Meditation practices continue to grow in popularity all over the world. It is rapidly becoming a recognized practice in western culture and the treatment of physical and mental health issues.

While there are many types of meditation, Transcendental meditation is one of the most well-known and possibly the most famous types of meditation in the west. It is one of the effective approaches for overcoming stress, anxiety, chronic pain, and for preventing relapse for depression.

What is Transcendental Meditation?

Transcendental meditation is a technique of mantra meditation that has been introduced to the western world from the ancient Vedic teachings. It reflects the sound of all vibrations combined both positive and negative. It can be practiced everywhere by everyone. A mantra for transcendental meditation is nothing but a meaningless sound with positiveness. This technique uses a word, sound, or short phrase – that is repeated loudly or silently, to focus the mind and concentration.

Transcendental Meditation

A basic principle of Transcendental meditation is that the selection of the mantra for a specific individual is extremely significant. The mantras can be different for different person and those who complete training programs are generally assigned mantras based on their characteristic. And how mantra is selected is shrouded in considerable secrecy.

The actual process of Transcendental Meditation involves concentration on the mantra as the meditator repeats it in his/her mind. It is concentrated gently rather than forcefully so that effortful concentration is avoided. It is a practice for evading distracting thoughts and promoting a state of relaxed awareness.

Transcendental meditation (TM) was first introduced by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a prolific teacher, and writer, and the founder of the Transcendental Meditation organization from the ancient Vedic tradition in India in the 1950s. Then it was brought to the world in the 1960s. It has been passed over from generation to generation. Maharishi Yogi taught the technique all over the world to spread its movement, touching anyone from politicians to the Beatles.

Many distinguished celebrities such as Russell Brand, Hugh Jackman, Jerry Seinfeld, and Ellen Degeneres publicly stated that transcendental meditation changed their lives. The famous movie director David Lynch even created a foundation to help spread this practice around the world.

The basic practice of Transcendental Meditation does not require special posture or physical activities. It is most often practiced twice a day, seated in a comfortable position, with the eyes closed for 20 minutes. This induces profound rest in the body and mind. A mantra is spiritually repeated to attain a state of inner peacefulness and bodily calm. The mantra makes it relaxed to go inward and settle the mind while quieting the stress, leading to a deep state of relaxation. It has been passed down over thousands of years and is known as a simple, natural, and effortless technique that enables the mind and body to access a special quality of rest.  It is a scientific practice for the growth of full mental potential and restoration of normal health.

Some meditation practices boost emptying the mind of all thoughts, while transcendental meditation boosts thoughts to come and go, like the passive activity of watching a cloud float by. It involves no concentration, contemplation, suggestion away from thoughts. No specific cramped posture is required. It is practiced simply in a comfortable position with eyes closed. Similarly, it is not time – consuming and the result is almost immediate. It is the most scientifically authentic technique.

Who can practice/learn TM?

Transcendental meditation can be learned by anyone regardless of age, gender, and level of education. It does not require any change in belief, food habits, or lifestyle. It is not a religion. It’s a technique that millions of people of all religions, practice.

How Does It Work?

Transcendental meditation is extremely easy and is practiced silently and effortlessly thinking a mantra or sound. Since there is no training involved in learning this meditation, it makes it much easier for the individual. Most probably the meditation is learned on your own. There is no effort in learning or doing this meditation. As it is a simple process practiced by closing eyes sitting in a comfortable position. This practice includes the utilization of a mantra and is done for 15- 20 minutes twice a day. That’s the basic technique, which is quite simple.

Steps of Transcendental meditation

  • Find a quiet place.
  • Sit in a comfortable position.
  • Close your eyes, take deep breathes and relax the body.
  • Open your eyes
  • Try to keep your focus on the mantra either in your mind or out loud.
  • Keep repeating the mantra over and over again for at least 15-20 minutes
  • Slowly open your eyes
  • Keep sitting for a minute
  • Slowly begin to move and get up

Benefits of Transcendental Meditation

There are many proven benefits of meditation in general,  some of the common benefits of Transcendental meditation according to the Maharshi foundation are:

  • Reduced Stress and anxiety
  • Decreased depression
  • Increase peak performance
  • Healthy blood pressure
  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Higher work efficiency
  • Improved intelligence
  • Normalizes metabolic syndrome and diabetes
  • Lower hypertension
  • Boosts the immune system
(Last Updated On: September 9, 2021)