Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt.” – St. Francis de Sales.
Transcendental Meditation just like most types of meditation is meant to help your mind calm down and settle. Most people have a mind that is constantly racing with thoughts and emotions. TM is about reaching a level of peace and silence effortlessly.
Even celebrities such as Cheryl Crow, Sir Paul McCartney, Mike Oldfield, Ellen DeGeneres, Cameron Diaz, Clint Eastwood, Hugh Jackman, Jerry Seinfeld have mentioned that they practice transcendental meditation. Famous business figures such as Rupert Murdoch, Ivanka Trump and Edward Saatchi practice it too.
Stress is a major cause of many illnesses in the mind and body. Health problems such as weight gain, cancer, inflammation, neuroses and many more have been directly or indirectly linked to stress. Transcendental meditation arrests the problem at its roots.
TM calms you down and shuts down the stress. While it is not a panacea to all ills, transcendental meditation helps to prevent many problems from taking root. Like they say, prevention is better than cure.
Generally, transcendental meditation is done twice a day. If time does not permit, you could start off doing it just once a day. People who start off with meditation are often apprehensive in the beginning because they feel that they could be putting their time to better use.
Yet, after a few sessions of TM, they notice that they are able to clear their mind and calm down. The worries, aggravation and agitation that were pulling them into a downward spiral seem to just melt away and are replaced by a sense of inner peace.
Once this happens, they are much more willing to put aside time for meditation. The more you meditate, the more you will look forward to it. It’s perfectly fine to just start off with one session a day.
“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day; unless you’re too busy… then you should sit for an hour.” – Old Zen saying
How To Do Transcendental Meditation
Initially when you’re first starting out, you will need a quiet environment. It could be in the comfort of your own home or if your office is quiet, that will do too. As you get more proficient at meditating, you will be able to do it anywhere despite the noise and distractions. However, when you’re first starting out, silence is essential.
Assume a comfortable sitting posture. You could sit on a chair, bed or floor. The key point to note is that transcendental posture is ALWAYS practiced in a seated position. You do not do transcendental meditation while lying down. The goal is to meditate and not to drift off to slumber land.
With most types of meditation, there is a need to concentrate. This usually stresses people out further because they often find their mind drifting off or a million different thoughts enter their head while they’re trying to meditate. This is perfectly normal. Even experts face this problem. It takes a lot of practice to silence the mind.
With the TM technique, there is no need to concentrate or focus. Transcendental meditation is supposed to be natural and effortless.
Once you’re in the seated position, you could place your hands on your lap or by your side. Next, you will chant a rudimentary sound that doesn’t have any meaning. You do not want the sound you make to conjure any thoughts or images.
The sound you make could be an “aaaaahhh” or “ummmmmm”. It doesn’t matter what the sound is as long as it’s comfortable for you. This is your mantra or chant.
Imagine all your thoughts rotating around this chant. The chant is like a cone spiraling downwards. Initially you may have thoughts popping up. Do not force them to disappear. There should not be effort here. Stay focused on the chant as it leads you down the zone where there is little thought.
If your mind starts drifting, gently guide it back towards the mantra. After some time, your thoughts will slow down gradually and diminish. It will happen on its own accord without forcing.
As you approach the “zone” where there is not much thought, you will notice that the tension in your body starts dissipating. Your heart rate will slow down and you might experience a tingling sensation in your hands and feet. It’s all perfectly normal.
Now that you’re in the zone, you should try and remain in this zone for about 20 minutes. Any thoughts that form will usually dissolve into nothing. You are at rest and you’re doing it right. In the event that thoughts do return and start running amok, refocus on the mantra and return to the zone.
That pretty much sums it up. Aim to do this twice daily.