Transcendental meditation and thoughts on film making and inspiration
Catching big fish
By Leonardo Murillo
- 5 minutes read- 907 words
To be quite honest, the name David Lynch is one that merely rang a bell, I wasn’t too familiar with any of his films, and the closest I had gotten to his work was out of a recommendation from an old friend to watch Twin Peaks, a recommendation I got, as some would say, in a previous life.
I’ve been meditating for quite some time - if you follow me or know me closely you likely have already and repeatedly heard my thoughts on mindfulness and meditation as indispensable elements towards realizing one’s own potential. Through meditation, I have overcome weaknesses and altered long established patterns, I have found focus and in many ways connected with my spirit.
So what does David Lynch the filmmaker, and the fact that I meditate have in common?
A few months ago, one of the contacts on my LinkedIn network, someone who is also an avid reader, shared a photo of some new books he had just gotten, and amongst them was Catching big fish. The description of the book instantly drew me: meditation, consciousness and creativity.
After inquiring about the book and getting a very motivated response, I decided to add it to my next batch of books to purchase. My reading list in Amazon is huge, and when I pick which new books to add to my library I usually go back to older selections, trying to not let old finds become stale and get lost amidst the ever-growing list, but I felt so identified with the three words that described Catching big fish, that I I broke my usual pattern and allowed this new find to get ahead of the line.
What I was about to discover, I did not expect.
There are many ways to meditate. I have practiced Zen meditation, Metta or loving-kindness meditation, and my every day choice of meditation practice is called Mindfulness. Each practice uses a different technique, some techniques geared towards focus, some others towards contemplation.
Catching big fish is a relatively small book, with small and dissociated chapters, the thread that binds them all together, and the core of the discovery, is a specific type of meditation practice, called transcendental meditation. Brought to the Americas by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi back in the 1950s, the practice of transcendental meditation is based on the concept that the true nature of our mind is one of unbounded awareness, and that through transcendence one can reach that foundational level of consciousness, and remove all the wounds that we have accumulated over years of stress, and allow for bliss and creativity to surface.
I was very curious, and after doing some googling I learned that, as opposed to the other meditation techniques I’ve adopted over the years, which I’ve learned and developed independently, transcendental meditation is a practice that must be taught by a teacher, all teachers being eventually linked to Maharishi. So, I decided to look for teachers in Costa Rica, and found one!
For anyone interested, TM.org is the official website for the organization that promotes the practice, and the place where I found my teacher.
Training took about 5 hours, spread over the course of one week. The practice has some specific characteristics, for instance, the “vehicle” used during the meditation is a mantra, a sound you invoke and release in your mind as you meditate, and you’re expected to meditate twice per day, in 20 minute blocks.
Here are the takeaways I want to share with you regarding my discovery and practice of transcendental meditation, after a few months of actively practicing it:
There is a fundamental difference between most other meditation practices I’ve explored and transcendental meditation. TM is neither about focus nor contemplation, it is about release, unboundedness and simplicity - one of the repeated concepts my teacher reiterated was, it must be effortless.
The experience is markedly different from other practices focused on concentration or contemplation, I can certainly say that through TM I’ve reached levels of relaxation and abstraction from my self that I have never accomplished through other practices.
With all those benefits, I still felt that I was missing important, ongoing training by focusing solely on transcendental meditation. For somebody with my characteristics, I think consistent training in focus and contemplation is important, therefore I decided to practice TM and mindfulness, not together of course, the meditation techniques are very different and as a matter of fact incompatible if one were to attempt performing them together.
Generally, I think transcendental meditation is a very powerful and valuable practice, and the fact it is taught and guided, and focused so much on release and no effort, makes it a phenomenal way for both new meditators as well as seasoned practitioners of other methods to explore new levels of consciousness.
For one, I will continue practicing TM as part of my meditation, the teaching of release and removal of boundaries is a powerful one, and perhaps one of the most difficult to achieve. Look me up on LinkedIn or Twitter if you want to learn more about my experience, I’d also love to hear your experience!
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