Videos of Maharishi, the founder of Transcendental Meditation

Mantra and Transcendental Meditation explained (7:08)

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Maharishi: The teaching has been set up in a very, very standard form. What we do is... actual practice... involves thinking of a word. A word devoid of meaning. We don't know the meaning. We don't try to know the meaning. And the principal is that if we know the meaning, that meaning is a static thing. If we say 'pencil, pencil,' someone who doesn't know what pencil means in English, he just hears the sound 'pencil.' And someone who knows the pencil, the meaning is static. The sound changes in its pitch. It could be loud sound, could be low sound, low sound. And the meaning is the same at every pitch, high or low.

So if the mind is on the meaning, then there is no chance of refining the meaning. If the mind is not on the meaning, then there is the chance of refining the sound. Then there is the chance of experiencing the sound in its finer values, until the finest could be transcended, and the awareness would reach that inner wakefulness, devoid of any perception. This will be Transcendental Consciousness.

So we take a thought, and experience it. And experiencing the thought, the simple formula is that the thought functions as an impulse, as a motivation for impluse, like that, like that. Then, the mind is pulsating. If we don't try to manipulate the thought in any sense - concentrate or hold it on or anything - then the thought will start to be refined, refined, refined, and it'll sink out. As if the activity starts to die out, die out, die out.

So, this is what we say, naturally, greater activity of the mind reaches its least value. In a very, very natural way. Any activity has a tendency to settle down and be quiet. So this natural tendency of the mind to be quiet is all that we use in meditation, and nothing else. So in a very innocent manner, we think of the thought, and every time we think it becomes finer, and finer, and finer. We experience its finer states, and then it dies out. The mind is left wide awake by itself, without any sound to experience. That inner wakefullness is that unbounded awareness, no boundaries. It's like the wave settling down, and it settles down, and there's the flat surface of the water throughout the whole range of the lake.

This unbounded awareness where the perception is no longer in boundaries, it is unbounded, this is a silent state of the mind. And it is so fulfilling that the physiology, having tasted this kind of quietness of activity, it cherishes that. And because its cherishing to the whole physiology, to the whole experience, the physiology tends to maintain that state naturally, even when there are activities, like that, like that. So by nature, that state is experienced/ By nature, through practice, it becomes stablised in the field of activity. And once that is stablised in the field of activity, we have life on all levels - all possibilities - the level of all possibilities, perfect orderliness.

And all that we know from quantum mechanics to be the characteristic of the vacuum state, is experienced, becomes one's own personal experience throughout life. That kind of life we want to generate.

Questioner: One has to have a teacher, one cannot... just by reading...

Maharishi: No, reading it's very difficult, because to have that effortless thinking, one needs a little verification from the teacher a few times, three or four times, and then one knows what it means to have thought without effort. So that experience, and then, in the process of teaching, the procedure of teaching, we have laid our three layers of checking. One experiences, and then the next day, the teacher tells him certain things, which, by experience of years of teaching, we have established that these are the points which the beginner must know the first day. Now the second day experiences, these are the points which the beginner must know as an explanation of his two days experience.

Experiences are very subtle. In this caes, the experiences are... fading of the experiences. There is something we experience... think the thought... have the direct experience of the thought, and then it begins to fade, and fade, and fade, and fade. So the disappearing of the experiences, first day, second day, third day, every day it becomes a little bit clearer, what this means. A bit clearer. In three days, experiences become fairly clear, to be able to understand the entire process, and on that basis, all the future possibilities. So three days of checking is a vital aspect of the beginning of the process. The whole thing is very simple, there is nothing of any complication or anything... absolute, natural process. That is the reason why everyone succeeds in it. Only those three days of checking, if one has understood the points... no problem.

Questioner: One more last question, there is no relationship between the thought and teacher? In other words, there is no relationship of the type of a guru (spiritual teacher) and chella (student) relationship?

Maharishi: Just like the history professor (laughter). He counts the sequence of the years, this happened, that happened. Like that, purely on an instructional basis. Otherwise the whole complication is not very scientific.

Maharishi on the Origin of Thought (2:33)

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It is very amazing that even though, all of us, we have been thinking right from the beginning of our life. But rarely have we thought 'where was the thought, before we thought it?' The origin of thought... nobody bothers about the origin of thought. How the thought starts, and how it develops to come to be appreciated as a thought on the conscious thinking level. A thought starts from the depths of consciousness as an air bubble from the bottom of a lake. As the air bubble starts, it's very fine, and as it comes up, it becomes bigger, and bigger, and bigger. Coming up on the surface, it explodes, and there it is appreciated as a bubble.

Like that, a thought starts from the deepest level of consciousness. Modern psychology calls it 'subconscious,' and as it comes up, it becomes bigger, and bigger, and bigger. Coming up on the conscious thinking level, it is appreciated as a thought. In Transcendental Meditation, we experience the thought on the ordinary thinking level, on the surface level of the mind, on the conscious thinking level, and appreciate its finer states. Then the conscious mind reaches the sources of thought, and thereby, the conscious mind expands. By the time the conscious mind had experienced the source of thought, full depth of the subconscious has been explored. Nothing remains subconscious. The whole subconscious is incorporated in the conscious, and this is called the expansion of the conscious mind.

This is the way to use one's full mental potential. Modern psychology says man has been using only a small portion of the mind. Transcendental Meditation is a way to enable every man, to educate every man, to make use of his full mental potential. Imagine the development in all fields of civilisation when every man will be using his full potential. A man will not get a stress and strain in his aspirations to accomplish more and more, and advancements will be glorious in all fields. That is a society we want to create.

Maharishi on Transcendental Meditation and Yoga (2:46)

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The advice is to continue yoga on the physical level, and start and continue yoga on the mental level, and start to continue yoga on the intellectual level and live in daily life, yoga, on the "Self" level. On all levels of life - physical, mental, intellectual, and on the level of transcendental being - on all levels, yoga will help to progress in every way, in every field of life. Yoga means unity. Unity is more and more bringing unified wholeness into the field of diversity. And one of the yoga saying says that 'yoga is superior action.' A better quality of action, when you want, then you practice yoga, practice yoga, practice yoga. And yoga on all levels.

Transcendental Meditation is all yoga. I had to call it Transcendental Meditation - a new name - because I felt yoga has been commonly understood in terms of physical exercises. That is also a yoga, but it is a level of it's own. Then mental yoga, intellectual yoga, and then the Self-referral yoga - Self-referral consciousness, unified field of all the laws of nature. Field of consciousness, consciousness, which is more basic to all the physical evolution. Yoga is a good word, but it should be properly understood, practiced, and the result will be holistic evolution of life.

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