Russell Brand discusses his experience with Transcendental Meditation (TM). Presentation from a David Lynch Foundation event for veterans.
How can Transcendental Meditation be so effective at overcoming stress-related problems?
Here’s the deal:
Excessive stress often leads to: poor decision-making, insomnia, heart disease, reduced happiness hormones, drug & alcohol addiction and even violence etc.
Below are 4 ways that transcending can reverse the vicious circle of stress:
1. Deep physical rest, far deeper than sleep.
2. Reversing the negative effects of stress on the brain.
3. Inner happiness, measurable through increased Serotonin.
4. Overcoming drug & alcohol addictions
1) Deep physical rest, far deeper than sleep
When the mind transcends the finest impulse of thought, it comes into a state of complete inner silence. This happens in a completely natural and effortless way. We can’t try to make the mind silent, nor do we have to. With the right technique, the mind will go there by itself.
When the mind transcends, the body spontaneously comes into a very deep state of relaxation as well, far deeper than that attained even in deep sleep.
This can be objectively measured by monitoring oxygen consumption. The above graph, from a Harvard Medical School research study, shows that, during TM, the body comes into a state of rest that is twice as deep as even the deepest rest during sleep. More than 30 studies around the world have confirmed this fact.
This deep rest activates the inner healing power in our own bodies. Relaxation means relaxing tensions. The body has a completely natural way to remove tensions that it accumulates.
This is what happens during sleep but the rest during sleep doesn’t always go deep enough to remove more deeply-rooted, traumatic stresses. Transcending gives a level of rest that can help dissolve those deeper rooted stresses.
Scientific research on war veterans has shown that the Transcendental Meditation technique led to significant reductions in PTSD (post traumatic stress), anxiety, depression & insomnia, etc. And, after only 3 months of practice, 70% of the war veterans required no further treatment. The control group that received standard psychotherapy showed no improvement.
2) Reversing the negative effects of stress on the brain
Research has shown that even though the body is in a state of deep rest, the brain becomes more active during transcending; the blood flow to the brain will actually increase during TM.
It gets even better:
More recent research is now showing where exactly this increased blood flow goes. fMRI scans are showing that in the Amygdala the blood flow decreases during TM, meaning that our stress alarm center is starting to relax.
The increase in blood flow, on the other hand, goes mostly to the pre-frontal cortex. Through fMRI scans, we can now visually see how the damaging effects of stress on the pre-frontal cortex are getting healed during TM practice.
3) Measurable Growth Of Inner Happiness
Stress disturbs the normal functioning of the brain, causing, amongst other things, a decrease in the production of the “happiness hormone,” serotonin.
A lack of serotonin influences not only our inner sense of happiness but is also associated with migraines, sleep disorders, anxiety, anger outbursts, Alzheimer’s, eating disorders, addictions and many others.
One can try to influence serotonin artificially (as anti-depressants seem to do) but this only treats the symptoms, not the cause.
A completely natural increase in serotonin production during the TM practice and, eventually, during the rest of the day. This has implications in all areas of life as can be seen on this site.
4) Overcoming addictions
The triple effect of reversing the vicious circle (activation of pre-frontal cortex, relaxing of the Amygdala and increase in serotonin) is usually noticeable immediately.
Even within a few days after learning the TM technique most people report feeling more themselves, they feel happier and manage to remain more calm during stressful situations.
Below are brain scans showing the long term effects of different addictions on the brain.
The good news is:
After just a few months, TM has proven to be the most effective method ever researched to conquer nicotine, alcohol or drug addictions. A large analysis on all the research on addictions that was ever done found that TM was 3-4 times more effective than any other method ever researched.
5) How can I learn to transcend?
Transcending is effortless and pleasant to do, it can be learnt by anyone, and gives immediate results.
The experience of transcending can be achieved only in a completely natural and effortless way.
It is an experience of complete, inner silence that cannot be achieved by trying to be quiet. The more we try, the more we keep the mind active. Trying to relax is a contradiction in terms. That is why most “meditation” methods that require concentration have limited effect.
The Transcendental Meditation technique is taught individually, by a professionally trained teacher who is able to lead a person, in a completely natural way, to the experience of transcending.
If one has had this experience once, then the mind remembers it and, afterwards, it can go back there spontaneously, in a totally natural and effortless way, provided that one uses the correct technique. This technique is taught step by step, during four consecutive meetings. This initial training course is followed by a extensive program of follow-up meetings to ensure continued correct practice.
6) Do you have 1 hour to discover how everything can change?
The first step to learning Transcendental Meditation is to simply attend a free 1 hour introductory talk at one of our centres which are located in every major city of Australia. Please fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you with our schedule of upcoming talks.