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“Transcendental Meditation” by Students International Meditation Society and Demetri P. Kanellakos


The purpose of transcendental meditation is to help every individual expand his mind, develop his creative intelligence and make use of his full potential in studies, career and recreation.

Transcendental meditation is a natural technique which allows the conscious mind to experience increasingly more subtle states of thought until the source of thought, the unlimited reservoir of energy and creative intelligence, is reached. This simple practice expands the capacity of the conscious mind, and a man is able to use his full potential in all fields of thought and action.

It is natural for every man to want to develop his potential and evolve his life. This development is easy and automatic when one knows how to make contact with the source of thought which lies deep within. This basic source, which is one’s own Self or Being, is transcendental in nature, non-changing and absolute, as distinguished from one’s field of activity, which is of relative and changing nature.

Every man has the ability to include within his consciousness the transcendental field as well as the subjective and objective aspects of life. The whole range of relative creation and the field of absolute Being lie within the scope of human consciousness.


And when a man makes conscious contact with Being he is encompassing within his individual life the basis of all life. Thus, his full potential is the unlimited potential of absolute Being. A man begins to reflect and enjoy that unlimited potential in his own activity and begins to experience, in his own terms, a better life.

The full range of man’s life in terms of absolute and relative may be made clearer through the example of the life of a tree. The relative aspects of a tree are the trunk, branches, leaves, flowers and fruit, which are obvious, together with the root, which is less obvious. Investigating more closely, we find that although the basis of the outer tree is the inner root, the root itself has no independent, absolute status. It is dependent completely upon the field of nourishment which lies beyond the root. This field is the basis of both the inner and outer aspects of the tree and provides the essential constituent of its life. The whole tree is made of this essential constituent, and if any part of the tree begins to lose contact with this field of nourishment, problems arise. However, as long as contact is maintained the tree enjoys full growth and life.

Thus, we find the tree to be an individual expression of its own unlimited field of nourishment; the tree appears to be bound to the relative aspects of the inner root and outer limbs, but its very basis, from which it draws its own life strength, is beyond these limitations in a transcendental absolute field.

Similarly, individual human life has the same outer and inner relative aspects together with the aspect of transcendental absolute nature. The outer aspect of a man’s life is his body and environment; the inner aspect of his personality is his mind, and his transcendental aspect is Being or the field of pure consciousness which is the essential constituent of man and the basis of all his experience and activity.

Skill in Action

For an individual to expand his mind, develop his potential and thereby experience increasing progress and fulfillment in his life, it is necessary for him to be in contact with transcendental pure consciousness, his own essential nature. Success in action, or skill in action, demands that before engaging in activity the mind be brought to this stable field of unlimited energy and creative intelligence. This is necessary in the same way that an archer must first pull the arrow back on the bow before shooting it ahead. As the arrow is drawn back fully it gains maximum power and direction for going forward. If the arrow is not pulled back first, the attempt will lack skill and fall short of success.

The two phases of man’s existence, as we have seen, are absolute and relative, and it is skill in action which brings these two together, enabling all values of life to be lived.

Otherwise, on the one hand, the absolute remains transcendental, outside the field of activity and as if of no practical value; on the other hand, the field of relative life is left strained because one’s experience and activity remain without basis and, therefore, weak in an ever-changing, unstable phase.

If, in this one-sided situation, a man’s activity continues to require more energy and intelligence from him, it is inevitable that stress and tension will develop.

This lack of available potential is what restricts man’s progress and enjoyment of life. That is why it is skill in action which integrates the stable absolute of transcendental nature with the changing relative field of experience. Both are brought together on the level of the mind, just as in the life of the tree the field of nourishment and the outer sphere of the tree are brought together by the instrumentality of the root, which draws nourishment from one side and supplies it to the other.

The practice of transcendental meditation is skill in action because by expanding the mind to the source of thought it puts an individual in direct contact with his own infinite reservoir of energy and creative intelligence, and thereby prepares him for successful action. Coming out of meditation, having more of his full potential available, a meditator naturally begins to experience increased happiness and success in his activity of daily life.

Anyone can begin to practice skill in action by devoting a few minutes in the morning and evening to transcendental meditation. The process is effortless, requiring no particular ability on the part of the meditator other than the natural ability to think. During meditation he automatically experiences more subtle states of thought until his mind gains the state of Being.

The process is increasingly pleasant as the mind consciously transcends to the state of pure consciousness.

Transcendental meditation is easy and natural in that it makes use of the tendency of the mind to shift attention always in the direction of more satisfying fields of experience.

We find that the natural tendency of the mind is to go automatically to a field of greater happiness; no one has to be taught to want to enjoy more in life, to be more, to accomplish more, to experience more . . Therefore, transcendental meditation involves no control or effort, no concentration or contemplation. These methods tend to restrict the attention and hold the mind to gross levels of perception, whereas in transcendental meditation the mind is allowed to expand and experience subtler states of thought in the direction of the source of thought until the source is reached.

Physiology of an Evolving Man

It has been found that different states of consciousness are reflected through different states of the nervous system, the machinery we use to experience our life. Waking, dreaming and deep sleep—the relative states of consciousness—have their corresponding physiological states in the body, and there is, as well, a corresponding physiological state when the mind transcends to the state of pure consciousness. Therefore, the different states of consciousness that an individual experiences can be accounted for by changes in the state of the nervous system. Man enjoys the variety of his own existence through changes in his machinery of experience. In reality, he remains absolute in the pure consciousness of his essential nature even while different relative states of consciousness are experienced.

This same principle may be found in the example of one bright sun shining everywhere, remaining one even while its many and varied reflections are produced through changes in the reflecting substance; for instance, as cloudy water becomes clear the reflection is closer to the reality of the sun itself.

As the mind transcends during meditation, natural physiological changes occur in the body corresponding to changes in mental activity and the level of experience. Profound rest is brought to the system. The mind and body gain a state of restful alertness which, on the physical level, corresponds to the state of pure consciousness. For this state to be lived always, or in other words, for full potential to be readily available in all activity, it is essential that the nervous system be refined to reflect or maintain transcendental Being even while fully engaged in activity.

An evolved man enjoys the stability of Being in the midst of dynamic activity. To accomplish this state involves culturing the nervous system, the seat of consciousness, in such a way that it becomes capable of reflecting Being along with the other states of consciousness. The process of refining the system to this normal and integrated state of life is simple and natural, yet delicate, taking its own time. Alternating two brief periods of transcendental meditation with daily activity brings this infusion of Being into the nature of the active mind and through it into all aspects of one’s experience in the relative field.

“Transcendental Meditation” by Students International Meditation Society and Demetri P. Kanellakos is an extract from The Highest State of Consciousness edited by John W. White, published by White Crow Books and available from Amazon and other bookstores.

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