Cultivating Happiness through the Transcendental Meditation® Program


Cultivating Happiness through the Transcendental Meditation® Program

By Patricia Saunders


A three-part introduction to the book

The great end of all human industry is the attainment of happiness. For this were arts invented, sciences cultivated, laws ordained, and societies modelled by the most profound wisdom of patriots and legislators.

      • – David Hume

Human history over the past 5,000 years has been plagued with wars, famine, natural disasters, and climate change. With all the suffering and misery that these upheavals bring, it is hard to imagine a world where being happy is the norm. Happiness is the quality that makes life worth living and should be the natural birthright of everyone, but it seems this is not the case. Despite the many books giving advice on how to live a happier life, stress, worry, and sadness are on the rise, according to the 2022 World Happiness Report, putting long-lasting happiness out of reach for many. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic affected all of us, bringing with it lockdowns, isolated living, and the unpleasant long-term consequences of the illness, but COVID was not the only cause of the increase in sadness. Sadness has been quietly rising long before the World Happiness Report was first published.

Nowadays, we are at a crossroads in the search for happiness. On the one hand, we have material advantages undreamed of by our ancestors. We have heating and cooling systems, washer-dryers, fast means of travel, and even faster means of communication. On the other hand, we strive to understand how life can have meaning and whether the purpose of life is simply to survive. It is a confusing time, and in the middle of such confusion, something robust is needed to lift us out of the downward spiral of stress, sadness, and isolation. This is where Creating a Happy World can help.

Part I: Understanding happiness

There are two paths to combat sadness and create a happy world. The first is the individual path, where happiness is considered in the light of personal circumstances, which may rotate between sadness and joy; and the second is transforming society to accelerate the experience of happiness for everyone. Thus, Part I of Creating a Happy World begins by looking at the different ways individuals achieve, or try to achieve, happiness. These range from the uncertain happiness of acquiring wealth and power, to reducing stress, developing friendships, the use and misuse of drugs, and eudaimonic behaviors (living what is considered a worthwhile life).

Given the transient nature of some of these routes, Part I takes the reader beyond the problems associated with finding happiness from the outside. Instead, it focuses on a solution that can enrich life from the inside; namely, the Transcendental Meditation technique, a simple, natural, effortless process practiced for 20 minutes twice a day without the need for a change of lifestyle or belief system. Everyone must, of course, be free to find their own way to inner happiness, but this book refers specifically to the Transcendental Meditation technique and its related programs for a very specific reason: it is the only meditation technique so far that published research has shown to positively improve both the quality of individual life and the quality of life for society.

The term “quality of life” can, of course, include comfortable living conditions and a good working environment, but it must also include an increase in well-being, the composite term for happiness, life satisfaction, or emotional well-being, the overall fulfillment we can experience in everyday matters. Thus, an essential message of Creating a Happy World is that, with the program discussed in this book, well-being and fulfillment can be sustained, not just for a few days or weeks, but, with careful nurturing, for a very long time indeed.

Part II: Understanding consciousness

There are many ways for human beings to develop, and Transcendental Meditation practice is one of these ways. It can enrich personal life, but it can also offer answers to universal questions such as: Who am I? Is the universe without ultimate meaning or purpose? Or is it dynamic with a very definite purpose? The answers to these questions are dependent on our ability to think and feel, our state of consciousness in fact, and how we understand consciousness. To put it bluntly, if consciousness did not exist, then neither would happiness, because happiness is bound up with consciousness. 

Thus, Part II examines the phenomenon of consciousness from the perspectives of three streams of philosophy: scientific materialism, dualism, and monism, all of which look for the truths of life and offer their own insights into the big questions. Part II explains how the insights of philosophy and neuroscience are based on the consciousness of the individual perceiver. It also discusses the different stages of human development, from the sensorimotor stage of babyhood to the highest states of consciousness that can be experienced in adulthood. In this light, Creating a Happy World explains that it is possible for human beings to experience an underlying state of inner silence, referred to as Transcendental Consciousness, the Self, the Tao, or Samādhi in the Yoga tradition—and on that basis, grow toward higher states of consciousness and the increasing happiness they bring.

Part III: Peace, the basis of happiness

Creating a Happy World holds that the expansion of very real and deep happiness is the purpose of life and, in Part III, examines the basis of happiness, which is peace, the foundation of tolerance and understanding even in a world of turmoil. But how many people can be happy living amid turmoil and conflict, sometimes violent conflict? Priorities change and desperation to survive is chief among them. Happiness becomes the fleeting joy of a kind word and, for some, the relief of living one more day. In the years to come, many who have endured conflict will suffer from insomnia, fear, grief, and extreme stress. There is not much happiness in a life such as this. Part III asks, therefore, whether a society, a nation, or even the world can arrive at a point where the majority of the population can feel happiness rather than sadness, and peace rather than turmoil.

Based on well-researched evidence, Creating a Happy World maintains that the conventional methods of peace-creation prevailing in the world today do not deal with the root cause of lack of peace. And if they do not deal with the root cause of conflict, then they do not deal with the root cause of unhappiness. In keeping with the premise that the experience of Transcendental Consciousness is profoundly peaceful and the source of human happiness, the book suggests a program that will increase our ability to experience peace, help those around us, and bring greater happiness even to distant people we cannot see. By the time readers have finished this book, the hope is that they will feel more happiness in their own lives, greater belief that life has a purpose, and increased optimism for the future of humanity. And lastly, a personal wish of mine is that Creating a Happy World will encourage more research into the connections between peace, happiness, and a contented world.


According to global reports, sadness is increasing, but with the Transcendental Meditation program, happiness can expand far beyond our current expectations.

Since stress, worry, and sadness appear to be on the rise, Creating a Happy World examines two paths to combat these and create a happy world – the path of the individual, which can be transformed through achieving higher states of consciousness with the Transcendental Meditation program; and the path of society, which can be transformed through the impact of Transcendental Meditation on collective consciousness. By the time readers have finished reading, I hope they will feel more happiness in their own lives, a greater belief that life has a purpose, and increased optimism for the future of humanity.

CREATING A HAPPY WORLD: Cultivating Happiness through the Transcendental Meditation® Program

By Patricia Saunders is available from or from wherever books are sold.