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on 7 July 2011
The title tells you that this book is more than just a book about meditation. It is about the universal experience of inner silence and its effects on the individual and society. The book has the virtue of being free of TM movement jargon. It also deals with the scientific research on Transcendental Meditation in a very balanced manner. Many of the case studies deal with extreme examples of problems but this does make them interesting to read. It struck me that this would be a great book for people involved with social policy as it looks at research showing how Transcendental Meditation can help with prison reform, drug addiction and behavioural problems in schools. It is a good balance of the spiritual, the practical and the aspirational.
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on 21 March 2017
This was my second reading of this book. It is the most powerful and useful book I have ever read, arguing a sound case, well backed by research, on the value of transcendental meditation. I took up the technique after reading this book 4 years ago, and can testify to its power and the transformation it made to my life.
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on 28 March 2016
This book confirmed that my decision to study how to practice TM is a good one, providing lots of evidence (both scientific and anecdotal) on the benefits of TM practice. I now cannot wait for my course to start, and I think reading the book in advance has helped with my motivation to ensure I will find the time for the 2 x 20 min daily sessions of TM that that practice recommends.
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on 5 June 2017
A great introduction to Transcendental Meditation and its benefits. As a new meditator, I found it consolidated my own early experience of TM and what it was already doing for me, but also it gave me the why.
Everyone should learn TM - this book is an excellent place to start if you are considering it.
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on 15 September 2017
Interesting read on TM meditation
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on 12 October 2013
I was looking for a book on TM and bought this one for a couple of reasons: it was one of the bestsellers on Amazon (with some positive reviews) and it had an endorsement by David Lynch. But it's very disappointing, for a number of reasons. David Lynch is or was an amazing movie director, but his views on TM seem cliched and largely unhelpful (it helps you relax! it can make you more creative!). In fact Rosenthal quotes him, and his David Lynch Foundation, so extensively throughout the book you wonder if there's some collusion between the two, but I think it's probably more the desire of the author to hitch his book to brand-name celebrities (rather like Kaballah and Madonna). Here we have Lynch, the Beatles, Moby, Laura Dern and Scorsese peddled out to try and give glamour or authenticity to his book.

But the main problem is that it feels like another 'how to reduce stress' book, geared towards businessmen and CEOS (i.e. with an eye to the money). TM gets reduced to a set of beta-wave calming, anxiety-reducing, noradrenaline-adjusting tips for what one section obsequiously calls the "Titans of Industry" (arrrgh!). Now I'm sure "busy executives" like "Jerry", "Wall Street brokers", or "top-level Norwegian managers" need and deserve some peace and transcendence like the rest of us, but you can't help but wonder how much transcendence is actually getting through here, especially to those who remain on the top of necessarily hierarchical structures predicated on power, control and profit. Similarly, the examples which show how TM transforms the financial and material lives of its users seem to jar: "now, instead of facing certain poverty, he is financially secure". Perhaps Norman Rosenthal should Meditate on This for a bit.

It's also stuffed full of the usual, over-compensatiory rhetoric drawn from contemporary science, to make this all sound hard and empirical - EEG readings, neuroscience, lower beta frequencies, talk of the mind as "a sort of mainframe computer" or the prefrontal cortex as "the brain's CEO" (note the choice of metaphors here: mechanical, hierarchical, managerial, power-driven). This sort of implicit rhetoric is typical: "empirically speaking, numerous studies, including several large meta-analyses comparing the results of all peer-reviewed studies ...." I don't know who Norman thinks he's impressing with this kind of "über-scientific" rhetoric - presumably Norwegian managers, and the Hollywood audience his book seems mainly aimed at, and drawn from - but he should read Freud on 'over-compensation'.

TM is also presented as a remedy for every ailment - from depression and alcoholism to addiction, PTSD, and anti-social behaviour. I'm sure it can help all of these - being relaxed, peaceful, and calm must benefit all of us in this way, but it can't help sounding like the charlatan claims of old, as the author does at least acknowledge. And filling half of the book with case histories of people who reported feeling generally "better" or "more peaceful" after TM is a little trying on the patience, unless you're particularly interested in 'Nick's story'.

It's not without merit, and it does acknowledge that the bottom line is that you can't really learn about TM from a book anyway, so I guess he has to fill 300 pages with something in the meantime. Like sex, it seems, you have to do it, not read a book about it. So my next step is to look into finding a TM teacher - I think introductory classes are free in London - whilst continuing to try and do some meditation as best I can in the meantime. For this, another book I bought at the same time is infinitely more helpful and well-written - 'Teach Yourself to Meditate' by Eric Harrison.
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on 8 April 2012
The way in which Norman Rosenthal explains the effects that T.M. has on a wide range of subjects is a riveting read, even for the lay person.
I am sure that anyone who is thinking of practising T.M. will almost certainly fork out to learn this (in my case) life saving skill. There are always people who like to rubbish the claims that T.M. makes, but these are, as is evident in this book backed up with stringent medical studies.
Do yourself a favour, read this book and if you haven't already learn T.M.!!
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on 20 September 2016
This is well written, often quite interesting book on the health benefits of TM. Unfortunately, it is no more than an advert. It's pretty early in the book that the author tells you to go and pay to learn how to do TM. The rest of the book is about how great it is. So, ultimately for me, a complete pointless read. I already know the health benefits of meditation, and don't need a to buy an advert of these benefits.
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on 16 March 2012
This book is not only excellent, but will become a classic for trancendental meditation followers everywhere. The detailed case studies reinforce the powerful effect TM has on the mind and body. The book therefore, is a most valuable tool for the enthused meditator.
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on 4 September 2011
The wonderful thing about this book is it is great motivator to meditate. When you read through the scientific data and personal testimonies contained in the book one simply wants to meditate.

The book tells us that this simple non religious but spiritual technique is a practical tool that any one can use for the betterment of their daily life.This is what comes over in the book time and time again from people from various walks of life.

The chapters discuss aspects of each persons life that can be improved by simply diving within themselves. Almost like taking a break or holiday where true relaxation and peace comes upon you.

Its a very positive resource for those who want to improve their lives through meditation.

Remember: "As you spontaneously meditate you began to understand the religion of your birth" Maharishi.

I would add when I learnt T.M. I was charged on a sliding scale measured against my income at the time. The teacher allowed me to pay in installments, which was helpful to me. What I did pay when I look back was worth twice the amount, I certainly did not pay thousdands of pounds.
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