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Transcendence: Healing and Transformation Through Transcendental Meditation Paperback – August 30, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


"Transcendence is a profoundly important book on a topic that you need to know a lot about... Dr. Rosenthal is one of those rare professionals who is able to mix authority and accuracy with riveting stories that read like a novel. In Transcendence, he has given us all a gift that will enlighten, entertain, and perhaps even transform. This will become the go-to book for those searching for the wisdom within meditation."
Mehmet C. Oz, M.D.

"Dr. Norman Rosenthal's Transcendence is the best-ever book on Transcendental Meditation: Accessible and substantive, engaging and scientific, practical and profound. A very enjoyable read that can change your life, for good."
David Lynch

"I have been meditating for over 10 years, and I found Transcendence to be a uniquely compelling introduction to the art and science of Transcendental Meditation. Dr. Norman Rosenthal's book will propel TM into the mainstream where it belongs."
Russell Simmons
"Whether your troubles are deep or you simply know life could be better and happier, read this book."
Candy Crowley, CNN anchor

“One of the striking features of this book is the empowering empathy with which Dr. Norman Rosenthal discusses the people with given health issues. It cannot but make the reader become more understanding of other humans and their anguish. In addition, there is all the neat science – explained simply yet not watered down to the degree of becoming trivial. Essentially, this is book about human condition in the modern world. But unlike the existentialists, Dr. Norman Rosenthal sees light at the end of the tunnel.”
—Transcendental Meditation
“The book makes a useful contribution to understanding the mind-body relationship in holistic ways, advancing ongoing dialogue among clinicians and just plain folks about how to live more healthfully.”
—Publishers Weekly


About the Author

Norman E. Rosenthal, MD, is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical School and has maintained a private practice in Washington, D.C. metropolitan area for more than thirty years. He conducted research at the National Institute of Mental Health, as a research fellow, researcher and senior researcher for more than twenty years.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; Reprint edition (August 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585429929
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585429929
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Norman Rosenthal is a psychiatrist and scientist who in the 1980s first described winter depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and pioneered the use of light therapy for its treatment. Rosenthal was born and educated in South Africa and moved to the United States to complete his medical training. He established a private practice and spent 20 years as a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) where he studied the disorders of mood, sleep, and biological rhythms. Rosenthal's research with SAD led him to write "Winter Blues" and two other books on the topic. More recently Rosenthal has written a book on the Transcendental Meditation technique and conducted research on its potential influence on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In total, he has written seven books, including one on the topic of jet lag, and published 200 scholarly papers.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

446 of 507 people found the following review helpful By Mimijo on June 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author, psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal, says that no book can teach you how to do TM; you must be taught by an individual teacher in a personalized course of instruction. This costs $1500 or more when last I checked. I have taken the TM course of instruction and found it so rigidly scripted as to seem almost stock, one-size-fits-all. In my opinion, Dr. Herbert Benson's book The Relaxation Response (and his subsequent books The Breakout Principle and Your Maximum Mind) presents the basics of a meditation practice that is essentially the same as TM, and in such a way that the reader can begin meditating on his or her own by following the simple steps outlined in the books.

Dr. Rosenthal says that TM involves no religious belief or faith -- yet practitioners are asked to believe that their mantra, even though it has no meaning at least to English speakers, has some deep transforming power and must be personally selected for each individual by a highly trained teacher. Dr. Benson on the other hand advises choosing a word of personal spiritual significance to you to use as your mantra. Either way, we seem to be talking about faith.

In Dr. Rosenthal's favor, he does lay out the benefits of meditation clearly and persuasively. I have experienced these benefits through regular practice of meditation for almost thirty years; sometimes using my TM mantra, sometimes using a phrase from the Psalms that is more connected with my spiritual beliefs. In either case I have experienced relaxation, increased creativity, surprising insights, greater energy, deeper calm, more organized thinking. I leave it to neuroscientists to prove that there is a difference between the effects of TM and that of The Relaxation Response, Christian Centering Prayer, or other kinds of meditation.
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94 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne on June 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Occasionally, an important scientific discovery comes along that surprises even the scientists themselves. World-renowned psychiatrist Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D., writes here about just such a discovery: the experience of "transcendence" is a powerful antidote, he believes, for many of our modern woes, a way to help overcome stress and stress-related disorders while opening a new window to the potentialities of the human brain.

Dr. Rosenthal was a senior researcher at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and is professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School. He has spent three decades conducting medical research, first at Columbia University and then at NIH. Famous for pioneering the study and treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), his focus recently turned to the Transcendental Meditation technique.

With a forward by Mehmet Oz, M.D., this gracefully narrated, reader-friendly account takes a subject that is subtle and, for many, elusive and renders it simple, clear and vitally relevant.

In addition to exploring the extensive scientific documentation of healing and transformation through TM practice, the book features case studies and interviews with meditators -- including Paul McCartney, Russell Brand, Martin Scorsese, Moby, Laura Dern and David Lynch -- who share with us their life-changing experiences.

Dr. Rosenthal says, "If TM were a new prescription drug, conferring this many benefits, it would be a billion-dollar blockbuster."

I recommend this book to anyone interesting in improving their life and health, gaining relief from stress, or attaining inner peace.
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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Duncan Brown on June 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In "Transcendence", Norman Rosenthal encapsulates in words both wise and clear his experience with, and understanding of, the Transcendental Meditation technique. Reading his careful review of the scientific research on TM in a variety of areas (stress, cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety, etc.), it's striking to consider that a fundamentally simple and easy meditative practice can produce such a complex and widespread range of benefits for both mind and body.

It's also fascinating to witness Rosenthal carefully distinguishing the TM technique from other meditative practices; he makes it clear that different meditations use different methods and produce strikingly different results. He focuses on the TM technique in this book, noting that it is the most extensively studied meditation practice. He also cites study after study supporting his statements.

My favorite parts of the book are those where he relates the personal experiences of people suffering from various conditions, and the results they experienced directly in their own lives after starting TM. While Rosenthal is careful to say that such stories indicate or point to the benefits of TM (rather than to prove them), he puts them in a broader context by citing the research studies in those areas.

One of the surprising parts of the book is the section on PTSD. Rosenthal cites preliminary studies on the positive benefits of TM. From what Rosenthal says, the results are very promising. I find it odd that more research has not been done on this, especially since TM has been shown to be so effective for treating things like anxiety and stress.

We have anywhere from 250,000 to 500,000 (or more) soldiers who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from PTSD.
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