Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
"The Transcendental Meditation technique opens awareness to the infinite reservoir of energy, creativity, and intelligence that lies deep within everyone. By enlivening this most basic level of life, the TM technique is one simple procedure that can raise the life of every individual and every society to its full dignity, a state in which problems are absent and perfect health, happiness, and a rapid pace of progress are the natural features of life."
Maharishi introduced the Transcendental Meditation technique to the world in 1955. He is known for his practical, scientific approach and his lifelong endeavor to relieve human suffering and bring the benefits of effective meditation to people everywhere.
Maharishi was a world renowned teacher but did not fashion himself as a "guru" with personal followers. "I have no followers," he once replied to a journalist. "Everyone practicing the TM technique follows their own progress."
Over the years, as he traveled the globe lecturing, teaching meditation and training thousands of teachers, Maharishi met with many of the greatest minds of his generation, who practiced his meditation technique or sought discourse with him during symposia on his theory of consciousness. He discussed molecular chemistry with Nobel Laureate Dr. Melvin Calvin; environmental design with R. Buckminster Fuller; quantum mechanics with Nobel Laureate Dr. Brian Josephson; thermodynamics with Nobel Laureate Dr. Ilya Prigogine; the effect of meditation on stress with renowned researcher Dr. Hans Selye; the future of technology with Dr. Harvey Brooks of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government; subatomic physics with leading physicist Dr. E.C.G. Sudarshan—on and on goes the list of leading thinkers in frequent attendance at Maharishi's talks.
He worked to integrate the various fields of human knowledge, elucidating interconnectedness on the unifying foundation of consciousness and demonstrated how development of consciousness enriches all areas of life.
Maharishi welcomed scientists everywhere to research the TM technique, thereby establishing the practical benefits of meditation on the empirical ground of science.
Maharishi answers questions
What is Transcendental Meditation?
Maharishi: Transcendental Meditation is a simple, natural program for the mind, a spontaneous, effortless march of the mind to its own unbounded essence. Through Transcendental Meditation, the mind unfolds its potential for unlimited awareness, transcendental awareness, Unity Consciousness — a lively field of all potential, where every possibility is naturally available to the conscious mind. The conscious mind becomes aware of its own unbounded dignity, its unbounded essence, its infinite potential. Transcendental Meditation provides a way for the conscious mind to fathom the whole range of its existence — active and silent, point and infinity. It is not a set of beliefs, a philosophy, a lifestyle, or a religion. It's an experience, a mental technique one practices every day for fifteen or twenty minutes.
What are the benefits of the TM technique?
Maharishi: Scientific experiments with people who practice Transcendental Meditation indicate that it tends to produce normalization in all areas of life. It reduces stress, improves health, enriches mental functioning, enhances personal relationships, and increases job productivity and job satisfaction.
Why does one need to be taught if it's so natural?
Maharishi: Through instruction. What happens is that the mind, in its active state, learns to experience its own less active states, experience its progressively minimized active states, until eventually it cognizes the transcendental state of consciousness. But in learning to do this, we must remember that the mind has usually been allowed to wander around so long in the realm of knowledge or power or the pursuit of happiness that it must be taught how to know itself again. That's why teaching becomes necessary. After learning Transcendental Meditation one knows what the natural state is. But to realize this, one has to be liberated from unnatural programs, performances and experiences. Most people have no experience with Transcendental Consciousness, pure consciousness, the pure nature of the mind. They are aware of active mind, which is the waking state of consciousness. They are also aware of the complete forgetfulness of the mind, the sleep state. And they are aware of the middle stage, the dreaming mind. But they are not aware of pure or Transcendental Consciousness. So the experience of that consciousness is taught in Transcendental Meditation, though it's nothing other than the very nature of the mind.
What is enlightenment?
Maharishi: Enlightenment is the normal, natural state of health for the body and mind. It results from the full development of consciousness and depends upon the perfect and harmonious functioning of every part of the body and nervous system. When one is using the full potential of the mind and body in this way, every thought and action is spontaneously correct and life-supporting. This is life free from suffering, life lived in its full stature and significance. The goal of the Transcendental Meditation Technique is the state of enlightenment. This means we experience that inner calmness, that quiet state of least excitation, even when we are dynamically busy.