Ask the Doctors, Specialists answer your questions about the Transcendental Meditation program and health

Our panel of physicians responds to questions on the Transcendental Meditation technique:

Questions about the practice:

How does the Transcendental Meditation technique work? 

How does sitting quietly and doing nothing bring the extraordinary results you’re describing? 

Can you get the same results simply by relaxing? 

If I close my eyes, my mind is filled with thoughts—how could I ever successfully practice TM? 

What’s the difference between TM and other forms of meditation—can the same benefits be obtained by any other methods? 

What about people who say, “A run in the woods is my TM,” or, “A good fishing trip will do the same thing for you?” 

My husband says reading good books is what develops his untapped potential, not sitting around with my eyes closed. 

Can TM be learned from a book or a CD? 

Does TM induce a state of trance or hypnosis? 

It sounds like it could be difficult to meditate properly—does it take a long time to get ‘good’ at TM? 

If this experience of inner wakefulness is so natural and easy, how come everybody doesn’t know about it? 

Is Transcendental Meditation just for relaxation, or is it a system of spiritual development? 

I’m interested in TM’s health benefits, but will Transcendental Meditation conflict with my spiritual faith? 

Questions about the scientific research:

Have the benefits of the Transcendental Meditation program really been validated by hundreds of scientific studies? 

Where were these TM research studies conducted? 

Were these studies done only by scientists who meditate and want to promote TM? 

Questions about the TM organization and course fee:

Why should I pay the course fee for TM when I can learn meditation cheaper, say, at the YMCA or in my yoga class—why is TM more expensive? 

Has anyone profited financially from the worldwide success of the TM program or is the organization really non-profit—where does the money go? 

What if I want to learn TM but can’t afford it? 

Questions about the effects:

Is it possible that the reported benefits of the Transcendental Meditation technique result from suggestion or expectation—in other words, the placebo effect? 

Does TM have any harmful or unpleasant side effects? 

My teenage daughter wants to learn TM, but how do I know she isn’t getting into to some mystical philosophy or exotic belief system? 

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For a certified teacher of the Transcendental Meditation program near you, please call 1–888–LEARN-TM (1–888–532–7686).

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