INDIANAPOLIS — The holiday season is a wonderful time for many, but can also be stressful. Sometimes even a vacation just isn't enough.
To get a true mental break, 13Sunrise anchor Julia Moffitt explored Transcendental Meditation. Paul Wilson is a certified transcendental meditation instructor with an office in Indianapolis.
"It's a universal practice," Wilson said. "This is a simple system of deep meditation. The sun brings the light in the morning. It wakes people up and an anchor connects us to something deep, so we get some stability on the surface."
Wilson has been practicing transcendental mediation, or TM, since he was a teenager. He said it's for everyone, no matter age or physical ability level. He describes it as an "effortless mental technique" that requires the individual to sit comfortably in a chair with eyes closed for 15 to 20 minutes. He says it can provide a deep state of rest on demand.
It differs from other forms of meditation because it does not require concentration.
"There's no focus, no effort, no clearing the mind and thoughts. Anybody can learn this. It's taught only by certified teachers, and we provide a satisfaction guarantee," Wilson said.
Wilson said it usually takes a few hours of sessions for participants to learn TM. Every participant's training is unique and done privately.
Wally Bruner has been practicing TM since 2016.
"I was tired of being stressed out all the time. I was tired of being kind of burnt out and crispy. And I wanted to do something that truly changed how I was living and how I was existing in the world," Bruner said.
With some research around Eastern philosophy and meditation, plus inspiration from the Beatles, Bruner found Wilson's Indianapolis office and now meditates twice a day.
Beverly Samuel has practiced TM for two years. She said before she started, she never thought she would be able to sit still for 20 minutes.
"I thought, 'Oh god, I got to sit here for 20 minutes. It's just impossible. I can't do that.' And then eventually it was like, 'Oh, I get to sit here for 20 minutes,' and it was like a retreat," Samuel said. "It was a retreat from everything. And it just made me feel wonderful."
Samuel said after she meditates, her days are much more productive.
Wilson said researches have found a wide range of benefits, beyond rest. Studies have shown reduced risk of heart attack, stroke and death due to lower blood pressure and other stress factors. Other perks include higher work efficiency and better school performance.
So while all the gifts may already be under the tree, TM could be the best gift you give yourself this year.