Everything You Need to Know about Transcendental Meditation

Meditation is without a doubt a tool you should consider adding to your tool box for your quest to reach a state of optimal performance. A state this blog is dedicated to.

The hard thing in the beginning, is choosing which form to practice. Not easy to decide, considering how many options, that exist out there. Up until now, I have primarily been a guided meditation via apps/mindfulness guy – and I still recommend this. However, I recently decided I would explore other forms as well.

On my favorite podcast (The Tim Ferriss Show), has it, among many top performers, been mentioned as a prominent part of a daily productive routine. Tim has had the habit of saying the following more than once: “Oh! so you meditate regularly!? Great, and what specific form do you do? TM (Transcendental Meditation) oooorrr?”

So in my own search for the most effective meditation form, this seemed like a reasonable place to start.

I started out by reading the “Bible” of TM (Shown above), which is called Science of Being and Art of Living, written by the founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The book was actually pretty long, and had very few practical lessons to give, which I felt justified me writing a blog post, that synthesized all the key points.


What is TM

When you begin to learn the belief system that is the foundation for TM, you start to find, that it actually resembles something close to a religion. It confidently explains the inner workings of the whole universe, how “god” has created everything and how you can get back to the all creating force of the cosmos with your own mind. And this kind of turned me off from it all.

It is not that I can’t believe what the book says. I just feel like, it says with all too much confidence, how everything in the world works, while I think you should speak about such matters with much more humility.

But you still can use the idea of TM in you everyday meditation routine, without taking their word for who god is. I’ll get back to that.

An interesting thought the book mentions is the question of where your thoughts come from, before entering into your head?

The book, of cause, has all the answers, saying that they come from the absolute creating force of the universe, called “Being”. If you agree or not, your thoughts do come from some place. A place that science hasn’t found yet.

And that is how TM is all about getting yourself back to the place of where all your thoughts come from (so you can be in better contact with god and the universe bla bla bla). An interesting idea nonetheless.


How to do it

So how do you get back to the place where your thoughts begin? This is the true golden nugget of the book and TM in general.

You start out by looking at your mind as if it was an ocean:

How to do Transcendental Meditation

If you consider your mind an ocean, the waves are the visible part – your conscious thoughts. When the waves are high, you are stressed or have many thoughts in your head, when you have little stuff to worry about, it is like the waves are low.

Going forward with this ocean analogy, a meditation practice like mindfulness would be the act of just watching the waves of your mind, and thereby getting better understanding of them, while many other types of meditation, are based on the idea of controlling the waves.

From this standpoint, TM is different because it mainly entails going deeper into the ocean of your mind.

Thinking about going deeper next time you sit down to meditate, will give you a new perspective on your meditation practice. Suddenly it is not only about clearing your head, as much as exploring it.

But practically, how do you go deeper into your mind? The TM practice says, you should do this with a mantra – and by meditating on the idea itself. The problem is however, the TM experts say, that you cannot get your own customized and personalized mantra by reading it from a book or blog post. The only way to get it is buying it from a teacher, who has bought himself a certificate from the TM organisation.

You see, that’s where it all gets a little iffy for me. I think this is a very unfortunate model, for an organisation that claims, it wants to save the world. When I first learned about this strong economical barrier to entry, it almost made me want to close the book shot, but I ended up learning something from it still.

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, learning a particular mantra from a TM teacher, you can do the one I have come up with myself. I constantly whisper the word “deeper” in my mind, every time I breath out, when I meditate, and then I try to focus on the idea of going deeper into my head.

TM is prescribed to it’s practitioners in 20 minutes session twice a day (morning and evening).

You can learn from the ocean analogy, and start going into your mind by now. You can also take it a step further, by reading the book and learning about the worldview of TM. You can even decide to go to a teacher, and get personal coaching (by paying a fee).

However, if you know about the ocean analogy, you know about the 20%, that is going to get you 80% of the way in TM.

And if you don’t know about the 80/20 rule, you should google it 🙂
Thanks for reading!

5 recipes for biohacking multitaskers

You may already know, that it isn’t really possible to multitask in the traditional sense.

What people normally understand as true multitasking, will always be rapid switching between tasks, and since it costs you time to switch between tasks, you will never going to be efficient in it.

However, one type of multitasking is possible, and that is when you combine a high-focus task with a low-focus task(s).
An example of this, could be driving your car (high focus), while listening to music (low focus).

Aligned with this way of thinking, I have underneath created 5 multitasking recipes for biohacking, that enables you to boost your health in more than one way at a time, in order to maximize efficiency.
Happy hacking:

1. Do cold thermogenesis and brain training

Cold thermogenesis means to expose your body to cold temperatures, as this results in you having to reheat, which causes a “hormetic stress respons”, less inflammation and an increase in metabolisme.

You can easily do CT by taking a cold shower, but since that makes multitasking difficult, a Cool Fat Burner Vest, may be even more optimal.
By wearing this ice vest, you can also do brain training simultaneously with programs such as Lumosity or Dual-N-Back, in order to enhance your IQ and mental abilities.

You may even find, that you are better able to do your brain training, while being cold. I, a least, have found that being cold gives me a boost.

2. Sleep and learn

It sounds like it almost can’t be true, but a study has actually found, that we can be productive, while sleeping.
At least, in this study it was shown, that students studying the dutch language, was able to score higher in a word recall test, when they had been played back some of the words learned from earlier that day, during sleeping.
So while you get some of the optimized sleep, that I often talk about here on the blog, you can actually also learn something in the meantime.
Let’s say you are learning a new language, and you have been listening, to a language learning podcast earlier that day. When you go to sleep, you can actually rehearse the words, by playing them once again, right when you black out and go to sleep.

However, this method isn’t adviced in periodes of high stress or sleep deprivation, as this might have a reducing effect on your sleep quality.

3. Hang out in a sauna, while stretching and follow a breathing pattern

(I actually came up with the idea for this blog post, while sitting in a sauna today).

Sauna’s are great. They have been shown, to increase metabolisme, cognitive function and recovery, and it is pretty “low focus” to sit in them.

That is why you can easily work on your flexibility/range of motion, while sitting there, and if there is something that goes together with stretching – it is breathing.

Work for example on stretching you hip flexors, by doing the cobra pose, while doing the box breathing pattern – breath in 4 secs, hold 4 secs, breath out 4 secs, hold 4 secs.

4. Do yoga while wearing a training mask

You can do yoga by yourself in order to enhance flexibility/range of motion, state of mind and decrease stress.
But you can actually also add another layer to this, by using the altitude training mask, that is going to allow you to enhance your cardiovascular capabilities, or simultaneously “grow a third lung”, as the manufacturer calls it.

You can even take this method to another level further by doing it in your backyard, while being in the sun.
This is also going to give you the grounding effect from touching the earth, while your skin synthesizes Vitamin D at the same time.

5. Listen to podcast while doing HRV Training and wearing compression gear

I have found, that you can actually do some form of meditation, while, for instance, listening and learning something from podcasts.

With the Emwave2 from the heart math institute, you are able to train your HRV, by getting into a state of coherence (making the light turn green), and thereby de-stressing, and recover.
All you have to do, is focus on your breathing pattern, your heart area, and try to think of stuff you are grateful for, while listening to your favorite podcast.

Furthermore, you can enhance this experience by wearing compression gear, on for example your legs, that is going to increase blood flow to you legs, and enhance recovery after training.

Thanks for reading!


My favorite (cheap) hack for sleep

If there is any type of hacks that I like, it is the reusable ones.
Playing around with different techniques for enhancing performance, can be a costly affair sometimes. But not always.

Obviously, the cheapest kinds are the ones, you can use for an infinite amount of times. That way, the cost per use goes down the more you use it, contrary to most other hacks, that gets more expensive totally, the more you use them. Læs mere My favorite (cheap) hack for sleep

Standing or Sitting to Optimize for Performance

If you don’t already know, everybody in the health blogging world is talking about the harms sitting down all day right now.

It has become apparent, trough all the latest research, that the sedentary lifestyle may be one of the biggest destroyers of our health in modern day society, and there is therefore room for lots of improvement in this area.

The problem with health conscious/ type-A personalities is though, if you tell them to do something, in order to win the game of life, they quickly take things to the extreme. Soon, they are standing up in the same position all day, and instead feeling the negative consequences of another static position.

The key point about breaking with the sedentary lifestyle, is to mimic the movement pattern of our Paleolithic ancestors, which I believe means to have a diverse movement pattern, which entails switching between sitting, standing, walking and whatever else you can think of.

Læs mere Standing or Sitting to Optimize for Performance

5 supplements for CEOs and other business people

In this post, we are going to explore, which dietary supplements I view as the most beneficial for a high performing CEO or business person.

Normally, you mostly see high-performing/professional athletes take advance of the little edge that supplements can give them. The rational is, that even if it only gives them an extra edge of say 1%, that may be enough to make the difference, when parts of a millisecond gets them a gold medal in a 100 meter sprint. Or when that 1% adds up and accumulates over the course of an ultra marathon.

Læs mere 5 supplements for CEOs and other business people