I would like to share an incident I have experienced in the TM center of Istanbul / Turkey.
Although I am not a TM practitioner, I practice mindfulness meditation (20 years), yoga (5 years) and am one of the founders of Shamoon. Being familiar with meditative practices, my attention was drawn to TM by a practitioner friend of mine.
Going one step further; she invited me to TM center Istanbul to join a meditation session + conference. My intention was to join the practice doing my own mindfulness meditation and listen to the speech to get familiar with TM.
However, the outcome was quite different. A lady, who is the leader of the center and who knows my friend quite well, dismissed me out of the class because “I was no TM practitioner”. She said that I can watch an introduction video somewhere else, but I can’t join their session.
From my point of view, this is a very rude behavior. I visited countless mosques, churches, yoga centers, meditation centers and other similar places. No matter where I went, people were always very warm and welcoming to visitors, and I was always allowed to silently participate their practices. This is how my understanding of spiritual growth is: Welcoming and open.
But the approach in the TM center was quite different – I was dismissed out, despite the fact that my friend is a regular practitioner and I told about my background very politely.
Nevertheless; me & my friend left the class, partially shocked. Her relatives, who are also TM practitioners, learned about the incident and were very disappointed as well.
I’ve sent an e-mail to the TM headquarters in India to prevent any misdirected prejudices. How should I evaluate the exposed behavior? Is this a personal mistake of a single teacher? Or would I be dismissed like this in any TM central – and why is that necessary? Am I dismissed because I didn’t pay yet, or is there another reason? However, I didn’t get any reply.
End of story.