Transcendental Meditation–or TM®–is trademarked! At tm.org, Paul McCartney (pictured with Ringo) attests that TM gives him an “island of calm in the midst of so much turbulence.” (Which is what “Let It Be” does for us, but nevermind.) The site is full of testimony from not only Beatles but neurologists, students, yoga teachers, and US Marines. Billed as an “alternative treatment for anxiety” and based on the ancient Vedic tradition of enlightenment in India, McCartney’s Valium substitute has been around in some form or another for thousands of years. When Hugh Jackman needs to walk it back a bit from inhabiting Wolverine? You guessed it: TM. It makes Jackman “calm and happy” in a “pretty chaotic life!” (Jackman, McCartney and company apparently have it rougher than you think.)
What’s the catch? There is none, though skeptics may find a few claims staggering. Not least that the transcending is effortless. And “involves no concentration, contemplation or control of your mind.” (Caveat: it takes just twenty minutes and Ellen DeGeneres has reported feeling sad when the twenty minutes is over.) The website also claims TM increases IQ, improves cardiovascular health, and “opens the awareness to an inner field of unlimited creativity.” The only stress this registered technique apparently won’t relieve is a proprietary one, as TM.org warns people about the unseemly competition in the peace-of-mind business. (It quotes the American Heart Association as saying that “Other meditation techniques [including Mindfulness] are not recommended at this time.”) So be wary of Mindfulness. To get started with TM® there is an initial payment of $375 and three additional payments of $375. That’s an easy $1500 for Sir Paul. On a separate note, one of the largest causes of stress in the US is financial pressure.