Transcendental Meditation is perhaps the most widely known and practiced form of Meditation. This form of meditation is very simple to perform and requires little effort. Although Transcendental Meditation began as a ritual used for spiritual purposes, it can be used daily merely as a routine exercise. The effects of Transcendental Meditation are highly beneficial.
So, how does one perform Transcendental Meditation? A session of Transcendental Meditation only requires 10 minutes to 40 minutes per day, depending on how long one decides to remain in a trance. The first step is to find an environment that is not distracting and take up a comfortable position, such as sitting. Next, the person chooses a word, image, or phrase and concentrates on it. By focusing on this one object the person falls into a trance. This trance can last for as long as the person chooses. While the person remains in this state of mind, he or she are psychologically present while paying minimal attention.
History of TM
Although a modern discipline, Transcendental Meditation (TM) has its roots in ancient religion. TM was an ancient Indian practice; however, it was "rediscovered" by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1957. The practice of TM stems from traditional Hinduism, including the worship of an image, and the bringing of sacrifices and burning of incense for this deity.
TM, while based around Hinduism, is not a religion. TM has adherents from all religions. However, while meditating, participants visualize a certain "holy symbol," which is matched to their personality. This practice is derived from Hindu belief in dividing the maid god, the Brahman, into many different gods.
Maharishi's teachings attempt to establish a state of "Heaven on Earth." This condition was a peaceful, blissful result of meditation. In a desire to change the world, Maharishi traveled around the world, teaching meditation. He believed that this would not only improve the lives of the individuals who practiced this meditation, but would have effects on all people.
Transcendental Meditation is highly effective and has a great influence on one's health. Many benefits come with Transcendental Meditation. Some of these benefits include an improved immune system, lower blood pressure (by keeping the blood vessels open), and reduced stress. If one practices Transcendental Meditation routinely, these improvements may prolong their life. Studies have also shown that Transcendental Meditation reverses the buildup of plaque in coronary arteries.
It is important to understand how the brain operates during Transcendental Meditation. Activity in the brain changes while the person goes into a trance. There is a decrease in beta waves, which shows that the rate at which the brain processes information slows down. While there is a decrease in beta waves, there is an increase in theta brain waves, which are the brain waves that are activated the moment before an individual falls asleep. This redirects the brain to a more relaxed state while lowering conscious thought. The individual experiences a higher level of contentment and negative feelings begin to diminish.
Since the effects of Transcendental Meditation are so beneficial, physicians recommend this practice to a broad range of patients. Patients suffering from chronic diseases such as AIDS, cancer, and heart conditions use Transcendental Meditation as a way of controlling their pain. Transcendental Meditation can also be used to reinstate balance in those who have suffered from traumatic disturbances.
In the past decade, the popularity of Transcendental Meditation has risen at a rapid pace. This practice has spread to a variety of institutions, such as hospitals, business corporations, schools, and prisons. Many of the people who practice Transcendental Meditation find that it helps them to focus and deal with the pressures of society.