Ann Purcell relates the following account that occurs during meditation:
“My experience of stillness, or transcendental consciousness, has become vast and universal, often blazing with intensely brilliant, even blinding, light. Words cannot even begin to describe the intensity of bliss and the tenderness of emotions that not only swell in my heart, but penetrate into every pore of my being. Is this an experience of God? I don’t know if it is God for sure, but I can definitely say without a doubt it is the ‘Kingdom of Heaven within.’
Again, it is important to emphasize that this experience is not based on any particular religious belief but is a purely spiritual experience that anyone can enjoy, no matter what their religious background, beliefs, or lack thereof.”
[in Ann Purcell, The Transcendental Meditation Technique and the Journey of Enlightenment, (Green Dragon Publishing Group, 2015).]
Some similarities to Joseph Smith’s First Vision seem to include:
- A profound light with particular qualities:
- Vastness, encompassing everything
- Blazing, as if on fire
- Intense and brilliant
- Blinding in its extreme brightness
- The experience being intensely emotional, leaving one feeling joyful, blissful
- An intuitive feeling that one has experienced God
- Certainty (realness) of the divine character of the experience
- Experienced outside of any formal religious system
Transcendental Meditation (TM) is just one of many different forms and techniques of meditation. It focuses on mantras. Another well known method is vipassana meditation, which often focuses on one’s own breath.
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