Transcendental Meditation

This blog post approaches the topic from a certain perspective. The discussion is still interesting. I would be hesitant to try TM, perhaps because of negative things that I have heard or read about such practices. Still, the topic of silence versus thinking, and seeing ourselves as an extension of Brahma versus reaching out to God is a rich topic.

James Bishop's Theological Rationalism


The term Transcendental Meditation (TM) was made famous by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1918–2008) in the late 1960s. Yogi’s diagnosis of the human problem was that humans who are part of the infinite Brahman are unaware of this fact due to our ignorance (avidya), particularly because of our emphasis placed on mundane things. In other words, we need to “transcend” the ordinary via the practice of TM with the goal of finding union with the Infinite. TM was also a classical pantheistic teaching of the earlier guru Sankara (788-820 AD).

Yogi’s practical manner of meditation was likewise made accessible because it never required one to have any sophistication in Hindu thought and/or philosophy. Commentator Lawrence Jeyachandran explains the methods employed by Yogi when he was in India:

“In his ashram (prayer hall) in northern India, he would assign a monosyllabic word to each of the devotees in the language with which they were comfortable. Each devotee would…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. I study the History of Biblical Interpretation at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of its Ph.D. program. I have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting.
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