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Why You Should Consider Transcendental Meditation

Why You Should Consider Transcendental Meditation

Enlightenment Is Sexy author Valerie Gangas turned tragedy into triumph after the painful death of her mother. “On January 25, 2011, I lost the love of my life, my mother,” she explained. “We had a bond that can only be described at soulmate level. And when she died, I died right along with her. One day, four months after she’d passed away, I broke . . . and I mean completely. As I fell down to my hands and knees in the shower, I howled out for someone, anyone, to help me either kill myself or save me. In that moment, I completely surrendered. Within days, someone steered me in the direction of learning Transcendental Meditation.”

Gangas told me that after one 20-minute meditation her whole world turned around. “After silently repeating the mantra my teacher gave me, I dove into a part of my soul I never knew existed. They say the Kingdom of Heaven is within—well, by the end of my first meditation, I knew what that meant. Since discovering the power of transcendental meditation, she was hired by Oprah’s team and now travels the world preaching its power. Here she shares with us the five ways transcendental meditation can, as she says, completely rock your world. If you’ve tried it, please share your experiences in the comments!

For 13 years (you read that right – 13 years!), I had a sleeping disorder. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my mom fought stage 4 breast cancer for 13 years, but at the time, I didn’t put the pieces together. I just knew that every night it was gonna be torture to try and fall asleep, and actually stay asleep. No amount of wine or pills would end this nightmare for me. After my first meditation session, I never—and I mean never—had another sleepless night. That first day, I went home and slept ’till the next day when I had to go back for day two of instruction (it takes four days in a row to learn transcendental meditation). Meditation had become my new, all-natural sleeping pill.

Before my mother passed away, I was running a popular restaurant/bar in Chicago, helping my mom, dealing with dysfunctional relationships and doing everything in my power to have an A+ social life. I didn’t really have time for peace. Once I learned to meditate, the chasing and the distractions and the chaos all just stopped. Nothing felt out of control to me anymore. That has been one of the greatest gifts meditating has brought me. A constant stream of tranquillity.

This may sound kind of odd, but since I learned to meditate, I’ve found myself naturally moving away from constantly using my intellect as my guide through life. Now, I mainly lean on synchronicity and my intuition as my personal navigating system. I sometimes tell people I haven’t used my brain in three years, that I follow my soul. That approach has led me to some pretty incredible adventures. I started skydiving because I love the feeling of flying freely. I started working with Oprah Winfrey and her team three weeks after I learned to meditate. I followed the signs and ended up on one of the coolest adventures ever.

After I learned to meditate, pure happiness started flowing through my veins 24/7. I actually would describe it as a subtle state of ecstasy. When you’re sleeping well, finding peace in your life and partnering up with the cosmos, happiness just starts filling you up. It’s not anything you need to pursue . . . it just is. I realized looking back on my life, there were many times I truly was miserable. And no amount of partying or talking to a therapist could completely change that. I needed to get in touch with the power inside myself to really turn that around. It’s not “outside” . . . everything we’re really looking for lies within.

I always felt like I had purpose in my life, but at the same time I always knew there was something more for me. I loved my job managing the restaurant, traveling, hanging out with my mom and all of my friends, and spending time dating. It was cool and I was relatively content, but my real purpose—my “dharma”—hadn’t revealed itself. For some unknown reason, after I learned to meditate, certain gifts started to emerge out of my soul. For instance, out of thin air, I was able to speak in public. In fact, my first speaking gig was with Oprah. I stood in front of her and her main executive, Sheri Salata, and spoke my truth like I was put on this earth to talk to them. Zero fear. The words just flew out of my mouth and were followed by intense energy and power.


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  1. I love practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique and have not missed my twice a day practice in 44 years. I enjoyed benefits on all levels and one in particular was that Valerie Gangas’s article reminded me of was: the love I had for my parents became more practical–I could give them back something of what they’d given me because now I truly knew who I was–and it was all good and I had so much to give and the giving was so natural and flowing and fulfilling to all my family–not something we ever discussed, just that there was support and support and support for me to meditate and to take retreats and to become a teacher and to teach TM from my family’s home–even though my parents didn’t feel they needed to learn–they saw how positive and happy and peaceful I became.

    I loved the way everything began to fall more naturally into place and my feeling level became so peaceful and wise. I loved that–with a small investment of time in this daily practice– there is such a sense of well being and bliss and that there is a way to create world peace –by being truly happy and at peace with your Self 24/7. And I loved that I could take the advanced programs and practice this in a group and create greater momentum of peace and harmony in world consciousness. The Transcendental Meditation technique is priceless! I have participated in advanced courses including the Transcendental Meditation Teacher Training Course. I taught about 500 people in five years from l973 to l978 and found that every student enjoyed their experience of transcending from their very first meditation. And I had many enthusiasts volunteering to help me to run the “TM Center” and recommending TM to their family and friends.

  2. I have been practicing TM for about 25 years, including the advanced techniques. I agree with much of what Valerie says; however, I caution about over promising the benefits. I think TM greatly helps insomnia, but it’s not like you are never ever going to have a sleepless night just because you are a regular meditator. It’s just sometimes part of life. TM teaches you to relax, not over think it, and trust that it won’t happen frequently.

    I encourage everyone to explore TM. It is a fantastic mental technique that reduces stress and promotes overall well-being!

  3. I have been meditating for 40 years and agree with Valerie: TM transformed my life. But, for me these changes have been subtle and long term — not a sudden rush of “eureka” moments. Funny but that steadiness is what assures me TM is working. Can I quantify this or pin point changes? Probably, only in a few instances and they would be more personal. Overall, I have a deep intuitive sense of where changes and improvements have happened — over my old self. My advice is to make TM a regular practice, routinely, like brushing your teeth. Then, just let the benefits emerge.

  4. I tried TM mainly to increase creativity in my life. I’m a painter, and wanted my TM practice contribute to my art career. I did not realize I would get so much more than I bargained for. What I love most is the utter randomness of things that show up in my life. It as if TM has has opened me up to this magic field.
    And of course, I can see the difference in my work. Best thing I’ve done for myself.
    Lina Alattar

  5. I LOVE TM. It has brought both excitement and stability to my life. From the first meditation I felt greater happiness or bliss and from that time I have enjoyed unexpected success in my life. I have traveled around the world many times with little resources and have done and seen things I never expected to, because of the TM technique. I advise everyone who wants enhance the joy of life to learn and practice everyday.
    I am Blissed out !
    Jim Cahaney

  6. I was happy to find this article. Written so clearly and succinctly and from the heart. I have experienced all the benefits mentioned above by Valerie and the other commenters. I’ve been practicing TM regularly for 42 years. I also feel that my life’s purpose has become more clear as a result of my TM practice. It’s so much a part of my life, I can’t imagine life without it. I get a great deal of energy and clarity of thinking from practicing TM. Life flows more effortlessly. I enjoy writing and I find that when I sit to write after I meditate, the ideas flow very easily. I believe my TM practice has contributed to the increased creativity I feel expressed through my writing.

  7. Yes, I too found the practice of TM life changing. I learned 42 years ago and have been practicing regularly since. It was so transforming that I had to become a teacher. As a student of philosophy and ancient cultures I soon realized that this knowledge of consciousness is the basis or the roots for the flowering of all civilizations in one form or another. While this practice can enable one to cope with the vicissitudes of modern life in very practical terms by helping to dissolve stress and bringing greater mental clarity, TM is also the means for reaching the pinnacle of our humanity which has been the goal of perennial wisdom down through the ages. Try it, you will love it!