September 29, 2020
Transcendental Meditation is a technique for avoiding the distractions of thought and promoting a relaxed state of consciousness. The late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Maharishi took Transcendental Meditation from the ancient Indian tradition of the Vedas. He introduced the technique to the United States in the 1960s.
When meditating, the person practicing Transcendental Meditation sits in a comfortable posture with eyes closed and silently repeats a mantra. A mantra is a word devoid of meaning from the Vedic tradition and assigned by a certified instructor.
According to followers of Transcendental Meditation, when meditating the ordinary thought process is "transcended". It is replaced by a state of pure consciousness. In this new state, the meditator achieves perfect calm, rest, stability, order and complete absence of mental boundaries.
Some studies indicate that regular meditation can reduce chronic pain, anxiety, hypertension, cholesterol and visits to health care facilities. Other researchers are wary of the quality of meditation studies and point out that meditation is no more effective than health coaching in addressing common health problems.
In general, Transcendental Meditation and other forms of meditation are safe for healthy people and can improve quality of life. However, experts agree that meditation should not be used as a sole remedy for a given health problem or as a substitute for conventional medical care.
Learning and practicing Transcendental Meditation
Transcendental Meditation is neither a religion nor a philosophy. Nor does it require any change in lifestyle. Unlike other forms of meditation, the Transcendental Meditation technique requires a seven-step course taught by a certified teacher.
The Transcendental Meditation teacher presents general information about the technique and its effects during a 60-minute introductory lecture. A second 45-minute lecture is followed by more specific information. Those interested in learning the technique attend a 10-15 minute interview and one to two hours of personal instruction. After a brief ceremony, each person receives a mantra, which they are not required to make public.
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Then there are 3 days to check that it is being done correctly and one or two more hours of instruction. In these sessions the teacher does the following:
Explains the technique in more detail
- Makes corrections if necessary
- Offers information about the benefits of regular
Over the next few months, the teacher usually meets with the practitioners to ensure that the technique is correct.
People practice Transcendental Meditation twice a day for 15-20 minutes. They usually meditate once in the morning before breakfast and once in the evening before dinner.
Transcendental Meditation does not require strenuous effort. Nor does it require concentration or contemplation. Students are told to breathe normally and focus their attention on the mantra.
Some reports suggest that meditation may cause or aggravate symptoms in people with certain psychiatric disorders, or produce feelings of disorientation and anxiety. If you suffer from a mental disorder, consult your physician before beginning Transcendental Meditation. Also let your meditation instructor know what your situation is.