My thoughts about the TM organization and my experience of taking responsibility

Deutsche Version

The TM organization started as a single man, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
He started a ball rolling and brought millions of people around the globe towards meditation.
I am one of them.
1976 at the age of 15 I learned the Transcendental Meditation technique, and it was what I was looking for. I sank down past all things I identified with, and recovered the innocence, openness and silence inside me, that had gone lost in the event of puberty, when lots of thoughts of whats wrong on this planet started to worry me.

My teacher was a very dedicated man. He was completely dedicated in teaching others. He was doing it with all his heart. I think, the teacher plays an important role in imparting meditation. I had complete trust in him.

Once he took me with him to an event at the national TM Academy at Schledehausen, Germany.
We arrived there – and weren’t aloud to enter the building. So we sat outside in the park, meditated there and drove home again.
It was very, very strange to be excluded like this, after having driven miles on the autobahn.  It was my first encounter with the elitist, self-serving and cold-hearted movement that was build up around Maharishi.
I felt strange, uninvited, unwanted.
Someone was playing a flute inside the main building. It sounded like paradise, this old beautiful house in this wonderful garden and this peaceful tunes. And we had to stay outside like peasants at the kings court.

Nevertheless I continued meditation and learned the Sidhi-Techniques, an advanced technique based on the 3rd chapter of the Yoga Sutras, at the age of 18 and went into the Purusha group shortly thereafter, which was kind of a group of moncs basically. I stayed there for about 8 years.

The movement stayed true to my first experiences with it, no, it grew even stronger in its self-delusion. The leading class in this movement went kind of nuts, and started serving themselves more and more, all under the hood of creating a heaven on Earth. In the end, it became clear, not on an intellectual level, but on the level of feeling, that the only thing that mattered, was the spiritual ego of those at the top. Maharishi was kind of enveloped in a thick goo of slimy maniacs of self gratification with no compassion to men.
Instead they wanted to create ‘Heaven on Earth’, a heaven that’s based on a hierarchical structure of certified ‘enlightened’ people, people with the ‘knowledge’. That cleverly diverted them of having to create a heaven on earth in their own hearts and in their personal lives first.
It looked more and more like a fascist regime to me, a regime with a golden mantle of light. A pyramid structure that served only those on top. All others had to subdue to their teachings, basically giving away their responsibility for their lives, giving away their right to think and feel for themselves. All thinking was predefined, thinking outside this box was punished, first with frowning upon you, later with exclusion, sooner or later. And not without telling you, or giving you the feeling, that you are on an ego trip and that you should better live in the ‘outside field’.
They never used force though, just the gentle methods of group think.

Do they care?
No, they do not care about individual people, they care about the grand plan, which is exactly why they fit into the same category as the catholic church or any other religion, although the techniques have nothing religious at all.
That says it all for me.
Grand plans are attractive to people with an ego that tells them they are special. That they are chosen people to save the world.
No, they will never save the world, unless they grow humble.
In the eight years in the Purusha group in the Ashram I have seen many people come and go. Many have been so genuinely open hearted and were meditating with all their heart. But only those who could live elsewhere, were not able to survive outside this parallel world, or who were in desperate need of being special, stayed until now.

This doesn’t mean that all TM teachers and Sidhas (practitioners of the Sidhi techniques without being a teacher) are of that type. No, there are many warm hearted and sincere people there. I know some of them which I call friends. My heart hurts thinking of some of them. To see how they imprison themselves in this movement since so many many years, giving away their power and creatorship to serve the spiritual ego of the leaders of this church. Even worse, they imprison themselves in their mind. They have given up their responsibility for themselves, to serve for a greater good, not realizing, that the only thing they are serving is the ego of their leaders.
But this is not a one-sided deal. Those who follow a movement will gain something from it, you will be accepted and loved in their movement, you get security (inside their realm) and you will get the guaranty, that you are chosen among men. And not to forget the preset way of thinking, which makes life so much easier, as you have an explanation for virtually everything without ever having to find an answer in your own heart.
The TM movement has become a church with priests at the top, very early on.
And this will not change as long as enough money is made in this business.

Here lies another reason for the TM movement being a church.
They take money for teaching meditation – meanwhile a lot of money.
It costs thousands of Euros to learn to meditate and to learn the Sidhi-techniques.
In my times they explained it always with: They want only people who really want to meditate. And if someone really wants to meditate, he will get the money somehow, nature would take care of that.

After living a ‘normal’ life for 20 years now, things are coming together for me.
Meanwhile I know my self better, know my heart, and know of other ways of teaching. A very good friend of mine went to a ten day buddhist vipassana group. They took no money at all for this 10 days. They accept donations, or you may choose to serve during the course, thereby learning to meditate while serving others. And they accept donations only from those who take part in this 10 days, not from outsiders.

Isn’t that wise?

You achieve several things with this method:

  1. Pupils have trust, that they are not tricked to pay for something they didn’t found helpful in the end. A huge confidence establishing measure. And every pupil surely would like to donate something if his expectations were met.
  2. If one wants to donate, one can donate on the basis of ones means. If you are poor and you are happy and fulfilled after this week of meditation, you do not have to donate anything. Others may choose to donate more, as they have more resources. Or you may choose to serve, thereby learning meditation while at the same time keeping yourself humble as you have to serve the others.
  3. Not charging money and working on a charity basis, only accepting money from the participants and no one else, keeps the teachers and organizers clear of any influences that can be bought with money.
  4. Donation means, keeping the teachers and organizers humble. Humbleness is a key ingredient in proper teaching. A teacher should be able to put his ego aside and work selflessly. Then a pupil can build up trust more easily and he will be able to let go easily.  Meditation will be so much deeper, when letting go is based on trust.

The TM organization is doing it in following way:

  1. They charge a lot of money for teaching meditation
  2. As they charge a lot of money, only people with a lot of money can afford it.
  3. People with a lot of money are influential, which serves expanding the influence of the TM movement and the ego of their leaders
  4. Other classes are thereby excluded from access to this knowledge of meditation, contrary to the initial tantric ideal of equality which always taught mantra mediation to everyone who is open for it.
  5. Charging money means, the pupil will probably get into a shopping mentality regarding meditation. A mentality that is not supportive for good meditation results.
  6. Hierarchical organizations serve one purpose first, their own survival. Then comes their expansion and growth of power. In order to achieve that, you need more and more people to trust and believe you. With big egos at the top, the money will be spend mostly for the enhancement and expansion of their egos and their power, which will be justified by them as being identical to the well being of the movement. Big ‘spiritual’ egos are especially bad, as they, after time, become so much convinced of their truth and infallibility, that all others necessarily can’t have the truth. It’s a black and white theme, known from all churches. In this case it is especially easy for the egos, as they have such an effective meditation technique at hand. The extent of abuse of this ancient meditation technique causes me great pain. Even greater pain it is to see, how many people of good faith are willingly giving away their right for their own discernment, letting others decide how to interpret their experiences.
  7. Big egos will have the need to set up shows and rituals to celebrate their achievements. Thats what is exactly happening in the TM movement. They create kind of shows and rituals unique to them to enhance their egos further, leading them to live more and more in a parallel world. The show they put up reminds me of the Oscar award ceremonies of Hollywood. It’s the same system, an organization celebrating itself, never being able to look beyond its box.
  8. I know that meditation teachers at the base do not get much of the money meditators are paying for learning the technique. Most of it has to be handed over. A group that can be truly called ‘New Age’ is not based on hierarchical structures in my opinion. It is rooted in decentralization, it is rooted in the respect of equals, where each individual has full responsibility for his life and his local environment, and the resulting actions are carried out in highest respect to the sovereignty of every being on this planet, whatever they came here to experience for. Every being has the right to choose the experiences he wants to make, and it is the duty of every spiritual being to respect that for others.
  9. They start teaching with a lie, right at the beginning. They tell you, that the mantra is chosen especially for you. No it is not, its is chosen by your age. Why hide this fact? Obviously, there is either no knowledge left about the mantras used, or it doesn’t matter anyway so much what mantra one is using. I intent to discuss this matter in a later article in more depth.
  10. Secrecy is at the base of their teaching. Wherever secrecy rules, it serves and served only one purpose: To keep control. The desire to keep control is rooted in fear. An organization based on fear has to use many resources on self-defense and self-justification. I believe in ancient times, secrecy might have been a necessary point for survival, when knowledge was hunted down, but this times are over now. You can find knowledge everywhere now and any kind of teacher easily around your next corner. The internet makes it possible. The best strategy to avoid suppression is nowadays to go public, and not to stay secret.
  11. It will be a hindrance for any pupil to trust his teacher, if he observes, that they spend his money on fancy cloths, interior designs and festivities. And trust is at the basis for learning and understanding meditation.

As all this is blocking many people from starting meditation for their own good, I would propose all TM teachers, to teach for free, on donation basis. And do accept donations only from those whom you initiated. You cannot call this Transcendental Mediation of course, as this term is probably protected, but you can call this Mantra meditation. After all, this technique is not new and the TM organization has no exclusive right over it, it’s an age old technique that should be freely available to anyone with an open heart and mind.
And be honest about the mantras! Do not teach meditation starting with a lie, and do not keep any secrets! By being truthful you will develop your heart qualities and will stay humble.
Realize your own freedom.
The TM organization has only power over you because you gave it to them. Wake up, realize that a lot of people around you are actually looking for you to teach them. Do it. And teach with all your heart. And do not judge.
Be honest and don’t claim to be all knowing. You are allowed to say to a pupil that you do not know the answer to his question.
Never assume again, that you are godly. The only thing that wants to be godly is your ego.

A few weeks after I scribbled down above lines in an early draft, I met my sister-in-law who is a healer. She offered to make a forgiveness process with me. I accepted and it really helped me a lot to clear and free my emotions that have blocked my heart.

During that process, I realized:
I am angry about the TM Organization because:

  • they give their techniques only to people who are able to pay a lot of money
  • they abuse a good thing
  • they thereby block and hinder the evolution on earth, sitting on a gold treasure that does not belong to them, but they claim ownership
  • they are prohibiting me to make this technique known to others
  • they are after power and money
  • people don’t really matter to them

My feelings regarding this were very important:  sadness, anger, vulnerability, abuse, powerlessness, constriction, suffocation, being unfree, and being cut down

I was asked if I could accept this feelings. I could, all this feelings were genuine feelings of myself. Although the feeling of anger has always been more difficult for me to accept.
Then my sister-in-law asked me, what I wanted to say to the TM people, and I said:

TM people, I want you:

  • to put aside all rules and regulations and follow your heart
  • to be open for all people
  • to not let yourself be abused
  • to open yourselves and share your fullness
  • to nourish the values of love, respect and confidence
  • to not raise yourself over others and judge

Then she asked me to insert my own name in above sentences:

I want me:

  • to put aside all rules and regulations and follow my heart
  • to be open for all people
  • to not let myself be abused
  • to open myself and share my fullness
  • to nourish the values of love, respect and confidence
  • to not raise myself above others and judge them

Here it dawned on me and tears came up. Then I was asked to let all of the above feelings go, one by one, with a big breath.

I realized, it is my choice to give them this power over me. I can drop it right now.
So I did.
This experience of sadness, vulnerability, abuse, anger …. I had willingly sought this experience because it externalized my feelings and wishes, thereby making it possible for me to meet me outside, where I could not meet me inside. I realized this was not the first experience of this kind in my life, it was a repeating pattern. It’s powers over me are broken now.

A new life has begun for me. I already started teaching Mantra meditation to someone dear to me, and I did it with all my heart. There is someone now in this world, who is grateful for this new experience, unknown to him before.
And I literally fell in love giving my knowledge away for free, not expecting anything. It is the highest possible gift, to give in love, honesty, and not for any profit, and not for the ego of any organization. It can be only my own ego now, which will surely do much less damage in case it raises its head than a big corporation.
But I am human anyway and I gave away my claim of infallibility long ago already. I have taken back the responsibility for my life and do my best to accept my responsibility for my current experiences and knowledge.
I will teach those who are of open mind and I will not charge anything for it.
I am 50 years of age now, I start to feel that my time is limited. There is really no more time to be wasted.

I wish for all those good souls in the TM movement to realize their own patterns, to become truthful to their hearts and feelings, and to live their live as a truly sublime, self-sufficient and responsible being. Do not give away your authority to anyone else anymore and become a truly unique human being.

Be bold and jump.


About Bhusunda

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One Response to My thoughts about the TM organization and my experience of taking responsibility

  1. Pingback: Reflections on Vipassana and the Buddhist world view | Bhusunda

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