Meditation as a practice has changed the lives of many people. Due to so much uncertainty in life, more and more people are getting anxious and stressed out. Today’s generation has hosannas of options to choose from and gets distracted easily. Meditation acts as a powerful tool to combat this. It is particularly popular in the Himalayas. Meditation, especially morning meditation relaxes your mind, body and soul and helps in finding the inner peace. It helps in increasing concentration at work which otherwise deteriorates due to a hectic lifestyle.
Transcendental Meditation is a simple, natural and effortless meditation to relieve stress. It is a technique which involves silent mantra meditation to achieve wellness and inner peace. Transcendental Meditation was developed by the great seer Mahesh Yogi.
Every human being can perform transcendental meditation. It is very simple to learn and enjoyable to practice.
This technique dates back thousands of years. It is not a religion or philosophy but a simple technique which can be performed by people of all ages.
To comprehend what Transcendental Meditation really is, a metaphor or analogy is often used.
Imagine, you are sitting inside a small boat in the middle of an ocean. All of a sudden you get huge swells, huge 30-50 feet higher waves and you think that the whole ocean is in an upheaval.
Well, not really. In reality, you realize that under the 60 feet high waves, the ocean is naturally silent. Even if the waves are 400 feet above, the ocean at the bottom is calm, untouched and naturally silent. That is the nature of the ocean- active on the surface and silent at its depth.
That is exactly what the nature of the mind is. The surface of the mind is the active, thinking mind just like the waves of the ocean. The “got to do this” mind is like the ocean waves. There is a natural desire to have some inner peace and inner focus. The question is how do we reach at that level?
Transcendental Meditation helps us experience quieter level, settled levels of thought. Pure consciousness can be experienced through Transcendental meditation.
What are the benefits of Transcendental Meditation?
Research has shown that Transcendental Meditation really works.
- It targets problems such as high blood pressure, high cortisol levels, high anxiety, stress, fatigue and tension.
- It is considered to be one of the best healing therapies for the mind.
- Meditation has a lot to do with one’s imagination. Your interests reflect in your meditation activities. For example, for someone who likes astronomy would like to imagine the movement of planets along with the change in colors. It is extremely relaxing to imagine the movement of colorful planets changing colors in the galaxy. Moreover, the appearance of the sun and the moon creates a soothing visual that relaxes the mind. Wildlife lovers often like to imagine the movement of different animals and birds in a jungle. The interaction of koels, penguins and other words with nature such as trees and lakes can create a soothing experience when imagined with good sound effects.
- Research shows that every experience changes the brain. There are 2 major types of meditation. Focused attention Meditation (like Zen or Vipassana) where concentration is involved. Second type is open monitoring which is a mindfulness form of meditation. Just observing the mind. It does not involve any concentration. This allows us to be calm and experience our own unbounded nature. Transcendental meditation technique allows you to do that.
Disadvantages of Transcendental Meditation
- The technique cannot be used by patients with certain biological disorders, such as bipolar disorder.
- The technique has been found good to relax a person but not effective enough to touch the deep levels of consciousness.
- There are religious elements in the technique and organisation.
How does Transcendental Meditation affect your mental Health?
Studies show that transcendental meditation results in improving mental health and brain functioning. It helps you gain better concentration and focus and reduces stress and anxiety. It also heightens self esteem and self awareness.
What are the different Transcendental Meditation Techniques ?
The practice involves the silent chanting of a Transcendental Meditation Mantra. This Transcendental Meditation Mantra is to be practiced twice a day for twenty minutes each.
The mantra consists of a word without meaning, which is to be focused on. It is practiced while sitting comfortably on a chair. It can be done on the train, an airplane or in a car (if someone else is driving). It is a silent technique (with eyes closed).
An introduction of the practice can be taken online by looking up “Transcendental Meditation Online” or “Transcendental Meditation for beginners”, however it is advisable to take further guidance from a teacher of Transcendental Meditation. Meditation Centres are available in various countries all over the world.
- Guided Transcendental meditation is always taught one to one by a trained and certified teacher of Transcendental meditation. The teaching has been set up in a very standard form to maintain the quality of education.
- It is not a group meditation. The first day, you are given a sound, a proper mantra to settle down and you are taught how to use it properly.
- The technique is taught over a period of four consecutive days, sessions being an hour- an hour and a half long each.
- Chanting could also be a part of the schedule that helps to meditate with focus.
Tips and techniques to do Transcendental meditation
Here are some tips to do Transcendental meditation
- It is a Guided Meditation. Hence, it is important to take guidance from a certified teacher at a meditation center.
- It is important to be present in class on all four days of the program and pay attention.
- It is highly recommended to get tested for any psychological or physical disorders and inform the teacher incase of any problem well in advance.
- An important aspect of Transcendental Meditation is that you don’t have to pay attention. Only the mind needs to be observed, which does not require concentration.
- While learning the technique, you don’t have to focus on the religious elements. You can listen to some meditation music while practising it.
- This technique can be practiced at any place- home, care, airplane, just about anywhere. The only point to remember is that it needs to be learnt first, and then practiced.
Transcendental meditation Vs Anxiety
Research has shown that Transcendental meditation reduces anxiety and helps you deal with stress more effectively. Regular practice of Transcendental meditation even helps lower your blood pressure.
We hope this has thrown some light on what Transcendental meditation is and how it can be beneficial to you. Learn the technique and practice it regularly for improved mental health.