posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 01:03 PM
To corroborate what IE posted:
Herbert Benson, M.D. began his studies at Harvard of the "Relaxation Response" with financial support from the TM people, associates of Maharishi
Mahesh Yogi and his assorted enterprises. That was about 40 years ago. What Benson discovered was that the specific mantra was irrelevant to the
physiology, so long as the mantra was something the meditator was comfortable with.
Here is a video of Benson discussing his latest book, last summer in Cambridge, Massachusetts:
also available on
The video is about 40 minutes long. A short training occurs from about 27:15 minutes to about 31:10. The training is edited for time, so pauses are
edited out, but I think it conveys the idea very effectively.
At the end of the training, Benson mentions the "recommended dose" (once or twice a day for 10-20 minutes), which is similar to the 20 minutes twice
daily for TM mentioned by David Lynch in the OP video, and IE's summary of the method.
During the video, Benson describes the rationale of choosing your own mantra, rather than having one assigned to you. Good find by IE for the
essential arbitrariness of the TM recommendation about that.
The whole video is really quite good, IMO. There is some real science behind the recommendation to do this sort of thing, and the video efficiently
briefs you if you are unfamiliar with these results.
One important point is that mantra meditation is not the only kind of meditation, and meditation is not the only kind of activity which elicits the
relaxation response, which is pretty much what carries the benefit (or opens you up to receive other benefits) of meditation. However, mantra
meditation is probably the easiest method to teach to somebody who has never meditated before, or who has had difficulty with other methods.