Self-Help Advice Books The Science of Being and Art of Living Part 2

About the self-help book The Science of Being and Art of Living by Maharishi Yogi, history and advice from the book.



Overview: T.M. is a blend of Western practicality and Eastern spirituality, a quickly taught technique of meditation which produces a state of deep rest in which the mind remains awake and alert. It can lead to cosmic consciousness--the yogic samadhi or Zen satori. The maharishi feels that if only 5% of the people in the world meditate, we will enter an Age of Enlightenment, with universal peace and less crime.

T.M. can be learned by almost anyone. Scientists from prestigious institutions like Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have documented its physiological effects: a drop in blood pressure, less intake of oxygen and output of carbon dioxide, less strain on the heart and respiratory system, less stress. People who meditate do better in school and on the job, are less irritable, and have faster reaction times.

Help-Yourself Advice: T.M. people say that in order for you to learn how to meditate correctly, you need to have the technique imparted to you by a T.M. teacher, who, after two preparatory sessions will initiate you in a ceremony to which you bring three pieces of fruit (seed of life), six fresh flowers (life), and a clean handkerchief (cleansing of the spirit). These are put under a color photograph of Guru Dev as symbolic offerings. The teacher chants in Sanskrit, then gives you your mantra, one of 17 available, based on your temperament and profession. A mantra is a Sanskrit word that may or may not have a literal meaning. The most widely used mantra in the world (although not used by T.M.) is Om Mani Padme Hum. After your initiation, you attend three checking sessions where you find out if you are meditating in the right way. Total cost: as little as $75 for a student, as much as $200 for a couple. Advice to meditators:

1. Meditate twice a day for periods of 20 minutes each, preferably before eating. You can meditate anywhere--on the bus, if you like. If you meditate in the house, sit in a comfortable chair, take the phone off the hook, put pets in another room.

2. Close your eyes and silently repeat the mantra "in all innocence." If it slips away, let it. Let your mind do what it wants.

3. When and if you reach the conscious level (know you are thinking), return to the mantra and "dive" into your mind again.

4. If you fall asleep, it is all right. Just start meditating again when you wake up.

5. Meditate every day, even when you don't feel like it.

6. When the time is up, sit quietly for two or three minutes and open your eyes very slowly to avoid too abrupt a return to the outside world.

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