Transcendental meditation was introduced by Maharishi Mahesh yogi in 1950 and it quickly gained popularity owing to its impact on quality of life and health benefits. Studies suggest practicing transcendental meditation(widely known as TM) not only relieves stress but improves heart health, increase energy levels and boost creativity.
TM is an effortless technique as compared to other meditation methods as it does not require one to focus on breathing, visualizing or clearing the mind. It’s perfect for beginners and those who struggle with other meditation techniques.
TM is mantra based meditation, as in a small word with no specific meaning is need to be repeated silently in the mind.
Why a mantra with no meaning?
Scientific studies suggest that if a meaningful word is chanted the mind focuses on its meaning but a word with no meaning becomes just an object of focus. Thus it’s easier for the mind to reach deeper level of awareness and connect with inner most self.
Then how is TM different from mantra meditation?
In mantra mediation one is required to chant the mantra verbally and the focus is sustained on it. But TM is a silent practice with gentle focus on mantra to let the mind awaken at a subconscious level. Another difference is, mantras in mantra meditation have meaning and might have religious framework at times. Whereas mantras in TM are simple sounds with no religious context at all. TM is a secular practice.
TMs uniqueness lies in its teaching method as each student gets a tailor made mantra and the progress is monitored over time.
Transcendental meditation is also quite popular among celebrities like Jerry Seinfeld, Hugh jackman, Jenifer Aniston, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah, Cameron Diaz to name just a few(another great reason to try TM 🙂 )
I got more and more happiness in the doing of things,ideas seemed to flow more freely.David Lynch on TM
How to practice transcendental meditation
There are two ways to begin TM practice. First way is to enroll in a certified TM center near you. Wherein a qualified TM coach will analyze, observe you, ask questions and based on their observations a mantra will be assigned to you.
You need to chant the mantra silently in the mind without sharing it with fellow practitioners. Enrolling in a center is a great way to learn the correct technique and benefit from it. Though few people state that the meditation experience in a center also depends on how good or qualified the teacher is.
Second way is to practice it at home with the basics elaborated below.( That’s how i practice it). 20 minutes twice a day is recommended, once after waking up and once before bedtime.
- Sit comfortably without distractions(don’t be so comfortable that you fall asleep).
- Set a timer for 15-20 minutes.
- Close your eyes and relax for a minute or two to prepare the mind for meditation.
- Now chant a mantra quietly in the mind. ( for example repeat shri, shrim, iem or any such word with no meaning). source1
- At the end, stop chanting the mantra and relax for a minute before opening the eyes.
- Beginners can start practicing 10-15 minutes twice day and gradually increase the time.
Benefits of transcendental meditation technique
Studies indicate long term TM practice has following benefits
- Lower blood pressure
- Stress relief
- Enhanced creativity
- Higher energy levels and vitality
- Deeper self-awareness.
- Clarity of thought
- Improved heart health
- More productivity
- Better sleep quality
- Higher chances of getting rid of addictions such as tobacco and alcohol.
A clear mind and high energy level boost happiness by improving personal as well as professional life. In the long run TM practice makes one happier and vibrant. It also helps in managing stressful situations and reduce negative emotions.
The greatest gift you have to give, is that of your self-transformationLao Tzu
Transcendental meditation has immense benefits and a simple technique. But any meditation method makes one more compassionate and empathetic. On a general level the mind becomes calm, there are numerous health benefits thereby quality of life improves. Give TM and other methods a try, you will know what suits you. Practice everyday to bring positive changes in your life.
In today’s world our mind is occupied with numerous tasks, it’s imperative to spend at least 40 minutes a day to self-connect and work on clarity of thought to stay sane and happy.
Disclaimer-I’m not a certified coach, the post is based on my meditation experience and research. Meditation is not a cure for psychiatric disorders