A clinical psychologist says she loves to practise Transcendental Meditation® (TM) and recommend it to her clients.
“I just love meditating. I love people who meditate. I love recommending TM to people,” said Dr Jennifer Ellison, who learnt the TM technique 45-years ago as a university student in South Africa.
Dr Ellison first trained as an organisational psychologist and later became a clinical psychologist. Her practice is in Perth and she specialises in conflict resolution in the workplace.
Dr Ellison said it’s important for people to adopt skills to regulate their strengths and become more resilient to combat the stresses of life.
“I never push a specific strategy because I always work with my clients to find their own way,” Dr Ellison said.
“But more and more neuroscience is showing that our western way of life and the stress we experience makes us hyper aroused, and the fight/flight/freeze instincts are overactive and we can’t stay in our window of tolerance,” she said.
“We are often overwhelmed and make bad decisions and are pushing ourselves too hard and getting sick.
“So I think it’s pretty recognised that it’s really important to have some way of regulating your strengths and finding a way of being more resilient.”
She said the TM technique is an “amazing resource” to find some inner peace.
“I think TM is not just a technique that benefits oneself. It’s a technique that creates an energy that helps the people around you. And it really is a blessing, Dr Ellison said.”
“I often am asked the question, why am I so calm? And it’s only then that I will say, it’s because I meditate. But I don’t particularly recommend it as a matter of routine. Having said that many of my clients do practise TM,” she said.
“And once they do Transcendental Meditation, most people find it just an amazing resource. An amazing way of recalibrating even if they’re just seeing it at the level of case management.
“But I do think that those who practise it for a while become a little more grounded, a little more able to see things more clearly. So they start to feel incremental effects.”
Dr Ellison heard about the TM technique when she was at university in South Africa.
“I was always interested, as a young person growing up in South Africa, in Eastern mysticism,” Dr Ellison said.
“And one day I was at university and saw a little picture of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi [the founder of Transcendental Meditation] on a tree,” she said.
“And it had phone numbers with those little fringes that you could just pull off, and I was just intrigued and fascinated by his beautiful face.
“We didn’t have mobile phones back then, so I had to go home to phone. And I arranged immediately for lessons to learn TM with all my uni friends.
“There were about 20 of us. And we learned with a lovely certified TM teacher who we all adored. We all meditate to this very day and we are scattered all around the world.”
Dr Ellison said the TM technique does not require effort and is a joy to practise.
“You want to do it. It’s not an issue. It’s not a to-do list thing. It’s, when can I meditate?” she said.
“When can I close my eyes and enter the beautiful world of richness and calm and beauty and open my eyes again to a slightly different world. It just feels better.”
“It’s unusual in western life to have something that is effortless,” she said.
Dr Ellison said the TM technique is different to other types of meditations.
“TM is something where you can truly be and that’s what I feel is the real advantage and distinctiveness of TM. It isn’t a thing you have to do,” she said.
“TM doesn’t involve concentrating or trying to get rid of thoughts or focusing. So it’s a beautiful thing and very different from other forms of meditation.”