Tim Burgess: “Transcendental Meditation is like rebooting your computer”

Tim Burgess from The Charlatans knows the real deal when he sees it. Here’s his basic guide to Transcendental Meditation

In 2008, I was at a party in my own flat and I was the only one who wasn’t drinking. I sat down on my own in a corner, keeping myself to myself, then a friend of mine called Amy came over to me and she asked if I’d ever thought of doing Transcendental Meditation. She was a very good friend of mine and I didn’t know that she did it.

I remembered watching videos of The Beatles with Rob Collins, our first keyboard player [who died in a car accident in 1996], and we’d always really enjoyed the moment where the Maharishi teaches The Beatles how to meditate. It all clicked into place. I made a phone call and was meditating within a week. I’ve been doing it every day, twice a day since. I haven’t missed a session.

Do I think that Transcendental Meditation can help with mental health issues? I absolutely do

I don’t have clocks in my house but I know when it’s time to meditate. People say I don’t know where I’d get the time from, but you make that time. You’ve got more energy and you get more things done. It’s almost like messing around with time.

It’s a very simple technique. You have to be taught by the right people but I’ve never had any difficulties with it at all. You have an initiation and you’re given a mantra. You’re not allowed to say the mantra to anybody because what stays within is powerful and what comes out… it reduces its power.

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In total, more than 92,000 people have sold The Big Issue since 1991 to help themselves work their way out of poverty – more than could fit into Wembley Stadium.

Without giving too much away, the mantra is not really a word it’s a kind of sound. Almost like a hum within your body. I can’t describe it but it’s not unfamiliar. When you have the mantra you say it in your head as loud or as quiet as you want. The idea is to refine it over time.

When you come out of the meditation for some reason the world seems brighter. It’s almost like when you reboot your computer. I’ve had issues in the past with drinking and taking drugs and stuff like that. After deciding I didn’t want to do that any more there was a gap in my life, an emptiness that meditation filled.

Do I think that TM can help with mental health issues? I absolutely do. It helps everybody without a doubt but I think there’s increasing mental health issues, increasing homelessness – the world is becoming wilder and more extreme and TM definitely can help.

Tim Burgess is taking part in David Lynch: The Power of Transcendental Mediation at Manchester International Festival on July 13 mif.co.uk

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