By Norman Rosenthal, MD, Tarcher / Penguin, $25.95, 310 pages
Dr. Rosenthal is a psychiatrist and a researcher for twenty years at the National Institute of Mental Health. A mediator himself, he has written this book on Transcendental Meditation (TM) and how it can help us, of any or no religious persuasion or philosophy, to achieve greater physical and mental health. While it originates with the Vedic spiritual tradition perhaps the oldest known on Earth, it does not require any particular belief system.
This reviewer, who first learned TM in the mid 1970s, had no idea that the effects of the practice have been so well studied. There is a tremendous pool of available research at this time. TM, when compared to other forms of meditation, shows many more benefits for health, both physical and mental, than does any other form. Dr. Rosenthal, besides quoting the studies, gives examples of people, both ordinary and famous and in many different life situations, who benefit from their practice of TM. The author’s writing is excellent and easily understood by anyone who might be interested. The dialogue flows. Transcendence is the best of its kind of book. It has even convinced me to return to this form of meditation exclusively.
Reviewed by Rosalie West