Three certified teachers of the Transcendental Meditation TechniqueTM, Anne Dietrich, Pushpagandhi Nayagar, and Olivia Lopez greeted me warmly at the door as I entered Meeting Room B at The Burlington Public Library this morning shortly before 10 AM.
This morning I woke up with anticipation because it was my plan to attend a free introductory lecture on Transcendental Meditation, as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Lucky me, I didn't have to travel anywhere, because four separate lectures were being offered through the day in my home town (Burlington IA). Normally, attending this type of presentation involves a road trip. I enjoyed the lecture, the informative presentation was easy to listen to. I must say that the serenity paired with the enthusiasm shown by the instructors when speaking about practicing TM twice each day (morning and evening) was very moving.
I've known about Transcendental Meditation for many years and have flirted with the idea of exploring various meditation techniques (TM, Zen, or even Vipassana) but have never seriously sought out to take meditation instruction. I knew Maharishi Peace Palace offered TM studies in a neighboring town of Fairfield (Vedic City), and have even eaten lunch at The Raj
However, committing to studies which involve even a short commute hasn't felt ideal to me in recent years. I'm too much of a homebody anymore to get too excited about day trips any more. Not that I've never done it. Burlington has offered few opportunities for someone with my interests, as a result my studies have been at a distance geographically or through online classes. Regionally, I traveled to Iowa City for weekly evening classes in 1996-7 to train under the guidance of Barbara Brennan School of Healing Graduate, Tom Carbone, to learn about balancing chakras and energy medicine in general. Within the same time frame I drove to Davenport over a period of six weeks to study under my Reiki Master Teacher, Beverly Voss, in order to get my Reiki MT certification.
Now, an opportunity arises for Transcendental Meditation classes to be taught in Burlington. The classes will involve a commute, but not for me, the teachers, who are partnered with the Global Mother Divine Organization, are planning to travel from their homes in Fairfield as a service to my community. You can read more about plans to make Burlington a testing ground for establishing more meditation centers across the country in The Hawkeye: Instructors to teach meditation classes and also "like" the new Transcendental Meditation Center in Burlington on Facebook
Will I take the classes? I haven't decided yet, but I'm definitely leaning heavily toward taking the leap. There is a cost hurdle to consider, but once I get past that hurdle I'm thinking it could be a positively wonderful experience. Who can argue against a practice that reduces stress, improves your wellbeing, expands your brain power, and increases your creativity?
Note to any local residents who read my blog, if you missed your opportunity today, not to worry, next Wednesday, May 26, the same lecture will be presented again at Noon and 5PM at the City Hall & Service Center.