Mind & Body Tune-up: Have you been thinking you need to do something? You don’t get restful sleep. Your stomach, digestive system is so fouled up you’ve got tablets at home, at work, in the car and you hate it when you forget to put them in your pocket.
Would you be surprised, like I am, that insomnia costs workplaces $63 billion a year in poor productivity? Or, are you surprised that sleep medication is the fastest growing class of drug on the market today?
Cut-to-the chase, these benefits of daily meditation are compelling and more and more business people in the United States, and especially Japan, are taking up the practice:
- Provides Better Health, Energy & Stamina – (A 20-Minute Transcendental Meditation Session can be like getting up to four hours of sleep.)
- Eliminates Stress Suffering - (The American Institute of Stress tallies at over $30 billion the annual stress cost to U.S. businesses. Health care expenses alone are 20-30 percent of corporate expenses and increasing at about 8 percent a year.)
- Enables Clearer Thinking
- Lowers Employee Turner
- Lowers Employee Absenteeism
- Lowers Health & Workers Compensation Costs Due to Illness & Accidents
- Increases Productivity
- Provides a Tool to Calm and Clear Your Mind on Demand When Shocks and Surprises Try to Push You into Stupid Reactions
- Enables More Efficient Problem-Solving
Want to know more about the proven benefits of Transcendental Meditation? Visit OnTM.org.
Curious about how you practice Transcendental Meditation (TM)?
Here’s the TM Method:
- Put yourself in a quiet, comfortable place where you will not be distracted by people or things.
- Sit upright, cross-legged with each hand resting on a knee with the forefinger and thumb of each hand touching. (If crossing your legs is uncomfortable, just sit with your feet flat on the floor. Lying down is not recommended.)
- Take at least three deep belly breaths to ready your body and mind. (I set a timer, because of my tight schedule.)
- When you take The TM Course, you are given a mantra, something to repeat over and over in your mind to block out other thoughts to quiet your mind. (While I recommend strongly investing in yourself and taking the TM Training, you can also use a mantra like the popular OM sound.)
- At the end of each 20-minute meditation session, allow yourself a few minutes to bring yourself back out of meditation ready to take on the rest of your day or night.
- It is recommended that you meditate in the morning before you begin your day and, ideally, just before dinner. (Meditating before bed, for example, is not recommended, because meditation energizes you.)
For this article, I interviewed a TM Instructor and businessman, Bill Schaeffer who teaches in New York. (Contact his Transcendental Meditation Program at 1-888-570-9718/1-607-547-5681 or visit http://www.TM.org for information about the TM Course and local instructors in your area.)
Here’s how Schaeffer sums up his positive experience using TM as a businessman, There are many types of meditation presently available. The type that I teach and practice is Transcendental Meditation, or TM. It was introduced in our country by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1960’s. It is currently practiced by millions of people in the United States alone. Over 600 studies, many published in major scientific journals, have shown that TM is very good for you. Its distinct style of “restful alertness” is unique. It’s why the National Institute of Health has funded TM research to the tune of 24 million dollars.
Maharishi would often say, “Do less and accomplish more.” In sales, my goal was to work smarter, not harder. Over the years, I didn’t spend more overnights away from my family, but my income did go up.
The deep rest and brain organization gained during TM is the best preparation for dynamic activity. Like a bow and arrow, the further we pull the arrow back in the opposite direction, the further the arrow flies when we release it. Twenty minutes twice daily is the formula for maximum success.
Here’s my TM story. As a single mom in my thirties of two daughters, with a full-time position working my way up the corporate ladder, taking graduate level courses, and working part-time, an auto accident whiplash made it impossible for me to sit for the three three-hour each Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter examinations. I had studied so hard and shared my disappointment with my friend, Mae Rodier. She had just taken the TM Course and suggested I invest in it to be able to sit for my exams. I told her I couldn’t afford the hundreds of dollars for the training. She said the TM Training is an investment I will get amazing returns on for the rest of my life. I took the training and I was able to sit for the three exams.
Thirty years later, I still meditate twenty minutes, twice a day, morning and early evening.
Here’s how I use my TM skills to cope when life throws me hard balls:
- Big-Time Stress Dump – If at all possible, I immediately do a 20-minute meditation to center myself so I can respond positively and intelligently with a clear mind.
- Stressful Encounter with a Person, Place or Thing – When possible, I pop into an immediate 5-minute meditation. Are you thinking, That’s not always possible? Say I’m in an important telephone conversation and it is going from bad to worse. I often say, This conversation is getting neither one of us anywhere. Could I call you back in five minutes, so we can begin again? In person, still not impossible. I excuse myself to go to the rest room.
- Every Day Small Frustrations – I take a few deep belly breaths and pop into a one minute meditation.
- I’ve Been Pushing Too Hard & I’m Tired with Work I Can’t Put Off – I do a 20-minute meditation, which is equivalent to about four hours of sleep and I’m good to go, refreshed, renewed and ready to work.
Here’s a Caution – Should you become a meditator, be patient with yourself in the beginning of your practice. You will receive your restorative, enlightening rewards. But maybe not the first few times while your discipline is new and your mind still races (TMers call this Monkey Mind).
If it takes you some sessions to begin to see results, remember in beginning a physical exercised program, you won’t get killer abs, a flat stomach or sharp muscle tone immediately.
Or, like me, you could get the benefits immediately, lots of folks do.
Schaeffer says, TM doesn’t take years to master or is only for a chosen few. I’ve taught 5-year olds and 75-year olds with equal success. With TM, we say, “If you can think, you can meditate.” And the benefits begin right away. You don’t get to be a “better” meditator with TM, it’s just that the benefits accumulate with practice.
Christine Easwaran says, There is no greater blessing than to grow up in a family where meditation is practiced. If nothing Schaeffer or I have said really moved you to take up meditation, how about increased happiness at home?
Have questions? Give me a call.
Barbara Garro, MA, CPCU is a Motivational Writer & Coach, Speaker, author of Grow Yourself a Life You’ll Love and From Jesus to Heaven with Love: A Parable Pilgrimage. Contact: 518-587-9999, Garro@ElectricEnvisions.com