I was on the end of a strange, enjoyable experience yesterday. It came during the second of my twice-daily transcendental meditation sessions, at about five in the evening.
It was the usual process, sitting comfortably in a darkened room, repeating the mantra over and over, letting the thoughts enter and exit. My way is to let those thoughts stay as long as they want, and then notice that the mantra has dropped away and needs reviving. The thoughts are normal, wide-ranging. Friends, work, money, sex, Dad, new Out of Essex chapters, the evening meal, the kids.
A general description of what happens could be that each time I emerge from these thoughts, the level of my relaxation has sunk deeper. My body and the external surroundings feel further away. Eventually, in the meditations that I most enjoy, I have gone to somewhere non-physical. It’s not unlike the hypnagogic state between dream and waking. Maybe it is that? But I cannot hear myself snoring, which happens in light sleep.
So, there I was, deep down. Somewhere. Suddenly, a version of my wife was standing in front of me. Possibly a few years younger than the present Maureen. It wasn’t shocking, frightening or sinister. Having given it some thought, my best description might be that it offered a glimpse of a parallel world. Almost a platitude, but no other words capture it. In real time, she was at work, as a nanny to three kids over in Chelmsford.
I was about to say ‘hello’ or ‘what the hell?’ Then she disappeared. The room changed, from sepia tints to a sharper profile. Like an older, then a more recent photograph. I came right out of the meditation. But it felt like a magical moment. Unexplainable but joyful.
I started the TM for two reasons. The dominant one was the promise of making better decisions, from a more relaxed mental platform. It’s critical, with the job situation still unresolved. The other driver was the promise of transcending standard mental activity. Achieving what the TM says on its tin. The teacher reckoned it would take 3-4 months.
So maybe that was the start. It occurred on day number 113 into the TM.