I recently read some promising articles on Transcendental Meditation® and did some research on the web. I found out the classes are close to $2500 and there is much controversy surrounding the organization. Upon searching further, I found a site called Natural Stress Relief® which uses some of the same concepts of TM for about $25 without any religious overtones ie. you don’t have to believe in anything. For $25 you get a downloadable ebook and a sound file with no email assistance.
I followed the instructions to the tee and read the book before listening to the sound file. You only need to listen to the sound file once as an example of what you have to do. Basically, you are asked to repeat a sound or mantra over and over in your head (not out loud) for 15 minutes twice per day.
You then record how you feel after each session with the included forms. Apparently, by repeating the mantra over and over you are causing your mind to focus on this word blocking out all the junk that is constantly running through your head.
I really didn’t expect much from this technique but was surprised that at the end of 15 minutes I actually felt more relaxed and calm. It was not easy, as thoughts like “this is stupid” or “I wonder if the Simpson’s is coming on” kept running through my head. However, as long as I continued to repeat the word I noticed that all the mental dust seemed clear itself out like a Swiffer on a hardwood floor. I will continue to practice the Natural Stress Relief technique for a month and report back my results.