Do people sometimes stop practising TM? (the importance of follow-up)

Of all the meditation techniques that have ever been researched, Transcendental Meditation has the lowest percentage of people who stop practicing it.

Given the fact that it’s enjoyable to practice, and the profound benefits this technique has, it might be difficult to imagine than anyone would ever stop practicing TM once they learned it.

Research does confirm that the drop-out rate of TM is lower than any other meditation technique ever researched.

Yet, it’s not zero. Occasionally it happens that people do stop, and here are the three main reasons for this. Knowing these 3 reasons in advance can help you prevent making the mistakes that have caused other people, however few to stop the TM practice.

1. The technique is not pleasant to practice and it does not give the desired results.

Both problems have the same cause, and that is that the natural process of the meditation is lost. In some way one has begun to concentrate or has started to make efforts, and then the process is no longer Transcendental Meditation. This can happen but it is easy to rectify. A Transcendental Meditation teacher is trained not only to teach the TM technique, but also to rectify any potential problem that would come along the way. If someone learns the TM technique, he has the right to contact his TM teacher at all times, even lifelong, to ask him to verify his practice and make adjustments if necessary. The mistake the practitioner made in this case is not that he did something wrong, this can happen to anyone. The mistake is not making use of the possibilities to correct it.

Also when people practice for a longer time the experiences tend to change, and then questions or doubts may come, which can also disturb the correct practice. At these moments it is of crucial importance to have a teacher at hand who can answer these questions and put the mind at ease.

2. They don’t complete the course or don’t have patience to wait for the effects.

Some people who learn TM feel life-transforming effects from the first few weeks, even the first days, but with others the effects come more gradual and it takes a bit of patience notice the accumulation of effects. It is important to take the full TM course before we can make any judgement about its effectiveness, and we also advice people not to start unless they are prepared to take the full course: This includes the 7 steps to learn the technique and at least 3 months of practice at home with regular checkup with your teacher. Also attending a weekend residence course after 2-3 months is strongly recommended to deepen the experiences. (first weekend course is included in the TM course fee, excl. hotel costs).

3.  The goal is achieved.

Many people begin the practice of Transcendental Meditation with a specific goal in mind, for example to get rid of depression. After a while, they notice that the depression is gone and that the goal is reached. As such their main motivation to continue the practice is gone.

4. Not enough time to meditate.

If people start with Transcendental Meditation, they usually get a lot more energy and they want to enjoy it fully, or they take on more and more responsibilities, only to find out there is no more time left to meditate.

In both cases (no 2 and 3), the mistake is that people have forgotten that the new success is really just a side effect of a more holistic change. However good life may have become, this is only a small step compared to what is really possible. Unless one is 24/7 perfectly happy, perfectly healthy,  can always be perfectly himself, and in each and every case immediately finds the perfect creative solution to any problem he encounters, a better experience is still possible. One may even say it like this: unless one feels in perfect oneness with everything and everyone around him, there is always a nicer and better experience possible.

For these two reasons making use of the follow-up program that is offered as part of the TM course fee is strongly advised, so that a bigger intellectual understanding grows of what is happening exactly.

The student should never feel embarrassed asking his teacher to verify his practice regularly because he has paid for this. How much the student is going to use the follow-up depends entirely on the student himself, but the TM teacher, or any other TM teacher from our worldwide organisation will always be there when needed.