Transcendental meditation techniques in simple terms are a tool that allows one to avoid thoughts that are distracting so that they can have a state of relaxation. TM was derived from ancient Vedic traditions of India by Maharishi Mahesh the late. The technique was then introduced in the Unites States of America in the 1960s.
In order for one to meditate, a person must sit in a very comfortable position. They must close their eyes and repeat a certain mantra. A mantra is an utterance or a sound that is from the Vedic tradition that helps one in focusing their concentration.
During this meditation, those who support TM believe that one’s normal thinking is transcended. A state of perfect consciousness then replaces it. The mediator then achieves pure stillness, stability, rest, order and an absence of all mental boundaries.
Studies have shown that Transcendental meditation techniques are responsible for lessening anxiety, chronic pain, cholesterol, high blood pressure and the need for medical services.
Generally, meditation be it TM or other forms is usually safe and might improve one’s life. However, experts have made it explicitly clear that mediation should not be used as a cure or treatment for specific health conditions or even in place of conventional medicine.
Learning and Performing Transcendental Meditation
Unlike many other types of meditation, TM must have a seven step instruction course from a teacher who is certified.
TM teachers present all the general details on the technique and the effects it should have on an individual during a 1 hour introductory lecture. This is then accompanied by a lecture of about 45 minutes where individuals are given a more in depth course. Those that are interested in actually learning the procedure then have to attend an interview of about10-15 minutes and then a 1-2 hour personal instruction session. This is then followed by a short ceremony, then they all get mantras, which are confidential.
Next, they have to check for correctness for about 3 days with 1-2 hours of more instruction. The following is a list of what the teachers do during the sessions;
- Explaining the practice further.
- Giving corrections where necessary.
- Providing information on the benefits of practicing regularly.
In order to ensure that practitioners are practicing the technique correctly, the teacher meets them regularly over a period of several months.
TM is usually practiced twice in a day for a period of 15-20 minutes. That means they practice before breakfast in the morning and in the evening before dinner.
This technique does not need any difficult effort neither does it need concentration or even contemplation. Students are instead instructed to breathe just as they normally would and focus all attention on the mantra.
There are reports that point to meditation worsening symptoms of individuals with mental health conditions. It is imperative that people who have mental health conditions consult their doctors before even starting TM and they should also inform their instructors.
How To Do It:
Once the mantra is issued by one’s teacher, they are instructed not to utter it out loud outside of their instruction. The process is quite simple. The person sits and closes their eyes then repeats the mantra in their mind for about 20 minutes, two times a day.
TM does not require concentration or for one to have a designated speed or even for one to have any particular state. One only has to repeat their mantra for the period they have been taught and go on with their day. There are times when one may be distracted and they might forget their mantra, however it is okay and all one must do is just return to their mantra and continue with the meditation.