Finding Inner Silence

Click on the picture to see the original article from 24 Hours Ottawa

Adrienne Ascah, 25 Nov 2009

What does a local university student have in common with Jerry Seinfeld, Howard Stern and David Lynch? The comedian, shock jock radio personality and filmmaker all practise transcendental meditation, which Carleton University student Espoir Manirambona began practising daily in June.

“I just really enjoy the inner silence that it brings,” Manirambona said.

“I've been going through a pretty busy time at school and it feels like I can just handle the stress a lot better.”

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi founded and developed TM, travelling the world to share his teachings since 1958. He had many high-profile followers, including the Beatles. Transcendental meditation is practised by sitting comfortably with your eyes closed, silently chanting a mantra given to you by your TM instructor. Ideally, devotees meditate twice a day, once in the morning and once before supper for about 20 minutes each time. Medical research studies have linked TM to lowering blood pressure and preventing or helping people cope with anxiety and depression. TM is also linked to disease prevention and improved concentration.

“I think it's probably one of the best investments you can make in yourself and I just hope that the price tag wouldn't be a barrier forpeople,” said Manirambona, 19, who started a TMclub at Carleton in September.

At the Maharishi Invincibility Centre, transcendental mediation lessons are $675 for full-time students and retirees and $1,350 for adults. Neil Dickie, who instructed Manirambona, acknowledges prices are high, but said they're standard for North America, reflecting the time and money required to become an instructor and the personal attention students receive.

“We’re accustomed to investing in things that are tangible and material, that we can pack in a box and take away from a store,” Dickie said. “We’re not so accustomed to investing in ourselves, in things that will produce benefits working fromthe inside.” TM is a natural but delicate process, requiring close attention and expertise, he added.

For more information, call 613-565-2030.