Terry Freedman, Head of E-Education, Tower Hamlets Borough Council.

What made you decide to learn TM?

“Well, two things. I saw an article in the paper which was talking about all the benefits and so on, physiological benefits, psychological benefits, and I thought it sounded a little too good to be true, but as it did sound so good and the talk was free, I thought I’d be mad not to go.

“And then what prompted me to learn once I got there was not so much the statistics and the research they were talking about but the fact that everyone who was there representing TM had a certain glow about them. They just looked really contented and happy. I was very happy at the time myself, and I just thought what they were saying sounded like a load of rubbish, and was too good to be true, but they all had something. And I thought what they all had in common was that they did TM. So I thought I’d investigate it further. And the next time I went I was even more convinced by that, and I’ve basically not looked back.”

Has Transcendental Meditation affected your health?

“I don’t lead what you might call a healthy lifestyle, even though I try. I don’t really exercise; I do tend to eat sweet things and all the rest of it. When I did a first aid course last year, as part of the course they take your blood pressure. The bloke who was running the course called everyone else over, and said ‘This is textbook’. He said ‘You’re absolutely perfect – perfect heartbeat.’ My colleagues couldn’t believe it, because the most exercise they’ve seen me do is unwrapping a sandwich. And I definitely think Transcendental Meditation must have something to do with that, because you can’t live the ridiculous sort of lifestyle I live, sometimes working 16 hour days, (and I’m in my early fifties) without there being some reason for it. TM, to my mind, must be the factor.”

Does TM make you feel calm, then?

“You don’t stop feeling emotions as result of doing TM. I still get angry, I still get happy, I still get sad, and I still get upset over things, but what does happen is that that is no longer all of it, there’s part a of me that isn’t upset. There’s a certain equanimity there most of the time, which is really, really nice.”

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