Several months into recovery I went to see a psychic-medium and the word ‘meditation’ kept coming up. At the time, I didn’t meditate and certainly didn’t know anything about calming my mind. Drugs and alcohol were a thing of the past, remaining behind firmly locked gates while other, new avenues, opened for me, but my head was still a dangerous place to be alone. Too often I confronted myself in the dark alleys that my all-too-vivid imagination took me to. Respite from my self-sabotaging thoughts was rare and precious as the drugs and alcohol weren’t there to numb it anymore. I was soon to be introduced to a new, natural high, which would protect me from myself, connect me with my Self and in doing so introduce me to the spiritual and creative energy now driving my writing.
When I was nearly a year clean, the guidance from that medium began to make sense. The wonderful lady who taught me the first two levels of Reiki told me about a talk being given which she felt was important I came to. That was the first time I’d heard about Transcendental Meditation. A teacher from the Meditation Trust told us about a man we may’ve seen the Beatles hanging out with, in India, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He told us about how Maharishi left India with nothing but his sandals and robe for San Francisco, to embark on the first of what would be seven world tours with just one goal – world peace. “I will fill with world with love and create a heaven on earth”, he said. Now, Maharishi wouldn’t have been the first in history to try and spread such a message, and I was intrigued about how he aimed to do this. I sat on the edge of my seat and soaked up every word.
“We’re all individual waves on a sea of consciousness,” he said. “When we meditate with the mantra, we transcend from the surface down to the stillest, quietest realms of the mind where there is no thought, no feeling, no time or space. There, we become one with the Unified Field of energy underpinning all of the world’s religions. We become one with everything.” I was gripped, he was talking my space-cadet language. He was no space cadet, though. He had been to a place as dark as I had known and TM had brought him back from the edge. But what was it, what was TM?
The more I learnt about the simplest, yet most powerful meditation technique, the more I realised I’d found a huge piece of my spiritual jigsaw. Rehab helped me realise that Nature was my higher power, my G.O.D. or Great Out Doors. As the fog cleared, I saw Nature in new glorious technicolour. I felt the elements with new vigour, and connected with the Mother of all mountains, Table Mountain, in a way which is probably the closest I’ll ever come to defining what having a ‘religious experience’ means to me. Blessing’s came in many guises during rock-bottom and rehab. Being given the chance to heal in Cape Town was one of the biggest gifts, second only to meeting my soulmate and having the family I yearned for and now have. They only came to me because I’d found rock-bottom, though, because through the process of descent and return, I cleansed my life of the imposter claiming to be me. Funny how it works isn’t it. With this new-found love of the environment in my recovery toolkit, I was then given my TM mantra, a sound of Nature itself. A combination of two syllables, meaningless where the English language is concerned, but with a vibration which forms part of the primordial hum of the Universe. A sound of Mother Nature and the more I repeat it, the more powerful it becomes and the closer it brings me to Nature. Step eleven – ‘Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him/her,’ had just taken on new meaning. Nature’s natural instinct is to support and help grow, so I was tapped in to a force which would always look for the best for me.
The TM mantras are part of the oldest language in the world, Sanskrit, which I find especially interesting as research suggests that Dr Usui found the Reiki healing system within Sanskrit texts and the TM mantras have universal healing properties. I was given my mantra at a weekend course and within a few minutes of repetition I experienced a euphoria I’ve never felt before, or since that time. It may come again, or it may not. I have no way of knowing, but that burst of happiness, no, bliss! was what I was seeking, and to know it was there, even in such brevity, was all the proof I needed to continue with my practice. Some of our group wondered how they would fit the recommended twenty minutes, twice a day into their busy lives, but I had more than enough vacant spaces left empty by the absence of unhealthy past-times. Active addiction turned me into a freaked-out night owl who tried to hide from the day. Now, recovery was giving me opportunities to fill my life with spirit and people. TM wasn’t going to be a bed of roses, far from it actually. My mantra stirred up and released stress-infused sludge I never knew existed. My meditations had the propensity to be rollercoaster rides of anger, hate, love, happiness, frustration, confusion, sadness and also a peace beyond compare. By releasing stress during TM, bliss would take its place, a bliss infinite and eternal – I call it happiness.
The moments of stillness TM give me are some of the richest of my life. I’ve found a routine where my alarm now sounds at 5am, so I can start the day by sitting with myself in silence, repeating my mantra, calling Nature into my life. Healing, loving Nature. Within months I began to feel an inevitability that it would soon be time to stop smoking, a habit which had become more frequent since rehab and one I felt myself becoming increasingly sick of. My conscience got louder. My body whispered it at first, “please stop killing me,” it said to my mind. Then the pleading got louder. I couldn’t ignore Nature’s call to health. I saw the ridiculousness of what I was doing to myself by committing slow suicide after escaping the damage of harder drugs. The more I said my mantra the closer I came to quitting a twenty year habit. I bought a nicotine inhaler and a pack of the strongest cigarettes I could find, to make myself sicker of it quicker. I decided to be kinder to myself, another gift of TM, by not beating myself up if I couldn’t go a whole day without a cigarette, and I didn’t make it first time around, but on the third day I did. I managed to wake up and go to bed without sparking-up.
I kept going to the meditation retreats at a country house in Kent where forty of us meditated in a group, seven to eight times a day. There I listened to the teacher talk about the power of the group, coherence. Three days of group meditation during the retreat gave each of us the benefits of three months of solo meditation. The most noticeable change was how I interacted with Nature, and it with me. I had moments when I felt trees acknowledge me, and I felt their joy as they basked in summer sunshine and danced in winds. I found myself overcome by love at random moments. Tears ran down my face in crowded trains after twenty minutes of TM as gratitude and a feeling of profound love washed over me. Yes, those moments were just that, moments, but they were so powerful I knew something magical was taking place.
The key to TM, is to keep the process as effortless and innocent as possible. The mind objects to going into silence. It likes to think, be active, and throw stuff up, meaningless stuff about what we have to do today or what we did yesterday or what happened years ago. Whatever comes up during meditation, it’s meant to, we let it go and just go back to the mantra. I have no idea how far TM has taken me on the ‘old road home’, I just know that even after rehab there was so much sludge to stir up and release. Rehab just skimmed the surface, it gave me the courage to look deeper within, and in doing so I would find real treasures. The stress of humanity is the size of a trillion atom bombs, and we all feel it, sometimes part of that stress is released through me when I meditate. TM works like a snow-plough. Sometimes the path is clear and sometimes we have to clear it. When the mind throws up uncomfortable thoughts or feelings of anger, frustration and anxiety, it’s just turbulence and when it passes the path becomes clearer, smoother. So there is a lot going on during meditation. There’s the cumulative power of the mantra – a sound which is but a snippet of the primordial hum of the Universe, yet it has a vibration powerful enough to heal on so many levels, because it enables us to realise the infinite nature of our personal expansion. That’s where creativity comes in.
Spirit had been nudging me persistently to start writing about my experiences of rock-bottom and recovery. My writing journey eventually began when I learnt the advanced TM Siddhi technique a few years ago. That’s when the energy on my brow and crown chakras accelerated, and so did the speed of transcendence during meditation causing an even deeper connection with Nature and the consciousness webbing it together. By following twenty minutes of TM with ten minutes of repeating eighteen sutras, or ‘threads’ as the word implies, and then five minutes spent repeating a nineteenth, flying sutra, I send a signal to Mother Earth to come and get me. You see, she’s always looking for something or someone to support. The magic combination of these phrases astounds me every time I feel the impulse. By offering the smallest amount of movement whilst sitting cross-legged on a piece of foam an impulse shoots through me and I can’t help but move with the thousand butterflies fluttering through me. Initially, the movement requires ninety percent physical effort, ten percent mental effort. With perseverance this switches, the cumulative effect is relevant again, with the movement being caused by ninety percent mental effort to support the flying technique. Now, I can’t profess to fly, but when I’m in the throes of Mother Nature’s power, it feels like flying.
Transcendental Meditation is responsible for so much goodness in my life, more than anything, though, it has put me on what I call The Path… of destiny. When I sit down at a keyboard my crown chakra lights up, electricity swirls around me head, someone or something joins with me and co-creation with an unseen force takes place. While you’ll one day find my Earth Guardians Series in the fiction section, to me everything I write about (especially book one – Awaken) has or is happening to me, either in this reality or energetically by way of the personal transformation I’ve been experiencing for the last ten years. The more I meditate the closer I get to Nature and so share Earth’s energies. Writing has introduced me to shamanism and the power of ceremony, such as the Native American Vision Quest when I spent four days and four nights without food on a Cornish moor. My ancestors are close by, and a strong influence where keeping to The Path is concerned. Respecting and communicating with the spirit which is in all things has seen The Path take me to the Highlands of Scotland to connect with extinct volcanoes and the spirits of the witches murdered in the witch hunts of the fourteen hundreds, and their loved ones. It has introduced me to the spirits of Merlin, St George, a malevolent entity dwelling in Edinburgh’s underground city, and led me to where Arthur has been resting for hundreds of years. The Path has gifted me a Summer Solstice sunrises whilst being swarmed by transformational snake energies and taught me about the role lightning strikes played in forging my relationship with the spirit of a crow I know as a brother. It has taken me down to Dover Castle’s medieval tunnels for an appointment with a king, and reunited me with my past-life as a Native American and the people from that time, who still live with me today.
The Path recently took me to Sweden where I was introduced to Sedjr, Norse shamanism, and I feel Oden’s gaze and hear his suggestions for my writing. Now, the runes and Norse mythology open new doors and inspire me further. As fortune or perhaps fate would have it, the runes also represent primordial sounds and images that magicians picked up from Nature’s own vibrations; wind, thunder, rain, hail, snow, waves, bellowing animals, humming insects, murmuring brooks, whispering trees, the sounds of growing. They are teaching me more about the spirit and sacredness of our landscapes and to how connect with the Norse story of creation and the nine realms which I feel hold the key to book three – Blue Wind. I have not walked this path alone, I have been guided to this moment in time, by spirit. It wants me to tell a story. There are still times when I feel I may have strayed and lost my way, unable to hear or see the signs, but after connecting with the magic of Transcendental Meditation, The Path becomes clear once more.