Doreen On Tm, 1

Interview with Doreen on TM

MP:

You have mentioned that, as a meditation practice, you experimented with TM. What exactly is Transcendental Meditation?

Doreen:

You realize that I don't know exactly what Transcendental Meditation is...right?

MP:

I just want to interview you about your experience with it. We'll scratch the surface and hope that someone will come along and tell us more about it.

Doreen:

Okay, so I don't know what Transcendental Meditation is. I have never been interested to find out! What I do know is that I was "initiated" at age 16 (I recall paying a sum for this) on the whim of a friend. What I remember 'clearly' from this experience was the initiation experience. After attending a series of classes on how Transcendental Meditation works (the scientific 'proof'...none of which I remember except for a chalk board and drawn on it is a vertical stack of ellipses) we attended a special individual ceremony.

Part of this rite involved honoring Guru Dev with our individual offering of fruit and flowers (maybe something else?) It was cool! (I recall, feeling like...this does not "jive" with the emphasis of the classes... being on "science"...Ha!) Nonetheless I liked it!! A woman gave me my mantra in this subdued celebration (of sorts.) I feel like she whispered it in my ear... though, I may never know for sure.

The concept, though…it was critical for the effective use of the mantra not to utter or share this "word/sound" with another person! (In writing this I realize that I do not recall... why? We (my friend) wanted to learn this). It was just, somehow, a cool thing to do. Although, I truly did not share this experience with my friends! (it may have been 'thought' to be weird by my other friends... I tended to have a wide range of friends, many whom did not mix).

MP:

Where did this all happen and how many people were involved?

Doreen:

It happened at Williams College, in a classroom. And the initiation rite happened in a hallway of one of the college buildings. One evening, after receiving the mantra, we meditated in a lounge area on the college campus, in a group of maybe 10-14 folks. I recalled that we never "practiced" using the mantra until that group setting...and that was the last meeting.

There were about 2-4 (?) people involved in the "teaching" and mini-ceremony. I truly do not remember...or feel the presence from other learners. I know I sat in a circle in a comfortable cushioned couch during the group meditation...and felt "transported"... though, remember not a person there. And I recall, meditating once with my friend in her home...I can see parts of being there, though not the actual meditation.

MP:

Do you remember being told what to expect from this type of meditation?

Doreen:

No! That is the most curious part of it! I'd be "making it up" if I said something, now.

MP:

Did it feel familiar to you-- just sitting meditation combined with looking within?

Doreen:

Totally familiar and easy. What felt completely uncomfortable was sitting and doing TM, twice a day for the required 15 minutes each session. Therefore I 'dropped' it. 'Retained the "mantra"...and used it in "my own" way...later on in my life.

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