the scientific mind. To be religious is cheap, to be scientific is also not difficult – but to be both is really a great challenge. It is a great adventure, full of hazards; but worth all those hazards.

Osho Dance Your Way to God

     All the old methods start with you as you are.
For example, Mahesh Yogi's Transcendental Meditation. It starts with you as you are. It gives you a particular technique, a mantra to work with. The mantra will help you to calm down, but it cannot transform you. It can only make you more adjusted to a society that is, itself, ill. It can make you more still, a certain well being will come to you, but no transformation will happen because the repressed layers will remain where they are. They are not even touched by it. You by– pass your suppressions and do something with your mind that only gives it a superficial tranquility.
     All the old methods – if used directly, without catharsis – will not be of much help. So my method starts with catharsis. Only when your tensions are released can you jump deep within yourself.
     The jump is possible. And I think that for us today, it has become urgent that we move within. But the preparation is bound to be different than it has been in the past, so my method works first as a catharsis. Then, it tries to create a harmony with your body.
     We are separated from our bodies. All the old traditions have emphasized that body and mind are two things. That is absolutely wrong. Body and mind are just two poles of one existence. The old traditions have emphasized that you are not the body, but my emphasis is quite the contrary. You are the body. You are more than the body, you go beyond the body, but you are also the body. There is no division as such, no conflict.
     We have created the conflict, and that conflict has created a gap. The gap has to be bridged. My method is a means to bridge the gap. Only when it is bridged do you become whole. And then, the jump becomes possible.
     You cannot jump if you are fragmented. One part of you cannot jump ahead of another part. You have to take the jump as a whole being. To me, holy means whole. This wholeness has to be created. That is what I am trying to do.

Osho The Eternal Quest

I've heard you say some pretty harsh things about TM, but there is a lot of impressive research that has been done on it. Personally, I have found that through using TM I become less tense and I have a glimpse of silence and inner peace.

     Buddha says: If you can sit silently for even a few moments without doing anything, glimpses will start coming to you. Now, modern psychologists also agree that if a person can be allowed just to sit silently, that's enough. Nothing else is needed. All else is just a help to sit. Somebody gives you a mantra and says, "Sit silently and do the mantra."

     There is much research work going on with Transcendental Meditation.
     Mahesh Yogi thinks it is because of the mantra that things happen. That is not true. It is just because you sit silently for twenty minutes that things happen. The mantra is not relevant: you can sit without the mantra and the same thing will happen. Maybe the mantra gives you an excuse to sit, because you are so foolish that you cannot sit, you have to have something to do. So if somebody says, "Say, 'Ram, Ram, Ram,'" you have some excuse to sit silently for twenty minutes because you are doing "Ram, Ram, Ram."
     Whatsoever results come – your blood pressure goes low, your breathing becomes more silent, there are changes in the oxygen content of your body, even your heart beats with a different rhythm, you feel very relaxed, the alpha waves are created, and out of those alpha waves you feel very quiet and refreshed – they have nothing to do with the mantra, or with any mantra in particular. If you can simply sit for twenty minutes without doing anything, the same will be the result.
So whatsoever psychological investigations have revealed about TM, it is nothing about TM, it is simply about sitting silently.

     Just sit silently and you will see: you are growing a new quality to your being; you are becoming more collected, more centered, more fulfilled. Your face will change, your eyes will change, you will have a serenity around you. Even others will start feeling your serenity. Even they will start feeling that something has happened to you, because wherever you move you will bring a certain cool breeze with you. And the situations will remain the same.
     Somebody will insult you but now you will be able to laugh; no anger will arise. Not that you are controlling it; in fact, it is not arising. You can see the whole absurdity of it. You can see the point that that man, that poor man who is angry and insulting you, is in bad shape. It has nothing to do with you. You have to be more compassionate to him. You will feel compassion rather than being angry. Rather than being destructive to him, you will feel much pity for him... a totally different quality.
     Worries may be the same – they continue. Through your meditation the world is not going to change, the world will be the same. But by your meditation you will be different, and when you are different the world is different, because it is your world; it depends on your vision, on your interpretation. Everything will be the same, but nothing will be the same anymore...because you have changed.

OshoThe Discipline of Transcendence

See also ...On the Trail of Transcendental Meditation

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