Written by Lynn Levoy | Photographed by Jennifer Young
I’ve heard so much about Transcendental Meditation for years. I have many friends, with varying professions and personalities, who swear by how it has changed their lives - that they can’t imagine life without it, that it allows them to manage their day with more clarity and focus and less stress. But I always had an excuse. I was too busy and couldn’t quiet my mind (the exact reason I needed it), or my workouts were my form of meditation (perhaps, but definitely not the same).
So, when I was given the opportunity to learn TM directly from the source, Bob Roth, CEO of The David Lynch Foundation, and the most seeked-out TM teacher with a yearlong waiting list, I could not pass it up. And the timing felt just right for me. I had recently been seeking out new forms of self care and knew in my gut the stars were aligned for this one.
After my first lesson on a Sunday night, I was hooked. It was an amazing, life-changing experience. I felt like a new person - lighter, clearer, more focused, calmer. I couldn’t wait to get up the next morning to meditate. After four days of learning with Bob - an hour and a half the first day, one hour the next three days and a mantra later - I was on my way and mediating twice a day. First thing in the morning and then again in the afternoon somewhere between 2:00-5:00. To be honest, I thought this would be impossible to fit in, but it’s the same as any other appointment. I look at my schedule the night before and figure out where I can do it - sometimes it’s in the back of an Uber, sometimes in a beautiful, quiet place. Truthfully, it doesn’t really matter, TM is an amazing tool you always have and can do anywhere. At the end of the day, I crave it and I see the huge difference it makes in my work, personal relationships and in parenting. I find I never reach that level of frustration, and I don’t need to take a breath, because I just don't get to that point. I know it’s hard to believe, but I am truly so much calmer and everything else just seems to flow with such ease. What’s also so great about TM is that anyone, no matter where they live and what they do, can learn TM from a certified teacher. You don’t have to be in New York or learn from Bob, but it really is universal, which is what’s so amazing. TM.org also makes it easy to find a certified teacher in any neighborhood.
So with this in mind, I knew I had to gather my favorite mamas and women to have Bob share his knowledge about TM. These are the women who embody everything A Wild Dove is about and who place a huge emphasis on self care for themselves and their family. So we gathered at The David Lynch Foundation one evening, over snacks from Dr. Smood and drinks from Dirty Lemon and Bob began the session by explaining what TM is and how it differs from other forms of meditation. He spoke about the incredible benefits of the practice, how our brains find their deepest states of rest and a reduced rate of cortisol (stress hormone) of up to 40 percent (compared to an 8 hour night of sleep, which only reduces cortisol levels 10-15%). He explained that we are given a mantra, that it is ours alone and that we use it to access the deepest, quietest purist level of the heart, that it’s a gentle effortless process.
He then invited one of his students who has been with him for nearly a decade to talk about how TM has changed herself, her family dynamic and her relationship with her husband and her son. She explained that by practicing TM with her husband, her home has reached a state of peaceful calm. They used to rush around and lose their patience easily, and now even when they’re rushing, they can invoke that calm whether on the way to school or doing the most mundane tasks. She had her son learn TM at 5 years old also and feels better knowing that he has something to call upon that is entirely his. Bob is an expert is teaching TM to children, as through his organization The David Lynch Foundation, he’s brought the benefits of TM to hundreds of thousands of at-risk children. It was a wonderful evening and I can only hope that my fellow mamas and friends will go on to learn TM and experience the tremendous benefits that I have found in such a short time.
Even though it’s only been a couple of months, Callum sees how important TM is to me. He recently turned 8, but I believe so strongly this can be a game changer for him. If all children were equipped with these tools, they’d be able to focus better in school, deal with their academic and social frustrations and all sort of issues. I plan to introduce it to him gently this coming year in the hopes that he’s up for it. For now, I plan to keep up my twice daily meditations and spread the gospel of TM to anyone willing to listen. It is truly a life-changing practice and I am so grateful for it.
Be the first to sign up for Bob's book, The Power of Transcendental Meditation, out on February 6th. All proceeds are be donated to the David Lynch Foundation, which will help provide free Transcendental Mediation instruction to veterans suffering from PTSD.