Q: What is Transcendental Meditation?
Maharishi: Transcendental Meditation is a simple, natural programme for the mind, a spontaneous, effortless march of the mind to its own unbounded essence. Through Transcendental Meditation, the mind unfolds its potential for unlimited awareness, transcendental awareness, Unity Consciousness — a lively field of all potential, where every possibility is naturally available to the conscious mind. The conscious mind becomes aware of its own unbounded dignity, its unbounded essence, its infinite potential. Transcendental Meditation provides a way for the conscious mind to fathom the whole range of its existence — active and silent, point and infinity. It is not a set of beliefs, a philosophy, a lifestyle, or a religion. It's an experience, a mental technique one practises every day for fifteen or twenty minutes.
Q: What are the benefits of the TM technique?
Maharishi: Scientific experiments with people who practice Transcendental Meditation indicate that it tends to produce normalisation in all areas of life. It reduces stress, improves health, enriches mental functioning, enhances personal relationships, and increases job productivity and job satisfaction.
Q: Why does one need to be taught, if it's so natural?
Maharishi: Through instruction, what happens is that the mind, in its active state, learns to experience its own less active states, experience its progressively minimised active states, until eventually it cognises the transcendental state of consciousness. But in learning to do this, we must remember that the mind has usually been allowed to wander around so long in the realm of knowledge or power or the pursuit of happiness that it must be taught how to know itself again. That's why teaching becomes necessary. After learning Transcendental Meditation one knows what the natural state is. But to realise this, one has to be liberated from unnatural programs, performances and experiences. Most people have no experience with Transcendental Consciousness, pure consciousness, the pure nature of the mind. They are aware of active mind, which is the waking state of consciousness. They are also aware of the complete forgetfulness of the mind, the sleep state. And they are aware of the middle stage, the dreaming mind. But they are not aware of pure or Transcendental Consciousness. So the experience of that consciousness is taught in Transcendental Meditation, though it's nothing other than the very nature of the mind.
Q: What is enlightenment?
Maharishi: Enlightenment is the normal, natural state of health for the body and mind. It results from the full development of consciousness and depends upon the perfect and harmonious functioning of every part of the body and nervous system. When one is using the full potential of the mind and body in this way, every thought and action is spontaneously correct and life-supporting. This is life free from suffering, life lived in its full stature and significance. The goal of the Transcendental Meditation technique is the state of enlightenment. This means we experience that inner calmness, that quiet state of least excitation, even when we are dynamically busy.
Maharishi also completely restored the thousands-of-years-old scattered Vedic literature restoring the true significance of its theory and practice, organising it in the form of a complete and systematic science of consciousness.
Maharishi's practical programmes quietly establish life according to Natural Law without requiring change in any area of endeavour, to irrevocably change the course of time in favour of peace and happiness for all mankind.