Oprah’s TV show creates record interest in Transcendental Meditation
Oprah’s recent TV show featuring Transcendental Meditation and the town of Fairfield, Iowa, where thousands practise the technique each day, has generated immense interest in Transcendental Meditation in the USA, where the edition of the Next Chapter show reached an audience of several million. The US Transcendental Meditation website has reported a large increase in interest in learning the technique.
Oprah is the USA’s most high-profile seeker and has interviewed many of the world’s leading spiritual and personal growth teachers, but such has been the impact of Transcendental Meditation on the lives of her and her colleagues that all 400 members of her staff at Harpo Studios now practise the technique twice-daily at work. The show is her testimony to the technique’s versatility and effectiveness.
“You can’t imagine what’s happened in the company,” she says. “People who used to have migraines don’t. People are sleeping better. People have better relationships. People react with other people better. It’s fantastic. ”
The show, of which only excerpts are available in the UK, opens with testimonies from Jerry Seinfeld, Clint Eastwood, Russell Simmons, Russell Brand and Ellen de Generes reflecting on the impact of Transcendental Meditation on their lives.
In Fairfield, which Oprah describes as ‘one of the safest, greenest, and most unusual communities in America’, the show features Oprah meditating with over 400 women in one of the town’s golden domes.
She visits the Maharishi School, a primary and secondary school which teaches ‘consciousness-based education’, with meditation an integral part of the curriculum. There, Oprah explores the 16 principles of the Science of Creative Intelligence: ‘life lessons’ that Oprah says have taken her decades to learn, including ‘Life is found in layers’, ‘Outer depends upon inner’ and, Oprah’s favourite, ‘Every action has a reaction’.
She explores ‘the houses of TM town‘ as many homes there are designed not just for sustainability but in a style of architecture inspired by nature, called Sthapathya Veda. She takes a tour of one family’s home and learns about the theory behind its layout.
She also visits Maharishi Vedic City, home to nearly 800 pandits, who are, in Oprah’s words, ‘professional meditators who practise Transcendental Meditation for hours a day in the name of world peace’.
“For two to three years, many of these men from India devote their lives to this practice in the cornfields of Iowa. They’ve never allowed television cameras to film them – until now. Today we got an unprecedented look into the life of a pandit.”
Concluding that meditation is now mainstream, Oprah says :
“Today, at least 6 million people are practising TM worldwide. People who believe in Jesus, Buddha, the Koran, the Torah, all religions, all ethnicities practise Transcendental Meditation.”
Pointing to a quote by the ancient Roman philosopher Marcus Aurelius, she continues: “This is the essence of what Transcendental Meditation is all about:
‘Nowhere can a man withdraw to a more untroubled quietude than in his own soul. Grant yourself this withdrawal continually, and refresh yourself!’
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