What is Transcendental Meditation? The Best Techniques

The practice of Transcendental Meditation1 was introduced by the acclaimed yoga guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1918-2008) in 1955, and it became a widespread universal sensation by the 1960s. This meditation technique is still utilized today, attributed to the various health benefits, especially in cardiovascular health, that it offers.

In the current times, it’s popularly referred to as the TM technique rather than Transcendental Meditation.

What is Transcendental Meditation?
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So, what is ‘Transcendental Meditation’?

In simple terms, Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a meditation practice where you can reach higher levels of consciousness 2and awareness. It could also help lower your anxiety within minutes and enhance your health in the long term. Many people who have practiced this technique for years have applauded it for its simple nature and has made them more content with life.

The Transcendental Meditation Technique is to be performed two times a day, and it’s generally recommended to practice it for twenty minutes. You don’t need a particular setting to perform this. You just need to be sitting comfortably in a quiet place.

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It is believed that you can heal your body through this technique through daily practice. Research has proven that it has many creative advantages and benefits to your health. It can sharpen your focus and get you energized. It has been shown to have greatly reduced stress and blood pressure in its practitioners.

One thing that makes transcendental meditation (TM) different from other forms, such as mindfulness meditation3, is that you’re not forced to concentrate on anything actively.

You have to let your mind transcend into higher levels of consciousness by itself, as it is believed to be its natural path. If you’re new to the meditation journey, curious about the different types you can explore, this guide might help you out.

A certified TM teacher would typically give you a mantra to repeat in your mind during this meditation. Still, since that is confidential information, you can repeat any mantra you’d like from the various free resources you can find online or book a session for yourself at your local Transcendental Meditation center.

Here’s a video of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi explaining the mechanics of this technique in simple terms at Lake Louise, Canada, 1968.

Transcendental Meditation: Mechanics of the Technique (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi)

How did Transcendental Meditation (TM) gain popularity?

In this day and age, almost everyone is familiar with the concept of meditation and the various benefits it offers. Now, how did Maharishi Mahesh Yogi spread his teaching of Transcendental Meditation to such heights that it’s still practiced worldwide?

Publicized support from influential celebrities

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After learning the technique from his master, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi began touring around Asia initially while spreading his teachings but aimed to extend it to the wider world. It is believed that most of the popularity for this meditation practice came in the late 1960s, especially after the involvement of the iconic rock band The Beatles, who came to learn it in India in 1968.

Many other celebrities helped spread this technique around the west, one of the prominent ones being the Beach Boys. Mike Love, one of the vocalists of the Beach Boys, was an avid practitioner of TM and even became a certified TM teacher later in 1971.

It is impossible to overlook the involvement of such prominent names which accelerated the teaching of transcendental meditation. These rockstars, which had large numbers of dedicated fans worldwide, being practitioners of TM, drew heavy media attention, which further spread the Transcendental Meditation Movement.

World Plan Executive Council (WPEC)

Although Maharishi never claimed to have any legal connections to WPEC, this council was set up to spread TM all around the world and eradicate the rage and greed-induced behavior in society.

WPEC faced controversy in 1985 and ended up getting sued by a former instructor on an account that it had “failed to show promised results.” Most of the later issues, in that case, ended up getting settled out of court, and the council has been lowkey since then.

Even in the wake of a controversy like that, it didn’t stop people from exploring more about the TM practice.

In the present time, the Maharishi foundation continues to spread the power of TM by continually regulating its teaching institutions all around the world.

How can you practice Transcendental Meditation the right way?

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One of the main reasons TM became so successful and widespread is its simplistic nature and how easy it was for anybody to practice it daily.

What is transcendental meditation? The word ‘transcendent’ means something beyond the limits of normal human experience. This meditation technique aims to help your mind settle down and ease your mental aches while simultaneously healing your physical being. TM aims to bring inner calm and serenity to your life.

Certified TM teachers and TM organizations

The most popular method of practicing TM is from a trained teacher or a TM organization. There are plenty of TM organizations around the United States and other nations due to its immense popularity. It would be easier to find a certified teacher as many TM practitioners often choose this path after years following this technique.

Learning TM through these authorized institutions and people is the right path to begin your journey to inner peace. These teachers go through a five-month residential training period and have years of experience with TM before getting their certification.

This particular question often hinders beginners from TM: If it’s so simple, why do we need to learn it from a certified source rather than from books, videos, or blogs online?

Many long-term TM followers will advise you to enroll in a Transcendental Meditation program and perform the meditation session under the guidance of a teacher. They firmly believe that authentic TM can be taught only by those who have undergone proper training.

The long-term followers of Maharishi believe that the only way you can unlock the maximum potential of TM is with the help of a certified teacher. So if you’re looking to experience the benefits of TM for yourself, it’s recommended to check out the authorized resources near you.

Benefits of Transcendental Meditation

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Meditation practices are followed by millions of people worldwide daily. As time passed, different meditation techniques have proven to help people, so that traditional medicine and medical professionals have failed to do so.

This is mainly observed in people who are battling stress and anxiety in their daily lives. Many people believe that meditation is a far better option than dabbling in drugs to treat their anxiety-related disorders. Although, there is no scientific research that proves one is definitely better than the other.

What makes Transcendental Meditation different from other forms of meditation?

Many factors make TM different from other various forms of meditation. One of the important things is that you don’t have to ‘believe’ in anything to perform TM. As it is not completely religious in nature nor does it require strict concentration, it is open for anybody to try and reap its benefits.

You can perform TM anywhere as long as it’s a place where you can sit comfortably in silence. It is a mantra-based meditation but unlike other practices, you don’t have to say it out loud nor ‘believe’ in what you’re saying. The mantra which will be given to you by your teacher is technically just a sound as the main goal of it is to bring your mind to perfect stillness.

Proven benefits of Transcendental Meditation

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Ever since TM rose to popularity in the 1960s, many studies have been conducted to study its results on its followers.

The official website of TM has linked various researches conducted by Standford medicine, Harvard medical school, and many other research institutions which have proven the effectiveness of this technique on reducing stress and anxiety prominently.

It is also said to have improved cardiovascular health in its followers with regular practice and brings overall peace to your mental state. Due to such promising results, people who begin this technique end up practicing Transcendental Meditation for a long period of time and make it a part of their daily lives.

Improved cardiovascular health

Many studies regarding TM’s usefulness have been done, out of which we have observed a significant change in subjects who suffer from high blood pressure.

As TM proclaims to calm an individual and reduce stress overall in their daily lives, it has been widely recommended to individuals who suffer from hypertension. It could also reduce your chances of getting any heart-related disease or a stroke.

Depression, PTSD, and anxiety relief

The goal of TM is to ‘transcend’ your mind and body so you can experience the relaxing effects of achieving heightened levels of consciousness. TM can work as a powerful alternative medicine to individuals who are burdened by persistent anxiety and stress in their everyday lives.

Long-term followers of TM have conveyed an improved change in their mental health. Studies have shown a positive change in individuals who suffer from burnouts, clinical depression, psychological distress, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic anxiety.

As TM calms your body and mind, it significantly improves the quality of your lifestyle. With regular practice of TM, you’ll find your focus getting sharper and finding an overall optimistic outlook on life. TM also stirs your creative intelligence as you become prone to generating new ideas with a clearer, healthier mind.

Transcendental meditation in the current age

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People often neglect the prospect of including meditation practice in their lives as they believe they don’t have that kind of time in their schedule. But in fact, these kinds of people are the ones who should be practicing TM daily.

Now individuals often think that because they are already stressed with the number of things they have to do or the things they’re going through, so they’re skeptical about wasting time over something that they believe might not work for them.

There are many people who never believed in any meditation techniques but have been believing in TM practice for years. This is because of the perk that you don’t have to believe in it to enjoy its benefits. TM practice has been known to boost self-esteem and offer deep rest in the long term.

From entrepreneurs to celebrities, there are varieties of people in different professions who take time off their busy lives to practice the TM technique. Even after decades, TM is one of the most powerful and popular forms of meditation practices4 carried out worldwide.

Many prominent figures have gushed about how beneficial TM has become in their lives. Celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Clint Eastwood, Cameron Diaz, Oprah Winfrey, Ivanka Trump, Lena Dunham, Katy Perry, Hugh Jackman, and Tom Brady are some of the ones who have praised it.

David Lynch Foundation

David Lynch, a popular filmmaker, has been very vocal regarding his support for transcendental meditation. He is the one who established the famed David Lynch Foundation in 2005 which aimed to fund university scholarships for students who were interested in learning TM.

This foundation also funded Transcendental meditation research associations and believed that this is what the youth needed in the current stressful generation. David has practiced TM since 1973 and continues to do so in the present time as he believes the Transcendental Meditation technique has the true potential to unlock high levels of creativity, a higher state of consciousness,5 and happiness.

Bob Roth serves as the CEO of David’s foundation and he is a certified TM teacher with years of experience. He has taught the TM technique to many celebrities, school students, and even homeless people through David’s foundation.

Take a step closer to improving the quality of your life

Transcendental Meditation began as a spiritual movement in the 1960s and delved into a huge organization, with millions of followers worldwide, with a focus on bringing inner peace and calm to all who are willing to try it out and gain its benefits.

  1. Balaji, P. A., Smitha R. Varne, and Syed Sadat Ali. “Physiological effects of yogic practices and transcendental meditation in health and disease.” North American journal of medical sciences 4.10 (2012): 442. ↩︎
  2. Bayne, Tim, Jakob Hohwy, and Adrian M. Owen. “Are there levels of consciousness?.” Trends in cognitive sciences 20.6 (2016): 405-413. ↩︎
  3. Eberth, Juliane, and Peter Sedlmeier. “The effects of mindfulness meditation: a meta-analysis.” Mindfulness 3.3 (2012): 174-189. ↩︎
  4. Ivanovski, Belinda, and Gin S. Malhi. “The psychological and neurophysiological concomitants of mindfulness forms of meditation.” Acta neuropsychiatrica 19.2 (2007): 76-91. ↩︎
  5. Ludwig, Arnold M. “Altered states of consciousness.” Archives of general Psychiatry 15.3 (1966): 225-234. ↩︎

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