I wrote Transcendence: Healing and Transformation Through Transcendental Meditation (Tarcher-Penguin, 2011) because I simply had to.  Transcendental Meditation had done so much good both for my patients and myself, had such strong research backing, and was so pleasant and easy to do that I felt the urge to share these experiences as seen through the eyes of a doctor, scientist and TM practitioner.

            One question I often like to ask people is, “What surprised you about it?” where “it” is whatever we happen to be discussing.  In that same spirit, it seems reasonable to ask myself, “What surprised me about how Transcendence turned out?”  Well, lots of things:

  1. There was a terrific yearning for a straight-forward book that described TM from several points of view: personal, clinical and scientific.  That yearning led to Transcendence becoming a New York Times best-seller.
  2. Transcendence was acclaimed by highly respected people and sources.  For example, I have enormous regard for Mehmet Oz, one of the most distinguished physicians in the country, and was thrilled when he offered to write a foreword to the book.  Transcendence also garnered a silver medal in the 2012 Nautilus Awards, which are given for books dealing with mind, body and spirit.
  3. Insofar as I wanted to see others reaping the rewards of TM, the book was a great success.  Teachers from all over the U.S. shared with me that the numbers of those interested in learning the technique have increased since the book’s publication and that many come to learn, book in hand.
  4. As a scientist, I am impressed by statistics, but as a human being, I love a good story – and there were many about Transcendence over the past year.  My insurance salesman, for example, asked what I was up to.  When I told him, he bought the book, learned the technique and reported a transforming effect on his life – all within a few months.  A highly respected psychiatric colleague with whom I shared my enthusiasm about TM was unpersuaded by my verbal reports – until he read the book.  Then, in short order, he learned, felt wonderful, persuaded his partner to learn (they now meditate together every day) and referred many of his patients for TM instructions.
  5. My experience with Transcendence has renewed my faith in the power of the written word.  Even in a world so full of tweets, texts and Facebook posts, books still matter.  What a wonderful discovery!

So, what’s new about the paperback version of Transcendence?

            In this regard, I was once again surprised – by all the developments in the world of TM just in the one year since Transcendence was published.  I summarize these changes in a totally new chapter, called “After Transcendence.”  Here are some of the highlights of that chapter:

  1. Other groups not mentioned in the hardcover version who might benefit from TM include people with:

             I provide gripping stories of people in all these categories, as well as explanations for how TM might help such a widely divergent group of conditions.

      2. Embracing TM in business and athletics

                        Businesses are seeking out TM for their personnel as a way of boosting performance and promoting leadership.  It is likely that the brain coherence that occurs when people practice TM is responsible for greater clear-headedness and improved decision-making.  The relief of stress helps people remain cool-headed and thoughtful, both critical qualities for people in the high-pressure worlds of business world and athletics.

      3. A caveat and a promise

            The hardcover version of Transcendence contained so many descriptions of people who had dramatic experiences during meditation, that I wanted to reassure those who did not have these four-star special effects that they could still derive tremendous benefits from the practice.  Here’s how I end the new chapter.

For most people . . . myself included, the effects of TM are subtle and gradual, but cumulative. Yet as the rippling waters of a stream can smooth the edges of the sharpest stone, so can the gentle flow of meditation alter the shape and contours of a person’s life.

I hope that you enjoy the paperback version of Transcendence, and most of all, that you benefit from its contents.

Wishing you Light and Transcendence,

Norman Rosenthal


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