This meditator dropped everything for the TM-Sidhi Course
As we face a new year and new decade, we have so many wishes and goals ahead of us. We want healthier bodies and minds … happier families … more success in our careers, and so much more. And of course, these are all very good things.
But many people who practise Transcendental Meditation have begun to sense that a completely fulfilling life is within reach – and that there’s a better way to reach our goals than simply exerting more effort.
That’s where Maharishi’s advanced programmes come in, especially the Transcendental Meditation TM Sidhi Programme. Accelerating the growth of consciousness, the TM-Sidhi Programme helps us to stabilise the experience of transcending during activity so that we live our full potential, both on the inner and outer levels.
Since there’s so much to unpack about the TM-Sidhi Programme, I had a chat with Lewis Alexander, a meditator who recently took the TM-Sidhi Course at MERU.
Lewis has an incredible story in that he had a full, busy life in the London television scene – and yet he was willing to drop everything for several months to pursue his highest goals in life.
Read on for this inspiring interview about his experience.
Rebekah: Hi there, Lewis!
Rebekah: First of all, can you tell me where you’re from?
Lewis: I’m from a wee village in Fife, Scotland.
Where do you live now? And what do you do for a living?
At the moment, I’m back in Scotland after some time at MERU in 2019. I’m working freelance within the film and TV industry as a production assistant and floor runner. I’m also a musician.
When did you learn TM? And what made you decide to take this step?
I learned TM in October 2012 in Glasgow from Angela Landers.
I’d always known from a young age I was going to do something called ‘meditation’ – without really knowing what it was. Fast forward several years, and a band mate expressed an interest in meditation. He lent me a book, which was a little more down the mindfulness route. I started doing mindfulness but didn’t maintain it with any regularity.
Some years later I stumbled upon a David Lynch lecture on YouTube where he was talking about something called Transcendental Meditation and how it develops our consciousness.
He said, ‘If you have a golf ball sized consciousness when you read a book, you will have a golf ball sized understanding. When you look out, a golf ball sized awareness, and when you wake up in the morning, a golf ball sized wakefulness. But if you could expand that consciousness, then you read the book, more understanding. You look out, more awareness. And when you wake up, more wakefulness. It’s consciousness. And there’s an ocean of pure, vibrant consciousness inside each one of us’.
It was like a light bulb turned on. I knew that I had struck gold. The meditation he was talking about was the meditation I had been looking for years earlier.
After learning TM, what benefits did you notice early on? Were there any benefits that weren’t obvious at the beginning but that came with time?
Good question, as I do believe some of the benefits take time to materialise – and it’s important to be patient for them to emerge fully.
From the first instruction, I felt as if I’d accessed a part of my mind, or consciousness, that I had not experienced before. It took me to a place of profound inner calm and peace, and my mind settled – even when it had been fairly frantic right before.
‘From the first instruction, I felt as if I’d accessed a part of my mind that I had not experienced before. It took me to a place of profound inner calm and peace, and my mind settled.’
What took time and regularity was maintaining that restful alertness, calm, and inner peace in waking consciousness.
Did you find it a challenge to practise TM regularly twice a day?
In the beginning it was a little harder to establish and ingrain it into my daily routine – for one reason, excuse, or other. (Mostly ‘I don’t have time’.)
However, now it’s as integral a part of my day as it is to have breakfast. My rule generally is after the morning shower, and again before the evening meal. With my vata tendencies it would be difficult for me to put specific times on it, but this system works just fine for me.
When you first learn to meditate, I think it’s important to keep in touch with a TM Centre and take advantage of as many group meditations and coherence days as possible. This strengthens the experience of the practice and your resolve to stay regular. Additionally, you stay connected with a group of people who are having the same experiences as you.
For me, joining Facebook groups for TM meditators has been an invaluable resource, and it can also be handy also having emails from TM mailing lists to provide inspiration and reminders to stay regular.
When and how did you hear about the TM Sidhi Course?
I first heard about the Sidhi Programme in a presentation at the Glasgow TM centre on higher states of consciousness. It opened up the possibility of there being more – more knowledge and more to experience. This immediately sparked my interest. It was also at this meeting that they talked about MERU as a possible place to learn the Sidhi Programme.
So what made you decide to eventually pursue the Sidhi course?
I had been in London during a particularly challenging time in my life. I was working in an unhealthy and demanding industry in a very busy and noisy city.
As I was coming to the end of the show I was working on, I found the MERU website and saw lots of pictures of young volunteers who looked really happy. It looked like they were part of a big family, something I felt I was lacking in London!
It was then I noticed that I could work to earn credits to take my Advanced Techniques and the Sidhi Programme, and immediately I got in touch with the staff manager at MERU.
I felt a lot of my hard work in London had done nothing more than line my pockets, and I wanted to aid my personal evolution as best I could going forward … so I decided in 2019 I would make a change.
Taking the TM-Sidhi Course is a pretty big commitment. How did you approach this?
Someone once said this to me about the Sidhi Programme: ‘When you are ready, you are ready.’ And I definitely agree with this.
Once I had made that intention, nature came to support me. It would have been difficult for me to pay for the advanced courses in monetary terms. So the other option was to pay with my time, which I did at MERU!
The way I saw it, I could be saving years of my life by strengthening my intuition through the Sidhi Programme. By improving my judgement and not making as many errors in life, the time investment in the volunteer programme would pay many times over.
How did you find the course itself?
In a word, wonderful. It was paced perfectly and will be something I will always remember as one of the most joyous experiences of my life.
It felt – without being too hyperbolic – like a bit of a rebirth. The benefits came exponentially, even in the initial weekend instructions. It felt as if I have been given one of the most profound and powerful spiritual techniques available to humanity, and I am eternally grateful for it.
‘The TM-Sidhi Course felt like a bit of a rebirth – as if I have been given one of the most profound and powerful spiritual techniques available to humanity, and I am eternally grateful for it.’
How has your life changed since you’ve been practising the TM-Sidhi Course? Where in your life have you noticed the biggest benefits?
The changes and benefits I have experienced since becoming a Sidha have been innumerable and very noticeable.
I have a profound sense of inner contentment and fulfilment that wasn’t there before. My senses have heightened and my intuition feels stronger than ever. Everything that I enjoyed before is even more enjoyable now.
I also feel a deep level of trust that nature and the universe will lead the way to the next opportunity that is best and most evolutionary. This has been a game changer, and has provided much needed clarity and space in which to make decisions. It feels as though I’m observing and perceiving the world from a heightened and expanded level of being. Life seems a lot more beautiful, enjoyable, and kind.
The inner experience, the experience of transcendental consciousness, and the evolutionary forces of natural law, have awoken and enlivened within every moment, thought, and action. I feel as if I never fully come out of meditation, even in the waking state, as if pure consciousness is omnipresent and unshakeable.
‘I feel as if I never fully come out of meditation, even in the waking state, as if pure consciousness is omnipresent and unshakeable.’
Most importantly, I feel that I am a better son, brother, and friend after taking the Sidhi programme, which I know my family would attest to.
I was very lucky that I was a resident in MERU and had time to integrate the technique in the ideal environment without having to rejoin the ‘outside world’ with its pressures and stresses. This allowed me to familiarise and deepen my experience within an exceptional environment and community of other Sidhas.
Wow, it sounds like it has been a truly transformative experience. Would you say it’s helped you with any particular goals you have in life?
My priorities and goals have changed a lot from what they had been. I have re-evaluated and reconsidered them from the level of the Self, as if I’m putting them through the ultimate truth identifier!
For example, I feel a lot more social and environmental responsibility, and I’m currently considering a career change to reflect this.
And how do you see things taking shape over the next few years? Are there any next big steps you’re planning to take or developments you’re looking forward to?
I would love to be in a position within the next few years to undertake the Transcendental Meditation Teacher Training Course. This feels as though it’s the next progressive step for me to share this wonderful knowledge.
I have a few ideas which I would love to implement in Scotland, to give help and support to the next generation of meditators and Sidhas in a wonderful community environment in nature. Stay tuned!
What would you say to someone who has learned TM and is interested in advanced programmes like the TM-Sidhi Course, but isn’t sure about it yet?
If you are regular with your practice, you enjoy it, and you want a whole lot more of it, the good news is there is more.
I’d recommend that you make gaining these benefits a priority at whatever stage you are at in life.
Even if you have to put some big responsibilities on hold for it, just do it. Only good will come.
The next TM-Sidhi Course
Curious about the Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme? There’s still time to apply for our upcoming course at MERU in February.