A friend recently asked for advice on which meditation path to choose. She was considering switching to TM or staying with her breath practice.
This is a copy of my response, thought it might help others as they ponder their paths
“ TM is a beautiful path, if it is the right one for you…..TM is a mystical path and has its secrets that are passed to initiates only, and can feel strange to a western mind as a western practice. I know. The Puja ritual is to call the ancestors to bless your path and alleviate difficult karma and accompany you in your practice . It is or can be a very powerful ritual to guide your spiritual journey. The mantra as a point of focus and healing can lead to liberation and an enlightened awareness or sense of awareness. The mantra is a cognitive vibration beyond thought and it is yours always, a route to absolute being and consciousness. Or not.. it can just be a focus point for the mind, sometimes breath is distracting and the mantra brings you home.
And with that said, it might not be your effective path for evolving , for healing, or might not be the change in your practice that is needed at this time. You are already on a path, and perhaps you need to follow that this life. You can be interested in other ways of meditation that is lovely. Does not mean you must commit to a new practice, unless that feels right for you.
This laboratory of the mind and body lol … ponder and breath. Perhaps you can journal and reflect on your practice. Sit with the ambiguity and follow your intuition. Meditate on it and then you will know what is best. Dissatisfaction with the human existence is a given. Not the reason to try on different meditations as they will all be disappointing. Because it is led by the mind, thought and emotion blind us as if all that is ..is mind.
Yearning to evolve, to go beyond the relative, perhaps expand awareness enough that it makes the human existence bearable..and leads us beyond so we can train the mind and open the heart to all that is beyond the mind…and open to the calm abiding at the base of awareness..that is a reason to meditate. In my view. And perhaps to seek spiritual liberation, or presence that allows the mind to rest. Peaceful joy. Many paths , some lead us quicker than others to peace and joy. Sometimes unattainable, and still we practice, train the mind, connect to something larger than the mind.”