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Transcendental Meditation: The Essential Teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Revised and Updated for the 21st Century [Kindle Edition]

Jack Forem
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a simple, natural method of allowing the mind to go beyond thoughts and gain access to the silent inner field of creativity, energy, peace, and happiness that is our own essential nature, our Self. Widely known and prescribed by physicians for its powerful stress-reducing effects, TM is much more than that. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1918–2008), who brought TM to the West, said that TM offers any individual not only a gateway to the highest spiritual unfoldment (Enlightenment), but also “sound physical and mental health, greater ability in action, a greater capacity to think clearly, increased efficiency in work, and more loving and rewarding relationships with others.” Five million TM practitioners around the world and more than 360 published, peer-reviewed scientific studies have consistently corroborated these lofty claims.

Described as “a great book, by far the most comprehensive on the TM Program” when it was a bestseller in its original version, Jack Forem’s study of TM became a much-loved classic. This updated edition contains all the features of the original plus much more. Clear, easy-to-read diagrams explain scientific research showing TM’s beneficial effect on the brain and a broad spectrum of contemporary concerns, from health, self-actualization, and development of intelligence to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and much more. In these pages, Oprah Winfrey tells how she has offered TM to everyone on her staff. Dr. Mehmet Oz explains the benefits of TM for heart health. School principals describe the dramatically positive effect on their students when TM is introduced in the classroom. Interviews with celebrities as well as men and women of every age, background, and religion provide a lively testimonial to the efficacy of TM in making anyone’s life happier, healthier, and more creative.

Editorial Reviews


“I love Transcendental Meditation! I’ve been practicing it twice a day for almost 40 years. When you read this wonderful book by Jack Forem, you’ll understand why it means so much to me.”
David Lynch, filmmaker, author, and artist

“We are all born with the potential for great love, happiness, and creative living. In Transcendental Meditation, Jack Forem shows us a time-tested path to bringing it out and living it.”
—- Marci Shimoff, author of the New York Times bestsellers Happy for No Reason and Love for No Reason

“In the ongoing transmission of India’s practical wisdom to the West, nothing has had a bigger impact than Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and his Transcendental Meditation. This engaging and comprehensive update of Jack Forem’s seminal book is well timed, as the knowledge it contains is vital in our stressed-out, plugged-in era.”

Philip Goldberg, author of American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation, How Indian Spirituality Changed the West

“Jack Forem’s groundbreaking book, Transcendental Meditation, inspired thousands of people, including myself, to learn meditation and investigate the scientific basis behind its effectiveness. In this new edition, he brilliantly distills all the latest advancements and hundreds of scientific papers published in leading academic and medical journals. As Maharishi himself said about the original edition, this book ‘offers a clear, comprehensive, and thoughtful presentation of the essence of our teaching,’ and that is certainly true of this new edition as well. I strongly encourage everyone to read this book and to take full advantage of the programs it describes. It is an invaluable resource for all who desire a bright future for themselves and for our world.”
John Hagelin, Quantum Physicist and Educator,
President, Global Union of Scientists for Peace
Featured in What the Bleep Do We Know!? and The Secret

“A comprehensive, reader-friendly study of the teachings of a great modern master. Jack Forem’s book isn’t just about the TM technique and its massive body of scientific research, but it reveals practical and enlightened approaches to the fields of education, health care, personal relationships, psychology, religion, and business, and a novel and powerful strategy for achieving world peace. Informative and inspiring!”
James S. Brooks, M.D., co-author of Ayurvedic Secrets to Longevity & Total Health, Medical Director of Mental Health Centers in Chariton and Fairfield, Iowa

“As a rabbi and longtime practitioner of the TM program, I particularly appreciate the new chapter on Religion and Spirituality in Jack Forem’s book. Jack quotes Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s teaching that religions have ‘one common ground: that the light of God is kindled in each heart.’ This is what TM accomplished for me in my life. I never would have desired to become, nor would I have been able to succeed as a rabbi, without the spiritual awareness that the practice of TM awakened in me.”

Alan Green, Senior Rabbi, Shaarey Zedek Synagogue, Winnipeg, Canada

“Many books have been written about the Transcendental Meditation technique and the array of benefits enjoyed by those who practice it. Jack Forem’s book stands out not only because it is eminently readable and entertaining, but because it is such a clear and comprehensive introduction to TM, the principles behind it, and the research demonstrating its effectiveness. It’s a joy to read and a breath of fresh air.
“In addition to delineating the value of TM for individuals, Forem explains cutting-edge, paradigm-shifting research showing that groups of people practicing TM together have significantly reduced tension and hostility in the environment. He argues persuasively that in TM, we have a technique to benefit the individual and at the same time generate harmony and reduce stress in society as a whole.
“This is a book to read and take to heart.”

Gary P. Kaplan M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Neurology, Hofstra University School of Medicine

“Jack Forem’s new book on Transcendental Meditation offers a wealth of research with real-world examples of how TM can increase personal and corporate success and effectiveness. This book offers numerous examples of how this simple technique has had a tremendous effect on people from all walks of life. I know it has helped me, my family, my company, and my clients.”

Nancy Slomowitz, President & CEO, Executive Management Associates, Inc., author of Work Zone Madness! Surviving and Rising Above Workplace Dysfunction

About the Author

Jack Forem met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and learned Transcendental Meditation in late 1966. After studying with Maharishi in India in 1970, Forem served as head of the TM center in New York and on Maharishi's International Staff; taught training courses for TM teachers in Europe; led conferences and seminars on the development of creativity, leadership, and higher states of consciousness; and wrote a best-selling book on Maharishi and TM.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1459 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Hay House; Rev Upd edition (October 8, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008FQGN70
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,561 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not any teachings at all much less essential October 19, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If like me you read the title and think, this is going to be the essential teachings of TM that the Maharishi taught you are wrong. I bought this book with another one called "Transcendence", that also has absolutely no info. This book just tells how great TM is and how it helped the author and others, but gives NO TEACHINGS. It tells you to go to the website where you will learn that to take the TM course it will be at least $1500.00.Like the other book I bought I feel tricked. I read a few of the great reviews on this book that said it was the best book ever on the subject and now wonder what the heck were they talking about?? If I could I would return it!!
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77 of 88 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed December 10, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I thought that reading this book I would learn how to do Transcendental Meditation but instead it is about the author's experiencing it and learning where to learn TM/
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the best book on TM and Maharishi October 2, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I remember reading this book in 1973, when it first came out, and being impressed by its clear and friendly style. The book was genuinely helpful in understanding what meditation is (Transcendental or otherwise), and who Maharishi is and what he was trying to accomplish. This was done without any of the emerging "new age" jargon or vagueness that later came to be associated with terms like meditation, yoga, guru, and the like.

Since that time (full disclosure) I have become friends with Jack Forem, and we have stayed in touch for the last 40 years. Many books on TM and/or Maharishi have come out, some good and some utterly misinformed. It's a great relief to me that Jack's book is now back in print, significantly revised and updated, to serve as the most accessible and most complete account of what Maharishi taught to so many people for so many years. The other books have individual appeal, but this -- to me -- is the one that covers all the bases, and does so without selling anything or "debunking" anything. TM works, and there's no significant debate in the face of hundreds of studies of its benefits, but how and why it works are good to know.

For decades I've recommended the original version of this book (long out of print) to all kinds of people, and none of them has ever had a bad word to say about it. Now that it's been brought up to date, and is back in print, I look forward to recommending it for another few decades. If you're already practicing TM, this book may clarify a lot of things for you. If you're just curious, or want to get a more realistic idea who Maharishi was, this book is a great introduction (with plenty of depth as well). If you're thinking of trying TM for yourself, this book is like a long weekend chatting with a friendly expert. (Learning TM doesn't take that long, but learning ABOUT it is pretty fascinating.)
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One Big Advertisement September 28, 2013
By Tbone
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The author offers hundreds, thousands even, of examples of why Transcendental Meditation is good for a person and nothing about the actual method. I read the strong reviews above mine and find myself in a commercial there too, but the book itself is one long-winded, over-postulated advertisement (maybe I'm missing the point). There are not any teachings or anything else in the book as the title implies but only a series of long, drawn out and arduous study after study. It reads like a signature block followed by a paragraph of credentials but nothing else follows. The author does 'unpeel' the truth slowly, about midway he reveals that you must attend a Transcendental Meditation Center to learn it. So much for the "essential teachings". If you like infomercials, this book is for you!!!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Most books written for beginners, on any topic at all, offer very little new or useful for experts in the field; books for accomplished adepts generally leave newcomers scratching their heads in perplexity. Jack Forem has written a book that is magically helpful for people who don't meditate but are thinking about it, for relatively new meditators, and for long-time, advanced practitioners as well. This is a remarkable feat.

Using simple language and a conversational style, he introduces a wide range of knowledge about meditation - what kinds there are, how they differ, and most of all, using extensive scientific references, how their effects and benefits vary. He explains foundational principles of Maharishi's Vedic Science, ideas that are profound and life-transforming, in a way that makes them easily accessible.

I read the original version of the book many years ago, and I concur with other reviewers here that it has been substantially, almost entirely revised. As Forem says about the old vs. new versions, "Based on more than 40 years of personal experience with Maharishi's teachings, and conversations and interviews with hundreds of people, I have revised and updated it, taking into consideration, among other things, a mountain of scientific research that continues to verify the deep truth, logical beauty, and universal effectiveness of Maharishi's teachings."

Transcendental Meditation: The Essential Teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, is a fabulous introduction to the age-old practice of TM and its wide range of benefits for health, education, effective action, sweeter relationships, and more; at the same time, it serves as an advanced manual explaining key experiences on the path of enlightenment, the growth of consciousness, for those who have been practicing for decades.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An important book for understanding the benefits of Transcenedental...
I needed the book for the translation of it into Hebrew hoping that Hebrew speaking people would be able to read the book and appreciate this simple and easy technique in order to... Read more
Published 13 days ago by Lya Offenbach
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read for those starting out in TM
I have been practicing TM for several months now and wanted more info. This book gives a great look into the past and evolution of the practice and it's benefits.
Published 19 days ago by RLW
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent resource book for Transcendental Meditation.
Published 1 month ago by slosh
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Basicly a long and tedious commercial for TM.
Published 2 months ago by Tommy Pettersen
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, Beautifully Written
Forty-five years ago, as a troubled and unhappy young adult, I was fortunate enough to begin Transcendental Meditation. Read more
Published 2 months ago by jjf
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and Bright.
If you want a book on TM, Jack Forem's is what you're looking for. The man has been around since the beginning, spent remarkable time with Maharishi, and has a voice that is as... Read more
Published 2 months ago by D. Mellon
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book on TM Ever Written
Jack Forem is a brilliant writer and this is the best book I've read about Transcendental Meditation. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dean Draznin
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
great book
Published 3 months ago by Orlando A. Romero Jr.
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Great read!
Published 4 months ago by Thomas longacre
2.0 out of 5 stars Just a sales pitch about how great TM is and the benefits of it
Doesn't say much at all about the techniques and teachings of TM. Just a sales pitch about how great TM is and the benefits of it. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Helen
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More About the Author

Not many people get to have two fulfilling careers, receive the guidance of a great spiritual teacher, have good friends around the world, travel extensively, and be happily married for nearly a quarter-century--but this has, somehow, happened to me.

The only child of two writers, my direction was set without my having to think much about it. I started my first book when I was eleven--a novel about a baseball player. Not surprisingly, I didn't finish that one, but when I did complete a book, I sold it to the first publisher I showed it to. And, it became a best seller.

Entitled Transcendental Meditation: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the Science of Creative Intelligence, it was based on my own practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM), interviews with other meditators, early scientific research on meditation, and my personal experiences with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Teaching Meditation

When I was 26, I left a graduate program at Ohio University and traveled to India to study with Maharishi at his academy (or ashram if you wish) in the foothills of the Himalayas, and trained to be a teacher of TM. For about a decade, my life centered around my career as a TM teacher. By now, I've had nearly 40 years experience instructing individuals and groups of all sizes in the United States and abroad in the art and science of meditation. I've had the good fortune (and fun!) of introducing meditation on dozens of high school, college and university campuses, as well as to leaders of business and industry. For a few years I served as Director of the New York Center of the International and Students International Meditation Society, and later briefly as Executive Vice President of the worldwide TM organization. I've led weekend and week-long seminars on health, creativity, and spiritual unfoldment for a dozen to 500 participants, and have helped to train hundreds of meditation teachers in intensive three-month programs. I still teach TM occasionally and find it profoundly satisfying.


But my other career, following my family tradition, is creating books. I am the author, co-author, or ghost writer of numerous volumes on leadership, health, natural medicine, and human potential. In addition to my first book (now updated in a fine new edition as Transcendental Meditation: The Essential Teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) my books include The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies with the renowned Ayurvedic physician, Vasant Lad), Healing with Pressure Point Therapy (with acupuncturist Steve Shimer), Ayurvedic Secrets To Longevity And Total Health (with James S. Brooks, M.D.), and Awakening the Leader Within, with Kevin Cashman. I wrote the companion book to the movie, What the Bleep Do We Know, and helped Deepak Chopra's late father, the cardiologist Krishan Chopra, create his book, Your Life is in Your Hands. I also had the pleasure of consulting with David Crow on his poetic and profound In Search of the Medicine Buddha, and with a rising star in the world of Yoga, Kino MacGregor, on her forthcoming book, The Power of Ashtanga Yoga. I also translated a novella by the German Nobel prize-winning author, Hermann Hesse, not yet published.

New Projects

I thought that updating my book on TM would take me a few months -- it took two years, due to all the new scientific research (more than 350 published, peer-reviewed studies) and all the new programs being offered around the world.

I am currently ghost-writing the autobiography of a Korean spiritual master, Ilchi Lee, founder of Dahn Yoga. It is a beautiful story of enlightenment and world teaching by a man who has worked for 35 years to bring enlightenment to others and create a spiritual civilization. Having spent many years studying with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, whose life was all about bringing enlightenment to the world, and working to help him realize his mission, it is very meaningful to have a chance to work with another great teacher with a broad vision.

That book is a perfect warm-up for what I believe will be the most important book of my life, the biography of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. I'll be working on this during 2013 and 2014. My publisher plans to title it Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: The Definitive Biography, so with the pressure on to produce a book worthy of that title, I'll be giving it my very best shot!

When that is done I hope to finish a long-term project, a book on the development of higher states of consciousness.

I've also recently helped my 104 year-old mother complete her translation of an historical novel, A Passion for the Land, and contributed an Introduction and Study Guide.

Personal Stuff

I am, and have been since I was quite young, very passionate about improving the quality of life on earth. All my books are meant to be contributions toward this end. Also, in a more active (less sitting-at-the-desk) mode, several years ago I ran for Congress under the banner of the Natural Law Party (a now-defunct organization similar in many respects to the Green Party), which advocated preventive health care, sustainable organic agriculture, renewable, non-polluting energy sources, and other commonsense and scientifically validated solutions.

I have been practicing Transcendental Meditation since 1967. I find the deep silence and peace of meditation, and the energy and clarity that comes after I open my eyes and stand up, to be indispensable personally, and I believe that the most effective and powerful way that we can create peace in this world, as a basis for creative solutions to the seemingly endless problems that we face, is for more people to meditate, and to practice together in groups.

I also am, and have been since I was quite young, a knowledgeable and enthusiastic baseball fan.

One of the things I love most in life is music. I enjoy pretty much all music, but especially Western classical, particularly "the three B's" (Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms), Mozart, and just about any Baroque composer. I am very fond of small-scale compositions such as string quartets and keyboard music, and play a little piano. I also love Indian classical music, especially as performed by Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Ustad Imrat Khan. I usually cry when I go to the ballet, for the sheer beauty of it. (How many other baseball fans can say that?)

I enjoy hiking, especially in the mountains, and used to be a pretty good dancer.

My reading tastes run from poetry (old and modern), Shakespeare, and science fiction to some contemporary novels and short stories. People always think I must read a lot of philosophy and psychology, but I don't. At least not any more. Among contemporary writers, I admire the craftsmanship of Anthony Doerr (a fellow Boise author), the early work of Orson Scott Card (the Ender books especially), and two Indian women writers, the author and activist Arundhati Roy, and the fiction writer Jumpha Lahiri. Don't get me started on movies!

I have lived in New York (where I grew up), Los Angeles, Boston/​Cambridge, Berkeley, Santa Barbara, Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Iowa, and in the high desert of California near Joshua Tree National Park, and visited just about all the 50 states as a teacher and speaker. I've traveled through much of Europe, lived for some time in Switzerland, and studied in India twice. I feel very much a global citizen. I now live in green, bicycle-friendly Boise, Idaho, with my ever-more beautiful, intelligent, and wise wife of almost 25 years, Roberta.


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