Suiting the Meditation Technique to the Person

Dr. Patricia Carrington’s award winning meditation technique CSM (Clinically Standardized Meditation) is a clinically sensitive meditation method developed by the Medical Department of New York Telephone Company and used by numerous medical institutions, organizations, and individuals worldwide. For information click here.

Tips for Success in Meditating

Patricia Carrington, Ph.D.

Author of “The Book of Meditation

While the permissive forms of practical meditation work for a surprising number of people, some people are unable to adapt to them. Permissive forms of meditation such as CSM or TM may be too ‘free’ for these people. If so, practicing them can increase their anxiety level, rather than reduce it. Not everyone wants or needs maximum flexibility in their meditative technique. On a questionnaire given out at Princeton University on meditation practices, college students gave interesting opinions when asked to evaluate various meditation and relaxation techniques:

Zazen meditation was very interesting. I think it provided a necessary alternative to TM. Sometimes TM is too free and open – a more rigorous meditation is necessary.

My easy-going mantra meditation technique may not have been as effective for me since I’m an ordered, logical individual who may have needed a more structured method.

I think progressive relaxation suits my character better than mantra meditation. I’m a fairly nervous person and progressive relaxation does more to relax me on a physical level.

Clearly the wrong meditation technique can create difficulty. One patient of mine was unable even to talk about learning TM without becoming anxious. Many of her friends were practicing TM successfully and although she ‘wanted’ to learn it, she had an obsessive fear of losing control during meditation. Since she was unable to contemplate going to the TM center with her friends, I decided to try teaching her CSM. Despite my attempts to teach her in a quiet, non-forcing manner, however, she was unable to meditate without becoming more anxious than she was before trying and was particularly worried about meditating ‘incorrectly’.


How CSM was Developed

Dr. Patricia Carrington shares how and why she developed Clinically Standardized Meditation, which she first taught to Princeton University students. You will learn about the elimination of the secret mantra, how the basic list of mantras was created, and other adjustments that were made to create CSM.

We did not try meditation again until a year had passed and she had shown considerable progress in her adjustment to many aspects of life. Since she still kept saying that she longed to be able to ‘meditate’, I decided to teach her Benson’s method –meditators using Benson’s method or any of the other breath meditations can always tell whether they are doing it ‘correctly’.

Teaching her this method turned out to be quite effective. She preferred Benson’s to a more open-ended approach, although she could not practice even this form of meditation for longer than three minutes and ended up using it only for ‘mini-meditations’ when she felt tense.

While the art of suiting the meditative technique to a particular person in their present stage of development is as yet unexplored, it may well be one of the most important areas for future investigation.






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