The TM Experience
Anyone of any age, profession, education, religion, or culture can practise Transcendental Meditation, whether you believe it will work or not.
TM is natural, like gravity. If you don’t believe in gravity, and you drop a tennis ball, the ball still falls. In the same way, TM is automatic. It does not require any belief and it works for everyone.
The most common remark from people who have just learned is that they wish they had taken it up years earlier.
The benefits are invaluable.
When you practise TM you sit in a comfortable seat with your eyes closed. You experience the activity of the mind settling down in a natural way until it is quiet, but still wide awake – a state of ‘restful alertness’. It’s very simple. The body is deeply relaxed and the mind is silent and fully awake.
This experience enlivens your creativity, dynamism, orderliness, and organizing power, which result in increasing effectiveness and success in daily life. The deep rest of meditation dissolves deep stress and strain improving emotional well-being and physical health, with benefits accumulating over time.
Generally other meditation techniques involve concentration, contemplation or visualization. Transcendental Meditation is different to these – it is a completely effortless process, allowing the mind to settle down (transcend) in an easy natural way.
This is why you can meditate even from your first session with a teacher – the qualified trained teacher of TM will ensure correct practice of this simple natural effortless technique.
The TM technique, a rediscovery of effortless meditation Maharishi Mahesh Yogi revived the ancient meditation technique of “effortless transcending”—long lost to society even in India, the land of its origin. He reestablished the technique’s original effectiveness and systematised the teaching so that it could be taught worldwide.
How does it work?
If you think of the mind as an ocean, with your everyday busy thoughts being the ruffled waves on the surface, and your more relaxed, intuitive experiences as the deeper, quieter levels, then when you concentrate or visualize, your mind remains on the surface level.
In contrast, TM can be compared to diving deep to the bottom of the ocean. All you have to do is learn how to let the process start, and then it naturally and effortlessly goes by itself so that you experience the deepest silent levels of the mind, pure consciousness, the source of all creativity, intelligence, peace and happiness.
There is no concentration or mind control involved. On coming out of meditation, these qualities become infused into the surface levels. With repeated diving, more and more benefits are experienced.
A meta-analysis of all available physiological research on the TM program found that it produces a state of deep rest compared to control conditions, as measured by reduced respiration rate, reduced basal skin conductance (increased skin resistance), and reduced plasma lactate.
Reference: American Psychologist 42: 879–881, 1987.