Transcendental Meditation

BOOK REVIEW: Transcendence by Dr Norman E. Rosenthal

Just a few decades ago it seemed humorous to the scientific community that shorter winter days could make a person feel blue.

Nowadays anyone working in the field of mental health knows about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and patients who would otherwise suffer from mysterious debilitating depression each winter find relief in light therapy.


DR. NORM: Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dr. Rosenthal is today a world-renowned psychiatrist working at Gerogetown University (over 200 scholarly articles), and author of eight popular books. “My patients have inspired my research, and my research has inspired my writing,” he says.

Dr Rosenthal, a compassionate pioneer

We own this shift in knowledge to Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D, a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health for twenty years.

With his book, Transcendence published in its first edition in 2011, Dr. Rosenthal continues to undertake pioneering work in his field in order to alleviate human suffering.

Transcendence: Healing and Transformation through Transcendental Meditation is, essentially, Dr. Rosenthal’s analysis of how and why the practice of Transcendental Meditation can help people with various mental health problems.

Transcending the confused mind

His discussion includes not only conditions familiar to every one of us – stress, anxiety – but also more serious problems affecting millions like bipolar disorder, depression, anger, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and drug-, alcohol-, sex-, and nicotine addiction.

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AWARD WINNER: In 2012, Transcendence won the prestigious Nautilus Book Award, a “major” book award which has previously been conferred to such prominent authors as Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, Barbara Kingsolver, Thich Nhat Hanh, Amy Goodman, Charles, Prince of Wales and Desmund Tutu.

One of the striking features of the book is the empowering empathy with which Dr.  Rosenthal talks about the people with given health issues. It cannot but make the reader become more understanding of other humans and their anguish.

In addition, of course, there is all the neat science – explained simply yet not watered down to the degree of becoming trivial.

Dr. Rosenthal writes about the benefits of Transcendental Meditation in different environments ranging from maximum security prisons to inner-city schools, from Wall Street to Hollywood. Essentially, this is book about human condition in the modern world.

But unlike the existentialists, Dr. Norman Rosenthal sees light at the end of the tunnel.

“Even after meditating for years, studying the many peer-reviewed articles that show physical and mental benefits for Transcendental Meditation, and writing a book on the subject, I am still astonished that this ancient technique can do many things that elude even our most sophisticated drugs,” he says.

“It has often occurred to me that if Transcendental Meditation could be put into a capsule and marketed like a pharmaceutical, it would be a billion dollar blockbuster.”

WATCH VIDEOS: Dr Norman Rosenthal talks about research on the benefits of meditating: