Transcendental meditation is a type of meditation technique which involves the use of mantras. It is one of the most widely researched and practiced forms of
meditation in the world. This article takes a look at the history of transcendental meditation, its benefits, and the seven step meditation programme.
The term transcendental meditation was first made popular by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1955. He began publicly teaching this ancient style of meditation, which was passed down by his teacher, Brahmananda Saraswati. The meditation was first given the name transcendental deep meditation, which Mahesh later renamed as transcendental meditation. He went on to design a transcendental meditation training programme, which taught people how to correctly pass on the knowledge to new students.
A series of world tours, along with several celebrity endorsements, propelled transcendental meditation into the mainstream, and by the early 2000s it had been taught to million of people across the globe. A number of groups promote this type of meditation, including the Students International Meditation Society, AFSCI, World Peace Executive Council, Maharishi Vedic Education Corporation, and the Global Country of World Peace.
The transcendental meditation technique involves the use of a special sound, or series of words, which are known as a mantra. As part of a transcendental meditation course the participant is given a specific mantra to work with. The mantra is then repeated while the student is sat with closed eyes, between 15 or 20 times, for a certain amount of time per day. This type of meditation is said to have roots in Hinduism, but it is described as being both non-religious and scientific.
The Seven Step Programme
The official transcendental meditation course consists of a seven step programme:
Step 1 involves an introductory talk into the practice of transcendental meditation, and what you can expect the benefits to be. The talk lasts for approximately an hour, and it is completely free of charge.
Step 2 goes into the details about the mechanics of the transcendental meditation technique, including why it works, its origins, and how it differs from other meditation techniques that are out there. Step 2 lasts for 45 minutes, and again it is completely free of charge.
Step 3 involves a one on one personal interview with a transcendental meditation specialist. The interview will last from 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 4 is when the transcendental meditation technique is taught to students. This part of the course can last between 1 to 2 hours, and a fee is required at this stage of the programme.
Step 5 – 7
This part of the programme checks that the student is using the transcendental meditation technique correctly. It is spread out over 3 days.
After the course there are a number of follow up and advanced learning techniques available to the meditator. Any transcendental meditation student has the ability to work with extra course material at any transcendental meditation centre across the US, they will also have access to a special online transcendental magazine. A number of appointments will be set up over several months at a time that is convenient for you to ensure that your practice is working, and to discuss any questions that you may have about the process.
Transcendental meditation has a number of reported benefits when it is practiced over a long period of time, these include:
- An increase in creativity
- A reduction in stress
- An improvement in brain function and academic abilities
- Increased feelings of inner peace
- An enhanced immune system
- A decrease in muscle tension
There are hundreds of transcendental meditation centres in the United States alone, and currently 40 in the United Kingdom. You can find out where the nearest centre is to you by using the search feature on the official transcendental meditation website.
“Like the air, God’s Grace is available to us. It is permeating every fibre of Being and the Being of the entire universe. When we take our attention to that Being, finer than the finest, then we establish ourselves on the level of God’s Grace. Immediately we just enjoy. Life is Bliss!” ― Maharishi Mahesh Yogi