You may have thought Transcendental Meditation (TM) went out with the hippie movement, but in fact it survived and is one of the most widely practiced meditation techniques worldwide. “Bottom line: TM is simple, effortless, non-religious, effective, and scientifically validated to improve everything from heart health to intelligence,” says Janet Hoffman, executive director of the TM Program for Women Professionals.
NAILS asked Hoffman to tell us more:
So, what exactly is TM?
Hoffman: The Transcendental Meditation technique is a simple, effortless, natural process done sitting comfortably with closed eyes. During the process, the mind settles to a restfully alert state, a state of inner silent awareness that is the source of the energy, intelligence, creativity, and organizing power within the mind. As one experiences quieter levels of the thinking process, the brain’s functioning becomes more orderly while the body experiences deep relaxation. The TM technique involves no religion, philosophy, change in lifestyle or diet, or physical exercise. It’s taught by trained, certified TM teachers throughout the U.S. and abroad in schools, corporations, medical clinics, and other institutions, and to the public.
How much time and what kind of commitment does it take to learn and practice TM?
Hoffman: Transcendental Meditation is done by adults for about 20 minutes twice each day. (Children and teens do it for less time.) The TM technique is taught in a seven-step course, beginning with a series of free lectures and ending with a series of four classes on four consecutive days or evenings, after which the practitioner is self-sufficient and begins to experience results. A worldwide lifetime follow-up program is open to all who’ve learned to ensure maximum benefit.
What are the benefits to working women — nail techs in particular?
Hoffman: Women are more susceptible to stress than men and yet often have to maintain both work and a greater share of family responsibilities. The TM practice effectively reduces stress and fatigue and improves brain function, so a woman finds she has far more energy, creativity, efficiency, and focus at work and arrives home with patience, tolerance, and a greater capacity for intimacy with family. TM practitioners report increased job satisfaction, job performance, and self-esteem. When confronted by routine work, the mind still enjoys the expansion of happiness TM has unfolded within, so good spirits and friendliness are more naturally spontaneous. Interacting with coworkers and with the public becomes easier and more harmonious. The nail tech’s relaxed state helps relax the client, resulting in more customer satisfaction — which increases the success of the establishment.
Do people find the benefits are more mental or physical — or spiritual, for that matter?
Hoffman: Different women may notice differing results at first — for example, some notice they are less anxious, depressed, or impatient, while some notice more energy, focus, and mental clarity. As a woman continues to do the TM technique, over the months and years a broad range of benefits are experienced in all areas of mind, body, emotions, and spirituality. The settling of the mind to inner silence during TM enables a woman to maintain balance, composure, and inner peace in her life, while the deep rest during TM slows the aging process and reduces her stress and the occurrence of stress-related diseases including hypertension and heart disease. More than 360 peer-reviewed published scientific studies have verified the wide variety of TM’s benefits.
What do you tell someone who is convinced she can’t meditate?
Hoffman: That person probably thinks she will not be able to meditate because she believes the technique will involve concentration — trying to stop her mind from thinking. Concentration meditation techniques can actually increase trait anxiety. Happily, the Transcendental Meditation method involves no effort; it is, in fact, effortless — even children do it easily. Anyone who can think a thought and follow the simplest of instructions can easily learn and enjoy TM.
What does your organization do and what is the first step for readers who are interested in learning more about TM and whether it’s for them?
Hoffman: The goal of the Transcendental Meditation Program for Women is to eliminate mental, physical, and emotional suffering so that all women and girls can live their birthright — happiness, fulfillment, and achievement. The TM Program for Women Professionals brings these benefits to women both in their personal life and in their career. Businesses that offer their employees instruction by TM teachers reap the rewards. Most of the TM course can even be taught at the salon. We invite women business owners to contact us whether they are interested just for themselves or wish to make the TM program available to employees. We can arrange for a teacher to give presentations to the staff of a salon and can even offer a course discount for a group of staff and nail salon client referrals.
Go to www.tmwomenprofessionals.org for more information. You can contact Hoffman at (800) 635-7173 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for a presentation.