How is Transcendental Meditation different from other forms of meditation?
Maharishi: 'The basic difference is that Transcendental Meditation, in addition to its simplicity, concerns itself only with the mind. Other systems often involve some additional aspects with which the mind is associated, such as breathing or physical exercises. They can be a little complicated because they deal with so many things. But with Transcendental Meditation there is no possibility of any interference. So we say this is the all-simple programme, enabling the conscious mind to fathom the whole range of its existence.
'Transcendental Meditation ranges from active mind-or performing mind-to quiet mind-or resting mind. In this resting mind, one has purity and simplicity, uninvolved with anything other than the mind, uninvolved with any other practice. In Transcendental Meditation, because we deal only with the mind, we nourish all expressions of intelligence. The mind meditates, gains Transcendental Consciousness and brings about transformation in different fields of manifestation. All fields of life, which are the expression of intelligence, are nourished or transformed and made better through experiencing Transcendental Consciousness.
'The mind, of course, is always concerned with other aspects, such as the physiology of the body, the environment, and the whole universe for that matter. But since Transcendental Meditation deals only with the performance of the mind, from its active states to its settled state, it remains unconcerned with those other aspects, though it deals with them all, because intelligence deals with them all.'
Why do you need to be taught if it’s so natural?
Maharishi: 'Through instruction. What happens is that the mind, in its active state, learns to experience its own less active states, experience its progressively minimized active states, until eventually it cognizes the transcendental state of consciousness. But in learning to do this, we must remember that the mind has usually been allowed to wander around so long in the realm of knowledge or power or the pursuit of happiness that it must be taught how to know itself again. That's why teaching becomes necessary. After learning Transcendental Meditation one knows what the natural state is. But to realize this, one has to be liberated from unnatural programmes, performances and experiences.
'Most people have no experience with Transcendental Consciousness, pure consciousness, the pure nature of the mind. They are aware of active mind, which is the waking state of consciousness. They are also aware of the complete forgetfulness of the mind, the sleep state. And they are aware of the middle stage, the dreaming mind. But they are not aware of pure or Transcendental Consciousness. So the experience of that consciousness is taught in Transcendental Meditation, though it's nothing other than the very nature of the mind.'
Isn't hard work more important than deep rest to achieve something?
Maharishi: 'No, No. Everyone knows sleeping is very natural. No one has to work hard to sleep. So resting is a natural process. One rests, one feels better, one feels relaxed. "Work hard" is a wrong principle. Instead, one should draw the mind inward, pull the arrow back and release. This is the way to fulfill our desires. The desiring mind should be pulled back to a state of silence, and there, in that Transcendental Consciousness, the desire will get fulfilled. It is a great science of life, which does not require hard work. Enjoy and fulfil your desires.'
What do you mean by 'enlightenment'?
Maharishi: 'Enlightenment is the normal, natural state of health for the body and mind. It results from the full development of consciousness and depends upon the perfect and harmonious functioning of every part of the body and nervous system. When one is using the full potential of the mind and body in this way, every thought and action is spontaneously correct and life-supporting. This is life free from suffering, life lived in its full stature and significance. The goal of the Transcendental Meditation Technique is the state of enlightenment. This means we experience that inner calmness, that quiet state of least excitation, even when we are dynamically busy.'