Transcendental Meditation as a Path to Productive Living

February 3, 2013

More than five decades ago, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi began to spread his teachings about Transcendental Meditation in India. Through the years, he taught thousands, trained teachers around the world, and gained the support of many celebrities. Burt Reynolds, Clint Eastwood, Goldie Hawn, George Harrison, Oprah Winfrey, and Hugh Jackman are among the more famous persons reputed to be followers of this movement. By the mid seventies, this meditation technique or TM as it is frequently called had become a strong, global, and highly organized movement with programs and products to cater to different public.

TM was known as a religious organization in the fifties, but two decades later, the organization took on a more scientific track. Today, TM is known more as a spiritual movement, which employs science as a pillar for its technique. While disbelievers scoff at this type of meditation and call it a pseudoscience, some reviews have judged it effective. For the individual who wishes to gain better control of his or her inner environment in order to cope with the realities of the world better, TM just might be worth a good second look.

Testing the Waters of Transcendental Meditation

Many individuals have ventured to learn and practice TM on their own, without the benefit of expert instruction and a good number of them have professed success in achieving their personal objectives. Those who want to learn it from trained mentors however can easily find a center run by the TM nonprofit organization. Doing this will ensure a systematic course of study with all the necessary support.

Those who want to get into TM will be glad to know that all they have to be ready for is setting aside fifteen to twenty minutes twice a day to do meditation armed with the TM technique. There are no lifestyle changes required nor dietary restrictions imposed on people who want to practice this meditation technique. It is not anchored on any religious belief or philosophy. It is, in a way, mainly a method, or a procedure that aids in reducing stress and stress-related diseases such as hypertension.

The goal of TM is the achievement of a state of full awareness while being relaxed and impervious to distractions and divergent thoughts. During the fifteen to twenty minute meditation time, the person sits in a comfortable position, breathing normally with eyes closed while repeating a mantra repeatedly. His or her mentor assigns the mantra, which is not a recognizable word, to the person.

How Transcendental Meditation Works

Practitioners say that the TM technique allows the mind to go beyond thought and travel into the source of thought. This ultimate state is referred to as transcendental consciousness and it is supposed to be where the brain functions with greater clarity even as the body is able to rest and regenerate. The more scientific terminology for this would be that brainwaves shift and the mind enters a deeper, transcendent consciousness. Studies done on experienced TM practitioners show that while in this state, the subjects exhibit EEG profiles that are significantly different from usual profiles. Research is said to show that TM develops the whole brain and enhances, among others, creativity and problem solving.

The mantra itself is a TM tool for reaching this state because while mantras are sounds that do not have actual meanings, their vibrations are supposed to correspond with the vibrations of the individuals they belong to.

Will TM Work for You

Many respected personalities in different fields of science look at TM doubtfully, going as far as calling it a sham. There are those, however, who swear by it as a means to a more orderly, peaceful and productive mind. In any case, the technique itself, like other forms of meditation is not known to yield negative results in people who practice it. In fact, for the tense and the harried, the practice of Transcendental Meditation is possibly an oasis to draw rest from. In terms of time, twenty minutes twice a day would be a very good investment indeed, if it allows one to have a better handle on living productively.