By Peter Russell
Back in the sixties I spent time studying Transcendental Meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at his ashram in Rishikesh, India. When he was assessing how we were each progressing in our practice, he was often not so interested in our experiences within meditation itself—whether we were noticing subtle levels of thinking, discovering the true self, having deep insights or visions. His principal interest was whether we were noticing, what he called, “increased support of nature” in our daily lives. By this he meant: Were we noticing that the world seems to support our needs and intentions—in other words, were we noticing what many of us would call increased synchronicities, or meaningful coincidences.
His thinking went as follows: In meditation we are transcending thinking and reconnecting with our true nature. Much of our thinking is a manifestation of our ego-mind—thinking that is primarily concerned with our personal needs and desires—and by transcending, that is “going beyond,” it we are freeing ourselves from its demands. It is clear that many of the problems we see in the world—from international and environmental problems to social and personal problems—stem, in one way or another, from our egoic thinking. So by stepping out of the ego-mind we are supporting nature in the most fundamental way possible. And nature returns the favour by supporting us.
I have never heard of any other teacher taking this approach (which is not to say there may not be some). And although it may sound a little like “magical thinking” I have noticed it to be frequently true in my own life. When I am meditating regularly, and in particular when I have been on a meditation retreat, life seems to be working out very well, many little coincidences leading me to just what I need at the right time. On the other hand when I’m stressed, not in touch with my true self, but caught up in the demands of egoic thinking, synchronicities like this do not happen so much.