Quiet Time


Tamir Elterman is an American documentary director and producer.

I applied for a Go Learn Micro Grant to do a 4-day Transcendental Meditation introductory course where you learn a meditation technique that is meant to be practiced twice daily. In addition to learning the technique, the course focused on the philosophy behind it and the physiological processes that take place when one is practicing it correctly.

I had always heard that TM was a very simple and effective method of meditation, easy to learn and practice, with many well-researched and documented benefits. While some dispute the science behind many of the research studies proving TM to be physically, psychologically, and emotionally beneficial, I can say that learning the technique was a very positive experience and I have been practicing it twice daily ever since. Regardless of what the science says, I know that it has been a beneficial experience.

In my experience, the meditation has proven to be very quieting, restful, and creatively re-energizing. It helps keep a perspective and level head when things get overbearing. It has been a great way for me to recharge my energy and mind during long work days or even just start a weekend day off right.

It is becoming increasingly challenging to disconnect from the vast outside world during our daily lives. Many of us are expected to be connected to our emails or phones at all hours and we often bring our tablets to bed with us. Aside from the relaxation of this specific meditation technique, I also enjoy the fact that it guarantees me at least 40 minutes of valuable, meaningful quiet during each day. There are obviously some days that do not allow for this, but I aim to make time for it during each morning and afternoon.

Just a few days after I began to practice TM on my own, I had a 5AM workday and ended up going to sleep around 2AM the night before. Most people are probably like me in that when I'm facing 3 hours of sleep, I do everything imaginable to get even an extra 5 minutes of sleep. That morning, no part of me wanted to wake up an extra half hour early just to practice this new meditation. But I remembered hearing comedian Jerry Seinfeld, an avid meditator, once say he would feel more rested by meditating in the morning than sleeping the extra 30 minutes. I took Seinfeld's advice and, while its hard to say how I would have felt had I slept the extra 30, I can say that it was a positive, restful, clarifying way to start the long day ahead.