The family that meditates together

It was 30 years ago when a TM poster in an El Paso store window caught the eye of José Gutierrez. “I went to an introductory lecture on the technique, and that was it,” José says. “I found what I was searching for. From the first meditation, I experienced unbelievable energy, and it just kept getting better and better.”

José said he had been looking for something to help relieve the stress and pressures of his business. Starting out as a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman, he had worked his way up to become the company’s distributor for the city of El Paso. His job involved motivating and training younger sales people.

“I found that the TM kept me in a state of calm even when there were a lot of demands on me,” he says.

José also says the daily meditations helped him turn around his health. “In that type of business, you attend a lot of conventions, the whiskey flows freely, and I was nipping too much. After learning to meditate, I got control of the drinking. I also suddenly stopped smoking one day. You just make better choices.”

José is not the kind of person to keep a good thing to himself. Soon he had his wife and seven kids meditating.

“As time went on, our kids got married and had their own kids. I thought, ‘There’s a lot of stress in this world—I can’t do much about that, but I can help our own children.’” So in characteristic fashion, José paid the tuition for his grandchildren to start the TM technique.

Today, at age 77, José has 18 members of his extended family practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique with him. With so many close family members meditating, he has lots of turning points to share.

“One of my sons, who had stopped meditating years earlier, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Lo and behold, he went back to meditating, and in just a short time, within a year or two, he was able to come off his medications,” José recalls. “He got married, has four kids, and runs a small construction company. He’s a happy person, laughing all the time, and he doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke. He attributes the turnaround to TM.”

José relates how one of his daughters-in-law suffered from high blood pressure. “In the first week after starting to meditate, she went to see her doctor, and he cut her medications in half. By the third week, he took her off her meds altogether. He told her, ‘Whatever you’re doing, keep on doing it!’”

José’s wife passed away five years ago, but the family remains close. “As a family we have always tried to watch out for one another, to encourage one another. Recently, I hosted a TM lecture at our house, and most of the people there were ours,” he says.
Linda Egenes is a professional writer and a frequent contributor to Enlightenment, the online TM Magazine.