What is Transcendental Meditation
Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a mental technique that calms the mind and reduces stress. It is a natural and effortless practice that is very easy to learn and involves subtly thinking or ‘witnessing’ inner sounds known as ‘mantras’. These primordial sounds have been passed down by the ancient rishis, or ‘wise-men’ of India, for thousands of years. Their purpose was to help people refine their consciousness and access deeper levels of awareness.
By innocently and effortlessly thinking or ‘witnessing’ these sounds they naturally ‘self-refine’ and gradually become fainter and fainter. As they do so. the mind is naturally drawn inwards, towards ever calmer levels of awareness. Thus, the mantra acts as a ‘vehicle’ for the mind to move from active, busy levels of awareness towards progressively calmer, more subtle levels of awareness. Ultimately, the mind abides peacefully in a state of pure silence or ‘restful alertness’. When the mind experiences restful alertness, the body naturally gains very deep rest and spontaneously releases accumulated tension and stress.
The ability to effortlessly and spontaneously release accumulated stress is paramount in today’s fast-paced, technological world. Fortunately, the practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM) allows this to happen very easily and can be practised by anybody, regardless of age, belief, culture or background.
To understand the mechanics of meditation we use an analogy and compare the mind to the sea. Sometimes it is still and calm and sometimes it is rough, wild and turbulent. However, as we sink deeper beneath the waves it is naturally calm and still, even when the storm is raging overhead. Similarly, meditation effortlessly leads the mind to deeper levels of itself, where it is eternally calm and peaceful, naturally abiding in a state of restful alertness; yet ready for dynamic activity when required.
One of the truly powerful and unique aspects of Transcendental Meditation is that it not only allows the mind to transcend or 'go beyond' thought but, in the process, it also strengthens the neural connections that allow this to happen at will. This allows us to relax or ‘chill-out’ spontaneously whenever we choose; whether we are sitting quietly practising meditation or busy and active in our daily lives. Once we are familiar with these calmer states of mind, and are able to access them at will, we gain greater clarity and each individual thought then becomes more powerful and effective. We also become more present, more mindful, less stressed, more efficient and happier in our everyday lives.
other Benefits of practicing Transcendental MediTation (TM)
Not only does it help us release stress, fear, anxiety and tension but it helps improve the length and quality of our sleep. With regular practice we soon begin to feel healthier and happier and have more energy, strength and vitality. Our digestion improves, our immune system is stronger and more resilient; we have better relationships at home at at work; we become less tense, less stressed and more enthusiastic. Our motivation and zest for life increases and our cognitive functioning improves along with our ability to problem-solve. Our perception becomes refined and our creativity, increases. Our unhealthy addictive tendencies also begin to wane, and we may naturally find ourselves drinking less alcohol and coffee and eating less sugar and refined carbohydrates. Learn More →
is Meditation different from Mindfulness, Visualisation and contemplation
The practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM) allows us to still the mind and unburdens us from the constant barrage of unwanted thoughts. It allows us to become more ‘mindful’ or ‘present’ whilst busy and active in our daily lives; issues or challenges then become less stressful and easier to tolerate.
Attempting to cultivate or induce a state of mindfulness or ‘silent, restful alertness’ through practising techniques such as mindfulness meditation, contemplation, visualisation or concentration have varying degrees of success. For many these techniques can often prove very difficult, as they often involve ‘taming’ or ‘controlling’ the mind. They often use a thought, or an intention, to hold or guide the mind away for other, unwanted thoughts. Using thought to control thought can be very difficult, and positive results often take some time to materialise.
Using the ‘sea analogy’ above we could say that techniques such as mindfulness have the effect of throwing down an anchor that allows the boat (mind) to stop moving about so much in the turbulent waters. However, this does not necessarily allow the boat to become completely still. This would only be achieved by the boat becoming a submarine (mantra) and sinking to the ocean depths where the sea (mind) is eternally quiet and calm.
Thus, many people practicing these techniques often give up before experiencing any kind of benefits that would encourage them to continue. However, by practising a natural and effortless technique, such as Transcendental Meditation, the ability to naturally achieve a state of mindfulness is quickly gained.
History of transcendental meditation (TM)
TM is an ancient meditation practice of balancing and harmonising the mind, which originated in India many thousands of years ago, and stems from the Vedic Tradition of India. More recently it has gained popularity as a scientifically proven way of reducing stress in our increasingly fast-paced modern world. The key figure in it's timely resurgence was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who emerged from his solitary retreat in the Himalayas in the 1950's and brought it's teaching to the west. He called it Transcendental Meditation but it is also commonly known as Vedic Meditation, Mantra Meditation and Primordial Sound Meditation.
Over the last 50 years over 300 peer reviewed studies have been published in over 100 scientific journals around the world attesting to it's manifold benefits to mankind. Learn More →