I remember the TM Center in Corvallis, Oregon where I learned the Transcendental Meditation technique – a neat two story bungalow set on a quiet suburban street with a well-tended front yard. Set in the Willamette Valley, Corvallis was a pretty town, a river meandering through it, with many streets planted with plum and cherry trees, free for picking when ripe. Corvallis is home to Oregon State University. I was there to earn a degree in education.
A good friend’s mother had learned TM, and was pretty enthusiastic about it. So I stopped smoking weed for two weeks, went down for my introductory lecture, liked the feel of the place and took the course, for $65 – the fee for a full-time student.
I was told to bring an offering of fruit and flowers, and a clean white handkerchief, which I did. Then I went through a brief initiation, mostly listening to the puja ceremony honoring the tradition which has re-spawned the technique of transcendental meditation. I then quietly received my mantra, and was told to meditate for about ten minutes.
My experience was simply one of ease and completely letting go. Walking on the carpet afterwards felt like thick plush clouds. Probably my best experience for the next five years! 🙂
Because of the mechanical and reliable nature of the technique, with little emphasis placed on transient experiences, it was easy to adopt. More so because no necessary allegiance was expected to the teaching organization, only that the technique be done correctly. As someone both very independent and spiritually-oriented, I have found it a good fit. Also the time requirement of twice a day for twenty minutes per, is simple to integrate.
I then worked for the TM Movement a few times, first in Livingston Manor, New York, during the year of 1978, and on to Waverly, Missouri, 1979 to 1980 for my TM-Sidhis course. Seemed like a fair trade.
Next I plunged headlong into worldly life, married, had a child, began a career focused on data communications, first engineering, then managing technical training organizations and consulting. As that was taking off, I continued to do my TM-Sidhis, from 1980 to 1993.
In early 1993, I began having visions of Guru Dev, Sri Brahmananda Saraswati, the teacher of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the Transcendental Meditation Movement. The hem of His robe, His feet, and along with that, seeing myself outside the planet earth as it rotated.
I was probably praying and reading the Bhagavad Gita also, in addition to going on 13 years practicing the sidhis program. Then in April, 1993, Guru Dev came to visit me. His darshan was nearly overwhelming, though I was able to contain it, while carrying out all my worldly obligations and interests. We have become quite close, since.
I have written about this in other parts of my blog. I bring it up now, since it was quite an accelerator for my experience and spiritual growth, and quite efficient as the sidhis became superfluous at that time. I no longer did them, as they began to rapidly ripen by themselves at that point, and continue to.
All along has been a journey I never could have expected, always learning so much, with most of it to my liking. 🙂 Strangely, so unburdened now, I feel quite a bit younger, and certainly more confident than when I began meditating at 21. Looking back I was guided to make good decisions, while charging ahead full-bore into the ever unknown, yet eventually discovered. It only gets better – I can’t wait for the next 45 years. 🙂
~ Jai Guru Dev ~