Part of the question I was asked included the info that it costs between $600 and $800 for a TM™ session, at least where this person lives.

I could be wrong about some of this, but this was my off-the-cuff reply:


There is absolutely no reason to go to one of those teachers.
The bottom line is, after they tell you the things about meditation that a book or a video or pretty much any practitioner will tell you, they give you a a mantra, as you said.
Krishnamurti said you might as well use Coca-Cola as a mantra, because it doesn’t matter, since in this case, all you are doing is keeping that word as an anchor, as a focal point, and allowing all other thoughts to pass by. It sort-of neutralizes everything out in a sense, so you can get back in alignment with reality as opposed to all the exaggerated and skewed ways you may be wrongly believing things are. A recalibrating, in a sense.
I’ve worked with self programming, and I did a lot of experiments with affirmations (discovering, in my opinion, that there is a lot of bad advice about it), but basically, you can pick a word, if you’d like to do that mantra type of meditation, and you are fine.
Now, there are mantras that Buddhists and others use, that are a bit of a different story. Things like Om Mani Padme Hum do mean something. You can research all of that if you’d like.
I believe part of the mantra in these older traditions, is built on the sound as well as the meaning. Supposedly sanskrit is a language where sound is taken into account in regard to spiritual development, but I am out of my depth here, so you may need to check other sources.
Have a mantra if you like. You can experiment.
I generally do not use one. The breath is like a silent one, and you can’t go wrong with that. The breath goes in and the breath goes out. You can simply focus on that and let everything else go.
Some would say you have to let the breath go to at some point, but I wouldn’t worry about that.
My recommendation is you experiment, if interested. That’s what Gatama Buddha did. Maybe you’ll find a way unique to you.
I detest religion. I see it as evil, but Lord knows that’s a whole different essay.

Addendum: There are numerous mistakes in that answer, but what irks me the most is the statement, “You can simply focus on that and let everything else go.”
“Some would say you have to let the breath go to at some point, but I wouldn’t worry about that.”

Truth is, you are best off not holding on to anything. You can follow the breath, but not be attached to it, per se.

I would go as far as to say that he who is attached to anything might as well be attached to everything.

There is no joy in attachment of any kind. It only holds you back.

Correction made:  Changed “off-scew” to “skewed”.


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