How a chance encounter in the United States led a woman from Cairns to embrace Transcendental Meditation and find the practice she had sought all her life.
A CHANCE encounter during a trip to the United States almost ten years ago was enough to catapult Cairns woman Treya Yew Ling Tan deep into the world of Transcendental Meditation.
“I met a teacher…who suggested the Transcendental Meditation technique and informed me that founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is considered one of the greatest meditation teachers to ever live,” says Ms. Tan.
“By this time in my life, I had tried and practiced many other meditation techniques and was always looking for the ‘right’ practice.
“So I went to learn Transcendental Meditation and experienced what I was looking for.”
Ms. Tan started learning the ancient meditation technique in 2013 and was quickly on her way to becoming a teacher and sharing her experience with others.
“Since then, I’ve dedicated myself to practicing, learning, and teaching,” says Ms. Tan, who teaches the practice at her Freshwater studio.
She says anyone considering starting a meditation practice would find the Transcendental Meditation technique “easy and effortless” to learn and a useful tool to help manage and alleviate the stresses of everyday life.
“Stress is not a requirement for happiness and success. (But) we live in a stress epidemic,” she says.
“Transcendental Meditation is a practical tool that can help ease the growing stress, tension and anxieties in the world.”
Ms. Tan quotes Guru Maharishi, saying “the purpose of life is the expansion of happiness.”
“I love this Maharishi quote because it reminds us that our purpose in life is to be happy,” she says.
“Eternal happiness and peace lie deep within everyone and are accessible through the practice of Transcendental Meditation.
“You don’t have to go anywhere to experience it. Just close your eyes and meditate.
“With regular practice, happiness, freedom, possibilities, success and fulfillment grow more and more.”
The practice involves the use of an individual mantra, which is given to students by their teacher when they first embark on their meditation journey.
The mantra should remain private.
“Over the years, I have experienced increasing levels of fulfillment, happiness, peace and strength and I continue to experience mind and body benefits in meditation and outside of meditation,” says Ms. Tan.
“I want to share this gift with as many people as possible.
“I want to share this knowledge with everyone so they can experience and realize that everything they seek in life is already within.”
Student Brianne Torison, who lives in Edge Hill says she turned to meditation to help combat grief and stress during a particularly difficult time in her life.
“Three years ago I was at the lowest point of my life,” says Ms Torison.
“I was saddened by the sudden death of my father, my aunt and my uncle.
“In the space of a year, there have been 10 people close to me who have died.
“I lost my job and my friends. I was angry and unstable. Life was falling apart. I couldn’t see a way out of the sadness.
Ms Torison said she started the meditation when she was “in the depths of this despair” and it was a life-changing experience.
“Since then, everything has happened in such a natural, beautiful and evolving way,” she says.
“I have regained my confidence to make decisions and my daily reactions are easy and effortless. I am a better mother, wife, daughter and friend after finding peace through TM.
The ancient practice that has been passed down practiced by teachers for over 6,000 years has become increasingly popular in the Far North in recent times.
Initial learning involves a series of visits with a certified teacher and a commitment to use the meditation technique for two short sessions each day – one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
Ms Tan said the start of a new year is often when people decide to engage in a regular meditation practice.
“If your New Year’s resolution is to be less stressed, improve your health, achieve your goals, increase your happiness, or improve your relationships, then Transcendental Meditation will help you achieve your goals more. happy, faster and easier,” she says.
“(Meditation) is a super habit that will bring benefits in all areas of your life.”
Ms. Tan said she enjoys helping students discover the benefits of incorporating daily meditation into their lives.
“The benefits start from day one and still within the first few days of learning TM, people report benefits including improved sleep, feeling calmer and happier, less stress and anxiety, clarity increased mental and concentration, more energy.
“(It’s) a tool for life, and as long as you keep practicing, you’ll continue to experience the cumulative benefits day after day,” she says.
One of the reasons that the Transcendental Meditation technique has won a large audience of meditators around the world is its ease of learning, says Ms. Tan.
“It’s a natural technique that requires no effort to try to ‘clear the mind’ of thoughts or try to shut down the monkey’s mind,” she says.
“In TM, there is no monitoring of thoughts, no concentration, no effort… (the technique) utilizes the natural tendency of the mind to move into greater fields of happiness.”
Through practice, students learn that the human mind has different levels – surface levels which are more active and deeper levels which are calmer and more expansive.
“The deepest level of the mind, by nature, is the most satisfying,” says Ms. Tan.
“During TM, we allow the mind to effortlessly settle into itself – allowing us to access the deep reservoir of peace, clarity and energy that lies deep within us all.
“Many meditation techniques hold the mind on active surface reflective levels so that the mind never has a chance to calm down and take a break from the constant mental activity of the day… TM is a technique of transcendence which means “to go beyond”.
“The body gains a deep state of deep rest and relaxation which is accompanied by heightened mental alertness.
“Transcendental Meditation is not a learned skill that you get better at after years of practice. You master it in hours, days, and then it’s up to you to practice for the rest of your life. Studies show that experiencing restful states and deeper levels of mind brings the most benefits to mind and body.
“Compared to other meditation techniques, TM has better results in reducing stress and anxiety, psychological effects including emotions, intellectual performance, and health outcomes including lowering of blood pressure, risk of heart disease and more.”
The best way to learn the practice properly is to hire a qualified teacher, she says.
“It helps to learn from a meditation teacher (and) based on your experience — rather than the internet, a book, or an app,” she says.
“People spend time trying to figure it out on their own, but there’s such value in learning from a teacher in a structured course. This saves a lot of time and money.
“It is essential to educate people on the value of learning to meditate properly from a qualified and experienced teacher.
“If we want to learn the piano, we go to someone who has experience on the piano, if we want to learn to meditate, we go to someone who is experienced and qualified to teach meditation.
“All TM teachers are highly qualified.”
During a Transcendental Meditation class is not free, the cost for each student is structured around their personal income, in order to make the technique accessible to a greater number of people.
“Course fees are often a barrier for people who don’t understand the value of the course and are paying for service, high quality teaching and supreme knowledge,” says Ms. Tan.
“Hundreds of people have learned Transcendental Meditation in Cairns and Far North Queensland over the past few years.
“Course fees to learn Transcendental Meditation are income-based and include quality training with one-on-one personal instruction, a lifetime of benefits, unlimited access to the TM community app, group meditations, discounts level and personal appointments as often as you wish anywhere in the world, wherever there is a TM center.
“We offer a free lifetime follow-up program to support all learners, which includes group meditations, personal follow-up sessions, advanced lectures, knowledge courses, advanced techniques, retreats and residential courses .”
For more information on Transcendental Meditation contact Ms Tan on 0431 314 663 or visit www.tm.org.