Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental meditation (or TM) is a meditation that reduces stress and anxiety, increases creativity, and promotes health and well-being.

Do your thoughts race when stressed?

Are you looking for a simple technique to allow your mind to settle?

Do you want a way to promote relaxation and tranquility in your life?

If so, them transcendental meditation may be for you.

With the rapidly industrialized world, increasing competition, and a rapidly accelerating pace of life, stress can sometimes feel like a storm that is buffeting your from all sides.

TM gives you the tools to remain peaceful on the inside.

Here we discuss:

  • what is TM
  • the benefits of TM
  • an alternative to TM for stress management and promoting relaxation.

What is TM

There are two types of broad meditation techniques:

  • focused meditation and
  • open meditation.

TM is a focused meditation.

TM is a meditation technique that focuses on a mantra.

This mantra is given to individuals who are then taught to focus on this special 'one word'.

By focusing on this special mantra, TM allows the mind to settle and experience the source of thought and inner awareness.

This is known as transcendental consciousness.

This special mantra, according to Maharishi and his teachers, must remain a secret to remain effective.

Practiced for 20 minutes twice a day, this meditation technique involves sitting with eyes closed.

The technique needs to be learned from a certified Transcendental Meditation teacher

Unfortunately TM cannot be given to you on this site because it is trademarked.

How is TM different from open meditation techniques?

For example, rather than focusing on a mantra like TM, mindfulness meditation or walking meditation are classic open meditation techniques which allow passing thoughts to be observed in a non-critical and non-judgmental way.

Benefits of TM

There is a large body of peer-reviewed research that shows the benefits of meditation that include reduced stress and better health.

Some of the meditation benefits include:

  • better health and well-being
  • increased self-confidence
  • clarity of mind and purpose
  • ability to manage stress and anxiety
  • better sleep and increased energy
  • clarity of mind and ability to maintain focus
  • inner calm and a sense of balance

Indeed one of the first studies came from Dr Benson and Dr Wallace, two Harvard medical researchers investigated the effects of TM in a controlled environment.

Studying 36 transcendental meditation experts they found that Tm was able to reduce stress.

More specifically their research found some striking physiological responses:

  • a drop in heart rate
  • decreased metabobolic rate
  • reduced breathing rate.

Other research showed that TM also lowered blood pressure for people with a high blood pressure and increased alpha brain wave activity.

Perplexed by the incongruity of the simplicity of TM and the expensive price tag (over $1500), Dr Benson Americanized the technique can called it the relaxation response.

To activate the relaxation response all you need is:

  • a quiet environment
  • a mental device that is used to focus on
  • a passive attitude
  • a comfortable position

I describe the relaxation response meditation technique and how this is used to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

Search here for other meditation techniques

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