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Concentration

TM as Concentration Practice?

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TM as Concentration Practice? Paul Anthony 6/22/10 11:56 AM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? Florian 6/22/10 1:14 PM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? Paul Anthony 6/22/10 1:38 PM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? Florian 6/22/10 1:48 PM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? Dan K 6/22/10 6:02 PM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? Paul Anthony 6/23/10 11:19 AM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? Paul Anthony 7/13/10 1:54 PM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? rony fedrer 5/4/13 10:30 PM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? Mariam 11/9/20 12:54 PM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? This Good Self 7/14/10 5:47 AM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? Paul Anthony 8/6/10 12:57 PM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? boeuf f 7/14/10 11:28 AM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? This Good Self 7/14/10 7:48 PM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? Paul Anthony 8/6/10 1:00 PM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? patrick kenny 10/8/10 8:01 AM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? patrick kenny 10/8/10 12:06 PM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? Ian And 10/8/10 5:25 PM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? Daniel M. Ingram 10/10/10 4:55 AM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? patrick kenny 10/13/10 11:25 AM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? Paul Anthony 10/8/10 2:37 PM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? Ian And 10/8/10 6:13 PM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? Crazy Wisdom 10/9/10 3:09 PM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? Jack Hatfield 5/9/13 10:51 AM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? Ian And 10/8/10 4:58 PM
RE: TM as Concentration Practice? Kenny Whitman 11/27/13 7:24 AM
TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
6/22/10 11:56 AM
Hi folks, this is my first post.

My first meditation experience was with TM when I was a teenager in the early 80s. Here’s how it went for me:

After the ‘puja’, I was asked to repeat the mantra aloud, then silently. Other than that, the main instruction was NOT to ‘concentrate’. Within a couple of minutes, the mantra had ceased to be an auditory memory and was more like a neon calligraphic squiggle on the borderline between visual, auditory memory and pure concept. Main thing seemed to be to avoid concentrating on it too hard, or it would disappear. All I had to do was follow it as it transformed, faded, disappeared and reappeared over the 20 minute period. Pretty soon I hit some bliss, and the ‘falling’ feeling that I had been told to expect, which was called ‘transcending’.

This success was maybe partly ‘beginners luck’ and influenced by the puja, but I was able to repeat it somewhat reliably. However, my experiences did seem to plateau and for some reason, I eventually quit meditating in this way or any way until I got into anapanasati years later. I think my rapid disenchantment with the TM organization reflected back on the practice. Also, I think partly I discounted the practice because it was so easy and pleasant and maybe (reading Daniel's book) this was a mistake. I'd gotten the idea that worthwhile meditation should be hard work.

So I’m wondering about all of this and how it relates to MCTB… The experience with the mantra as described above surely qualifies as a nimitta based on most descriptions, and was achieved very quickly and easily by a total beginner. Compared with this, I find anapanasati rather slow going, and I’m still not sure I’ve gone as far with it as I did with those first sessions of TM. Also, the (paradoxical?) instruction not to concentrate is interesting, as this does seem to be a type of shamatha practice as far as I can tell. With regard to the plateau effect, the duration of TM is controlled at 20 mins and I was too much of a rule-follower to try extending it to an hour or more. Maybe things like TM, candle-flame practice are easy for the beginner to grasp as you really can't go wrong. So what's the limitation?

Thoughts?

Paul

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
6/22/10 1:14 PM as a reply to Paul Anthony.
Hi Paul,

Welcome to the Dharma Overground!

What do you mean by plateau or limitation? What kind of progress did you have in mind - "harder" states? Progress of Insight? There are many ways to slice the factors involved in meditation: for example, the "five faculties". There is a chapter on them in MCTB. To gloss over the details, the five faculties should be balanced somewhat or else the least developed one will limit overall progress, resulting in a plateau.

My own experience with meditation words:

They combine naturally with with breath meditation. For example, if it's a two-syllable word, one syllable goes with the in-breath, one with the out-breath.

Giving them a questioning tone is surprisingly effective insight practice, at least in my case.

The way the word presents itself can give clues to the samatha-ish progress through the insight ñanas: Is it going on largely on its own (Mind&Body)? Is it hard to keep track of (3C)? Is it mechanically in sync with the breath (A&P)? Does it seem to echo in from all sides like a ragged choir (Dark Night)? Does it fuse with other sense impressions (Equanimity)?

I find the use of a meditation word very helpful to gain tranquility when my mind is busy thinking.

As one of the mindfulness exercises I do, I sometimes try to keep it in mind during the day as much as I can.

Have you tried to use your old mantra (or some other word) to enter a concentration state?

I have found the use of formal resolves to be very powerful. "I will repeat this word for the next X minutes. May a concentration state arise". The puja you did back then probably had just that formal, resolve-taking aspect. You might want to experiment with various ways to state intent.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
6/22/10 1:38 PM as a reply to Florian.
Thanks for this Florian.

With regard to "Have you tried to use your old mantra (or some other word) to enter a concentration state?"

To give a bit more detail to the question, I think I'm trying to clarify the type of experience that I and many others had with TM - is it in effect a concentration state? (Regardless of the fact that the main instruction is 'don't concentrate'). I'm considering the possibility that I've had more progress with it than with hte more conventional concentration methods and should give it another whirl.

My experience with it was a bit different from other word-based meditation such as 'In - Out' or 'Bu - dho'. For one thing, the mantras are meaningless and quite musical syllables that (for me) soon become quite subtle. No connection with the body - more like observing a thought as it fades away.

it going on largely on its own (Mind&Body)?

Yes - in fact the TM teacher specifically referred to this and I think it's the point of the 'don't concentrate' advice.

Is it hard to keep track of (3C)?
Yes and this was also referenced in the training, that it would come and go, move around, all fine.

Is it mechanically in sync with the breath (A&P)?
No - but cessation of breath is talked about as one of the symptoms of 'transcending'

Does it seem to echo in from all sides like a ragged choir (Dark Night)?
Not in my experience

Does it fuse with other sense impressions (Equanimity)?
Possibly... the whole expereince is somewhat synaesthesic (?) for me - different sensory modalities seem interwoven as light/sound/spaciousness

With regard to limitations: I guess that's a response to my experience which when you think about it wasn't much different from many TM people including the Beatles: Initial enthusiasm, fast results, disillusion, eventually moving onto some other practice. I wonder if this is inherent in the practice itself.

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
6/22/10 1:48 PM as a reply to Paul Anthony.
Paul Anthony:
With regard to limitations: I guess that's a response to my experience which when you think about it wasn't much different from many TM people including the Beatles: Initial enthusiasm, fast results, disillusion, eventually moving onto some other practice. I wonder if this is inherent in the practice itself.


Getting disillusioned and moving on - that's a common thing to do in the dark night. Breaking up relationships, dropping out of school, quitting jobs, etc.

The dark night can seem like a dead end or a plateau: the "beginner's luck" is used up, the good, effortless times seem remote, and meditation sucks.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
6/22/10 6:02 PM as a reply to Paul Anthony.
Paul Anthony:
Compared with this, I find anapanasati rather slow going, and I’m still not sure I’ve gone as far with it as I did with those first sessions of TM.


Breath meditation can be rather challenging. It might be harder for you to become absorbed in the breath object than a mantra object. If this is so, then it will require more skill and intuitive/conceptual understanding to "achieve results" with breath meditation. But keep in mind that this extra skill and understanding may be worth it when it comes to insight practices.

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
6/23/10 11:19 AM as a reply to Dan K.
That's exactly my experience - with the breath it might take 20 minutes to settle in (and I've been doing it for a few years already) whereas with the mantra it's more immediate, like a hypnotic induction.

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
7/13/10 1:54 PM as a reply to Paul Anthony.
For anyone interested in this topic, Shinzen Young writes about it here: http://www.shinzen.org/shinsub3/artMantra.htm

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
7/14/10 5:47 AM as a reply to Paul Anthony.
The TM people know how to charge. Lots of big expensive tax-free havens around the World (it's a religion, don't ya know?!!). Paul I'd wager that you've spent well over $1000 already?

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
7/14/10 11:28 AM as a reply to Paul Anthony.
Paul Anthony:
Other than that, the main instruction was NOT to ‘concentrate’.


Something that was helpful for me in untangling/understanding some of this in my own practice (and improving my samadhi quite a bit) was when I learned that "concentration" is a poor translation for "samadhi". "Concentration" implies a particular sort of effort--somewhat strenuous. However, samadhi is not an effort of mind, but a state of mind.

Rather than being instructed to concentrate, I was instructed to "compose" myself withing the breath--to hold myself in a particular relationship to it and to allow concentration to arise. Concentration is a conditioned state (meaning it is dependent on factors which include the meditators' skill, but also other factors). It requires skill to allow concentration to arise, but concentration is not a skill in the way that sati--or mindfulness is. You can shine sati on pretty much any experience--you can't will yourself into jhana, but you can endeavor to create the conditions for it to arise. One other thing to keep in mind is that sati may well give rise to samadhi and jhana--but not the other way around.

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
7/14/10 7:48 PM as a reply to boeuf f.
"Rather than being instructed to concentrate, I was instructed to "compose" myself within the breath--to hold myself in a particular relationship to it and to allow concentration to arise. Concentration is a conditioned state (meaning it is dependent on factors which include the meditators' skill, but also other factors). It requires skill to allow concentration to arise, but concentration is not a skill in the way that sati--or mindfulness is. You can shine sati on pretty much any experience--you can't will yourself into jhana, but you can endeavor to create the conditions for it to arise. One other thing to keep in mind is that sati may well give rise to samadhi and jhana--but not the other way around".

Thanks for this description of technique. Very subtle yet vital distinctions made there. I really appreciate skillful word use when it comes to application of technique. As a comparison, an instruction to: "concentrate on the rising and falling of the breath" is really second rate, perhaps useless.

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
8/6/10 12:57 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
Actually no, I did this in the early eighties when it was more or less free for teens (which I then was, sigh). Obviously the organization has since become a lot more focused on both money and 'powers' in the form of siddhis. Both of which led to my rapid disillusion - I think you'll hear the same story from a lot of people. However, I'm now in revisionist mode and as such I don't think it was such a bad intro to meditative practices.

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
8/6/10 1:00 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
Yes, the advice NOT to concentrate strikes me as an example of paradoxical instruciton. On the grounds that most people probably overdo the concentration until their eyes water and veins bulge. For me, this was initially a very successful strategy. The difficulty was knowing where to take it next....

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
10/8/10 8:01 AM as a reply to Paul Anthony.
Hello Paul,

Wow! Just about everything you’ve mentioned in your post closely mirrors my own experience over the last 20 years!

I learned TM early, but didn’t really feel the need to interact with the community.

The technique produced impressive results for me very quickly, giving me some intriguing experiences from the start, including what was recently “diagnosed” as an A&P event. About five years after starting, I also experienced Jhanas 1-4, but never attained any kind of mastery, as I was practicing in isolation, without any map or guidance on what to do in response to various events. Over the years, my practice was on-again, off-again, perhaps more out of laziness than disenchantment.

Recently, in revisiting the Buddha’s teachings, in the hopes of ascribing some meaning to the experiences I had already had, I began trying mindfulness of breath.

I’ve been practicing anapannasati for about the last six months now, and while there’s been noticeable progress, it’s been VERY slow-going, compared to my TM practice…which of course makes for some frustration, as I have yet to attain even first jhana.

I don’t know that I have any insight to offer you, other than to confirm that you are not alone in your situation.

Patrick

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
10/8/10 12:06 PM as a reply to patrick kenny.
Hi again folks,

Further to some of the comments above, I was thinking about something my TM instructor told me during my original training. He said that the mantra should specifically NOT be synchronized with the breath. This always created an odd kind of challenge for me, in trying to avoid having the two fall into synchrony.

In retrospect, could TM's juxtaposition of the object of meditation (the mantra) with a physical sensation (the breath) be a kind of vipassana meditation? I've always assumed that TM was concentration meditation, as it was mantra-based. But the last few days have had me scratching my head, in realizing (with the help of DhO) that the progression of my meditation experiences followed the insight model, rather than the traditional samatha sequence.

I guess that's the core question: does the TM technique more closely approximate a concentration or an insight practice??

Patrick

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
10/8/10 2:37 PM as a reply to patrick kenny.
patrick kenny:
Hello Paul,

About five years after starting, I also experienced Jhanas 1-4

I’ve been practicing anapannasati for about the last six months now, and while there’s been noticeable progress, it’s been VERY slow-going, compared to my TM practice…which of course makes for some frustration, as I have yet to attain even frst jhana.



Hi Patrick - my experience also suggests that it's quite easy to get absorbed with TM compared with anapannasati which is hard! I don't really know why but two thoughts I have:

- For me, it's often the case that the 'not-concentrated on' mantra naturally turns into a visual nimitta (i.e. a hypnogogic image in Western psych terms). From there it's often quite easy to become absorbed.

- I think the TM induction ceremony (puja, etc.) is quite directive (compared to Buddhist meditation training) and activel y suggests the outcomes. Hence the suggestion to go for regular 'mantra checking' which is really jsut a repeat of the original instruction.

It's an interesting suggestion that TM is really a vipassanna practice. There is the instruction that you should allow your experience of the mantra to come and go on it's own and just be okay with that... I see it as more of an absorption practice becuase the goal is to 'transcend' i.e. become absorbed.

Best wishes, Paul

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
10/8/10 4:58 PM as a reply to Paul Anthony.
Paul Anthony:

So I’m wondering about all of this and how it relates to MCTB… The experience with the mantra as described above surely qualifies as a nimitta based on most descriptions, and was achieved very quickly and easily by a total beginner. Compared with this, I find anapanasati rather slow going, and I’m still not sure I’ve gone as far with it as I did with those first sessions of TM. . . . Maybe things like TM, candle-flame practice are easy for the beginner to grasp as you really can't go wrong. So what's the limitation?

As a person who began with a practice in meditation also using a mantra (kriya yoga as taught by Yogananda), and having practiced TM later on in my meditative career (to see what it was like in comparison to what I practiced up until then), and as a person who eventually returned to examine and practice the instruction and methods as they were originally taught by the Buddha (using the Pali discourses as a guide), my experience has been that the descriptions of the path to awakening as described by the latter of these three methodologies has had the most effective and enduring affect on my practice and realization.

To answer the question posed above (from my own obviously subjective experience), I would have to say that the limitation of TM is that it doesn't even begin to explore all the nooks and crannies of the mind necessary in order to bring about an enduring sense of contentment and peace (the cessation of dukkha that the Buddha talked about in the discourses). It doesn't even begin to teach the amount of relinquishing, release, and letting go of phenomena in the detail that the Buddha talks about as being necessary for bringing about a realization of nibbana and the cessation of dissatisfaction (dukkha).

As a meditation technique, however, TM may have its usefulness for certain types of people who are more able to relate to the instruction given therein and thus able quickly to attain to a limited state (20 minutes) of absorption as it has been described by the Buddha. However, in the Buddha's methodology, this state (i.e. absorption) is used for the gathering of insight into phenomena, whereas in TM, this 20 minute experience seems to be the extent of TM's instruction. Somehow the TM practitioner is suppose to just know after having arrived there. There's no mention of coming to terms with insight into phenomena, just a pleasant experience that ends up culminating, in Maharishi's words, in a "direct experience of the essential nature of the transcendental absolute Being," whatever that is supposed to mean.

In his book The Science of Being and Art of Living, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi writes: "Being is not something that exists and can be brought from somewhere and lived. It is existence, the very life of everything. It is the all-pervading, omnipresent state of absolute consciousness. . . . In deep meditation, when the mind transcends the subtlest state of thinking, it arrives at the state of Being. It is the state of no experience because the whole field of relativity has been transcended. It is just the state of transcendence, the state of existence, pure consciousness, is-ness, am-ness."

The problem with Maharishi's description in the previous paragraph is that most people who experience this "Being" that he writes about don't end up "transcending the whole field of relativity" because they have not been taught the techniques that will enable them to do so. They've been taught how to induce a pleasant experience, but little else.

Paul Anthony:
For me, this was initially a very successful strategy. The difficulty was knowing where to take it next...

And this is the concern that I am referring to with regard to the limitation of TM practice overall. People aren't given instruction about "where to take this practice" after they have encountered a brief and fleeting experience of peace and bliss (or joy). Whereas in the Buddhadhamma, one is exhorted to see phenomena as "this is not mine, this I am not, this is not myself," in an effort to alleviate personal suffering and to begin seeing things as they really are in actuality. Within this methodology, the teaching on dependent co-arising (paticca samuppada) plays a key role in assisting the aspirant to be able to arrive at the same realization of the true nature of phenomena as the Buddha.

Through the use of absorption (jhana), being implemented as a tool in mental cultivation, one is taught clear seeing or clear comprehension (sampajanna) in order to end dukkha through the gathering directly of knowledge of how things (phenomena) really are, thus ending ignorance (or delusion) on the road to also ending greed and hatred. In the Buddhadhamma, there is a definite path that the aspirant is instructed to walk in order to bring about these self-transforming realizations about the interdependence of life, self, and existence. And all this extends from the initial teaching of the Four Noble Truths.

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
10/8/10 5:25 PM as a reply to patrick kenny.
patrick kenny:
In retrospect, could TM's juxtaposition of the object of meditation (the mantra) with a physical sensation (the breath) be a kind of vipassana meditation? I've always assumed that TM was concentration meditation, as it was mantra-based. But the last few days have had me scratching my head, in realizing (with the help of DhO) that the progression of my meditation experiences followed the insight model, rather than the traditional samatha sequence.

I guess that's the core question: does the TM technique more closely approximate a concentration or an insight practice??

I would say that it depends upon how the practitioner uses the technique. Initially, most people might use it to accomplish a calm and peaceful mind in the same way as a Buddhist meditator uses the practice of samatha in order to help concentrate the mind in samadhi. Yet, once that calmness and tranquility is established, according to what the Maharishi has stated, the mind (maybe his mind only?) gravitates on its own into a "state of transcendence, the state of existence, pure consciousness, is-ness, am-ness," similar but not quite the same as the end product of a Buddhist practitioner's vipassana practice is said to end, that is, in a state of awakening to the reality of phenomena.

Yet, the TM practitioner is given no evidence, clarification, or method for identifying that this state that he has just achieved is not just another delusion. Whereas the practitioner of the Buddhadhamma is gradually lead through his own direct experience to the realization that phenomena within the existential realms are impermanent, unsatisfactory, and without self. In other words, this is something that, if he has followed the practice correctly, he sees and verifies directly for himself.

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
10/8/10 6:13 PM as a reply to Paul Anthony.
Paul Anthony:

. . .my experience also suggests that it's quite easy to get absorbed with TM compared with anapannasati which is hard! I don't really know why. . .

One reason for your not being able to achieve absorption using mindfulness of the breath might be that you are not connecting its practice with a pleasant sensation of the breath in the same way that you are connecting the "not concentrated on" mantra with a visual nimitta, thus bringing on absorption. My practice of anapanasati has been just the opposite of yours. By paying attention to the pleasantness of the breath, a pleasant sensation arises which opens the doorway into absorption, thus allowing the mind to become absorbed in the breath. The Buddha mentions this process in certain discourses wherein he is exhorting the use of an induction process involving the breath with pleasant bodily and mental sensations. One example of this can be seen at the habits & practices section of Thanissaro's ebook Mind Like Fire Unbound. It's just a matter of making the connection with a pleasant sensation, which in turn carries the mind into an absorbed state.

However, if that is too difficult to get your mind around, then use the TM technique in order to enter jhana. But use jhana in the way that the Buddha instructs in order to arrive at eventual awakening.

Paul Anthony:

- I think the TM induction ceremony (puja, etc.) is quite directive (compared to Buddhist meditation training) and actively suggests the outcomes. Hence the suggestion to go for regular 'mantra checking' which is really just a repeat of the original instruction.

That's a good insight, Paul. I agree with your assessment. It's quite possible that the induction ceremony was used as a post-hypnotic suggestion for the sub-conscious mind.

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
10/9/10 3:09 PM as a reply to Ian And.
I took a TM course about ten years ago. The instructions seemed to me like isntructions for hypnotic induction sort of. The way they talked about transcending made it seem like they all wanted to get away to some place else, to escape the body and the world as it is experienced now. After having learned a lot mroe and enocuntered other teacher I have come to the conclusion that the teacher had no clure what she was talking about. Not just because of the points I mentioned.

I ahve meet several people who have done TM for years, sometiemes decades. Except one that had an A&P event but whose life did not change much because of it and who did not get further, none of the TM people I meet seemed to have gotten anywhere or seemed to have a clue about enlightenment, what they were doing or energy in the body. Compared to were people are after one or two years of AYP I find this puzzling.

Just my experience and I don`t know how broadly this aplies.

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
10/10/10 4:55 AM as a reply to patrick kenny.
I would say concentration practice, though people can derive insight by doing pure concentration practices if they just happen to notice universal characteristics of the sensations, which is not uncommon.

I also found that objects such as kasinas, candle flames, mantras, and the like were easier to develop strong jhanas with than the breath, and for concentration work I prefer these as initial objects, as per traditional instructions found in the old texts and commentaries, though the breath works also, just not as easily for most people.

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
10/13/10 11:25 AM as a reply to patrick kenny.
Hi everybody,

Thanks for chiming in with your views, it's been very educational for me!

FYI, I did a bit more searching on the question of TM being a concentration or insight technique, and came across the following, interesting link, which touches on some of the items discussed above:

http://clouisguerin.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/the-exploration-of-meditation-in-the-neuroscience-of-attention-and-consciousness/

The relevant quote is as follows:

"Transcendental meditation (TM) can be broadly included in the FA meditation category, as its practice centers on the repetition of a mantra. However, TM primarily emphasizes the absence of an effort to maintain the concentration and the development of a witnessing, thought-free ‘transcendental awareness’ or ‘pure consciousness’, which is characterized by the absence of any concentration or effort unfolding experiences of “unboundedness” and “loss of time, space and body sense” (Arenander and Travis 2004; see below for more explanations). These states are associated with profound physical relaxation, marked by spontaneous breath quiescence and global, high amplitude, slow frequency (alpha) EEG patterns which are general highly coherent across frontal leads (Arenander and Travis 2004; Travis and Pearson 1999; Travis and Wallace 1999). A similar reference to a pure or intuitive awareness can be found in Buddhism, as reflecting a ‘non-self’ mental state, which is, however, associated with a mindfulness-based insight meditation (e.g., Sumedho2004)."

Patrick

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
5/4/13 10:30 PM as a reply to Paul Anthony.
Paul Anthony:
For anyone interested in this topic, Shinzen Young writes about it here: http://www.shinzen.org/shinsub3/artMantra.htm


new url is http://www.shinzen.org/Articles/artMantra.htm

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
5/9/13 10:51 AM as a reply to Paul Anthony.
Paul Anthony:
patrick kenny:


- For me, it's often the case that the 'not-concentrated on' mantra naturally turns into a visual nimitta (i.e. a hypnogogic image in Western psych terms). From there it's often quite easy to become absorbed.

==
I too started of with TM which I found easy and then switched to breath meditation which I found hard. I have found that the mantra does turn into a visual-like nimitta.

By the way, the Buddhist words which are usually translated as concentration are samadhi in the Pali language which actually translates as tranquility and shamatha in Sanscript which actually translates as calm abiding. What a great phrase, "calm abiding."

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
11/27/13 7:24 AM as a reply to Paul Anthony.
Really interesting thread! I watched Star Wars last night and all the talk of the force and the dark side led me to look into whether or not Lucas followed a spiritual tradition which influenced his films. That led me to TM which I had heard Russel Brand talking about in his interviews recently, so I looked into it. This thread has been by far the most interesting information I have found, DhO never fails!! emoticon

Interestingly though, I couldn't help but resonate with the instruction "Do not concentrate", I had to try it out. I hear the words do not concentrate, and I know what they mean, and yet implementing them I can't help but notice that what I do is relax my effort / will / intention to do something. I'm reminded of past success in concentration practice when my over exertion attempting to do something which could not be done (control the mind) caused me to give up in terms of stop trying. I think subconsciously I have misunderstood what the word concentrate means, something clarified in this post. I'm gunna keep that instruction, think it might work well for me emoticon For me that lends a bit more weight to the "concentration practice" perspective of TM, be it paradoxically.

RE: TM as Concentration Practice?
Answer
11/9/20 12:54 PM as a reply to rony fedrer.
rony fedrer:
Paul Anthony:
For anyone interested in this topic, Shinzen Young writes about it here: http://www.shinzen.org/shinsub3/artMantra.htm


new url is http://www.shinzen.org/Articles/artMantra.htm

The newest url: https://www.shinzen.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/art_mantra.pdf