Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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Transcendental/chanting meditation curing my insomnia?!

Discussion in 'Sleep' started by AlwaysTired, Jul 28, 2017.

  1. AlwaysTired

    AlwaysTired

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    I put a question mark cause it's only been 2 days I've been doing it but it seems to be helping a lot. My insomnia had (has?) been getting out of control as of late, as my cortisol seems to suddenly be perpetually high. Thus, I couldn't fall asleep, stay asleep or get enough total hours of sleep. And things that helped before weren't helping any more, the only thing that did help was trazadone, but it stuffed up my nose so bad that it was hard falling back asleep (I'm not a mouth breather) and then I'd have a migraine from the pressure on my sinuses the next day.

    I'd heard of transcendental meditation and decided to research it because I couldn't do zen meditation (just got more tense and aggravated trying to empty my mind etc)

    So TM is totally different but you have to take a course to be assigned a mantra (because they are tailored to the individual). Well I can't do that right now cause I'm moving out of state in less than two weeks, so I made up my own mantra and basically followed the guidelines of TM with it and the last 2 nights I have fallen asleep before 11pm, only woke up once, got back to sleep in less than 2 hours (usually take 3-5 hours) and getting 7 and 8 total hours sleep (whereas before it was 5 total hours)

    I really enjoy doing it too, it's not work like other forms of meditation, and I have also had a greater sense of well being and relaxation in general from it. It must be releasing endorphins cause when I'm doing it I feel like morphine is being released into my body. No joke.

    In TM people just think the mantra but I find chanting to be really powerful for me. Anyway, I am signed up to attend a course intro for the city I'm moving to next month. Here is the link for anyone interested:

    http://www.tm.org

    (And no I don't work for them even though my post sounds like it. I'm just so freaking happy I am getting decent sleep cause I was on the verge of insanity from my insomnia)
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  2. hellytheelephant

    hellytheelephant Senior Member

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    Hi @AlwaysTired

    I still do meditate, but when I first had ME badly in my 20's I did TM. I used a tape to learn it...don't remember how I got my mantra....but it was just about the only thing that helped me. I am a chronic eczema sufferer too, and it really helps with that if I can find the discipline to do it! I then learnt more with my Buddhist centre...then had a break and now do some John Kabatt- Zinn and breathworks guided meditations.

    Good luck with the course.:)

    Good luck with the course.
     
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  3. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @AlwaysTired - I'm so glad for you! I've never tried TM, have only done I guess Zen meditation which I do like, but I may look into TM.

    I know what sleep deprivation is like - utter misery. I went through several months of severe sleep problems during and after tapering off lorazepam (which I was taking for sleep in the middle of the night, ironically enough!) I'm finally getting some decent sleep thanks to a host of nutritional supplements plus a Chinese herbal combo, plus a floor pose.

    Anyways, I am really happy for you! :thumbsup:

    eta: just looked up the cost of TM - $960 (!) no way I could or would pay that. But I'm very glad you were able to make it work on your and I may give that a try.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  4. KME

    KME

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    It sounds like you've found a type of meditation that really suits you - you may benefit more from continuing to do exactly what you're doing, with the chanting that you like, than learning TM.

    I learned TM and have to say I regret it. It cost 600 euro. I had a lovely mindfulness meditation practice (learned from a nice cheap book and CD) before I learned TM (at a doctor's suggestion). My mindfulness meditation practice was working, it was helpful, it suited me. I did TM for 3 months before just going back to what I was doing before. The TM teacher was dogmatic and very anti-mindfulness and anti-any kind of meditation that wasn't TM, which I found off-putting. (I wasn't bringing other types of meditation up, the teacher was.) There was no great mystery to TM, definitely no need to spend 600 euro learning it. When I explained, very sensitively, that I wanted to stop, the teacher said that I could have made a full recovery from ME had I continued. Sigh.

    I still meditate and get a lot out of it. I read books and buy CDs and add little bits and bobs that I like from various different approaches.

    My tuppenceworth is that if you like chanting, keep chanting and maybe find ways of doing more of it! All that matters is that you find something that works for you. You may love TM, of course, in which case, great, do that.
     
  5. AlwaysTired

    AlwaysTired

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    Wow, thanks for sharing your experience. It's about 1,000 US dollars here, so I was going to try to get my instruction covered by grants and/or scholarships they give out for hardship situations, but if I can't then I will likely not go since I can't work and don't have any source of income.

    If my chanting stops working then maybe I'll persist in trying to get my instruction covered (they gave 500,000 grants last year that covered all costs) to see if this could help.

    I'm glad you do have something that is working. It definitely seems simple enough to figure out without instruction and I do question how true it is that you need to get a mantra from an instructor for it to work? I'm sure that's true for some people but others may be intuitive enough to have one arise organically (I mean the first person to do TM had to come up with their own mantra, right???)
     
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  6. AlwaysTired

    AlwaysTired

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    Yes it's not cheap but they give away a lot of full ride grants and if you're chronically ill/disabled and have low or no income they might cover you. The intro session is free so I am going to that and asking there about getting the costs covered to take the course. They gave 500,000 full coverage grants last year to people in special circumstances to take the course.

    Try what I am doing as well, just come up with your own mantra and chant it at least 2x a day for 20 min. I am curious as to how TM compares to what I'm doing now but I can't afford the price tag either so I am going to apply for grants/scholarships and if they can cover me I'll go
     
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  7. KME

    KME

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    There was nothing magical about the mantra. Mine was a two syllable nonsense word (i.e. not a word that makes sense in any language). The attempt to create mystique around it did not appeal to me - you were not supposed to tell anyone your mantra, it was unique and designed especially for you, it contained sounds that were "known" to be "universally healing". I imagine that some people would really like that idea, and it would help them. I prefer meditation schools that are practical, no-nonsense, no hero-worship. I can see how some people would really like TM, it just wasn't my bag at all and left me with a very bad taste in my mouth. To be perfectly honest I felt like I'd brushed against the closest thing to a cult I hope I will ever encounter. Perhaps if I hadn't paid for it I wouldn't have minded.

    Edit: Just wanted to point out that this was my experience with one teacher who taught me TM one on one, may not be representative of TM, and doesn't apply at all to your experience of chanting, which is different from TM. My general feeling is that if you're finding something helpful, keep doing it, and that everyone will experience TM differently, so if you like the sound of it, go for it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
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  8. AlwaysTired

    AlwaysTired

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    My mantra is 3 syllables of nonsense sounds. Years ago I attended this free meditation course which at the end they tried to recruit attendees to join what sounded like a monastery (no sex, no drinking, etc) but struck me as being a cult (all of us attendees were looking at each other like wtf when they gave their recruitment talk the last day)
     
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  9. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois Prairie ❀❤✿Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ✿❤❀

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    Just think of the victim blaming you would have received had you continued (and, of course, not recovered)! :grumpy:
     
  10. hellytheelephant

    hellytheelephant Senior Member

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    No sex, no drinking?! Many of us joined that cult a while back.....;)
     
  11. AlwaysTired

    AlwaysTired

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    Lol, well I've never been much of a drinker but it was more the dictating that you couldn't do those things that bothered me. That and their guru/supreme leader figure which in general just isn't my bag...
     
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