Interview with Dr Tony Nader, TM pioneer – Peace and harmony for the world

by | Jun 26, 2024 | Dr Tony Nader, Interview

Tony Nader, MD, PhD is a medical doctor trained at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Ph.D. in neuroscience) and a globally recognized expert in the science of Consciousness and human development. Dr. Nader, whose training includes internal medicine, psychiatry, and neurology, is a bestselling author (One Unbounded Ocean of Consciousness), with his book Consciousness is All There is released this summer (Penguin/Hay House). He is the successor to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the head of the Transcendental Meditation organizations globally.

Introduction by Greta Molnar, interviewer

I am very happy to have the amazing method of Transcendental Meditation (TM) and enjoy the results of it in every part of my life. Since I learned TM I longed to come to MERU and to take the TM-Sidhi programme as well. Both of my dreams came true thanks to my TM family, because in India I could also finish the flying block part of my Sidhi programme. Please find below my interview with Dr Nader to spread this incredible knowledge that can help the world to have peace and harmony.

When and how did you learn TM and join the movement? What was your first time meeting Maharishi?

When I started to practise Transcendental Meditation in the early 1970’s I was pre-med and then starting medical school. I was very focused on my studies, thinking that I would have little time to meditate. However, as soon as I started meditating, I experienced that reality which is transcendental, which is beyond the sensory level – inner, more abstract but more full, more holy, more peaceful. I found this knowledge to be very deep, very important, and I became very interested in following up.
I was able to learn the Transcendental Meditation Sidhi programme, and I was putting in much more than 20 minutes, twice a day. During my internship as I completed my studies, I wanted to give this knowledge to others. You just want all your friends, all the people you love, and everyone in the world to just use it.

I decided to become a teacher of Transcendental Meditation. During a conference on health in Seelisberg, Switzerland, in the 1980’s, I was lucky to meet Maharishi. Those few minutes with him were life-transforming. He made it clear that the consciousness he embodied is something that everyone can achieve.

It was like your hero saying ‘You can be a hero too and it’s very easy and everyone can do it.’ It’s systematic and scientific and logical, and not a philosophy that you have to believe in. It’s not a way of life that you have to adopt. You can grow within yourself, remove your stresses and strains, and your nature emerges as perfect. This nature is to be happy, healthy.

Maharishi was not pretending to be a god or a prophet, and was not defending anything. He was a human being who got this knowledge from a tradition that allows every human being to become truly divine, to truly live their fullness of life.

How do we know whether someone is in a higher state of consciousness? Are there specific signs?

We are fortunate to have guidance on this question from Maharishi; he explained that full human development proceeds in a series of stages or ‘levels of awakening’ and that these levels are natural and easy to attain. Maharishi provided a framework that clearly defines each of seven states of consciousness as well as the procedures and practices that promote growth from one state to another. 

As each state develops, inner awareness, mind, and body are all involved. Just as dreaming, sleeping and waking have unique physiological markers, each higher state of consciousness is characterized by unique sets of subjective psychological parameters which can be objectively measured.  

Externally, there are no distinguishing signs that another person is experiencing a higher state of consciousness. However, abundant scientific evidence indicates that daily practice of the TM technique helps people – even busy medical students – eliminate stress and anxiety and modulate their responses to stress, reduce job burnout, and improve sleep, compassion, learning ability, and well being. (Nader, T. et al. (2023). (https://www.drtonynader.com/about/transcendental-meditation/)

The practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique reliably results in the experience of the fourth state of consciousness, transcendental consciousness, which displays a unique pattern of neurological activity marked by a high degree of brain wave coherence and integration, signaling balanced activation of the total brain. This is the basis for further development of consciousness. (Reference: Nader, T, 2021: www.tm.org , www.miu.edu)

The goal of spiritual practice is not merely to have periods of time (or, as it is subjectively felt, timelessness) when inner silence and unbounded awareness are enjoyed, but to carry that expanded and blissful state of being into all activities and relationships, to enable a true state of enlightened living. 

How is an individual able to judge they are on the right path towards higher consciousness?

One experiences: 

  • Innocence and easiness
  • Growth of self-sufficiency
  • Easier fulfillment of desires
  • Changes in life are supported by a more rested and balanced physiology

What results did we get from the 10000 course?

The world population is 8.1 billion. 9,000 is the square root of 1% of that. More than 10,000 people gathered in Hyderabad to participate in the Word Peace for 10000 event from the end of December 2023 till the 13th of January 2024.

As a result we got more positivity in life. Life was improved for everyone – no corner of the world was unaffected. After the event it is harder to do wrong and easier to do right. This is based on the solid theoretical understanding about the nature of life as described by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and experimental evidence published in respected journals that has shown decreases in crime, decreases in hospital admission, and decreases in conflict resulting from groups practicing Transcendental Meditation and the TM Sidhi-programme.

Maharishi identified the basis of war and terrorism as ‘stress in collective consciousness’, the opposite of coherence. When stress is allowed to grow in the society, a point occurs when it reaches a threshold and violence breaks out. The solution lies in producing an effect that neutralizes violence – outside of the boundaries of historical imperative.

A dedicated group of scientists have described this mechanism and have conducted over 55 studies demonstrating the efficacy of this approach. They’ve demonstrated that the solution lies beyond negotiations – while also supporting negotiations. The transcendental field of pure consciousness supports reduction in individual stress and growth of higher states of consciousness also functions on the societal level, when large groups assemble and practice the techniques. These studies have demonstrated that reduction of societal stress through group practice of the TM and TM-Sidhi technique is reliable and verifiable.

This group of 10,000 made a difference. We are working toward establishing a permanent group of 10,000, so that the positive improvements we saw in early January can be sustained.

In which direction do you currently see the state of the world going?

The world is beset by problems.  Traditional approaches to solving problems, like diplomacy and war, are failing utterly. Fortunately, we have a new way of understanding how to dissolve problems and to cause life to flourish.

Do you have any advice for explaining TM to someone unfamiliar with it?

When you are confronted by darkness, no amount of careful, detailed analysis of the darkness helps.  But if you produce light, the darkness vanishes.  With TM, we light up our own inherent creativity and happiness, and this transforms all areas of our life. 

We are very happy to hear that your new book, Consciousness Is All There is – How Understanding and Experiencing Consciousness Will Transform Your Life is coming out on August 6, 2024.
Can you tell us about it?

Modern concepts of consciousness and its origin are at best muddled. Scientists and philosophers have talked around this issue for centuries and, though the debate is particularly lively today, little progress has been made towards consensus. If anything, the topic now is more contested than ever.

Does the brain create consciousness? Are the brain and the mind two distinct substances or perhaps different properties of one fundamental thing? Does consciousness survive the brain? Does everything have consciousness? Will robots eventually be conscious, too?

In this book I offer fresh answers to these and many other questions swirling around one of today’s hottest topics. My thesis is that our physical world of matter and energy is best understood as consciousness interacting with itself.

I also  explain that my ‘Consciousness paradigm’, like any solid and useful scientific theory, stands on four pillars: logical reasoning, empirical data, practical and testable applications, and the simplest explanation of complex phenomena. Any comprehensive and fruitful investigation of consciousness, as part of its set of empirical data, must necessarily include consistent subjective experiences, such as reliable and repeatable experiences gained during meditation.

Consciousness permeates the manifest universe and has a range from almost no-consciousness to higher levels of consciousness. Everything displays consciousness to one degree or another. The book takes the reader step-by-step to the striking conclusion that consciousness is all there is.

The implications of  transcending experience are far-reaching. True wellness – a dynamic state of clarity, peace, and contentment, develops automatically when we connect with pure consciousness and begin living that connection throughout our experience of the external world. It is then that we find our happiest and highest states of ourselves.

In the book’s last chapters I examine important questions that many of us have, such as, do we have free will, what is a well-lived life, and how, by fully developing our own consciousness, can we most successfully address the principal challenges we collectively face today: the climate and environmental crises, nuclear weapons proliferation, the rise of pandemics and the risks of genetic engineering, the increasing prevalence of dependencies and addictions, and, most acutely, the rapid and inevitable penetration of artificial intelligence into every facet of our lives.

As our consciousness, both individual and collective, becomes broader, more mature, more coherent and integrated, our technologies will become more robust and our efforts at progress will be increasingly supported by natural law — by the balanced self-interacting dynamics of pure consciousness, which is our true inner self and the self of everything. If we can realize this vision, we can be confident that artificial intelligence and the other advanced technologies will be universally beneficial, serving our flourishing and the needs of all life on Earth. The more peace on Earth is powerful, the more power on Earth will be peaceful.

 

Interested in the knowledge of consciousness?

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