You’ve heard of focused attention, visualization, and other forms of meditation. These techniques are popularly used to improve relaxation and massage the mind. But have you heard of Transcendental meditation? Maybe yes. Or maybe not. Not to worry, we’ll break it all down for you.
As you must have noticed, the big celebrities are all in. Transcendental Meditation is becoming more popular by the day. But what exactly is it? The Beatles are credited with popularizing it after catching fire on a trip to India in the 60s. But they are not the originators.
However, many people are wary of being swayed by another one of those cults, especially since it involves selective mantras. Well, we can let those who have practiced it tell us more.
Studies into the practice of Transcendental Meditation have revealed that practicing it relaxes the mind, dissolves negative energy, neutralizes toxic emotions, and shows positive results in addressing conditions such as stress, anxiety, and fear.
It is also believed to improve cognitive function and boost learning and memory.
The founder of Transcendental Meditation is Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. His theory is that “words create waves of vibrations, and the quality of vibration of a mantra should correspond to the vibrational quality of the individual” is the basis on which the practice revolves.
By sounding mantras that resonate with a person’s state, practitioners can achieve a state of more excellent balance and health.
What is Transcendental Meditation?
When you need to achieve a state of total relaxed awareness and clear your mind of any distractions, you can use Transcendental Meditation.
The technique, brought to the United States by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 60s, brings about a state of perfect stillness, stability, rest, and clearing of all kinds of mental barriers.
Commonly abbreviated as TM, Transcendental Meditation is a technique that involves practicing a special kind of meditation that is done with the eyes closed for twenty minutes twice a day.
TM is practiced in a comfortable sitting posture and involves using a personal mantra. Transcendental Meditation always wants the participants to find a way to return to the mantra whenever their minds stray away during the meditation.
Although the technique has been with us since the 60s, it has only recently started becoming quite popular. One of the reasons is that advocates of TM believe that the technique has not only health benefits but also excellent stress-reducing capabilities.
However, according to practitioners, its most terrific selling point is its ability to allow for the attainment of a deeper state of consciousness.
The procedure may look quite complex on paper, but it is straightforward. It is so easy that it is often referred to as an effortless relaxation process accompanied by spontaneous imagery and emotion.
At the core of the Transcendental Meditation is the mantra. A mantra is an utterance that is spoken during meditation and is believed to possess mystic, spiritual, or even healing powers.
It could be in the form of words, sounds, or just a syllable, but most times, they are just sounds that don’t mean anything in particular but have their value in the ability of the sound to transport the student as a vehicle into a relaxed setting.
The mantra is what tunes the individual’s mind away from distractions until the state of perfect tranquility is achieved. As long as the practitioner is seated in a comfortable position, the mantra can be recited.
Except you are a practitioner of TM, you are not likely to know the sounds of any of the mantras. Practitioners are encouraged to jealously guard them to retain their potency and are not diluted by false teachings.
There is no universal mantra for practitioners of Transcendental Meditation, and it is believed, as would be seen later, that each student is assigned a specific mantra by the certified TM instructor, which is expected to suit that particular need and way of life.
Thus, students are not advised to choose any mantra for its sake, as it may not synchronize with their thoughts and meditation level. The mantra that would work for a mother of four children may not fit a 20-year-old basketball player.
However, getting assigned a mantra may be expensive as students have to sign up for courses before instructors provide them. A more straightforward way would be to develop a mantra by oneself, most preferably a sound that sounds right to the mind and can be hummed for the period of the meditation.
You can also come across age-based mantras on the internet that are recommended to be chanted during the TM procedure.
Trained Transcendental Meditation instructors know how to ask the correct questions before choosing the proper mantra for the students. As trained specialists, they know how to get the appropriate mantras for each person.
According to many scientific papers and research, TM is known to provide a kind of therapy for the brain and deep relaxation for the entire body in a way that other meditation procedures have been unable to do.
So, in summary, Transcendental meditation is a simple process in which the practitioner chants a specific mantra quietly for about twenty minutes, twice a day, in a comfortable sitting position, with the eyes firmly shut.
Is Transcendental Meditation Difficult for Beginners?
As a beginner, if you know the benefits of meditation and want to try out Transcendental Meditation, you may be fearful of what the procedure has in stock.
Because the procedure isn’t as straightforward as other types of meditations, it is believed that it may be a bit complex for beginners. However, you need not fear if you contemplate trying out Transcendental Meditation for the first time. This is because it is safe, simple, and easy to learn.
Also, the process is led by guides and teachers who are always more than willing to put you through any questions you may have about the procedure.
Transcendental Meditation requires regular tutoring. To get the mantras, you’ll need the help of trained and certified teachers. So, you are always in safe hands if the process proves to be difficult at any stage.
Because the procedure doesn’t seek a radical change in lifestyles, beliefs, or philosophy, nor does it seek to monitor participants’ thoughts, there’s no better way for beginners to enter into the journey of meditation for physical wellbeing.
How to Start Transcendental Meditation
If you’ve tried different meditation techniques without success, you may want to try the Transcendental Meditation procedure. Those who have had problems sticking to one method have often found the TM technique a very excellent choice.
To start, you’ll need twenty minutes twice a day. While Transcendental Meditation can be done at any time (even while waiting to catch a flight!), it is preferable to practice it when your mind is calm, preferably when you wake up, and then at any other time between noon and seven o’clock.
It is ideal to practice transcendental meditation early enough, before meals. The mind is always clearer before the stomach is met with meals. When going for the second session, try to avoid going for it just after lunch or dinner.
You should set the volume to be very low because you won’t want a loud bang to interrupt your state of tranquillity so suddenly. This procedure should last between 15 and 20 minutes, and you may need to start with an alarm clock or phone to alert you when your 20 minutes are up.
However, with time, you won’t need an alarm anymore as your mind would be then trained to know how to know when twenty minutes is up.
Once you’ve found a comfortable place, you need to sit so your back rests against something. Your legs do not have to be crossed, but your eyes should be closed. Then breathe in and out deeply before focusing on all your senses.
Concentrate on all your senses one by one, in no particular order, and start quietly chanting the mantra. You’re not expected to say them out loud.
So what would be in your brain while you chant? Many things. The mind won’t be blank, but the idea is to train the brain to settle on the mantra. If the mind wanders away, use the vehicle of the mantra to draw it back until you can cause it to settle for the duration of the meditation.
Top Mistakes to Avoid
Here are some mistakes to avoid.
- Choosing a mantra that doesn’t allow you to relax: You may need to pay to get the best advice on the perfect mantra. But you can still make a good choice on your own. However, if your mantra generated thoughts, change it.
- Being too hard on yourself: You will not be perfect overnight because it takes time. Try not to be too hard on yourself. You may become frustrated. Take it easy, and improve gradually.
- Being in a hurry: Meditation requires a lot of effort. If you’re not settled enough, you won’t get the best out of it! Don’t be in a hurry, and always give it your best.
If you’ve failed at finding a meditation procedure that works, you need to try Transcendental Meditation. Easy, safe, and without any external strings attached, it is known to improve the mind and body in ways that other procedures can’t.
While it’s best to consult trained professionals who can guide you through mantras that best work for you, you can begin the process independently. All you need is twenty minutes and a disciplined mind!