A friend living here in Fairfield, Ia. was a student at MIU in the early days. In sharing this account below of the Trappist Monks having learned TM back in the 1970's, some of the monks from Spencer, Mass. then visited MIU in Iowa in the early days wanting to see what was going on. They came to a class studying comparative religion. This friend was in the class, the monks in talking with the class observed that the TM mantras as they are used as sound in TM work better than using "Jesus" as a mantra. .. evidently too much meaning going on with using "Jesus" for attempts at effortless transcendent meditation.
Chanting maybe different than, meditating TM? https://detechter.com/chanting-mantras-can-help-rewire-and-strengthen-nervous-system/ https://detechter.com/chanting-mantras-can-help-rewire-and-strengthen-nervous-system/ The meditating Trappist monks.. Separatism. The historical ‘separating’ of spiritual mystics from the creedal orthodoxy of institutional ‘churches’ (Catholic, Lutheran, or Anglican) evidently is also contemporary. In the early 1970’s as a ™ teacher I was able to visit and ‘check’ the meditations of Cistercian trappist monks in Spencer, Mass who after having studied the spiritual experience of the ‘desert mystics’ and so many others of the early Christian era found in themselves a lacking in spiritual depth of experience where they then reached out for methodology outside their own confines of practice. These Spencer, Mass Trappist monks were earnest, scholarly and dedicated spiritual seekers who set about finding better method than what they had in their order. (At one point one of these monks exclaimed, “Thank God for Vatican II!”). Of course Thomas Merton, also a Cistercian in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s, had done the same thing a generation before in his visiting with Buddhism or Eastern practices and writing about his experience. The Spencer, Mass. monks proceeded then from their experience in learning to meditate with ™ to abstract instruction from the ™practice and share with others what they subsequently re-branded as “Centering Prayer”, a meditative technique for lay people with features taken from ™. Centering Prayer now is widely taught as church adult education classes taught and supported by these monks in courses with video and lectures as a transcendent meditative practice for lay Catholic religious people. In a type of movement Centering Prayer now has also crossed over as progressive spiritual practice methodology to Protestant churches. A couple years ago I visited the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky where I found the legacy of Thomas Merton supporting a thriving monastic community serving as a Merton pilgrimage site, with a modern museum and a bookstore doing active business vending in so many books by and about Thomas Merton. By contrast a few weeks ago I visited New Mallory Abbey near Dubuque, Iowa. In the 1980’s I had opportunity to visit and stay at New Mallory in their guest house quite a lot. I was excited recently to be able to return and visit back there and also see their bookstore. In their bookstore surprisingly I found not a book on Centering Prayer and one by Thomas Merton on a bottom shelf, by contrast. A little puzzled after this visit there to New Mallory I asked around about this seeming ‘edit’ and obvious blank and was told that some in the Church feel those teachings are heretical to the Holy Father Church. Even within the Church today? Evidently dangerous for being out of control (unorthodox) the mystics in cultivated spiritual experience and by their critique in transcendentalism are still ‘separated’ from the orthodox. “They who believe their practice is best are devotees They who believe their technique is the only are zealots.” -Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Re Separatists, In Quiet, European ancestral genealogy of transcendentalism https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/FairfieldLife/conversations/messages/435251 https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/FairfieldLife/conversations/messages/435251