How To Do Transcendental Meditation and What Is It Manual
In recent years, when we hear the word “meditation,” we involuntarily strain, because either we have unsuccessfully practiced it, or quite reasonably believe that it may take a lot of patience to practice it – and this causes sadness. However, there is one kind of “effortless meditation,” as its adherents claim. Reviews about the technique are very different. We will give an objective description of the methodology, and it is up to you to decide whether to apply it.
Transcendental meditation (TM) is a meditation technique that allows you to experience more subtle states of thought through direct experience, up to going beyond the limits of the thought process, in contact with the region of the least exciting consciousness – Pure Consciousness. It was founded by the neo-Hindu preacher Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who has trained instructors around the world in several decades.
Maharishi began actual work outside of his native India in 1958. The popularity of TM in Europe, and especially the United States, was immense, so leading scientists immediately began researching its usefulness.
According to a large number of studies, TM has the following positive effects on the body:
- lowers blood pressure;
- relieves depression;
- enhances cognitive capabilities;
- normalizes mental processes;
- helps get rid of tobacco and alcohol;
- reduces elevated cholesterol and lipid oxidation;
- reduces stress and anxiety.
Proponents of TM are many famous people. For example, director David Lynch wrote the book “Catch a Big Fish,” which describes its impact on his life and work. Also, at different times TM Oprah Winfrey, Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, Moby, Eva Mendes, and many others admitted their hobby.
Critics of TM claim that almost all studies conducted by proponents of TM, which means they cannot be objective. At the same time, a survey conducted by the German Institute for Youth and Society in Bensheim showed that overuse of TM could lead to mental disorders, including depersonalization. However, TM still has more supporters.
Nevertheless, you should say: if you decide to do this meditation, you need to listen to your feelings in the first and subsequent stages of practice. Most likely, there is a benefit, but it is not clear how the psyche will react to too many methods.
TM-Sidhi program and Maharishi effect
In the 1960s, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi put forward the theory that for a positive impact on society as a whole, about 10% of people should practice TM. This will allow you to achieve harmony, order, and also improve the quality of life. Subsequently, he reduced this figure to 1%. In this form, the hypothesis knows as the Maharishi Effect.
In 1976, adherents of TM-Sidhi (at that time the branch of TM) postulated that this program, practiced at the same time in the same place by a group that has a square root of one percent of the population (if 1% is 100 000 people, then the square root equals 10 000), will have a beneficial effect on the whole society. This postulate is called the “extended Maharishi effect.”
Maharishi himself proposed the TM-Sidhi program in 1975. It is based on TM and described as its natural extension. TM-Sidhi consists of two main aspects:
- Yogic Flying: A practitioner should imagine that his body rises into the air and moves forward in short leaps. At this moment, a person feels joy, lightness, and bliss, which is confirmed by EEG (electroencephalography), which shows that at this moment, the coherence of the brain waves reaches its maximum.
- Invulnerability: comprehensive meditation, due to which, as adherents say, a person becomes virtually invulnerable to a physical or spiritual attack.
However, this is not the only difference between TM and traditional meditative practices.
How is TM different from regular meditation?
The David Lynch Foundation has conducted studies that its representatives claim show three main approaches to meditation that most people “use”:
- Focused attention (focusing on a thought or object).
- Open monitoring (observation of breathing, thoughts, the environment).
- Automatic self-transcendentalization (spontaneous experience of more moderate levels of thought – a unique state of calm vigilance).
The technique of transcendental meditation does not require focused attention or open control.
This is a process of automatic self-expression that allows the practitioner to experience the calm field deep inside.
This is a simple, natural, light technique (you just need to sit comfortably and close your eyes), practiced for 20 minutes twice a day. It should also say that this is not a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle.
According to the official site of TM, there are additional differences of practice from “ordinary” ones:
- Transcendental meditation: cerebral wave activity – alpha, the effect achieved without effort (“relaxed, happy, focused”).
- Awareness: brain wave activity – theta, the effect achieved with moderate effort (“fabulous”).
- Concentration: brain wave activity – beta, the effect achieved with the help of great efforts (“logical, configured to solve problems.”
Adherents of TM insist that a person who wants to master this form of meditation needs a teacher, but they also agree that benefits can obtain even if you practice it yourself.
Self-study of Transcendental Meditation
As we already said, it recommended doing 20 minutes twice a day. According to Maharishi, “thought bubbles are produced in a stream one after another, and the technique of Transcendental Meditation is that it experiences the” right thought “in its more subtle states” until its subtlest state is tested and surpassed. ”
The main difference between traditional and transcendental meditation is the presence of a mantra. The bottom line is to repeat the mantra effortlessly throughout the session, taking a comfortable pose and closing your eyes.
Maharishi said that a mantra is a means that allows one’s attention to travel naturally to a less active, more relaxed style of mental functioning.
If you want to practice in a group, the teacher himself will choose the mantra suitable for you. In total, 16 basic mantras used in TM, but this was not always the case. In the early 1960s, only two used in TM:
- Men used Ram.
- Women used Shiriram.
You can download both mantras for free from the Internet with or without music. In any case, you will need to train initially. However, you can choose any mantra you like first. And the last recommendation: first, practice TM in the morning and on an empty stomach.
The TM algorithm consists of eight steps:
- Step One: Sit in a comfortable chair. Legs should not cross. Or sit on the ground – it is not necessary to take the lotus position. Put your hands on your knees.
- Step Two: Take three deep breaths and close your eyes. Keep breathing slowly and let your body become more and more relaxed. Your eyes should close for twenty minutes of practice.
- Step three: slowly repeat the mantra in your mind without verbalizing it (roll your tongue if you find that he is trying to replicate the words). The mantra should be in Sanskrit.
- Fourth step: repeating the mantra, you should not focus on words and their intended sense, but try to feel the mantra. If you have any extraneous thoughts, calmly return to it again and again.
- Step Five: Continue chanting the mantra for about 20 minutes. While you do this, allow yourself to feel your intimacy and oneness with the universe.
During meditation, you will find that your mind undergoes 4 mental states (not necessarily in the same sequence):
- exclusively mantra;
- exclusively thoughts;
- thoughts and mantra exist together;
- no mantra, no thoughts.
It is highly unlikely that beginners will experience a fourth state (no mantra, no thought). But if this happened – rejoice. And if it didn’t work out, then it’s okay.
Conscious efforts cannot achieve the fourth mental state, but only through regular practice. The important thing is that you should not practice the mantra while meditating. If you do, this will be the only mental state that you will experience during your meditation session. You need to repeat the mantra without focusing on it mentally.
The fourth state is your goal. Despite this, do not worry if it does not come for a long time. Rejoice at the other three – already at this stage, you are likely to feel calm.
- Step six: after 20 minutes, begin to move your toes to return to their normal state.
- Step seven: open your eyes.
- Step Eight: Sit a few more minutes until you feel ready to start the day.
Remember that there is no right or wrong mental state – they are all part of transcendental meditation. You only need to try to move between the first three states to experience the fourth.