Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a type of meditation where people relax their minds by repeating special words repeatedly in silence. This kind of technique is used to avoid distracting thoughts and then promote a condition of relaxed awareness. It comes from the ancient Indian Vedic tradition and was brought to the United States by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the ‘60s.
What are the Benefits of Transcendental Meditation?
A few studies have revealed that traditional meditation may reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, anxiety, chronic pain, and the need for health care. Meditation in the form of TM, as in other forms, is usually safe and can improve the quality of life of people. However, experts are of agreement that meditation must not be used as a sole treatment method for any specific health problem, or in place of traditional medical care.
As per a few reports, meditation may lead to or worsen symptoms in individuals with some types of psychiatric problems. In case you suffer from an existing mental ailment, consult your physician before you initiate TM. Also, inform your meditation teacher about your problem.
How is it Performed?
When people practice Transcendental Meditation, they sit in a comfortable posture with their eyes closed and repeating a mantra or verse silently. They chant a sound or word that is derived from the Vedic tradition and is used for focusing concentration. During Transcendental Meditation, the standard thought process gets ‘transcended’. A state of pure consciousness replaces it. In such a state, people performing meditation reach an ideal state of order, stability, rest, stillness, and no mental limitation.
If you wish to practice TM, the first step is to look for a certified instructor. You can learn TM from many places and from over 40,000 teachers across the globe. As compared to some other types of meditation, this method needs a 7-step instructional course from a teacher who is certified.
This practice includes sitting with eyes closed for 20 minutes in a chair, two times every day while chanting the mantra again and again in silence. Typically, every day starts with a meditation in the morning. The second session is conducted in the mid-afternoon or sometime during the early evening.
Transcendental Meditation Session
During a session of Transcendental Meditation, a teacher presents usual information about the method and its impacts during an introductory lecture going on for an hour. This is followed by another lecture for 45 minutes where more specific details are given. Those who are interested to learn the method may attend an interview that spans 10 to 15 minutes and personal instruction for 1 – 2 hours. After a short ceremony, each of them is given a mantra that he or she is supposed to keep a secret.
Next, the teacher checks for 3 days whether the students perform the steps correctly. Instruction is imparted for 1 – 2 hours more. In such sessions, teachers do the following:
- Explain the steps in more detail
- Offer corrections if required
- Offer info about the advantages of regular practice
In the following few months, the teacher meets the practitioners regularly and make sure that the technique is performed in the correct way.
TM is practiced by people 2 times every day for 15 – 20 minutes. This generally means once prior to breakfast in the morning and once before dinner in the afternoon.
Practitioners of Transcendental Meditation do not have to strain or make tiring efforts to perform the steps. They do not need to contemplate or even concentrate. Rather, students are asked to breathe in a normal manner and concentrate their attention only on the mantra.
For Mindfulness meditation: Read here
For a beautiful and engrossing of Om Chanting, checkout this Meditation Music Video on Youtube.