“I learnt TM when I was 36, I am now 61. At that time I was in a highly demanding job, smoking about 40 cigarettes a day and with a heart that was beating faster than a formula one car. A friend said that if I didn’t do something I would soon drop dead. He had been meditating since he was very young and suggested I learnt TM. I laughed a lot because I I thought the whole thing absurd. I was very “left hemisphere”, and “logic” told me that to sit chanting was a ridiculous thing. However he kept pestering me and said that it would do no harm in learning.

So I went along. In those days you took flowers and fruit to the person teaching you and this added to my feeling of TM being mumbo jumbo. I sat through the whole lesson being sceptical and feeling very silly. The following sessions didn’t change my opinion either though I persisted with the course. However even though my head was telling me it was rubbish I couldn’t deny the actual positive physical affects it was having on me. All my life I had what I would now call a “knotted stomach”. I was so used to it that I thought it normal. From the outset the meditation released this, it was so physically different that I became worried. I spoke to my TM teacher about this and explained that I had all these worries and troubles, but I wasn’t concerned about them in the way I was before. My creative powers burst and I was running on full cylinders without any of the worries previously. My smoking level decreased so that I found it easier to give up and I was a lot happier in myself. In fact if I came home from work tired and snappy the children would look at me and say “go meditate mum” and off I would trot and come back downstairs with a different state of mind. They said they reaped the benefits of me meditating too!

I was so converted by the positive effect TM had, physically, mentally and creatively that I allowed my children to learn. Both my daughters have said that TM assisted them in pain control during childbirth and want my granddaughters to learn for this very reason.

I meditated for ten years nonstop and then gradually lapsed as life took over and the need to meditate became less as I wiped out the stressful elements of my life. I started again recently as a family trauma caused me to be in an over anxious state, I stopped sleeping and had the problems going round and round in my head like worms. I knew I had the tool to control my nerves and began to meditate again. After a few weeks of meditating I was sleeping properly again, and feeling better in myself. Meditation certainly doesn’t make the problems go away – it just makes it easier to cope with them and it is far better to approach problems with an easy mind rather than a stressed one.”

Carole, Retired, West Pennines