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Transcendental meditation is a technique of mental relaxation that involves repeating a Mantra silently for about 20 minutes twice a day. It is one of the most widely practised and researched forms of meditation, with over six million practitioners worldwide and more than 600 scientific studies validating its benefits. But what is the deeper Purpose of transcendental meditation, and how does it relate to Self-transcendence and the journey to find true-self? In this article, we will explore the origins and principles of transcendental meditation, its effects on the brain and the body, and its potential to help us transcend our limitations and discover our true nature.
History of transcendental meditation
Transcendental meditation (TM) is a technique of mental relaxation and Awareness that was introduced by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the late 1950s. TM is based on the ancient Vedic tradition of India, which teaches that there is a field of pure consciousness that underlies all creation. TM practitioners claim that by repeating a Mantra (a sound or word) silently in their mind, they can access this field and experience a state of transcendence, where the mind is calm and alert, and the body is deeply rested.
The history of TM can be traced back to the teachings of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, who was the Shankaracharya (spiritual leader) of Jyotir Math, one of the four main monasteries of the Hindu tradition of Advair Vedanta. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was one of his disciples, and after his death in 1953, he travelled around India and other countries to spread his message of peace and enlightenment. He founded the Spiritual Regeneration Movement in 1957, which later became the Transcendental Meditation movement.
Made famous by the Beatles
In the 1960s and 1970s, TM gained popularity in the West, especially after Maharishi met with celebrities such as the Beatles, who learned TM and visited his ashram in Rishikesh, India. TM also attracted scientific interest, as many studies were conducted to measure its effects on health, psychology, and physiology. Some of the reported benefits of TM include reduced Stress, improved blood pressure, enhanced creativity, and increased happiness.
TM has also been associated with various social and educational initiatives, such as the World Peace Assembly, which aims to create a positive influence on world affairs through group meditation; the Maharishi University of Management, which offers a curriculum based on consciousness-based education; and the Global Country of World Peace, which is a non-governmental organization that promotes world Harmony through Vedic principles.
TM is currently practised by millions of people around the world, from different cultures, religions, and backgrounds. It is taught by certified teachers who have undergone extensive training and follow a standardized procedure. TM is not a Religion or a philosophy, but a simple and natural technique that anyone can learn and enjoy.
This short video explains the basics of the technique
Detailed explanation of the technique
Transcendental meditation is a technique of mental relaxation that involves repeating a Mantra silently in one’s mind for 15 to 20 minutes twice a day. The Mantra is a word or sound that has no specific Meaning, but helps to calm the mind and transcend the ordinary thoughts and feelings that may cause Stress or Anxiety. Transcendental meditation is based on the ancient Vedic tradition of India, but does not require any religious belief or affiliation. It can be learned from a certified teacher who assigns a suitable Mantra to each individual.
The benefits of transcendental meditation include improved physical and mental health, increased creativity and intelligence, enhanced Self-awareness and happiness, and reduced Negative emotions and behaviours. Transcendental meditation can also help to develop higher states of consciousness, such as Bliss, peace, and enlightenment. Many scientific studies have confirmed the positive effects of transcendental meditation on various aspects of life, such as blood pressure, heart rate, brain activity, immune system, and ageing.
To practice transcendental meditation, one needs to find a comfortable and quiet place where they will not be disturbed. They should sit with their eyes closed and gently start repeating their Mantra in their mind. They should not try to control or analyse their thoughts, but simply let them come and go naturally. Furthermore, they should not force or strain their attention, but rather allow it to settle on the Mantra effortlessly. They should continue this process for 15 to 20 minutes, then open their eyes slowly and resume their normal activities.
This video fully explains how to perform the technique
Example use cases
Transcendental meditation has been shown to have many benefits for physical and mental health, such as reducing Stress, improving sleep quality, enhancing creativity, and boosting immunity.
Some example use cases of transcendental meditation are:
- A busy professional who wants to cope with the demands and pressures of work and life. By practising transcendental meditation twice a day for 20 minutes, they can experience more calmness, clarity, and productivity throughout the day. They can also enjoy better relationships with their colleagues, clients, and family members.
- A student who wants to improve their academic performance and well-being. By practising transcendental meditation regularly, they can enhance their memory, concentration, and learning ability. They can also reduce Anxiety, fatigue, and Emotional distress that may interfere with their studies.
- A senior citizen who wants to maintain their physical and mental vitality. By practising transcendental meditation daily, they can slow down the ageing process and prevent or reverse some of the common age-related diseases. They can also increase their happiness, optimism, and Social connectedness.
Here are some weblinks to research outputs that demonstrate the benefits of TM:
Transcendental Meditation and Its Many Benefits – Verywell Mind – https://www.verywellmind.com/transcendental-meditation-and-its-many-benefits-4159899
Transcendental Meditation(R): Technique & Benefits – Cleveland Clinic – https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/17951-transcendental-meditation
Transcendental Meditation: Benefits, How to, Resources, and More – Healthline – https://www.healthline.com/health/transcendental-meditation