Transcendental Meditation | Guide for A Better Living
What is Transcendental Meditation?
Transcendental Meditation (TM) was founded over 50 years ago by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. TM has grown a huge following with celebrities like Russell Brand, Jeff Bridges and Gisele Bundchen practicing it.
TM is a technique for avoiding distractions and entering a state of relaxed awareness. It is a technique derived from the ancient Indian Vedic tradition. TM is unlike other methods of meditation, and it is important to differentiate it from mindfulness.
Mindfulness is about being in the present moment and observing one’s thoughts with no judgement. TM is about experiencing a state of pure awareness without any thoughts to break this experience.
The TM technique requires a person to find a quiet place to sit down with eyes closed, and silently repeats a mantra. A mantra is a word or sound that is used to focus one’s concentration.
It is also known by practitioners that during meditation, one’s mind will also enter a state of pure consciousness.
This state of pure consciousness can be described as perfect stillness, stability, and a space with no mental boundaries.
Most practitioners will sit in a chair with their eyes closed during their session. Each session would last around 20 minutes. One session in the morning and one session later in the day.
Basic Techniques: Using Mantras
How do Transcendental Meditation mantras work? The mantra acts as a point of focus for the mind so that the mind can. Like breath meditation, where one focuses on the breath and allows the mind to follow it.
The Vedic tradition uses old Sanskrit words to allow practitioners to slowly settle into the session. Practitioner’s minds will slowly enter deeper levels of thinking. The mantra brings the person to experience being transcended, and the person’s mind settles into silence. These mantras are not chanted but thought in repetition.
Even though mantras may be Sanskrit words, they don’t have any meaning. If the word had meaning, it would keep the mind attached to the meaning. This would prevent the process of transcending to happen.
The unique part of Sanskrit words is their vibrations. The words have a resonance to them and help to ease the mind off of their thoughts. It helps to bring the mind towards silence.
Some examples of Mantras include:
- AING NAMAH
- SHRI AING NAMAH
- SHRI AING NAMAH NAMAH
When it comes to choosing mantras, each mantra has its own vibrational quality. TM certified instructors will usually help a student choose a specific mantra for them. Although the meaning doesn’t matter, the tone of the mantra will create a certain effect within the meditator’s body. The goal is to find the mantra that will bring in positive energy into his or her body.
Benefits of Transcendental Meditation
There have been hundreds of studies conducted related to Transcendental Meditation over the past 40 years. Here is a list of benefits that it can bring.
- Stress, anxiety and depression relief
- Higher work efficiency
- Healthy blood pressure
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Breaking from addictions
- Improved intelligence
- Better sleep
- Increased work productivity
- Reduced risk of heart attack
Learning Transcendental Meditation
Step-by-step Beginner’s Guide
- Switch off phones and remove all distractions. Find a space where you won’t be disturbed for at least 20 minutes. Use something to time yourself.
- Cross your legs and sit on the floor. Close your eyes and get in a comfortable position.
- According to what your instructor gave you, choose your own mantra. Allow the mantra sound to slowly enter your mind.
- Repeat the mantra in your mind through thought smoothly. Repeat at a frequency that is comfortable and natural for you.
- By now you should have repeated the mantra several times. If you have lost focus on the mantra, slowly bring your attention back to it.
- Continue this repetition for twenty minutes.
- Once the 20 minutes have stopped, stop repeating the mantra, and sit in silence for 2 minutes.
- After the 2 minutes is over you can open your eyes and resume normal activities.
This is just a rough guideline on how to do Transcendental Meditation. If you want proper instruction you reach out to an official TM website. TM.org offers a 4 day course with an instructor. It is a one-on-one course which will cost around $1000.
To get the most out of your learning experience, it is probably best to consult a certified TM instructor. The course will be using exact methods that are what hundreds of studies have been based around. If you want real results and benefits, this is the way to do it.
You may be able to experience results if you practice TM on your own, however, you won’t know if you practicing at your full potential. There are also videos and online courses that can show you how to get results from TM. These may be worth checking out.