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By Wendy Rosenfeldt

Positive thinking is often advocated as a way to improve yourself and to attract more life supporting people and situations into your world. Many self development programs substantiate such claims by drawing on scientific understanding but there seems to be a gap between the theory and the reality experienced in day to day life. 

Quantum physics has discovered that at the most subtle level of life, thought is the most powerful form of energy. This has given rise to the notion that your thoughts create your reality. Consciousness is basic to life. So why can’t we recreate our reality just by thinking positive thoughts?

It is like trying to use quantum mechanical laws at the surface level of life. At the quantum level of life, everything is in its unmanifest form, like a sea of fluctuating particles, at this level all possibilities exist. If the mind and body were functioning from this level it would be possible to walk through a wall. Nothing is separate and solid. However if you try to do this from the surface level of reality which we inhabit in everyday life, you would just bang your head.


It is possible to access this level of the Unified Field in our own awareness through the practice of Transcending. During Transcendental Meditation®, the mind settles down to its least excited state and experiences unbounded awareness. At this level there is no separation between the individual and anything else.

This is a profoundly satisfying state for the mind but initially it cannot be permanently maintained. While there is still some stress in the nervous system the mind comes out. It is not possible to restructure the brain completely and permanently with one experience of this unified state. Transcending has to be experienced on a regular basis to bring about permanent changes in our experience outside of meditation and therefore our perception of the world.

The brain is hard wired by repetition. If we want to learn a language or musical instrument, we have to practice it. This lays down tracks in the brain so that when we want to pick up that activity at a later date, it is easier as we already have the neuronal connections.

We also hard wire into our brain our negative experiences of failure, rejection and disappointment so that when we approach that new job, relationship or holiday overseas, we bring to it negative thoughts, “what if I’m not good enough”, “what if I get let down” or “what if I run out of money”.

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If it were just a matter of choosing our thoughts, we wouldn’t consciously entertain such self sabotaging ideas. However, our thoughts arise from a brain hardwired by past experiences. Trying to stop yourself from worrying or doubting can be very hard and proves to be more so the more stressed you are. People suffering from post traumatic stress disorder find it exceedingly difficult to just go about thinking positive thoughts.

The brain of someone with PTSD is wired up to be on high alert. Even though the person may have left the stressful situation, the trauma has created a permanent effect on the brain so it is permanently in fight or flight. It has been found that even a few sittings of Transcendental Meditation® is enough to switch off this stuck fight or flight response. With regular practice, the emotional charge of the trauma gets released so that the person’s thoughts are not so focused on the past stresses and negativity. 

Positive thinking comes from positive being. Instead of trying to convince yourself that you are happy and healthy, Transcendental Meditation® provides the experience where you begin to feel better. When you come out of meditation, you don’t have to consciously think about it.

You come out feeling refreshed and uplifted so your thoughts are naturally more positive, optimistic and creative. You don’t have to remind or convince yourself, or the universe, how wonderful you are or what a great life you have; you just feel it and live it.