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First Day of Verifying and Validating the Practice

The next step of teaching Transcendental Meditation after personal instruction is checking of the experiences of the first day of meditation. It is necessary to verify the results of meditation and this is done in a standard manner by using a form again,1 as we use the form for personal interview, so we use a standard form to verify and validate the experience of the first day of meditation. It will be good to go through the form and see what points are laid out there; these are the points which we expect the beginner meditator to experience.


  • How many times have you meditated since your last checking?2
  • How long did you meditate each time?
  • Did you feel that time during meditation passed quickly?
  • Did you at any moment find that you were unaware of body and surroundings?
  • Did you at moments feel some happiness within?
  • Did thoughts disturb you?
  • During meditation did you notice any change in your breathing?
  • During meditation did you feel so relaxed as to feel sleepy?
  • How did you feel today as compared with other days?
  • Are you satisfied with your meditation so far?
  • Any other remarks?
  • Come tomorrow for verification of experiences and further instruction at: time place

In this form experiences3 are asked during meditation and it is asked how he felt after meditation. It is highly remarkable in our system of meditation that one has experiences immediately with the start of the practice and these experiences during mediation are validated by his feelings during the day after meditation, and this shows that the experiences brought about by the practice are very real: they're not only psychological, they're not only emotional, but they have a bearing on the entire personality and they last with the person, even when he's out in activity. Just this one standard form: The man fills out and when he sees that in these 5-6 points all the essence of the details of experiences during and after meditation are contained, immediately he feels a great satisfaction in the system of teaching. What good he had felt during meditation and after meditation in his life; when he comes to the teacher, the system of teaching impresses him as being very real and very universal at the same time, because there is a standard form which every initiate is required to fill out and this standard form is to validate whether his experiences have been correct or not; and then, what he fills out is then analyzed. The analysis is, from two points of view, from the point of view of correctness of meditation and from the point of view of incorrectness of meditation. He may put down certain experiences which we will classify as correct experiences, those which are expected from practice; and he may put down something which may be categorized as incorrect experiences, that means his practice has not been satisfactory. So in the light of correctness and incorrectness, the experiences are analyzed. These points of correct and incorrect practice have been written out. It will be good to go through them one by one, and this will be the standard method of verifying the experiences which one puts down in the form. It will be good to read them out.


Mechanics of TM: Experiences and Practical Application.
Purpose: To stabilize the practice by discussing the experiences and supplying correct practical understanding of correct meditation.
Structure of the session:
  1. As people come in, pass out experience sheet (First Day Following Initiation). As soon as they have filled out the form it should be returned to their initiator.
  2. Initiator looks over form and makes brief comments to the individual and checks (ticks) significant points on the sheet.6 Initiator may wish to make a note to speak with certain individuals after the meeting.
  3. Points are covered regarding mechanics of TM in relation to their experiences and questions. (45 minutes)
  4. Group meditation and checking.
  5. Further questions on the practice.


How to analyze correctness of meditation if he complains of no results.7

Never put off anyone if he is showing lack of good experience. We go deep into his experience openly before the whole group.

Say to him, "Now let us analyze where or what the mistake is. Describe how you meditate. First you sit comfortably? You start to think the mantra as effortlessly as any other thought? And did you notice that the mantra became finer or vaguer or unclear? Or you feel that you forgot it sometime? Did you have some such experience?"

He may say, "No," and we'd say, "All right, it doesn't matter." "Did you notice the breath became softer?" "No." "It doesn't matter."

"Sudden deep breath?" "Yes." "This shows there has been some lack of breath before. This indicated softening or refining of mental activity and this happens when the mantra becomes finer, so even though you don't remember, this happens naturally and you won't even notice. This is what happens in your meditation, not that nothing happened."

We see after close analysis that something valuable happened. This must be brought to his attention intellectually -- that something valuable happened and this is going to benefit practical life. If he says, "No," to the question about deep breath, then we continue, "Did you feel that you were dozing? This is due to relaxation." Then remark, "At any time a sense of drowsiness comes, we let it come. If we feel sleepy we lie down and sleep. This is an indication of deep relaxation."8

If a problem or discontent continues and the meditator does not seem to be satisfied, suggest, "Let's see how you feel after this evening's meditation."9

"So whether we feel refreshed or drowsy, TM is successful."10 Then we explain to him that it will happen for 2-3 days and a lot of stress will be gone. Then there will be no more need to feel sleepy.11

"There is a reason for drowsiness and a reason for freshness. The reason for drowsiness is tiredness or fatigue. Whenever the body is tired it will fall asleep in the relaxation of TM. If not tired the body will feel extra fresh."

Depending on the condition of the body, experience will be different.12 The practice is the same, simple, natural thinking the mantra, but the experience will differ depending on the condition of the body. (This is a very salient point.)

"The practice is right even when we don't have the same experiences every time, because the physical condition of the nervous system is involved in the process. Even though the process is purely mental, experiences will differ owing to the different conditions of the physical body."


  1. Subtle states of mantra; note: clarify what you mean by subtle -- vague, finer, distant -- "You seem to forget it."
  2. Softer breath
  3. Sudden deep breath
  4. Drowsiness -- the head may fall suddenly or gradually and any other signals of it.
  5. Signs of deep relaxation or numbness.
  6. Sudden sensations or stress release. We say, "This is just release of stress. We'll talk about it tomorrow because with two more meditations you'll have more experiences."
  7. Any experience of effortlessness or easiness during meditation.
  8. Naturalness.

Results in activity: This means he does not only feel relaxed during meditation, but also more at ease, more lively, more clear thinking; he had more energy, more rewarding activity, more effective activity, lightness in body and mind.

We bring out these points by relating them to what he has filled out in the first day's experience sheet. We also bring out the point about no control and no effort as was said in the introductory and preparatory lectures. This gives him confidence when he finds out what we say is true.13 The whole thing is automatic. We just stick to this procedure.


One thing is important -- we don't bring out these points unless they come up as experiences, but if they do, we make it clear that these experiences indicate incorrect meditation.14

Pressure in forehead or back of head, or pain in the temples or pain in the neck. "This means forcing. Some effort is creeping into the process. The natural process of evolution is obstructed by some individual interception.15 This means that the mind's spontaneous flow towards the unbounded is obstructed, the natural flow is hindered; this is due to individual effort. (How to correct it.) Stop thinking the mantra16 -- effort has started. The process of thinking is no longer natural. Natural means effortless. Therefore, if the mind is not thinking effortlessly then we break the process of thinking the mantra for half a minute."

Note to initiator: Ask him, "Did you experience some relaxation, also some headache? Due to right meditation you felt some relaxation, but because some forcing, some effort was there at some point, you experienced some pressure."17

Also, he should know that the nature of incorrect use of the mantra is in starting to make an effort which makes the thinking process unnatural. If he has a history of chronic headaches, we give him relief by saying, "Many meditators report that through regular practice of meditation that chronic headaches disappear because meditation normalizes the system. It will be good to be regular in meditation, but at the same time it will be good to consult your physician. Any suffering we should attack from all sides."18

During these days we always give him great upliftment. We let him know that the correction of any mistake is very simple. If headache was before meditation, we say the standard thing which is, "Even with this pain we do not lose the ability to think, etc."


TM leads to a more refined activity in those regions of the brain concerned with refined mental activity.19 These regions gain a relaxed state. The total effect is that mental activity becomes less and less. If at the same time some other activity is maintained, then this obstruction appears as a headache. This is a sign to stop making an effort. Pain or pressure in the neck indicates that some tendency to concentrate has started. Again, we advise him to stop the mantra, sit easily for two minutes and then roll the head slowly with eyes closed and massage to relieve pressure. Then rebegin the mantra.

If a headache comes up in the checking meeting, the main point is: NOT to persist in repeating the mantra.


"The procedure is set and scientific20 and in this the effectiveness rests. Once we have started the mantra, everything is automatic. Whatever happens is for good. So from our side, we don't stop the mantra unless a pain appears. If the process is incorrect in anyway, this will be experienced as some discomfort."

"Meditation and activity, joy of diving, joy of coming out, coming in and out is natural. We're going to discuss the value of thought tomorrow. The inward stroke of meditation is conducted basically by the nature of the mind and the outward stroke basically by the nature of the body. This we will talk about tomorrow because it will take about an hour's time."

Talk about the value of regularity and of not discussing experiences outside the meeting. Without the teacher there may be confusion.21


  1. Establish two regular periods of meditation -- maximum benefit from TM comes from regularity of two periods per day: a few minutes of TM balanced by many hours of activity.23
    • don't meditate before going to bed
    • meditate before meals: allow 2-3 hours after a full if meal. If hungry, take something light.
  2. Establish time of meditation.
    • we don't meditate a shorter time than instructed (i.e., 15-20 minutes)
    • if we innocently go over the time, we don't mind
    • (note to initiator: if there are questions about extra mediation, in special cases, e.g., exams, a third period of meditation will be all right.)
    • meditation can be timed with watch or clock. Just easily open the eyes to check. Don't use alarms, etc.
  3. Meditate sitting up comfortably, not lying down.
    • If you feel inclined, move during the meditation, that is all right. (If itching, scratch. Don't restrict head movements, etc.)
  4. Right experience of meditation.
    • we don't judge our meditation by specific subjective experiences during meditation.24 Our success in the practice of meditation is determined in that:
      1. The practice itself goes easily, and
      2. We feel some rest mentally or physically, some general good feeling immediately following meditation.25
  5. Differences in morning and evening meditation.
    • (For this refer back to explanation of different states of body before meditation.)
    • Contrast of rested state before morning and fatigued before evening may provide different subjective experience although the process is accomplishing maximum in both cases.26 (Use subject of transcending to make bridge to Second Night.)
  6. Noise -- neutral, cordial attitude.
    • even in a noisy market, it is possible to be thinking thoughts, so one can think the mantra comfortably even though aware of outside noises. Therefore noise is no barrier to meditation. If we try to push out noises or resist in any way, this will cause a strain.
  7. Disturbances.
    • Best to meditate in a quiet area. And take measures to disallow disturbances, take phone off hook, etc.
    • If sudden disturbances, take a minute to come out slowly and meditate 5 minutes afterwards to regain easiness before returning to activity.
    • If sudden noise is jarring to the system, sit easily with eyes closed until the sensation subsides and then continue meditation.
  8. Thoughts in meditation.
    • meaning of thoughts is unimportant in TM.27 What is important is that when we recognize that the mantra has disappeared, we come back easily, and comfortably, not distinctly.
    • If at any time the mantra is found to be in a very unclear state and perhaps even seems distorted in pronunciation, we should never think that we are out of the mantra and we have to rebegin it clearly. That distorted sort of pronunciation could be the correct pronunciation of the mantra in that fine state, it could even become very fine. Then we don't try to pronounce the mantra very clearly. Trying is prohibited.
  9. Mantra may change.
    • mantra can change in many ways. When the mantra begins to fade away it is experienced in changed values. It could change in tempo, rate (faster or slower), value, pitch, length, pronunciation or it may not seem to change at all.28, 29 In any case, we just take it as it comes. Right meditation does not mean it's necessary to have the mantra at all times. If we lose it, fine. When we're aware it has disappeared, we quietly come back to it. (Note: This does not mean sitting waiting for the mantra to appear so we can come back to it.)
  10. Thoughts and mantra.
    • When, during meditation, one is aware of thoughts and mantra, noise and mantra, (i.e., the activities seem to be simultaneous), we easily favor the mantra. "Favoring the mantra" means simply allowing the attention to be with the fine state of the mantra that is already present.
  11. Forgetting mantra.
    • If someone says that he's forgotten the mantra, tell him to speak to his initiator afterwards. Also could bring out that trying to remember subtle thoughts on gross level (i.e., out of meditation) can create doubts. We don't try to remember out of meditation; it will be there when we sit to meditate.
  12. Reasons for not speaking out the mantra.
    • (Note to initiator: highly important to explain in a systematic, logical way why he does not speak out the mantra.) Since he has been told this in the instruction, he could now be given a reason. One way would be to draw bubble diagram indicating finer inward experience. To bring outward on a grosser field would reverse this inward process and thereby weaken your own meditation (seed analogy).30
  13. Noticing breathing change.
    • Due to mind settling to finer levels of thought. (If doesn't notice, OK, happens automatically.)31 Even though TM is a purely mental technique, the body also is profoundly affected.
    • If there is a sudden deep breath, the reason is that the body is accustomed to maintain itself in normal breathing, and when breathing becomes softer, a sort of vacuum is produced inside and the system suddenly draws air in. Everytime there's a sudden deep breath -- every time a sudden deep breath comes, it's an indication of refined breathing.

    • If breathing (or other body function) seems to be with mantra, it is purely coincidental. We don't encourage it nor try to disassociate mantra from it. When aware we innocently favor the mantra. (Bring up, if necessary, man on the road analogy.)

  14. Sleep.
    • During TM we are provided with what the body requires. When the nervous system begins to take deep rest, if there has been some accumulated fatigue in some area of the nervous system, naturally we will fall asleep due to the nervous system's inability to maintain experience at that particular level. This sleep will be profound and allow the system to be revitalized. Therefore, sleep coming during meditation is good and we shouldn't resist it. If too strong, we should lie down. When we wake up we should sit up and meditate 5-10 minutes. Always finish with meditation.
    • If feeling sleepy during these first few days of meditation we should be sure to get as much additional rest as needed.
  15. Eyes open suddenly.
    • It doesn't matter when the eyes open like this automatically, we simply allow them to easily close again and we continue meditation.
  16. Meditate without children and animals.
    • may disturb meditation. (Note to initiator: do not make an issue of the draining effect of animals.)32
  17. Housewives meditate early before family comes home.
  18. If ill in bed or pregnant.
    • Meditate as much as comfortable.
  19. Pass out yellow course outline as people leave.
    • these will be discussed on Third Night.32
  20. Group meditation.33
  21. Introduce Second Day's subject title which is: "Effect of TM on the Mind & Body: Consciousness and the Nervous System."


"We're going to start step by step. First sit comfortably and let's close our eyes."

(15 seconds)

"Let's open our eyes."

(wait 5 seconds) If someone is not opening, wait and say again, "Let's open..."

"Again, let's close our eyes."

(30 seconds)

"Let's open our eyes."

(5 seconds)

"Did you feel some quietness, some silence?"

Ask one person, then ask the group. If yes --

"All right, let's close our eyes."

(30 seconds)

"All right, let's open our eyes."

(5 seconds) Ask one man,

"Feel some quietness?"

-- to group.

"Did you have any thoughts?"

ask one man and then ask the group.

"Did you notice how effortlessly, how spontaneously thoughts come?"

"Now this time when we close our eyes, we will begin the mantra as effortlessly as we think any other thought, and we will continue meditation for about 10 minutes. All right, let's close our eyes."

After 10-12 minutes, say:

"Jai Guru Dev.34 Let's take a few minutes and then open the eyes."

Note to initiators: Person conducting meeting should keep the eyes close fro most of the times as an example. Once or twice during meditation glance at group.

"Slowly open the eyes."

"It was easy? It was good?"

Ask one and look to others especially those who have had difficulties.

"It was easy, it was better?"

If no, "I'll see you afterwards."
"This is how we meditate at home. We come out slowly. Anybody come out fast today? If we come out too fast, it could give rise to some headache, irritability or roughness during the day."

"You may not feel deep, but we don't come out fast -- take two or three minutes. Stretch, open eyes downcast, etc., coming out. If you feel some sensation, take more time to come out. Open eyes slightly, close again, come out slowly."

Note to initiator: Remind meditators of half minute at beginning and two minutes at the end of meditation; also not to open/close eyes at home.

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