If you cannot fall asleep in the night, if you suffer from sleeplessness, then methods like Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Transcendental Meditation are perfectly good. That method has nothing to do with meditation; it is neither meditation nor transcendental. It is simply a non-medicinal tranquilizer.
It is good as far as it can bring sleep and can do it without any drug ¯ I appreciate it ¯ but it has nothing to do with meditation. You can repeat your own name again and again and you don't need to pay a fee to anybody and you don't need any initiation. Just repeat your own name; repeat it fast so that nothing else enters your mind, only your name resounds. Repeat it loudly inside so that from your toes to the head it is resounding inside. Soon you will get bored, fed up. And that is the moment when you start falling asleep because there seems to be no other escape.
All mothers know it. It is one of the most ancient methods women have been using on their children. They didn't call it Transcendental Meditation; they used to call it a 'lullaby.' The child tosses and turns, but the mother goes on repeating the same line again and again. Finding no other escape outside, the child escapes inside; that means he falls asleep. He says, 'I am so fed up that unless I fall asleep, this woman is not going to stop.' And soon he learns: the moment he falls asleep the woman stops, so it becomes a conditioning; then it becomes a conditioned reflex. Slowly slowly, the woman just repeats the line one or two times and the child is fast asleep.
This you can do to yourself. It is a process of auto-hypnosis; good as far as sleep is concerned but it has nothing to do with meditation. In fact, it is just the opposite of meditation, because meditation brings awareness and this method brings sleep. Hence I appreciate it as a technique for sleep, but I am totally against it if it is taught to people as a method of meditation.