What is Transcendental Meditation?

What is Transcendental Meditation?

Meditation has been around for thousands of years, with ties back to ancient China and Egypt. While there are many types of meditation, they all generally aim to help you achieve calm, clarity, and balance. Transcendental meditation in particular is one of the most widely practiced forms of meditation - and for good reason. It can help you release anxiety, slow racing thoughts, improve work/life balance, and seek greater meaning. Here’s how it works and how to incorporate it into your self care routine.

What is Transcendental Meditation?

Simply put, transcendental meditation (TM) is a mantra meditation, meaning that you repeat a mantra throughout the session. While other forms of meditation may use phrases or visualisations during the practice, TM asks you to repeat a mantra with the purpose of it being a meaningless sound. Since you aren’t searching for meaning in the mantra, but are focusing all of your energy on simply repeating it, you achieve a state of perfect stillness and silence. This leads you to the most peaceful level of your own pure consciousness.

Some people prefer this type of meditation over others for its simplicity. Other forms of meditation require you to monitor thoughts, concentrate on a visualisation, or empty the mind. Transcendental meditation simply asks you to repeat your mantra over and over again, which makes the practice easier and takes the stress off of controlling your mind.

Benefits of Transcendental Meditation

When practicing TM, your usual thinking process transcends to a state of pure consciousness, which allows you to achieve perfect stability and rest while also enjoying the absence of mental boundaries. In doing so, you get access to some amazing benefits, including:

● Reduced stress and anxiety, as you let go of racing thoughts and find a deeper level of inner calm.

● Enhanced brain function, as you connect with your energy, awareness, and creativity. In doing so, your brain is able to function on a higher level with greater clarity.

● Improved work/life balance, as you manage stress more easily and reach a higher level of clarity.

● Improved cardiovascular health - some studies show that regular meditation can reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol.

● Improved symptoms of depression.

● Better sleep, concentration, self-esteem, and pain management.

Incorporating the Practice into your Self Care Routine

Transcendental meditation requires that you learn the practice from a certified teacher over the course of four sessions. In the first session, the instructor gives you a personalised mantra and teaches you how to use it effectively. The following three sessions are usually done with a small group and last for 60 to 90 minutes. 

The practice itself involves you sitting with your eyes shut, silently repeating your mantra. When you’ve completed your training, it’s recommended that you meditate in 20-minute sessions twice a day. 

With that said, it can be difficult to get into new routines. Try the following ideas to incorporate transcendental meditation into your self care routine:

● Practice meditation first thing when you wake up and last before sleep. This eliminates distractions and puts you into the right mindset for the day and for sleep.

● Tie meditation to an existing habit. For example, before your morning cup of coffee, you meditate. After brushing your teeth at night, you meditate. This is called habit stacking and can make it easy to remember to incorporate new habits until they become second nature.

● Create a ritual by burning incense, melting wax, or putting on a meditation playlist. These environmental triggers can put you into the right mindset for meditation.

However you choose to incorporate transcendental meditation, you’ll be glad you did. Whether you’re looking for help with calming anxiety, improving work/life balance, boosting creativity, or finding answers within, you’ll likely find that you receive more benefits than you expected. In time, it will become a staple in your self care routine, providing you with long-term peace.

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