Thousands of Buddhist Monks in Asia Learn Transcendental Meditation

by Bob Roth on October 31, 2011

More than 3,000 Buddhist monks in 100 monasteries throughout Southeast Asia have learned the Transcendental Meditation technique, as a result of the work by a revered Japanese Buddhist monk, Reverend Koji Oshima, who is a longtime TM practitioner and certified TM teacher.

According to Rev. Oshima, the Buddhist monks appreciate the simplicity, effortlessness, and profound experience of transcendence, which is gained almost immediately after starting the TM practice. Rev. Oshima adds that transcendence provides the natural basis for the monk’s subsequent prayers and practices.

During Maharishi’s many tours of Asian countries, he often visited monasteries and spoke personally to many Buddhist leaders. One prominent monk in Sri Lanka, who is now the leader, or “Shan Kara,” of one of the three streams of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, has been instrumental in encouraging monks throughout the country to take TM instruction from Reverend Oshima.

Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka beginning their day with the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique

Young students practicing the TM technique as part of their daily routine at a Buddhist monastery in Thailand

Reverend Oshima said the younger monks are especially inspired by Maharishi’s integration of modern and ancient knowledge. “They were particularly interested in the Unified Field chart, illustrating how the Unified Field of Natural Law, as described by modern quantum physics, is experienced directly during TM practice as the field of transcendental consciousness, the field of Absolute Being.”

Reverend Oshima has been awarded an honorary doctoral degree by Maharishi University for the significant contributions he has made to society by promoting the experience of Nirvana—the spiritual foundation for the achievement of the goals of Buddhism. Through Reverend Oshima’s travels and teaching of the Transcendental Meditation technique he has helped enliven the knowledge and direct experience of Absolute Being in the lives of thousands of Buddhist monks—an influence that helps heighten the peace, happiness and sustainable progress of these monasteries and the world around them.

Reverend Koji Oshima (center) with students who have learned the Transcendental Meditation technique at a monastery in Thailand

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  • Fea Wandelt

    Beautiful!!! JGD

  • Claire

    Yes, beautiful and touching!

  • Michael Tapley

    I have had this pleasure of TM, which is beyond what words can say, for 40 years. I feel like a monk inside and an unstoppable force of nature outside and I am 150 years old!! just had to say …. It’s great.

  • Ansari Noh

    150 yrs young? Remember we were @ the Chandhapuri WPA in Jan2011 ,Mike? Ansari Noh, M’sia.

  • peterfromflorida

    What is the relationship between Buddhism and the Vedic civilization Buddha emerged from? Many of Buddhas teachings seem radical. For example the idea of “emptiness” as the ultimate reality and the disdain for samasaric gods. The gods themselves are seen as still trapped in samasara and apt to fall into lower realms based on karamic winds…

    • Evan Finkelstein, Ph.D.

      Thank you for your deeply insightful question!

      I agree with the view that there is a profound common ground between Buddhism and the Vedic Civilization in that both advocate the vital need for transcending, or going beyond the relative, ever-changing, conditioned states of existence to directly experience that never-changing, deathless state of Nirvana, Absolute Being. The purpose of achieving this state was to go beyond all craving and suffering and to become at one with the permanent state of bliss and peace of Nirvana. For achieving this state, Buddha recommended a pure lifestyle and regular meditation; so did the teachers of Vedic Civilization.

      Regarding the Buddhist concept of “Emptiness,” it can be said that “Emptiness,” in the teachings of Buddha, equates with both “Suchness” and the concept of “non-duality.” It refers to the state of the Ultimate Reality of all existences, which is devoid of any separate, limited, independent self. In Buddhism, the real nature of everything is the eternal and non-varying Truth of the state of Nirvana Itself. It is the unconditioned and unlimited state of Absolute Existence that is ultimately indescribable and can only be known by being It. It is beyond all thoughts, words and concepts and therefore it is referred to as “Emptiness” because nothing of a relative/conditioned nature can be likened to it.

      However, although empty of all limiting values, It is not nothing! It is, in fact, the Fullness of the unconditioned state; it is the Bliss of Nirvana! There is no difference in this Buddhist teaching about Emptiness from the teachings of the Vedic Tradition regarding the Ultimate Reality of all existences. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi refers to this state of “emptiness,” as the “hollowness of the seed” that is the ultimate reality of the tree of life. It is this Reality that one can be directly identified with through the process of transcending in TM and that is why regular meditation is such a vital part of life.

      In relation to the samsaraic celestial gods, the teaching is also the same. The goal both in Buddhism and in the Vedic Tradition is not to be trapped by anything of a relative nature–not even the heavenly fields of life, because anything that is not the Absolute state of Nirvana Itself will change and come and go. The goal is to become at one with the Ultimate, non-changing, never born and never dying state of Ultimate Truth and to stabilize that status, so one can live as It constantly and effortlessly; then, one is a Buddha, one is living in the established state of Absolute pure consciousness. In fact, this teaching is a universal teaching and can be found within the deeper expressions of reality in every wisdom tradition. The practical reality of it can be realized by anyone through regular, effortless meditation and living a healthy life!

      I hope this response is of some value to you.

      Evan Finkelstein, Ph.D.
      Professor of Vedic Science
      Maharishi University of Management

      • Carlo

        Doctor—Thankyou for such a profound and beautiful answer!

      • Gary Greenfield

        Dr. Finkelstein, a very thorough and profound answer. Definitely helped to clarify some points I had been wondering about.

  • K Arjunan Roy

    It is very pleasing to see the young Buddhist monks in ‘silent mode’ into deep meditation. I only wish I am there meditating with them

  • Brahma Swarup Varma

    It is one of the most exciting views of the impact of TM on the monks.

  • Cheryl Stone

    Wonderful, inspiring!

  • Toby Michael Homewood

    Michael Tapley hi apologies anyway.

  • 1g0g

    отлично, молодцы!

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  • Hisham Nasr

    The sun of truth has been shining on all over the world…Jai Guru Dev

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