How to use Transcendental Meditation to reach your full potential

This episode is with Dr Tony Nader – a medical doctor trained at Harvard and MIT (with a Ph.D. in neuroscience), and a globally recognised Vedic scholar. As Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s successor, Dr Nader is head of the international Transcendental Meditation organisations in over 100 countries. Dr Nader guides the Transcendental Meditation program and its advanced practices, and the practical applications of this technology in all areas of life and he has recently released his new book “One Unbounded Ocean of Consciousness”. In this episode we talk about how to use Transcendental Meditation to reach your full potential.

LINKS

You’re listening to The Growth Manifesto Podcast, a Zoom video series brought to you by Webprofits – a digital growth consultancy that helps global and national businesses attract, acquire, and retain customers through digital marketing.

Hosted by Alex Cleanthous.

SHOW NOTES

  • 00:01:40 Dr. Tony Nader introduction to the Growth Manifesto Podcast
  • 00:02:43 What is transcendental meditation? And how does it differ from standard meditation?
  • 00:08:21 How do you define consciousness?
  • 00:11:41 Does it mean Transcendental Meditation’s goal is to expand a person’s screen?
  • 00:16:05 Dr. Tony explains how Transcendental Meditation works
  • 00:18:51 Is this a good approach to find solutions in stressful situations?
  • 00:26:44 Why has transcendental meditation become so famous?
  • 00:31:47 How does one start to practice transcendental meditation?
  • 00:39:35 How long does it take for Transcendental Meditation to happen?
  • 00:44:01 What happens if you can’t actually see somebody in person? Is it possible to do it virtually?
  • 00:45:34 Have you ever supported a company where you trained an organization?
  • 00:48:03 What have you found the most effective technique?
  • 00:56:13 Is it correct to say that through Transcendental Meditation, you are creating the deepest part of who you are and making its way to reach a person’s full potential?
  • 01:00:15 How do people find more about the Trandecental transformation?
  • 01:00:20 Where can they buy your book from?

TRANSCRIPT

Dr. Tony Nader:

First, let’s, in a simple way, say that Transcendental Meditation, often we say TM-

Alex Cleanthous:

TM, thank you. I’ll start saying that from now on.

Dr. Tony Nader:

It’s simpler. Is a very, very simple technique to learn. Even children from the age of five on, as soon as they can understand what to do, up to any age can learn it. There is no need for any preparation in terms of education, of background, of knowledge. It’s a technique. So, there is no belief. It’s not on the basis of philosophy or belief system. It’s just a mental technique that is practised morning and evening for 20 minutes, sitting comfortably in a chair, eyes closed. There is no physical exercise that is required. And also, there is no mental manipulation that is required, which means we don’t try to focus the mind. So, it is not concentration technique. We don’t try to contemplate, so we don’t try to guide the mind towards a specific way of thinking or feeling or understanding. So, that’s not a contemplation, that’s not a concentration. So, what is it? It is based on the ultimate nature of the mind. The nature of the mind is to search for more charm, more happiness.

Alex Cleanthous:

Today, we’re talking with Dr. Tony Nader. He’s a medical doctor trained at Harvard and MIT, with a PhD in neuroscience. He’s a globally recognised Vedic scholar. He’s Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s successor. He is the head of international Transcendental Meditation organisations in over 100 countries. He guides the Transcendental Meditation programme and its advanced practises past the practical applications of this technology across all areas of life. Obviously, I’m excited about this one. And today, we’ll be talking about how to use Transcendental Meditation to reach your full potential. And just quickly, before we get started, make sure to go ahead and hit that subscribe button, so that you get the latest episodes as soon as they’re released. Now, let’s get into it. Welcome, Tony.

Dr. Tony Nader:

Hi. Nice to be with you.

Alex Cleanthous:

I’m excited about this one, because I’ve heard so much about Transcendental Meditation compared to standard meditation, right? But maybe that’s the place where we can start, yeah? So, what is Transcendental Meditation, and how does it differ to standard meditation?

Dr. Tony Nader:

Meditation as a general term is mental, something related to the mind, mental procedure, so it’s not a physical. But there are, of course, so many kinds of ways to use the mind. Could be in counselling, could be in thinking, directing the mind to focus, contemplating on different thoughts, different proverbs, thinking about one’s life, even praying, or having a moment of peace and happiness to experience your breathing. There is these techniques of mindfulness, where you’re mindful of your breathing, or mindful of your thoughts, you witness them. You are being told to not be involved sometimes. Sometimes you do an analysis of the thoughts, go back to the past, have thought associations. All of these are generally kind of meditations. You can also think of beautiful things, think of compassion and important things in life, unity, values, all on the thinking-meaning level.

And Transcendental Meditation is very different from all the other aspects of meditation, because it transcends all the surface values, so that we go beyond. So, transcending is to go beyond. So, you go beyond mental thoughts, you go beyond emotions and feelings, you go beyond trying to do anything even, and you just dive within. And that is a very natural, simple process that happens guided by the nature of the mind, which we can talk about more to see how does it work, why does it work like that. And so therefore, it’s not a contemplation technique. It’s not the technique that depends on focusing or forcing the mind. You do not manipulate or even guide the mind in any way. And therefore, in that sense, it goes beyond all these other aspects and takes us to the inner deep value of our self. So, that is in brief definition. But of course, we can explore that more in terms of why and how it happens.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah, sure… Because I’m going to ask a lot of questions, that’s what I do, but just to clarify, the first part is that meditation is about understanding and being aware of how you’re feeling, emotions, thoughts, and so on. Transcendental Meditation is taking that to the next level, yeah? It’s transcending the current state. Is that a right summary, if I can-

Dr. Tony Nader:

Yes, yes, it’s going beyond. To transcend is to go beyond. And in this case, it’s go beyond the finest level of the mind to the level of pure consciousness, pure awareness. We say the mind is like an ocean, active on its surface with waves, and as you go deeper into the ocean of the mind, it gets more and more settled, more and more settled. And when you go to the bottom of the ocean, it’s the most quiet level. And that is to transcend even. This is going beyond that to the field of pure consciousness. See, consciousness is like the screen, in this case, on which all the thoughts are happening. So, we are conscious, so we have thoughts, and we are absorbed by the thoughts. The thoughts are the objects on which our attention falls. And there is a screen, actually, that upholds the thoughts. It’s like you go to a movie, and you watch the movie, you forget the screen, because it’s the movie that is happening. So, we can say, well, think of the movie, think of what’s happening in the movie, think about the character, think about their emotions, you get involved personally in it, and all of that. And all of this is happening on the screen of consciousness, of awareness.

What we do in Transcendental Meditation is to go beyond the movie to the actual screen, to the screen that upholds all the thoughts, and all the feelings, and all of that. And this is our true inner self. This is what we say, it’s the most settled state, where there is no thought at all, yet one is not asleep. One is awake. And so, this wakeful and deep rested state is what we call transcendental state of consciousness, transcendental state of awareness, where the individual is facing themselves. They are with themselves alone, without the object of surface thinking, and feeling, and planning, and all of that.

Alex Cleanthous:

And so, you talk about consciousness a lot in your book. How do you define consciousness?

Dr. Tony Nader:

Consciousness is that screen, we can say, on which all life happens on the experiential level. So, without consciousness, we cannot dream, we cannot hope, we cannot plan. Imagine yourself, if you are in anaesthesia, which is a very low level of consciousness, we don’t call it no consciousness at all, because the body is still being conscious of things and reacts to things in anaesthesia even. You can have change in heart rate and blood pressure if there is pain or something that happens. So, it’s a different thing. So, that’s why we call it not completely without consciousness. But let’s assume on the level of awareness as we know it, that in anaesthesia or in coma, there is no consciousness at all. So, in that no consciousness state, you do not experience anything. You do not experience your health, your happiness. You do not experience your wealth. You do not experience your creativity. You don’t experience the love that you have for others or that others have for you, the plans that you have.

And so, what brings all of this to light is consciousness. So, consciousness is the light that lights up our life and allows us to see what is there. If you are in a dark room, there might be many, many things. But if it’s really pitch dark, you don’t see anything. And without the light of consciousness, you cannot experience anything. Of course, we are defining it here by what it does, what it allows us to experience, but what is it itself? And this is where we go to a different level of understanding, and that is that it is actually, consciousness is the source of everything. Consciousness is primary, and it is actually what ends up becoming the universe, and our life, and all that. But that’s a different layer of understanding what consciousness is.

In terms of its effects, it is what allows us to see either more or less. So, if your light is dim, you see less. If your light is strong, you see more details, and you see broader. Or if you like to call it in terms of the screen, if your screen of life is tiny, you see only a patch of the reality. If your screen is wide and broad, you see more and more of reality, and what things, the things that are happening. So, consciousness on an individual level can be narrow, and can be broad. And that is what we would like to highlight, and that’s why in the book, I highlight this, the importance of consciousness and ability to see more or experience more of life.

Alex Cleanthous:

It’s a hard concept, I think, for a lot of people to understand, this concept of consciousness. Even though everybody is conscious to a level, the size of their screen could be different, the size of their screen could be extremely small or extremely big. But it seems like Transcendental Meditation is all about expanding that screen, is that right? As much as possible, is that right?

Dr. Tony Nader:

Exactly. Exactly.

Alex Cleanthous:

Is the goal as much as possible that expansion to accept as many inputs as possible?

Dr. Tony Nader:

Exactly. It’s broadening the awareness, broadening consciousness. When one is tired, if you didn’t have a good night’s sleep, and you wake up, you’re tired, you’re stressed, there are so many worries, your mind narrows down. It narrows down to the issues that you are facing. And this is part of the system that allows us to face situations. When we were in the jungle, and we experience a dangerous situation, like the tiger was going to pounce on us, it’s not the time to think about music, or planning, or beautiful, grand things, and plan even your business, and your family life, and your education, or whatever, and experience life. It’s the time to run, or to fight if you feel strong enough. So, what the system does, even physiologically, it shuts off the higher parts of the nervous system of the brain, which are in the cortical areas on the surface, and puts its attention, its importance on the values that are in the inner parts of the brain, we call the limbic system area, et cetera, that are responsible for the fight or flight response. So, the blood gets diverted, even in the nervous system to the areas that will fight. They get diverted to the muscles. There is construction of the pupil, and other things that happen. There is adrenaline increase, and like that, maybe, and so increase cortisol, and all of this our response to stress.

Now, in life, we don’t have to have any more the tiger pounce on us. It’s not every day that we encounter that. But even loud noise, even sometimes, in some cases, worries, things that happen in our life, they actually activate this system, because it’s translated subconsciously in our mind as being a danger. And therefore, our consciousness gets narrow. It gets narrowed down, and we don’t see anymore the broad picture. And when we are tired like this, when we wake up in the morning and we’re feeling tired or stressed, we notice that. We notice that small problem becomes like a mountain. We are annoyed, we’re not feeling good about it, et cetera. When we are well rested within, even from just a simple good night’s sleep, and the same problem, we deal with it in a much more complete, holistic way, if you like. We have broad comprehension. We see that the mountain is not such a big mountain. We can solve it. We try to find solutions. We think of solutions.

So, this is a simple example to say how narrow consciousness can lead to aspects on the environment to become overwhelming, and broader consciousness allows us to deal with our life in a way that is much more complete, and allows us to be bigger than the problem and to solve it. So, Transcendental Meditation, what it does is transcend all this. So, go beyond the surface level to the deep level of the self, broadening the awareness. But as we said, as we go down in the ocean of the mind, the ocean, as we go deeper in the ocean, the regular ocean, it becomes more and more quiet, more and more settled. And that’s what happens also in Transcendental Meditation at the level of the mind. The mind settles down, settles down very deeply, and since mind and body are intimately connected, what’s happening in the mind is reflected by a rest in the body. And when the body gains deep rest, it gets rid of its stresses and strains. This is how we heal ourselves naturally. When you are tired, you don’t try to pull the tiredness out of your muscles. You rest and the body heals itself.

But Transcendental Meditation bring a much deeper rest, and a different quality of rest, because it’s restful alertness. So, it’s not that we are sleeping. We are very alert, yet very, very deeply rested. And this quality actually has been shown to remove stresses and strain, and eliminate all of these blocks on our nervous system, therefore allows awareness to be wide, and allow us to act from a more settled, more inner peaceful and quiet platform that allows us to then see more things. And so, that is how broadening the awareness gives us the ability to have more comprehension.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah, so this is a business podcast. So, I’m going to focus a little bit on the business side of things, because I think there’s a lot of places where this is applicable, right? You just mentioned before, the fight or flight response causes us to narrow the awareness, right? And the goal is to have expansive awareness, right? Now, in business, there are a lot of tigers. There are a lot of… Well, there are the feelings that there are quite a lot of tigers around the corner. There might not be tigers around the corner, but there’s a lot of feeling of things that could go wrong, or preempting certain challenges, or… I think the world that we’re living in these days, especially with all the stuff that happened in 2020, there’s a lot of stress. There’s a lot of stress in people’s lives, yeah? And from a personal side of things, it certainly affects people’s health. And we know those. There’s a lot of studies around that.

But from the business side of things, that stress causes the narrow awareness. And when you’re in that stuck state, you can’t see. You can’t see the solution, because sometimes the solution is a little bit outside of the narrowness that you have. And so, am I correct in saying that this approach helps to find solutions in stressful situations, and especially on the business side of things, expand the number of options available to solve a solution?

Dr. Tony Nader:

Absolutely. If you want to invest in the stock market, for example, you want to know the maximum you could about the company that you are investing in. If you have only one information, it went up, it went down, then you’re likely just to be playing a game on the casino, maybe, or a chance game. But if you know the company’s profits and losses, if you know the demands on the product, if you know what the future is requiring, how people are moving in the market, if it’s a good time, so many other things, interest rates, the banking, and the finance, and all of that, the more you know, the better you are able to make the right decision. Not just the stock market, but certainly, if you’re creating a company, and as you say, if there are potential tigers around, and the competition, and all these possibilities, the more you know, the better it is. And if you focus on only on one factor because you get stressed by it, you lose the ability to actually make decisions. So, in business, you’re not only just putting your money somewhere, you’re actually either running a company, or making decisions of investments in other big companies, and all of that. And there, you really want to find solutions, how to inspire the workers, how to advertise your product, how to this and that, and how to overcome difficulties that happen.

So, what you need is actually the ability to focus on specifics, but with broad comprehension. If you don’t have the broad comprehension, as you beautifully summarised and expressed, you cannot see solutions that are beyond the immediate concerns of the problem you are facing. Sometimes we have to find what we can call the second element, or the third element, if you like. So, there are two elements of something happening, you have to think creatively. You have to think… And for this, what you need, actually, in simple terms, you need your brain. You need awareness. You need yourself. And if you’re stressed, your brain is not available to you. The brain… And this is what we’re saying is scientifically studied. When we did Transcendental Meditation studies, we have found that, and many scientists have done it independently in different institutions, that, for example, the blood flow to the executive part of the brain, which is the frontal and prefrontal cortex, increases during Transcendental Meditation. So, this is where anticipation of the future happens. This is where the abilities to think far happens, and not to be stressed, and focus on, as we say, the fight or flight response. Whereas in the stress, this part does not receive the proper blood flow, and it’s not working completely well. And the blood flow goes more to the actual inner parts of the brain that deal with the stress response and fight and flight response.

So, it’s a physical thing also. And we have found also that there is higher connectedness between the right side, left side of the brain, front and back, which shows greater integration and brain functioning. So, if we bring this back to the business side, suppose you have an artificial intelligence computer or something, or you have a great computer which has millions of processors. And these processors, if they work separately, and they’re not in tune with each other, they cannot perform in the same way as if they were able to work separately, but in coordination with each other, in harmony with each other, and therefore attend to the problem at hand from different angles, from different perspectives. The nervous system is like this. It is millions of processors, actually, with different parts acting to assess this, the colour, the time, the space, the past, the present, the future, the memories, the potential possibilities. And we use only a small percentage of that brain, of that possibility. And many of the reserves of the brain remain unused.

So, in Transcendental Meditation, also, we have seen great coherence between different parts of the brain. And scientists have even said that it leads to an increased use of the reserves of the brain. So, this is where it’s very important to be able to transcend so that you can see things from a distance. And many top executives, of course, they say that in order to run a company, the chairman or the CEO has to take a little bit of a distance from the small things. They have to see the things, but they have to be able to watch it from an overview perspective, and have all the elements under their understanding and their control. And that is what transcending means. It doesn’t mean running away and not being involved with the details. It means being able to focus even more sharply, but keeping that broad comprehension.

Alex Cleanthous:

It seems like this should almost be part of every leadership training programme, right? Because it seems like people spend their whole careers accumulating skills and experience, and trying to be the best version of themselves, and trying to get to that next level, the next promotion, the next revenue target, or whatever else it is, right? And it comes to a point where your day becomes full, yeah? And that happens pretty early on in a person’s leadership experience, right? But over time, over five, 10 years, the fullness, that space that is left over to think about the future becomes extremely small, right? And so, it seems like this is one of the only ways to really, through what everybody had to go through last year and this year, there’s stress in the world, then there’s stress in business. And then there’s the importance of making the right decisions at the right time, the right resources and the right information, while still operating a whole organisation and all the challenges around that.

So, it does seem to be that this is a very good way in to providing yourself space, right? And to be able to think, right? Because it’s really hard to do it, just go, okay, now just relax. That seems to be very hard, right? But it is in those times. And so, there’s a lot of different parts I want to go to here, but I just wanted to make that statement, because I definitely appreciate that last comment that you made. But before I get to the next one, quick question, this is a quick side note, because the first time I heard about Transcendental Meditation was because Oprah was doing it, right? And then I had a look around, and there’s all these celebrities that are doing it. Why has Transcendental Meditation become so famous through people like Oprah?

Dr. Tony Nader:

Well, because these are people that are truth seekers of how to help society. Many are seen, okay, as being just celebrities, and they mind their own businesses, and how to this. But they are creative people, and they want to contribute to the betterment of society and human life. And so, when they find something that is precious and help them, they really want people to know. So, it’s out of totally genuine need and desire to help. None of them, absolutely none, actually, makes any benefit. They just use their time and their energy to spread it out and make it known, as we all do, even in our programmes, as we do it. So, when you see that, and that ties back to what you just even beautifully said and summarised, and that is we can call the container of knowledge, the container of experience. What we have today in education, and business, and all that is focused on information.

Even in education, you take the students, you give them information, they have to remember it, and at the end of the year, they have to put it on a piece of paper or some exam, and then they pass. But nobody concentrates usually on the expansion of the container of knowledge, which is the student or the executive or the business person themselves, because they don’t know how to do it. There has been no means to expand the container of knowledge. We imagine somebody this potential, and that’s it. And with this potential, you try to do whatever you can.

The technology that is presented through the Transcendental Meditation programme is to expand the container of knowledge so that… Of course, knowledge is important, information is important, but how much can you put in a small… How much water can you put in a small glass versus, a pool, swimming pool, or lake, or the ocean? So, we are the ocean. We are the ocean of consciousness. That’s why the book is called One Unbounded Ocean of Consciousness, because we really truly are the ocean of consciousness. And we can experience that, and the result is meaningful. Not only experiencing and silence and peace and happiness, which is very fundamental and very, very beautiful, but also productivity is more, the ability to do more on the outside. So, there is this inner development in the direction of greater bliss, greater happiness, greater peace, greater harmony with oneself and the environment, and at the same time, the ability to be productive, to be creative, to achieve things in a way that keeps us healthy, and there is no burn out.

Now we’re doing large studies in hospitals in the United States, many big hospitals, on physicians’ burn out. And we are seeing some tremendous results where they regain good sleep quality, less anxiety, less depression, because, as you mentioned, we’ve been through this period of difficulty and time, as we, of course, all know. And the physicians, the doctors, the nurses, the hospital staff have really seen something which is dramatic and stressful, and they are the first ones are taking this brunt of the hitting of the side effects on some way of the pandemic. And so, this ability to release stress to rest and to broaden one’s awareness and to be refreshed, and ability to do more and help others more has been also part of the beautiful results that this programme brings. And that’s why celebrities who want the well being of others promote it.

Alex Cleanthous:

Fantastic. You talk about the technology quite a lot, the Transcendental Meditation technology. And I’m going to try and get a few insights into it, but understand that this is only a very short podcast compared to how much content there is. But high level, high level, how does one start to practise Transcendental Meditation? I understand how it works with standard meditation, I’m not quite sure what that’s called, but where you focus on the breath, where you focus on the awareness. You can either think of something or you don’t think of something. And as far, I understand that it’s all about trying to get the gap between the thing that happens and how you respond, right? That was the best explanation I ever got about how meditation, the benefits of it, right? It gives you a little, tiny space between the thing that happened and the response to it, right? But it all starts with the technique crap. And so, maybe we start with the technique, and then maybe we can speak about my second point, but just how does Transcendental Meditation technique differ from standard meditation?

Dr. Tony Nader:

First, let’s, in that simple way, say that Transcendental Meditation, often we say TM-

Alex Cleanthous:

TM, thank you. I’ll start saying that from now on.

Dr. Tony Nader:

It’s simpler. Is a very, very simple technique to learn. Even children from the age of five on, as soon as they can understand what to do, up to any age can learn it. There is no need for any preparation in terms of education, of background, of knowledge. It’s a technique. So, there is no belief. It’s not on the basis of philosophy or belief system. It’s just a mental technique that is practised morning and evening for 20 minutes, sitting comfortably in a chair, eyes closed. There is no physical exercise that is required. And also, there is no mental manipulation that is required, which means we don’t try to focus the mind. So, it is not concentration technique. We don’t try to contemplate, so we don’t try to guide the mind towards a specific way of thinking or feeling or understanding. So, that’s not a contemplation. That’s not a concentration. So, what is it?

It is based on the ultimate nature of the mind. The nature of the mind is to search for more charm, more happiness. We always want to have more love, more beautiful things to see, more beautiful things to hear. We want more knowledge. We want more power, more wealth. It’s the nature, everybody’s wanting more and more. So, wanting more in life is the nature of the mind. If you are sitting and reading a book, for example, and the book is interesting, but not so interesting, and then some music starts next door, you can find your mind going to the music. And even though the eyes are going through the lines and the words and the book, and this, we all have had, this experience when a book is not so much attractive. Now, you realise that we didn’t do any effort to go from the book to the music. Why? Because the mind, in its nature, searching for greater enjoyment, greater happiness, suddenly just went there. It went to the music. It went to the thing.

So, if you have, let’s take an example of a bee, a buzzing bee, it’s buzzing, buzzing, buzzing, and then suddenly, it’s quiet. When it’s quiet, you know it has found the nectar. And it sits on the flower to pick up the nectar. So, when it’s attracted like this, the mind is like this, the buzzing mind is like this. And when the mind finds something that is interesting, it settles on it. You don’t have to force it. That’s why there is no concentration in this technique. You don’t even have to tell it and guide it in that sense if you let it be on its natural tendency to go for more. That’s why we say Transcendental Meditation is natural. That’s the term natural comes from here. It’s not just a word that we throw. And it is natural because it uses the natural tendency of the mind to go towards more.

Now, there is one difference. Usually, we search for more always towards the outside. Through our senses, we want to smell beautiful things, we want to taste wonderful things, we want to do hear beautiful music, and harmony, and beautiful words, and all of that, we want to see beauty, and harmony, and health. And we want to see, hear, always we are searching for more on the outside. In Transcendental Meditation, we learn how to take the inward direction, and therefore dive within ourselves. And so, why is inside, mind can say, oh, my inside is full of stress and strain, and I’m tired, how would that be attractive? Well, the inner deep, true value of the self, ultimately, is the unbounded ocean of consciousness, is the one field, source of our intelligence, our creativity, our integration, our wholeness is deep within us. And that’s why we hear the sages throughout time saying know thyself, know thyself as a very important aspect of development and growth. And know thyself doesn’t mean just intellectually analysing, because in Transcendental Meditation, there is no contemplation, we said.

So, it’s not like trying to intellectually understand who I am, what I am, and take the source. It’s just naturally diving within and directly discovering, directly experiencing, but instead of experiencing through the senses outside, we experience through consciousness inside who we truly are. And we find that inner peace and quiet like diving in the ocean that we describe. You dive, you take the right angle, and you let go, and the diving happens by itself as you go deeper and deeper. And that is how Transcendental Meditation works. Now, there is a technique, how to do it. What happens when there is stress? What happens when we meet thoughts? What happens if we fall asleep? What this, what that? These are things one has to learn. And it is taught in just three days, three, four days. There is an instruction day, and then three days of checking, each day for one and a half hours or so. And then you do it yourself technique. You don’t depend on coming to a class all the time, and all of that, although there is offered all kinds of knowledge and experience. So, that’s basically the whole high level, as you call it, idea.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah. And I’m interested to know, or maybe it’s too much, because it’s a whole day, is it? So, it takes a whole day to learn the ins and outs of what to do when this thought happens or that thought happens. Is that…

Dr. Tony Nader:

No, it’s-

Alex Cleanthous:

It takes all day for that to happen, is that right?

Dr. Tony Nader:

No, no. The total thing is usually an introduction. And your listeners who are listening to us, they can assume they have an introduction. In the introduction, we just speak about the benefits of it. We show… Usually, the teacher will show scientific research about the benefits in health, improvement of sleep, anxiety, removal, depression is going, cortisol level decrease, there is blood pressure normalisation. Then long term benefits in terms of longevity and rejuvenation of the body. So, the benefits are really studied, 600 scientific research studies and more now, showing the benefits of Transcendental Meditation. So, in the introduction, we show the benefits. And they are really on all levels, hormonal, blood pressure, mental, physical, behavioural, improvement in relationships, improvement in all aspects of life, and even changes on the level of society. Because collective consciousness changes where individuals in society practise Transcendental Meditation.

So, first lecture, introductory lecture. Second lecture is what we call preparatory lecture. And that introductory lecture, we practically have covered. So, it’s not the whole day thing. It’s just a few minutes together with Alex, and we’re done.

Alex Cleanthous:

Awesome.

Dr. Tony Nader:

And then preparatory lecture is, what are you going to learn? And that takes half an hour, 40 minutes. And then a personal interview, where the teacher discusses, because it’s taught personally. Every person have their specificity and their personnel, and therefore the teaching is personal. So, these are three quick sessions. And then the instruction day, the instruction day is for about one and a half hours maximum. Could be even one hour, depends on the need, the time. And the instruction day, the teacher puts the student directly to the practise, shows them how to do it. And then there are three more days. So, that’s all. And if three more days, each day are one and a half to two hours, and that’s it. It’s not the whole day. So-

Alex Cleanthous:

Okay, cool, because I was thinking about the all the busy people, yeah. Sorry, I cut you off.

Dr. Tony Nader:

Actually, we’ve done something new for the busy, very busy people. We have created an app that gives the three days of follow up. You cannot learn TM from a book. You cannot learn it from an app. It is taught personally by a teacher. So, there is a procedure. It is personalised. There is a personal attention. Now, the three days, which are usually consecutive, of two hours each or one and a half hours, have always been done personally also. But now with the technology, and advancement, and processing, and all of that, we were able to make it a personal level, which is there is interactivity through the app. So, there will be questions and answers, and there will be knowledge that’s given based on the answer that the student gives. And so, the three days can be done at home, with still the teacher who taught you TM will meet with you briefly to do some meditation or some checking. But you can follow all the instructions at your own leisure in your old comfort of your home.

Alex Cleanthous:

Now, just for the listeners, it may seem like this is some kind of paid promotion. It’s not. I’m just really interested in understanding how to get into this, right? The benefits are strong. I’m trying to understand actually how long it takes, and what’s the fastest way in, right? So, this is all my questions. You just said a second ago that the sessions are in person. What happens if you can’t actually see somebody in person, say, for example, there’s a lockdown, or it’s too far away from the person. Is it possible to do it through Zoom, or through something like this? Is there other ways of starting?

Dr. Tony Nader:

Well, most of it can be done, as we said, between Zoom, and the app, and all that, except the instruction day. The instruction day has to be personal, because the teacher has to take the students stepwise through the procedure on a personal level. And not everyone reacts exactly the same. And so, it’s a very delicate time when one gives the technique, and the teachers are well trained to follow up, and so the procedure is done like that. So, at least one meeting. It used to be that all these meetings, which we can call seven steps, used to be always in person, and now, with technology, again, we reduced it to one step. So, one step, one can make the trip.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah, sure.

Dr. Tony Nader:

Take the possibility. And we have teachers all over the world.

Alex Cleanthous:

Okay, and so what about for groups? Okay, let’s say now, this is fantastic. I’m a leader. This is great for me, and this is something I’m going to do, right? But let’s say now that I… I’m now thinking about this for my team, right? Because it would seem, and again, I could be wrong, but it would seem that if there was a company which really provided Transcendental Meditation to their staff, that collective consciousness of that organisation would be far broader, right? And so, they would probably operate at a far higher level. Have you ever supported a company like that, where you’ve trained the organisation?

Dr. Tony Nader:

Yes, yes, absolutely. Many, many companies like that.

Alex Cleanthous:

And what have you found from that-

Dr. Tony Nader:

The results are tremendous. The executives are very happy. And because we start by teaching, usually, the executives who make the decisions about whether they want to implement it or not. Naturally, because they are the ones who are running the business, and they want to see how their employees’ time is being used, and what benefits they offer, what bonuses and all of that. So, they have to know first themselves what it is like. And so, we have it in many, many companies, and actually, also in many schools, and some government offices, and rehabilitation, even Veterans Administration in the United States, for example, uses it for post-traumatic stress. And it’s one of the most, if not the most effective one. The American Heart Association recommends it for people who have heart and vascular issues for stroke prevention. And for studies have shown longevity, those who practise Transcendental Meditation have 66% less heart attack, stroke, and death followed up over five years. So, also the benefits for the company, for the organisation, for resiliency and interpersonal relationships, all of these are actually studied. As we said also briefly, hospitals now are using it. So, these are big organisations.

Alex Cleanthous:

And so-

Dr. Tony Nader:

So, definitely, it has been applied in all these levels.

Alex Cleanthous:

That’s great. So, just from a practical perspective, so would the instruction day, that would happen in person, and then have there been organisations… Because I’m sure it’s very flexible, right? But have they been organisations where they all collectively meditate in the morning at the same time, or do they learn it, and then they practise it separately, and then that affects the business? So, what have you seen, and then what have you found to be the most effective?

Dr. Tony Nader:

The basic technique is do-it-yourself technique. So you do it yourself, even if you’re in a group, you will just sit together close the eyes, and meditate for yourself. You just don’t mind the group, but what we have seen is when you are in a group, interestingly, the experiences are deeper. And the effects are also much deeper on the collective level. So, there is something which is beyond just the surface, which is the inner quietness that we share together when you meditate with a group that gives a feeling of silence together and deepens the individual experience and also has an effect on the company and on its functioning. When people come together, there is something more than just being oneself and in one’s room. It’s something to be explained. Scientifically, there are many logics about how it could work, but it’s real. It’s for real.

Alex Cleanthous:

You mentioned 20 minutes in the morning, 20 minutes at night. My first part of this question is how long should somebody be practising this before they start to see the noticeable effects. I’m sure there’s going to be effects immediately, but the noticeable ones, how long would that take for somebody to start to see?

Dr. Tony Nader:

Immediately, of course, you said it, but I want to emphasise it. As soon as you started something, you feel something different. Something already there. Of course, the first time depends on the individual’s stress level and all of that is different, we are all different. We have our own what you have eaten before or not, how you slept the night before, if you’re coming out of a stressful situation, and all that. But it doesn’t mean that if you come rested, you are certainly going to have better results than somebody who’s stressed. Sometimes the contrast makes the one who is very stressed feel something deep. And sometimes those who are rested will feel something deep and deeper because they don’t have so much stress. So it really is very personal.

But within few days, there is something that happens and what’s happening is so natural, that it grows with you. And that’s why it’s really so enjoyable to do. It’s not something you feel, “Oh, now I have had a long day’s work, and I have to do one more thing. Maybe my exercise, okay, fine, I like it. But again, to sit and do something more, I don’t feel like it.” But that’s not the way it works. Actually, Transcendental Meditation, you’re really looking forward. You’re just finding the time you want to do it and you sit. And it gives you so much stress that afterwards, you feel you’re starting a new day almost.

And so, we do it usually morning before breakfast, and in the late afternoon before dinner because it’s good not to have full stomach because during digestion the blood flow goes mostly to the digestive system. So, there are all these details that one learns during the three days of follow up after instruction. And so, within few days, definitely you feel something. And this grows and gets more deep and deep as it grows. People go in their lives through ups and downs and moments where they’re feeling better moments they’re feeling glow. And these ups and downs, reduce, reduce, reduce, and then the upside stays more. But there can be sometimes based on activity and life conditions and all that there can be still variation, but it keeps going up and keeps going up. And the feeling of inner peace and settlement gets more and more stabilised with time. And of course, it’s very personal. But weeks, we can say days for others, a few will take a month or something.

Alex Cleanthous:

Yeah, one of the standard meditation I heard once on a podcast, you have to do it really for about 14 to 21 days to really start to see it and you have to a certain amount per day. And then that’s when it becomes something where you actually will notice. And I think I said this before, the best explanation that this person was able to provide was that it gives you space between the thing that happens and how you respond. That was the best way I could understand the reason I was doing it because yes, all these health benefits, that’s fantastic. But if I’m doing this to be more productive, or to reach my potential, how does it help my days? That is something, that space to not be so reactive to the world that happens to you, but to choose how you respond to all the events that are around you. That makes sense.

Dr. Tony Nader:

Yeah, absolutely. This is the same and that sense. Only it happens naturally, and spontaneously, and profoundly. So the space is so deep and profound that you have it all the time. That’s what we call actually higher states of consciousness. So, there is transcending. And this also you learn during the three days. There is transcending which going beyond. And therefore, you dive deep and you experience your deep self, which is a state of quiet and silence. And then you act and as you go in diving in and acting, this state of inner silence stays with you longer than before. And ultimately you reach a state where you are always established in that state of transcendence, even while you are acting.

So that state, therefore, of not being a platform of situation and circumstances, but being a witness from a platform of broad comprehension and great intelligence and understanding, this is the space, and the space becomes infinite in a sense because the objects do not any more, disrupt your peace, disrupt your quietness, disrupt your intelligence, and you are sitting there, and acting from a platform of broad understanding, broad vision, yet ability to focus very deeply. We have a name even for this. We call it cosmic consciousness when you are established and the self, and then you perform action based on a platform of stability and strength. We call this enlightenment even or the state of where you know yourself, and you never lose touch with yourself when you are exposed to the outer objects of life.

Alex Cleanthous:

So, in the pursuit of realising one full potential, even if that’s even possible, it feels like it’s more of a pursuit than it is a destination, right? But let’s say that there’s this pursuit to reach a person’s full potential. Is it correct to say that through Transcendental Meditation by connecting with the deepest, most quietest part of who you are, and being able to listen to that because it’s so full of all the stuff around just for our whole lives. But as being able to get through all that, and to really listen to what it is that you want. And then creating the decision of the things which you want to pursue that combination with the ability to not listen to all the noise is the way to reach a person’s full potential?

Dr. Tony Nader:

Absolutely, absolutely. And this is not contrived. This is very important. If you try to do it on a contrived level, you divide your mind. This has to be a spontaneous situation that one grows in, and it becomes something that becomes natural and spontaneous through transcending. So, there is transcending, acting, transcending, acting, transcending, acting, and now the transcending starts to permeate your action. Normally, when you see something, you see a flower, it takes over your consciousness. Your consciousness becomes the flower, in a sense. You hear a sound, you hear something, it becomes for a moment, this is your consciousness. For the other moment it’s a feeling, the other moment is a thought, the other moment is a worry, the other moment is some event, something happened, what’s going to happen in the future.

Your consciousness is always taken over by these moments and moments. This is what is called in the ancient knowledge from which this technique comes because this is not a technique I invented, or anyone invented, it’s been thousands of years. It comes from yoga. It’s the supreme level of yoga, which is unifying value. And in this, it used to be called boundary, you are bound by the object, and then you are liberated. They call it liberation or self liberation, and self realisation. Because when you are always the self, your self is never forgotten. And yet you act in the field you are liberated from the boundaries of the objects of perception, and you are established in the field of the self, and your self is full, it is the source of creativity and intelligence. It’s pure consciousness, which what we discussed is the unbounded ocean of consciousness from which all energy and intelligence and creativity come.

So, you’re established on that platform. So, you have peace, and happiness, and fullness, and you’re acting from the platform which contains all the variables because it is the source of the management of the entire universe because that is the field and in physics they call it the unified field of the laws of nature. And from that field, you are acting. So, that is self-actualization and its supreme level that is self-realisation. That is also liberation from the boundaries of this and that’s why in this ancient terminology they call it enlightenment where you actually are not bound by smallness, but living in wholeness.

Alex Cleanthous:

Wow, I have so many more questions but that seems like a really good place to finish the podcast. This has been a journey for me as well because I heard about Transcendental Meditation 10, 15 years ago, and I was going to get into it, but I got busy, right? But now I’m excited again. So now for the other people who are interested in finding out more my first question is, how do people find out more about Transcendental Meditation? And the second question is, where can they buy your book from, your new book?

Dr. Tony Nader:

Thank you. Well, nowadays everything is on the internet. The best site is simple, is TM, Transcendental Meditation, so tm.org. It’s a United States based site, but it covers the whole world. So, you can go in and search. You can also go to drtonynader.com, D-R-T-O-N-Y-N-A-D-E-R.com. Also there, there is knowledge about what I do, and there is a place also to search for teachers. The book is called One Unbounded Ocean of Consciousness: Simple Answers to the Big Questions in Life. It has been published by Random House, Penguin Random House. It will be published soon in English in print, but it’s already available on Amazon and Kindle as an ebook, and it’s Spanish. It is available actually as a print plus and ebook, and soon we’re producing an audiobook, and a printed book, and it’s being translated in many languages.

Alex Cleanthous:

Well, I had a sneak preview of the book on Kindle, and if this podcast has started to really open your mind to the possibilities, you have to get the book. The book goes into a lot more detail. Dr. Nader, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. This has been such a great discussion. I’ve always had so many questions about Transcendental Meditation. But you’ve convinced me anyway, I’m not quite sure about the listeners. I’m sure they will as well because I have got a lot of questions and I need to be convinced. But look, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. This has been such a fantastic conversation today.

Dr. Tony Nader:

Thank you, Alex. Wonderful podcast. Thank you for having me. Looking forward to getting in touch and maybe meeting personally soon.

Alex Cleanthous:

Fantastic. Thanks so much.

Dr. Tony Nader:

All the best.

Adrian Clark

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