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I was diagnosed with MS in June and did my course in Transcendental Meditation last weekend. I went undiagnosed for 4 years and all my attacks were preceded by long periods of high stress. I have previously attempted various forms of 'concentration' meditation learnt from books without any success, and Tai Chi as 'moving meditation' (more moving than meditation, but it has its other uses).

The naturopath I have started seeing recommended TM, and I remembered that George mentioned it positively as the form of meditation that he used to practice (at the time of writing his book, he practiced another type of meditation).

The course I did was well taught (the Meditation Trust in the UK) and, importantly, the meditation is very easy to do, helped by the fact that it is not a 'concentration' meditation as such. Two major effects of continued practice are reduced stress and reduced fatigue.

I have only been doing it for a few days, but I find I go very deep into the meditation and am calmer afterwards, for a while at least. I am still a seething ball of stress but I have faith that, with application, TM will in time reduce stress and reduce the likelihood of future attacks.

I have had MS-related fatigue for about 10 weeks following a number of attacks, and TM has already helped to greatly boost my energy levels for a few hours after each meditation.

The below article in The Independent is a useful introduction to its benefits and effects: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style ... 07898.html.

All the best
Thanks very much Chris for posting this - meditation is the last thing on my list and probably the most important so you have inspired me to look into TM so I can put this last peice of the puzzle into place.

Went to the free introductory session on the weekend and am considering doing the full course (4 x 2 hour sessions) in the next week or so. It is quite a lot of money so I am nervous it'll be something I can't stick too (2 x 20 mins a day) but it certainly seems like it will help my entire life, in particular the fatigue and stress you mention.

Would be really keen to read any updates you have over the coming days/weeks!
Yes, Chris, please let us know how it is going for you? The secret formula of our healing process for sure. I've been finding it a bit hard to get going back into things. I think I will take a course or two to find the best technique for my abilities. Thank you so much for the recommendation. Best wishes
It's interesting to read your thoughts on Transcendental Meditation Chris.
I finally did the TM course 7 weeks ago after thinking about it for a long time.
I've been trying to meditate for years but have always fallen off the wagon!

This time it does feel different - I really look forward to doing it (that's a first) and have missed it the couple of times I couldn't do it.
Is that your experience too?
It's the easiest method I've found but it is quite expensive to learn (another reason to keep on doing it I guess).
The Meditation Trust you learned through sounds a good (and slightly cheaper) way to do it.

I do agree that it helps to lessen fatigue.
I meditate twice a day for 20 minutes. i can't say that I go deep or am very good at the actual meditation. I sometimes wait for the chime to end the session. A fairly impatient meditator BUT I do it. I just do it and received many find benefits from it. Mostly cured my insomnia. So I keep it up.

Good luck to you.

Thanks for your messages, and I will definitely give periodic updates. My experiences so far are very similar to Elizabeth W's - I find it very easy to do and I look forward to doing it.

Previously, when I have tried 'concentration' type meditations, I found it hard to motivate myself and, when I did, often I would soon completely forget I had sat down to meditate.

At the moment, it's a bit early to notice many results with stress (I have been doing it just over a month) - the instructor makes clear that TM is not an instant solution, and what you get out is what you put in, etc. Maybe my stress has gone down a little but there are other factors at play - I am not back at work full time, for example.

As for fatigue, sadly that hasn't shifted yet. However, if I meditate and then rest (you are strongly advised to rest for at least 5-10 minutes afterwards) when I am very fatigued, that tends to give me a burst of energy for a while, maybe a couple of hours. I also find that meditating in bed helps me to get to sleep, including if I wake early.

Learning TM is expensive, but the Meditation Trust (in the UK) is relatively cheap - its founder broke away from the Maharishi Foundation once the prices started skyrocketing. The 'suggested' cost is staggered based on household income, which they say allows the course to be subsidised for disadvantaged groups. There's a price reduction if you do it as a couple.

I'll keep you updated!

Thanks for the very informative post Chris..

I think that it may be for me. I have been struggling with mindfulness and think that maybe TM may suit me better.

Keep well

Nicola Corbett

Dublin, Ireland

'Nothing tastes as good as walking feels'

DX 2003, Swank 2004, OMS 2013, OMS Retreat March 2014
Hi, nice & motivating thread. What are, in your opinions, the main differences between TM and other forms of meditations?
Hope your fatigue is reducing Chris, mine seemed to be closely related to my vitamine D levels... it had been my most debilitating symptom.
Looking forward to reading more about your experience in TM.
'The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the one doing it'
Chinese proverb.

Hi Babette,

Thanks for your post - what a big question on the different types of meditations! I can only speak from my own very limited experience of concentration/mindfulness meditation and TM, and I can guarantee that my explanation will be simplistic at best.

I suppose one way to look at the question is what are the effects of the meditation, and how likely are you to get those results.

With concentration/mindfulness meditation, my understanding is that the goal is to learn to 'live in the now' instead of sleepwalking through life. With TM, the goal is to gradually release all the stress and fatigue that has built up in our bodies, leaving happy and stress-free living in its place. The TM instructor also stated that TM will achieve the goals of other meditations such as mindfulness meditation as well.

With the concentration/mindfulness meditation, I felt I was very unlikely to ever get those results as (1) I could rarely bring myself to meditate (2) When I did, I would usually forget I was meditating within a couple of minutes/seconds. (In fairness, the one kind of concentration meditation that I found slightly better was focusing on a particular object like a crystal - I was still not very motivated to do it regularly, but it was easier to concentrate on than, say, the breath or counting.)

With TM, I'm far more confident of getting the results over time. I'm still very motivated to do the meditation and know that I am doing it correctly (I mention this only because, with the concentration meditation, I knew that I wasn't doing it correctly as I would forget I was meant to be meditating). I have also seen the results in people who have been meditating for longer.

(By ways of update, after almost 2 months in, there are maybe a couple of rays of light - things that would have stressed me before not stressing me now - but I know I still have a long way to go. A journey of a thousand miles, etc...)


In true Blue Peter style, I thought I would give an example of the finished article of TM. I therefore asked Andre Berry, who works with the Meditation Trust and is truly a force of nature, to write about his experience of TM:

"It’s difficult to know where to start when it comes to the benefits of learning Transcendental Meditation. From my perspective it’s been a life changer, but it wasn't necessarily an immediate one. For many of us, these things unfortunately take time and we don't always realise the benefits until months down the line but, when TM does work, it creates a feeling from deep within that’s is out of this world.

I can't remember exactly how long ago it was when I started to realise it was working. All I remember I was standing in the queue of a coffee shop when a lady pushed in front of me. Now normally I would of said something back, or maybe even given her a little nudge, but on this occasion I just smiled look at her and let it be. The crazy thing was I only realised the significance of this months down the line. I was in bed and woke up at some silly time of night and said......OMG it really bloody works!!!

I have been practising it regularly for 5 years now and I can say not only that it definitely works but it’s one of the easiest and simplest of techniques to learn, and believe me when I say I've researched a few. The benefits are truly endless and at the same time different for everyone.

For me, I could write about how I haven’t been ill once for those 5 years or indeed I could mention how my energy levels have raised to incredible levels and that I feel amazingly fit and healthy nowadays.

But instead I will keep it simple and say that regular practise of TM seems to of given me a split second longer to think about all that I do in all Work Rest and Play. A split second that allows me to make a decision that takes in the consequences of my actions to ensure an easier life for both myself and those around me and, in doing so, all aspects of life have become a joy to live and though there are still ups and downs.

I realise that will not always be the case in my life, and it is how I deal with those downs will make me who I am. With TM by my side, I know I can deal with them as effectively and as efficiently as possible and I just love that."

I think that's as good a testament to what can be achieved with TM as you can get!

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